Holiday Air Travel: What You Need to Know about Airlines, Delays, Strikes
Millions of travelers will take to the skies in a few weeks to celebrate the holidays with family and friends. Whether you’re hitting the slopes, visiting relatives or simply getting away from the hustle and bustle, there are some travel tips you should know.
It’s especially important to be prepared this busy travel season in light of the recent combination of unauthorized pilot actions, including illegal sickouts and slowdowns of American Airline’s pilots. Apparently a broken coffee pot delayed one American flight recently, because pilots are pulling from the gate and then the plane suddenly needed maintenance for a broken reading light or other non-essential equipment. According to insiders, this is the pilots way of protesting.
The good news is that so far the delays and cancellations due to the AA situation are a small number of overall flights and are not nearly as bad as the airlines can face due to bad weather, and any major airline is prepared for these incidents.
Holiday Travel Tips
—Sign up for your carrier’s flight status notification and reaccommodation apps to stay informed about the status of your flight(s). —Pack light to make moving between gates as the airline substitutes aircraft easier and faster. —When traveling with an infant, be sure to bring enough food and supplies with you. —If traveling with children, pack additional snacks, diapers, formula and gadgets/books in case of a delay. —When booking, allow for more time between connections if you have to stop before your final destination. —Dress comfortably (no high heels, shorts, tight clothes, panty hose) stay hydrated, bring snacks, bring entertainment/reading materials. —Consider purchasing a day pass to your airlines lounge or club (ie American Airlines’ Admirals Club or United Lounge) you can stay out of the hussle and bussle of the airport, get extra assistance, be productive or relax in the quieter atmosphere. The lounges have WiFi, TV’s, snacks and drinks.
—For young children, fill a backpack with crayons, coloring books, inexpensive toys and snacks. Consider holding a new or special item aside until you are airborne. —Place all prescription medicine, jewelry, documents, car keys and other valuables in a carry-on bag that will fit under the seat in front of you. That way, if overhead bin space happens to be full, you won’t have to check your bag with valuables at the gate.
Before Leaving for the Airport
—Dress yourself and your children in comfortable clothes, and wear shoes that are easy to slip on and off at the security checkpoint. (No high heels. Wear shoes with a covered toe, airplanes can be cold!) —Save time by checking in online up to 24 hours prior to flight to check in for your flight and print your boarding pass. —If you’re over the age of 18, federal law requires you to show a government-issued photo ID at TSA checkpoints. See http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/acceptable_documents.shtm for examples of TSA acceptable IDs. —If you’re traveling internationally, don’t forget your passport, as well as other important documents for all customers, including lap children. Make copies to carry with you (or scan and e-mail a copy to yourself) and leave with others at home.
At the Airport
—TSA limits the amount of liquids, gels and aerosols you may carry on board. However, medication, baby formula and food, breast milk, and juice are allowed in reasonable quantities exceeding three ounces and are not required to be in a zip-top bag. Families should declare these items for inspection at the checkpoint. For more information, including limitations on international travel, visit TSA’s Web site, http://www.tsa.gov/. —Typically customers may carry onboard one bag that fits in the overhead bin or under the seat, plus one personal item, such as a purse, briefcase or laptop. A diaper bag and umbrella stroller (as long as they fit in the overhead bin) for a lap or ticketed child are permitted onboard in addition to the standard carry-on allowance. —Allow extra time for traffic, parking and transportation to the terminal. Travelers should plan to arrive at the airport at least 90 minutes before departure for domestic flights and two to three hours prior to departure for international flights. —Instead of trying to remember your parking location or writing it down on a scrap of paper, take a picture of your location sign with a camera phone or digital camera. —Curbside Check-in is another great time saver. You can check your bag with a skycap at the curb, and then it’s a straight shot to the security line and your gate.
While You’re Waiting
—If you’re flying out of Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Boston, Miami or New York on American Airlines, The Admirals Club offers children’s rooms equipped with computers that have “kid-friendly” games and programs, as well as a TV featuring age-appropriate programming. One-Day passes are available for $50, and can be purchased in person, online, or at Self-Service Check-in machines. —If you’re flying out of Newark or Houston on United, the United Club offers family rooms for passengers with small children and nursing mothers.
—A portable video player, audio player, or reading material can make the time fly, especially for young travelers. However, audio and video equipment may only be used with headsets. —Changes in cabin air pressure during descent may cause discomfort in small children. Be prepared by having a bottle, pacifier or chewing gum with you. —Families traveling with a child who is a first-time flyer can commemorate their first time in the sky with American’s new “First Flight Certificate.” Ask a flight attendant onboard any American Airlines flight for the keepsake signed by the aircraft’s pilots and flight attendants. JetBlue, United, Continental and Virgin America will give children wings upon request.
Posted by Elizabeth on 09/21 at 09:44 AM
Oooh La La! Spend the Holidays in France - Fly Air France Business Class for 65% Off!
How does spending your end of year Holidays in Paris and going there in the luxury of Air France Business Class sound? C’est manifique, non?
Make the dream come true with steep discounts off Air France’s full Business Class fares.
The sale fares are valid for departures December 17, 2012 through January 4, 2013 and returns December 25, 2012 through January 8, 2013. Tickets must be purchased before November 5, 2012 11:59PM EDT. Tickets must be purchased at least 28 days before departure date. Minimum stay is 3 days and maximum stay is 10 days for these fares. Fares are non-refundable.
Behind soundproof, bullet-resistant glass, a private entrance and a closed-captioned security system (that can be directly linked to the U.S. Secret Service, should you require it, Mr. Ambassador) the Royal Suite at The Four Seasons Washington is as beautiful as it is functional. Custom-designed wool-and-silk-blend rugs adorn the limestone floor and ground the contemporary furnishings throughout the suite. Crystal fixtures contrast with rich wood, iridescent shell details and furnishings in a silvery palette.
As we enter the foyer, I am temporarily blinded by a gorgeous galaxy of Swarovski crystal fixtures, rich ebony wood with inlays of mother of pearl and a scalloped pattern of sparkling stone mosaic. The foyer opens to the dining room, which accommodates 10 and is equipped with a Bang & Olufsen LCD for those important PR or diplomatic meetings overlooking the huge private terrace. A fully equipped kitchen pantry with Sub-Zero refrigerator and separate service entrance is adjacent.
From the main entrance level, twin stairways lead to a stunning open space. American walnut portals define the living spaces, which include four distinct seating areas. The lounge offers posh leather oval chairs and a Lalique sea goddess.
The main conversation area has luxe Italian sofas, chairs and a handmade alligator table. The library is decorated with warm inglenook-style seating, a glass fireplace and custom cabinets displaying a collection of art books. Finally, the media area is fully outfitted with Bang & Olufsen systems, including a 60-inch LCD from which you can watch Meet The Press or Access Hollywood.
I’m fantasizing about hosting a cocktail party in this gorgeous space but Lilianna Baldassari, public relations director for the hotel, tells me that this suite is not available to rent for parties. She also tells me that this suite is $15,000 a night and everyone pays full retail. *Gulp* I make a solemn vow to myself to book this suite when I win the lottery. Or when AOL buys Poshbrood.com. (A girl can dream!)
This is just a taste of the super, over the top, poshiest hotel suite ever. Here are Genuine Joy’s Hilary Phelps and I pretending that we live here:
Suri covers everything A-List, from star culture and fashion mishaps to celebs who are annoying and pregnant. Suri’s Burn Book also features her very best advice such as “Almost everyone is rich enough to afford pants without holes,” and “Table etiquette is nothing to joke about. Bad dinner manners ruined Haley Joel Osment’s career.”
With more than 100 full-color photos throughout and hilarious quips galore, Suri’s Burn Book is a must-have for the Hollywood-obsessed, moms and fans of the blog.
Until you get your copies or download to your iPad, you can enjoy Poshbrood’s favorite Suri-isms:
“I’m looking at these pants on Honor Warren, and I’m actually speechless. I mean, I’m laughing, but there are no words.”
“It won’t be long before Harper Beckham’s arms are thicker than her mother’s.”
“Even if she is dressed nicely, it’s impossible to take Harlow Madden seriously when she’s standing around with these jokers. Do you think I’d be where I am today if I made eye contact with anyone wearing a sleeveless studded jacket?”
“Where are the Olympics in 2024? Hopefully Paris. FYI, I look amazing in gold.”
“I’m still trying to convince myself that this is just a picture of Mary-Kate Olsen dressed as a smoking hobo, Photoshopped over another picture of a lovely father-daughter outing. It’s not. This is Olivier Sarkozy out for a walk with his girlfriend and his daughter. Suddenly my life doesn’t seem so bad.”
“I have so much secondhand embarrassment from this photo I can barely stand it. I don’t know what’s worse — being with the Wiggles, or being with your C-list parents, who are apparently really into the Wiggles.”
“This whole flying commercial/ “how the other half lives” thing isn’t cute anymore. Even in first class, you have to breathe the same air as the people in steerage.”
“If not for the off-brand snacks and that ridiculous hat, I’d almost believe that Gwen Stefani is a good mother.”
Can’t get enough? You can follow Suri’s Burn Book on Twitter at @surisburnbook and buy copies of the book here. You’re welcome.
New Posh Perk: Free L’Oreal Sunscreen at The Capri in Southampton
Leave it to The USAToday’s dauntless travel reporter Barbara Delollis to discover a hip new Hamptons hotel—The Capri—that just happens to offer the coolest swag we’ve heard of in awhile: a sunscreen bar at the pool.
Although many luxury hotel brands like the Four Seasons offer free sunscreen at their beach resorts, (and cold towels and some hot pool boy to come by and ‘mist’ you…awkward) The Capri is offering this as a value added amenity to their boutique hotel guests.
Not pumped sunscreen or mini bottles but free full-sized bottles of sunscreen in the SPF of your choice. This plus the pool area, fire pits, chaise lounges, Cynthia Rowley Boutique, cool retro decor and Nobu restaurant onsite makes The Capri shoot to the top of my “adults-only” luxury travel bucket list.
I think it’s a fabulous idea—if you pack in a carry on and fly, the TSA will take it from you. If you fail to pack it at all or go through it (like we do with three kids who prefer to be in the pool ALL DAY LONG) it will cost you a fortune to buy it at the hotel gift store.
What do you think? Greatest perk ever after free WiFi (duh) and breakfast?
The Gulf Coast and Travelers Feel Hurricane Isaac’s Impact
Even though Isaac is now downgraded to a tropical storm, it is causing significant flooding, power outages and even evacuations throughout the Gulf Coast.
It’s also wreaking havoc on travelers, the travel industry and could adversely impact your upcoming travel plans.
As analysts are already predicting the storm could have a lasting impact on the airline industry, John Heimlich, Airlines for America Vice President and Chief Economist, believes Isaac will most certainly affect U.S. airlines’ third quarter profits. ??
“There’s no question that it’s going to affect things like leisure travel,” he said. “The question is how big of an impact it’s going to have.” Due to Isaac, there have been over 1,300 flight cancellations to date.
And according to AAA, gas prices have already begun to rise nationally as Isaac causes disruptions of oil and gas production in the Gulf of Mexico. Today’s average fuel price is $3.826 a gallon, up .30 cents per gallon in the last month. As gas prices rise, so do ticket prices for air travelers.
While Isaac’s impact on airline travel is virtually certain, it isn’t the only factor that may put a dent in your travel plans. Another is a potential strike by American Airlines pilots.
As the company continues to navigate a complex bankruptcy – and while posting record profits in the process – its pilots, represented by the Allied Pilots Association, are poised to initiate a strike vote in coming weeks to protest a contract dispute.
It goes without saying that strikes from any airline union can be a massive burden for travelers. When Spirit Airlines pilots walked out in June 2010, 16,000 daily passengers were stuck traveling by rental car, expensive walk-up fare or another airline.
And in 1999, the last time American Airlines pilots conducted an 11-day “sick-out,” 6,600 flights were cancelled costing the carrier about $225 million. Have you ever been stranded in an airport? No fun. Even without kids.
Although you could pass the time by organizing an airport flash mob. This one’s a personal favorite:
While these factors shouldn’t dissuade you from making travel plans, they are important things to consider and monitor on as you travel this busy Labor Day Weekend or consider future family travel plans.
5 Greatest Family-Friendly Festivals In North America
Although summer is coming to an end, themed festivals are still in full swing. Over the upcoming months, an array of family-friendly events will be geared toward educating the kids. From puppet shows, to jugglers, to face painting, these festivals are sure to provide thrilling, cultural and new learning experiences for the young and young at heart.
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada Edmonton International KidsFringe (August 16th – 26th): This year’s 31st Edmonton International Fringe Festival, North America’s oldest and longest running fringe festival, sets aside an enjoyable, safe and FREE area just for junior Fringers aged 0-12 to roam free and play. Daily activities include: interactive storytelling, puppet shows, arts and crafts, sing-a-longs, preschool hip hop, salsa with your baby and gentle family yoga. For more information, please visit fringetheatreadventures.ca.
Costa Mesa, California
Festival of Children (September 1st – 30th): The 11th annual Festival of Children, a free, community-wide charity outreach event held in conjunction with National Child Awareness Month, shines the light on the amazing work done by more than 75 nonprofits the South Coast Plaza community. Over 100 stage and hands-on activities are planned, including ballet, arts and crafts, jugglers, puppeteers and amazingly talented dancers and singers from our local schools. For more information, please visit festivalofchildren.org.
Orange County, California
Children’s Book Festival (September 30th): Purchase books from a wide array of educational vendors offering the latest in services and new ideas. Newest selections and personally autographed books are great as holiday keepsakes. Enjoy author and illustrator presentations as told by professional storytellers. For more information, please visit kidsbookfestival.com.
Chicago International Children’s Film Festival (October 26th – November 4th): The 29th annual Chicago International Children’s Film Festival is the largest festival of films for children in North America, welcoming 25,000 Chicago-area children, adults, and educators each year, and featuring over 250 films from 40 countries. The Festival screens a wide range of projects, from live-action and animated feature films to shorts, TV series, documentaries, and child-produced works. For more information, please visit cicff.org.
Children’s Festival at The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion (November 10th – 11th): The 17th Annual Children’s Festival transforms the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion into a giant playground of fun for the young and young at heart. Enjoy award-winning children’s performers who educate and entertain thousands of kids during two days of non-stop fun and excitement. Music, dance, comedy, arts and crafts, games, hands-on activities, face painting and more can be found around every corner. For more information, please visit woodlandscenter.org.
Complimentary family activities/amenities include the indoor pool, a red toy wagon where little guests can pick out a toy at check in, kids’ pint-sized robes and daily cookie baking w/ the Ritz pastry chef! (Yes, please!)
If that’s not enough action for your gang, the hotel is steps from famed Michigan Avenue shopping, American Girl Doll, across the street from Museum of Contemporary Art, a fabulous playground and minutes from Navy Pier. The hotel’s Candy Man visits rooms with kids in the afternoon (with parent’s permission of course!)
2.) Masterpieces and Motorcycles Package – The Iron Horse Hotel, Milwaukee
The Iron Horse Hotel is the transformation of a 100-year-old warehouse into a luxury boutique hotel that delivers an authentic Milwaukee experience. As the industry’s first upscale hotel geared for business travelers and motorcycle enthusiasts alike, this hotel meets the distinct needs of all guests with special services, unparalleled amenities and 100 loft-style guest rooms.
The Masterpieces and Motorcycles package allows guests to ennjoy the best museums Milwaukee has to offer. Enjoy accommodations and tickets to two world-renowned museums: the Milwaukee Art Museum and the Harley-Davidson Museum. What kid doesn’t love motorcycles?? (And the hotel is totally pet-friendly for big dogs too, so you don’t have to leave Spot at home.)
The package includes:
—Two tickets to the Milwaukee Art Museum (closed on Mondays)
—Two tickets to the Harley-Davidson Museum
—Breakfast for two in the Library
—Custom deluxe accommodations (they have large loft style rooms with two queen beds for families)
This package starts at $259 a night based on availability. Click here to make reservations.
3.) Grand Geneva Hotel, Lake Geneva, Wisconsin—Grand Family Package
There is something for everyone at Lake Geneva. Reserve the Grand Geneva’s family package and kids can enjoy a junior escapade of their choice ranging from scavenger hunts or dance competitions to horse back riding and junior chef competitions. Parents can join in on the fun or enjoy a discount to enjoy the spa services or golf while the kids are entertained!
The package includes:
· One night stay in a deluxe guest room
· 4 waterpark passes
· 2 Junior Escapades
· Plus enjoy a 20% discount on full price spa services and golf rounds
The Grand Family Package starts at $209 a night and runs through December 23, 2012. Click here to book!
4. ) Omni Severin Hotel, Indianapolis
The Omni Severin is a newly renovated four-diamond hotel located in the middle of the Entertainment District in downtown Indianapolis. This historic Omni Hotel caters to families and is a perfect home base for exploring the capital city. Parents will appreciate Starbucks in the lobby and the heated indoor pool to tucker out the kiddos before bedtime.
This summer, all Omni properties are offering a “Camp Omni” Summer Family package through September 16th. Amenities include:
—15% off deluxe accommodations when you stay two nights
—$10 gift card for kids to use anywhere in the hotel
—Free breakfast for kids under 12 from breakfast buffet
—Camp newsletter with scavenger hunt that is redeemable for a merit badge and ‘dirt & worms’ dessert upon completion
—Pre-call from Camp Counselor (concierge)
—Welcome amenity with s’mores-flavored marshmallows, collapsible water bottle and a lanyard kit inside a cinch-up backpack
While in Indy, families can visit the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis(you’ll know you are at the right place when you see dinosaurs on the streets of Indianapolis), The Conner Prairie Interactive History Park, where you and the kids can play an 1890’s-era baseball game, costumes included, or pilot an 1859 hot air balloon into the sky. And of course, you can’t miss a visit to the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway! VROOOOM!
Rates begin at $155 a night—click here to book your Camp Omni experience.
Since we’re talking road trips, I would be remiss if I didn’t address safety and distracted drivers. Did you know that texting and driving is THREE TIMES more dangerous than drunk driving?!
As a parent of three small children, this scares the heck out of me so I was very excited to discover a cool new app—OneProtect™ —that helps safeguard drivers from distracted driving. (Note to texting dude on the hog, I will freaking buy this app for you…seriously.)
The OneProtect software can differentiate between the driver and passenger, allowing passengers to continue using their mobile phones. Also, 911 is always available at the touch of a button, ensuring loved ones are unable to text while driving but can still dial in the case of an emergency. The web based administration panel allows users to remotely manage their loved ones smartphones and implement various safe driving policies.
The company recognized that mobile phones in schools are a major learning distraction for today’s students and so they’re updating the software so parents will be able to prevent their child from texting or using apps like Facebook between the school hours of 8am - 2pm Monday through Friday. (I LOVE THIS.)
OneProtect is available for Blackberries, Androids and will launch for iPhones and Windows this fall. With nearly 6,000 deaths related to distracted driving in the US each year—my question is—for $6.95 a month, why wouldn’t you buy this life saving technology??! http://www.10n2tek.com/oneprotect
Did you know Poshbrood founder Elizabeth Thorp first started travel writing covering traveling with pets for Washingtonian Magazine? We love our furry family members and pet friendly hotels— here’s expert advice on traveling with dogs from Sheila Raebel, Owner of Dogma Dog Boutique and Bakery.
As the owner of Dogma Dog Bakery and Boutique, I am happy to see that travel with your dog is far more commonplace today than years ago. In the 12 years since we first opened and had difficulty finding good quality travel products and locations, we’ve watched a greater number of hotels adopt pet-friendly policies. Some are even catering to your dog with special menus, beds, and spa services. (See Poshbrood’s list of pet-friendly accommodations here!)All you need to do is to get there!
Airplane travel requires special size travel crates, weight restrictions and limitations on the number of pets traveling. Not to mention, you don’t have the opportunity to make sure your dog is safely contained at all times. You have to put a lot of trust in someone else to get proper care for your dog in all kinds of potential air travel situations such as weather,delays, etc. The best way to travel with your dog is by car. While not the most glamorous, car travel is safer for your dog and will make your travel less stressful when following a few simple guidelines.
First, a tired dog is a good dog, so make sure your pet gets some exercise before the big ride. Keep your dog on the same feeding schedule, but feed a little less before a car trip, just in case of a little motion sickness.
Always, always buckle up. It’s not enough in some states to just put your pup in the back seat, or the back of an SUV or van. A comfortable travel harness (we really like the Chest Plate harness from EZDog) that allows for limited movement is best or a secured travel crate is also a good option. If traveling through New Jersey, you could pay a hefty fine for not having a safely contained pet in your car.
Your pup should always be leashed before you open your car door. Keep those tags and collar on as well. Many dogs are lost every year in rest stops, hotel parking lots, etc., and without identification, they may never make it home. Keep in mind that your dog may be a little anxious and overwhelmed by the new sights and smells and even if “he has never left my side” – let’s not make this the first time!
When you are booking your hotel room, make sure you let them know you’ll be bringing your dog. Most hotels have set aside rooms with the convenience of both the human guest and the canine guest in mind. Many have them close to an exit for convenient bathroom trips, or away from the elevators so your dog isn’t constantly hearing people outside your door. Hopefully, you brought your dog’s favorite blanket or bed, but if not, many hotels now have beds, bowls (good travel bowls are made by RuffWear – try the Quencher™ and the Quencher Cinch Top™) and even food for you. Go easy on the new foods though, especially if you’re on the move again the next day.
If you can keep your dog’s daily schedule as close to normal as possible during your trip; the same feeding schedule, the same “potty” breaks, you’ll be a much happier traveler, as will your dog. Put some relaxing music on in the car, give the dog some really good chew treats and enjoy your trip!
Stay At Home Moms vs. Working Moms? Is one more beneficial than the other?
It’s the never ending discussion! Being a stay at home mom as opposed to being a working mom. Is one really more beneficial for this kids than the other? Is one better for you, the mom? In the YouTube episode below, The Moms View took the street of Salt Lake City to talk about this issue:
As grand as the history behind it, the Omni Mount Washington Hotel, located in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, is gracious in ambiance and generous in amenities. A favorite New England retreat of presidents, poets and celebrities, the hotel is delightful!
A grand masterpiece of Spanish Renaissance architecture, the Omni Mount Washington Hotel in New Hampshire’s White Mountains was a two-year labor of love for 250 master craftsmen. Conceived by industrialist Joseph Stickney, this National Historic Landmark opened in 1902 and has been attracting generations of families ever since.
From hiking, biking, tennis, spa, horseback riding, the pool, rock climbing, zip-lining, s’mores, scavenger hunts, movies, lawn games. This hotel is a family vacation dream come true!
Here’s what we’ve enjoyed most (so far!):
Historic Hotel Tour
Summer ice skating
Listening to guitar player while sipping “mocktails” in Princess Room
Playing tennis with Tom, the resort pro
Evening cocktails on the wrap around porch
Enjoying incredible meals
Gazing at the moon and stars
We’ll be posting our full Omni Mt. Washington Hotel review next week—stay tuned!
Poshbrood is also a full-service travel agency. Our extensive network of contacts and a partnership with NYC-based SmartFlyer, a VIRTUOSO agency, enable us to pass along special perks at top hotels worldwide such as complimentary upgrades, breakfast-inclusive hotel rates, early check- in/late check-out and additional value-adds that might include hotel and resort credits, meals, spa treatments orairport transfers. Our clients also enjoy additional benefits from our Four Seasons Preferred Partner, Ritz-Carlton STARS, Fairmont Famous Agents, Preferred Hotels VIP & Orient-Express Bellini Club status. (Poshbrood does not charge clients fees upfront, typically we receive commission from hotels.)
Poshing it Up!
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Poshbrood is a curated family travel catalog of mom-tested and Poshbrood-approved inns, cottages, resorts, hotels and villas. Poshbrood is a free catalog of family-friendly hotels, luxury travel offers, family travel, deals and interviews. Poshbrood is also Virtuoso travel agency specializing in multi-generational and family travel. Have kids and love to travel? Check us out at Poshbrood.com, your family travel experts. Offspring: Don't Leave Home Without Them!
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