Archive for the ‘Air Travel’ Category

MSP Minneapolis St Paul Airport Quiet Seating Area (upstairs above the main terminal)

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011


MSP Airport Quiet Area, Minneapolis
by QuickAid

Travel is becoming more and more hectic as security concerns and increasingly crowded planes put a cramp in anybody’s style. But you can almost always escape the frenzy – at least for a short time – by finding “out of the way” places to sit and relax in most airports. Here, at MSP in Minneapolis, travelers are enjoying very comfortable seats in a very quiet area of low foot traffic just above the bustle of the main terminal.

Finding such gems in big airports can be a chore, so it’s often best to ask at the information desk (or consult the Airport guide or map) to look for likely places to escape the crowds. Alternatively find a nice lounge or restaurant and a corner table where you can take a deep breath and focus on a book or computer screen. I find that surfing the internet makes the hours between flights go much faster, and being “captive” in an airport often inspires some productivity in terms of checking emails or blogging.

Air Health Travel tips from … AirHealth.org

Saturday, July 23rd, 2011

Frequent (and infrequent) flyers will want to review the excellent Air travel health tips at AirHealth.org.   You’ll find information about warning signs during air travel that can indicate serious health conditions as well as general tips on keeping healthy during long flights.

A few general tips are to exercise during your long flights using “isometric” exercise where you pit one muscle against another, pushing your hands together for example.  Another approach is to “walk” in place, pushing down on the floor with one foot after another.  You’ll also want to take a few walks up and downthe isle during your flight, perhaps adding a few ‘laps’ during trips to the restroom.

Also be sure to keep hydrated – it’s easy to dry out during the flight, so make sure you drink at least as much as offered by the flight attendants.  Note that you can always have a beverage *and* a glass of ice water – just ask politely.

Sleeping on the plane is another important health issue, especially on very long flights.   I find that neck pillows and earplugs are a great sleep aid.   Dramamine or an antihistamine like Sudafed will also help if you have trouble sleeping.

Delta Airlines Fleet Map

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

From the Delta Airlines blog we have a great picture of the entire Delta Airlines Fleet, though you’ll need to click on the picture to get the whole thing:

Delta Airplanes

Picture of all Delta Airplanes

I’d noticed this great graphic flying home from the trip to my family reunion in Bridgewater Virginia and my history trip to Richmond Virginia.    Richmond is one of the USA’s most interesting historical cities, and I’ll be posting a lot more about that with some great photos over at TravelandHistory.com

For more technical information about the Delta Fleet click on the links in this table  (Table courtesy Delta Airlines Website):

Fleet as of March 31, 2011

Aircraft Type Current Fleeta,b Average Age
Owned Leased Total
B737–700 10 10 2.2
B737–800 73 73 10.2
B747–400 4 12 16 17.4
B757–200 93 75 168 18.1
B757–300 16 16 8.1
B767–300 9 5 14 19.7
B767–300ER 50 8 58 15
B767–400ER 21 21 10.1
B777–200ER 8 8 11.2
B777–200LR 10 10 2.0
A319–100 55 2 57 9.2
A320–200 41 28 69 16.1
A330–200 11 11 6.0
A330–300 21 21 5.6
MD–88 66 51 117 20.7
MD–90 19 19 15.1
DC–9 34 34 33
CRJ–100 18 31 49 13
CRJ–200 6 6 11.9
CRJ–700 15 15 7.4
CRJ-900 13 13 3.3
Total 587 218 805 15.1
a Excluding Delta’s grounded planes:  five DC-9, six SAAB 340B+ and 10 CRJ-100/200.
b Excluding 175 CRJ-200, 51 CRJ-900, 36 Embraer 175, 20 SAAB 340+ and 12 CRJ-700. These planes are operated by partner airlines.

Prohibited Items in Carry on Luggage

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

Even a frequent traveler can get confused and confounded by the rules regarding what you can put in carry-on luggage, in checked baggage, and what you cannot bring onto the airplane.    It’s all getting a bit mathematical, so don’t forget these two important rules:

3-1-1  Rule.    This regards LIQUIDS in CARRY ON luggage and means that you must place all liquids and gels in containers that are UNDER 3 ounces, place them in a SINGLE clear plastic bag or pouch that is ONE QUART or less.  Unless you travel very rarely it’s a great idea to have separate a separate stash of tiny bottle of shampoo, toothpaste, and other personal care items etc so you don’t have to reorganize too much every time you go.   Note the rule generally includes medicines in liquid form.   I think there may be an exception for medicine, but this is probably more hassle than it’s usually worth.

45 inch rule:  Although it’s routinely not followed, your carry on measurement in inches is supposed to be 45.    e.g. a bag 12x13x20 = 45 inches should be fine, where a bag 15x15x20 = 50 is technically too large.

I just learned that  “gel insoles” for shoes are NOT allowed in carry on or in your shoes *unless* the gel is built into the shoe.     Also surprising to me was that scissors are allowed in carry on as long as the blades are less than 4″.   That said I wouldn’t try to bring on a pair as I’m guessing many TSA folks would confiscate them as they did with considerable fanfare when they took my daughter’s plastic barbie scissors some years back, undoubtedly landing her in some TSA database for life or on the  9 year old, 4′ 2″ watch list.

For those of us who prefer not to check baggage it’s getting a bit harder to pack because now any prohibited “carry on” items can’t simply be stuck in the checked bag.     As with the 3-1-1 rule you need to be cautious or you’ll wind up getting valuable items or expensive liquids taken away.

I’m about to make a trip from Reno to Philadelphia and not sure if my electric shaver is allowed in carry on – I think yes, but no mention of that object at the TSA site.

TSA Official Website “Prohibited Items” lists are HERE

WiFi at Ho Chi Minh / Saigon Airport SGN

Friday, February 11th, 2011

Kudos to SGN for providing at least some internet access to travelers.

SGN is a fairly small, easy to manage airport considering the size of Ho Chi Minh City, but offers most of the amenities of larger airport Venues.

Note:  As of this writing (Feb 12, 2011) domestic flights would not allow liquid containers over 100ml – the same as the normal standards – so pack as normal.

I’m in the domestic terminal at Ho Chi Minh / Saigon Airport in Vietnam (SGN) and getting a fairly good WiFi signal from near the business lounge with ID “Domestic Lounge” and no password required.    I’ve read that access here in domestic flights is spotty where it’s better in international terminal, especially near “Izzy” ? Coffee – can’t check on that terminal yet – but in a few weeks I’ll be in and out of there several times.

For Airport and Vietnam Flight details see the  Ho Chi Minh City Airport official website

For Vietnam Travel information check out Travel and History, the companion blog to Online Highways Travel.

Winter Weather Snarls European Air Traffic

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

Delays abound in Europe as unseasonably snowy conditions strain transporation systems in several countries, especially at Heathrow Airport in England where travel plans have unravelled for tens of thousands over the past few days.    Although many regular air schedules are expected to resume on Wednesday the backlog of travelers and cancelled flights will probably have a negative impact on most Heathrow air travel through the Christmas Holiday.

More from BBC

More from CNN

Airline frequent flyer, airline miles programs, and airline special offer discussions

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

Here, from the excellent FlyerTalk Forums, is a list of links and discussions about mileage programs and special offers from many airlines:

Milwaukee International Airport: MKE

Sunday, October 24th, 2010

Mitchell International Airport is Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s gateway to the world. Click here for the Mitchell Airport official website.

To get in touch with Mitchell Airport via Twitter use this link

Click here for an interactive terminal guide and guide to Mitchell Airport

China Travel Tips from China Airlines

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010
If you are planning to visit China here is a great “quick read” resource from Air China (this is one of the three carriers of the People’s Republic of China).   These are short helpful articles about several China Travel Topics, city guides, and more:

Source:   Air China

TSA Tips for Travelers

Friday, July 16th, 2010

The TSA Website regularly offers features and tips on travel, and you’ll be better prepared if you check in before trips.     Rules are starting to stabilize after the dramatic security changes created by the 9/11 terror attacks on the USA, but unless you fly regularly you may be unpleasantly surprised by some of the rules.

The most important change since 9/11 has been the liquids rules, which restrict the amount of liquid you can bring through security.    I think the simplest approach if you check bags is to place your gels and liquids there, but if you need to carry them be sure they conform to the rules or you may loose that expensive new shampoo you just bought for the trip.

Liquids rules from TSA – remember it’s 3-1-1 3 ounce or LESS container in a SINGLE ONE QUART clear bag.    You may place several containers in the same quart clear bag.