There seems to be a trend in airport bathrooms and that is to make everything automatic. In ORD one only needs to wave a hand to get a fresh toilet seat cover. Soap, water, and even paper towels all come with just the wave of a hand. The only one that really annoys me is the water because most of them in airports have no temperature control which means the water is slightly colder than I’d usually like. Some hospitals do have temperature controls on automatic sinks, but not always in the public areas.

All this automation is great unless the sensor doesn’t work or, as this sign from Cincinnati Northern Kentucky (CVG) indicates, your clothing doesn’t register with the sensor. Of course this means you get soap but no water or paper towel. Those are always fun days…

On Flyertalk one of the signs on being a frequent flyer is being home and holding hands under the sink waiting for the water to start.

I’m now on twitter http://www.twitter.com/FlyGracefully

I was against it because I like to maintain as much privacy as I can. I realized that many people use twitter to find out about news and information very quickly and that appeals to me. It seems like a lot of noise to sift through though. I started following a couple similar things and it seems that they all retweet the same information.

One of the things that intrigued me is the #boarding and then listing the airport you’re in. I might try that out, but at the same time like I said I like to stay somewhat private.

Most weeks I fly out Monday and return Thursday or Friday night. I try to avoid flying on Sunday unless I really have to since I am not compensated for weekend travel and it just really isn’t good for my work/life balance. Earlier on in my career I was too willing to sacrifice work/life balance, but I can’t continue to be that way.

When I come home on the weekend there are some key things I need to get done before the next week begins:

  • Do laundry
  • Epliate
  • File my nails
  • Mow the grass
  • Clean the house

As someone who is never in the same place week after week I don’t need to have a lot of different clothes so I need to do the laundry every week for the next week and change a couple items. I know other women who color code their weeks so they only have to bring 1 color of shoes. I tried this earlier in my career and probably should return to this routine, but right now I only wear clothes that work with black shoes. A three week cycle…black, brown, and navy works for many.

About a year ago I started epilating. I bought theBraun 5270 Silk-épil X’elle after a friend suggested that model and I’ve been epilating on the weekends ever since. I mainly like it because I used to cut my shins all the time and now I don’t have that issue. I use it on my legs, forearms, and arm pits. I will usually need to shave my armpits again during the week, but my legs often stay clear enough until the weekend. This model is a corded model so I just leave it plugged-in at home and epilate while surfing the web. I still carry a razor with me on the road, but if it’s too dull and I haven’t replaced it yet I don’t ask for one of those torture devices they have for free at the front desk or run out to a pharmacy just for a razor. Some hotels do sell nicer razors, but in Canada I paid $14 for a razor at the hotel store and they didn’t do room charges so I didn’t get extra points on that.

I grew up as a horrible nail biter. For about a year or so when I first started traveling for business I had acrylics, but if I didn’t have time to get them filled when I was home I would go to the mall wherever I was and have some random person fill them. I decided to switch back to natural nails and had really weak nails until a friend taught me about Nailtiques polish. I file my nails weekly when I’m home because when my nails get too long they are not comfortable for the way I type. I used Nailtiques daily for a while, now I only put a coat on once a week or so and that keeps my nails strong enough for the most part. If I use it every other day my nails are strong enough to do anything.

The Google free Wifi promotion is now coming to an end. During the promotion I only passed through 1 airport that was part of the promotion that didn’t normally have free wifi…Monterey, CA.

No, despite the title this actually isn’t about TSA.

Last night I was on an regional jet with only 1 flight attendant. The flight attendant was not a native English speaker. He pronounced the CH in Charlotte like the CH in chat. Little things like that don’t really bother me because I’m sure I mispronounce city names all the time.

We were in the penalty box for 30 minutes for flow control into CLT and some passenger mid plane asked the FA to repeat what the pilot had said (the pilot spoke with typical pilot voice and I understood him fine, but people far from a speaker might not). the FA said there was a delay for flow control in CHarlotte. The passenger (who was very loud) started instructing him that it is pronounced SHarlotte like SHicago. The passenger asked the FA where he was from because “you sound Eastern European but you look Asian.”

During deplaning some other passengers were talking about how they would feel very unsafe if we had an accident and that FA had to give instructions. I’ve been on flights with just 2 flight attendants where 1 was a native English speaker and the other wasn’t and the one with the heavy accent spoke the safety demo. I never had a problem with it. I don’t like getting sent to overseas call centers who don’t properly train phone staff on how to resolve basic issues, but this FA would have gone through the same training as all other FAs for this regional carrier. The track record for pilots on regional carriers has come under fire a lot recently so I just hope the flight attendants are actually getting properly trained for emergencies…especially when they are the only FA on board.

If they let people who don’t speak English onto airplanes then I don’t see how someone fluent in English (his usage was fine, just his pronounciation of proper nouns was off) but with an accent is a safety hazard.

To go with my new blog name I figured I should offer tips to help you fly gracefully. Travel Tip of the Week #1: know where you’re going.
Of course you’ve bought a ticket from XXX to YYY possibly connecting in AAA on your way there. If you’re connecting in AAA do you know how to get from one gate to the next? I have many hubs fairly memorized and I try to stick to the hubs I know unless I need to fly another airline. If that situation arises I begin research. You could start this during the ticketing process, but I usually look the day before.

Most airline websites have something that should say Flight Status or something similar to this. It should usually be prominently displayed on the home page, but may also be under something like Traveling & Check in or Travel Tools if you have navigated away from the home page. Look up your first flight for yesterday and today and see what gates that flight usually uses for departure and arrival. Next look up you second flight and do the same. Then try to search for a map of the airport and plot your course. If you have enough time to eat, look for food options en route. Nothing is worse than waiting in line at the first food you see only to find your favorite restaurant farther down.


This shows me that Columbus, OH usually takes off from C53 or C54 and usually arrives in the higher end of B. The flight from Cincinnati to Cleveland usually takes off in the higher B gates so it looks like unless the gate situation drastically changes I will have just over an hour (subtract 30 minutes for boarding) to get from one flight to another.

I then google the airport code (in this case CVG) and map or sometimes “terminal map” if the airport code is synonymous with the city. I find this page and can see there is a Husdon’s News, a bar called Ida’s Seat and a burrito restaurant close by. If those don’t strike my fancy, I can see all the restaurants at the food court aren’t too far either.

Tips:

  • Gates are subject to change and DO change! Don’t wait by B28 unless a board confirms that gate.
  • Try to find the phone number or mobile address to check gates while taxiing in if you have a tight connection. In this example, the bottom of the delta page says 800-325-1999 is th delta number. http://mobile.delta.com will take a smart phone to the mobile site. If those aren’t options, call someone who has internet access and make them look it up.
  • In many cases the flight attendant only gets a list of connecting gates on takeoff. If you are connecting in ORD just don’t even pay attention because the gate has probably changed 3 times since that list was printed.

As many of you are aware, we have limited locations (ATLAtlanta, GA E for example) that offer pre-flight appetizers, which offer an increased level of food service. These select clubs are primarily aligned to support Delta’s international departures. We know that you also frequently comment on the overall selection and availability of snacks as we continue to harmonize the offerings of the pre-merger Delta and pre-merger Northwest locations. The change we are making will address both of these issues.

Starting on January 16, we will no longer offer pre-flight appetizers at the clubs where they are currently served in favor of providing a more consistent product across the entire Delta Sky Club network for longer periods of time throughout the day. We are very pleased that this will allow us to have a snack offering throughout the entire day a Delta Sky Club is open. Right now, for example, we serve an expanded snack offering from 4 – 7 pm but if you come to the clubs outside of those times, snacks are not available. (After breakfast, we are currently only offering pretzel mix, dried fruit, Biscoff cookies and Nutella). Therefore, beginning February 1, the expanded snack service will be offered from breakfast until the club closes all across the Delta Sky Club network.

We feel that working toward greater product consistency adds to the value of your membership for all of our members and is the right thing to do. We hope you enjoy the upcoming changes and yes, we will continue to listen to your feedback.”

Flyertalk

Now I mainly use the Sky Club for a quiet place with an outlet. As long as they stay quiet and they keep the outlets I’m still OK for right now. I was looking forward to trying the snacks at the ATL East club (not the one right across from McDonalds, the one down the concourse from that).

For some, hassles dim the appeal of air travel
Usually I just kick the USA Today into my room and go on with my business, but this article today struck me because it’s what many of us have been saying for a while. I had only flown a handful of times before 9/11/01 and I’d never left the country before then so my experiences don’t reflect back to the “good old days” before TSA too much. I did start frequent flying before the August 2006 liquids fiasco so I do reminisce back to those days. I love my job, but I’d love it more if I had a teleporter or if I could use NetJets or something like that.

Registration now available for Hilton first quarter promotion

I figured it’s time to do a little overhaul of this site and the first thing to go is the name. Originally this blog started out as me discussing eating well on the road. I didn’t like that topic enough to post regularly so instead of being an anonymous Traveling Dietitian I am out in the open now as Grace. i decided to go through a few name iterations and tried to find a domain. I thought about Flying Gracefully and had a good image all mocked up (similar to the current one), then I wasn’t going to be able to get a .com domain, just the others. I wanted a .com domain to have some legitimacy so I played around with -ing or not -ing. “with” or not with. Fly Gracefully got me a .com domain. It’s also less clunky to type than the double g flyinggracefully.com had.

The new name just enhances the irony of my name with my travel style. I am usually not very graceful and either cause a commotion at the TSA checkpoint or other places.

…there are more changes underway so if you RSS me, leave your RSS the same for right now, but if you actually go to me, update to http://www.flygracefully.com