I just finished “Air Babylon“, and it only took me two days because I had bought other books in between and had to get started at them as well. It is a made up story about people working for an airline – but based on real tales from people in the industry – taking the reader along for an event-packed ride of one working day at a british airport. It features ground staff, from baggage handlers to the chaplan to the girls at the check-in desk, and also the pilots, the stewardesses and last not least, passengers. There’s fun, grief, blood, drugs, sex, love, crime, the whole lot and then some.
One word: Hilarious.
So much for the fun part. The book got that down pretty well.
But wait, there is more! Every consultant should consider this mandatory literature… because it teaches you a hell lot about what to do and what not to do when dealing with airline personnel, and I take it you all do this more or less every bloody week, enjoying it or not. This book might just save you from getting the worst seat in the airplane, or having your coffee spit in. Not that I assume any of you do behave in any way that might tickle such behavior. Of course you don’t.
But maybe you have a cousin – you know, that bloke who behaves really badly sometimes, especially when it is 6am on a Monday morning and he just wants to get on that f’ing flight and really has no time to be friendly or stuff, and happens to be a consultant. Just by chance, of course. Then you should really recommend this book to your cousin.
On a sidenote – yeah, I am back. I really had no nerve for blogging in the last months, but the skies are clearing now, so let’s kick this thing back into gear, shall we?Read More
Today is travel & technology day – let’s take travel!
Most of us tend to fly a lot… like, twice a week, sometimes more. So we all have to go through those tedious routines again and again and again – it is like riding the bus, but you have to be at the queue at least thirty minutes before it arrives, and people tell you that bringing more than 100ml of fluid with you is a big threat for everybody.
In the last days, there has been this site of Wired in the news, which tells you how to “fly through airport security“. It was rebutted by David Pogue shortly after… but reading both articles and the discussions that go with them should give you a good picture of what does and what does not get you through security faster. Both articles are targeting the crazy-crazy-crazy USA regulations… in Europe it is not _that_ bad, just almost.
From my own experience, there are a few things you can do to be faster and/or happier on the way to your seat:
- Check in online, if possible. Although a no-brainer in my book, there are still people not doing that. Especially good if you are in danger of running late (always?). Most airlines let you check in online the day before the flight, which most of the time gives you access to good seats, as well. Saves you time on the way out of the plane.
- Mark not only your luggage, but your laptop! I was amazed how many people before and behind me in line had the same model ThinkPads. I just Taped my business card underneath mine (not blocking the vents of course) and turn it when they put it through the X-Ray, so there are no mistakes.
- Men: When wearing a jacket and a coat, just slip out of the jacket with the arms still in the coat. Saves you half the time putting it off and on. (Ladies: Feel free to take as much time as you want, if you are pretty, in front of me in line, and I am not in a hurry)
- Put all those small items (stuff in your pockets, phone(s), wallet, etc.) in the front pocket of your carry-on while in the queue – saves you time at the X-Ray as well.
- There will be times when you are running late and have no time to check your luggage. So it is a good idea to have no bag larger than “carry-on-size”, and to pack your shampoo, toothpaste, etc. only in bottles under 100ml (and a transparent bag under one liter size, to be optimal) – so that when you have to, you can take it with you
And for heaven’s sake, could you please decide what stuff from the carry-on you need at the seat and what to put in the overhead compartment? Because I sure don’t like waiting behind you while you are searching for your book/lipgloss/iPod.
What are your secret tips for having less stress at the airport?Read More