Recorded in the TravelCommons studios outside of Chicago after a month of travel to and from the East Coast. In this episode, a spur-of-the-moment train trip bypasses a huge air traffic control problem.  A listener story gets us talking about theft after you entrust your luggage to the folks behind the curtain. I have fun saying the word schadenfreude — German for “taking pleasure in other’s misfortunes” — while talking about the need to use iPhones and BlackBerrys to check the status of delayed flights.  I also give my thoughs on the iPhone after traveling with it for a month.  Here’s a direct link to the podcast file.

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Here are the show notes from TravelCommons podcast #67:

Following Up

  • A listener tells the story about her laptop bag being stolen after gate-checking it on a Delta commuter flight out of Richmond
  • I relate the story of 2 American Airlines JFK baggage handlers with stealing 925 pieces of jewelry worth $280,000 from the checked suitcase of a jewelry dealer bound for LA.
  • Bridge Music — Hollywood Homicide by The Frantic

Electronic Schadenfreude

  • Schadenfreude — German word for “the pleasure taken from the misfortune of someone else
  • Side effect of wanted to make the right decision in changing a flight
  • 4 weeks of delayed United flights in August had me jumping flights at the first sign of a delay
  • Electronic schadenfreude — checking your iPhone or Blackberry the minute you hit the ground to see if your original flight is still on the ground
  • Bridge Music — Rings and Fences by Donna Maciocia

Month With an iPhone

  • Picked up a 16 GB 3G iPhone in August from the Apple store in Stamford, CT
  • Skipped the 1st generation 2G/Edge iPhone — way too slow for the portable Internet access I wanted
  • Hasn’t replaced my TomTom One, but checking real-time traffic conditions is great
  • iPhone Apps Store has some good stuff for a traveler — LinkedIn, Airport Status, Twinkle, Sol Free Solitaire, and White Noise
  • The only downside is battery life


  • Closing music — iTunes link to iconPictures of You by Evangeline
  • Some bridge music from Podsafe Music Network
  • Feedback at or right here in the comments section below
  • Direct link to the show

6 comments on “Podcast #67 – Stolen Luggage; Month With an iPhone

  1. Frick says:

    Thanks for the iPod tip on White Noise, I just installed it and can’t wait to try it out. Fire Drop
    is my favorite for waiting out flight delays. Pandora Radio
    lets me listen to my play lists anywhere and iLightr is great for concerts, since they don’t trust us with lighters any more.
    Speaking of chargers someone needs to standardize there. I carry 2 external hard drives each one has a different size USB connector, one of those match my Motorola Razor, but neither of them match my Jabra Blue Tooth and my GPS only works with the USB cord that came with it, maybe it’s me that needs to standardize on a single manufacturer for all the gadgets. Enjoyed the show as always, thanks

  2. Lori says:

    Hi Mark – thanks for the shout out. I’m still nervous about putting anything of value in my gate checked luggage, so I’ve just invested in a bigger purse!

    I wanted to tell you about something they are apparently piloting in Richmond security – once you pass through security you are asked to press a button. This determines if you are randomly selected for a secondary search. Would you, as a “clear” customer have to do this since there are no clear lines in Richmond? (The mention of Richmond screening is in the comments in this blog entry

  3. Ken Okel says:

    I too have played “travel roulette” while trying to decide how to avoid delays. My batting average goes up and down and it really is more like lucky streaks. However, I think I gain a lot of peace of mind in being able to be proactive about a problem, rather than sitting at a gate, listening to people complain.

  4. Matt says:

    I thought you might like this quiz relating to SkyMall – Is the product listed in SkyMall or is it a rejected patent?

    I’m a high school junior and scored an 88%.

    This also brings a question – do you read the magazines like SkyMall or American Way? Or do you not bother?

    Love the show!

  5. Robert M Fenerty says:

    My proudest rescheduling moment came last year. We arrived about 2.5 hours early for our vacation flight to Canada (why, Sweetie, why?). I noticed that our Air Canada SFO-YVR flight was delayed, but that no additional information was available, no estimated takeoff time, etc. I immediately called UA and attempted to reschedule this award flight. That turns out to be difficult, so we went to the food court, ate dinner, shopped for electronics, and looked at the ever-fascinating SFO museum for an hour. All the while, the UA agent kept apologizing, putting me back on hold, calling AC, etc. The original AC flight was still in limbo, so I wasn’t losing anything except airtime minutes. We eventually were placed on a 30 minute later AC flight, which arrived before the original flight took off.

    And on the iphone, are you bummed by lack of tethering? If it had that, I’d buy it. Without tethering, my laptop still needs my Verizon EVDO Rev A card.


  6. Mark says:

    As if the JFK baggage handlers thieving jewelery out of checked bags wasn’t enough, a TSA screener in Newark was charged last month with stealing two to three items per week from the airport since September 2007 and putting them up for sale on eBay. Among the items seized from his home were 66 cameras, 31 laptop computers, 20 cell phones, 17 sets of electronic games, 13 pieces of jewelry, 12 GPS devices, 11 MP3 players, eight camera lenses, six video cameras and two DVD players. I’d say “your tax dollars at work”, but apparently our tax dollars weren’t enough for this guy.

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