TSA

Podcast #115 — A Decade of TravelCommons

Hard to believe that I’ve been prattling along for 10 years. Looking back, I see that I’ve become less of a TSA-hater, but am still pretty clear-eyed about the tediousness of the frequent travel experience. It’s tough to pack 10 years into a 30-min episode, but I think I’ve cherry-picked some good snippets. Before that,…

Read More

Podcast #112 — Holiday Airport Etiquette; Travel Tax Pile-Up

Here’s a new episode to keep you occupied if you’re stuck in a line somewhere while traveling Thanksgiving week. There are tips for the non-frequent traveler on how to avoid major airport faux pas and a review of how travel taxes will soak you when you get to your destination. We also talk about a high-tech…

Read More

Podcast #107 — Serious About Hotel Reviews; TSA Gets Something Right!

Brushing aside the cobwebs to make my way back into the TravelCommons studios, we talk about the growing importance of TripAdvisor hotel reviews and the checklist I walk through when writing a review. I also continue to gush about the TSA’s PreCheck program, even if this autumn’s rapid expansion seems a bit rough-&-ready at times….

Read More

Podcast #104 — Status Free Fall; TSA Knife Fight

Travel has been a bit less glamorous since I’ve fallen from the top tier status, especially when I’m doing “stupid” travel — up-&-backs across the continent in 48 hours. One of my recent flights was on a new United 737-900; the interior is a significant step up. Prepping for a vacation in Spain, I find…

Read More

Podcast #102 — Trip Management App Comparison; TSA Scanner Shuffle

Traveling to New York earlier this month, I missed Hurricane Sandy but took the full brunt of the follow-up nor’easter that the Weather Channel helpfully named Athena. The travel havoc wreaked by the wind and snow was a perfect setting for a side-by-side comparison of the free versions of the leading trip management apps —…

Read More

Podcast #98 — Stolen Luggage & Passports; Restaurants Want Your Smartphone

A backpack stolen from the train to the airport — or more specifically, passports inside the stolen backpack — unexpectedly extends a beer-tasting weekend in Brussels.  During my recent international trips, I find that Apple’s FaceTime and iMessage aren’t working reliably — could be because of hotel WiFi bandwidth constraints.  TSA’s PreCheck expedited security screening…

Read More

Podcast #97 — 1st Trip to Beijing; Most Important Hotel Technology

Lots of travel has kept me away from the mic — Beijing, London, Vienna, Phoenix, New York, and New Orleans. Big difference in airline load factor between international and domestic flights. The international flights were at 30-50% capacity while the domestic flights were booked solid. These trips allowed me to compare the different treatment US…

Read More

Podcast #94 — Plane Conversation Etiquette; Decline of Hot Flight Attendants

It’s been a while since the last podcast. Contrary to what you might have thought, I haven’t podfaded — at least, not quite yet.  A flight out of Grand Junction, CO gave me a throw-back moment — a flight in a prop plane. Sitting next to a huge guy on a very small plane got…

Read More