Traveling 101
Travel Tips, Deals, News, Discounts

Overweight Traveler Procedures to Blame for Death?

Wednesday, 28 November 2012 02:35 by Admin

The travel section of NBC News recently covered a story of a 425-pound woman who, while attempting to return from an overseas trip, was turned away by three different airlines and kept from returning to the United States. Vilma Soltesz, unable to receive proper treatments for her weight condition, died overseas, resulting in legal action from Soltesz’s husband and family. Amidst statements being spun by airline representatives, questions are being asked of overweight traveler procedures and which responsibilities fall on the traveler and which fall on the airline.

Before I go any further with the discussion, I feel that it is important to state that this is a tragedy that could have been avoided. The loss of a human life was completely unnecessary in this situation, and that it is now our responsibility to question procedures in an appropriate manner to make sure situations like this can be handled rationally and in line with the safety of all parties involved.

Vilma Soltesz’s death was tragic and avoidable, raising the discussion of how it could have been avoided, who is responsible for accommodating who, and how things should change moving forward. There are a number of questions that need to be addressed to come to a reasonable and fair solution to the issue of accommodating overweight passengers:

At what point does personal responsibility take precedent over the responsibility of the airline carrier to accommodate an overweight passenger? The article discusses how the flights would not take Vilma because they did not have seatbelt extenders large enough to fasten around her. Is it Vilma’s responsibility to make sure she is physically capable of travel, or should airlines, as a whole, carry extenders that can accommodate any person of any size? At what weight or size do you draw the line?

Vilma took the initiative of booking two seats next to each other from her departure flight out of New York and landed overseas in Budapest without a hitch. Why are some airplanes equipped with appropriate means to accommodate a passenger her size and others are not?

The family’s attorney, Holly Ostrov Ronai, is suing the three different airlines for 6 million dollars on the grounds that they violated the Air Carrier Access Act by not providing the proper accommodations, ultimately leading to her death.

DOT Spokesman, Bill Mosely, counters by explaining that every airline has a right to deny a passenger service if they deem that it endangers the safety of the other passengers and thus, the flight.

Both sides have completely legitimate and viable stances and it will be interesting to see how the case is resolved. The issue seems to be in the grey area that exists in the policies for providing travel services for overweight passengers. Apparently, some airlines are more lenient with the size of the person flying on their plane, while others have stricter standards. While numeric and steadfast standards could possibly be seen as a solution (example: you must be under [this weight] to fly), airlines would suffer backlash from customers feeling as though their freedom of lifestyle is coming under attack, continuing the trend of hypersensitivity towards obese passengers (or “customers of size”, as some say).

All of the public relations spinning and framing does not detract from the fact that someone lost their life because of the lack of set standards that exist for these situations. How do you think this should have been handled? Are airlines responsible for accommodating any sized passenger, or should travelers be held to a set of standards before being allowed to travel? Is there another solution?

One thing is certain, something needs to change.

You can read the original story here: http://www.nbcnews.com/travel/obese-flier-turned-away-airlines-dies-overseas-1C7277987

Thanksgiving Travel Recipe: The Ingredients for a Memorable Holiday with Your Family

Thursday, 8 November 2012 02:35 by Mandy
Thanksgiving is consistently vying for the top spot on our list of favorite holidays. The joy of sharing the company of loved ones, the cozy setting of colored leaves, cold weather, warm cider, and of course – all of that delicious food – makes this holiday weekend one of the most enjoyable for everyone in the country. Whether you’re braving the elements for a massive, boisterous, turkey-laden event, or simply sharing the company of one or two close friends, we know how important this time of year is to you. For this week’s blog, we have the recipe for making sure travel complications don’t interfere with making a lasting Thanksgiving memory.
 
Start with one scoop of foresight. Remember, you’re travelling with your family. You can’t be George Clooney’s character in Up in the Air and cruise through check-in and security with record-setting efficiency. We know when it comes to travel, we know you’re a pro. However, this time you’ll have a few in tow that are still amateurs. Give yourself a bit more time then you normally would and add half an hour to every travel checkpoint (airport parking, check-in, security, arrival at the gate) because there are bathroom breaks and untied shoelaces that cannot be accounted for. 
 
Mix in a pinch of preparation. Take as many variables out of the travel equation as you can. After the kids are asleep, jump online and make a parking reservation. Websites like Airport Parking Connection give you the peace of mind of knowing where and when you’ll be parking. This will allow you to better account for time waiting and riding on the shuttle, if need be.  It takes only 3 clicks and will save you a lot more than 3 grey hairs.
 
Relax and let simmer for the duration of the journey. Remember this: we’re all in the same boat (or plane, or car). Everyone is going through the same travel stresses you are. Some things will always be out of your control. You can add all the right ingredients to the holiday meal, but on the day of the trip, there is always the possibility that the oven won’t even be working. Take a breath. Laugh it off and think about how great the story will be as you tell your relatives over a large mug of spiced cider. You've always found a way to make it work, and this year will be no different. 
 
When things start to boil over, remember how excited you were around this time of year when you were younger. You’ll realize that the company of your loved ones, either on the journey or at the destination, is what truly makes this time of year so special. Happy Thanksgiving!
 
Parking reservations can be made at http://www.airportparkingconnection.com

When Mother Nature Makes Things Difficult: Hurricanes, Frozen Rains, and Holiday Travel Pains

Friday, 2 November 2012 03:00 by Mandy
Hurricane Sandy was the type of lady who certainly knew how to make things complicated. Runways are sitting under multiple feet of water in the northeast with airport gangways that could easily double as diving boards into a river of tropical storm debris. While rescue teams are showing their true heroic characteristics by aiding our loved ones on the east coast, the rest of the country is showing concern for not only the safety of their loved ones, but also how they’ll be able to return to their families this holiday season with future transportation complications arising from natural disasters. 
 
Thousands are currently making impromptu beds in airports all across the country. With hundreds of flights delayed and airports shut down, it takes a savvy traveler with a cool head and common sense to put his or herself at the lowest risk of Mother Nature ruining a holiday reunion. 
 
While Hurricane Sandy is holding all of the country’s attention at the moment of this article’s release, travelers will realize - if they haven’t already - that there isn't any relief from natural disasters anywhere in the country, especially this time of year. Whether fires and earthquakes and shaking up west coast transportation, tornadoes grounding flights in the Midwest, snow freezing flights in the north, or hurricanes flooding tarmacs in the east – from LAX to LGA: there is nowhere to hide.
 
It may be the location that you’re landing in, connecting with, or leaving from that will be the victim of nature’s wrath, so this holiday season you may find yourself with some unforeseen delays and cancellations. Here are a few tips to stay on top of your travel game and make the best of a bad situation:
 
Stay calm. If your flight is cancelled, delayed, or changed, understand that the weather isn’t something that the attendant behind the check-in counter can control. Hundreds, potentially thousands are in the exact same position that you are, the last thing you should do is lose your temper on someone who is doing their best to accommodate you. Patience is a virtue!
 
Understand your flight and airport parking cancellation policies. It’s just another day on the job for many of your transportation service providers, and there isn’t much they haven’t seen before. Cancellations are part of the travel industry, so read up on procedures for every place you book with. Airport parking reservation websites like Airport Parking Connection allow you to cancel up to 24 hours before your flight, but often provide leniency for special situations. Make sure you stay in the know so you don’t find yourself eating the price of parking. 
 
Be safe. Cancellation protocol is for your own protection! Passenger safety and the minimization of risk are paramount in the travel industry. If you find yourself stuck in an airport for a few more hours than you should, remember that it’s much better than taking the risk and having a true disaster happen. Natural disasters only truly become disasters when the proper precautionary measures are not taken. So remember, safety first this holiday season! 

Beating the Crowds: How to Find the Best Parking in LAX

Friday, 26 October 2012 02:48 by Mandy
Let’s try some air travel word association:
 
Luggage? Check-in.
 
First-class upgrade? Paradise.
 
Parking at LAX?
 
If this were actually a conducted psychological experiment, chances are the words associated with parking at LAX would heavily coincide with words like “disaster” and “stress-inducer”. Honestly, why wouldn't they? If you’re talking Los Angeles, you’re almost certainly mentioning overpopulation and overcrowding in the same breath. So why would something like airport parking, which can be stressful in any city in the country, not be stressful at one of the most hectic air travel hubs in the world?
 
How hectic are we talking here? For starters, over fifty million travelers use this airport every single year. Hundreds of employees are accommodating travelers while sifting through the over two million tons of cargo, luggage, and goods that are flying in and out of the airport throughout the year. While many of the millions of travelers are simply connecting on their way through LA, tens of thousands are looking for parking spots at any given moment, and at this moment – you’re one of them, and you’re stressing out.
 
Everyone wants a great spot, but with only about 20,000 parking spaces available in LAX, not everyone can get one. Here are a couple tips to make sure that you lock down a fantastic parking spot and remove the stressful parking variable out of your travelling equation:
 
Make contact. A simple phone call or email never hurt anyone. It only helps. Google provides a service that allows you to quickly find phone numbers of various lots in the area, making it easy to make a price comparison. Social media tools like Facebook, Foursquare, and Twitter will give you up to date information about blackout dates, lot capacities, and other tips to make your experience smoother.  
 
Plan Ahead. We know. Easier said than done. Transportation to and from the airport is often logistically conceived mere minutes before its execution. We all have deadlines and responsibilities swirling around us like a frantic torrent of personal burden. However, there are a couple questions you can quickly ask yourself that can potentially save a travel nightmare:
 
How far am I travelling to get to the airport? 
It’s a simple question, but one that is not asked nearly enough. Do you have a way to avoid airport parking all together? Do you have friends or relatives that can drop you off right at the front gate? Will the cost of a cab to and from the airport be cheaper than what you would spend on airport parking?
 
How much time am I giving myself for finding parking?
Too often people don’t consider the fact that they aren’t going to get a parking spot right by their gate. It’s important to realize that if you do decide to pay for airport parking, there is a likelihood that you may need to wait for a shuttle to take you from an off-site location to the airport, and when you’re running behind schedule, every minute is precious.
 
Reserve Online. How do you make contact, compare prices, and plan ahead all at the same time? Online airport parking reservation systems like Airport Parking Connection allow you to compare multiple locations on the Google Maps engine and then arrange your options by price, availability, or distance from airport. In 3 simple clicks, you’ll have a voucher in your email inbox for you to take to the parking lot, saving you the time and hassle of fumbling for change at the gate or circling the lot looking for that elusive last space.
 
Reservations can be made by visiting Airport Parking Connection.

APC ANNOUNCES NEW PARTNERSHIP More Options and Lower Fares out of Florida

Wednesday, 24 October 2012 05:40 by Mandy

Airport Parking Connection continues to grow at a healthy pace, providing more location and

fare options than ever. While travelers have been enjoying multiple parking options and low fares all across the country, they will now have the benefit of new lot choices throughout the sunny state of Florida.

Airport Parking Connection, with great pleasure, announces a new business partnership with

Premier Parking USA. Premier Parking provides outstanding airport parking services and continuously strives to maximize parking value for the customer while minimizing stress and hassle. Airport Parking Connection feels that the partnership will certainly be a good fit and looks forward to working more closely with the company in the near future.

With three new lots immediately available for parking reservation, Airport Parking Connection will be announcing more parking options in conjunction with Premier Parking over the coming months.