Friday, November 13, 2009

Vino Volo anyone?

If you love wine, like I do, and you are a traveler through one of these 10 airports, I highly suggest you find the time to visit Vino Volo.

Oakland (OAK), Sacramento (SMF), Seattle (SEA), San Antonio (SAT), Detroit (DTW), Washington-Dulles (IAD), Baltimore/Washington (BWI), Newark (EWR), John F. Kennedy (JFK), and Philadelphia (PHL)

Vino Volo has a great warm woody tone and comfortable leather lounge chairs that welcomes travelers into a sophisticated yet approachable post-security retreat in the airport terminal. Every Vino Volo location has an integrated retail area showcasing the wines being poured and offers elegant small plates to pair with the wines. You can enjoy items such as locally-produced artisan cheeses, dry cured meats, and smoked salmon and crab meat crostini(my favorite). All of Vino Volo's dishes are available for customers to enjoy in the store or packaged to carry with them onto their flight.

I know the JFK store (that I often frequent) has extremely friendly, and knowledgeable staff. If you have a lengthy flight ahead of you, I would highly suggest to getting to the airport early to ensure a stop for a relaxing beverage and a bite so you can snooze on your flight with a satisfied appetite.

Looking for a gift for the holidays? If you are traveling through any of the above airports, then be sure to stop by and buy a bottle (or more) of wine for the holiday. It will surely be a welcome of your return home!

Carry-ons could clog holiday travel...Ya think?!?!

 I'm glad that Jim Kavanagh of CNN posted this on the CNN website, it will give travelers a 'heads-up' on what to expect on the plane. However, it's not going to alleviate the problem.

I find that many travelers will find their seat, put all bags into the bin, put their coat/jacket into the bin, then close it, not thinking about anyone else. Their thought "My stuff is stowed, I don't have to worry now".  Well, this is wrong.  Do think about everyone else because if you would just put your small bag under the seat (where your feet go) then that could create an extra space for another bag!

I will see the most frequent business traveler with only a laptop stop traffic, put his laptop in the bin, take off his coat, and place it next to his laptop and sit down, not thinking that the space he just took, could be for a large roll-aboard bag.  It's this mentality "But I followed the rules" is what really creates havoc during boarding, especially when it's time to close the aircraft door when we still have 15 people trying to find room for their carry-ons.

Rule of thumb? Small bag under the seat in front of you (where your feet go) large bag in the over head bin. Most airlines have expanded bin space, so try and place them wheels first (or wheels out and up on NWA) and hold onto your coat/jacket until everyone has found a place for their bags.

If you are seated in row 31 and you pass an open bin at row 5, do NOT put your bag there because now the person seated in that area won't have a place for their bag! Besides, would you want your carry-on so far away from you that you can't keep an eye on it?  You would be surprised at how often people walk off planes with someone else's bag. I even saw someone take my crew bag out of the bin and start rummaging through it in flight!  I asked them if I could help them, they said "no". I then informed them that they were looking in MY bag and then they got all mad and huffy at ME!  ME! because I caught them rummaging through my bag!

Here are some tips from CNNs website to consider when traveling this winter:
• Obey the government's and airline's rules on size and number of items; use the sizer at the gate.
• Don't attempt to bring prohibited items such as sharp objects or bottles of liquids.
• Stow your bag with the wheels in first.
• Don't put bags in lengthwise.
• Put your larger item up top, smaller item at your feet.
• Use the bin directly over your head. Using a bin up front when you're sitting farther back is cheating.
• Don't commandeer another passenger's under-seat space.
• Make sure your bag is light enough to lift over your head yourself .
• Remove from your bag beforehand any items you may need during the flight rather than sifting through it in the overhead bin.
• Wait until everyone's bags are stowed, then lay your coat on top.

Following these simple and easy guidelines will ensure that you will have a happy boarding. If your airline has 'group' boarding, then only go up to the line when your group is called, don't be gate lice and hover around blocking the passage to those who are called first.  Believe it or not, group boarding is done from the back of the airplane to the front.  (those people who are already in various seats when you board are Elites who just had to have their bags in the bins first and sit down)