Corporate air travel faces long road to recovery


Many corporations “are trying to navigate through that murky water right now,” added Brady, whose company provides corporate and business travel planning services.

With the start of the busy summer season, domestic leisure travel recovered to more than 100% of pre-pandemic levels this month, according to Delta Air Lines, as Americans catch up on unused vacations and delayed family reunions.

But recent weekly data on bookings for corporate air travel sold by U.S. travel agencies were still down 64.6% from 2019, according to industry group Airlines for America. Business travel in and out of Atlanta was down 85%, compared with 93% at the start of the year, estimated American Express Global Business Travel.

Many in the industry expect it could be 2023, 2024 or later before business travel fully recovers. If then.

That’s bad news for airlines, who have made more money over the decades selling higher-priced business class seats — especially for overseas trips that in normal times cost as much as $10,000 — than the economy seats at the back of the plane.

Before the pandemic, business travelers made up about 30% of airline trips but an estimated 40% to 50% of passenger revenues, according to Airlines for America. Atmosphere Research Group analyst Henry Harteveldt estimates business travelers typically represent 55% to 75% of airlines’ profits.

In the past, Atlanta’s many company headquarters hosted thousands of visiting employees, salespeople and business partners. The city had about 880 conventions, meetings and events in 2019, driving more than 1.6 million hotel room-night bookings, according to the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau, which is seeing only the beginnings of a recovery.

At Atlanta-based Home Depot, the travel policy “was pretty tight” during the pandemic, said spokeswoman Margaret Smith. Now, if employees are considering planning a business trip, they are asked if they can accomplish their objective remotely. If not, employees who are fully vaccinated can travel domestically for “business-critical reasons” — a determination made between employee and manager.

Atlanta-based Coca-Cola is also restricting travel to “business critical only,” but said it will review its policy for domestic and international travel over the coming months.

A June survey by the Global Business Travel Association indicated 40% of companies worldwide had resumed non-essential domestic business travel, but only 12% had resumed non-essential international business travel. International trips face higher hurdles with quarantine restrictions in many countries.

One factor slowing the rebound: the legal concept of “duty of care.” Corporations “have the responsibility to ensure the safety of their employees when their employees are asked to travel for business,” said Corporate Travel Management’s Brady.

Executives are being advised by legal, risk and human resources departments and “they need to know that all risks have been looked at,” said Teri Miller, executive vice president of corporate travel management firm BCD Travel, which has its U.S. headquarters in Atlanta.

Beyond corporate executives, the business traveler population includes salespeople meeting with clients or heading to conventions, as well as technicians and regional managers visiting sites.

Some workers have been traveling throughout the pandemic, including those in logistics, energy and health care, such as technicians who service medical devices. And those who work for small- and medium-sized companies often have been less bound by corporate travel restrictions.

Rafal Los, a cybersecurity executive who lives in Vinings, has been traveling for work since last fall, including trips to his company’s headquarters in Salt Lake City.

“Sometimes you have to go where the customers is, where the work is. That requires you to take a certain amount of risk on,” said Los, whose company has fewer than 100 employees.

And, he added, “Sitting in my home office is miserable as hell, frankly.”

Los often spoke at industry conferences before the pandemic. Now that live events are planned in his industry for July and August, “I’m signing up for every single one of them.”

Many other road warriors are itching to return to normal. A recent survey by American Express, which has a corporate travel management unit, found 86% of business travelers want to hit the road when it’s safe.

Nationally, business travelers spent $334.2 billion in 2019, including trip expenditures for hotels, transportation, restaurants, retail and recreation, says the U.S. Travel Association.

Airline executives have taken to emphasizing a mantra that, as United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby puts it, “The first time someone loses a sale to a competitor who showed up in person, is the last time they try to make a sales call on Zoom.”

Ed Bastian, Delta’s CEO, says his airline increasingly is banking on small- and medium-sized businesses to drive the recovery. He also believes video conferencing will complement but not replace business travel.

“Video technology actually makes you mobile,” said Bastian, adding that it allows you to “take your office with you” and continue participating in company meetings while traveling.

Still, he expects traditional corporate travel could decline by 20% to 30%. Some segments may never return, he acknowledged, including high-priced short business trips to Europe for a single brief meeting.

For now, employers “want to ensure that employees don’t feel pressured to travel if they don’t feel comfortable,” said Jeremy Quek, global air practice lead at American Express Global Business Travel. “For people to travel when they’re uncomfortable doesn’t do anybody any good.”

Miller, at BCD Travel, said some companies are considering whether to require that employees be vaccinated before traveling, which she thinks might be a hard sell. “Some people have pretty strong opinions about this,” said Miller.

The pandemic “gave us all that pause button that allowed us to re-evaluate how to do this, and maybe how to travel smarter,” she added.

A June survey by the Global Business Travel Association showed travel managers think:

  • 19% of employees are very willing to travel
  • 58% are somewhat willing
  • 5% are not willing
  • 1% are not willing at all
  • Others are ambivalent or unsure.





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How to pack for air travel – WATE 6 On Your Side


How to pack a bag for air travel

Airplanes give you the freedom to travel the world at impressive speeds, but packing for plane travel can be an unwanted chore. You must decide what you need in your carry-on for the flight and what can safely go in your checked baggage. Plus, there are rules to adhere to and weight limits to consider. 

While it’s important to take the basics you need, remember that you can buy items while on vacation, so forgetting a few things isn’t a huge deal. As long as you bring your passport, you’ll be on your way.

Choose luggage that stands out

While there’s no need to buy new luggage if you already have some perfectly good cases, anyone who needs to buy new bags should choose luggage that stands out. When your luggage is distinctive, it’s easier to find your checked bag on the luggage carousel and you avoid the risk of grabbing the wrong carry-on from an overhead locker filled with bags that all look the same. 

Find out luggage rules and restrictions

Some rules and restrictions about what you can take on a plane are universal across all airlines and travel routes. For instance, there’s a blanket ban on traveling with explosive items — such as fireworks — both in your carry-on and checked luggage, so you’ll never be allowed to take those on board. Other rules depend on the airline or where you’re traveling to. When traveling to Australia, for example, you can’t bring any plant material for the risk of introducing invasive species to the island.

When deciding what to pack, find out the allowed weight or dimensions of luggage. Some airlines only care about the dimensions of the luggage you bring, whereas others check the weight. You’ll want to avoid stuffing your suitcase too full or packing anything too heavy, or you may face an extra fee for overweight baggage. 

Make a packing list

Jason Family Sunscreen

Preparation is the key to remembering everything you need and not bringing anything you don’t need. If you tend to overpack, try planning outfits for each day so you don’t bring mounds of extra clothes and shoes “just in case.” It might not be glamorous, but don’t forget about paperwork — it’s a good idea to bring photocopies or photos on your phone of your boarding passes or passport in case you lose these items. Though you’ll likely be provided with some toiletries at your hotel, don’t forget sunscreen if you’re going to a warm climate. 

Consider what to take in your carry-on

You don’t want to find yourself on your flight wishing you had access to something you packed in your checked bag, so carefully consider what to pack in your carry-on. Although your carry-on is primarily for items that you’ll need for the flight, we’d recommend packing valuables in your carry-on, along with a few essentials, such as spare underwear and your toothbrush, that you really couldn’t do without in the event that your bag gets lost or delayed. 

Comfort

BlueHills Premium Soft Travel Blanket Pillow Airplane Blanket

Pack items that will help keep you comfortable on your flight. We all know that a standard economy class seat isn’t conducive to good rest, so if you’re going on a long flight or overnight flight, bring items that will help you get some sleep. Travel pillows are always popular, as are eye masks to block out light and blankets to keep you warm. If you travel regularly, it’s well worth investing in a pair of high-quality noise-canceling headphones, such as Sony WH-1000XM4s

Hygiene

Bamboo Toothbrush and travel toothbrush case

You’ll appreciate the option to freshen up during a long flight, so it’s worth packing a travel toothbrush and toothpaste in your carry-on, along with some wet wipes and deodorant. It’s also a great idea to bring sanitizing wipes — such as Artnaturals Cleansing Wipes — for your hands and for surfaces like the tray table and armrests. Remember that any liquids you bring in your carry-on must be in containers of 3.4 ounces or less and all liquids combined must fit in a quart-sized clear plastic bag. Larger containers of liquids should go in your checked luggage.

Entertainment

When you’re on a long-haul flight, you’ll thank yourself for bringing some alternative entertainment once you’re sick of the inflight movies or watching reruns of Friends. Pack a book or, better yet, an e-reader filled with hundreds of books. Load your phone with some fun games that you can play offline and consider bringing a power bank to recharge your battery.  

Refreshment

Actives 24oz Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle with Insulated Spout Lid

Let’s face it — airplane food sucks. If you’re not sure you can brave the in-flight meals, pack plenty of non-perishable snacks in your carry-on to see you through your journey. While you can’t bring a full water bottle through security in your carry-on, we’d recommend packing an empty reusable water bottle in your carry-on and filling it up once you get through security. 

Packing a suitcase for air travel

Pack electronics in a single layer

The TSA will often open both carry-on and checked luggage to inspect electronics. Make sure to pack electronics in a single layer, somewhere close to the top of your bag so that TSA agents don’t need to remove everything in your case to get to them.

Roll, don’t fold

Rolling your clothes rather than folding them not only saves space, it avoids deep creases so you won’t need to spend your vacation ironing. Another quick tip to save a little space is to stuff balled-up socks in your shoes. 

Don’t overlook your personal item

Some airlines allow you to bring a standard carry-on bag to fit in the overhead bins, plus a “personal item” that must be small enough to fit under the seat in front of you. First, find out if your airline allows personal items and their maximum dimensions, if so. Next, make the most of your personal item by bringing a backpack or similar, rather than a small purse. 

What you need to buy for plane travel

London Fog Cranford Spinner Suitcase

London Fog Cranford Spinner Suitcase

You won’t fail to spot this plum paisley pattern luggage on the carousel, making it an ideal checked bag choice. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Macy’s

Cabeau Evolution Classic Travel Pillow

Cabeau Evolution Classic Travel Pillow

A plush, comfortable memory foam travel pillow that’s perfect for napping on long flights. 

Where to buy: Sold by Bed Bath and Beyond and Amazon

Latitude 40°N Eye Mask

Latitude 40°N Eye Mask

This eye mask is designed to completely block out light, giving you a more restful sleep when traveling by air. 

Where to buy: Sold by Bed Bath and Beyond

Wanderlust Travel Compression Socks

Wanderlust Travel Compression Socks

If you’ll be on a plane for more than 4 hours, it’s a good idea to wear compression socks to reduce the risk of deep vein thrombosis from sitting for too long, especially if you have a family history of blood clots. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.



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Travel rules for flying in the UK: How to stay safe from coronavirus in the air and at the airport


After almost two years of restrictions and what seems like a never-ending lockdown, things are finally starting to look up.

The thought of packing a suitcase and travelling to the airport to catch some sun is one which I’m sure we all crave. However if you’re jetting off this year, being surrounded by strangers in a confined space for hours might seem like a scary idea.

Coming into contact with shared facilities, such as the toilets, could mean you risk catching and spreading the virus through touching a contaminated surface, but in a bid to reassure worried passengers, airlines have introduced safety protocols to ensure the risk of contracting covid remains a low risk.

Some of these protocols include social distancing, reducing food and drink services and ensuring face coverings are worn on board. In addition to these, some airports have also implemented touch-free check in and body temperature cameras.

To help, we’ve gathered the best tips from ‘Which?’ to ensure you can relax whilst going on holiday.



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Choose an airline whose coronavirus protocols you trust

Seating

Health and safety protocols will vary depending on which airline you fly with.

‘Which?’ reports that Ryanair won’t automatically seat you with your household, unless you pay for pre-selected seats. This is despite EU Covid-19 guidance calling on airlines to limit passengers’ contact with strangers and modify the seat allocation process accordingly.

Ryanair denied any suggestion that it has intentionally split up groups travelling together, stating that its seating policy ‘remains unchanged’ during the pandemic.

So if you are able to select a seat, it’s said that you should choose one by the window as it attracts less germs than the aisle seat, which people touch as they walk past or when getting in and out of their seat row.

Luggage

The government is advising passengers to check as much luggage into the hold as possible in order to limit movement within the cabin. Ryanair, however, is encouraging customers to bring carry-on bags.

A spokesperson for Ryanair said hold luggage would ‘significantly increase the risk of COVID-19 ’ as it has to pass through eight different sets of hands, from check-in to the boarding gate.

Before booking, please check your airlines rules before you book.

Take your own cleaning products

It’s been reported that Ryanair are relying on just one clean per day as the chemicals they use are said to provide 24 hours of protection.

However virologist at University College London, Greg Towers, says: “More cleaning equals less risk. I don’t know what cleaning Ryanair is doing, but I doubt there’s a way of preventing the virus getting on door handles or killing it with some previous cleaning protocol”.

Due to situations such as this, Dr Wilson-Howarth advises carrying alcohol wipes to clean the tray table and high-risk areas including the toilet door handle.

And just in case the hand sanitiser dispensers aren’t contactless, it’s also best to bring your own.

Temperature checks

While some airports are trialling body temperature cameras to screen people as they move through the airport, the EASA has warned there’s little evidence of their effectiveness.

According to the Office for National Statistics, up to 80% of people who test positive for coronavirus don’t display symptoms meaning their temperature may read as normal despite having the virus.

For the 20% that aren’t asymptomatic, it can take between four and seven days to develop a fever after exposure. Therefore, these trials are reportedly no longer continuing.

Still, there’s no harm in checking your own temperature just in case you do have a fever as if you do, you may be denied boarding. ‘Which?’ recommend taking out comprehensive travel insurance to protect against this scenario.

Switch on the overhead fan

Airlines’ hospital-grade high-efficiency particulate air filtration systems (HEPA) on planes is said to remove 99.9% of impurities, including bacteria and viruses, renewing cabin air every two to three minutes.

Professor Sally Bloomfield, at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, suggests switching on the overhead fan as it can enables you to breathe air directly from above rather than that of the people seated around you, thus reducing the risk of catching the airborne virus.

Travel at quieter times – if possible

If you’re flexible, it’s best to fly at the quieter times as there will obviously be less people and therefore a lower risk.

Flights are normally at their quietest on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Other options are to travel very early in the morning or late at night when flights are often not so full.

Wear a mask over your nose and mouth – and bring spares

Those with certain medical conditions are exempt as well as children though the cut-off age varies by airline.

When you bring your own covering, bear in mind that European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control advises that medical masks should be worn when a minimum distance of 1.5 metres from others can’t be guaranteed.

According to WHO, you should not use the mask when it becomes damp, nor should you reuse it.

Throw it away immediately when you remove it to eat or drink and replace with a fresh one afterwards. Additionally, make sure they cover the face from the bridge of the nose to the chin.

A mask which does not fit correctly can result in the person constantly touching their mask and face to fix it – potentially leading to an increase in transmission.

Important

Please check whether the country you’re flying to requires a certain type of mask for entry as its being reported that passengers are being denied boarding for not having the correct face mask.

Travelers entering Italy, for example, are required to wear a surgical or FFP2 mask. This information can be hard to find online so before flying, check with your airline or pack several different types of mask, including a surgical or FFP2 mask, so that you’re covered.

Avoid touching everything

According to The New England Journal of Medicine, coronavirus can live on stainless steel and plastic surfaces for up to 72 hours.

Measures are already in place to make airports as touch-free as possible with passengers being asked to self-scan passports and use ‘bag drop’ and eGate facilities to keep contact to a minimum.

To keep the new system as stress-free as possible, it may be worth downloading the airline app before you travel as it means you can check in online and download your boarding pass to your phone.

A great tip is also to download newspapers, books and magazines to read rather than buying them in airport shops and bring your own empty refillable water bottle which you can fill it up once you’ve past security.

GP and travel health writer, Dr Jane Wilson-Howarth, warns that airport ATMs are likely to be a ‘highly contaminated’ surface and recommends that you bring enough cash for your journey and use contactless payment where possible.

What are the high-risk contamination zones at the airport?

  • ATM Machine
  • Passport check-in desk
  • Shop payment terminal
  • Children’s play area
  • Staircase rails
  • Security check tray area





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As passengers return to air travel, bad behavior skyrockets – Daily News


By DAVID KOENIG | Associated Press

Air travel can be difficult in the best of times, with cramped planes, screaming babies, flight delays and short tempers.

Throw in a pandemic, and the anxiety level can rise quickly.

That has led to confrontations with flight attendants and other unruly behavior, including occasional fights that get captured and replayed endlessly on social media.

Airlines have reported about 3,000 cases of disruptive passengers since Jan. 1, according to a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration, which began tracking it this year. About 2,300 of those incidents involved passengers who refused to obey the federal requirement to wear a face mask.

Over the past decade, the FAA investigated about 140 cases a year for possible enforcement actions such as fines. This year, it was nearly 400 by late May.

Things have gotten so bad that the airlines and unions for flight attendants and pilots sent a letter to the U.S. Justice Department on Monday urging “that more be done to deter egregious behavior.”

“The federal government should send a strong and consistent message through criminal enforcement that compliance with federal law and upholding aviation safety are of paramount importance,” the letter said, noting that the law calls for up to 20 years imprisonment for passengers who intimidate or interfere with crew members.

Trade group Airlines for America sent a separate letter to the Federal Aviation Administration acknowledging that the “vast majority of passengers” comply with the rules but “unfortunately, we continue to see onboard behavior deteriorating into heinous acts, including assaults, threats and intimidation of crewmembers that directly interfere with the performance of crewmember duties and jeopardize the safety and security of everyone onboard the aircraft.”

The FAA announced a “zero-tolerance” policy against disruptive behavior on flights back in January. The agency is attempting to levy fines that can top $30,000 against more than 50 passengers and has identified more than 400 other cases for possible enforcement.

U.S. airlines have banned at least 3,000 passengers since May of last year, and that doesn’t include two of the largest, American and Southwest, which decline to provide figures.

Airlines have stripped some customers of frequent-flyer benefits, and in rare cases pilots have made unplanned landings to remove unruly passengers. Pilots and flight attendants now routinely make pre-flight announcements to remind passengers about federal regulations against interfering with crews.

“All of that is helpful, and if we didn’t have that I can only imagine how much worse it would be,” said Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants, “but this is clearly not taking care of the whole problem. We have to do a lot more. I have never, ever seen an environment like this.”

Mike Oemichen has been a flight attendant for seven years and he, too, says he has never seen so much bad behavior on board. He recounted a recent incident in which he and other flight attendants had just completed the safety briefing for passengers and were preparing for takeoff when a fight broke out between two men and a woman accompanying one of them.

“After 20 or 30 seconds we were able to get the two male passengers away from each other, and we tried to calm everyone down,” Oemichen said. “Then we went back to the gate and had the passengers removed.”

Oemichen suffered a concussion when he hit his head against an overhead bin during the melee.

“We never figured out what they were fighting over,” said Oemichen, who spoke on condition that his airline not be named. He also handles grievances for union members at his airline.

The fear among flight attendants is that things will get worse this summer, as travel continues to increase and planes get more crowded. The airline industry passed a milestone earlier this month when the Transportation Security Administration announced that more than 2 million people streamed through U.S. airport security checkpoints for the first time since early March 2020.

Airline bookings have been picking up since around February, as more Americans were vaccinated against COVID-19. Falling infection rates could, however, make it much harder for flight attendants to enforce the federal mask-wearing rule, which isn’t due to expire until mid-September.

Some security experts think lifting the mask requirement will remove a key source of tension — one with political overtones in a politically divided nation. But it could also raise the anxiety of people who worry about sharing space with strangers while we’re still in a pandemic.

“People on both sides of the issue are acting badly,” Nelson said.

Airline unions have asked for a variety of measures including more air marshals, limits on alcohol sales on planes and in airports, and more sharing of information among airlines about disruptive passengers. They are also floating the idea of a new government-maintained list of banned passengers — but one that would be less restrictive than the no-fly list for suspected terrorists.

It’s not clear why there is so much air rage. Airline employees and outside experts offer explanations including cramped flights, political polarization over wearing face masks, and the way pandemic lockdowns affect people’s mental health.

“We are all more traumatized than we realize, and that puts people on edge,” said Raymond Tafrate, a psychologist and criminology professor at Central Connecticut State University who has studied anger. “The pandemic isolated people and caused all sorts of stress and problems in their lives. People are in worse shape than they were before.”

Robert Bor, an aviation psychologist in London who advises airline crews, blames anxiety over COVID-19 and enclosed spaces.

“It is a virus, and people are highly sensitized to the physical proximity of others around them,” Bor said. He added that some people take measures like mask-wearing more seriously than others, creating conflict. “How you negotiate that in such an environment is the issue.”

There have been periods in the past where air rage seemed an intractable problem, but later subsided. Long-time flight attendants say there was an uptick in unruly passengers in the 1990s. That led Congress to make it a crime to interfere with a flight crew, and incidents gradually declined, these cabin crew members say.

Arjun Garg, who served as FAA chief counsel until earlier this year, said serious cases of misbehaving passengers were rarely discussed at the agency’s top levels until the pandemic hit.

“It would happen every once in a while, but it wasn’t a major feature of anybody’s thinking at FAA,” Garg said of the pre-pandemic incidents. “Airlines would often resolve them as a ‘customer-service issue,’ and everyone would go on their way.”

Tafrate’s advice to travelers: “Accept that flights don’t always go the way you want, and accept there are going to be some rules that you don’t like.”

___



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How to pack for air travel – NBC4 WCMH-TV


How to pack a bag for air travel

Airplanes give you the freedom to travel the world at impressive speeds, but packing for plane travel can be an unwanted chore. You must decide what you need in your carry-on for the flight and what can safely go in your checked baggage. Plus, there are rules to adhere to and weight limits to consider. 

While it’s important to take the basics you need, remember that you can buy items while on vacation, so forgetting a few things isn’t a huge deal. As long as you bring your passport, you’ll be on your way.

Choose luggage that stands out

While there’s no need to buy new luggage if you already have some perfectly good cases, anyone who needs to buy new bags should choose luggage that stands out. When your luggage is distinctive, it’s easier to find your checked bag on the luggage carousel and you avoid the risk of grabbing the wrong carry-on from an overhead locker filled with bags that all look the same. 

Find out luggage rules and restrictions

Some rules and restrictions about what you can take on a plane are universal across all airlines and travel routes. For instance, there’s a blanket ban on traveling with explosive items — such as fireworks — both in your carry-on and checked luggage, so you’ll never be allowed to take those on board. Other rules depend on the airline or where you’re traveling to. When traveling to Australia, for example, you can’t bring any plant material for the risk of introducing invasive species to the island.

When deciding what to pack, find out the allowed weight or dimensions of luggage. Some airlines only care about the dimensions of the luggage you bring, whereas others check the weight. You’ll want to avoid stuffing your suitcase too full or packing anything too heavy, or you may face an extra fee for overweight baggage. 

Make a packing list

Jason Family Sunscreen

Preparation is the key to remembering everything you need and not bringing anything you don’t need. If you tend to overpack, try planning outfits for each day so you don’t bring mounds of extra clothes and shoes “just in case.” It might not be glamorous, but don’t forget about paperwork — it’s a good idea to bring photocopies or photos on your phone of your boarding passes or passport in case you lose these items. Though you’ll likely be provided with some toiletries at your hotel, don’t forget sunscreen if you’re going to a warm climate. 

Consider what to take in your carry-on

You don’t want to find yourself on your flight wishing you had access to something you packed in your checked bag, so carefully consider what to pack in your carry-on. Although your carry-on is primarily for items that you’ll need for the flight, we’d recommend packing valuables in your carry-on, along with a few essentials, such as spare underwear and your toothbrush, that you really couldn’t do without in the event that your bag gets lost or delayed. 

Comfort

BlueHills Premium Soft Travel Blanket Pillow Airplane Blanket

Pack items that will help keep you comfortable on your flight. We all know that a standard economy class seat isn’t conducive to good rest, so if you’re going on a long flight or overnight flight, bring items that will help you get some sleep. Travel pillows are always popular, as are eye masks to block out light and blankets to keep you warm. If you travel regularly, it’s well worth investing in a pair of high-quality noise-canceling headphones, such as Sony WH-1000XM4s

Hygiene

Bamboo Toothbrush and travel toothbrush case

You’ll appreciate the option to freshen up during a long flight, so it’s worth packing a travel toothbrush and toothpaste in your carry-on, along with some wet wipes and deodorant. It’s also a great idea to bring sanitizing wipes — such as Artnaturals Cleansing Wipes — for your hands and for surfaces like the tray table and armrests. Remember that any liquids you bring in your carry-on must be in containers of 3.4 ounces or less and all liquids combined must fit in a quart-sized clear plastic bag. Larger containers of liquids should go in your checked luggage.

Entertainment

When you’re on a long-haul flight, you’ll thank yourself for bringing some alternative entertainment once you’re sick of the inflight movies or watching reruns of Friends. Pack a book or, better yet, an e-reader filled with hundreds of books. Load your phone with some fun games that you can play offline and consider bringing a power bank to recharge your battery.  

Refreshment

Actives 24oz Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle with Insulated Spout Lid

Let’s face it — airplane food sucks. If you’re not sure you can brave the in-flight meals, pack plenty of non-perishable snacks in your carry-on to see you through your journey. While you can’t bring a full water bottle through security in your carry-on, we’d recommend packing an empty reusable water bottle in your carry-on and filling it up once you get through security. 

Packing a suitcase for air travel

Pack electronics in a single layer

The TSA will often open both carry-on and checked luggage to inspect electronics. Make sure to pack electronics in a single layer, somewhere close to the top of your bag so that TSA agents don’t need to remove everything in your case to get to them.

Roll, don’t fold

Rolling your clothes rather than folding them not only saves space, it avoids deep creases so you won’t need to spend your vacation ironing. Another quick tip to save a little space is to stuff balled-up socks in your shoes. 

Don’t overlook your personal item

Some airlines allow you to bring a standard carry-on bag to fit in the overhead bins, plus a “personal item” that must be small enough to fit under the seat in front of you. First, find out if your airline allows personal items and their maximum dimensions, if so. Next, make the most of your personal item by bringing a backpack or similar, rather than a small purse. 

What you need to buy for plane travel

London Fog Cranford Spinner Suitcase

London Fog Cranford Spinner Suitcase

You won’t fail to spot this plum paisley pattern luggage on the carousel, making it an ideal checked bag choice. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Macy’s

Cabeau Evolution Classic Travel Pillow

Cabeau Evolution Classic Travel Pillow

A plush, comfortable memory foam travel pillow that’s perfect for napping on long flights. 

Where to buy: Sold by Bed Bath and Beyond and Amazon

Latitude 40°N Eye Mask

Latitude 40°N Eye Mask

This eye mask is designed to completely block out light, giving you a more restful sleep when traveling by air. 

Where to buy: Sold by Bed Bath and Beyond

Wanderlust Travel Compression Socks

Wanderlust Travel Compression Socks

If you’ll be on a plane for more than 4 hours, it’s a good idea to wear compression socks to reduce the risk of deep vein thrombosis from sitting for too long, especially if you have a family history of blood clots. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.



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Air travel surges in Hudson Valley and across US


Crowds continue to grow at Hudson Valley airports and at airports across
the country.

The TSA says it screened a
record 2.1 million people across the country on Sunday.

That’s the largest
single-day number since March of 2020.

Many of those travelers
faced delays and cancellations after American Airlines canceled
6% of its flights due to labor issues.



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How to pack for air travel


How to pack a bag for air travel

Airplanes give you the freedom to travel the world at impressive speeds, but packing for plane travel can be an unwanted chore. You must decide what you need in your carry-on for the flight and what can safely go in your checked baggage. Plus, there are rules to adhere to and weight limits to consider. 

While it’s important to take the basics you need, remember that you can buy items while on vacation, so forgetting a few things isn’t a huge deal. As long as you bring your passport, you’ll be on your way.

Choose luggage that stands out

While there’s no need to buy new luggage if you already have some perfectly good cases, anyone who needs to buy new bags should choose luggage that stands out. When your luggage is distinctive, it’s easier to find your checked bag on the luggage carousel and you avoid the risk of grabbing the wrong carry-on from an overhead locker filled with bags that all look the same. 

Find out luggage rules and restrictions

Some rules and restrictions about what you can take on a plane are universal across all airlines and travel routes. For instance, there’s a blanket ban on traveling with explosive items — such as fireworks — both in your carry-on and checked luggage, so you’ll never be allowed to take those on board. Other rules depend on the airline or where you’re traveling to. When traveling to Australia, for example, you can’t bring any plant material for the risk of introducing invasive species to the island.

When deciding what to pack, find out the allowed weight or dimensions of luggage. Some airlines only care about the dimensions of the luggage you bring, whereas others check the weight. You’ll want to avoid stuffing your suitcase too full or packing anything too heavy, or you may face an extra fee for overweight baggage. 

Make a packing list

Jason Family Sunscreen

Preparation is the key to remembering everything you need and not bringing anything you don’t need. If you tend to overpack, try planning outfits for each day so you don’t bring mounds of extra clothes and shoes “just in case.” It might not be glamorous, but don’t forget about paperwork — it’s a good idea to bring photocopies or photos on your phone of your boarding passes or passport in case you lose these items. Though you’ll likely be provided with some toiletries at your hotel, don’t forget sunscreen if you’re going to a warm climate. 

Consider what to take in your carry-on

You don’t want to find yourself on your flight wishing you had access to something you packed in your checked bag, so carefully consider what to pack in your carry-on. Although your carry-on is primarily for items that you’ll need for the flight, we’d recommend packing valuables in your carry-on, along with a few essentials, such as spare underwear and your toothbrush, that you really couldn’t do without in the event that your bag gets lost or delayed. 

Comfort

BlueHills Premium Soft Travel Blanket Pillow Airplane Blanket

Pack items that will help keep you comfortable on your flight. We all know that a standard economy class seat isn’t conducive to good rest, so if you’re going on a long flight or overnight flight, bring items that will help you get some sleep. Travel pillows are always popular, as are eye masks to block out light and blankets to keep you warm. If you travel regularly, it’s well worth investing in a pair of high-quality noise-canceling headphones, such as Sony WH-1000XM4s

Hygiene

Bamboo Toothbrush and travel toothbrush case

You’ll appreciate the option to freshen up during a long flight, so it’s worth packing a travel toothbrush and toothpaste in your carry-on, along with some wet wipes and deodorant. It’s also a great idea to bring sanitizing wipes — such as Artnaturals Cleansing Wipes — for your hands and for surfaces like the tray table and armrests. Remember that any liquids you bring in your carry-on must be in containers of 3.4 ounces or less and all liquids combined must fit in a quart-sized clear plastic bag. Larger containers of liquids should go in your checked luggage.

Entertainment

When you’re on a long-haul flight, you’ll thank yourself for bringing some alternative entertainment once you’re sick of the inflight movies or watching reruns of Friends. Pack a book or, better yet, an e-reader filled with hundreds of books. Load your phone with some fun games that you can play offline and consider bringing a power bank to recharge your battery.  

Refreshment

Actives 24oz Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle with Insulated Spout Lid

Let’s face it — airplane food sucks. If you’re not sure you can brave the in-flight meals, pack plenty of non-perishable snacks in your carry-on to see you through your journey. While you can’t bring a full water bottle through security in your carry-on, we’d recommend packing an empty reusable water bottle in your carry-on and filling it up once you get through security. 

Packing a suitcase for air travel

Pack electronics in a single layer

The TSA will often open both carry-on and checked luggage to inspect electronics. Make sure to pack electronics in a single layer, somewhere close to the top of your bag so that TSA agents don’t need to remove everything in your case to get to them.

Roll, don’t fold

Rolling your clothes rather than folding them not only saves space, it avoids deep creases so you won’t need to spend your vacation ironing. Another quick tip to save a little space is to stuff balled-up socks in your shoes. 

Don’t overlook your personal item

Some airlines allow you to bring a standard carry-on bag to fit in the overhead bins, plus a “personal item” that must be small enough to fit under the seat in front of you. First, find out if your airline allows personal items and their maximum dimensions, if so. Next, make the most of your personal item by bringing a backpack or similar, rather than a small purse. 

What you need to buy for plane travel

London Fog Cranford Spinner Suitcase

London Fog Cranford Spinner Suitcase

You won’t fail to spot this plum paisley pattern luggage on the carousel, making it an ideal checked bag choice. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Macy’s

Cabeau Evolution Classic Travel Pillow

Cabeau Evolution Classic Travel Pillow

A plush, comfortable memory foam travel pillow that’s perfect for napping on long flights. 

Where to buy: Sold by Bed Bath and Beyond and Amazon

Latitude 40°N Eye Mask

Latitude 40°N Eye Mask

This eye mask is designed to completely block out light, giving you a more restful sleep when traveling by air. 

Where to buy: Sold by Bed Bath and Beyond

Wanderlust Travel Compression Socks

Wanderlust Travel Compression Socks

If you’ll be on a plane for more than 4 hours, it’s a good idea to wear compression socks to reduce the risk of deep vein thrombosis from sitting for too long, especially if you have a family history of blood clots. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.



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Air travel hits highest peak since March 2020


If you found yourself stranded at an airport Sunday, blame demand.

Air travel tracking website Flight Aware reports American Airlines canceled 6% of its flights due to labor issues.

[TRENDING: 1 killed, several shot at Father’s Day event | Deadly Pride parade crash not intentional | TS Claudette cited in 13 deaths]

That comes as the Transportation Security Administration said it screened 2.1 million people at airports across the country. That’s the largest single-day number since March 7 of last year.

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Memorial Day also set a pandemic-era record for air travel this year as almost nine million people passed through security checkpoints.

But that volume came over a long weekend and no single day exceeded two million passengers.

Copyright 2021 by CNN Newsource – All rights reserved.



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US air travel hits highest level since March 2020


The Delta variant, or the B.1.617.2 first identified in India, is one of the variants overtaking the Alpha, or B.1.1.7 variant first identified in the United Kingdom, as the dominant variant in the United States, and it’s happening faster in counties with lower vaccination rates, according to a new study by scientists at Helix, scheduled to be published as a preprint in the coming days.

Scientists at Helix analyzed nearly 20,000 Covid-19 tests collected since April 2021 and just under 250,000 Covid-19 sequence results of samples Helix collected since January 2021. 

What the research showed:

  • They found that the percentage of positive cases of the B.1.1.7 variant dropped from 70% in April 2021 to 42% six weeks later.
  • Their results show that “the variant of concern B.1.1.7 is rapidly being displaced in the United States,” they said, and most of this displacement can be attributed to the Delta variant and the Gamma variant, also known as P.1 and first identified in Brazil. “In the United States, this analysis showed that the growth rate of B.1.617.2 was faster than P.1,” said the research.
  • However, growth rates of the two variants differed by the county vaccination rate.The samples the study looked at came from 747 counties. The sequence data from the counties was compared to county vaccination rates that came from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“The growth curve for B.1.617.2, which is more transmissible but against which vaccines are highly effective, shows faster growth in counties with lower vaccination rates,” said the study. “In contrast, P.1, which is less transmissible but against which vaccines have somewhat less efficacy, has a higher prevalence in counties with higher vaccination rates.”

More on the study: They defined a county with a lower vaccination rate as one which had less than 28.5% of the population completely vaccinated on May 1, the others were considered counties with a higher vaccination rate.

An important limitation is noted by the researchers: the relatively small number of positives that have been analyzed in the last two months, partly because of the lower numbers of cases in the US and the decrease in test positivity rate. The data is not homogenous across the US and the samples “do not proportionally represent the different areas of the United states by population”, they say, which is another limitation.



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Let the Vaccinated Travel, UK Air Industry Demands | World News


LONDON (Reuters) – The aviation industry on Monday demanded that Britain removes COVID testing and isolation requirements for fully vaccinated travellers from most countries, a step already being taken in the European Union to help tourism recover.

Airlines UK said in a letter to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps that fully vaccinated travellers from “amber” destinations should be exempt from the 10-day isolation requirement, while those coming from both “amber” and “green” countries should not need to have expensive PCR tests.

“Given the incredible efficacy of vaccines and their critical role in easing domestic restrictions, we believe that the framework can safely be adjusted to provide a pathway for vaccinated people to travel without restriction, alongside steps to reduce restrictions for green and amber categories, making them more proportionate for travellers,” the group said.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday that travellers would face hassle and delays this year if they sought to go abroad because the priority would be keeping the country safe from the coronavirus.

Data confirming that vaccines are more than 90% effective against hospitalisation from the fast-growing Delta variation should be considered when measures that apply to each tier of Britain’s traffic light system for travel are reviewed on June 28, it said.

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“This effectiveness has been recognised by Europe, which is now opening its travel and leisure markets by introducing waivers from testing and isolation requirements for fully vaccinated persons, including arrivals from major markets such as the United States,” it said.

“Today 32 countries exempt travellers from quarantine and 27 from testing if fully vaccinated. The failure to adopt a similar approach risks the UK falling further behind the EU’s reopening of international travel, including the critical trans-Atlantic market.”

Popular European holiday destinations for Britons, including Spain, Portugal, France, Italy and Greece, are currently rated “amber”, which require returning passengers to take three COVID-19 tests and isolate for 10 days on return.

The 11 countries and territories rated “green” require two tests for passengers, including those who are fully vaccinated.

(Reporting by Paul Sandle)

Copyright 2021 Thomson Reuters.



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