Everyday I see "X" amount of people come into Yahoo Answer with some kind of travel questions. Because I’ve had 25+ years working for a Major Airline, I try to help where I can because I know 1st hand what it’s like to be stuck in some small town and no one speaks English. Only problem is now that I’ve got an Agency, I’m stuck.
If I answer the question properly it’s going to (in some cases) lead up to me booking a flight, tour or hotel. Can someone figure out a way for me to pass on my 25+ years of travel knowledge without Mr. Yahoo getting upset with the arrangement?
Let me give you an example: Did you know (in most cases) you should not carry your Passport on your person when on tour in some city? The correct way is to have the front-desk lock it up in the hotel safe. If something comes up and you land in jail, the local police know how to send someone over to the hotel for your paperwork.
An American Passport is like "gold" in Europe or Asia. Sticky fingers have a bad habit of going thru your pockets in a very professional manner.
Also—if at all possible carry a English to/from "their" language dictionary with you at all times. Makes for a wonderful day.
Last tip: Put your name, address and any and all phone numbers in two waterproof plastic bags. Then use super-stick two way tape to attach 1 bag dead center to the inside of your suitcase (on both inside walls) so it can be seen if it gets lost and the baggage people look inside to see who the bag belongs to. You can trust them to "eventually" get that bag back to you someday.
DO NOT PUT YOUR ADDRESS ON THE OUTSIDE OF THE BAG BECAUSE A ROBBER WILL FAKE STANDING IN LINE AT THE AIRPORT TO LOOK DOWN TO READ WHERE YOU LIVE. He knows he can visit your home tonight and you’ll be out of town on vacation. These guy’s ain’t stupid !!
I lied…. one more tip: Sometimes when I worked in baggage we would have so much mail and/or cargo (even on a jumbo 747) that we had to put a few bag’s inside the flight in the passenger area. Some bag’s were strapped into an empty seat. Some hidden in the bathroom during takeoff and landings. My point being… "sometimes" we dropped those bag’s trying to get them thru the door normally used to bring meal on board. Quite a drop (maybe 40+ feet) down to some very hard cement. That’s why you’ll see a seasoned traveler secure his bag with maybe two wraps of a thick nylon belt. They he will wrap tape around the end strap so it won’t come loose too easy.
I’ve got to tell you one more story… One day one of our ground crew guy’s noticed a chip of black paint missing from this heavy brick we used to hold the big doors open in the bag room. He said he picked the brick up and got out his knife and started digging some more of the paint off. After about 10 minutes he presented the supervisor with the missing Gold Bar from a shipment of Government cargo a few years back.
Someday I’ll tell you about the very rich Oil Sheik’s 5 year old son who ended up walking around in downtown New York because when the flight landed and the passengers started to debark he slipped into the crowd then jumped on a limo to the city. Almost every cop in New York was in on that one.
O.K. "this" is my last entry: When I worked in the Reservations office and we had a very difficult passenger, we would ask him (or her) the BIG question… "Do you know what T.W.A. stands for ? Naturally they would say, "Trans World Airlines."
Then with a very soft voice we would say, "no… it came from a idea that you might… "Try Walking Across!!!"
A very interesting ‘article’! As a seasoned traveler I can identify… The only thing different is that I always thought TWA stood for "Teeny Weeny Airlines"!! Thanks for the chuckle!