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Saturday
Jul212012

The In Home Luggage Sizer

I’ve ready many postings where people are concerned if their bag will fit into an airline sizer. Wouldn’t it be great if you could have one in your home?

Well, now you can. And at a reasonable price.

It’s called the UPS Luggage Box.

Measuring 22 x 14 x 9 externally, and 20.5 x 14 x 9 internally, I figure if my bag fits in that, it will fit in the overhead.

Wait, what is that you say? Some airlines, especially outside the U.S. of A, only allow only 7” or 8”? No problem. Since you have to put the box together, why not measure and draw lines at 7 and 8 inches inside the box. This way, if the lines disappear, your bag is too thick 

But what about the length. So many bags are 21 or 22 inches in length. How can they fit in the box? Remember, most soft sided bags don’t have a rigid frame so as long as you don’t overpack, a 22” bag can be squished down to 20.5 inches.

If you’re as obsessive about carry-on luggage as I am, this might be an answer for you. I’ve had mine for awhile and have put it to good use. I think it sells for $12.95. (Note, not all UPS stores carry this item. I had to get in touch with six in my area before I found one that carried it.)

Side note: When I went to get the box, the store owner asked me if I was going to ship luggage. I said I wasn’t and told him why I was getting it. I wound up giving him a quick lesson on how to travel light—at his request.)

Friday
Jul202012

Respect for this site

As many of you know, this site is dedicated to those who prefer to travel with non-wheeled bags. I know there are some of you out there who hate this because you travel with wheels.

How you decide to travel is up to you. If you wish to travel with a 32” wheeled monster, more power to you. You have the right to travel any way you wish. It doesn’t get me angry, in fact it has no affect on me whatsoever.

But if you decide to post, at least have the decency to respect the site. Some people hate the idea that I won’t cave to do what they prefer and discuss what they do because, after all, those individuals need to prove that their way is the right way and can’t stand the fact that someone does differently or won’t just give in.

Recently, someone posted a review of a wheeled bag. He even noted he knew it was inappropriate for the people here but did it anyway. It would be like going to a website dedicated to vegetarians and posting a review of a hamburger because you like hamburgers. Very disrespectful.

I will admit that the vast majority of travelers use wheels. It’s a known fact. But there are still some who prefer to go without wheels. And don’t they deserve the right to do so and to have a place to go where they can discuss this type of travel? If you don’t like it, don’t try to change it. There are plenty of sites out there where you can talk about your love of wheels.

Sorry to be abrupt but I put a lot of time into this site and don’t need to constantly keep getting digs from certain people because they are so arrogant and egotistical that they insist on mentioning how we don’t like wheels. Perhaps it’s because they are incapable of going without them. And perhaps if they would stop focusing so much on the “wheel” component, they would realize this site offers a lot of information on how to be both a more efficient and lighter traveler.

I realize there are people with physical limitations who need wheels. And I respect that. But, it’s funny, those who have this issue aren’t the ones giving me a hard time or constantly bringing up the wheel issue. They are absorbing the other aspects of this site which can make them  better travelers.

 

Wednesday
Jul182012

Another Airline to Charge for Carry-On Luggage

Wizz Air, the budget Hungarian airline, will begin charging for carry-on luggage for bags over a certain size.

Starting August 1, bags over 42cm x 32 cm x 25 cm (16.5 in. x 12.6 in x 9.8 in.) will be charged 10 euros to be taken on board. They must still be under the maximum allowed for carry-on or they will be put in the hold.

There are some caveats. First, this is only a trial. Second, it’s only on Wizz Air flights between London’s Luton airport and Katowice, Poland.

After the trial, the airline will decide whether or not to implement this on all flights.

According to a survey from booking site Skyscanner, 88% of those polled said they would take a different airline rather than pay for carry-on luggage, and 64% thought this fee unfair. 

In protest, I’m cancelling my vacation plans to Katowice. 

Oh, and please, no “wizz” air jokes.

Wednesday
Jul182012

Major TSA Change

Later this summer, the TSA will make a major change to its policy: it will finally allow snow globes to be packed in carry-on luggage.

There are some restrictions. The show globes must be placed inside the 3-1-1 bag and contain no more than 3.2 ounces of liquid which is about the size of a tennis ball.

I kid you not.

Monday
Jul092012

Roundup--July 9, 2012

I should call this European Roundup as all the stories pertain to that continent  or its vicinity.

 

All U.S. based carriers that fly nonstop from the New York area to Rome will not offer this service during the winter months. They will resume next spring. Alitalia will continue to fly that route all year.

 

The EU has a new smartphone app  explaining all your passenger rights while traveling by air or rail. It will be extended to bus/coach and marine travel next year. (Caveat—the app continually crashes on my Ipod Touch but there is a website with the exact same information. I just bookmarked it:)

http://ec.europa.eu/transport/passenger-rights/en/index.html

 

Anyone who has flown through Heathrow the last few months knows the queue at passport control is ridiculous. The wait can be hours. However, the airport will  open new lanes for non-European travelers it deems “low risk.” That includes Americans, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders and Japanese—basically those who don’t need a visa.

 

Friday
Jun292012

Gear Review: Daymaker Wallet Jr.  

When I travel, especially for leisure trips, I keep most of my important/valuable items in a moneybelt. But I still need some type of wallet to hold enough money for the day.

The Daymaker Wallet Jr. is exactly what I was looking for. At 4.75” x 3.25” x 0.25” it’s the perfect size to fit in my front pocket.

The main zippered compartment is just large enough to hold folded paper money and has a small inner pocket perfect for a key or a small lip balm. A center zippered pocket is meant for coins. The unique part of the front of this wallet is the lower front section made of rubber which will not only help to prevent the wallet from falling out of your pocket but also produce enough friction should someone else’s hand wind up in your pocket with the idea of taking what’s in there.

The rear has an open pocket for credit cards. There is a slight overhang at the top of one side of this pocket that helps to prevent the cards from falling out.

The Daymaker Wallet Jr comes in either microfiber ($7.50) or leather ($9.50).  They come in a choice of colors as long as the color you want is black. 

This is now my wallet of choice for light leisure travel.

Friday
Jun292012

Gear Review: Daymaker Packies

Packies are just what they sound like: packing/storage cubes that have clear plastic on both sides. They come in sets of three with a choice of large or small. Each set has three different sizes.

The larger set may be too heavy for travel but I use them to store my travel “stuff” at home.

The smaller size is great for travel with the smallest of the three the proper size to be used as a 3-1-1 bag. I use one to my electronic accessories and another for all the miscellaneous stuff I take.

Besides the two sets in the photos, I have an additional small set in black. They come in various colors.(As usual, I’ve included my Ipod Touch in the photos to give you a size perspective.)

The large set sells for $32.95-39.95 depending on color. The small set goes for $19.50.

They’re well made of heavy duty microfiber. The see through plastic on both sides makes it easy to find things, keeps you organized and makes airport security a breeze.

I give them a big thumbs up. I owned the black set for awhile and when they went on sale a little while ago, I bought the additional two sets. That’s right, I was so impressed, I actually paid for them.

Thursday
Jun282012

Roundup--June 28, 2012

Lookout Boeing, Airbus may start building planes in Alabama. The factory would construct A-320’s, a direct competitor to the popular Boeing 737.

 

Some new frequent flier alliances:  Jet Blue and Emirates & American Airlines and Westjet.

 

Speaking of Emirates, the airline will  launch a second daily Airbus A380 service between Dubai and New York’s JFK. This second flight is scheduled to start in January of 2013. 

 

Delta will begin to offer wifi on its international flights beginning next year.

 

As most people know, Greece is having some serious economic problems. Later this week, the EU will hold hearings in Brussels on this issue as well as the future of the Euro. Greek President Karolos Papoullas will attend. To show he’s serious about cutting costs, he’ll fly to the Belgian capital on a regularly scheduled Aegean Airlines flight rather than fly on a private jet. And he’ll be traveling in economy class.

 

The New York Times technology reporter, David Pogue, has an interesting article in Scientific American on how the TSA rules are not based on science.

 

Conde Naste Traveler has an article on tips for keeping your suitcase safe. After reading the list, I’m glad I’m a onebagger. Much less to worry about.

Friday
Jun222012

Roundup--June 22, 2012

Are you addicted to travel? Not sure? Independent Traveler has come up with 16 Ways You Know You’re Addicted to Travel. I’ll currently admit to about half. In my tour days, the number would have been 10.

 

As someone who enjoys solo travel, I get asked by many a would-be solo traveler on how not to get lonely. Simple. Make friends along the way.

 

Question of the day: Can you name the western democracy that planned to eavesdrop on its travelers—especially those in controlled areas of airports? In fact, they went so far as to install equipment in one airport before privacy groups got them to change their policy. I’ll give you a hint: It’s in North America. So, did you guess? Well, you’ll have to read this story to find the answer.

 

 

 

 

Wednesday
Jun132012

Roundup--June 13, 2012

Hi all. As you’ve probably noticed, I’ve changed the name of these columns to “Roundup” rather than “Daily Roundup” because they haven’t been very “daily.” Either there wasn’t much to report on or I just didn’t have the time to get to it. So, instead, I’ll post “Roundup” columns  when I have a few items to discuss where none merits a posting unto itself.

 

As many of you know, some airlines are beginning to charge for premium seats. This can mean either a separate section, and exit row, or simply an aisle or window seat. Our friends at AirFareWatchdog have put together a chart of what it costs to select your seat location.

 

United Airlines has upped the fee for a second checked bag to Europe. It’s now $100 each way. Save even more by being a onebagger.

 

While wi-fi is fairly common for overland flights, more and more airlines are offering satellite wi-fi on transoceanic flights.

 

Financial problems in much of southern Europe aren’t just affecting banks and investors. Money earmarked to preserve national landmarks is drying up and many older statues and buildings are crumbling. One particular landmark that has seen recent problems is the Trevi Fountain in Rome. Natural disasters in Italy have recently destroyed so much. Too bad lack of money may destroy even more.

 

 

Tuesday
Jun052012

Boston Offers Free Airport Transportation

Boston is now offering free public transportation between its downtown area and its airport.To help alleviate traffic and parking congestion, the buses going between Boston’s South Street Station and Logan Airport will now be free. It used to cost $2.

Many cities in the U.S. are either inaugurating or upgrading public transportation from downtown to their airports. Boston, however, is the first one to make if free. Wouldn’t it be nice if other cities followed suit.

 

 

 

Monday
Jun042012

Our Dreams May Come True

If this article comes to be, those will be tears of joy you see streaking down my face.

Airlines Weighing Fee for Oversized Carry-Ons

Wednesday
May302012

Daily Roundup--May 30, 2012

Delta Airlines lost a champion pole vaulter’s poles enroute to an important qualifying match last week. The pole vaulter had to use borrowed poles and didn’t do well. The airline offered its usual “voucher” excuse. Would it really be so bad to just say, “We’re sorry?” Oh yeah, their lawyers won’t allow them.

 

A restaurant in Rome alerted the media that Facebook kazillionaire Mark Zuckerberg and his bride neglected to leave a tip after enjoying a honeymoon lunch. Shocking some said as tips are “expected” from Americans. Italians and other Europeans don’t tip in Italy where instead customers will leave small change since the tip is usually included and the staff is paid a living wage—unlike in the U.S. So, do you tip just because you’re worried what people will think of you? And as for the restaurant, they’re getting a lot of publicity for a lot of nonsense.I think it makes them look petty but I’m sure there will be a lot of people who’ll want to eat where Zuckerberg “stiffed the staff.” Will they put a plaque on the table and charge more to sit there?

 

Gadling has a good article on How To Avoid Looking Like A Tourist.

 

We, at times, tend to complain about airport security. While grandma was getting a “full” pat down, a newly released convict was able to sneak onto a flight at San Diego International Airport without a ticket. Unbelievable.

Wednesday
May302012

When in doubt, ask a third party

Normally, on this website, I don’t mention aircraft accidents as it normally doesn’t have anything to do with one bag travel. Occasionally I’ll mention an issue that may affect a fleet of aircraft, but rarely an individual accident—especially one involving private aircraft.

As a former private pilot, journalist and aviation enthusiast, I am interested in this subject and even covered some accidents.

But I digress.

Over the weekend, two single engine aircraft collided over northern Virginia. The pilot and passenger of one plane was killed and the pilot of the other aircraft was hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries.

Normally, a regional NTSB investigator would be assigned and that would be it until the a report was issued on the cause.

But this  time it’s different. The owner of one of the planes worked for the NTSB and the owner of the second plane worked for the FAA. (Both were privately owned aircraft and neither flight was government related.) While the NTSB is technically in charge of accident investigations, they work closely with the FAA. Would an investigation under these circumstances be fair or would one agency try to prove the employee of the other was at fault?

What to do?

Surprisingly, senior officials from both of these agencies got on the phone and agreed the best course would be to ask a third party to investigate. 

Canada is sending a team of their own investigators to take charge.

This is a rare case where two bureaucratic government agencies actually got together and decided to do the smart thing.

U.S. Asks Canada To Investigate Aircraft Collision

Monday
May282012

Is bigger better?

For some things, bigger is better. For others, not so much.

Many airlines are replacing their overhead bins with redesigned ones that will carry more bags. This is a good sign for if the airlines pay for more overhead space, they’re unlikely to start charging for carry-ons. If only we could get the few arrogant elite fliers, like the guy mentioned in the beginning of the article, who refuse to get a smaller bag and insist they have the right to take up as much overhead room as they wish. I have just as much right to that space as they do. Only I’m more considerate, I put my bag in the right way and it fits because I don’t have wheels.

On the other hand, Airbus is marketing wider aisle seats to U.S. airlines on their A320 jets. The wider seats could be sold at a premium to help raise revenue. It’s also seen as a marketing ploy to help Airbus sell more 320’s than their biggest competitor, the Boeing 737.

Thursday
May242012

Redoxx Air Boss Modifications

There’s been a discussion in ther Reader’s Forum about a modified Redoxx Air Boss. Neil Gordon sent me the following photos of the modification:

 

 

 

 

 

Oops….my apologies. I made this page before the holiday weekend but forgot to move it from draft status to published.

Tuesday
May222012

Daily Roundup--May 22, 2012

A married couple are in jail charged with stealing luggage from airport baggage carousels at numerous south Florida airports. This isn’t a problem if you’re a “onebagger.”

 

Delta Airlines will lease the entire Boeing 717 fleet  formerly owned by AirTran. Air Tran is now part of Southwest Airlines and they prefer to fly one type of plane only—the Boeing 737. The move will allow Delta to replace its smaller 50 seat regional jets and its ancient DC-9 fleet.

 

In their neverending quest for new fees, many airlines are now charging for better seats. That could anything next to a window or on the aisle.

The “Happiest Place on Earth” is making some people sad. Disneyland is raising its ticket prices. In some cases, as much as 30%.

 

 

Wednesday
May162012

Daily Roundup--May 16, 2012

Earlier we reported that the new Berlin airport, scheduled to open on June 3, would be delayed by at least three months. Today is was reported that the new airport won’t open until 2013. As to when in 2013, well, that’s still being decided.

 

It seems the TSA is failing to report and fix breaches to airport security says a new report from the Department of Homeland Security’s Inspector General. Congress held a hearing on the matter today.

 

Atlanta airport’s long awaited Maynard Jackson International terminal opens today. The good news is arriving passengers no longer have to go through security and check their bags if they are leaving the airport.

 

Delta Airlines admits it charged some of its frequent fliers more than other customers for nearly three weeks. The airline says it was due to a computer glitch and corrected the problem. I wonder what would have happened if they didn’t get caught.

 

 

Tuesday
May152012

Daily Roundup--May 15, 2012

I guess no one is immunce from TSA groping. Henry Kissinger, former Secretary of State, Nobel Prize Winner, and 88 years old, received a full patdown recently at NY’s LaGuardia Airport.

 

Virgin Atlantic passengers will soon be able to use their cellphones at cruising altitude. There are some restriction including use within 250 miles of the U.S.

 

A Newark Airport security officer was arrested for using a fake ID to get his job and has used it ever since. By the way, that was 20 years ago. (Note, he worked for the airport and not TSA but was cleared by them)

Monday
May142012

What must a bag have?

When I was putting together the “How To” on choosing a bag, I was thinking about the different accessories each bag offers and which ones I could do without. And that got me thinking, are there any items which, if left off a bag, would cause you to immediately cross it off your list as a potential purchase?

 

Look at the list below and let me know if there is one or more:

 

Hidden backpack straps

Waist Belt

Sternum Strap

Shoulder strap attachment

Lockable/Locking zippers

Internal compression straps

External Compression Straps

Inside pockets

Side handles

Or is there anything else I left off?