Fittest loser

Articles filed under Todd, Gail

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  • In-flight entertainment rises to a whole new levelApr 6, 2014 12:00 AM
    If you were lucky enough to be on a certain Virgin-Australia flight from Brisbane to Sydney recently, you would have boarded to the chorus from the musical, “The Lion King.” And it wouldn’t have been piped in music or a bunch of spring break juniors singing off key. It would have been the actual cast from the production playing in Sydney. Talk about taking in-flight entertainment up a notch.

  • Flight cancellations can put anyone in a bad mood. This winter, airports around the world have had trouble weathering the crowds.

    Grounded: Bad weather leads to bad behavior by air passengersMar 1, 2014 12:00 AM
    If you were at O’Hare International Airport earlier this month when the snow was blowing sideways, you were more apt to fly into a rage than the wild blue yonder. O’Hare wasn’t the only place this winter where bad weather caused passengers to fly off the handle when they couldn’t fly on an airplane. Airports around the world have had trouble weathering the crowds.

  • Luckily, pilots landing at wrong airport is rare Feb 1, 2014 12:00 AM
    Do you know the way to San Jose? Apparently a passenger didnít a few years ago. She ended up in California when she should have landed in Costa Rica. But thatís not as bad as when a pilot lands at the wrong airport. Which is what happened to Southwest Airlines a few weeks ago. And it isnít the first time pilots have lost their way.

  • Picking the right seat and listening to music can help put you in the right mode for sleep when flying.

    How can you get sleep on an airplane? Jan 11, 2014 12:00 AM
    Today, trying to get some zzz's on a plane seems like a losing battle. What with sleeping in an upright position, squeezed between passengers and belly-up to the seat in front. And forget about the cozy blanket. But there are ways to make to flying a little more conducive for sleep.

  • A gift for your physical and mental health: a spa vacation Dec 1, 2013 12:00 AM
    A good gift for travelers? A spa vacation. Columnist Gail Todd recommends a few that will promote good mental and physical health, and alleviate holiday stress.

  • Thanksgiving holiday the perfect time to travel overseas Nov 2, 2013 12:00 AM
    Who needs turkey for Thanksgiving? Travel columnist Gail Todd always makes the same thing for the American holiday: overseas travel reservations. She says it's a good and less expensive time to travel abroad.

  • A tourist reads a sign explaining the closing of the Smithsonian Natural History Museum in Washington, D.C., as a result of the partial shutdown of federal government.

    Oh, the places you can’t go during federal shutdown Oct 4, 2013 12:00 AM
    “We’re supposed to be camping in Yosemite this weekend,” complained my daughter, who has been laying out sleeping bags and cooking gear for the past two weeks. “Now it looks like we’ll be camping in the backyard.” Apparently, her trip canceled. Not because of bad weather, sick kids or flight problems. It’s because of a canceled government.

  • Surprises on flights drive passengers buggy Sep 1, 2013 12:00 AM
    Last week, Joel Woloshuk discovered he was flying with a bunch of maggots. He wasn’t using derogatory terms to refer to his seat mates. He was talking about the added protein he received in a sandwich at Atlanta’s International Airport. Literally, it was maggots. He discovered them while flying to Miami. He even took pictures of the little buggers enjoying his sandwich. This isn’t the first time these insects curbed a traveler’s appetite at 35,000 feet.

  • Skip a tip and you might pay for it later Aug 4, 2013 12:00 AM
    Tipping has really heated up. Tip jars grace the counters of fast-food restaurants and coffee shops. Tips are expected. Itís no longer an arbitrary thing subject to the discretion of the guest. Even for poor service, you better cough up 15 percent to 20 percent or you might have an angry waiter chasing you down the street.

  • Space on planes will get even more cozy Jul 7, 2013 12:00 AM
    Looks like the airlines are about to put the squeeze on us again. Iím not talking about charging more for checked luggage, or raising the price of an in-flight sandwich. Iím talking about the close encounter with your seat partners becoming even chummier. American Airlines announced plans to add more seats and cut the leg room in coach on some of their Boeing 737s and MD-80 jets. And other airlines promise similar changes.

  • Using appliances in Europe can be a power struggle Jun 9, 2013 12:00 AM
    While most of Europe now has a common currency, they’ve yet to develop a common current. The United States operates appliances on a 110 voltage. So does Canada, Mexico and most of Latin America. Most of Europe uses a 210 voltage. So cross the pond and you may be shocked — literally — when you plug your 110-voltage hairdryer into their outlet. Your dryer will heat up like it’s on steroids and then, “pop.” It will probably never heat again.

  • Airlines, passengers extra cautious about security May 5, 2013 12:00 AM
    Airline personnel and security agents take anything sounding remotely like a threat seriously with good reason. But sometimes it gets out of hand. Several years ago there was the passenger who caused a flight to abort and return to the gate by repeating "Bye, Bye airplane" during the safety demonstration. The passenger was considered a safety risk and removed from the flight. A reasonable response? Perhaps. Except the passenger was 18 months old.

  • Packing on the pounds can be costly for travelers Apr 7, 2013 12:00 AM
    Did you hear about the weighty subject created by a small airline based in Samoa? Apparently Samoa Air figured out a way to get their pound of flesh. Literally. They've started charging travel fees by the pound — both body and baggage are figured into the cost of a ticket. This isn't new. Small commuter carriers often have strict weight-control policies.

  • Travelers love to share stories of terrible trips Mar 3, 2013 12:00 AM
    People have the best time sharing their worst time. Go to any cocktail party, and you’re apt to hear what a terrible experience someone had on his last flight. But little annoyances can drive people to the edge. If a flight is delayed an hour, passengers become irate. Run out of coffee on a two-hour flight and someone will write a hate letter to the airline. But let it turn into a two-day sojourn, and it makes them members of an elite crowd of survivors, which gives major bragging rights.

  • Tips for keeping germs at bay at 35,000 feetFeb 3, 2013 12:00 AM
    Recently while flying back to Chicago from Cancun, Mexico, I was seated behind a couple wearing masks — the Lone Ranger style. Only they weren't trying to hide their identity. They were trying to avoid catching the flu that has become epidemic this winter. And with good reason. Half the passengers on the plane were coughing, sneezing or looking like death was imminent and in some cases would be welcome.

  • Savvy travelers can avoid airline fees Jan 6, 2013 12:00 AM
    Dave Johnson is one of those people who gets a real charge out of flying. It's not that he looks forward to long security lines and flight delays. He's talking about the fees the airlines add to the cost of travel. There are ways to fight back and avoid some of the airline fees. Here are a few suggestions.

  • Planning can help ease those holiday travel headaches Dec 2, 2012 12:00 AM
    Airport travel today is difficult for even the frequent flier, but frustrations increase at holiday times. And for senior passengers not used to dealing with long lines and heavy crowds, the challenge can be overwhelming. There are some things you can do to make the journey easier.

  • Be thankful for Thanksgiving travel options Nov 4, 2012 12:00 AM
    When the children were young, we headed across the pond each Thanksgiving. Because Europeans aren't particularly interested in what our pilgrims did, flights and hotels are often discounted. But if I were on my own — like my neighbors, I would head for a spa.

  • You don’t want to stand out when traveling abroad Oct 7, 2012 12:00 AM
    With anti-Americanism flying higher than most aircraft and world economy at it’s lowest, international travelers dressing to the nines are asking to be the target of jokes or something more serious. There are ways to avoid not standing out in a crowd.

  • Traveling alone doesn't have to be intimidating Sep 2, 2012 12:00 AM
    Last week, I received a letter from a recently widowed woman who feels her traveling days are over. "I need to get away," she said. "But I'm afraid to travel alone and have no friends my own age who'll join me. I guess I'm stuck." Not according to my old friend Jean Cowden who has been traveling alone for years.

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