Good luck trying to open your laptop to prepare for a meeting while
wedged into a middle seat near the engine in economy class or on the
aisle by the restrooms.
SeatGuru.com provides seating maps and aircraft information for 29
airlines, with comments and observations from users about specific
seats and charts that allow travelers to compare seating options
across multiple airlines.
Armed with this information and some simple strategies, you should
be able to fly to your next business meeting with ease.
Make your seat selection when you book, as far in advance as
Business travelers don't have as much flexibility as leisure
travelers for planning, but choosing a seat as soon as you book is
the best way to assure a comfortable flight.
Check in online
Checking in online is a good idea for last-minute seat selection. It
saves travelers the trouble of arriving very early to get some of
the choice seats that open up just before the flight.
Most carriers will allow you to select the exit rows or the
bulkheads. Those seats become available on the day of travel or via
the 24 hours in advance when you're allowed to check in online.
height of comfort and convenience for one traveler will make another
frequent flier squirm. SeatGuru.com provides specifics on seat width
and available legroom and color codes seats that might present
problems for some travelers, as well as seats that are considered
poor across the board.
Seats near the lavatories generally receive poor reviews f users,
but some fliers like the easy access. Nine out of 10 people say I
don't like sitting next to the bathroom, out one out of 10 says,
hey, that's great. That's my favorite seat.
flat seats some carriers offer in first and business classes also
receive mixed reviews. Often the flat seats are positioned at a
slight angle, making it difficult to get and stay situated. Consider
your own requirements for comfort and select a seat accordingly.
Inquiring with a gate agent may yield some extra space. You
might be able to do that before you get on the plane and get your
own row because it's an empty flight.
These days it's not happening quite as often because the airlines
are filling planes better than ever before, but it's still worth a
Traveling companions may also want to try reserving a window and an
aisle seat in the same row in hopes of keeping the middle seat
empty. That strategy has limited success, but when it does work
you're happy to have that extra seat between you to stretch out or
put something in that seat.
Stay loyal for
you're flying with frequency it does make sense to try to pick an
airline and stick with it.
will pay off in getting better seats both in economy and also
potentially getting upgrades
Caribbean's Off-Season Rates Worth Risk Of Hurricane
Hurricane season, even if no hurricanes cross your path, can be
problematic. Most hurricane-related travel issues hinge on the
definition of ''bad weather,'' which ranges from inclement to
catastrophic with all the gray in between.
Suppose you see a hurricane on the weather map
heading in the direction of your island, so you cancel air and hotel
reservations, and the hurricane goes elsewhere. Picture yourself
calling the hotel and trying to get a refund because of the
hurricane, when 100 hotel guests are on the beach at that very
minute soaking up the sun.
No, you're not getting your money back, and you
might not get your money back even if the hotel was blown away. The
locally owned resort may decide it doesn't have to give refunds for
acts of God, and, in fact, may not have any money to give after a
If the flights, or cruise, left as planned, there will be no refunds
But it's also true that hurricane season lasts from June 1 through
Nov. 30, half a year -- a big chunk of premium snorkeling and beach
time not to go to the Caribbean.
Here are some tips for avoiding stormy weather with your money still
in your pocket:
• Book your vacation with a resort that has a hurricane guarantee
like Sandals and Beaches All-Inclusive Resorts. In the
unlikely event that hurricane force winds hit a Sandals or Beaches
resorts while you are a guest, Sandals or Beaches Resorts will offer
a free replacement vacation to be taken at any Sandals or Beaches
Resort of your choice. This replacement stay will be for the same
duration as the one originally booked, regardless of how many days
were affected by the hurricane. The replacement stay will be in an
equivalent room category to the one originally booked.
• Use a travel agent for cruises, flights and hotels. You will have
someone working on your behalf, and they can often arrange what you
can't. They can offer immediate assistance and help with
alternatives. It will not cost you more to use a travel agent
because the resort pays the agent, not you.
• Use a credit card. In theory, you can't be charged for something
you don't receive, such as a hotel room. But this, too, can be
tricky when you're trying to get a refund on your non-refundable
deposit because you say a hurricane was coming but the hotel said
the weather was beautiful. At least, though, you have the credit
card company to speak for you.
• Buy travel insurance. Insurance offers some peace of mind, but
read the fine print, before you buy. Travel agents can suggest a
variety of companies such as Access America, HTH Worldwide, Travelex
Insurance Services, TravelGuard and CSA Travel Protection. At
www.TravelInsuranceCenter.com and www.totaltravelinsurance.com, you
can compare policies online and examine the fine print to make sure
your vacation will be covered.
Bottom line: Your chances of running into a hurricane in the
Caribbean or the U.S. East Coast are very small. Keep an eye on the
weather map, and any storms brewing off Africa's west coast, and
then relax and enjoy the trip.
Remember: Without a travel agent you're on
To sign-up for our twice monthly
"specials" newsletter for Cruises, Tours and Vacation Packages,
at any time)