Posts Tagged 'planes'

A Map of Air Travel in 1929

Flying across the country is a whole lot easier than it used to be. Today you can spend a few hundred bucks to get a non-stop flight from New York to San Francisco and you can get there in about 6 hours. Back in the twenties though that whole long-distance air travel thing was a lot more complicated. Even though great advances in aviation were made during that decade like Charles Lindburgh’s first non-stop flight across the Atlantic Ocean and the advent of in-flight entertainment, flying was still quite new, dangerous, and lacked much of the infrastructure that airlines heavily rely on today.

The David Rumsey map collection has an incredible flight map of America from 1929 and it shows you how difficult it would be to cross our country as quickly as possible back then. A trip from New York to San Francisco back then would require several train rides over hundreds of miles and layovers at fourteen different airports. Even though back then there were planes like The Spirit of St. Louis that were able to fly over 3000 non-stop miles, those planes were only designed to hold one or two people. The earliest passenger planes of that era had to carry far more people and weight and therefore had a much shorter range. It really is amazing how quickly commercial aviation has advanced to the point where almost anyone can hop on a plane and cross a continent or an ocean in the course of a few hours. It is something that our ancestors would be quite envious of.

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Five Tech Accessories You Should Have When Traveling

The recent advances in portable consumer electronics have made made the dull parts of travel much more bearable. With tablets and smartphones we can have access a library of books, music, and video games in a device that fits in the palms of our hands and are capable of accessing a broadband internet connection. However, all of those devices require power to recharge their batteries and headphones to hear sound and travel can complicate your access to that necessary infrastructure. Here are five accessories that Forbes found that can minimize the complications travel causes that keeps you from your tablets and smartphones on the road:

Retractable Cables: Having long cables is nice when you need them but they can easily become a tangled mess in your luggage when you’re not using them. The solution to that are retractable USB cables. They will give you length when you need it and stay compact and organized when you don’t.

USB Wall Chargers: If you have multiple devices that need charging, these things are perfect especially if outlets are limited as they are in many hotels and airports. With one of these things you can charge up two devices simultaneously without a computer. These also come in a form that can plug into your car’s cigarette lighter if you travel by car. Best of all you can get these for less than $10 online.

Mini Power Strip – When you’re in places where outlet access is limited, these are perfect. Having one of these handy means you’ll have less fighting over limited outlets as well as easier access to the power if the outlet is hidden behind a piece of furniture.

Backup headphones and ear tips – How many times have you lost a pair of headphones or had a speaker go out in a pair? This happens all the time and when it happens it is often at one of the most inopportune times like when you’re traveling. If you look around on the internet you can find some good quality headphones for around $10. However, if you’re stuck without headphones in an airport those same headphones will be double or triple the online cost. Best to save that money when you’re not traveling. It’s also worth it to invest in extra ear tips if you have ear buds because they have a tendency to get lost too.

Battery Packs – What if you’re traveling to a place that not only has limited outlets, but no outlets or power at all? A portable battery pack with USB ports is a great thing to invest in if you can’t ever tolerate your phone or tablet running out of juice. These batteries are about the size of a smartphone and can recharge your electronics no matter where you are in the world (until it runs out of power itself). These are also great to have handy in emergency situations like natural disasters where power is out for days at a time. I would have loved to have had one of those after Hurricane Sandy.

Churchill has short-term corporate housing available Nationwide. Please contact us at 866-255-0593 or for more information.

Five Ways To Make Air Travel Easier

We’re fast approaching the summer and with it much busier airports. Less frequent air travelers are far more likely to take to the skies in the summer for their vacation and their flying inexperience can irk more seasoned travelers. They’re not as familiar with things all of the rules regarding airport security and the etiquette of storing carry-on luggage. Forbes recently wrote a piece outlining five simple things you can do to improve your flying experience no matter how frequently you fly and it is incredibly sound advice. Here’s what they recommend:

Avoid Flying During Peak Hours – Peak hours for flight departures are between 7:00 am and 9:00 am and between 4:00 pm and 7:00 pm. Avoiding these hours will result in shorter lines through security and your plane will be more likely to board and take off on time. The most reliable departure time is by far the 6:00 am flights because the plane is just about guaranteed to be at the airport for the first flight of the day.

Board Without Baggage – Being able to not check bags is wonderful. If all you have are carry-ons you can be out of the airport shortly after your flight lands instead of waiting at a baggage claim and you don’t have to pay any baggage fees. However, airlines are starting to get more strict about what types of bags you can and can’t carry on as fights over overhead compartments become more and more common. If you have luggage you might otherwise have to check consider shipping it to your destination in advance as an alternative.

Grab The Bulkhead – Bulkhead seats have a number of advantages. These include more legroom, easier access to the bathroom, being the first to get snacks and drinks, and getting off the plane quicker when it lands. Keep in mind that airlines may charge more for these seats. A full list of the pros and cons of bulkhead seating can be found here.

Study Airport Maps – Not only does it help to know where you’re going when you have to transfer to another flight, but knowing information like the location of restaurants and bathrooms is incredibly very useful. If you already have an idea of where everything is in an unfamiliar airport, it can greatly reduce the amount of stress you feel during a layover.

Be Nice – Air travel can be incredibly stressful and that stress puts many passengers in a bad mood when they fly. However stressed you may feel, don’t take it out on the airline staff. They have to deal with cranky people all day who have problems that they’re in no position to solve. Even if you’re feeling cranky be polite to everyone. Being polite will get you far better service than being rude. Also if you are well prepared to deal with the unexpected that can make the process of air travel far less stressful for everyone. I’ve also found from personal experience that giving a flight attendant a piece of candy will instantly make you their favorite passenger.

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6 Secrets for Saving on Summer Airfare’s article “6 Money-Saving Summer Airfare Secrets” has some excellent tips on how to save money while planning a summer vacation.

1. Use Airline Consolidators: Airline ticket resellers work with larger travel companies to sell tickets at reduced prices. Consolidators are wholesales that buy in bulk. Since they have existing relationships, travel agents can purchase tickets from consolidators and then sell them to consumers. Thanks to the internet, you can now bypass the travel agent and book directly with a consolidator to get the reduced rate. The best rates are usually found for international, US domestic business and first class flights.

Here is a list of consolidators:

2. Book in Advance: The general rule of thumb when trying to find inexpensive flights is that the more available seats there are on the plane, the cheaper the ticket. Booking well in advance is your best bet., a minimum of 21 weeks before your desired departure. If 21 weeks have come and gone, some airlines (listed below) offer discounts at 14 days, seven days, and sometimes even three days before a departure date.

3. Clear Your Web Browser History: All booking sites record your web browsing data and some, such as Travelocity, use this information to raise prices when you’re interested in a flight. If you clear your web browsing data (a/k/a cache), you’re more likely to find the original price you came across.

4. Be Flexible about Dates: This is considered the number one way to save when it comes to booking a flight. The cheapest days to fly are usually Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday. Booking agents now offer a “flexible date” search so finding the cheapest flight is easier. Sites that offer this search are below.

5. Research Airline Hubs: Every airline has a “hub” where the majority of their flights arrives and departs. Flights to and from these hubs are inexpensive because there are more flights to choose from. If your final destination isn’t a major hub, check prices to that hub first and then look for an additional flight from the hub to your final destination. You may have a layover but you will save a lot of money in the process.

6. Book on the Right Day: A study done by claims that the top fare deals are found early in the week, specifically on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday when the airlines post discount prices. A trick used by travel agents is to search for flights three days before and after an intended departure. This can help save a few hundred off international flights. But remember tip 3 and clear your history.

Happy Travels!


Churchill has short-term corporate housing available Nationwide. Please contact us at 866-255-0593 or for more information.