It’s not as if airline staffers do not smile and greet travellers. Most of the times though, the smile does not reach the eyes and is a mechanical chant, a standard “customer-friendly” operating procedure.
There is one act however from our side that is guaranteed to bring forth a genuine “thank you” from one group of staffers…those who tear off ticket stubs from boarding passes.
I always web check-in. Irrespective of the airline, the self-printed boarding pass also needs to be divided into two unequal halves. When you present your boarding pass to the stub-collecting staffer, it takes that extra minute for him/her to tear it. There is a specific way they speed things up, by folding the paper before tearing it off…but it still takes time…and this cumulatively adds to the boarding time for the airline.
If you tear the boarding pass yourself and present the staffer with the “agent copy”, he/she will actually look up with genuine gratitude and say “thank you”. Since very few people actually take the trouble to do this, the “thank you” is spontaneous and real.
Try it out the next time you web check-in and let me know.
Three-four years ago, I picked up a four-wheel Tumi. I have never looked back since…and literally. When you have a two-wheel stroller, the bag is behind you and you have to pull it at an angle. This takes some effort and if there is carpet (e.g. T3 Delhi) instead of a tile or granite floor, the effort is that much more. With a four-wheeler, you have to push the bag in front of you instead of pulling…and trust me… pushing a bag is much, much simpler and takes much less energy than pulling one.
The older you get and especially if you have shoulder problems, there is nothing like a four-wheeler to help make your travel a shade that much easier. The downside? The bags are a little more expensive and for the same outer size, the inner capacity goes down by a cm or so to accommodate the extra wheels. But that is a small price to pay for comfort. Oh…and you must buy a bag that is the lightest possible.
It is all about how much the body can take.
In my 30s, I had only one goal…to optimize my travel time and spend as little time outside Mumbai as possible, both in flight and at the destination. This meant taking ridiculous 5.30AM flights to Ahmedabad, which in turn would mean getting up at 4.00AM, dashing to the airport, trying to sleep on flight and then rushing back home the same day.
I can’t do this anymore. Early morning pre 7.00AM flights and domestic flights that land beyond 9.00PM are hell and make it very difficult to function either during the day or the next day. The better thing to do if it’s practically possible, is to take a flight the previous day in the late afternoon or evening, spend a relaxed night at the destination (and it helps if the hotel is comfortable), get up without stress in the morning, perhaps go for a run in a new city, have a relaxed breakfast and then be ready to start work. Typically, since you can begin work early, you can wrap up early as well and be ready to head back home by late afternoon / evening.
This does not optimize travel time…but it sure as hell prevents physical and in turn, mental stress.
Have similar tips to share?