Thursday, August 14, 2008

Traveller's Tips

Air Line Story
A classic story amongst British Airways cabin crews: is the story of a white South African woman who advised the cabin crew that she was unhappy sitting next to a black passenger. It appeared to the crew that the unhappy passenger was racist and the crews were eager to diffuse the situation. The stewardess returned sometime later to advise the lady that a solution to her discomfort had been devised. To diffuse the situation the air crew had offered the black guy a seat in first class…

As our cpmpany averages about 150 air trips a month, I thought it would be useful to provide a guide on the pitfalls encountered whilst travelling on business and ways to reduce the amount of stress that this causes on the individual.

Frequent Flyer Membership
If you are traveling frequently in Asia, we recommend that you buy Cathay Pacific Marco Polo membership (approx. USD25.00). Some of the benefits that membership offers includes Check in via Business Class line, priority entry onto aircraft and accumulation of air miles that allow you to be upgrade to Business class. Such benefits help you to avoid long queue times at check in and improve the travelling experience for all. .

Air Carrier
On the 12 August 1985,– Japanese Air Lines Flight 123, (a Boeing 747), crashed into Mount Osaka following a catastrophic failure of the tailplane severs all hydraulic lines and renders the aircraft uncontrollable. A total of 520 of 524 people on board are killed. It is the worst single-aircraft disaster in history. The survivors including one air stewardess located in the aft section of the plane aircraft. Although seats in the aft section are often less pleasant they have been statistically proven to be safer in the event of an air accident.

Air Line

Sometimes we are short on time to select a suitable flight for our journey. Even so it is always best to choose a flight from one of the larger more established airlines. Statistically speaking smaller airlines have the largest percentage of air accidents. The World fourth worst air accidents caused by Pan Am, JAL, Air India and Turkish Air on which 1,798 lives have been lost! In total 16,874 recorded accidents have resulted and casualties of 120,017 since 1914 to 2008. Somehow we have been selected the best airlines for our staff, however when we travel on our vacation, we should not just looking at the cost of the ticket but consider the Air Lines security too!

DVT Deep-vein thrombosis (also known as deep-venous thrombosis or DVT and colloquially as economy class syndrome) is caused by the formation of a blood clot in a deep vein. It commonly affects the leg veins, such as the femoral vein or the popliteal vein or the deep veins of the pelvis. It has the potential to cause a significant risk of blood clots within the lungs causing a pulmonary embolism.
DVT occurs in about 1 per 1000 persons and approximately 1-5% will die from the complications .There is clinical evidence to suggest that wearing compression socks or compression tights while travelling reduces the incidence of thrombosis in people on long haul flights.

Cleanliness on aircraft
The dirtiest area on the aircraft is your arm rest, entertainment control module and the table as they are not cleaned at all every haut. Try to carry Cleaning Alcohol prep and it does help to removed 99% of the bacteria on your seat.

Motion Sickness

Some passengers experience motion (air) sickness when flying. Symptoms include deep rapid breathing with cold sweats, yawning, salivation, pale skin, sudden drowsiness, nausea, and vomiting—none of which is very much fun.
Below are a few steps you can take to help minimize motion sickness:
• Avoid reading during the flight especially when there is insufficient lighting.
• Avoid alcohol 24 hours before the flight and while you're flying.
• Drink plenty of water and avoid sweet fruit juice drinks
• Keep your seat belt securely fastened while seated.
• Open the air vents to full and focus on the horizon or a fixed point a couple of feet away. Locate air-sickness bags in the seat pocket in front of you, so you can grab them quickly if you need them.

Health-Minded Packing
When you're packing for a trip, here are some suggested items you may wish to include:
•Copies of important medical records
•Medications—in their original pharmacy—labeled bottles to avoid problems with the customs.
•An extra pair of glasses or contact lenses along with enough cleaning supplies for the entire trip
•At least a week's supply of your medications-always in your carry-on luggage, rather than checked baggage

Traveler’s Tool
•A small LED torch in case of fire at night
•A reliable Travelling Alarm clock that will give you a morning call for a punctual departure
•An international power adaptor for your Note book and handphone
•A pair of slippers as hotel carpet floors may carry fungi and bacteria.
•Bring own Towel for better hygiene

Personnel Data carried on Electronic Hotel key
If possible don’t return the electronic door key to the hotel when you check out as it may contain your Name, VISA card number and your passport number (as is the case in some of the American hotels).. In my case I destroy the key or take it home as a souvenir of my trip.

Haunted hotel
There are lots of myths and rumours on some hotel rooms being haunted. I can name some in Thailand, in Germany, Hong Kong and Malaysia. If possible try to avoid staying in such rooms so that you can get a good nights sleep. If in doubt please ask me and I will tell you know the list of problematic rooms that I am aware of.

Hotel Security
If there is a safe in the hotel, try to use it to keep your valuables safe.
When in your room make sure all the latches are secure and when opening the door take care that the person or persons calling are known to you. Some of the big cities are no longer safe places to stay and you must be careful. In recent years tourists have been poisoned by spiked drinks, robbed and killed in a 5 star hotel at Shinjuku and Singapore.

Hotel Calls
Try not to use the hotel for overseas calls, it is usually 3 times more expensive than to use your hand phone for overseas call, buy a local network card is the cheapest way to call back home.

Emergency exit in Hotel
Most of the 5 star hotels are equipped with an emergency torch light and a Smoke mask in the case of a fire emergency. Some Japanese and Taiwanese have emergency fire escape ladders. Take time to understand the safety procedures in place at the hotel you are staying as it may save your life

Hong Kong frequent traveler card
Do you find yourself in long queues when you arrive in HK immigration controls. There is an official shortcut provided by the Hong Kong Airport Authority for the convenience of frequent travelers visiting Hong Kong.
If you have visited HK three times or more in the last 12 months, you can simply follow the application instruction at the Website of HKIA to obtain a “Frequent Visitor card”. It takes approx. three weeks to obtain a card that allows express immigration check in HK… so your co-flyers, your friends and other people will be envious of you! As they might have to wait for 35 minutes while you have already on your way to the City!

Tips on Avoiding Theft
Europe is generally safe when it comes to violent crime. However, it can be a very dangerous place from a petty purse-snatching, pick pocketing point of view.
Thieves thrive on confusion, crowds, and tourist traps. Here's some advice given to me by a thief who won the lotto.
Only travel about town with a day's spending money in your pocket.

Keep a low profile
•Never leave your handphone and or camera lying around where hotel workers and others can see it and be tempted.
•Keep it either around your neck or zipped safely out of sight. Luxurious luggage lures thieves.
•The thief chooses the most impressive suitcase in the pile — never mine!
•Things are much safer in your room than with you in a day bag on the streets. Hotels are a relative haven from thieves and a good resource for advice on personal safety.

On trains and at the station
On the train, be alert at stops, when thieves can dash on and off — with your bag. When sleeping on a train (or at an airport, or anywhere in public), clip or fasten your pack or suitcase to the seat, luggage rack, or yourself. Even the slight inconvenience of undoing a clip foils most thieves.
Crowding through big-city subway turnstiles is a popular way to rip off the unsuspecting tourist. Imaginative artful-dodger thief teams create a fight or commotion to distract their victims. Crowded flea markets and city buses that cover the tourist routes are prime target areas. Do not show your new powerful and expensive hand phone on the road, a thief will snap away from you as they pass by you in the street in a motorbike.
Don't use a waist pack as a money belt. Thieves assume this is where you keep your goodies.
Fasten your seat belt while you are travelling for long distance trip as you may fall asleep. That can be very dangerous if you are sleeping

Your rental car
The thieves target tourists' cars — especially at night. Don't leave anything even hinting of value in view in your parked car. Put anything worth stealing in the trunk or, better yet, in your hotel room. Leave your glove compartment open so the thief can look in without breaking in. Choose your parking place carefully. Your hotel receptionist knows what's safe and what precautions are necessary.
Make your car look local and where possible remove any reference to the rental-company. Don’t leave no tourist information lying around and place a local newspaper in the rear window. More than half of the work that European automobile glass shops do is repairing windows broken by thieves.
In Rome and Spain, the favorite pension is next to a large police station — a safe place to park.

Make yourself look local
Keep you valuable watch at home, do not show large rolls of cash in the crowded restaurant that may attract an attention of the thieves.

If you are Ripped Off...
Even the most careful traveler can get robbed or ripped off. If it happens to you, don't let it ruin your trip. Many trips start with a major rip-off, recover, and with the right attitude and very light bags, finish wonderfully.
Immediately after a theft, get a police report if you intend to make an insurance claim. Traveler's check thefts must be reported within 24 hours.
Before you set off on your trip make two sets of photocopies of your valuable documents and tickets. Pack a copy and leave a copy at home. It's easier to replace a lost or stolen plane ticket, passport, railpass, or car-rental voucher if you have a photocopy proving that you really owned what you lost. A couple of passport-type pictures you've brought from home can speed up the process of replacing a passport.

Have a safe trip back home
proof readed by Alf Progman
26 Aug 2008

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