Saturday, May 19, 2018
Business

Tips to make air travel more efficient

I have to fly a lot, and over the past four years, I've honed the art of efficient air travel to a sparkling shine. Here are my tips for the efficient flier:

Check in with the airline app. If you have your airline's free app on your phone, you can check in ahead of time, even the night before, and save yourself the worry of getting to the airport an hour before the flight. At that point, the app can also display the bar code representing your boarding pass. No paper. Just set your phone face down on the little Transportation Security Administration scanner, and you're through. Not all airlines have the bar code scanners, but the app will let you know ahead of time.

Save the pass to Passbook. If you have an iPhone, use the button called Save to Passbook. This button appears when you're viewing the bar code in the better airline apps, including those for Delta, American and United. It adds a banner representing your flight on the phone's Lock screen. So every time you need to show your boarding pass (twice in the TSA line, once at the gate), you don't have to unlock your phone, open an app and navigate to the bar code. Just wake the phone and swipe across the banner. Your bar code is there, instantaneously.

Use FlightTrack Pro. This app knows every detail about your flight — time, gate, terminal, airspeed, time remaining and so on — even before the airport monitors and airline agents do.

See whether you can bypass the TSA lines. If you fly often to certain airports, it might be worth getting the Clear card for $180 a year. It lets you jump to the front of the security line in those airports. If that's a bit rich for your blood, you should look into the TSA PreCheck program. It lets you walk through an old-style, door-frame-type security scanner — without removing your laptop, coat, shoes, belt or watch.

Carry a butterfly laptop bag. You don't have to take your laptop out of its bag to go through security. TSA-approved bags keep the laptop in a flat compartment of its own, easily visible to the scanners. So you don't need to fuss with plastic bins or worrying about leaving your laptop behind. And don't bother taking out the Kindle or tablet. E-book readers, iPads and other tablets don't have to come out of your carry-on bag to go through security.

Know what the scanner cares about. Most major airports now use the millimeter-wave scanning booths — you know, the ones where you stand still with your arms in the air as if you're being mugged. Many travelers are unduly terrified of these things. They take off their watches, rings, necklaces, glasses, belts and anything with metal — and thereby hold up the whole line. In fact, that's unnecessary.

Be brave in repacking the overhead bins. Ever since the airlines started charging for luggage, people began carrying more hand-held luggage. Here's the thing, though: You can almost always make room for one more bag by rearranging stuff that other people have already put into the overhead bins.

Pack noise-canceling headphones or cheap foam earplugs. Airplane cabins are loud. I can't imagine that it's good for your hearing to sit there for hours without ear protection, especially if you fly a lot. If you don't plan to listen to music, those cheap drugstore earplugs cut down on the sound by more than half.

Comments
Camping without the hassle: New service rents you all the gear you need, plus the car

Camping without the hassle: New service rents you all the gear you need, plus the car

One day in April, I returned from a camping trip - a quick 24 out of the city - and ran a load of laundry. Whatís more telling is what I didnít do.I didnít hose down a muddy tent, I didnít soak a shoddily cleaned pot, and I categorically did not empt...
Published: 05/19/18
Romano: Save your money, sports betting wonít be in Florida anytime soon

Romano: Save your money, sports betting wonít be in Florida anytime soon

It is the middle of the day and the beginning of the off-season at Tampa Bay Downs. That means the action is limited to simulcast wagering, and that means the televisions outnumber the bettors.The parimutuel industry is long past its heyday in Americ...
Published: 05/19/18
Son of Crabby Billís founder leaves complex legacy of troubled projects and good deeds

Son of Crabby Billís founder leaves complex legacy of troubled projects and good deeds

SOUTH PASADENA ó Like his father, who founded the Crabby Billís seafood restaurant chain, John Loder Sr. had a larger-than-life personality. That was one reason he dived into the real estate business, becoming a well-known, if at times controversial ...
Published: 05/18/18
Updated: 05/19/18
Global Tampa Bay initiative seeks to grow direct foreign investment through expanded regional teamwork

Global Tampa Bay initiative seeks to grow direct foreign investment through expanded regional teamwork

TAMPA ó A decade ago, the Great Recession put Hillsborough and Pinellas countiesí efforts to grow their foreign exports on hold.But since then those efforts have returned, gained support and momentum, expanded the range of their ambition and are now ...
Published: 05/18/18
Florida unemployment holds at 3.9 percent, state adds 9,600 jobs

Florida unemployment holds at 3.9 percent, state adds 9,600 jobs

Floridaís economy appears to have plateaued with its unemployment rate holding at 3.9 percent for the seventh straight month, according to the April report released Friday.But some economists say it may be a good thing if the rate doesnít fall much m...
Published: 05/18/18
Lawsuit over Riverwalk Place tower in downtown Tampa settled

Lawsuit over Riverwalk Place tower in downtown Tampa settled

TAMPA ó A lawsuit over the mix of residences and offices in the planned $350 million Riverwalk Place tower has been dropped.Last August, Riverwalk Tower Investment-Intown LLC, which had been expected to be one of the developers in the project, filed ...
Published: 05/18/18
Orlandoís new attractions power jump in theme park attendance

Orlandoís new attractions power jump in theme park attendance

By MIKE SCHNEIDERORLANDO ó The arms race to build new theme park attractions in Orlando is paying dividends. A new report released this week shows theme park attendance at the largest parks in North America last year was up 2.3 percent, powered by ne...
Published: 05/18/18
How Mosaicís relocation could help Tampa International Airport land a flight to Brazil

How Mosaicís relocation could help Tampa International Airport land a flight to Brazil

Tampa International covets a nonstop flight to S„o Paulo, Brazil. Mosaic Co, which is moving its headquarters to Hillsborough County, has huge holdings in the country, including several mines. Could Mosaicís relocation help TIA realize its dream? It ...
Published: 05/18/18
Remember that upscale Guy Harvey RV resort near Tarpon Springs. Forget the Guy Harvey part

Remember that upscale Guy Harvey RV resort near Tarpon Springs. Forget the Guy Harvey part

HOLIDAY ó A year ago this month, Guy Harvey Outpost Resorts announced plans for its first-ever RV park, near Tarpon Springs where the Anclote River empties into the Gulf of Mexico.The $35 million resort, named after the popular Jamaican marine artist...
Published: 05/18/18
American Dream Miami to become largest mall in U.S. after final approval

American Dream Miami to become largest mall in U.S. after final approval

MIAMI ó A gigantic $4 billion retail and entertainment complex won government approval Thursday after years of debate, greenlighting what promises to be the largest mall in North America, just a few miles from the environmentally sensitive Everglades...
Published: 05/18/18