Well-Mannered Traveler

Tools for travelers: Inc.com’s Quick Hits blog


Inc.com has a new blog –  Quick Hits – filled with tips, discounts and freebies for business-related tools, services, and products.

Looks like travel tips are on the agenda as well:  this week’s blog entries include a review of the pricey Visa Black Card (it includes concierge service) and a link to my recent MSNBC.com column  Money Saving Tips for Tightwad Travelers.

Spooky, kooky and unpredictable flight stories

Halloween is here and hopefully you have a bowl of candy at the ready for the Trick-or-Treaters. Before they start banging on the door, grab some of those mini Snickers bars and read some of the scary travel stories folks sent me for this week’s Well Mannered Traveler column on MSNBC.com.

Gregg Rottler, curator of Flights from Hell Web site, helped me choose the stories to publish, but there were loads we didn’t have room for.  And a couple I didn’t quite believe…

(Illustration by MSNBC’s Duane Hoffman)

Scary air travel stories – just in time for Halloween

(Illustration by MSNBC.com’s Duane Hoffman)

Earlier this month, TSA officers scanning luggage at the Tucson International Airport (TUS) discovered a human skull inside a passenger’s suitcase. When pulled off the plane and questioned, the woman told police that the skull wasn’t technically hers (it belonged to her boyfriend), that it had been sitting in her garden for years and that it was scheduled to be a Halloween prop.

According to news reports, police searched the woman’s home, a medical examiner confirmed that the skull was “not fresh” (my words, not his) and the woman was allowed to, ahem, head on north to Philadelphia and complete her trip.

The skull stayed behind.

This is just one of the recent scary travel stories, “ripped from the headlines,” included in my Well-Mannered Traveler column on MSNBC.com this week. With Halloween still a week away, I’m asking MSNBC readers – and you – to send in more spooky travel adventure tales.

The best stories will mysteriously show up in next week’s column. I even have a guest curator lined up.

Fresh amenities for pooped out travelers

I had a great time hanging out in the exhibit hall at the ACI World/North America Conference in Boston last week. I filled a tote bag with glossy brochures, free pens, and assorted fun doodads, and came home with a list of products, amenities and services that would be helpful for travelers when they’re stuck at the airport.

I write about some of the stand-outs in my Well Mannered Traveler column posted on MSNBC.com today.

(The folks at Step N’ Wash are getting these retracting step stools installed in many airports. )

Extra help for holiday travel

As summer winds down, the bad news about air travel just keeps piling up.

Airlines are announcing system-wide route cuts while hiking fees for everything from checking bags to serving snacks and water. And while fuel prices are finally dipping, airfares are not — nor are the irritations associated with flying.

(Column illustration by Kim Carney, MSNBC.com)

But while many of us may be planning on sticking close to home this Labor Day weekend and beyond – plenty of folks will be cruising the Internet looking for reasonable – or acceptable – fares for the next set of holidays. So in my Well-Mannered Traveler column posted today on MSNBC.com, I offer up a wee bit of help and, hopefully, some fresh tips.

Feel free to add some of your own here.