Ouch! Seat-Squashed Passenger Sues British Airways

According to The Guardian, the angry guy claims his seatmate weighed more than 300 pounds. Throughout the long flight, the unlucky passenger was so uncomfortable with overflowing blubber pressing him, he says it caused him physical injuries.

The legal charges haven’t been processed yet, but many senior flyers can sympathize with the squeezed victim. It’s a well-known fact that airlines continue to reduce passenger cheap seat areas to be able to load more paying customers aboard.

When it happens to you, there may be a solution. If nearby cheap seats aren’t filled just before take-off and aircraft doors are being closed, immediately ask the flight attendant to move you to another seat in the same section. Or smile politely and suggest a higher-class area at no extra charge.

Cruise ship auctions: Honest or rip-offs? PDF Print E-mail

Mona Lisa w/sunglasses

Q: On several recent sailings we’ve wandered into the scheduled art auctions that seem to be a feature of every cruise. The art displayed is usually very colorful and splashy, often obvious copies of the styles of Picasso, Van Gogh, Matisse and other impressionists. From education (BFA, Philly Museum College of Art) and experience, we’re a bit suspicious of the deals. Are those shipboard auctions OK or a bad deal?

Las Vegas swim pools: Must you bare it all? PDF Print E-mail

Venus di Milo

We’ve been asked by some of our more modest senior travelers about nude and topless bathing in Las Vegas swimming pools. They don’t want to show up for a sun and swim and be shown up by a bunch of younger, firmer people who are proud to bare it all.

This just seems to be a complaint here in the U.S. Although nudity never seems to bother seniors who are familiar with bare-it-all beaches in France, the Caribbean and elsewhere, but nude hotel poolsides in Vegas may bother them.

Yes, there are a few Vegas resorts that allow topless bathing in certain private, screened-off pool areas. Don’t worry about doing your more covered-up sunning, because in all hotels and resorts, you’ll find the major pool areas occupied by fully-swimsuited adults and kids.

Suggestion: If you haven’t selected the resort or hotel yet for your Vegas visit, check the bare facts with your online or hometown travel agency about where the topless pools are located. Then, you can make your plans accordingly. But, always remember, Vegas isn’t called Sin City for nothing.

Are frequent flyer seats a thing of the past? PDF Print E-mail

Empty airline seats

Q: I travel for business and add up lots of frequent flyer points. However, lately when I try to get the free flights the airlines promise all the time, it seems there are never any FF seats on the flight I want. What can I do about it?

A: Frankly, we wonder about that all the time. Sometimes we’ve been lucky to get the exact flight we want with our FF points for free. Other times, if we had to change our flight schedule on a free flight, we were charge $50 or so to get on another flight that day.

And the most frustrating times were when we were told that FF seats on a flight were a limited number and we couldn’t use our credits for a flight of our choice. Then, when we paid and boarded the flight, it was half full.

Oslo Navy cadets greet Norwegian Dream PDF Print E-mail

Norway sailors greet cruise ship

Flight right: Stuff your eight pockets PDF Print E-mail

Couple running cartoon

Forget heavy bags; use coat of many pockets

You’ve finally figured out how to fly by leaving the big suitcase at home and saving about $25 a flight per fat bag. For your major stuff, you can now cram it all into a handy wheeled carry-on and be on your happy way.

However, even as you wheel through the airport, there is usually other stuff, like wallets, small handbags, tickets and other take-alongs that make you feel all loaded down. What you can do to relieve that is to wear a coat with lots of pockets in it.

It’s something we’ve been doing for years. We fly wearing lightweight jackets that have four large outside and four deep inside pockets, all with cover flaps that zip or button. The first advantage is that in one pocket, we always have tickets, ID and other items immediately ready to show in a flash.

Also, we pack items in the coat pockets we need in flight or in the terminal: cell phone, wallet, passport, snacks, paperbacks, CD player, pens, pencils, small digital camera and a host of other items. If stashed right, the jackets make everything much easier.

You can probably find an eight-pocket jacket for you that looks neat, but can be a walking suitcase, at your local clothing or big box department store. There are also companies that advertise their coats online, including scottevest.com.


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