7 Quick Fixes for Common Executive Travel Headaches

Executive Travel Complaints

No matter how you pitch it, executive travel is a pain — worsened by crummy customer service and an ever shrinking list of bygone amenities.  Perhaps the airlines are just overwhelmed by harried, cranky executives in a rush to get where they are going.  Maybe the issue is more systemic.  The root of  the trouble is beyond the scope of this article.  In speaking with multiple passengers a pattern has emerged.  This has been a pattern of symptoms-6 to be exact.  It is my belief that multiple fixes to these common problems can make executive travel a little less painful.

Power Outlets: How many times have you wandered around in circles at the airport frantically searching for an electrical outlet? I have even seen some passengers crouched in the smelliest, nastiest or airport corners, just to get some juice to their devices. Why must it be this way? Here’s a million dollar marketing idea for all major airports.  “fly the friendly skies and never be caught without juice!” 

Seats that don’t recline: This is truly ingratiating.  It’s a bad day at black rock when you are the passenger to have the luck to receive the seat that has a recline button, but only moves back 5 mm.  The worst part is when you finally find that ‘comfort zone’ and the airline attendant hurries you to put your seat back into its full and upright position.

The Cabin P.A: Many passengers that travel often agree that The cabin P.A. Really should only be used for pertinent and urgent messages.  This means no chit chat, talk of the weather, altitude and smarmy comments.  Do you really care what the weather is going to be like when you arrive?   Honestly, that’s what weather widgets are for on your iphone.  I cant tell you how many clients have told me about how great that Ben stiller flick was until it was interrupted by slick pitchy quips-In four languages!

Checking in: This one can really be dependent on the airline and the destination. the deadline and final cut off for boarding pass self check-in kiosks is usually 30-60 minutes before departure. Really?  Why not just give the passenger a running chance to make it to the gate. Most people understand that customs and security are the real hurdle to a smooth check in process. I firmly believe that airlines should at least give their passengers a shot at making it past these obstacles-particularly for many executive travelers with no check in baggage. (*Quick tip: If you ask the right way, the desk agent can call the gate and have them authorize a boarding pass.)

 Lounge rules: Some airlines will grant you access to the executive the lounge only if you are flying internationally. But since when did Mexico and Canada become the 51st and 52nd  states? Many airlines are now designating domestic rules to destinations in Canada or Mexico, no matter how long the flight is.  If you haven’t been to an airport lounge, it’s basically a bunch of  plush couches, plenty of outlets, complimentary snacks an open bar-sometimes even free Wi Fi.  Only a few years ago a travelers’ entry was dependent on their loyalty-card status or the mileage plan on their credit cards. But today it’s becoming unclear. For example, if you are with Star Alliance, and have a gold status, you can get into the lounge without any difficulty – if you are flying international. Usually you can plus one but the guest must be flying Star Alliance, as well. These strange policies are especially vexing because you just never do know. And, ultimately what is the differential cost to the lounge of allowing one more person in?
Poor Ground Transportation: Nothing worse than arriving at the terminal after a long flight and having to look for your driver.  Your ground transportation provider should have a proven track record and an ontime guaranty.  The chauffeur should know the airport and terminal layout like the back of his hand.  Having dependable airport sedan service can also make the difference between missing or making your flight, so choose wisely

Alcohol policy: Throwing a few back can be an easy way to put yourself in dreamland for that long flight.  However, many people ask, why is it that you can bring a personalized pan pizza and Pepsi from the airport concession stand on board but not a Budweiser?

I don’t think That these demands are beyond reason — although to be honest I do miss the free Honey Glazed peanuts!  What would you like to see?

Special thanks:Tom Szaky, nytimes.com

Image: Optimizedexecutive.com

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