Faith In United

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Faith In United

“Doing the right thing is more important than doing the thing right” .Peter F. Drucker

Years of pent up anger against the airlines was released when a passenger was dragged off a flight. It wasn’t pretty. Everyone is mad at the airlines about something. There are fees upon fees upon fees. Boarding is a mess.There are many airline and TSA personnel that act like they are having a bad day and taking it out on you for no reason. There are  weird overhead bin policies and very overcrowded planes. There are no handicapped bathrooms. It feels like  airline company decisions were made for profit only. No one seemed to care about their customers. They changed the rules to suit themselves and airline travel feels a lot harder than it used to be.

 I lost my iPod and expensive Bose noise cancelling headphones on my recent return flights from Iceland. I didn’t bother to be on hold for an hour to try and track it down because I didn’t know where it could be. I just assumed that someone would take it. 

 Today almost a month later, I received a phone call from Julie at United Airlines Lost and Found asking if I lost something. I hadn’t flown back on United and was about to say no but instead I said “Wait, did you find my iPod? And my headphones?”  She said “Yes.” “But I didn’t fly on United Airlines. How did you find me?” “Your name was in your iPod (not locked). We emailed you twice. (I get a lot of airline email). And you have a frequent flier number so we found your phone number.”

 I wonder how many hands this IPod passed through to get to Julie. Was it a United Airlines person that picked it up in the airport when I was changing planes? Did someone from Icelandair hand it to another person in San Francisco? I asked what I could do and she said, “Just tell people you had a good  experience with United Airlines.”

We want the airlines to be better. We want their employees to smile and be helpful. I try to live my life with the idea that karma is real. Why is it so remarkable to me that I got my iPod back from a different airline and that someone went out of their way to find the owner? I wonder how many people did the right thing here. It looks to me like both people and United Airlines are trying to be better and I should have some faith in the world and also give United another chance..  

Fly safe,

JAZ

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Ten Things That I Don’t Travel Without

Ten Things That I Don’t Travel Without

“He who must travel happily must travel light” Antoine St Exupery

Packing properly is an art form. Some travelers strike the perfect balance and bring just what they need. I’m not one of them but this helps me. Pick your ten most important things and then add to them. Socks, bathing suit, a long skirt,hat (or I buy one when i get there), underwear, makeup, toilet articles, medicine, umbrella, mini flashlight and few changes of weather appropriate clothing are a given for me to add in and then I’m done.

1. A Moleskin notebook and a cool pen. This is my homage to Hemingway – even though I also usually have an iPad.

2. Hanes wife beaters.  I hate the name but love the 100 per cent cotton.

3. Asthma medicine – I have asthma.

4. Lucky jewelry. I used to wear a red string bracelet when I was into Kabbalah.  I do like a red bracelet for flying (Asian lucky color) or an evil eye on a chain or bracelet. A necklace  made from a shell, piece of glass or a full circle charm is always good. I bring cheap beaded bracelets from other trips in the hopes of finding more.   I like wearing something that looks like I might have found it on beach or has some lucky meaning from a different country – something that looks valueless to anyone but me.

5. Two cameras, extra memory card and battery.  I have bad camera luck.

6. iPod and good sound canceling headphones. I like Bose.  I dont like small planes and they block out the noise.

7. A few pair of leggings or jeggings. This is something I never wear at home but packs well, can be dressed up or down,  layered for warmth. or rolled up if its hot.

8. Flat shoes. Also something else I never wear at home and sneakers something I do wear.

9. Jelly Bellys.They are my favorite superfood. I love finding them in the middle of the jungle in my suitcase. I also bring Protein Bars because I get low blood sugar.

10. Lots of glasses and sunglasses –  because I need them.

My big problem is resisting that last-minute urge to stick other things in if I have room – extra t-shirts, shoes, another skirt or sweater – I never end up wearing them and I’m always repacking them. I’ve learned from the French to always throw in some scarves . They can be decorative or functional.  Now if I only I can learn to tie and drape them in the way that only the French can. From my photos, I can see that I now have a travel uniform. Whatever works.

Fly safe,

JAZ