Should You Sign Up For A Credit Card During Your Flight?

If you’ve flown in the past several months, you know the drill. Usually, but not always, towards the end of the flight, the flight attendant will come over the PA system for an announcement. While most announcements are alerting passengers of turbulence or the need to store your laptop computers, this one is different. This announcement is a sales pitch, and there’s no way to avoid it.

Airlines and their employees take different approaches. Some, like American, usually start with some phony pretense like, “We’ve had several passengers ask us during the flight how they can earn more miles!”

While some of the employees play it a little fast and loose with the details about what you’ll get with those miles, you have to wonder if it actually might be a good deal?

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Here’s How Bad LGA Is, International Travel Without Passport, Don’t Get Ripped Off By These ATMs, & More!

Happy Saturday friends, and hooray, it’s finally the weekend! Here’s a recap of what’s gone on at YMMV this week. From what we’ve written to what others wrote that we really liked and wanted to share, it’s all here, in one convenient place!

Continue reading “Here’s How Bad LGA Is, International Travel Without Passport, Don’t Get Ripped Off By These ATMs, & More!”

Why Is Flying So Expensive, & Then How Are Budget Airlines So Cheap?

I suppose if you’re into the points & miles game, flights can be expensive, but if you’re paying with cash then they can be REALLY expensive. Were they always this much? Well, yes. And sometimes no. Depending. It’s complicated.

And if you think about it, it’s just bizarre that a major airline, like Delta, American and United can charge $300 or $400 for a one-way flight across the country, while an airline like Frontier can have sales and heck, I could potentially fly to California from here in Orlando for $64 (or even $59 if I was a member of their Discount Den).

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So why are the “big guys” so expensive and how do the budget airlines manage to stay so cheap? Again, it’s complicated. But these might explain it:

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It’s Possible To Get Work Done On A Plane With No WiFi

One of the comments from business travelers is they’ll only fly on airlines that provide WiFi onboard. That WiFi needs to be fast and it needs to be dependable. Paying a reasonable cost is a factor but if work is paying for the access then it’s not as much of an issue to these travelers.

I know there are people who hold jobs where they’re sending constant messages between one another, or where access to internet-based systems is necessary. Of course for them, WiFi is a dealbreaker. Sadly, not even if they pick the most reliable airline, there’s still a chance the WiFi won’t be in service, or might be working very slow on that flight.

But what about the rest of us? The ones who use the internet to work but don’t work on the internet? Can we still work on a plane?

I recently had a couple of hours to try and get some work done while flying. I managed to pull my head away from the window to grab my laptop.

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I folded down my tray table, which was a workable size. We paid extra for the Stretch seats on Frontier and I opened up my laptop.

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Yep, Still working on the ancient MacBook Air and not the brand new iPad Pro.

I decided maybe I’d try to write some articles. Of course, when I pulled up the browser tab for WordPress, it reminded me I had no internet connection.

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I just tabbed through the open windows and ended up at a Google Docs file I had open. Amazingly, it was still there. Even crazier was that I could edit the document and it told the changes were being saved offline.

Normally, if I wanted to write anything while offline, I’d just go to my notepad, MS Word or even an email message to type. However, I’d prefer to write in Google Docs. I tried to open an entirely new document, and it worked.

I typed away until the end of the flight when I needed to shut down the computer (I copied all my work to an email, just in case this didn’t work).

When we got to the airport, I connected to the airport WiFi (thanks to Austin Airport for the great free WiFi). My Google Doc uploaded to my account as normal.

I was amazed that I could be working on a web-based app with no internet coverage. I looked into this and it’s a feature of Google Drive apps when used with the Chrome browser.

If you aren’t connected to the Internet, you can still view and edit files, including:

  • Google Docs
  • Google Sheets
  • Google Slides

Save and open Google Docs, Sheets & Slides offline

Before you turn on offline access

  • You must be connected to the internet.
  • You must use the Google Chrome browser.
  • Don’t use private browsing.
  • Install and turn on Google Docs Offline Chrome extension.
  • Make sure you have enough available space on your device to save your files.

Open Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides offline

  1. Open Chrome. Make sure you’re signed in to Chrome.
  2. Go to drive.google.com/drive/settings.
  3. Check the box next to “Sync Google Docs, Sheets, Slides & Drawings files to this computer so that you can edit offline.”

Save Google Docs, Sheets & Slides for offline use

  1. On your computer, go to drive.google.com.
  2. Right click the Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides file you want to save offline.
  3. Turn on “Available offline.”

To save multiple files offline, press Shift or Command (Mac)/Ctrl (Windows) while you click other files.

Preview offline files

  1. On your computer, go to drive.google.com.
    • Make sure you turn on offline access first.
  2. At the top right, click Ready for offline Ready for offline.
  3. Click Offline preview.

Final Thoughts

I may be the last one to know about this but after hearing so many complaints about not being able to work on planes with no WiFi, I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to get some work one on this flight. I didn’t have a power plug but since I had the WiFi and Bluetooth off, my battery only went down to 65% for the 2 hours of work

I was always able to work by just typing text into notepad but the process of copying and pasting the text, and lack of proper formatting just made everything so tedious. The ability to look at my current documents, edit them if necessary and compose completely new ones while offline is a new thing for me and one I’ll be using again in the future.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

Frontier Says All Those Checked Baggage Fees Are Good For The Environment

Frontier is currently celebrating their “Green Week.” It’s a promotion that’s pointing out all of the environmentally friendly actions that the airline has made over the years. They even offered to fly anyone with the last name Green(e) for free, and over 1,700 people took them up on the offer.

It’s true that Frontier has the lowest carbon footprint per passenger mile of all the major US airlines.

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There are many things that airlines do to improve efficiency but Frontier’s advantage is the relatively young age of their fleet, which have more fuel-efficient engines and are lighter than their older counterparts.

But you know what Frontier is telling passengers on their planes is the cause for their supergreenness? Charging passengers all those baggage fees.

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