Kongo returned to the USA on Wednesday after a 14-day Danube River cruise aboard the AMA DOLCE, one of the newest ships in the AMAWaterways fleet. This is a review of that trip. If you’ve ever considered taking this type of cruise I hope you continue reading.
Kongo travels more than 200,000 miles on domestic flights within the USA along with a few passport-stamping expeditions overseas each year. As a very frequent flier, recurrent car renter, and serial hotel guest he has picked up a few useful tips and pet peeves about navigating airports, airplanes, rental car counters, hotel check-ins, and getting around in strange places.
Is there really a secret system that “those in the know” use to always get first class airplane seats and suites at the best hotels? Yes, actually there is a system and it’s pretty simple.
Kongo often reads with a high degree of admiration the hostel reviews written by brave travelers in exotic destinations. This isn’t one of those reviews. Kongo just doesn’t do hostels, frankly, and his idea of roughing it are defined by other parameters. But Kongo does realize that there are all types of travelers and many different ideas about what constitutes acceptable lodging. The Grand Hyatt in San Francisco is (in Kongo’s humble opinion) one of those places that qualifies as very acceptable lodging.
Do our personalities change when we fly? If you score an upgrade are you suddenly superior to the poor schmuck with the same mileage status who ended up in a middle seat when his earlier flight was cancelled?
Watching people on airplanes is always a favorite pastime. I am always amazed at the levels of cluelessness, arrogance, humanity, panache, obnoxiousness, and just plane rudeness I see on my frequent travels.
The following are a few observations I’ve learned to avoid being plane stupid in the sky.