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The Wall Street Journal Guide To Power Travel: How to Arrive with Your Dignity, Sanity, and Wallet Intact [Paperback]

Scott Mccartney

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Book Description

April 13 2009 Wall Street Journal

Imagine a world without late planes, missed connections, lost luggage, bumped passengers, cramped seating, high fees and higher fares, surly employees, and security lines. . . .

Ordinary travel is an extraordinary ordeal. Yet despite the high prices and huge hassles, travel is essential—along with the need for tips, tricks, and techniques to improve the journey. The Wall Street Journal Guide to Power Travel is an entertaining road trip and a helpful guide, drawn from Scott McCartney's popular Middle Seat column, which explains why bad things happen to good travelers and what you can do to improve your lot. Expert advice and tips include:

  • How to get cheap fares, first-class upgrades, and better seats.
  • How to minimize chances of lost luggage and what to do when baggage doesn't show up.
  • How to avoid delays, get around TSA bottlenecks, and minimize the chances you'll get stuck at some distant airport—and what to do if you do get stuck.
  • How to complain to an airline and get some attention, right down to what to ask for in compensation and how to get the government's attention.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Business; Original edition (April 13 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061688711
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061688713
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.8 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,078,938 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Scott McCartney is the author of three books. A veteran journalist and licensed private pilot, he has been explaining airlines and travel to readers of The Wall Street Journal for more than a decade. He lives in Dallas, Texas.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars  12 reviews
60 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Change your attitude and travel powerful May 16 2009
By Rocco Stats - Published on
The author is clearly knowledgeable and is succinct & engaging. This small book has two major stories to tell about traveling well. The first is how and why bad things happen, despite your best planning. We are all traveling in an uncertain environment, orchestrated by overworked people and often frustrating fellow travelers. The author explains why many of these difficulties occur and how to handle them; this is expected and welcome. We all become smarter travelers.
The second and perhaps the more important message is how to change your attitude to enjoy travel more, and effectively cope with bad surprises and even find opportunity for extra, fun, pleasure and pampering when available. We can't control the many disasters big & small, but we can switch to clever mode and put ourselves into the best position to get whatever redress is possible; sort of switching to ninja recovery mode. Highly recommended, especially if you tend to blow your top when inevitable messes occur and "service" personnel drop the ball. Mini handbook to become calibrated travelers: smart and in control.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Packed with useful suggestions that will make trips easier for both novice and veteran travelers. Nov. 1 2009
By Blaine Greenfield - Published on
paper's Middle Seat columnist, is packed with useful suggestions
that will make trips easier for both novice and veteran travelers.

For example, when it comes to improving your bags' chances
for arriving at your destination, the author recommends:

* Always mark your bags distinctly, but not with long ribbons
that could get caught in machinery. Use tape, or tightly tied
package ribbon, directly on the bag. And don't rely on big luggage
tags-they can get torn off. Baggage has become uniformly
boring black these days, and there's nothing worse than seeing fifty
similar black bags on a carousel. Colorful identifying marks not
only make it easier for you to spot your bag, but also keep other
people from picking up the wrong bag-unless, of course, eight
people on your flight all had black bags with yellow ribbons.

Yet when it comes to what luggage you should actually
buy, even McCartney is confused:

* Even the size limits vary among airlines. At American, United,
and Delta, the maximum size of carry-on baggage is forty-five linear
inches-the length, width, and height dimensions added together.
At US Airways and Continental, the maximum is fifty-one inches-
13 percent more. I have a Travelpro roll-abroad bag that I've taken
all over the world, and every time I've raised it to slide it into an
overhead bin, it has fit (sometimes snugly in older bins). The bag is
twenty-three inches tall, fifteen inches wide, and twelve inches deep,
when I don't unzip the expanders. At its standard size, its
measurements total fifty inches-exceeding the rules at the three biggest
airlines in the United States, while legal on Continental and US Airways.
And airlines wonder why their rules confound travelers?

So what's a traveler to do? Assuming you get on the flight, there's
always this option:

* Another jet lag strategy is melatonin to "reset" your body clock when
you arrive in a new time zone. Melatonin is a hormone secreted by
the pineal gland in the brain that helps control the body's internal
clock. It's released by our bodies based on sunlight-nighttime
yields the release of more melatonin. If you cheat yourself out of
a night, you lose melatonin and your circadian rhythm is disrupted.
Taking a small supplemental dose-doctors usually recommend
0.5 mg-about an hour before you go to sleep after arrival, and
perhaps a day or two into your trip, helps some people recover
quickly. Medical studies on melatonin supplements for jet leg have
been inconclusive. It's worth a try, but your mileage may vary,
as they say.

POWER TRAVEL does its best job in covering plane
trips . . . in addition, there are some good tips for booking
both hotel stays and cruises . . . my only disappointment
was that there's not coverage on car rentals.
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK, but... Dec 21 2009
By M. Yanovich - Published on
The tips in this book are ok, but far from amazing. But my biggest issue with the book is the poor layout.

Every single section heading is preceded by the word "Power"... so "bargains" becomes "power bargains" and "Packing" becomes "power packing". The titles get old fast, but also make it harder to skim the book for information you need quickly. I know it's just one extra word, but when flipping through at high speed, it's much easier to find "packing" than "power packing."

Currently, I want information on weather cancellation policies, as I'm stuck in just that situation. I have yet to find the section in the book because the appendix is non-existant (well, they have an appendix, but for resource information, not to give you a detailed breakdown on what's where in the book), and the chapter headings are too difficult to scan through. I'm sure I'll find what I need eventually, but for a resource book, this is far less resourceful than its name would imply.

That said, there are some good tips in here. It's just not what I'd hoped for.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Power Airline Travel Aug. 12 2009
By TDM - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was very very impressed with the Wall Street Journal Guide to Power Travel. I am a frequent traveler both because of business and leisure, and this book gave me a few more tips that I can use to make my trips more enjoyable. The primary focus of this book is Air Travel. I would say if there is one down side to this, some of the best tips cost additional money. This is not additional money from the author but additional money and subscriptions to helpful sites that might make travel easier. I really believe that people who do not know much about Airline travel and how to plan a successful trip will greatly enjoy this book. Those people that travel frequently will get a couple good ideas that may help out with upgrades and seat selection info. Overall, this is a good read that most people will enjoy while learning useful tips.
10 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars sorry I only bought 3 of these books June 7 2009
By L. Patterson - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
My daughter-in-law graduated from college and I gave her and our son this book along with other gifts. I also bought the book for our other two sons and their families. I read the book myself and was very pleased with all the good info about air travel and how well the book was written. I've already recommended the book to several people.

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