Road Warriors —Think You’ve Seen Everything? Get This!By Jeanne Hopkins
Even the most seasoned business travelers are often unaware of these airplane features and hotel amenities.
The more you travel for business, the more you start to think you’ve seen it all. Especially if you’re a veteran road warrior. But don’t be so sure. Let’s test your powers of observation — and your been-there, done-that worldliness.
A recent article in Reader’s Digest (yep, they’re still around) highlights a few airplane features you may have missed, despite your million miles of cramped seat time.
- Armrest release button
You scored a coveted aisle seat, but that outside armrest is annoying. No problem, just reach underneath it and press the button near the hinge to fold the armrest up and out of your way.
- Handrail hidden in plain sight
Instead of pawing passengers to steady yourself as you move up and down the aisle, reach up. There are scalloped indentations along the bottom of the overhead bins, designed just for this purpose.
- Mysterious black triangles
Look at the wall in the mid-plane area and you’ll see black triangles on each side above the windows. These mark the forward and rear edges of the wings. They’re there to help flight staff check the slats or flaps, if necessary, but these indicators can boost your onboard experience every time you fly. Experts say booking a seat between the triangles will deliver the smoothest ride possible because the wings are the plane’s center of gravity.
- Teeny, tiny window holes
No worries if you notice a miniscule hole in the frame of your window. It’s there to equalize pressure between the panes on takeoff and landing.
- Uh, oh — handcuffs
Flight personnel have the authority to cuff you if you get unruly. Now there’s an image your boss doesn’t want to see on Instagram. Better mind your Ps and Qs!
But, wait — there’s more!
Business travel isn’t just a matter of flying hither and yon, you have to perch somewhere when you arrive. And what does every business traveler crave most in a hotel? Efficiency, comfort, and amenities. Lots of excellent amenities. So, in case you think you’ve experienced everything, here are a few goodies you may have in fact missed in your travels:
Turndown with a twist
Minted chocolates on your pillow? So trite. Caldwell House B&B in Salisbury Mills, NY provided slices of pie every night for guests in September. We can all hope they do that again. Twin Farms in Barnard, VT gives locally-crafted wooden puzzles, and Miami’s Betsy-South Beach delivers plantable bedtime bookmarks embedded with wildflower seeds.
You’d have to expect that the DogHouse, which bills itself as the world’s first craft beer hotel (Columbus, OH), would offer in-room beer taps, considering the hotel is attached to their brewery. Not big on microbrews? The W Los Angeles – West Beverly Hills places “Sip N Lift Cocktail Caddies” in the elevators Saturday evenings. These DIY bartenders enable riders to mix a quick one on their way up or down.
Then there’s the Troubadour in New Orleans, which provides fully-equipped in-room cocktail stations, complete with recipe for their signature drink. Prefer caffeine to booze? The Woodlark in Portland, OR provides matcha-making kits.
- Headed to Seattle? Stay at the Edgewater, and host your own jam session with acoustic or electric guitar and sheet music from some of rock’s biggest names. You can check out records and a player to set yourself up as a DJ, too.
- You can go green at the Halcyon in Denver, personalizing your stay with their in-room plant menu. You pick which plant you want to tend and admire throughout your stay, and they’ll have it in place to welcome you.
- For your inner snacker, London’s Lanesborough hotel not only provides butler service for every room, your personal Jeeves will deliver complimentary sweet or savory popcorn when you beckon.
- And then there’s this tasty tidbit – not an in-room amenity, but one that’s not to be missed. Harold’s restaurant at the Arlo Soho in NYC caps off every dinner with a complimentary ice cream platter featuring mini-cones. They even have sprinkles.
We feel your FOMO
You can check out the hidden airplane features for yourself, the next time you fly off to score another big win for your company. You’d best get with your corporate travel manager about the hotel situation, though. If you can get these hotels on the pre-approved list in your corporate travel guidelines (hey, it’s worth asking, right?), you will be able to say you’ve seen it all when it comes to hotel treats and amenities.