The Most Interesting Flight Attendant in the World?

For a while now, I’ve been entertained by the Dos Equis beer marketing campaign, featuring actor Jonathan Goldsmith as the Most Interesting Man in the World.  The character is the sort of passenger you’d love to see on your flight.  Of course, he’d sit in first class, but wouldn’t act pompous. If there was a decompression, he wouldn’t need an oxygen mask.  And if you didn’t have any Dos Equis onboard, it wouldn’t matter as he doesn’t always drink beer. His rich, brown, suede-like hands would be quite happy holding a snifter of cognac or a tumbler of scotch.

I began to wonder, if there was a Most Interesting Flight Attendant in the World, how would you describe her*?

  • she once water skied behind an A320 on the Hudson River
  • A three-star Michelin chef prepares her crew meals
  • the lights turn off early at the Eiffel Tower when she needs her crew rest in Paris
  • her airline repainted their planes in her favourite color
  • her  flights always arrive on time, even when they depart late
  • she  can close any overhead bin using one finger
  • she pours coffee and tea from the same pot
  • hotels  always gives her an ocean view suite, even when she has a layover in the
    prairies, but she never has layovers in the prairies.
  • passengers  ask if she would like something to drink
  • she  can disarm any door just by looking at it
  • she deices the aircraft’s wings by blowing them a kiss
  • her PA announcements reach the top 10 on the Billboard charts
  • when she asks passengers to fasten their seatbelts, you hear one loud click
  • she quit her job as a pilot because it was boring to only fly on one aircraft
  • first-class passengers want to move to economy when she’s working there, but she
    never works there
  • she doesn’t need fatigue shoes
  • pilots pay for her meals on the layover
  • she once turned down a date with George Clooney because she promised to have dinner with her crew
  • every passenger earns double air miles on her flights
  • sky marshals ask her for security advice
  • there is never any turbulence on her flights, unless she feels like sitting down for a while
  • she buys real designer handbags in Hong Kong for the price of a knockoff
  • her meal carts are never out of beef or chicken
  • she speaks every route language, but finds mind reading is much easier
  • she had jet lag once, just to see what it was like

*Okay, I know that men are flight attendants too.

I’d love to hear your description of “The Most Interesting Flight Attendant in the World.”


© 2012 – 2013, Heather Zorzini. All rights reserved.


Jet Lag Remedy at Japanese Stone Spa

Overcome jet lag symptoms by visiting Ishi No Yu Stone Spa near Tokyo for ganbanyoku, a spa treatment that involves lying on a hot stone bed and sweating.

Ganbanyoku translates as “bedrock bath” or “rock bathing” and is reputed to improve circulation and skin tone as well as relieving muscle fatigue and tension. Many Japanese flight attendants believe it is an excellent way to detox after a long-haul flight.

The Ishi No Yu Stone Spa is a short walk from the Aeon Center, a shopping plaza in Narita. Most of the major hotels close to Narita International Airport, the airport that serves Tokyo, have shuttle buses to downtown Narita and nearby shopping malls.

Japanese protocol prevails as you enter the spa foyer. Courteous staff members will bow to greet visitors and request that shoes are removed and placed in a special locker. Shopping bags and parcels can also be stored here.

 In the lobby, guests can be found enjoying typical Japanese beverages after their treatment. Complimentary hot or cold tea is offered and you will pay in advance for other drinks and for the spa service. Noni juice is highly recommended for detox though it has a slightly bitter taste. Keep Reading

© 2012 – 2013, Heather Zorzini. All rights reserved.


Moon Over Dildo – a Visit to Newfoundland

In a province known for wacky monikers like Tickle Cove, Witless Bay and Come by Chance, one place still manages to stand out. Dildo. I had purposely avoided Dildo, not wanting to be another curious tourist stopping by simply because of the name. But as the sun sank lower in the sky, my husband Rick and I began to run out of options.

It’s our last full day in Newfoundland after a 10-day tour. We’re heading back to St. John’s from Bonavista, a 300-kilometre drive. The highways are empty, so we cruise at a leisurely pace, hoping to spend the night outside of the city. But travelling on the fly has its downside. We discover that much of the better accommodation is seasonal, and this is late October – the season is about to end.

Each successive town brings another disappointment, as Rick asks around for suggestions and I dial furiously on my cellphone. “Don’t drive at night,” we are warned. “You’ll hit a moose.”

Moose be damned, I am holding out for four-star lodgings. Unfortunately, the only promising stop on the map is Dildo. Our guide book shows several highly rated establishments that are open year-round, including a four-and-a-half star bed and breakfast overlooking Trinity Bay. My call nets only an answering machine, but we venture in anyway.

Dildo is a small community of about 1,200 people, some 15 kilometres off the Trans-Canada Highway. Fishing and whaling initially attracted settlers, though today the main industry is tourism and heritage preservation. The Dildo Interpretation Centre is well-known for its fine collection of Beothuk Indian and Dorset Inuit artifacts excavated from an island in the mouth of the harbour.

 Boat tours to see the archeological digs are also available. We catch an exhilarating whiff of fresh sea air as we enter town, and pull into our bed and breakfast at the same time as the owner.

The Inn By The Bay, built in 1888, is one of two establishments run by the same proprietor. It is right across the road from the ocean, while further up the hill sits George House Heritage B&B, with an art gallery and boutique. Close by is Dildo’s Kountry Kravins ‘n’ Krafts, a coffee shop that also offers local souvenirs.

The inn is welcoming, decorated in a palette of muted earth tones and furnished with tasteful antiques. There is also the odd curiosity thrown in, like a stuffed baby seal. Our room is stylishly elegant, with nary a doily in sight. An overstuffed club chair from the 1940s provides a comfortable spot to relax and the queen bed is dressed in a plush, down-filled duvet. Now assured of a fabulous place to sleep, we go to watch the sun set.

The harbour is sheltered and picturesque. Gentle waves lap against a pebbly beach. Clusters of frame houses perch on the dusky hillside. Half a dozen pricey fishing boats are moored at the docks and beside them, a couple of fishermen sit on a wooden bench, smoking. One of them reminds me of the Skipper from Gilligan’s Island. We stop and chat about real estate, the fishing industry, the weather… just about everything but the town’s name.

It’s not that anyone seems to be shy about using it; there is also South Dildo, Dildo Pond and Dildo Island. The name may have had its origins in the Spanish port of Bilbao, or it may come from the Portuguese, or the native Indians. But no one really knows and no one really cares. I’m sure the locals have heard it all. A while back, a proposal to change the town’s name was strongly voted down.

We meander along the shore, admiring the final pink and orange efforts of the setting sun. Later on, we’ll savour a home-cooked meal at a nearby diner. I’ll enjoy a delicious macaroni and cheese casserole while Rick tucks into a hot turkey sandwich. But right now, as the sun sets over Trinity Bay, the moon is rising over Dildo. And the next time we hear the word, we’ll think of this pretty fishing village instead of, well, the other thing.

This article and illustration was featured in the Globe and Mail.

© 2012, Heather Zorzini. All rights reserved.


Travel Cheats for Make-up in Cabin Baggage

The Ultimate Insider Travel Guidebook!
Follow these packing tips for toiletry bags and cosmetic cases to comply with airport security rules for liquids, gels and aerosols in your hand luggage.

While most liquids of any amount can still be carried in checked luggage, enhanced restrictions for items packed in carry on bags have been in place since the summer of 2006. Until these stringent rules are relaxed or eliminated, follow these tips to safely pack beauty products for air travel.
Liquid Carry on Restrictions for Air Travel
Only items that are liquid, gel or aerosol are restricted for carry on in hand baggage. The list includes roll-on or aerosol deodorant, liquid makeup foundation, shampoo and conditioner, lip balms, liquid soaps, shave cream and mascara.
This means that any restricted item must be packed in a container no larger than 100 ml (3.4 oz) or smaller, which then must fit into a 1 litre, (1 quart) 15.24 cm by 22.86 cm (6 in. by 9 in.) or 20 cm by 17.5 cm (8 in. by 7 in.) clear, closed and resealable baggie.
Make-Up for Travel
If you use liquid make up foundation, transfer it to a small, leak proof travel bottle. Or try a powdered mineral makeup, which is exempt from liquid carry on rules. You will also need a foundation brush to apply the powder. Consider packing a tinted moisturizer, which does double duty for travel beauty.
Tips for Lips
Pack a tube of solid lipstick in your travel make bag, instead of lip balms and gels, which are restricted in hand baggage.
Travel Beauty Tips for Eye Makeup
Tube mascara is considered liquid and restricted but solid cake mascara is fine. A better option is to have your eyelashes professionally dyed before your trip.
Liquid, cream or gel eye shadows are subject to carry on rules. The same applies to liquid eyeliner. Pack powder or cake eyeshadow in your cosmetic case. Or, travel light and comply with airport security by packing make up pencils instead.
Travel Beauty for Nails
Nail polish and polish removers are restricted liquids and awkward to pack. Instead, invest in a salon French manicure or chose pastel shades that don’t show chips like dark polishes do.
How to Pack Perfume in Cabin Baggage
Perfume is liquid and thus restricted in carry on baggage. Pick up a free sample of your favourite scent or one you’d like to try. Each tiny vial holds enough for a few days plus they usually are leak proof. You might fall in love with a new fragrance that you can buy at the Duty Free shop on the way home. But if that’s not the case, rinse out the vial and add your own fragrance. Perfume goes further than eau de cologne or toilet water.
How to Test a Travel Toiletry Bottle
Pressurisation on board a plane can cause bottles to spill their contents everywhere. The best lids on travel toiletries have an extra ring inside, like some water bottles do. One way to tell if a bottle is secure is to fill it, squeeze out some air and put the lid on. Shake or tap it against your hand. If any liquid comes out or the bottle reverts to its original shape, it is not safe for air travel.
You might not want to be a flight attendant, battling non-stop jet-lag and coddling cranky passengers, but haven’t you secretly longed to travel like one?  My new eBook Travel Like a Flight Attendant includes tips like the ones you’ve just read and much more.
You can buy Travel Like a Flight Attendant for the introductory price of only .99c on, and get a free Kindle reader download for your PC along with your purchase. Happy travels!
More Items Restricted for Air Travel
Visit the US government website for more information on security rules for carry on luggage. The Canadian government and UK government websites also post current rules for cabin baggage.

© 2012 – 2013, Heather Zorzini. All rights reserved.


Visiting Monet’s House & Garden in Giverny

Claude Monet once said “Apart from painting and gardening, I’m not good at anything.” While I readily acknowledge his artistic skills, a trip to his house and garden 70 kilometres outside Paris may satisfy my curiosity about his green thumb. 

Travelling to Giverny is easy even for someone who speaks limited French like I do.  I take an express train from Gare St.Lazare to the ancient Normandy city of Vernon and then hop on a bus for the final few kilometres.

I arrive early enough to enjoy lunch nearby before touring Monet’s house and gardens. I dine under the dappled shade of plane trees outside the Hotel Baudy, once a hangout for American and French artists in the late 1880s. I share my omelette, but not my glass of wine, with a marmalade cat that politely meows merci. It’s achingly picturesque. Even the walk to the bathrooms meanders past a rustic studio and along a path bordered with roses and daisies.

I enter the museum grounds through Monet’s old studio, now transformed into a first class shop. No photography is allowed inside so I’ll stock up on postcards and books on the way out.

I catch a glimpse of the verdant gardens but choose to start my visit with the house. Like Monet’s paintings, the interior is awash in vibrant hues. One hallway is covered in antique Japanese prints. The bedroom of his wife, Alice, has leaf green walls and sky blue trim. The living room is the colour of a robin’s egg and the curvy moulding around the wood panelling is outlined in peacock blue.

 I feel like I have stepped inside a ball of sunshine when I walk into the dining room. Everything, including tables, chairs and walls is painted in shades of brilliant yellow. Two enormous china cabinets, also yellow, look cartoonish with elaborate Rococo styling.  The room is accented with piles of blue and white pottery.  

The kitchen next door is plastered floor to ceiling with blue and white tiles and overflows with brass and copper pots and pans.  I could live here easily.

Outside I marvel at flowers blooming in harmonized colours. Masses of roses, dahlias, sunflowers and nasturtiums glow like brilliant jewels in the September sun. Monet’s secret was to plant with an artist’s eye for how the garden would be best reproduced on canvas.

The pond is dotted with lily pads and surrounded by stately weeping willows. It holds a perfect reflection of the cloudless afternoon sky. In the past, coal burning trains used to chug by here. I pause to envision a bizarre story – that Monet asked his gardeners to brush soot from the lilies before he painted them. 

I fall in love with one particular aspect of the exterior, a vivid green that appears everywhere; on the doors, shutters, benches, trellises and the Japanese bridge. It makes everything from the pink stucco on the house to the pots of red geraniums appear more vibrant.

I’m disheartened, thinking I’ll never remember this exact shade of green. But then I notice a small blister of paint peeling from the bottom of the front stairs.  I bend over to examine it more closely and voilá! The chip magically hops into my tote bag. Once home I discover it’s a near match to Benjamin Moore’s Cat’s Eye.

Two hours later, I’m almost cross-eyed from all the colours and sensory overload. I’m hoping my photographs will capture the sights my brain can no longer hold.

Back on the tour bus to the station, I have an argument with the driver who wants to see my return ticket.  It’s lost in the maze of paper and postcards in the bottom of my bag but he begrudgingly lets me ride. It’s unlikely that anyone would buy a one-way ticket anyhow.  The road to Giverny is narrow, hilly and without sidewalks.

In Vernon, I quaff a cold Kronenbourg beer while waiting for the train to Paris.  I examine my tiny sliver of paint and smile. I may never have Monet’s green thumb, but at least I’ll have his green paint.

© 2012 – 2013, Heather Zorzini. All rights reserved.


Paris Arrondissements Eleven to Twenty

 Best Attractions & Monuments in 11th to 20th Paris Arrondissements

The best way to understand Paris is to learn about the different arrondissements or neighbourhoods that define the city.

Most Parisians refer to an area by its arrondissement, which is also displayed in the last two numbers of the 5 digit Paris postal code. These districts follow a clockwise spiral, starting with the 1st arrondissement north of the Seine River in the heart of the city, down and around ending with the 20th on the eastern outskirts. The Seine divides the city into the Left Bank on the south and the Right Bank on the north.

11th – Bastille

Formerly a working-class neighbourhood and location of the infamous jail, Bastille is now a trendy mix of bars, clubs and art galleries. Place de Bastille, a large, open square, touches three arrondissements, the fourth, eleventh and twelfth. The private Musee Edith Piaf, founded by a group of avid fans, is on Rue Crespin du Gast.

12th – Bois de Vincennes

Home to the ultra-modern Paris Opera House, Opera Bastille, loved and loathed by Parisians. The beautifully lush park Bois de Vincennes is on the south-east border of this district.

13th – Gobelins

This is primarily a residential neighbourhood. The Bibliothèque Nationale de France (National Library of France), designed to resemble four open books, is located here on the banks of the Seine. Stroll along Avenue de Choisy for a taste of Paris’s Chinatown.

14th – Montparnasse

Paris’s only skyscraper, Tour Montparnasse, is a landmark in this mostly residential neighbourhood. The Montparnasse cemetery and Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris anchor the north west and south east corners of this district respectively.

15th Arrondissement – Vaugirard/Grenelle

The north-east corner of this primarily residential arrondissement is appealing close to the Eiffel tower and a pleasant walk along the Seine.

16th – Passy

A more upscale neighbourhood with a lovely river side promenade, this arrondissement hosts a super selection of vintage clothing and accessory shops on Rue de la Pompe. The Palais de Chaillot, the Trocadero, (which offers superb views of the Eiffel Tower across the Seine) and the Museum of Modern Art (located in the Palais de Tokyo) are also here. The spacious Bois de Bologne park on the western edge features glorious gardens and lakes.

17th – Monceau

The seventeenth arrondissement is an upscale bourgeois neighbourhood, with quite good shopping along Avenue des Ternes. Restaurants catering to business travellers surround the Palais des Congres and Le Meridien Etoile Hotel.

18th – Montmartre

The landmark Sacré Coeur Basilica presides over this quaint artsy/touristy neighbourhood in the north of Paris. The Place du Tertre is the bustling main square. The Espace Montmartre Salvador Dali boasts a permanent exhibition of Dali’s art while the Musée de Montmartre features works by local artists. The only remaining vineyard in Paris is also here. Down the hill at Pigalle, the Moulin Rouge is still a draw and remnants of the area’s sleazier past remain.

19th – Chaumont/Belleville

The 19th and 20th arrondissements are sometimes referred to as Belleville, perhaps as the Rue de Belleville, a good location for ethnic food and produce, separates the two areas. A neighbourhood of new immigrants and the not-so-rich.

20th – Pere Lachaise

The famous Pere Lachaise cemetery is the final resting place of luminaries like the Door’s Jim Morrison, writer Oscar Wilde and singer Edith Piaf. The statues and monuments of other not-so-famous people also make Pere Lachaise a pleasant place to meander around.

This article was compiled using information from L’indispensable de Paris, an excellent Parisian map book and during numerous trips to Paris. Please note that while some of the descriptive names of the arrondissements may differ, the numbers, locations and boundaries do not.

© 2012 – 2013, Heather Zorzini. All rights reserved.


Paris Arrondissements One to Ten

Best Attractions & Monuments in 1st to10th Paris Arrondissements

 The best way to visit to Paris or in fact, any large city, is to learn about its different neighbourhoods. Paris is divided into 20 districts, or arrondissements and many guidebooks and most Parisians refer to them when describing or discussing an area.

 From the 1st to the 20th arrondissement, these districts follow a clockwise spiral like a snail’s shell. The Seine River divides the city into the Left Bank on the south and the Right Bank on the north. Learn which one is home to haute couture or high finance, the Louvre, the Latin Quarter and the Left Bank.

1st – Louvre

The first is in the heart of Paris and includes the Musée du Louvre (Louvre Museum), the Musée des Arts Decoratifs (Museum of Decorative Arts), Musée de L’Orangerie in the Jardin des Tuileries (Tuileries Gardens). The Palais Royale hosts France’s national theatre, the Comédie Française while Place Vendôme is one of the haunts of the wealthy with banks and lavish jewellery and designer boutiques showcasing names like Boucheron, Van Cleef & Arpels, Armani, Piaget and Bulgari.

2nd Arrondissement – Bourse

Just north of the first arrondissement, Bourse is the financial district, home to the Paris stock market or Bourse de Paris. The Bibliothèque Nationale is also here.

3rd – Temple

The Marais, Paris’s oldest district, was once the exclusive domain of Orthodox Jews. It is now a predominantly gay area, filled with stylish boutiques, art galleries, lively bars and fun places to eat. The National Archives, the Picasso Museum and Musée Cognaq-Jay are also in the third arrondissement.

4th – Hôtel de Ville

Swirling south of the Marais is the fourth arrondissement, where the Place des Vosges, a beautiful 17th century square is located. This area includes part of Ile-Saint-Louis, the island in the middle of Paris that is home to the Gothic Roman Catholic Cathedral Notre Dame de Paris. Centre Georges Pompidou is known for its unusual high-tech exterior construction and modern art exhibits.

5th Arrondissement – Panthéon or Latin Quarter

This area became known as the Latin Quarter because the ancient language was once spoken by students attending the Sorbonne University. The fifth arrondissement features cheap places to eat and sleep. Also in the neighbourhood are the Muséum Nationale d’Histoire Naturelle, (Museum of Natural History) and the Musée National de Moyen Age- Thermes de Cluny.

6th – Luxembourg – St. Germaine

Saint-Germaine-des-Près is a chic left-bank district of galleries, boutiques and cafes. The beautifully lavish Luxembourg Gardens are in this Paris arrondissement as is Musée Delacroix, situated in the artist’s former home and the French mint’s Musée de la Monnaie.

7th – Palais-Bourbon & Tour Eiffel

An elegant, moneyed Parisian neighbourhood where the Eiffel Tower and the large public park Champ de Mars can be found. Also in the seventh arrondissement is the Musée d’Orsay, a renovated railway station that boasts a fine collection of 19th and 20th century art, the best place to see the work of the Impressionists. Sculptures by August Rodin are displayed in the Musée Rodin.

8th Arrondissement – Elysée

HIgh finance and high fashion mingle in the eighth arrondissement. Traffic streams endlessly along the Champs-Elysées and around the traffic circle surrounding the Arc de Triomphe. Avenue Montaigne and Faubourg Saint-Honoré are the streets for haute couture and fine art while shops on Place de Madeleine serve up gourmet delicacies. Musée Jacquemart André hosts a superb collection of art and antiquities in a private mansion.

9th – Opéra

Besides being the home of the Paris Opera house, some of the city’s finest shopping can be found at the elegant department stores Galleries Layfayette and Printemps.

10th – Canal Saint-Martin

This eclectic neighbourhood received a boost in visitors after it appeared in the hit French movie Amelie. A fun artsy area, Canal Saint-Martin is rapidly being gentrified. Meander beside the canals that are still open, or picnic on top of the ones that have been covered. The upscale Musée des Cristalleries de Baccarat (Baccarat Crystal Museum) is in the tenth arrondissement.

 This article was compiled using information from L’indispensable de Paris, an excellent Parisian map book and during numerous trips to Paris. Please note that while some of the descriptive names of the arrondissements may differ, the numbers, locations and boundaries do not.

© 2012 – 2013, Heather Zorzini. All rights reserved.


And the Oscar goes to…me!

Hollywood, California —  I’m holding my first Oscar and I’m uncharacteristically speechless. The little gold man is heavier than he looks, but part of that sensation may be the short wire that secures him to the podium.  I smile radiantly, my partner Rick snaps two photos and I replace the statuette, ready for the next person in line to take his turn.

 It’s pre-Academy Award week in Hollywood and the town is buzzing with construction crews and security guards.  I’ve already tripped over Jay Leno and Sly Stallone, or at least their stars, on the Walk of Fame along Hollywood Blvd.

 Now I’m trying to reach Mann’s Chinese Theatre to gawk at celebrity handprints, footprints and autographs captured in the cement courtyard.  Traffic cones, fencing and temporary metal bleachers block the sidewalk.  We lean over the railing to see Kevin Spacey’s star buried under a thick coil of electrical cables and a crushed Starbucks coffee cup.

 Mike, a tall, gregarious writer/editor is making a few extra bucks as an Oscar security guard.  We tell him we’re visiting from Toronto, and he dishes some L.A.  observations with a smile. Work here is unpredictable and changeable.  Strikes are a common occurrence. Everyone is very insecure. And yet even unknown actors can earn over $750 a day, plus residuals. Mike says he’s looking for a real job, perhaps in software sales, outside of the Hollywood circus.

 He casually directs us to his buddies, who run tours of stars’ homes if we’re into that sort of thing, but we’re not. He points out some celebrity look-alikes ready to pose for a picture with us, if we’re into that sort of thing.  We’re not.  When he mentions we can have our photo taken with a real Oscar, my pulse finally quickens.

 Four flights of stairs bring us to the top of the Hollywood and Highland Center.  In the distance, the iconic HOLLYWOOD sign hovers over a smoggy green hilltop. Erected in 1923, the whitewashed 45 foot tall letters originally spelled Hollywoodland and advertised a new housing suburb. Ironically, this historic site is now threatened by real estate development.  (138 acres around the sign were purchased from Howard Hughes’s estate by a Chicago investment group in 2002. The land is zoned for up to five mega mansions. ) L.A. councillors and residents are outraged but may lose their battle to keep the view unobstructed.  I take a few photos, and hope the Hollywood sign gets its own Hollywood ending.

 After a 15 minute wait in line, we are allowed to enter a darkened foyer.  It’s taken almost four weeks to produce this year’s fifty Oscar statuettes. Sans engraving, they are exhibited inside several glass cases. A display shows how they are created. The base casting of the pewter-like alloy Britannium is electroplated with subsequent layers of copper to prevent corrosion and nickel to improve adhesion. Silver provides additional corrosion resistance as well as a shiny foundation for the 24K gold plating. A top coat of lacquer preserves the finish.

I move from this hushed shrine into a corridor where exuberant fans and screaming paparazzi compete for my attention.  It’s actually a film loop that simulates the red carpet experience but I pause to bask in the adulation.  Rick urges me onward. The long line to hold a real Oscar awaits us. 

We pass the time reading lists of this year’s nominees. The family of five ahead of us pushes their stroller and hyper-active child at a snail’s pace.  Some people are photographed in groups, others singly but at least the line is moving.  A photographer will take pictures of you with your camera if you’re alone or don’t trust your companion to adequately capture your moment of faux fame.

As we edge closer, I notice some people actually kissing the Oscar. Not an L.A. style “air kiss,” but a real, full-lipped wet smack.  What I don’t see is anyone wiping Oscar down after this show of passion.

My moment in the spotlight finally arrives.  I take off my jacket and drop my handbag.  If ever I deserved an Academy Award for outstanding performance, it’s now.  I fearlessly grasp the sticky statuette with gusto.   Smile. Flash. Smile. Flash.  

Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my hand wash.

© 2012 – 2013, Heather Zorzini. All rights reserved.


Airplane seating tips for family travel

It’s hard when families are separated on planes, even on short-haul flights. Here are a few tips to help recify the situation:

Check in as early as you can

After seats are assigned and boarding cards are printed, passenger agents are unlikely to ask people to change. They’ll probably suggest that you ask the flight attendants for help. Online check in can help beat the airport crowds.

Swap your good seat for a bad seat

Passengers don’t usually want to give up aisle or bulkhead seats, especially if they’ve paid extra for them. Once onboard, if you can offer someone a better seat or location (front of plane), many will oblige. Remember, no one wants the middle seat.

Think creatively

Not everyone has to sit together in a row. If family members are across the aisle from each other or in the row ahead or behind, that should be close enough to reduce stress levels, especially on short-haul flights.

Ask your flight attendant for help

If people won’t budge, sometimes a crew member may be able to suggest alternatives. Remember that we can’t force anyone to move, but sometimes we can offer small incentives to passengers who help us out.

Sitting apart can be fun

For some kids, being separated from parents isn’t such a bad thing. Older children may enjoy feeling grown-up enough to sit by themselves or with another sibling, especially when Mom and Dad are only a few rows away.

Instant Karma

I once moved a helpful passenger to first class, though there were still empty seats in economy.  This was after 6 other passengers refused to move across the aisle. You can be sure I said “Follow me to First Class,” loudly enough for everyone to hear.

Another time, a cranky businessman was rewarded with a lapful of vomit from a 5 year old who was nervous because his mother was sitting two rows away. The flight was only an hour long but the mother asked politely and the man refused.  What goes around, comes around, even at 36,000 feet.

© 2012 – 2013, Heather Zorzini. All rights reserved.