Magazine picks America’s healthiest airports, BWI Shuttle

•October 15, 2010 • Leave a Comment

If you’re traveling over the holidays, chances are you’re not looking forward to spending time in a crowded, stressful airport. Faced with the prospect of long waits, deafening public-address systems, and indigestion, you may quickly lose that festive feeling.

Still, airports are not all bad. In fact, based on research Health magazine has done to find America’s Healthiest airports, some are actually working hard to make your traveling experience healthier by offering nutritious food, special relaxation zones, walking paths, the latest safety technology, and a whole lot more. We scored the nation’s major airports, see how we did it, and then asked a panel of expert judges (meet them here) to help us choose the top 10.

Congratulations to the winners. And to those airports that failed to make our list: Please shape up!

1. Phoenix Sky Harbor International

42 million passengers per year

Our top scorer won rave reviews for its commitment to a comfortable, low-stress experience for flyers. Sky Harbor’s healthful dining options scored well on the annual Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine airport-food scale, which measures the percentage of eateries with healthy offerings at major airports. Tempting low-fat choices include Yoshi’s Asian Grill’s avocado-cucumber sushi and edamame, Roadhouse 66 Bar’s veggie burgers, and Oaxaca’s vegetable burrito.

“Burrito spots are great in airports because they often have several options that are healthy and fast,” says judge Amy Lanou, Ph.D., a senior nutrition scientist for PCRM. Also elevating the Phoenix experience is a video-paging system that lists and announces names, making them accessible amid the usual din.

There are even two pet parks where traveling canines can work off energy before or after a flight. And the airport is always open to change: After a family with a disabled son suggested upgrades, the airport recently added adult changing stations to its family bathrooms. Plus, the airport’s bathrooms are widely known as some of the nation’s cleanest.

2. Baltimore/Washington International

21 million passengers per year

Baltimore/Washington International now features soft music and comfortable lighting at one of its key security checkpoints, instead of the usual crowding and confusion. The changes are part of the Transportation Security Administration’s new Checkpoint Evolution program designed to reduce stress and hike safety.

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“High-stress areas are the perfect camouflage for bad guys,” says TSA spokesperson Christopher White. To take stress down another notch, walk the BWI Shuttle, a 12.5-mile hiking-and-biking path that circles the airport and goes through wetlands and forest areas; it’s accessible from public areas of the terminal. Still stressed? Get a seated massage at the Destination Relaxation spa. Health.com: America’s healthiest spas

3. O’Hare International (Chicago)

76 million passengers per year

Big airports usually have a great selection of healthy food, Lanou says. That’s one reason why O’Hare International, the second-busiest airport in the world, is in PCRM’s top 10. More than 90 percent of its 100 restaurants offer low-fat, fiber-rich, veggie-heavy meals. CIBO Express, for instance, has grilled veggie salads and kosher crackers and chips. O’Hare also wins points for its super-fun children’s play areas and the fitness facility in its on-site Hilton Hotel, which offers workout equipment plus massages, a sauna, a lap pool, showers, and a Jacuzzi. Day passes are $15.

4. Detroit Metropolitan

36 million passengers per year

A white Christmas is wonderful — except when it ruins your travel plans or makes them unsafe. Detroit Metro is working hard to limit the risks. The National Weather Service recently recognized the airport as the nation’s first “StormReady airport system.”

Airport police officers, firefighters, and field-maintenance and security personnel are being trained as weather spotters; if they’re aware of approaching storms, they alert airline employees (who consider boarding delays), disseminate information to keep ticket-holders from being stuck at gates without knowing why, and develop evacuation and sheltering plans. And should the weather delay you in Detroit (always a possibility during the winter), finding a healthy meal is easy. The airport partners with local health organizations to flag heart-healthy dishes on restaurant menus. Sushi, anyone? Health.com: America’s healthiest restaurants

5. Denver International

50 million passengers per year

The largest airport in the United States can also boast about its energy efficiency. Acres of solar panels provide enough electricity to run half the airport’s train system. The green electricity dramatically reduces carbon emissions — equal to the impact of 255,000 gallons of gasoline (enough to power 500 cars for a year). The airport also has a recycling system built into the runways and taxiways to collect 70 percent of the glycol used to de-ice aircraft.

“You’ve got to tip your hat to Denver International for establishing themselves as a model,” says judge Steve Howards, executive director of the Clean Airport Partnership, a nonprofit group devoted to improving environmental quality and energy efficiency at airports. Denver also receives high marks for its close-to-75-percent on-time arrival and departure rates, the second-largest public art collection in Colorado, free Wi-Fi, and healthy restaurant choices. Health.com: America’s healthiest grocery stores

6. Washington National

19 million passengers per year

Anything that helps you take your mind off the fact that you’re in an airport waiting to be crammed into a tiny airplane seat is a good thing. The museum-quality artwork at Ronald Reagan Washington National is the perfect diversion. Architect Cesar Pelli integrated 30 works — stained glass, marble and glass mosaics, terrazzo, cast bronze, hammered aluminum and copper, and traditional paint on board and canvas — into terminals B and C. If your flight’s got a major delay, you can even get some fresh (fume-free) air at this airport: Try the walking-and-biking trail that goes through the airport grounds; flyers can access it by exiting terminal C. Our judge Tom Parsons, CEO and founder of BestFares.com, also gives Washington National props for being one of the easiest airports to get around in because of its one big terminal.

7. Dallas/Fort Worth International

60 million passengers per year

There’s no better place for a family lay­over than Dallas/Fort Worth International (DFW), which has two 600-square-foot play areas that feature padded airplanes, taxis, and luggage for climbing, plus a TV showing kids’ cartoons. DFW also scores high for its green fleet. Of the airport’s 580 vehicles, from buses to lawn mowers, 540 are hybrids or run on compressed natural gas. And thanks to restaurants like Tequilerias, which serves nutritious options such as jicama and mango salads, the airport stands tall in PCRM’s food rankings.

8. Logan International (Boston)

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  • MayoClinic.com: Jet lag disorder

28 million passengers per year

If you’re a green fanatic, you’ll love this: Logan’s terminal A, its biggest, is the world’s first airport terminal certified by the U.S. Green Building Council for using the highest green construction standards. It features roofing that reflects heat, special stormwater-filtration devices, low-flow faucets, waterless urinals, self-dimming lights, recycled construction materials, and more. And Logan’s compressed-natural-gas shuttle buses prevent 7 tons of pollution emissions from reaching the atmosphere and causing smog every year, the equivalent of taking nearly 800 cars off the road. You care more about comfort than the environment? Logan pampers all weary travelers with 50 wooden rocking chairs, 16 decorated by local artists.

9. Portland International (Oregon)

15 million passengers per year

You’d expect an airport in the crunchy Northwest to go all-out for the environment. Portland doesn’t disappoint with a paved bicycle-and-walking path that links local hotels, businesses, and regional hiking and biking trails to the airport. The airport offers free covered bicycle parking adjacent to the terminal, too. Our judges also laud Portland’s recycling of cooking oil into biodiesel fuel, the abundance of live trees in the terminals, and the musicians — mostly local stationed throughout the airport to lower the stress level.

“Loudspeaker noise on top of ambient noise is really hard on your senses,” Lanou says. “The whole traveling experience is a lot easier when you know you don’t have to listen to just PA-system announcements.” Not surprisingly, Portland’s Laurelwood brew pub offers certified-organic beers. And the airport gets high marks for on-time departures: 80-plus percent in the latest Transportation Department annual reporting period.

10. Philadelphia International

32 million passengers per year

If you get sick at the airport, what do you do? In Philadelphia you can head straight to the new AeroClinic, where nurse practitioners and physician assistants can diagnose and treat minor conditions like colds, allergies, and flu. The facility also offers well-care checks for people who have high blood pressure, cholesterol, thyroid problems, and diabetes.

If you’re feeling fine, get a dose of heart-healthy wine at Vino Volo, the airport’s new wine-tasting bar. And if you’re traveling on a Saturday or Sunday, bring your laptop because Philly International features free

Wi-Fi weekends to help you keep your mind off the stresses to come.

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Slash: ‘I was a productive junkie’

•September 23, 2010 • 1 Comment

(CNN) — He’s the rock demigod who lives and breathes music, but whose heart beats thanks in part to a pacemaker.

The former Guns N’ Roses guitarist, whose real name is Saul Hudson, is probably the most recognizable man in rock ‘n’ roll. Yet beneath the mane of curly locks and leather top hat is a devoted musician who kicked a drug and alcohol addiction because it was getting in way of the music.

“I was a productive junkie … I was driven by music. I did have these distractions, but I managed to be functional as best as I possibly could,” he told CNN.

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“What helped clean me up at the end of the day was the fact that, after a while, it started to get in the way of being able to do what it is I wanted to do… I’ve done more in the last four years than I could have possibly done if I was still using,” he continued.

Video: Guitar Heroes in your home
Rock has a certain energy and attitude and that seems to be lacking in commercial rock music today.
–Slash, musician

Since leaving Guns N’ Roses in 1996 — “As I walked out it was a huge weight off my shoulders” — he’s produced his own material, collaborated with numerous musicians and was the driving force behind supergroup Velvet Revolver, a band he’s trying to revive once again.

He fixed his place in the pantheon of rock stars during his time with Guns N’ Roses (“If I wasn’t in that band, it would have been my favorite band”) and it’s been almost 15 years since he spoke to lead singer Axl Rose after their much-publicized split.

However, the idea of a Guns N’ Roses reunion isn’t completely out of the question.

“I used to be very sort of negative about it ’cause I just don’t see it happening,” he said, “but at the same time you just never know. No efforts have been made to try and do anything about it so I guess you just leave it to chance. Maybe it will; maybe it won’t.”

While a potential reunion might please thousands of fans, Slash is looking forward to Velvet Revolver and other projects, despite the music scene experiencing what he calls “a very weird time.”

“This whole thing with the internet being the mainstay of the industry at this point is taking a lot of adjusting and it hasn’t really settled yet,” he told CNN.

“[A] certain energy and a certain attitude and that to me is very rock and roll. And that seems to be lacking in commercial music, especially in commercial rock and roll right now. I’m sure there’s a lot of guys out there who have it all together but then they can’t get a record deal.”

Posted By:- Review of the Best Portable Keyboards

Huge discounts on Heathrow Connect to encourage commuting

•August 31, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Airport staff are being offered huge 75 per cent discounts on season tickets with the Heathrow Connect service in a bid to get more of them to use it for commuting.

The discount applies to weekly, monthly or annual season tickets compared to the normal price and is available from 1 September.

Heathrow Airport Minicab Connect, operated jointly by BAA and First Great Western, runs every 30 minutes from London Paddington via Ealing Broadway, West Ealing, Hanwell, Southall and Hayes & Harlington to Heathrow Central for Terminals 1 and 3. The air-conditioned trains take 25 minutes from London Paddington to Heathrow Central, from where there are free connections every 15 minutes to both Terminals 4 and 5.

In 2009 over 600,000 journeys were made on Heathrow Connect and the new discount is being introduced to encourage more of the 77,000 staff based at the airport to use the service. British Airways staff based at Waterside are also eligible.

In order to benefit from the discount, airport staff need to take a passport sized photograph to their local First Great Western ticket office and show a valid company or Heathrow Airport ID card. A Heathrow Connect photocard will be made at the station and can be used immediately to buy a season ticket, which from 1st September will be half of the current staff fare and 75% less than a normal fare.

“We hope these fantastic new discounts will persuade more staff to consider leaving the car at home and getting the train to work. Heathrow Connect offers a regular, reliable service to the airport and is now cheaper than ever before for airport workers.” said Theo Panayi, Heathrow’s Transport Strategy Manager.

For further information on services and times staff can call Heathrow Connect on 0845 678 6975 or visit http://www.heathrowconnect.com. The website http://www.heathrow.com/commuter helps airport staff to make better travel choices and improve their journey to work and save money, time and help the environment.

New staff fares are as follows:

– Paddington to Heathrow weekly/monthly/annual ticket is now £12.05/£46.28/£482.00 (was £24.10/£92.55/£964.00)

– Ealing Broadway, West Ealing, Hanwell to Heathrow ticket is now £8.85/£34.28/£354.00 (was £17.70/£68.55/£708.00)

– Southall and West Drayton to Heathrow ticket is now £7.80/£29.98/£312.00 (was £15.60/£59.95/£624.00)

– Hayes & Harlington to Heathrow ticket is now £4.90/£18.83/196.00 (was £9.80/£37.65/£392.00)

– The discount can also be offered as part of a rail season ticket from stations between Hayes & Harlington to Reading, including connecting branch lines from Henley, Marlow, Windsor and Greenford.

Presented By:-Heathrow Airport Minicab

Why flight attendants want to pull the chute

•August 30, 2010 • Leave a Comment

By Elliot Hester, Special to CNN

Editor’s note: Elliott Hester is a travel writer, former syndicated columnist and author of “Plane Insanity: A Flight Attendant’s Tales of Sex, Rage and Queasiness at 30,000 Feet.” He works as a flight attendant.

Sao Paulo, Brazil (CNN) — In a few short days, JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater has achieved folk-hero status.

He’s the man who allegedly cursed out a disruptive passenger over the on-board public address system, then opened an aircraft door, inflating the emergency chute in the process. He grabbed a beer from a service cart and slid down, effectively saying “Ba-bye” to his 20-year flying career.

Slater’s exit created a danger to ramp workers and could earn him a prison stay. Nevertheless, his actions call attention to escalating tensions between flight attendants and the passengers they serve. They also highlight a little known issue that’s a big problem for flight attendants.

For the last 25 years, I’ve worked as a flight attendant for a large U.S. carrier. Many times I’ve been in Slater’s position: A passenger opens the overhead bin to retrieve a carry-on bag before the captain says the plane has safely reached the gate. (For safety reasons, attendants are trained to make sure passengers stay in their seats, overhead bins remain closed and carry-on bags are properly stowed “until the aircraft reaches the gate and the captain turns off the fasten seat belt sign.”)

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Video: Flight attendant tirade ‘refreshing’?//

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Video: Mom: ‘I would’ve snapped too’//

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Video: Flight attendant rage resonates//

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Video: Flight attendant flees press//

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Most offenders are simply eager to get off a cramped airplane and willingly sit down when asked. But occasionally — as was possibly the case with the passenger Slater responded to — some passengers think the rules don’t apply to them. I’ve been glared at, verbally abused, threatened with lawsuits and recriminations from God simply because I asked a passenger to comply with the rules.

Herein lies the problem. What exactly are the rules? Why do they seem different from one flight to the next? And what authority do flight attendants have when it comes to enforcing them?

The answer to that last and most compelling question is “zero.” Contrary to what you may think, flight attendants have absolutely no authority aboard an aircraft. We are not police officers or security personnel. We are not empowered by law to enforce airline policy, FAA regulation or criminal mischief.

We can’t force noncompliant passengers to buckle their seat belts, stow their tray tables, turn off cell phones, put away pornographic magazines (yes, it happens) or stay in their seats until the plane docks. All we can do is approach the passenger, explain “the rules” and hope they comply. Failing that, the only recourse is to call the captain, who, depending on his or her disposition, may not address the problem adequately.

Consequently, flight attendants often find themselves between a rock and a hard place. It’s frustrating when your employer demands that you impose policy without giving you the means to do so. Perhaps this is why Slater snapped. While I disagree with the manner in which he vented, like Chris Rock says, “I understand.”

As far as carry-on bags are concerned, the rules, which are seemingly clear but not uniformly enforced, are a major point of contention between passengers and crew. Most carriers limit each passenger to one carry-on bag and one personal item (i.e. laptop bag, small backpack, etc.).

But does a woman’s large purse qualify as personal item? Is she therefore allowed three items when a man is only allowed two? Are passengers allowed more carry-ons on half-empty flights? This seems reasonable, given the abundance of space in which to stow bags, which is why some attendants and gate agents turn a blind eye to a passenger with too many bags on an empty flight.

But when that same passenger tries to board a full connecting flight with four bags and is forced to check two in the cargo hold, he may protest vehemently. “Hey, they let me bring these on my last flight, why won’t you? I’m never flying this #&*@!$* airline again!” I’ve heard this so often and so loudly I’ve become numb to the allegation.

The only way to mitigate passenger-employee conflict and ensure smooth flying is to impose a uniform airline code that begins at the check-in desk and ends at the luggage carousel.

Passengers should be allowed no more than two carry-on bags on every flight; ticket agents should check ALL other bags. If your tweezers are allowed through security at O’Hare, those same tweezers should be allowed through security on your way home from JFK.

Disruptive passengers should be blacklisted and banned from future flying. And any flight attendant who takes it upon himself to open an emergency exit and slide down the chute because a foul-mouthed passenger won’t follow the rules, well … he might find that behavior is not much better in a prison cell.

Alexandria Limo Service Provider (VA)

•August 12, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Alexandria Limo service is ready to meet all your luxury transportation needs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our new fleet of luxury Limo and sedans are sure to make your next VA, MD or DC area business affair, special event, or night out on the town, a remarkable one. We offer high quality limo service in Alexandria at competitive prices and your satisfaction is guaranteed.

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Yamaha EZ200 Keyboard

•August 4, 2010 • Leave a Comment

The Yamaha EZ-200 keyboard is a full-sized touch sensitive keyboard bundle. It can produce a louder sound when striking a key harder and can produce a softer sound when striking a key softly like an acoustic piano.

Yamaha EZ200

Even though the price is a bit steep, it is impossible to be disappointed with this keyboard. All the tools you needed are found in the package including how to play the chords. The price is reliable considering its many advanced features. I strongly suggest you buy them from Amazon here. You can’t get this keyboard this cheap anywhere.



The Advantages Of Hiring A Washington DC Limousine Service

•July 30, 2010 • Leave a Comment

The good thing about renting a limousine in Washington DC is that a limousine is not just a limousine. A Washington DC limo can be used for other purposes outside any movement of passengers from their hotel to a private club. A Washington DC limousine service offers the choice between a Washington DC Sedan (which usually think people Limousine Service), is limo vans, and most of the minibus service option. You can find out if any of these can be used as recreation center, a conference room or office to serve, you may need it.

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 Washington DC limousine service can also help transport needs in the field of long-distance, regional and / or only locally. The Travel Choosing a limousine service in Washington DC which can boast of five star standards, so you get the best possible service for your money. It is important that the limousine service in Washington DC provide superlative customer service from the moment the phone to the operator phone when signing the contract agreement to rent your needs. You Washington DC limo can be said that the limousine service Washington DC high standards, if met: 1) The telephone operator engaged in a friendly and competent manner, 2 ) The driver of your limousine rental Washington DC is very polite, well maintained and is very professional the whole day the service, have booked 3) that the vehicle is rented you like your limousine Washington DC clean, provides excellent facilities such as mobile telephony service, a copy of everyday life, and fine furniture and interiors, 4) at a reasonable and affordable rates for the type of services you receive in return 5) The driver arrives on time, if you are recovering and you have to deliver to your destination in a comfortable, stress free and in a manner likely 6) The vehicle you hired a communications system in the limousine Washington DC, which assigned to you, so that the driver and the service dispatcher can be in constant communication during the day or night, you will need it; 7) installed the driver has a cell phone or pager as a backup, is so that if the communication fails in the vehicle, it can be easy to call with your name, 8), with other aspects of the service that you might noticed.

There Limousine Services Washington DC offers tailor-made packages have their services outside the regular standard. This means that you quote the best kind of vehicle for the sentences they would be for you what can be compared to competitor’s standard or customer-specific prices such services specialized class will receive offering. A service business, a fleet of vehicles used by your company or organization is used. A second type of specialized service is the premium executive service that your managers can be escorted to the VIP airport, they have to it.

Though specialized services, additional functions, such as luxury cars and have food and free drinks in the vehicle served, it is important to offer limousine service Washington DC reasonable prices anyway.