Thursday, November 4, 2010

25 Signs That You've Been Traveling Too Much…

Security lines. Airline food. Delayed flights. Armrest hogs. Expense reports. Woohoo.

People that don't travel much have this idea that business travel is exciting and tons of fun. Well the turbulence over Denver can certainly be exciting, but much of business travel is more mundane than great times. Oh certainly there are those occasional dinners at Brazilian steak houses and tours of the Dallas Cowboy's football stadium with 1,000 fellow conference attendees.

But most of the time business travel is about conference calls in a cab, missing the business-class upgrade by one person and finishing your presentation at 3:30 in the morning.

So for frequent travelers everywhere, here is my list of the “top 25 signs that you’ve been traveling too much”:

1. You open your bedroom door in the morning expecting to see a USA Today newspaper hanging from the door handle.

2. You pick up your dry cleaning on the way to the airport.

3. $15 for a club sandwich and fries sounds reasonable as long as it comes with the mini bottle of ketchup.

4. Your idea of a relaxing Saturday night is doing your expense reports on your iPad from the couch.

5. You actually figured out how to open those airline pretzel bags.

6. You do your holiday shopping at the Minneapolis airport between flights.

7. You won't buy anything over 3 ounces.

8. You don't understand why anyone would buy lace-up shoes or black luggage.

9. If you hear the words "middle seat" you break out in sweats, get sick to your stomach and have nightmares for a week.

10. Your new hobby is counting how many people on your flight have iPads.

11. You think the "stay vacation" concept is the greatest invention since the roller bag.

12. You signed up for GoGo Inflight's monthly recurring WiFi package.

13. Your spouse finds out what you are up to when friends read her your Foursquare updates.

14. You don't understand why there isn't a priority ordering line for frequent buyers at Starbucks.

15. You know exactly what to order at Chili's.

16. Your favorite scene in "Up In The Air" is when Ryan (George Clooney) and Alex (Vera Farmiga) compare their collection of loyalty cards.

17. Speaking of "Up In The Air," you first saw it while… up in the air.

18. You consider it a successful year if you were home for your kid's birthdays and your wedding anniversary.

19. You're surprised when someone serves you wine in something other than a plastic cup.

20. A "night out" for you is eating dinner alone in the hotel bar instead of ordering room service.

21. You know your passport number.

22. $300 noise-canceling headphones. Priceless.

23. You load the family into the SUV by row number.

24. You don't pack and unpack your suitcase, you replenish it.

25. You write a blog post about traveling too much – while on a flight home.

Let me know your favorite "sign" from above...or better yet...add your own list in the comments section below. See you up in the air...


  1. OMG, this is sooo recognizable!

    So, what's the issue with black luggage? Haven't experienced that one yet :-)

  2. 26. You don't have to order breakfast because the hotel knows who you are and what you like, so they just bring it to you.

    27. You have watched all of the on demand movies already

  3. Hilarious. I particularly liked #23.

    I may not know my passport number (#21), but I know my Delta, AirTran, Starwood and Avis accounts by memory.

    Someone needs a break I think!

  4. Tamara,

    The problem with black luggage is that 80% of non-business travelers buy black luggage and when you check luggage everything looks the same as it goes around on the carousel.

    Thanks for joining in.


  5. #16 was a great one for me.

    here's my addition:

    28. The steward brings you your normal drink without having to ask for it and knows your name

    29. You stock your guest bathroom with supplies from Marriott and Omni hotels

    - Ryan Phelan

  6. 30. You walk into the hotel and everyone yells your name out like "NORM!!" from Cheers.

  7. 31. You never buy soap, shampoo or conditioner because you collect so many at your hotels that you never run out.

    32. You get impatient waiting for your luggage to arrive, until you remember that you're home and there's there's nobody waiting to take it out of the car trunk and bring it in for you.

  8. Thanks everyone for the comments and contributions...keep 'em coming.

  9. Brilliant Loren,
    33. You can compare the pros and cons of galley layout in the 777 with the steward sitting next to you on their deadleg
    34. You know which of the 19 Hudson News' in the American terminal at JFK is really the last one
    35. You get into the security line and suddenly find yourself seated on your flight without any recollection of the intervening time
    36. You've seen more films aloft than aground in the last year
    37. You don't need them to tell you when they've had to ascend to 39k feet to avoid weather
    38. You're giving the cabbie a shortcut to a place you've never been in a city that isn't yours

  10. I'm a believer in #29...

    #39: Hotel bellhops know you by name and which room you stay in

    #40: You can give cab drivers exact change to, or from, the airport

  11. All too familiar my friend. "Up in the Air" was a documentary.

    #41: The skycaps all know you by name, greet you with a hug and get you to the front of the line (yes, I check bags).

    #42: You wake up and forget what city you're in for a minute or two.

    #43: The hotel chain knows you only like ONE pillow, and remove the rest for you without you having to toss them on the floor.

    #44: The FAs know you by name and upgrade after cabin close because they like you :-).

    #45: You know where every restaurant/bar is located in every individual terminal in every major airport, and actually give those tips to your friend when they travel.

    #46: You forget which car rental company you booked with and have to check on arrival.

    #47: Your really good colleagues/friends offer their homes and guest rooms to you because they feel sorry for you.

    #48: You have two overnight kits that mirror each other at all times.

    #49: You realize you cannot find a whole grain in 70% of the country's airports.

    Nicely done sir. :-)

  12. Reading through the comments reminded me of something I did about 10 years ago, that made sense to me but NONE of my friends and family.

    I was 1 flight short of maintaining my Gold status on the BA FF program with no business trip planned before the deadline.

    So what did I do?

    Well I left home in London to go to work via Amsterdam on a Sunday, spent the night in an airport hotel, caught the 1st flight back to London at 5.45am so I could be at my desk by 9am.....and paid for the trip myself!

    I kept my gold status for another year


  13. Thanks Stefan, Chris, Dori and Dela - great stuff. Stefan, I think a lot of frequent fliers can relate to #36.

    Dori, on #44 - haven't experienced that but years ago I was a 100K status with United and first was full..but they told me the last person hadn't checked in but had me sit in coach. As our plane was taxing down toward the runway, a flight attendant ran into coach, grabbed me by the collar and told me to get into first ASAP. Delta - are you listening - would love that to happen again:-)

    Dela - thanks for sharing. I've heard of other people doing that...I've never personally done it. I try to forecast my mileage for the year and know when I have to fly those extra segments to make certain levels, or when I can fly BA to/from London cause the extra 10,000 miles on Delta won't get me to another status level. The things we do do to keep our status.

    On a serious note Dela, would love to start a conversation on the II list on "What is loyalty?" I don't think your behaviour was out of loyalty to BA.

    Cheers all!

  14. How about that you have an emotional breakdown when the airline doesn't change the in-flight movie on schedule (as listed in the in-flight magazine). Which just means you have to watch the same movie...for the fifth time. :)

  15. Love it Loren!! Two more to add.

    26. Your afraid to back out of your driveway for fear of puncturing your tires on a row of big spikes.
    27. When you get home, you tip your child $2 as they hold the door open for you.


  16. Sorry I'm late to this post, I must have been travelling. I think we are up to number 50?

    #50 When the pilots introduce themselves, you look to your neighbor and say "oh, he's good."