Monthly Archives: February 2015

Chowder Up at Ivar’s Seafood Bar

Chowder Up at Ivar’s Seafood Bar

Seattle is known for its seafood so a visit to SeaTac should get you started on your foodie journey.  Here you can sample the ocean at Ivar’s Seafood Bar. Northwest chowders, seafood cocktails, grilled seafood, salmon, scallops, clams, and fish and chips are some of the entrees available to hungry travels. Running late? No worries. All items are available to take on your flight, and breakfast is also served in the morning in case you ran out of the house on an empty stomach.

Pro Tip: Know what’s better than an Egg and Cheese Sandwich? A Dungeness Crab, Egg, and Cheese Sandwich. Order up!

Location: Central Terminal at Seattle Airport (SEA)

Image credit: Yelp.com; Andrew H.

The Business Traveler’s Top 10 Wishes for a Great Trip

The Business Traveler’s Top 10 Wishes for a Great Trip

Growing up I used to LOVE David Letterman’s Top Ten List. Every night I would stay up late (to my parents dismay) with baited breathe, waiting for pearls of wisdom from one of the greatest late night talk show hosts on television (take that CoCo and Leno!!!). When a really good one would come up, I remember trying so hard not to laugh and wake up my parents who would not hesitate to let me know that a 12 year old shouldn’t be up late watching TV. As a parent today I’d like think that I am cool, but quite frankly I’d say the same thing-so I guess my parents did right by me.

Today, I have abandoned my love of the Letterman Top Ten List as I have found a new appreciation for going to bed at 10:30. If you are laughing at this, I am assuming you don’t have a kid who gets up at 5 AM or don’t have the need to wake up early for a flight to make an early meeting (see previous post here for explanation). I do, however,  still enjoy making lists. They are imperative in the world of business… “to do” lists, customer lists, product lists… I could go on and on.

In addition to those less fun, mandatory lists, I have a favorite list to share: my Top 10 Wishes for a Great Trip. When I leave my home or office for the airport, I have a definitive list of wishes that will make that trip a great one should things go right.

Here goes:

10. Everything Fits Inside a Carry-On Bag

I have a bag given to me by my wife for my last birthday. So help me God, I will cram that thing full to the brink of breaking all of the zippers on it for a 7 day trip so that I don’t have to check a bag. I don’t mind paying bag fees; for me, it is my impatience driving my fervor here. I don’t want to wait at baggage claim or risk that the bag handlers have lost my favorite purple shirt. Real men wear purple you know…

9. Slip On Shoes

They may be dress shoes or a casual pair, depending on where you’re going and when, but for me it is imperative (and common courtesy quite frankly) to wear shoes that you can quickly slip on and off at the security checkpoint. The last thing you want to do is to stand there holding up a line of impatient travelers (like this guy right here) while you tie the laces to your brand new Cole Haans. Yes they look sharp, but if you hold up the line, no one will be impressed.

8. Coffee, Stat

When I arrive for a morning flight, my first stop past the security line is Starbucks. I speed over there and order my tall black coffee. I then sit at the gate, drink my coffee and if it is very early, I email my boss so that he can see how early I am up and at ‘em today so he won’t be quite so mad when I cut out at 2 PM on Friday. If I am in a new airport, I may take some time to browse the shops for local interest items for the family.

7. Shoe Shine and Unwind

I don’t like ironing and I detest shining my own shoes. I do, however, think that a shoe shine is for a man is like a pedicure is for a woman. The guy who shines my shoes at my airport is Roy. He does a fantastic job and speaks to you like a barber working one of those shops with the striped poles outside. Don’t know what I am talking about? Google it! Also, I read somewhere once that you should always have your shoes looking polished. Trust me, in the business world people notice stuff like that.

6. Upgrade Wanted

Hey, I fly a lot! Consequently I have good status on Delta airlines. I am not platinum but I am high enough up there to get the bump to the front of the plane about 50% of the time. No, I don’t take advantage of this to get the free drinks. I like the room, snacks and feeling of special service though.

5. Welcome, Socially Awkward Passenger or Empty Seat, Next to Me

I make no secret about it: my time in the air is MY TIME. Sometimes I work, sometimes I sleep, sometimes I read or watch a movie.   All good things. What I don’t like to do is engage in conversation with someone on the plane. OK, I have had good experiences conversing on planes before. But for the most part I like to keep to myself on the plane. No one can get a hold of me up there and I that’s what I like the most about flying.

4. Entertainment (AKA Something to Do)

As I said before, I flight time is for me to do what I want to do. Whether that be work or play. I usually try to lean more towards play during my flight. That being said, I like to read and listen to music the most so I usually with either bring a book or magazine then listen to my iPod… usually with the volume down low enough so the passenger next to me can’t hear that I am listening to show tunes… don’t judge.

3. No Connection or a Connection Through a Solid Airport

I do prefer to take direct flights when I can, but alas, given the current state of travel, the economy and ever fuller planes, this cannot happen 100% of the time (“what do you mean there isn’t a direct flight from St. Louis to Gettysburg, PA,??”). If I do have to connect, I prefer to do it through a great airport that has awesome restaurants and shopping (including a place where I can pick something up for my wife and kids-see above).

2. An Early Meeting Adjourn and Low Price Change Fee

Nothing makes my heart beat faster than to realize that my meeting ended early and now I get to go home to my family sooner than later. Cut to this moment: “What??? It will cost me $250 to change my flight? But there is no one on the plane! OK, I’ll just go have another slice from Sbarro and wait for my flight in 5 hours…” Most airlines do offer $50-$75 for a same day confirmed change which means I get to go home and see my wife and kids earlier than anticipated. Hurray!

1. FlyInStyle App is Locked and Loaded

I know… I know… but it really is a great tool to use. Think about it, one of the occurrences I mentioned previously happens: a cancelled/delayed flight, you get to the airport way too early or you aren’t able to catch that earlier flight due to cost or schedule. It’s so nice to have a tool at your disposal to help you navigate the preponderance of commerce, food and beverage that is right in your hand at the airport.  Have your own airport tip that you think we should publish? Shoot us a note through the website with your tip and we may do just that! It’s all about you, the traveler, so we have to stick together on this.

 

Seriously, download the app. Thank me later.

 

The Flying Salesman

The Taste of Cuba at La Carreta

The Taste of Cuba at La Carreta

Experience the delicious taste of Cuba at La Carreta. This airport satellite of a Miami classic is dishing up traditional dishes like Ropa Vieja, Maduros, Picadillo, and Rice and Beans in either a cafeteria or menu setting. Portions are huge while prices are reasonable, and the servers are friendly and accommodating.  If you haven’t tried Cuban cuisine yet, here’s your chance….and if you aren’t that adventurous, even the chicken with black beans and rice is delish.  Need a pick me up? Enjoy a cafecito like a true Miami native.

Pro Tip: Start with the Croquetas and end with the Flan and enjoy every bite in between!

Image credit: Flickr; Kim

A Gourmet Taste of Italy at Bottega dei Sapori

A Gourmet Taste of Italy at Bottega dei Sapori

Manga! Visit Italian specialty store Bottega dei Sapori for delicious culinary items for your self or for that special petsitter, babysitter, house sitter or loved one. Its a perfect spot to find an interesting gift that  breaks away from the norm of souvenirs.  Hungry now? This tasty shop sells paninis, wine, and coffee to hungry travelers in addition to a variety of gourmet Italian pastas, sauces, olive oils, meats, cheeses, and fine chocolates packaged as gifts-to-go.

Pro Tip: Order a delicious cappuccino from the counter while you peruse for goodies to take home.

Bottega dei Sapori is located in the Center Core of the Airmall.

Image credit: Bottega dei Sappori

Red-Eye  vs. Crack-of-Dawn Business Travel – What to Do?

Red-Eye vs. Crack-of-Dawn Business Travel – What to Do?

BEEP BEEP BEEP!!! My alarm was going off at 3:30 AM-a business travel nightmare. But wait, I am home…why was my alarm going off at 3:30 AM? alarm clockHad my wife (who goes to bed prior to me and subsequently has rendered herself in charge of the alarm clock) not set it correctly? Had the clock somehow malfunctioned? Is God mad at me for some of my transgressions I may (or may not) have made in my younger days?

Unfortunately, no. I made this choice to get up at this unholy hour. Why you ask? Because I had a business meeting in the Baltimore area today and the alternative was to fly out the night before and miss seeing my wife and kids last evening. True, while I have a headache now, last night we played a marathon game of hide and seek (my daughter won, because she always wins) and I got to experience another one of my favorite parts of the day, sitting on the couch and watching TV with my wife. Sure, she watches HGTV and some show about women who are married to the same guy but it never matters to me as long as she is there and the house is quiet.

When to fly for business travel is a decision many husbands, wives, parents and the like struggle with all of the time. Do I get up at the crack of dawn and catch the early flight, or do I take the last flight out and be there and ready for my meeting tomorrow morning?

airport-84240_640The answer isn’t the same for everyone. Really it comes down to what you view as important in your life and how you deal with those important things. Is being prepared and bright eyed important to you? Do you not like to be rushed in the morning? Do you want to be able to fly home the next evening and not be totally drained? Then you should probably take the late flight the night prior to your meeting. However if time with your family is paramount, or perhaps you are more of a morning person, or maybe you even just want to enjoy that cup of Starbucks on the company dime in the morning — then the early bird flight is the one for you.

That isn’t to say that you are a bad parent because you take the late flight out. Maybe you take that flight because your kids are in bed and doing so allows you to be home in time to take your daughter to her Girl Scout meeting. And it’s not to say you don’t care enough about your customers to be bright eyed and bushy tailed in the morning. Perhaps you are a morning person and getting up at 3 isn’t an issue.

Regardless of your business travel preferences and the reasoning behind, it helps to have some tips to save time, energy and money along the way.

For the early flight:

  • Make sure you are 100% packed and prepared the night before
  • Check the inbound version of your flight the night before to ensure there have been no delays that will cause you headache tomorrow morning
  • Iron your clothes and place them out the night prior. Trust me, no one likes to be picking out their clothes at 3:30 in the morning.
  • Know your home airport and the location of the many Starbucks stores around the terminals. Might as well let your company buy you a cup of coffee for getting up this early!

For the late flight the night before:

  • Just like the Starbucks tip, know where and when you are going to eat before arriving at the airport. I cannot tell you how many times I have gone to bed famished at my hotel because I didn’t plan to eat during my travel day.
  • Do the same for your return flight home
  • Wear comfortable clothes on the plane. Business travel doesn’t have to mean business professional attire 24-7. Hey, you’re not seeing your customer tonight, may as well be comfy right?
  • Keep an eye on the flight time. Don’t get to the airport only to be cancelled and have to run and go back home.

 

My next meeting is in Minneapolis at 9:00 AM. I’ll be flying the night before. I am NOT a morning person…

Sweet Valentine’s Day Treats for Your Valentine Sweet

Sweet Valentine’s Day Treats for Your Valentine Sweet

How sweet it is to be loved by you! This is your pilot speaking.

Valentine’s Day is this weekend and for those of us on the tarmac, time might be limited to find that special someone a little treat. I’ve compiled a list of places in major airports around the U.S. where you can find something special if time is tight. I have a bit of a sweet tooth and have first hand experience at most of these places. If I missed a favorite spot of yours I apologies. The list below is meant to also showcase something only found at that airport. There are two exceptions in The Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory and Dylan’s Candy Bar which have franchises around the country. Rocky Mountain is your classic confectionery with treats for ever taste. Dylan’s offers a large selection of favorite brand name candies that you can 4314-Truffles36_79881_01v1Wmix and match as well as pre made gift boxes. A special note on Dylan’s: If you ever find yourself just east of Central Park in New York City you will find the flagship store that offers 4 stories of candy heaven. And if you happen to be flying internationally, don’t forget you can always find delicious limited edition Godiva Belgian chocolates at Duty Free Stores everywhere. Enjoy and safe travels as always!

The Aviator

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Meet the Aviator

Meet the Aviator

Welcome aboard, FlyInStyle, from the cockpit.

This is your pilot speaking.

As I write this I’m on a flight to Houston. Don’t worry, I’m in the back with all the other passengers. I often ride in the back as I ‘deadhead’ to join the next flight where I will actually be part of the crew. Between my time as a crew member working, deadheading, and personal travel, it amazes me how often people make traveling more difficult than it has to be.

As a pilot for one of the worlds largest airlines I have the pleasure of adding some insight to the other side of aviation travel along with some tips and stories. I have a personal love for travel that goes beyond my career that has taken me to every continent except Antarctica. I have spent so much time in so many airports that they are second homes. There are few places I see the everyday person be less comfortable at, than stuck in a travel setting involving an airplane. It starts the moment you arrive at the airport. The stress level goes up as you stand in a check-in line or for security. Everyone feels rushed. Everyone wants to ‘get this over with as soon as possible. Questionable food that’s overpriced. Stores that try to draw you in right before your flight. Gate areas that are crowded and hectic. And you haven’t even boarded the massive metal beast that flies miles above the ground, near the speed of sound, that you have no control over!

It’s easlos-angeles-commercial-piloty to see how most people don’t love this portion of travel. It’s often said ‘it’s not the

destination, but the journey.’ I love what I get to do in flying an airplane, but I love even more the real comforts of home, or at least a decent hotel at an exciting destination. So unless you get to sit in my seat, I agree that it’s the destination that is the highlight of the trip.

You step on the curb and get ready for the miracle of flight. Here’s where FlyInStyle comes to your aid. What should you know to make things go smoother till you reach your destination? Where’s a good meal that won’t empty your wallet? What stores should I give the time of day? Where’s the free stuff that can make this experience more enjoyable? I, along with the others that make up the FlyInStyle family, are here to answer those very questions and so much more.

So please, sit back, relax, and enjoy your flight! Welcome aboard FlyInStyle!

Sincerely,

The Aviator

PS – If you haven’t already, download our app on iOS at http://bit.ly/1lp4quE so you can fly in style too.

Win My Stomach, Win My Heart: A Valentine’s Travel Guide, Vol 3

Win My Stomach, Win My Heart: A Valentine’s Travel Guide, Vol 3

The clock is ticking, and if you still haven’t planned a delicious Valentine’s Day food adventure for your significant other, I have one more tantalizing suggestion for you, and it’s not too late. Head to the Lone Star state and be still your beating heart with BBQ in Austin, Texas!

 Option #3: Austin. I feel quite confident recommending a Valentine’s Day foodventure in Austin. After all, this is my new hometown and I have spent much of the last six months exploring every meat establishment on your behalf. I’ve also gained 15 pounds, so you’re welcome! Austin has it all: stunning hill country vistas, authentic BBQ, and live bands to satisfy any musical taste. Your romantic journey can begin before you even leave Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) at the legendary Salt Lick BBQ. Be sure to sample the mouth-watering Pork Ribs, but don’t go crazy! The plan is to sweep your lover off their feet by visiting as many BBQ joints as possible, and you don’t want to get too full right off the bat.

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Sexy, sexy Salt Lick

Your next stop should be Franklin Barbecue, where you might have to stand in line for hours but trust me, it’s worth it. The tastiest Brisket and the moistest Turkey you’ve ever had in your life await you. Plus you can do some serious hand holding to pass the time while you wait.

But my personal favorite BBQ joint in Austin is The County Line. With cowboy décor lining the walls and plates overflowing with all varieties of meats, The County Line is a BBQ dream. Order up a combo plate of Brisket, Sausage, and Pulled Pork and share them a la “Lady and the Tramp”. With side options like Mashed Potatoes, Macaroni and Cheese, and Fried Okra rounding off the meal, you’ll be bursting (with love!) when you waddle out of this restaurant.

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Austin is more than just sweet, delicious meat. Take a stroll through the grounds of the Texas State Capitol and admire the way the sunlight reflects off of the golden dome. Afterwards, have a cocktail at the bar of the Driskill Hotel, which has been in operation since 1886 and looks like the set of a John Wayne movie. They make a mean Bloody Mary!

As the sun starts to set over the hills of Texas, grab some Mexican Vanilla ice cream from local favorite Amy’s Ice Creams and climb to the top of Mount Bonnell. You can take in the stunning panorama of downtown Austin and the Colorado River as you kiss your Valentine, who might still taste faintly of BBQ sauce.

Wherever you may travel this Valentine’s Day, I hope it’s full of flavor and absolutely delicious. Wishing you true love and tasty travels!

Pro Tip: If you loved Amy’s Ice Creams, you’re in luck! They have a shop located at Gate 12 at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. Order up a dish and toast to a very sweet Valentine’s Day!

Image Credits: Lara Pasternak

Win My Stomach, Win My Heart: A Valentine’s Travel Guide, Vol 2

Win My Stomach, Win My Heart: A Valentine’s Travel Guide, Vol 2

Hello Lovers! This week, we are exploring unforgettable (and unique!) Valentine’s Day food adventures. In the last blog, we explored the tempting and tasty Florida Keys. This time, we are heading to Europe for a bit of that Irish luck. Leave the Russell Stover chocolates at home and come along with me to the Emerald Isle!

Option #2: Dublin. Ireland is one of the most stunning places on Earth. I envy those shades of green! But it’s also an undercover gem in the food world, gaining accolades for its gourmet gastropubs. And is there a more romantic drink to share with your partner than Guinness?

The romance can begin before you even leave the airport. Stop by the Chocolate Lounge in Terminal 2. This “grown up” chocolate shop features chocolate sandwiches, fondues, sundaes, and cocktails. There’s also a cool conveyor belt around the bar, showcasing delicious cakes and pastries right before your eyes. Toast your lover with a shot of Aztec Chili Chocolate.

Tour the Guinness brewery! Besides being super interesting, you’ll end up on the observation deck of the factory with a stunning panoramic view of Dublin. You can also visit the Old Jameson Distillery for a tour and tasting. Tipsy love is the best love!

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A thing of beauty.

Check out Dublin’s emerging gastropubs. Located in the city center, The Exchequer is both an award-winning cocktail experience and a high-quality eatery. The food is elegant yet essentially Irish at its core. You can order Steamed Cockles and Mussels with Spiced Sausage, or share a plate of Pan Fried Lamb’s Kidneys. For your main plate, try the Venison Pastie.

Meat Pastie at Exchequer

Meat Pastie at Exchequer

Your next step for romance? Rent a car and explore the Irish countryside. The best food finds are yours to discover along the way in charming village pubs and seaside restaurants. Ask the locals, be adventurous, and let you hearts and tastebuds be your guides!

Design your custom Valentine’s Day food adventure around the tastes of your significant other, and you can’t go wrong. Wishing you butterflies in your stomach and tasty travels!

Pro Tip: Impress your date by ordering the Chocolate Fondue at Chocolate Lounge at the Dublin Airport. Featuring dark, white, or flavored chocolate and seasonal fruits, marshmallows, and brownie cubes for dunking. You had me at fondue.

Image Credits: Top photo- http://www.chocolate-lounge.co.uk. All other photos: Lara Pasternak

Refillable Water Bottles Make Healthy Hydration Easy

Refillable Water Bottles Make Healthy Hydration Easy

New year, new you, and staying healthy means staying hydrated! Save money and go green by packing a refillable water bottle in your carry on bag. Most airports now have refill stations that make filling up easy and convenient. Just make sure those bottles are empty when you go through security!

Pro Tip: Tired of boring water? Try a Citrus Zinger bottle by Zing Anything to infuse your water with the flavors of lemon, lime, or grapefruit!

Image credit: Zinganything.com

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