Travel hacks from high-flyers
Who better to offer sage advice than the British Airways cabin crew?
Where better to gain insider knowledge on some terrific travel hacks than from those who fly for a living? British Airways’ cabin and flight crew have shared their go-to gadgets to help customers get the low-down on their down-loads ahead of the holiday season. Naturally, the one travel-must-have that they all recommend is the British Airways app – available to download for free on multiple devices – it is the highest rated airline app in the market place. Here are the best of the rest:
Google’s translate app is popular among frequent travellers. Thomas Drake, worldwide cabin crew, said: “It’s something I’ve used in several countries worldwide and has been a life saver – from translating how I like my reflexology done in China to ordering some spicy sauce with my steak in Brazil. The added bonus is that it’s free and extremely easy to use.”
Skype is a useful for catching up with friends and family when overseas. Senior First Officer, Kat Woodruffe, uses Skype for chatting to her two young children. She said: “I’ve found that trying to pre-arrange a time doesn’t work very well since kids – my kids at least – don’t necessarily want to conform to when I can be in the hotel room! A quick text or WhatsApp message and I can jump onto Wi-Fi in a café, mall or restaurant and have a quick check in with the family.”
LG foldable keyboard has been invaluable for Rebecca Wadsworth, worldwide cabin crew, who said: “When I have down-time overseas, I try and catch up on correspondence. And using my keyboard makes it much quicker to type. It can be rolled up to the size of a stick of rock and is compatible with all Bluetooth devices.”
Transit app and similar travel planners such as Rome2Rio allow intrepid travellers to dispense with bulky maps and timetables. Carolyn Wilson, worldwide cabin service director, said: “Transit app tell you the best way to get to your destination using public transport. It details the bus number, time to destination and offers choices where available.”
Tripadvisor app is popular with cabin crew member Harry Sanganee and many of his colleagues: “I use this app to look for local eateries when I’m overseas. It’s really good to find places to eat on a budget or excellent street food.”
Evernote app helped senior first officer Mark Vanhoenacker work on Skyfaring: A Journey with a Pilot, a book about why he loves to fly. “The app helped me to record everything that came to mind regarding my job while I was on the move, whether I was walking on the harbour in Hong Kong, or sat in a café in San Francisco, or picking up my suitcase at the baggage claim in Mexico City. It allowed me to tap a note on my phone, iPad or laptop, and know that those notes would be synced across all my devices—and also stored online, in case I ever lost one of those devices.”
Go Pro is a must for the adventurous traveller. Allison Pack, senior first officer, said: “I really enjoy skiing and particularly love Calgary. It’s an exhilarating escape with spectacular scenery, but it can be tough to capture when you’re focused on the slope. A GoPro camera is the answer for me. It catches all the action when it’s mounted on your helmet, so you can share some of the sights, and, of course, show off how well you tackled the mountain.”
Garmin 310XT GPS watch is used by first Officers James Van Der Hoorn and Thomas Reynolds who are training to break a world record for cycling through the most countries in a single day. Thomas said: “Training while overseas for work is essential for us and will usually be a long run or bike session. To keep track of our data we use the Garmin watch which automatically syncs all of our data when we get home and allows us to compare our efforts. It has the added advantage of helping me to avoid getting lost in foreign cities with the minimap mode.”
Playstation Vita is always packed by James Easton, customer service manager, who said: “Along with my Kindle, the Playstation keeps me occupied while sunning myself or relaxing overseas. It doesn’t take up much room in my luggage but can provide hours of entertainment.
Sony portable wireless speaker never leaves Thomas Drake’s suitcase: “For such a lightweight device it’s extremely powerful and lasts up to 12 hours. Listening to music in my hotel room always helps me unwind after a long-haul flight. It can also help set the mood for a beautiful sunset viewing if I’m lucky enough to be in the Bahamas on a stopover!”