Archive for the ‘Travel alerts’ Category

Phoenix Travel Companion Notes That Shoes May Soon Be Left On At Airport TSA Screening

Airport Check-in: Scanner would let fliers keep shoes on at security

Removing shoes at and airport security check point has gotten routine for the regular travelers, but remains a hustle for elder travelers. When traveling with an Elder Travel Companion, removing shoes may not be such a big deal as traveling alone.

New shoe scanners may eliminate the need to remove shoes altogether, Yea!

Now your Travel Companion Caregiver can help you with all the other items being searched.

By Ben Mutzabaugh, USA TODAY

From USA TODAY’s Airport Check-in column: A company vying to sell airport shoe scanners has finished its "trial" at Indianapolis International, collecting results from 3,000 travelers who volunteered to try its machine in the lobby.

Morpho Detection says its data-collection experiment, which ended in late July, showed its scanner can process more than 300 customers an hour. Travelers still had to remove their shoes at the airport’s security checkpoints.

Morpho says it’ll use the data to fine-tune machines and submit it to the Transportation Security Administration.

TSA wants to revive the idea of allowing travelers to keep their shoes on at checkpoints and has announced its plans to buy 100 shoe scanners by next year. About a dozen companies hope to bid for the business. — Roger Yu


When you could use some assistance while traveling, try a Travel Companion from Care-To-Go.  In Home CareGivers are also available from Care-To-Go in the Phoenix area.

Backlash grows against full-body scanners in airports By Phoenix Travel Companion

Backlash grows against full-body scanners in airports

Elder Travel Companion Phoenix azAs the TSA  airports try to get a handle on quick and efficient scanning at security checkpoints, new machines may not be the answer.

Our Elder Travel Companions from Phoenix and Scottsdale report longer security delays and frazzled nerves at full body scan airports.  Our seniors in wheel chairs are not subject to this screening and will continue to be checked as usual.  The Travel Companion CareGiver can be a great asset in transiting airport security.


By Gary Stoller, USA TODAY

Opposition to new full-body imaging machines to screen passengers and the government’s deployment of them at most major airports is growing.

Many frequent fliers complain they’re time-consuming or invade their privacy. The world’s airlines say they shouldn’t be used for primary security screening. And questions are being raised about possible effects on passengers’ health.

"The system takes three to five times as long as walking through a metal detector," says Phil Bush of Atlanta, one of many fliers on USA TODAY’s Road Warriors panel who oppose the machines. "This looks to be yet another disaster waiting to happen."

BODY SCANNERS: Concerns about privacy and health set off debate

The machines — dubbed by some fliers as virtual strip searches — were installed at many airports in March after a Christmas Day airline bombing attempt. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has spent more than $80 million for about 500 machines, including 133 now at airports. It plans to install about 1,000 by the end of next year.

The machines are running into complaints and questions here and overseas:

•The International Air Transport Association, which represents 250 of the world’s airlines, including major U.S. carriers, says the TSA lacks "a strategy and a vision" of how the machines fit into a comprehensive checkpoint security plan. "The TSA is putting the cart before the horse," association spokesman Steve Lott says.

•Security officials in Dubai said this month they wouldn’t use the machines because they violate "personal privacy," and information about their "side effects" on health isn’t known.

•Last month, the European Commission said in a report that "a rigorous scientific assessment" of potential health risks is needed before machines are deployed there. It also said screening methods besides the new machines should be used on pregnant women, babies, children and people with disabilities.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office said in October that the TSA was deploying the machines without fully testing them and assessing whether they could detect "threat items" concealed on various parts of the body. And in March, the office said it "remains unclear" whether they would have detected the explosives that police allege Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab tried to detonate on a jet bound for Detroit on Christmas.

TSA spokeswoman Kristin Lee says the agency completed testing at the end of last year and is "highly confident" in the machines’ detection capability. She also says their use hasn’t slowed screening at airports and that the agency has taken steps to ensure privacy and safety.

The TSA is deploying two types of machines that can see underneath clothing. One uses a high-speed X-ray beam, and the other bounces electromagnetic waves off a passenger’s body.

Passengers can refuse screening by the machines and receive a pat-down search by a security officer, screening by a metal detector, or both, the TSA says.


For more information on an Elder Travel Companion go to and for Phoenix in home care caregiver see

Cruise Ship Starts At Ft Lauderdale Pass Miami From An Elder Travel Companion

 Scottsdale Travel Companion, Travel Companions

Cruise Ship Starts At Ft Lauderdale Pass Miami From An Elder Travel Companion

Cruising has always been a favorite trip particularly among elders.  Many cruise ship providers begin Caribbean trips from Miami, Ft. Llauderdale and San Juan, Pureto Rico.  So far Miami has been the largest.  Now it looks like Fort Lauderdale may take over the top rank.
The Travel Companions from Care-To-Go have started trips at all three and have noted that Ft.. Lauderdale is simplier and easier to access.  Miami may be bigger with many more flight choices and San Juan can start you a day further along on your trip, but Ft Lauderdale remains our favorite.  A few months back when Carnival launched their “largest ship in the world” it was staged from Ft. Lauderdale.

Click to read the complete story form Travel Weekly. <>
Also click to view Cruise Deals Now at <>

Book Cheap Cruises For Seniors Now Reports A Phoenix Travel Companion

Book Cheap Cruises For Seniors Now Reports A Phoenix Travel Companion

Phoenix Travel Companion Cruises have always been a favorite trip for Seniors. Balmy air, tropical swaying trees, soft steel drum music,; what’s not to like. Aside from the great ambiance in the Caribbean, Bahamas or Mexico, there are several reasons to choose a cruise over other types of vacation for Seniors. First, it is a place totally geared for all the seniors needs including food, activities, housekeeping, medical services and more. It is so nice to unpack once and then watch the world pass by. Other favorite destinations for Cruises are Alaska and the Mediterranean for Greece and Italy etc.

Here is your opportunity to take that great vacation you have always wanted and be totally cared for and safe all the way. Cruise ships provide everything you need including; your room, all your food, lots of activities, a hospital and pharmacy, a concierge, lots of new people to meet or enjoy your solitude.

When you need a little extra assistance along the way, a Personal Travel Companion can escort you to be sure you are well taken care of. Now you can take that dream trip you have always wanted.

We all know that vacation tour prices including Cruises vary greatly. If you book through a travel agent, the Cruise Company, Orbits or a bulk Cruise buyer, the price varies greatly. When using a Travel Companion these prices can be easily compared and you can pick the best deal for you.

Speaking of a Travel Companion, you can now take a personal travel assistant with you to be sure that the trip goes smoothly. Your personal travel companion can travel with you all the way from your door and back again. How nice would it be to have professional assistance through the airport and flight, on the cruise and back again. One company providing Personal Travel Companions can be found at

Low bookings for the cruise lines means a shipload of savings for you
Don’t let the storm-tossed economy discourage you from sailing on a cruise. With fewer people booking passage and more (and bigger) cruise ships being launched, cruising has become a buyer’s market. Here’s how to find the lowest fare at the best time.

Look for bulk buyers
Check out cruise consolidators, which buy large blocks of cabins from the cruise lines at a deep discount. Most of the deals don’t include airfare, but the savings are significant, and companies such as,, and feature dozens of discounted cruises around the world every week.

Don’t shrug off "shoulder season"
Rates are lower between peak and off-peak seasons, when fewer people are escaping winter. Try sailing to Alaska in mid-May or early September; to the Caribbean in late April or September and October; to Hawaii in late August, late November, February, or May; or to the Mediterranean in March or November. If you are interested in a long haul, check when the Cruise companies are moving ships for the season between the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, or even the south Pacific. You may get a long trip for a very low price.

Check the school calendar
Avoid any time kids are on vacation, such as spring or summer break. That’s when the supply of empty cabins is usually the lowest—and prices for them are highest. Cruises are wildly affordable right after Labor Day and during the week after Thanksgiving, for example.

Wait…Wait… Okay, now book it!
If you don’t have a specific cruise date in mind, try waiting until the last minute to book online. Almost all cruise lines quietly unload any remaining inventory as the departure date draws closer. Note: "Last minute" doesn’t mean what it used to. Post-9/11 security regulations require cruise lines to close the list of passengers as much as 96 hours before sailing.

Keep That Sail a Sale
Cruise lines don’t make a profit on your cabin, so they try to separate you from your money the second they pull up the gangplank. Here’s how to keep your budget afloat.

Factor in tipping
Some cruise lines automatically add gratuities, while others still rely on passengers to make that decision. One helpful resource is, which calculates the suggested tip per day for each major cruise line.

Stick with the main dining room
More and more cruise ships have specialty—restaurants to give passengers options beyond the cost—included main dining room and midnight buffet. But eating at one of the ships’ designer restaurants will run you extra: on Royal Caribbean International, for example, dinner at Chops Grille is $25 per guest.

Budget for booze
Don’t expect to bring your own. Most cruise lines frown on this, and some actually employ a "liquor retention team" to seize alcohol not purchased on board (the bottles are returned at the end of the cruise). Carnival now keeps your bags on a dock for several hours where they can search them, Be careful.

Have a fantastic trip!
For assistance in planning your Cruise or any other kind of travel contact Care-To-Go at 800-818-0407 or check the web at

Travel Companion Reunites A Brother And Sister After Years Apart

 Phoenix Travel Companion

It was a picturesque spring day in April when Evelyn and her personal Travel Companion headed for the airport shuttle going from Burbank California connecting to John Day Oregon.  This should be a trip to remember.  Evelyn 95 was on her way to reunite with her brother Howard now 93 in Oregon.

Evelyn and Howard are the only ones remaining of five siblings who grew up on a little farm in Missouri then moved to California and Oregon in the mid 1940s.  It had been several years since the two of them had spent time together.

The trip to Boise ID went smoothly because Evelyn’s Travel Companion had scheduled an easy connection and had scheduled a wheel chair and pre-boarding for all the flight segments.  Evelyn’s Travel Companion Pam handled the bags and arranged for transportation from Boise airport to John Day OR, about a 3 hour ride.  Once checked into their hotel in John Day, Pam and Evelyn went to the ranch to reunite with Howard.

Ron, Gary, Brian, along with Donna also come to join in the get-together.  Evelyn and Howard were so excited to see each other and they lost no time in catching up.  Donna, Pam and Ron made dinner “Missouri” style which set the stage for several hours of conversation about the old days. 

During the next three days, The seniors reminisced for endless hours, never running out of stories.  They reminisced, went fishing (Evelyn caught the most fish for the dinner), looked at the scrap books, enjoyed Howard’s birthday celebration and just enjoyed their time all together.

Evelyn’s Travel Companion Pam, not only helped all the way making the trip possible, but she put forth the extra effort insuring that Evelyn was well taken care of and cared for.  Besides the trip, Pam helped with meals, baited hooks for fishing, helped organize scrapbooks and took some family pictures.  Pam roomed with Evelyn in the lodge to be certain she was well cared for and secure.

When it was time for the flight home, Evelyn and her travel companion boarded Southwest flight 405 to Oakland CA to connect to Burbank California.  The standard wheel chair and preboarding were set and the boarding in Boise went fine. 

After 30 minutes in the air, the pilot said that there was a warning light in the cockpit and we needed to return to Boise and have it fixed.  When it was discovered that the delay could be lengthly, the gate agents had everyone to get off and wait for another aircraft.  Evelyn was assisted from the plane and the circumstances was explained to her.  Pam, the Travel Companion continued to handle everything; explaining the circumstances to Evelyn, re-booking the flight connection to Oakland, assuring priority boarding once more, and handling snacks and drinks.  Thankfully the flights home were uneventful and went smoothly.

We are reminded constantly how precious family and friends can be to our well being.  Our seniors regularly let life close in on them because retaining contact with loved ones who live far away becomes too difficult.  Unfortunately, travel is one of the first things that drops out of the life of  an aging senior.  Travel Companions are a way for seniors to keep the lifestyle they love and maintain contact with friends and family.

Evelyn and Howard had a few wonderful days together and they now have more memories to last a life time.  At the last dinner in Oregon, plans were already started to schedule the next family reunion.


One company specializing in Travel Companions is Care-To-Go. For information on scheduling your Travel Companion visit

Phoenix Travel Companion Reveals Spirit’s Carry-On Bag Fees And Pending Senate Legislation.

Airlines have begun charging for checked bags on flights. Some start at $20 for the first bag and $30 for the next bag. Southwest is still free for checked and carry on bags. Most passengers don’t like the extra charges added at the airport and would rather just have the ticket price be the total price for the flight.

Now Spirit Airlines has started a new high in lows! They want to charge $45 for a carry on bag. Doesn’t everyone take bags on a trip? Of course they do. These added fees are just a rip off and an annoyance to the traveling public.

The following article appeared in Business week.

Click here to see how a Travel Companion from can help you navigate through these charges.

(Adds Spirit’s response in ninth paragraph, Hawaiian Airlines chief starting in 13th.)

By Jeff Plungis

April 13 (Bloomberg) — Two Democratic U.S. senators introduced legislation that would ban airlines from charging fees for bags carried aboard planes one week after Spirit Airlines Inc. became the first carrier to announce a charge.

The legislation by Senators Benjamin Cardin of Maryland and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana would assure that items essential to people’s health, work and safety can be carried on board without extra fees, according to a statement today. The bill also would require advance notice of special fees for checked items, according to the statement.

“Only one airline has announced plans to charge for carry- on item fees, but we cannot allow these flood gates to open,” Landrieu said in the statement.

Carrying a bag onto a Spirit flight will cost passengers $45 at the gate, or $30 if paid in advance, starting in August, the Miramar, Florida-based discount carrier said in an April 6 statement. Customers paying the fee will board first and all travelers can carry, without charge, small personal items such as a purse or briefcase that fit under the seat.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, in an April 8 interview with travel writer Christopher Elliott, said he would hold Spirit’s “feet to the fire” over fees, especially in efforts to ensure consumers understand what they’re paying.

“I think it’s a bit outrageous that an airline is going to charge someone to carry on a bag and put it in the overhead,” LaHood said. “I’ve told our people to try and figure out a way to mitigate that. I think it’s ridiculous.”

Fares Stagnating

Carriers are seeking revenue beyond tickets sales as fares last year stagnated at 1998 levels amid the recession, according to U.S. statistics. The five largest U.S. airlines will collect $1.76 billion for checking first and second bags, a $117 million increase from last year, according to a Jan. 20 report by Ideaworks, a Shorewoods, Wisconsin, consulting firm.

UAL Corp.’s United Airlines was the first major U.S. carrier to impose a fee in 2008 when it began charging for a second checked bag. Most major airlines charge at least $20 to check one bag and $30 for a second, and permit carry-on bags and personal items for free.

Spirit Airlines adjusted fares and fees to help speed up security lines, make boarding quicker and end a “carry-on bag crisis,” spokeswoman Misty Pinson said in an e-mail.

“Spirit is even further lowering fares, lowering checked bag fees, giving customers the option to carry-on a bag for a fee that includes priority boarding, and personal items are still free,” Pinson said.

Discount Club

Spirit said passengers signing up for its discount fare club, at a cost of $39.95 a year, will pay $20 for carry-on bags when they prepay using the Internet. The carrier is lowering fees for prepaid checked bags for club members, to $15 for the first and second bags from $19 for one and $25 for the second.

Cardin and Landrieu failed in a bid to add their bill as an amendment to the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill that passed the Senate last month, the statement said.

Congress should avoid legislating fees as airline deregulation helped the industry lower fares and add flights, said Mark Dunkerley, chief executive officer of Hawaiian Holdings Inc., parent of Honolulu-based Hawaiian Airlines.     “You ought to allow all kinds of airlines to try new and innovative things to attract customers,” Dunkerley said in a telephone interview. “It’s important that legislation stay away from directing airlines what they can and cannot charge for.”

Watching Spirit

    Hawaiian has “no plans” to add a carry-on bag fee as it watches developments at Spirit “very closely,” he said.

Senator Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat, yesterday asked Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to use his power to declare carry-on luggage as a necessary part of air travel, which would subject the fees to a federal excise tax. The decision would discourage airlines from charging fees for bags, he said. If the Treasury Department doesn’t act, Schumer said he’d introduce legislation to have the same effect.

“Airline passengers have always had the right to bring a carry-on bag without having to worry about getting nickel and dimed by an airline company,” Schumer said. “The Treasury Department needs to close the loophole that encourages this abusive practice and rein in these fees.”

–With assistance from Mary Jane Credeur in Atlanta and John Hughes in Washington. Editors: Steve Geimann, Romaine Bostick.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jeff Plungis in Washington at [email protected]

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Larry Liebert at [email protected]

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