As I’ve been a professional traveler for nearly ten years and am embarking on my Middle Eastern Journey tonight, I’ve learned there are many small things that one can do to prevent or minimize travel nightmares and stress. And from a branding standpoint, at the end of this post, some random ideas for brand experience improvement.

Less stress.

  • Life is just too short for self-inflicted chaos.
  • If you are catching an out of country flight, and leaving from NY or some other city more than 2 hours from your home base, get there the day before. Why risk bad weather, or canceled flights?
  • Get to the airport three hours early for International flights.
  • Have clients that own airlines, like mine, Saudi Arabian Airlines. I was greeted at the ticket guest and treated like royalty through out security and then escorted to the Korean Lounge, which SAA shares with Korean Airlines.
  • Dress for easy security checking measures. Don’t wear your jewelery, strategically locate all your removables, computers, liquids over 3 ounces, wear easy on – easy off shoes and just forget belts and hats.
  • If you are traveling with a lot of crap, often a cab or car service is better than the free shuttle.
  • Have small bill cash ready, you never know when a $10.00 will change your life.
  • Sleeping pills can totally remove the jet lag issues, pack em. Especially if the airline does not serve adult beverages like SAA.
  • Pack light, you will thank me for this tip. Black is always safe and you will look hip.
  • Keep all your docs and luggage ticket stubs in one place.

When your travel is smooth everything is better. The people are nicer, the screaming kid will not get on your last nerve and you will soak up more of the trip’s adventure.

Tighter brand connection. (The Lounge)
The Saudi team was top notch, friendly and welcoming . The counter experience was bright, signage easy to read and they had fresh flowers – a very nice touch.

If I had not been escorted to the Korean Lounge, a small note card with instructions would be a nice message.

The Korean lounge was nice, but snacks lack any branding, story or remarkable experience.

Restrooms had hand written signs in side, not a luxury element.

Plugs were plentiful and they worked. which is a key point for the modern gadget, business traveler. This is one of my pet peeves in many airline lounges.

All lounges need to do a better job of managing uncontrollable screaming kids and just inconsiderate adults yapping on their phones.

All lounges, including this one, need to find some unique, special touches that WOW their customers.

Got to go, boarding in few minutes, more from Jeddah on Friday.

For more travel tips, view:
A warrior’s check list, so the journey is a joy
I’m going to Saudi, join me!

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