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July 2014    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 29, No. 7   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Stuff to Soothe Your Soul During a Hellish Trip

from the July, 2014 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Here are some products and services we like that help make dealing with airports, airlines and the contraptions they call "seats" on airplanes a little less stressful for your next dive trip.

AirCare. Although travel insurance and government regulations will cover you for some air travel mishaps -- missed connections to your international flights, lost bags at LAX that didn't make it on your Air Fiji flight, etc. -- some incidents come with loopholes that deny you any compensation. AirCare, offered by Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection, is a fixed-benefit flight protection plan (currently it applies only to domestic flights) that aims to cover snafus not covered elsewhere with minimal effort on your part. For $25 per trip, AirCare will pay you $1,000 if you're stuck in the plane for more than two hours, or your luggage is lost or stolen; and $500 if a flight delay causes you to miss a connecting flight, or your checked luggage is delayed more than 12 hours. Compensation is in addition to whatever you might eventually collect from your travel insurance claim or by complaining to the airline. Lost or delayed baggage payment is immediate upon providing an airline claim form. International coverage is planned soon, but for now, it doesn't cover you if your Indonesian puddle jumper leaves your bags behind while you're headed back to stateside. ( https://www.bhtp.com/travel-protection/aircare )

Airport Transit Guide. When business-travel blogger Joe Brancatelli switched from a BlackBerry to a smartphone, the first app he bought was the Airport Transit Guide, a $5 app for iPhone/iPad and Android smartphones and tablets. Quickly find and compare all of your transit options, from taxis and trains to car rentals and parking rates, for getting from the airport to your destination quickly and cheaply. The guide gives you prices, schedules, travel times, tipping advice, safety alerts, and more. More than 460 airports, including many in divers' favorite Caribbean and Asia-Pacific destinations, are covered worldwide. ( http://salkinternational.com )

Knee Defender. If you hate having your scarce legroom invaded by reclining seats, instead of asking fellow passengers to remain upright, you can just force them to do so. The Knee Defender is a gadget that uses two small pieces of plastic to clip onto the arms holding up your tray table. Place them snugly against the seat back, and that seat is blocked from reclining, keeping the users' knees safe. It does not violate any FAA regulations, but airlines have the right to forbid its use -- Northwest, American, and Continental Airlines have done so. If you're flying another airline, pick up the Knee Defender for $20 and you'll have a little more peace on that long-haul flight ( www.gadgetduck.com/goods/kneedefender.html )

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