Life on the Road…Avoiding Horrible Airline Coffee

I travel a lot, almost 100,000 miles a year, for work, I also require coffee to function in the morning, and these two requirements are definitely in conflict these days.  Years ago most airlines served Starbucks or other high quality coffee.  Some airlines even will make cappuccinos on board, but in the US the number of airlines serving bad coffee has skyrocketed.  American Airlines and United Airlines both used to serve Starbucks but have gone to cheaper alternatives.  American doesn’t even have Splenda!

As a result I’ve created a survival kit of sorts to at least get coffee that doesn’t taste weak and gives me all the options I need for a serviceable cup of coffee.  Sadly I can’t bring barista quality equipment on board, but the survival kit easily fits into any backpack.


The survival kit contains Starbucks VIA which can be dissolved into hot water, Splenda packets, though you can replace with your own sweetener, Coffee-mate To Go which is a great solution for non refrigerated creamer, coffee stirs, a thermos travel mug and finally gilding the lily is biscotti because once in a while you want to be fancy.

I also carry Tazo Refresh tea bags in case I am sick which is how the whole survival kit got started.  I needed to guzzle tea to get my voice back to speak at a conference back in 2009 and traveled with my favorite tea to help.  Ever since I’ve expanded the kit.

United Airlines, So Long and Thanks for All the Fish

After flying between 150,000 and 200,000 miles every year since 2006, this year I barely flew 10% of that.  So it is with great sadness that I say farewell to United, my 1K status, free upgrades, free checked bags and fast lines at the airport.  I am now a free agent in the airline world, willing to fly whomever will get me from point A to point B the fastest, most conveniently and cheapest.

I miss flying around the world even when it meant delayed flights, missed connections and lost luggage.  This week there were two cool videos that were posted to satisfy my flying needs.  The first video is a behind the scenes look at what happens to your luggage from the time you check your bag to the time it is delivered to you.

The second video is a cool behind the scenes look at an average day at Denver International Airport, an airport I flew through way to often in my 5+ years flying United.