About Me

Steven Frischling
Live: HVN
Work: JFK-SFO-CDG-HKG
Contact Me

Steven Frischling, aka: Fish, is globe hopping professional photographer, airline emerging media consultant working with large global airlines and founder of The Travel Strategist. Fish has racked up more than 1,000,000 miles since he started to track his mileage in 2005.

Fish's travel tends to be less than leisurely, including flying from New York to Basrah, Iraq, for six hours; Hong Kong for eight hours, Kuwait City for two hours and traveling around the world in 3.5 days to shoot a series of photo assignments in 4 cities and 4 countries on 3 separate continents.

Fish grew up at the end of New York's JFK International Airport's Runway 4R/22L, which probably explains his enjoyment of watching planes, fly overhead. When not shooting photos or traveling Fish designs camera bags, hones is expertise on airline security and spends his time at home cheering for the Red Sox with his 3 kids 102 yards from the ocean.

The Problem With Hiring EMTs & Paramedics To Detect Ebola At Some Airports

It has been reported in the past few days that the United States Customs & Border Protection (CBP) is working with San Antonio based Angel Staffing, a company that provides staffing services during disasters and public health crises to government agencies, to hire National Registry Certified Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) and Paramedics (EMT-P) to help screen passengers arriving in the United States from high risk ports of origin for the Ebola virus.

 

These emergency medical technicians are expected to be staffed at New York’s JFK International Airport, New Jersey’s Newark Liberty International Airport, Washington Dulles, Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International and Chicago O’Hare.

 

Never mind that JFK Airport, the airport that serves as the primary gateway for these flights, only generally receives less than 200 passengers per day that would receive scrutiny upon arriving from these points of origin according to the CBP, or that offering EMTs and Paramedics US$19 and $29 per hour for these positions is insulting … there is a red tape situation that is likely to occur in this being implemented at JFK, Newark or Atlanta.

 

Government agencies, licensing and regulatory bodies rarely work hand in hand, and red tape can throw any plan off course which is likely to occur here.   As CBP and Angel Staffing have made it a requirement that all applicants be registered with the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NR-EMT/NR-EMT-P), the candidate pool becomes extremely slim in New York, New Jersey and Georgia … why?

 

Not all states recognize the National Registry or offer the National Registry, either at specific levels or all level of certification. Among those states that it would be problematic to find those certified as National Registry Certified are … you guessed it … New York, New Jersey and Georgia.

 

For now CBP is working with United States Coast Guard Corpsmen, who have completed their EMT-B training at the Health Services Technician ‘C’ School … although they are generally not National Registry Certified as most U.S. Military Corpsmen are not certified to operate as EMTs in the civilian environment.

 

Rather than testing individual passengers entering the United States, U.S. Customs & Border Protection should look into multiple person temperature screening channels, such as those used in Hong Kong and Taipei, that everyone passes through. The health screening channels can handle dozens of people simultaneously and identify those with an elevated temperature. These health channels with personnel who watch everyone walking through them are effective, reduce costs and do not impede the arrivals process.

 

Happy Flying!

 

@flyingwithfish

TSA Implements ‘Do Not Board’ List & Mandatory Use Of Gloves In Response To Ebola

This past Friday, the 17th of October 2014, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) implemented directive MD 100.5 in response to the Ebola fears spreading throughout the United States.   MD 100.5, the Do Not Board Due To Threat To Public Health directive is not a new directive, former TSA Administrator Kip Hawley originally implemented it on the 11th of January 2008, however it had fallen by the wayside.

 

The TSA’s directive in response to a public heath threat while handled by the agency is not actually controlled by the agency. Neither there TSA nor the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) can add people to the list.   Those deeper a threat to public health can only be added by the Centers for Disease Control  & Prevention (CDC) directly, not by a local, state or regional health agency.

 

The process for adding someone to the Do Not Board List is not a quick or easy process, as one would imagine should be a priority when a public health outbreak occurs. The process must begin with the CDC, then pass through Health & Human Services DOC, then onward to the Department of Homeland Security’s National Operations Center, before being handed off to the TSA’s Assistant Secretary who gives it to the Transportation Security Operations Center (TSOC), before finally being implemented by the TSA.

 

It would seem by the time someone could be added to the Do Not Board List, with all the steps in place, they would likely either be dead or cleared of the disease.

 

 

… additionally … as the TSA is begin to reinstate MD 100.5, they have also issued a more practical directive, that all TSA Transportation Security Officers (TSO), including the Travel Document Checkers (TCD) you hand your boarding pass and identification to, must now wear gloves.   Sure, many TSOs already generally wear gloves, but now it is a directive in place for the interest of public health.

 

Happy Flying … and remember … don’t lick your seatmate.

 

@flyingwithfish

 

 

How Do You Edit Your Photos On The Road? Editing For Social On The Fly

A constant question during the #SkyTeamRTW journey was enquiring how I was editing my photos for real time social media publishing.

 

As the round the world social media campaign was created by, and undertaken by, a long time professional news photographer (namely Me) , the logical answer would have been Photo Mechanic to sort and Photoshop to edit … but that was not the case.   Given that the entire #SkyTeamRTW project was shot with a mix of an iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s, all of the editing, and subsequent cataloging on the road was done entirely with iPhone Apps. Every photo had the same process.

 

All photos were selected in iPhoto (now “Photos” on iOS 8), followed by the app’s white balance selection tool. The photos were saved then opened in the Snapseed App, applying between +5 and +15 with HDR Scape, +5 Details, then cropping to a square for Instagram.  Once done with Snapseed, the image files were opened in Any Mark to add the #SkyTeamRTW logo into the image. From there the final image was uploaded to Instagram.

 

While three apps and multiple steps were used for every image that appeared, the process is very quick and very easy. Less than one minute was spent editing each image to allow every photo to have a similar visual style.

 

I encourage every traveler to try different apps, regardless of what phone they use to shoot photos while they travel, and find what works for them.   If you need help with your photos, consider joining the weekly #TravelPics travel chat on Twitter, you can find a great group of travelers and photographers every Monday at 3:00pm EST.

 

Happy Flying!

 

@flyingwithfish 

 

#SkyTeamRTW in New York City

#SkyTeamRTW in New York City

#SkyTeamRTW in San Francisco

#SkyTeamRTW in San Francisco

#SkyTeamRTW watching young romance under a setting sun in Sydney

#SkyTeamRTW watching young romance under a setting sun in Sydney

#SkyTeamRTW at morning prayer in Taipei

#SkyTeamRTW at morning prayer in Taipei

#SkyTeamRTW lost along the side streets of Tokyo

#SkyTeamRTW lost along the side streets of Tokyo

#SkyTeamRTW gets a tour of Seoul with the Seoul Police.

#SkyTeamRTW gets a tour of Seoul with the Seoul Police.

#SkyTeamRTW arrives in Guangzhou

#SkyTeamRTW arrives in Guangzhou

#SkyTeamRTW in Bangkok

#SkyTeamRTW in Bangkok

#SkyTeamRTW hanging out with orphan elephants in Nairobi.

#SkyTeamRTW hanging out with orphan elephants in Nairobi.

#SkyTeamRTW takes in Amsterdam early in the morning.

#SkyTeamRTW takes in Amsterdam early in the morning.

#SkyTeamRTW enjoying a gorgeous afternoon in London.

#SkyTeamRTW enjoying a gorgeous afternoon in London.

#SkyTeamRTW among the lovers on the Love Lock Bridge in Paris

#SkyTeamRTW among the lovers on the Love Lock Bridge in Paris

#SkyTeamRTW in Madrid

#SkyTeamRTW in Madrid

#SkyTeamRTW enjoys the serenity of being alone in a football stadium in Buenos Aires.

#SkyTeamRTW enjoys the serenity of being alone in a football stadium in Buenos Aires.

#SkyTeamRTW's last stop, home, New York.

#SkyTeamRTW’s last stop, home, New York.

Last photo of the #SkyTeamRTW bag with airline crew members, departing EZE for JFK.

Last photo of the #SkyTeamRTW bag with airline crew members, departing EZE for JFK.

The #SkyTeamRTW Bag goes home to SkyTeam's HQ at AMS.

The #SkyTeamRTW Bag goes home to SkyTeam’s HQ at AMS.

Clothing For Travel, Choosing Practical Clothing For Use & Security

Choosing what stays with us as we travel has changed.  You used to keep a wallet in your pocket, maybe a notepad and a pen, and you were off. If you were so inclined, you tossed a camera on your shoulder.  The nature of travel has remained the same, but what comes with us has changed, as we now carry multiple debit cards, mobile phones with our personal details, laptops or tablets and other items that put us at risk for a very serious loss if taken from us or misplaced

 

Thieves have always existed, the basic techniques for theft have not changed much, but a traveler’s options to minimize their exposure to such a risk have significantly evolved.  Many manufactures are incorporating security features into their clothing, and in ‘every day’ clothing, no longer just the clothes that scream “TOURIST!

 

While traveling the globe for the #SkyTeamRTW journey I chose one type of clothing, three pairs of pants, six polo shirts, a hoodie sweatshirt and a fleece jacket that converts to a vest … all from Scottevest.

 

Scottevest clothing, while primarily designed for technology users, allowing for headsets to be installed into the clothing, as well as providing users the ability to carry their tablets inside their jackets and use their phones from inside their clothing, also have many security functions.   Scottevest Pants have dual hand pockets; one “normal” like a standard pant pocket and another very deep that is impossible for a pickpocket to reach into. Rear pockets are also dual and allow users to quick stash items like an iPad Mini (just don’t sit on the iPad), which is great when quickly working on the road.   The pants’ side hand pockets will also fit an iPad Mini, but it is harder to remove from the side pocket … but those long side pockets can hold some long camera lenses! (they easily fit a 70-200f2.8)

 

The Polo shirts from Scottevest, aside from being durable and comfortable have an excellent security feature, a hidden side pocket along the right side waist, which fits a Passport.   While I primarily used it to hold money, having a pocket that is not easy to locate, not easy to open and that can be tucked into the waist of pants, is a fantastic way to keep passports or currency safe.

 

Need to keep your train ticket handy? The polo shirts also have a handy zippered stack pocket up by the collar. You’ll never be caught fumbling for that subway fare card again.

 

The Scottevest hoodie sweatshirt is a travelers dream in the airport and on a plane.  A large enough hood to block out the world around you while on a plane, and interior pockets that can easily hold your mobile phone, your tablet, boarding pass, and designed to install ear buds.     Quickly having your phone or tablet handy in the airport is fantastic, but once you settle into the seat, pull the hood up, place your ear buds, you’ll get why this sweatshirt is makes travel more comfortable.

 

Finally, the most versatile piece of Scottevest clothing that accompanied me on the #SkyTeamRTW journey, the Fleece 7.0. Over a 12 day span I crossed from Summer to Winter to Summer three times, this makes packing a challenge. With the Fleece 7.0 not only did I have a comfortable jacket-and-vest in one … I had versatile clothing in which I could carry an 11” MacBook Air or an iPad, two secure pockets for our two iPhones, that could be used without ever removing the phones from the pockets, interior pockets for sun glasses, boarding passes, map, notebooks, functional pen slots and more.

 

People often say the live in their clothing, well with the Scottevest clothing I literally lived and worked out of my clothing while traveling through 15 cities, 13 counties, across six continents, in less than two weeks.   Functional, durable, offering superior security, this clothing wasn’t just clothing, it was every bit a part of our work gear as the #SkyTeamRTW messenger bag, my phones, laptops and power supplies.

 

Take a look at some of the Scottevest clothing and how it was used and consider checking them out at Scottevest.com

 

Happy Flying!

 

@flyingwithfish

 

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Keeping #SkyTeamRTW Powered Up & Operating In the Sky … The Hyperjuice Battery

Trying to work during a project that at times has you off and running looking for content in not just two different cities a day, but two countries in two separate time zones a day, creates many logistics challenges. Everything must be fluid and you need to handle whatever is presented to you. Delayed flights, ticketing issues, the unexpected 75 minute interview with Chinese Immigrations officials, rain, but regardless of what obstacle is in front of you content must be created, conversations must be followed up on and the time for much of this to happen is in flight.

 

Yes, while traveling for #SkyTeamRTW I relied on small pocket batteries while out exploring cities, but those batteries don’t provide enough juice to create an office in sky, especially with many economy class seats lacking in-seat power of any kind. Needing to charge a laptop, iPad and multiple phones, as well at times other smaller batteries, poses some unique power challenges. To make sure work continues, even if everything is in flux, a HyperJuice MBP2-100 Battery is always in “The Bag.” This relatively compact battery has provided our 11” MacBook Air enough power to run well over a dozen hours, while simultaneously being used to charge an iPad Mini and iPhone.

 

During the #SkyTeamRTW journey the MBP2-100 Battery has been used on every flight with the 13” MacBook Air, simultaneously with an iPad Mini and an iPhone (or two iPhones). We have also used it to charge the smaller pocket batteries for the iPhones to stay up and running while exploring in Taipei, Seoul and Nairobi.

 

Travel, especially business travel, can provide for some interesting technology related logistical issues and minimizing them makes everything go smoothly. You cannot control things beyond your control, but you can be prepared to succeed knowing there are many things you cannot control.

 

Below is a photo of the #SkyTeamRTW office in use from Seat 49A on board a China Southern Airlines Airbus A321 as we fly from CAN to BKK, the Hyperjuice MBP2-100 Battery powering our 13” MacBook Air, iPad Mini and iPhone all at once.

 

Happy Flying!

 

@flyingwithfish

 

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#SkyTeamRTW & The Turning Point From Going To Returning

Home, a welcome place after a long trip.  Home is not always a place, but sometimes just a state of mind. Home is where you recharge, where you sit and reflect on where you have been, what you have experienced and take a break before planning where you are headed next.

For many travelers, no matter how exciting the journey, there is that  turning point where you have a mindset shift from “going” to “returning.”  A four day trip, twelve day trip, six month trip, there is that moment when your mind starts drifting towards home.

For me during the #SkyTeamRTW journey that happened before departing Amsterdam for London when I put on my headsets and Phil Collins’Take Me Home” came on.   The music video flashed through my mind. In the video he is seen visiting New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sydney, Tokyo, London, Paris … all places on the travel itinerary (as well as Chicago, Stockholm, Memphis and St. Louis). The song echoed through my mind on the flight from Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport to London’s Heathrow Airport as the mental countdown clock began for returning home.

So, for your viewing pleasure this morning, and for everyone who has had this feeling … I present to you … Phil Collins’ Take Me Home as a musical travel interlude.

Happy Flying!

@flyingwithfish

#SkyTeamRTW’s Travel Winds Down … Now It Is Your Turn To Share.

Last night I hopped an Air Europa flight from Madrid to Buenos Aires, arriving in Argentina a little after 8:00am this morning. This evening I hop a flight with Aerolineas Argentinas back to New York’s JFK International Airport, where #SkyTeamRTW  started its journey, and #SkyTeamRTW ‘s travel is done for now … but the adventure need not end.

 

The purpose of #SkyTeamRTW has been to inspire you to travel the world. Maybe you’ll travel round-the-world, maybe all over Asia, or explore Europe; maybe you’ll set off to one new place or head off to a place you have visited before. Travelers are all inspired by something and as we have sought to inspire you, we would like you to help inspire other travelers.

 

As I head home, I’d like you to share your photos with #SkyTeamRTW, so Sky Team can share them with others on Instagram.  No two people are inspired the same way, everyone is touched by something that is unique to them, inside, that triggers the desire to desire to go out into the world.

 

Think about where you have been, what you have experienced, alone, with friends, as a family, the famous places you have been, the back road places that never catch the limelight and share those images so travelers and would be travelers are inspired to be where you have been and experience what you have experienced.

 

The world is full of places to visit, explore, experience and become immersed in and we hope #SkyTeamRTW has inspired you and look forward to you helping us inspire others!

 

 

Tweet us at @SkyTeamRTW, tag your photos on Instagram with #SkyTeamRTW, or share the images on Instagram and tag us with @SkyTeamAlliance and #SkyTeamRTW and we’ll share them with others.

 

Happy Flying!

 

@flyingwithfish

#SkyTeamRTW – The Point Of The Journey Is Not To Arrive

Since #SkyTeamRTW went wheels up from New York’s JFK International Airport a few days ago there have been many messages asking the final destination for this trip. The reality of #SkyTeamRTW is that the final destination is the point of it’s origin, New York’s JFK international airport, via six continents and more than a dozen countries.

 

Since the departure, and there is still a week of travel left, taking me to Africa, Europe and South America, I have already encountered an unexpected two day delay in Sydney Australia and a visa exemption issue changing travel from Beijing to Guangzhou, but that is OK. This journey is unlike any other you’re likely to experience, even as someone following the adventure … because I have no where to be.

 

The purpose is simple, to inspire people …no let me rephrase that … to inspire you to go travel around the world. You may not have an interest in a round-the-world adventure, but somewhere a far off land is calling your name. There are so many experiences to be had and we want to kindle that flame within you to go experience whatever it is you want to experience, and maybe if we’re lucky you’ll share that journey with SkyTeam.

 

Neil Peart once said “The Point Of The Journey Is Not To Arrive.” Every arrival for us is a departure and ultimately that is the purpose of the #SkyTeamRTW journey.

 

Thank you for coming along as I explore the globe.

 

Happy Flying!

 

@flyingwithfish

Take Your Mind Out Of Where You’re From When You Enter The World

While many places around the world have become homogenized, every place around the world is its own place. Behind the department stores, chain restaurants and globalized brands are unique places, unique experiences and people who while shopping at the same stores you shop at, eating the same food you eat … but half way around the world … are culturally different than you are.

 

Every once in a while there is some travel story about the worst global travelers, or most obnoxious travelers, but the fact is every country around the world has people who belong on this list. It is OK to always remember where you are from, and draw on your experiences and your culture as you venture out around the planet, but when you set foot in a new city, a new small town, a new country, remember that you are a visitor.

 

Yesterday morning as my flight pushed back from Incheon International Airport’s Gate 19, on board Korean Airlines Flight 865 to Guangzhou, taxing to the runway, a person behind us, with a familiar accent commented, “That’s [a lot] of foreign tails. Nothing American at this airport.”  I am not sure why this person was surprised to see “foreign tails” and “nothing American” at the airport, we we’re of course in South Korea, on board a Korean airliner, flying to China.

 

This is not an unfamiliar sentiment, and one we’ve heard from people from many nationalities around the world … however … every time I hear it, it is a confusing sentiment.

 

Why venture out into the world if you want every place to be the same as home? Home is comforting, home is where you feel safe, and while you should be comfortable and feel safe traveling the globe, even at a blistering such as the #SkyTeamRTW journey, you need to embrace where you are.

 

If you wanted Seoul to be like Chicago, why leave Chicago?  If you wanted Manama to be like Munich, why leave Munich? What is the point of visiting Paris if you expect the people there to speaking your language … unless of course you are a native French speaker?

 

The world is an exciting place. Go out, be part of the world, even for just a moment. Become connected to those around you, even if you are divided by language and culture, because ultimately if you have boarded a flight to a foreign land you have two choices, embrace it or reject it … and if you reject it, you are missing so much that can enrich your

 

Happy Flying!

 

@flyingwithfish

 

Nuts & Bolts of #SkyTeamRTW – Little Batteries, Big Job

Sometimes the smallest items can make the difference between working on the road and searching for a power outlet so you can keep working on the road. Many travelers, traveling for work or pleasure, are tied to their mobile phones or tablets to be in touch, but overlook a basic and inexpensive accessory … a small battery pack to keep their phone or tablet up and running.

 

For #SkyTeamRTW three batteries are constantly in the bag, brand tends to be less relevant than capacity. Yes, $10 pocket batteries are available to keep your mobile phone juiced while out and about, but the capacity of those batteries tends to often not be enough to even provide one single recharge to a phone, so before selecting a battery do some homework.

 

The three batteries on the road, keeping #SkyTeamRTW up and running all day, every day, as we bounce around the planet, are all capable of not only providing more than a single full charge to an iPhone 5, but also charging the iPad Mini.

 

For what people spend on their phones, their tablets, the accessories for their phones and tablets, it is surprising how many travelers overlook the simple and cost effective accessory of a battery than can allow them to keep wandering, keep working, keep enjoying their day rather than frequently taking a break from their day to find an electrical outlet to recharge.

 

The World moves quickly, why waste your precious time sitting down tethered to a wall so you can keep charging your adventures when you can stay powered up and keep enjoying your adventures?

 

Below is a photo of the Innergie battery and two Energizer batteries that keep the two iPhones and iPad Mini going as #SkyTeamRTW explores the world.

 

Happy Flying!

 

@flyingwithfish

 

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