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.

Travel Humour : Haggling For Your Visa & Your Name Is What?

Travel is inherently laced with humourous moments. Some moments may not seem funny at first, but after the stress of the moment is gone, you can look back and laugh.

 

In 2014 I had the good fortune, at least in hindsight, to laugh a lot during my travels … today I’d like to look back at one such quick business trip Nairobi, Kenya.   Before I dig into this situation that still has me laughing, I have to say I cannot wait to go back to Kenya and spend more than 17 hours in this gorgeous country, that has some seriously tasty food … but anyway …

 

The entry visa on arrival into Kenya for American citizens is US$50, as I was flying to Kenya from China, via Thailand, I arrived with the visa-on-arrival fee in Kenyan Shillings, rather than U.S. Dollars … big mistake. As I went to pay for the visa the Government Official refused the Shillings and told me she would only accept U.S. Dollars or “maybe Euros.”

 

Following a brief back and forth conversation the Government Official, she asked me how much money I had in U.S. Dollars and I answered that I had a $20 bill. She looked me in the eyes, nodded, and said, “That’ll do”, then took my $20. Rather than a Single Entry Visa being placed in my passport, I was instead issued Transit Visa and waived me along.

 

As unusual as that exchange was, while obtaining a visa on arrival in Nairobi, it wasn’t until I had left the airport and opened my passport to the page with the visa that I realized exactly how funny this whole situation was … why you ask? Well let me tell you why …

 

On the first line of the visa it simply says “Name”, and according to my Kenyan visa my whole name is “Eric.” No last name, just Eric … of course that is only relevant if we ignore the fact that my name is Steven.

 

Below a photo of my visa from Kenya, one that caused a few questions upon arrival in Amsterdam, Argentina and back home in the United States.

 

Happy Flying!

 

@flyingwithfish

Kenya_Visa

Captured Guns At Airport Checkpoints Up 22% … Are Travelers Getting Dumber?

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) began its organized reporting of firearms in 2006, a year in which the agency’s front line Transportation Security Officers (TSO) seized 660 guns at checkpoints. Here we are in 2015, with a look back at 2014’s numbers, where TSA TSOs seized 2,212 firearms passengers attempted to bring on board aircraft in their carry-on bags.

 

On the one hand, yes, the TSA has improved its front line screening of passengers, however, spotting guns has never been a real challenge for those monitoring the x-ray screening. Even the most poorly trained TSO can spot a gun … which leads to think one glaring question …

 

… are travelers in the United States just getting dumber?

 

You know what is even worse? 83% of the 2,212 firearms seized by the TSA at checkpoints, placed in carry-on bags, were loaded.

 

This is not a Second Amendment debate. Of the 2,212 guns in the TSA’s year end wrap up numbers all were stopped at passenger check points, not in checked bags. These numbers do not reflect seized weapons that law enforcement recovered from improperly declared checked bags … this is just from carry-ons.

 

At what point does someone forget they have a gun in their briefcase? How does a woman forget she has a fully loaded semiautomatic 9mm pistol in her purse?

 

OK … granted, 2,212 seized firearms from carry on baggage only accounts for roughly 0.0149% of all passengers screened in the United States … but this comes out to roughly six guns per day.

 

So now, having read through the full 2014 annual review from the TSA, I’d like to offer you, the traveling public, some general tips …

 

1) Unless you are law enforcement, and have completed the ‘Law Enforcement Officers Flying Armed” training, as per Title 49 Code of Federal Regulation (CFR) § 1544.219, Carriage of Accessible Weapons, and have submitted a National Law Enforcement Telecommunications System Message prior to travel … or are a Federal Air Marshals, Federal Flight Deck Officer or a select Law Enforcement or Government Officials … YOU ARE NOT GETTING ON A COMMERCIAL AIRLINE FLIGHT WITH YOUR GUN

 

2) Putting aside the obvious fact that an assault rifle is not allowed in your carry on … keep this in mind … if your M4 carbine rifle, and related loaded magazines, are stored in a case that exceeds the maximum carry on length of the airline you are flying on, it wouldn’t be allowed as carry on, even if you weren’t trying to fly with a rifle as your carry on.

 

3) Common logic … placing duct tape on your grenade will not effectively disguise it from the passenger screening x-ray scanners. It just looks like a grenade wrapped in duct tape.

 

4) Any sold putty material will show up as a “brick” on the scanner and will be required to be hand searched.   Any putty marked as “C-4”, yea that’s not getting on the plane and you’re having a conversation with law enforcement.

 

5) If you need to travel with an improvised explosives device (IED) training kit, consider traveling with it completely disassembled, and packed in separate checked bags so it doesn’t look like ball bearings packed in putty, attached to a detonator, placed inside a deployment package.   You know what … just ship those components in 4 or 5 separate boxes. It ain’t getting on a plane.

 

6) If you must try and see if you can slip a gun through an airport passenger screening checkpoint, at least have the brains to not have the loaded firearm holstered to your body.

 

I love people watching in airports. Airports to me are the greatest place to sit, listen and observe … but the more I sit in some airports and watch and listen, the more I am convinced that as a whole we’re just getting dumber and dumber.

 

Happy Flying!

 

@flyingwithfish

The Illusion Of Transportation Security

Fences, concrete barriers and checkpoints surround airports, seaport docks and access points to railroad yards.   Securing mass transit and cargo shipping falls to multiple agencies … but gaps still exist. The far and distant corners of some airports have crumbling fences, or no fencing along waterways. Nearly all commercial and passenger seaports are vulnerable from the water and railroads have vast sections of unprotected stretches of tracks.

 

Securing transportation in the United States, and The World, is extremely important, but the more I dig, the more I find gaps. Some transportation security gaps are hard to spot, but blatant, such as gaps in the fence near the U.S. Customs and Border Protection offices at New York’s JFK International Airport; the ability to easily walk through a metal detector offered by TSA PreCheck with a 20oz bottle of liquid hidden in deep pant pockets … but today I was reminded about not just what some refer to as ‘Security Theater.’

 

Personally I tend to avoid the term ‘Security Theater.’ There are many aspects to aviation security the general public sees as useless that is actually functional. Yes, not everything does what security agencies would like you to believe they do … but overall I think ‘Security Theater’ is just a catchy term for many things that aren’t actually theater.

 

Today, while doing some research on the overall view of Transportation Security I encountered something I have seen before, but today it really stuck with me. What I drove up upon is it something found along railroad depots all around the Northeast Corridor, and from what I can tell, all over the United States. As I stood looking at what was in front of me, the whole concept of The Illusion of Transportation Security raced through my head.

 

So what was I staring at?

 

A muddy driveway from a roadway into an area of three mainline Amtrak Tracks, mainline signals, switch tracks, a few freight sidings and two freight spurs. The drive way is lined with barbed wire fencing, along with signs stating that entry into the driveway is prohibited … however … there is no gate. There is no way to close off the muddy driveway. The fencing just ends and leaves the area it is protecting wide open.

 

I spent 15 minutes walking around, studying the area, looking in all directions. I walked into the open driveway. I drove my truck into the open driveway. There are no cameras on the entryway, there is no lighting in this area, an area where electric high speed trains race through the switch tracks as they share the lines with electric regional trains, diesel commuter trains and freight trains.

 

What is the purpose of fencing and barbed wire if there is no need to climb the fence? Forget climbing the fence, anyone can just drive their vehicle right in, up to the tracks, up to the signals, up to the overhead power lines.

 

The purpose is The Illusion Of Transportation Security. If someone sees the barbed wire fence, it appears that the area is protected, but at this depot the reality is so many different entities need to have access that it would be impossible for everyone who needed to enter the area have a key.

 

So rather than install a fence, with a gate, that locks, the solution was just an open corridor of foreboding chain link fencing and barbed wire.

 

In general when people think of transportation security they think of airports and air travel, but the need to secure railroads and ships is just as vital.   Nothing can really stop people dead-set of causing havoc, many will always find a way, and we as a society cannot protect everyone and everything, but if there an effort to make something appear secure and it is not secure, the threat actually increases as people try and exploit that Illusion Of Transportation Security.

 

Look around; I am sure you’ll see it also.

 

Below is my photo of the barbed wire fencing that provides no security along Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor.

 

Happy Flying!

 

@flyingwithfish

 

20150114_Amtrak_Fence_0584_72

TSA & Reporting Of Seized Guns In NYC … Beating The NY Post To Their Own Story

This afternoon, after a few conversations with various people at a Federal Security Agency and Multi-State Jurisdiction Law Enforcement Agency, I became aware of an interesting, but misguided, story that is soon to be published by Philip Messing of the New York Post.   Rather than wait for the New York Post story to be published to refute it, I’ve decided to be proactive and go after the same story, but from a completely different perspective. Why? Because the whole premise of the story makes no sense.

 

I learned the same information from two different agencies, both involving in a rather one-sided pissing match … so this, to me, would fall under “the facts are undisputed.”

 

So … on with the story …

 

It would seem Mr. Messing has been furnished with a number of gun seizure reports from the New York New Jersey Port Authority Police Department’s (PAPD) Police Benevolent Association (PBA). Using these reports, Mr. Messing has been investigating the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) under reporting the number of guns that the agency seizes at New York City’s JFK International Airport (JFK) and LaGuardia Airport (LGA), both in Queens, New York. Now, if you follow the TSA on Twitter, or the TSA on Instagram, you can see why this whole notion of the TSA under reporting the number of firearms taken from checkpoints is utter non-sense … but let me get into this a bit further.

 

First, a bit of history. The TSA and Port Authority Police have been at odds with each other for a number of years. The PAPD, who has law enforcement jurisdiction over JFK and LGA, has long since exhibited a prevailing attitude that the TSA is encroaching on their turf, despite the TSA not being law enforcement and the PAPD not providing aviation screening services.

 

The tensions between the TSA and PAPD began to come to a head in April 2013, which I wrote about here, “When Pissing Matches Impact Security : PAPD vs TSA,” and have not eased much since. For reasons that remain largely unclear, the PAPD has on multiple occasions sought to damage the already tarnished image of the TSA … and it would seem the PAPD’s PBA is at it again with providing Mr. Messing with inaccurate information pertaining to actual firearms seizure reports at the airports in New York City’s airports.

 

The information the PAPD’s PBA provided to the New York Post indicate that a significantly larger number of guns have been seized at JFK and LGA than the TSA reports … this is entirely true.

 

Yes, many more guns are seized from passengers traveling through these airports than the TSA includes in its internal reports and external releases … however the TSA is not hiding anything, nor are they under reporting the number of firearms they have seized.

 

How is this possible? Let me explain … the TSA only reports on firearms that Transportation Security Officers (TSO) discover at screening checkpoints.   Any weapon recovered at a check point, including guns, knives, brass knuckles, the occasional mace club, claymore mine (yes, a claymore mine), is photographed, then photographed with the boarding pass of the passenger who was traveling with the weapon.

 

Guns that are discovered by airline personnel due to improper packing, improper declaration, or those caught traveling through the airport legally possessing the gun, but not having a New York State license for the firearm do not have TSA involvement.   These incidents directly involve the Port Authority Police, who investigate and confiscate the weapon. There is no need for the TSA to be involved.

 

The TSA does not confiscate gun parts inside of checked baggage, such as the two empty AK-47 magazines that were discovered in the checked baggage of a man flying to Yemen from JFK this past May. The two AK-47 magazines were discovered when Bassam Alkhanshli was flagged for the one way ticket he purchased to Yemen, and he was questioned by Customs and Border Protection (CBP), a law enforcement agency within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). When CBP discovered Mr. Alkhanshli had not declared he was traveling to a foreign country with more than US$10,000, as he was required to do, his bags were searched.   The reason the TSA did not confiscate the two AK-47 magazines in the checked baggage, when the bags were screened, is that empty rifle magazines pose no threat to aviation security.

 

Yes, these rifle magazines violate New York State law, but the TSA does not enforce New York State or New York City laws. The TSA also took no action against Mr. Alkhanshli for possessing US$12,000, because cash poses no threat to aviation security. The TSA does not ask for international travelers to produce any declarations the CBP may require.

 

In fact, passengers need not declare ammunition in checked baggage either. Firearm ammunition may violate a local legal statutes, but it is not a threat to aviation security. The TSA is looking for explosives, things that can explode in flight. No, a passenger cannot have bullets in the passenger cabin, but bullets in the checked cargo hold, they aren’t going to explode and no one in the aircraft cabin can get to them, so they are not a threat.

 

Now, if the PAPD wants accurate firearm reporting numbers there is a question for them … why is it sometimes the PAPD notifies the TSA when they have seized a firearm at an airport … and … sometimes they don’t?   Wouldn’t a little consistency be nice in information sharing?

 

So, should Mr. Messing and the New York Post pursue the story, and following their previous coverage, just bash the Transportation Security Administration using half-truths and incorrect information, such as their story in the AK-47 magazines … I would sincerely hope that they realize the TSA is not under reporting the number of guns seized. The TSA is only reporting the guns seized at checkpoints that would have otherwise made it on-board the aircraft in a passenger’s carry on.

 

As I have said many times on Flying With Fish, it is easy to attack the TSA. The agency makes it all to easy some days. If you are going to go after the agency, at least do it with a real story, and research your facts, because just making it up and letting it fly does everyone a disservice.

 

You want a good story? Try the massive security gaps in the screening of certain types of vehicles entering the airfield each and every day at JFK and LGA that come in direct contact with passenger aircraft. Holes in fences with gaps in security camera coverage, where airside vehicles drive past all day, every day … one of these areas being right in front of the Customs and Border Protection Offices at JFK.   Now that’s a fun and scary story.

 

Happy Flying!

 

@flyingwithfish

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The TSA, Leaderless Again

The 31st of December 2014 was the last day the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) had a leader, as Administrator John Pistole stepped down from his role to become the President of Anderson University, where he had attended college.

 

The White House and the Department of Homeland Security have known the TSA would need a new Administrator since late October, as Pistole announced he would be stepped down on the 27th of October; but as of today there is no short list of candidates for the position, no likely appointments, no scheduled confirmation hearings … and it appears that the agency will be rudderless once again for an extended period of time.

 

The departure of John Pistole is not the first time the TSA has been left leaderless, during its short existence. From January 2009, when Kip Hawley stepped down, through June 2010 when John Pistole took office, the TSA was lead by one its founders, Gale Rossides, who stepped in as the Acting Administrator. Gale Rossides was a good leader for the agency, but she had little control, virtually no political clout and those below her often viewed her as a seat warmer, until a new Administrator was appointed.

 

As the TSA has a history of being its own worst enemy in many ways, and pushing the boundaries of what its mission should be, leaving the agency with out a permanent leader firmly in place is significantly problematic.

 

Unfortunately the process of appointing a new TSA Administrator to lead the agency is fraught with political pit falls, and ultimately deters some of the best possible candidates for the job.

 

Leading an agency that is often in the political and media spot light, rarely for positive reasons, that is diverse in missions , is in need of internal reform and is often resistant to change … even some minor things that can greatly improve its operations … is a daunting task. Some logical choices may exist within the agency itself, but likely its next leader will not be selected from within the ranks, as politics makes that nearly impossible.

 

Let’s hope a new TSA boss is found quicker than the last, with their eye on the long term rather than solely on the here-and-now.

 

Happy Flying!

 

@flyingwithfish

Thank Goodness 2014 Is Over … Bring on 2015

2014 was a brutal year on many fronts.  Yes, traditionally people kick off the New Year on an up beat and happy note … and I’ll get there … but it was a brutal year.

For those looking backwards through rose coloured glasses, I am not. In the aviation world we had a number of major disasters, we have a Boeing 777-200 that just vanished that will keep conspiracy theorists going for years, commercial space travel had a major catastrophic disaster that hopefully doesn’t delay its advancements too long and while every year has crashes and incidents, 2014 seemed to be more than most years.

2014 saw the last commercial passenger flight of my beloved three-holers, as the DC-10 was retired, as was it’s successor the MD-11, as well as the British Royal Air Force retiring my favourite aircraft, the L-1011.

On a personal front, I let Flying With Fish lapse. Despite some fantastic professional projects last year, including leading a national campaign for Airbnb and building a global social campaign for SkyTeam that took me to 15 cities, 13 countries and 6 continents in less that two weeks, it had been a brutal year and some things had to be sidelined to focus on what is really important to me … my family, my kids.

I let many major stories slip through my fingers, including one where I was days ahead of everyone in my coverage, but chose to use Twitter instead of my blog in an effort to balance work and life … it was an experiment I would do very differently if I had to do it all over again.

For me, the past year was like a bad country & western song. My landlord sold the house; I moved and had no where to go for a while; I was temporarily unable to leave South Korea due to an immigrations issue; I was briefly detained on arrival in China (OK, no country song discusses South Korea or China): my old dog, my companion for nearly 12 years, passed away suddenly in Connecticut while I was all alone in a hotel room in London in the middle of the night …  and a few hours late, like something scripted from a 1980’s movie, at the exact moment my flight’s wheels touched down in Paris, while l was listing to Counting Crows these lyrics came through my headsets …  “and I have been to Paris, and I have been to Rome, and I have gone to London and I am all alone … and I have been to Paris, and I have been to Rome, I’ve gone to New York City, and I am all alone. All alone.”

So … now that 2014 is over, all I can say is onward and upward.   I have no idea what 2015 has in store for me, but I know this. I miss writing Flying With Fish. I miss covering aviation security and the airline industry.   I miss doing what I love and I miss finding the time and energy to do it … so I’ll just find the time somewhere and work to make it happen.

For those of you who have been emailing me asking where I have gone … I am working on coming back and getting everything in order to do that.   

OK … enough with the personal stuff … I have a lot of writing to catch up on.

Have A Happy & A Healthy New Year Everyone. Happy Flying!

@flyingwitfhish

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

 

Fleece_7_9399_72 SeV_Shirt_72 SeV_iPad_72Fleece_7_9390_72