The Missing Malaysian Airplane

In the early morning hours of Saturday, March 8, Flight MH370 out of Kuala Lumpur taxied down the runway, headed for China. The flight should have been on the ground in Beijing around 6:30 a.m.

But the plane, carrying 227 people and 12 crewmembers, never arrived.

On March 24, 16 days after MH370 disappeared, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak issued a statement, which read, “It is with deep sadness and regret that I must inform you that, according to this new data, flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean.”

All Right, Good Night
The National Post reports that the last cockpit transmission occurred at the end of Malaysian airspace, when Malaysia air control notified the pilots they were handing over control to Ho Chi Minh City. “All right, good night,” the pilot replied. Three minutes later, the flight disappeared from Vietnam’s radar. The plane had only been in the air for an hour when it vanished.

Theories Abound
According to BBC News, the plane should have taken a northeastern course, flying over Cambodia and Vietnam. Initial searches took place in the South China Sea. As the hours passed and no debris was found, theories about what happened to the plan and its crew and passengers, grew wild and wilder.

Everything from terrorism to an incapacitated crew was debated, with dashes of alien attacks and government corruption thrown in. Compounding the mystery was the fact that two passengers used stolen passports from Italy and Australia to board the plane. Channel News Asia reports that no “elements of corruption” have been found in that case.

On March 20, Australian search teams reported finding possible debris on satellite in the southern Indian Ocean. As the hours passed, more debris was found, eventually leading to Prime Minister Razak’s chilling statement: “All lives are lost.”

A March 26 report from CNN, says that a satellite has located a possible debris field in the southern Indian Ocean, but the objects in the water have yet to be identified.

Questions Remain
How did flight MH370, which should have flown over the South China Sea, end up in the southern Indian Ocean? Automated “pings” from the plane were sent for nearly five hours after contact was lost, suggesting that the plane was either still in the air or safely on land. Why were no distress calls issued from the pilots or crew? How could an entire plane just disappear?

There are far more questions than answers in this tragedy. Unfortunately, it could be months or years before the bulk of flight MH370 is found and the mystery can be pieced together.

The thoughts and prayers of the AirportParkingReservations.com team are with the families of the passengers affected by the disappearance of flight MH370. It is our sincere hope that they will find closure soon.

Pack Like a Pro and Travel Lighter

Feeling overwhelmed after lugging your big suitcase out of the closet? We don’t envy you. We know that packing can be a pain.

No one wants to try to hoist an overloaded piece of luggage over every step and bump that the wheels won’t clear, or worse yet, pay fees for overweight baggage. So next time you’re packing, keep these tips handy and make the most of your suitcase space.

Save Big While Traveling for Business

Whether you’re a business traveling pro or a jet setting novice, there is a lot of planning involved. Of course, the idea of traveling often sounds glamorous, but it can take its toll on your budget. While companies will often reimburse for travel expenses, this isn’t always the case.

Why not make things easier on your bank account by using your travel smarts. With these useful budget-friendly tips, you’ll be an expert in how to handle your next business trip.

A Practical Pre-Travel Guide

Whether you’re a traveling aficionado or a first-timer, everyone can use a few extra pointers before packing their bags and heading out.

If you have a major trip on the horizon, this practical pre-travel guide — which can be marked off over the course of several months — can help get you ready gradually. That way, you won’t be making a mad rush in the final days before your trip, and you won’t risk overlooking something important.

AirportParkingReservations.comThree or More Months

Three months might seem like a long ways away, but there are several important tasks to tackle at this point.

For one, if you’re heading out of the country, you’ll need to procure a passport. All told, it can take anywhere from three to six weeks (you can reach the shorter end by paying for expedited service). And if you already have a passport, you might need to get it renewed depending on which country you’re visiting — some countries require your passport to have a certain number of months’ worth of validity remaining to travel there.

You’ll also want to start pricing airfares and scouring the Internet for deals on lodging and transportation. One good tip is to set up alerts to have the best prices emailed instantly to your inbox.

One Month
With roughly a month to go, you’ll want to figure out how you want to stay in touch with people while you’re away.

If you’re traveling internationally, using the hotel phone could put a real damper on your checking account. Instead, figure out whether your cell phone will be your trusty communicator. Talk with your mobile service provider about international plans for talk, text and even data; most providers allow you to purchase special packages for a month at a time, with varying prices depending on how much service you want and where you’re traveling.

If your phone isn’t compatible overseas, don’t panic! Vendors in other countries typically sell cheap prepaid phones that you can use to brag about your trip to family and friends back home.

Two Weeks
It might seem odd to pack so far ahead of your trip, and you’ll be down a few outfit options for work, but you’ll want to get your luggage sorted out ahead of time. Start by making a list of everything you need to bring. Then, pack things you won’t need for the couple weeks until your trip, and add more items from the list as your trip nears.

Not only will this keep packing from being a last-minute panic chore, but it will also give you time to think of anything you might have forgotten on your original list.

One Week

You don’t want to come home to a crammed mailbox — or worse, an empty mailbox when someone gets wise that you’re gone. Instead, visit your post office or go to USPS.com and put a hold on your mail until you return. You also can call your local newspaper’s circulation office and put a hold on delivery.

Also, call your bank and credit card companies to let them know when and where you are traveling. Credit card companies often interpret unannounced purchases overseas as potentially fraudulent purchases, so if you don’t give someone the heads-up ahead of time, you could find yourself with a canceled credit card and facing a sudden tight spot in a foreign place.

Lastly, make a copy of your passport and credit cards and leave it with an emergency contact. That way, you’ve got help in a pinch should something go awry.

One Night

Now is the time to pack last-minute items that you’ve needed up until the trip, such as toiletries, cell phone chargers and your laptop. Also set out your wallet, passport and ticket so you don’t forget them.

Have an early flight but not a morning person? We understand! Go ahead and leave your next-day clothes already laid out so all you have to worry about is guzzling coffee.

Lastly, while you might be more excited than a kid at Christmastime, make sure you get some shuteye. Not only will it do wonders for your mood, but you’ll also be a lot less likely to make mistakes that could derail your plans.

Traveling abroad can be stressful and exciting at the same time, but this travel checklist should keep a lid on the former. Also, don’t forget to spend the run-up to your trip brushing up on a bit of the language before you go.

While you’re planning for you next trip, don’t forget to reserve your airport parking with AirportParkingReservations.com!

5 Interesting Things I Can’t Travel Without

There are always some essential items everyone takes with them when they leave home, even if only for a few hours, such as cell phone, keys, and wallet/purse. When traveling and away from home for a longer period of time, the number of essential items can start to get a little interesting.

Here are some of my interesting (some not so interesting) must-have items whenever and wherever I travel:

  • Vitamin Water: I know it’s mostly sugar but I feel healthier! Especially when I’ll be stuffing my face with food when traveling.
  • Tablet: reading ebooks, web surfing, and angry birds. A must have for passing time.
  • First Aid Kit: I like to think I’m the least clumsy person alive but that’s just not true at all. Depending on your travel activities you may need this as well.
  • Picture of my pets: even though I have someone watching over my pets it’s nice to be reminded of them when I’m away.
  • Empty Bag/Water Bottlecall me strange but I love capturing air whenever I travel away from home – like my own souvenir.

I think everyone has their own interesting list of items/habits that they bring with them on their travels. It’s what makes our travels more personalized, unique, and memorable.

How about you? If you have something interesting then share it below, I’d love to hear about it!