Saturday, August 24, 2013

I Don't Mind Being called a "Bag Lady".

The old expression “necessity is the mother of invention” could not have been truer when I found myself as a 35-year veteran Realtor with an arm full of small, high tech essentials and no convenient place to keep them. I soon discovered that calling my own misplaced cell phone to find it was not an isolated problem--- but a universal one. I decided to create a wearable organizer to hold these small, easily misplaced electronic necessities. You could call it a “fashion tool belt” for multiple electronic items.
I named the product the PUP, (acronym for personal utility pouch). PUP website

I dusted off my 35-year-old college education in communications and marketing and went to work to promote it. All of my hard work paid off when my product was accepted by QVC--the nation's largest  shopping network.
I appeared on QVC 35 times in 18 months with sales totaling over $1.5 million dollars in its debut year. Now at 61, I'm a proud member of the fastest growing age group starting new businesses: Baby Boomers.
I’ve learned a lot during those 70 plus times of getting on and off a plane to promote my product: Here are my 7 top travel observations

1) I always wanted to travel -Ahh, be careful what you wish for as it may just come true

2) Flying is much easier when you're younger (and the seats are much larger too)

3) Don’t fly on three round trip flights in one week (which I did in order to appear on QVC).

4) Don’t fly during a hurricane. ( I did on several occasions)

5) Airports during peak vacation flying holidays like the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve are NOT for amateurs.

6) Just because you’ve “been there, done that” many, many times, don’t become oblivious to your surroundings. Important note to self-All gate shuttle trams may look the same but they go to different places. It’s a lesson that took 3 times for me to learn

7) You’ll know you are flying a lot when you realize you’re on a first name basis with the pilots.
All in all, even with roller coaster flights, missed planes and hours of seat kicking, screaming kids, I wouldn’t have missed the opportunity to fulfill my destiny to become a"Boomerpreneur".

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Luggage Requirements

Subject : Would you consider wearing your luggage?

You can’t pick up a newspaper or watch a TV newscast without seeing some new airline procedure like charging to check or carry a bag.

Although paying for our baggage is a serious situation I can’t help wondering......

If airlines can charge for luggage, what’s next, pay toilets?

As a frequent flyer I have experienced many crazy rules but charging for a carry on is just “plane” crazy! Where’s the logic? Flying is down so let’s raise the price and charge to carry your clothes on board. Oh and as an added bonus, let’s make the experience as uncomfortable as possible with no food, drink or reading material.

I flew on over 70 flights from Orlando to the Philadelphia airport in 18 months because a few years ago I invented a product called the PUP (personal utility pouch) a unisex designed wearable organizer. QVC decided it would make a good travel product which meant I would be appearing on- air to represent it in their studios in West Chester, Pa. During those flights, I discovered a couple of solutions to the current travel problems of Baggage Limitations and airport security issues.

PROBLEM: As passengers we’re now forced to carry on more items, than ever before. We’re no longer fed so we carry a lunch bag . Since many airlines no longer offer pillows or blankets we’re carrying these items as well. Of course the magazines and newspapers “flew” away a long time ago and I just heard one airline will start charging for drinks and peanuts.

In an attempt to beat the system, perhaps creative, future flyers will invent new ways to carry on their food and clothing.

SOLUTION: Currently most airlines do not count a carried on jacket or a waist bag as a “carry on” and subject to a fee. Companies such as ( for garments with many zippered pockets and flat waist bags like the PUP ( may not be the total answer to our new baggage rules, but they certainly give us new alternatives.

The PUP, flat waist bags and outer wear with zippered pockets can also help eliminate another problem, airport thieves. Recent media headlines tell numerous stories of how your fellow travelers are helping themselves to your loose items placed in the security bins.

On almost every one of my 70 flights I would typically see a gentleman place his loose items, (including money), watch and cell phone in the security bin. As that bin was going through the x ray machine, he was taking off his shoes, turning on his computer and placing his coat in another bin.

Waiting for the high sign, he would then enter through the personal metal detector and in most cases everything went smoothly. However, many times something would set off the alarm and in that 20-30 second window his first bin was now “unmanned” as other bins forced it through to the other side.

Then of course the process reverses itself with passenger hopping on one foot trying to put on their shoes, getting their carry on luggage, jacket, lap top and loose items out of the bins while chaos ensues.

What a perfect opportunity for theft- distraction.

Solution 1) To eliminate at least part of this problem airports should provide an area with chairs, near the security where travelers could get redressed and reorganized.

Solutions 2) Although travelers may be “on vacation” they can’t afford to let their guard down. The best security tip is to never place loose items in the bins. Instead, place them in an outside pocket of a carry on, in a zippered pocket of a jacket or in a zippered wearable organizer bag such as the PUP . One thing to remember; after taking off a waist bag at security make sure to have it back around the waist and not over the shoulder when boarding the plane A waist bag worn on the shoulder may be considered a purse and counted as a carry on and cha-ching a cost.

What does the new baggage restrictions hold for creative future travelers?

Perhaps they’ll start wearing their luggage. It’s the ultimate “layered look”. One could start with a bathing suit, followed by a short set and evening attire. Remember... it doesn’t count if you’re wearing it.

Imagine on your next trip sitting in the plane watching a very large women, carrying a baby, as she walks towards your row. Your first thought is “Oh please don’t sit next to me”. She does and you’re pleasantly surprised to learn she’s not going to take up a seat and ½, she’s just wearing layers of her vacation duds and her little bundle of joy is only her sub sandwich neatly disguised in a baby blanket.

Perhaps airports need to provide a FedEx branch office so travelers can send their luggage in advance and drop it off on their way home. With this convenience, we wouldn’t need to invest in designer luggage just matching card board boxes.


Jean Newell interview on Fox 35 discussing travel bags