Use E-Z Way Parking at Newark Airport At Your Own Risk

Use E-Z Way Parking at Newark Airport At Your Own Risk

Posted by: on Sep 30, 2015 | 5 Comments

Use E-Z Way Parking at Newark Airport At Your Own Risk

Monday, September 28, 2015, just before 11 PM, our plane from LAX lands at Newark. At 11:09 PM, while walking through the terminal, I call E-Z Way Parking at the Crowne Plaza Hotel to have them pick Linda and

Airline Shpilkes

Airline Shpilkes

Posted by: on Mar 22, 2015 | No Comments


Continuing this week’s theme on my latest travel experiences to the Jewish Virgin Islands, let’s chat about my fly down to Florida (as the last 2 posts have been about the flight back to NJ). To begin, let me tell you about one passenger sitting in the emergency exit row.

Airline Seating Daze

Airline Seating Daze

Posted by: on Mar 20, 2015 | No Comments


If you’ve read any of my previous blogs on airline travel, you know that one of my major issues is people who really don’t fit into one seat. I know a few folks who were not happy with me when this subject has come up in the past but I’m sorry.

Carry On Luggage Daze

Carry On Luggage Daze

Posted by: on Mar 19, 2015 | 2 Comments


A couple of weekends ago, I was in the Jewish Virgin Islands visiting my dad at Boca Del Vista. In other words, I was in Boyton Beach in Southern Palm Beach County at Hunter’s Run.

Airports and air travel just really get my creative juices going. There is just so much human emotional carnage when folks travel. This trip was no different.

On the flight home, one woman got very upset when they wouldn’t allow her carry on luggage onto the plane. For the folks working the check-in counter at the gate, it was actually a pretty easy decision.  Next to the check-in counter, right before you walk down the gang plank, is an FAA baggage size checker thingy, that looks just like this.

The Poland Imperative

Posted by: on Jan 5, 2015 | 2 Comments

In June of 1985, Linda and I got married, and spent our honeymoon in Italy. If you had told me it would 29+ years later before I would set foot in Europe again and the next visit there would be to Poland, well….I don’t know what I would have said to that. But last month, that is exactly where we found ourselves.

Our trip to Poland was wonderful. The people were friendly, the food was much better than expected, loved the history of the country, would love to go back someday. Unfortunately, no trip to that part of the world is totally complete without visiting one of the concentration camps. On Saturday of our trip we visited Auschwitz-Birkenau.

For a little bit of family perspective, I’m half Polish. My mother’s parents were both Polish. My grandfather Irving, who I’m named after, had 12 siblings and lived in Warsaw. Only he and his brother Phillip made it to America. What happened to my other 11 great aunts and uncles? No one really knows but after our trip to Auschwitz and learning the history of what happened to Poland and it’s people in WW II, it’s not hard to imagine.

The day was cold, outside and inside. I don’t think there are any words to describe what it is like to walk through this place where so much misery and death occurred.

Prior to being a concentration camp, Auschwitz was a Polish army barrack. From the outside, that’s a pretty good description. Walking through the first few buildings of our tour, I didn’t really feel much. It wasn’t until we walked into a room with a 40 to 50 foot glass enclosed area where there was hair, actually human hair, that I got that feeling of dread. Human hair that was taken from the corpses and sold for multiple uses. Than there are displays of clothes, luggage with names on them, pans and utensils, personal hygiene items, and more.

The “death wall” at Auschwitz.

I could go on but the thought of that place still sends chills down to the bottom of my soul. A chill that I felt so deep that when I went to sleep that night, my feet were still cold. This was several hours later, after a hot shower, dinner and lots of walking around Krakow. It was as if my body were holding onto the ghosts of all the lives lost at Auschwitz and throughout Europe. I felt as though my family, my lost family, was somehow taking my body’s warmth from me. Warmth that I gladly gave them so that I could feel the utter coldness of their lives.

I’m going to admit something I haven’t told anyone about that day…not even Linda. The last building you go into before departing Auschwitz is the gas chamber where so many lives were ended. As I stood there silently, imagining the possibility that a member of my own family could have been one of the thousands of lives that were lost in this very place, I closed my eyes and whispered the words of Kaddish – the Jewish prayer of mourning. I will also admit that I did a better job of holding back the tears there than I am right now sitting in my nice warm office in NJ.

I titled this post “The Poland Imperative” because I believe that every person who lives in a free society has a moral obligation to visit a concentration camp. To learn about the crimes against all humanity that were committed. Not just to Poles, not just to Jews but to scholars who were considered a threat, religious leaders of all denominations, other minorities, the sick and those unable to work who were considered expendable, to any person who did not fit the Nazi ideal. We all must go so that this type of genocide can never occur again. That the millions who died will never be forgotten. That their memories will forever be a blessing to all who mourn them now and forever.


Your baggage + you = Ira’s total airline weight formula

Posted by: on Jul 18, 2010 | 8 Comments

Your baggage + you = Ira’s total airline weight formula

My friend Ted and I were talking today on our way to the golf course about the problem of obesity in America, which led to a conversation about airplane travel and overweight people, which led to my facebook post in which I stated “If they charge extra for overweight baggage, why don’t they charge extra for overweight people?,” which got a whole lot of comments, which now leads to this blog post.

I have decided that the airlines need to devise a new system for how they charge for baggage, which needs to include the weight of the passenger. Their theory is they can charge for baggage based on weight and my theory is they need to devise a total weight formula. For example, I weigh about 170 pounds…OK, 175…fine…180.  My last flight to Florida, my 2 bags weighed a total of about 85 pounds, making my total weight 265 pounds. Now, the guy on the aisle next to me (who’s stomach came down below his schmeckel…really, it did) very easily weighed over 300 pounds, probably closer to 350. Shouldn’t he be charged an excess baggage fee? Seriously, he had a whole lot of excess baggage. Make this guy step on a scale – with his baggage – when checking in for the flight or when he goes through security. If the airlines contend that excess weight costs them more to fly, shouldn’t the weight of the passenger be taken into consideration as well?

Based on the comments my recent facebook post received, many of you also share my opinion that people whose bodies spread over into your space should be forced to pay for more for that space.  As my friend Jennifer called it, a “width fee.” If you have ever had the unfortunate experience of sitting next to a person whose arms, legs and other body parts, extend into your seat and onto your body, all I can say is “get the hell out my space!” They don’t allow smoking on planes anymore because of the discomfort and health risks to the other passengers. Well, same thing here. More discomfort than health, unless of course the plane goes down and you have to navigate your way over some 350 blob of humanity who is now stuck in his seat.

The airlines offer seat belt extenders. Guess what? If you need one of these things than you need more than just an extension, you need another seat or maybe one in first class. It is simply not fair to the passengers sitting next to you to put them through this for even a few moments, let alone an airline flight of any duration.

So, to all you thin (or less than fat) people out there, stand up for your rights. The next time some person’s leg or arm invades your airplane seat space, hit them over the head with a piece of oversized carry on luggage.

Carry-on luggage rules according to Ira

Posted by: on May 5, 2010 | 5 Comments

Traveled home from Florida yesterday. A bit chaotic in Palm Beach Airport, which I just loved. First, thunderstorms in Newark caused a delay. As the plane was boarding, they announced the overhead bins were full and no more carry-on luggage would be allowed (more on that coming up). This occurred when the plane was only about 2/3 or 3/4 boarded, so there was still plenty of passengers in the waiting area, one of whom slammed his suitcase on the ground so hard it almost solved his problem. Then they ran out of luggage tags causing another moment of craziness. I just waited and laughed.

I don’t usually use bring a carry-on suitcase with me on board. As long as I’m checking my golf clubs, I may as well check everything else except for my backpack which has a book, iPod and computer. I also try to be the last one on the plane, as I can’t stand waiting on the jet-way or in the aisles as people find their seats and deal with all the crap they bring on the plane with them.

So, here are my rules for everyone who does use carry-on luggage:

1. If you can’t lift it into the bin yourself and take it out when the flight is over, don’t bring it on the plane.  And this is not me being against the elderly. I love old people and hope to be one myself someday.

2. If you bring a piece of luggage plus another piece of carry-on that doesn’t fit under the seat in front of you, be prepared for me to make fun of you in front of all the passengers (which I did) because you have abused the system and you are an asshole.

3.  If you need assistance to get on the plane, you shouldn’t be allowed to wheel something onto the plane. The fact that you are being wheeled onto the plane should suffice. Don’t inconvenience everyone else by making the airport attendant wheel you and your luggage up the jet-way, only creates a massive traffic jam for. OK, all supporters of folks in wheelchairs, take your best shots.

4. Not really a carry-on rule but please don’t jump into the aisles the moment the plane has gotten to the gate. Just where the hell do you think you are going and you keep sticking your butt into place I’d rather not have it.

Glad I got that off my chest. Thanks for reading and please spread the word!

Boca Del Vista

Posted by: on May 4, 2010 | 3 Comments

For those of you who have no idea what that means, sorry but you missed Seinfeld. For the rest of us (and Barry, that means you), you know exactly what I mean .

So, this morning I was driving around in South Palm Beach County – Boca, Delray, Boynton. I was noticing the names of all the communities in this area and how unoriginal some of them are.

Bocaire, Delaire, Belaire – all right next to each other. I believe the  original was Palmaire but that’s in some other airea (get it?). As for Belaire, must be a common theme for the upper class as there’s the famous one in LA and the not so famous one in Livingstein, NJ. Actually, we now have more than one in that area.

There’s the names that exude old time waspish endeavors – Hunters Run, Quail Run (I believe Dick Cheney wants a place there) and The Polo Club. Or Admiral’s Cove where I am sure there no admirals but plenty of treasure, sunken or otherwise.  Kings Point and Gramercy Square to remind you of life back in NY. Romance language names like Boca Teca, Boca Lago and San Marco.

Before I sign off, one question.  Are you the master of your domain?