Sales training . . . leadership training . . . technology training . . . those are givens. But training to learn how to travel better? Two years ago, the idea probably would have been received with laughs - after all, how tough is getting on a plane? Today, however, corporations are hiring companies specifically to train business travelers about how to travel safely.
For example, Flight Watch America (www.fwamerica.com) was created by Don Detrich, a business traveler and software salesperson, in response to the events of September 11. Called an "airline passenger and civilian defense advocacy group," FWA offers two courses in "defensive flying" - one in air travel safety training and another specifically in corporate travel safety training. Instructors cover such topics as responses to an aircraft evacuation and hijacking; passenger air rage; how and when to be proactive; what to look for; and more.
Plan It Safe (www.planitsafe.com), another travel training company, has been around since 1994 when Bill Amaral, a former Pan Am flight attendant and then manager of California's travel program, realized that state employees had little safety training. The company offers courses on traveling safe, in addition to other travel topics; courses include those for travelers, such as travelers' rights and health hints, and those for travel planners, such as corporate travel management strategies and Tand E policy creation.
If a full-fledged travel safety course is too much, the U.S. Department of State's Overseas Security Advisory Council (www.ds-osac.org) offers the free Personal Security Guidelines for the American Business Traveler Overseas, covering all aspects of business travel including who should know your travel itinerary, where to wait at the airport, train travel abroad, and kidnapping survival guidelines.
If you still resist traveling with your laptop, but know you have to check in once in a while, www.cybercaptive.com can point you to the closest public log-on spot in 169 counties. To date, the site has a database of more than 6,000 cybercafes, public internet access points, and kiosks, and it's updated daily. Travelers can search either by city or by the name of a provider (for example, Kinko's).