Layover Safety

Date: April 11, 2008

do-not-disturb signWhether you layover at the airport or downtown, there are things you can do to lessen the chance of personal injury or other victimization. First, know what hotel you are going to and how to get there before leaving your domicile. If you appear lost or confused in any public place, you become a more likely target for crime. If hotel information is missing from your ID, call 1-800-FLT-LINE (Option 2). All IDs are required to have hotel and transportation information attached. Unimatic's DSPID/, HTLID, or TVLQCK screens also provide hotel information, including the address and telephone number. These screens provide the name and pick-up location of your ground transportation to hotels. Should you find specific hotel or transportation information missing from your ID or TVLQCK, please report it by using TVLLOG.

At the layover hotel, keep personal luggage in your possession or secured at all times. Leave valuables at home or place them in the hotel safe (or in-room safes). Do not mention room numbers in the presence of other hotel guests. If hotel staff announces your room number so others can hear; request another room assignment (and TVLLOG this safety issue). Try to have rooms assigned close to other crewmembers, when possible. Prior to closing the room door, use the buddy system (with a fellow crew member) and use your suitcase to prop the door open. When you are on a single ID, you might consider requesting hotel security or other staff to escort you to your room and wait while you inspect your room. Check closets, under the beds, behind drapes, and the bathroom. Ensure the phone is working and you can directly dial 911 or the local emergency number. Take note of the number of fire exits and where they are located. Once inside your room, use all available door and window locks. If any are broken or inoperable, immediately request another room. If you wait to check the locks, you may not want to repack to change rooms, thus putting your safety at risk. Place the "Do Not Disturb" sign on your door. Place your room key and your flashlight at your bedside. Keep in mind we stay in some areas subject to earthquakes and tornadoes. When away from your room turn on the TV or radio to a minimal volume that can be heard from outside your door. Local law or hotel policy might require all persons visiting hotel guests provide identification and register at the front desk before proceeding to the room. There might also be a restriction of inviting a person of the opposite sex, not married to you, into your room.

If someone knocks on your door, ask them to identify themselves while looking through the peep hole. If it is a hotel employee, consider calling the front desk to verify their identity before allowing them inside. Women may wish to consider requesting a female hotel staff member make any room deliveries. If it is necessary for anyone to enter your room unannounced (if your personal well being is questioned), hotel protocol industry-wide calls for at least two persons be present, at least one of the same gender.

If there is a hotel fire and it's not in your room, it may be safest to remain there unless you are in otherwise imminent danger or instructed to evacuate. Call the fire department, 911, or other emergency number and tell them your exact location; then call the hotel operator. If there are signs of smoke keep windows closed and use wet towels, bed linens, or drapes to seal around doors, windows, and vents. If you need to evacuate, take your room key and flashlight with you. Check for heat and smoke prior to opening doors and then close the doors behind you. Remember to keep low, as smoke rises. Do not use elevators. In an earthquake or tornado follow the directives of local authorities and/or hotel staff.

Finally, when leaving the hotel for food, exercise, shopping or entertainment, it is always safest to travel in numbers. Ask the hotel concierge or front desk staff for safe areas and establishments to visit and ones to avoid. Always remain aware of your surroundings. It is important to remember some activities practiced at home might be crimes in other countries. Do not dress or wear expensive jewelry to draw attention to yourself. If you do go out by yourself, tell someone where you are going and what time you plan to return or leave a note of your intended plans in your room by the phone. You should also carry a personal ID in your pocket or purse. If you have a cell phone, take it with you. Other than obviously being able to call for help, some cell phones are equipped with Global Positioning Systems (GPS). Your FAOM provides telephone numbers for all UA stations, and OPB.


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