Everybody's a specialist. Everybody travels. Sooner or later, travel specialties were bound to happen.
There are a number of new products and services being marketed for business and leisure travelers. Here's a sampling:Lost and found. More than 2.88 million pieces of luggage were reported lost or stolen during handling by domestic airlines in 1989, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Carmine Sarno figured a lot of those lost bags would have been returned to their owners but for a lack of proper identificaiton. So the Topsfield, Mass., businessman is selling a solution.
For a fee, travelers can have their names and addresses listed on Sarno's computerized registrar and receive a coded set of adhesive labels to affix to their luggage and golf clubs. Anyone who finds the bags or clubs can report the code number on the toll-free number also printed on the label; the computer matches code number to owner.
Operations vice president David Knox says that about 3,000 persons have joined the Registrar, about two-thirds of them opting for the $14.95 golf-only fee rather than the $29.95 luggage fee. Those rates are for an initial, one-year listing; renewal rates are $9.95 and $19.95. For information, call toll-free (800) 843-7344.
See you in court. "For the frequent business traveler, `getting there' is not exciting or glamorous," notes the unseen narrator introducing an interesting vedeotape discussion of your legal rights in travel situations.
The on-camera speakers are two lawyers specializing in the matter, Mark Pestronk and Ivan Schaeffer. They review such general areas as airline delays and cancellations, overbooking/bumping, baggage loss/delay/damage, car rentals, hotel overbooking, travel agency obligations and generally how to press a complaint.
"The aim is not to make you a junior lawyer," notes one speaker. Instead, the easily absorbed information does not suggest litigation as the only course but rather as a last resort. The information is not limited to business travelers, though the leisure traveler is unlikely to plunk down $29.95, plus $4 shipping and handling, for the 40-minute tape.
A spokeswoman for Schaeffer's firm, Travel Trust International, said that about 5,000 copies of a pamphlet version of this information were sold last year and that the firm is placing copies of the tape in Washington, D.C., video stores, though there is no consideration now of trying for wider rental distribution. I recommend the tape as a valuable tool for corporate travel managers and travel agencies that want to give customers an added measure of confidence.
Business Travelers' Legal Rights can be ordered by writing that title on an envelope and mailing it, with a check, to P.O. Box 65096, Washington, D.C. 20035-5096. For information, call toll-free (800) 926-0616.
You are what you read. If you've got a hobby there's likely to be a newsletter or magazine concentrated on traveling to pursue that special interest.
For instance, Gardens & Countrysides is a quality newsletter published 10 times a year that focuses on professional landscaping around the world. There are articles and occasionally black-and-white photos on selected gardens - their significance, how to reach them, hours and fees - plus book reviews, reading lists and interviews. Annual subscription is $75. Contact Travel Publications Inc., 401 Austin Highway, Suite 209, San Antonio, Texas 78209; call toll-free (800) 531-5314.
A less-restricted topic is covered by The Savvy Shopper, which labels itself "The Insider's Guide to Shopping Around the World."
Destinations in recent, fun-to-read issues included Lima, Peru; Seattle; Tokyo; Vancouver, British Columbia; Berlin, and Santa Cruz, Calif. Topics included British calligraphy, Japanese lacquerware, Australian opals, cashmere, shipping purchases home, limited-edition wildlife prints - even how to cut through the puffery of mail catalogs, for armchair travelers. Each issue contains a price-comparison chart for popular items (china place settings, perfumes) at specific U.S. and foreign retailers.
Published monthly, the Savvy Shopper costs $57 for one year, $99 for two. Contact Hammar Publications, 12 Rambling Road, Northport, N.Y. 11768; phone (516) 757-7290.
Other, one-time brochures available for the asking:
"Traveling Healthy" offers nearly 100 suggestions on how to treat jet lag, motion sickness, bug bites, sunburn and stress. Also included is information about travel health insurance and emergency care, plus a list of suggested medications for your travel kit.
The pamphlet, published by Pepto-Bismol-Metamucil, is available free by writing Traveling Healthy, P.O. Box 10208, New Brunswick, N.J. 08906-9910.
"JAL Handy" is a 78-page, pocketbook-size pamphlet chock full of advice and trivia. There are tips on in-flight exercises and diet to offset jet lag, tipping guidelines, average temperatures around the world, flying times between various international cities.
Published by Japan Airlines, the booklet is available by writing to Japan Airlines Literature Distribution Center, P.O. Box 7712, Woodside, N.Y. 113277-7712.
The wrong flight. Highly regarded Lufthansa German Airlines had planned to be flying DC10s twice a week from Tampa International to Frankfurt, starting last month. But a production problem at Boeing denied the airline necessary planes, and now U.S. permission to offer that service has to be renegotiated.
That's likely to happen in bilateral talks between officials of Washington and the emerging European giant in September or October.
The regional public relations manager said that start-up of the flights is uncertain because the airline begins its winter schedule in October.