Author: Maureen Katz

Maureen Katz has worked in the airline industry for 37 years and is currently retired. She has worked for eight different airlines, three of which were startup companies, and participated in the FAA Proving Runs, leading to FAA Certification. Her positions included Flight Attendant, Customer Service Agent, Flights Operations and the last 27 years as an Airline Dispatcher. JetBlue was the final carrier in her career and she was one of its “founders”. Maureen and another crew member assisted in training and formulating dispatch policies and procedures, allowing JetBlue to begin its operations. In addition to Maureen having a FAA dispatch license, she also possesses a commercial pilot license with instrument and multi-engine ratings.

When everyone thinks of Munich, Germany, Oktoberfest comes to mind. But this city is also famous for its many Christmas markets. The primary market is in the Old Town. In the city center on Marienplatz are endless stalls along the pedestrian mall that are very festive. This place is a Christmas paradise, from Gluhwein (hot wine) to chocolates and other sweet foods. There are stalls with beautiful holiday ornaments, gloves, hats, scarves, and other German food specialties. The decorations are incredible; it is even more illuminated and spectacular at night. Walking through this area, you will encounter the famous Hofbrauhaus…

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Three-Day Trip to Zurich and Bern, Switzerland

One of our favorite three-day quick trips to Europe is to Zurich and Bern, Switzerland, and it includes a beautiful cruise on Lake Thun from the City of Thun to Interlaken. We flew to Zurich from JFK on Delta Airlines. Upon landing, we went to the train station at the airport and purchased a First-Class Swiss Rail Pass for four days at the cost of $315 per person (less expensive than the three-day pass). The second-class pass was $199 per person. The Swiss Franc is equal to the U.S. Dollar right now. This pass entitles a non-citizen of Switzerland to…

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If there is one word to describe Lake Tahoe, it is pristine. If it isn’t the mountain air and mountain pine tree scenery, it must be the endless blue sky and blue water below. We have been so lucky to visit Lake Tahoe year after year. However, the last time we were there was in 2019 (our lapse was caused by both COVID-19 and a raging forest fire). We only visit in the summer, but Lake Tahoe is an all-year-round vacation destination. The summer offers various water sports, and there are many snow activities in the winter. There are also…

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One Day In Madrid, Spain

My husband and I have had the opportunity to visit Madrid, Spain many times in the past. Recently, we had the opportunity to visit this city on a Sunday. Usually, our past visits were only on weekdays. The day we were there, the weather was beautiful. The temperature was in the seventies and the sky was perfectly clear. The city was bustling and it seemed like pre-pandemic times. We usually stay at the Marriott at the Madrid Airport, and we did this time as well. This particular Marriott Hotel is the largest Marriott in Europe. It has an indoor/outdoor pool…

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NonRev Traveler Panama City

Delta Airlines recently began flying nonstop from JFK to Panama City, Panama, four times a week. Since the flights were new and an easy non-revenue standby, we decided to visit this city. Truthfully, we were so disappointed with our previous visit to Panama’s other canal city, Colon, that we were compelled to visit what is called “The Dubai of Central America”, Panama City.  Panama City is a very worthwhile destination and is very different. Colon is devastated and under major construction, whereas downtown Panama City has many modern tall buildings with unique architecture. We stayed at the Westin Playa Bonita…

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Non-Rev Traveler Cruise

Two years ago, we went on a wonderful Carnival Cruise at the end of February 2020. We knew on that cruise that the cruise industry and the world were beginning to close because of COVID Ships and crews were being quarantined as we watched the news from the ship. It was such a great trip that we “re-upped” on the next cruise for February 2021 while still on the ship. Needless to say, that cruise was canceled. Since it was a charter and theme cruise, we could not get a refund, however, the travel administrator allowed us to use the…

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In the pre-pandemic days, my husband and I used to fly to European cities for one day and one night. We decided to take a trip to Paris, France as we have done many times in the past. This decision was based on the covid testing requirements to return to the United States. We were able to be tested at Terminal 5 at JFK airport where we have been tested many times in the past year. The test is good for 72 hours. Therefore, we did not have to find a testing site, pay for the test, or worry about…

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Non-Rev Traveler France

After flying to 20 domestic destinations starting at the end of February, my husband and I finally got the nerve to fly to France, our first international destination since the pandemic. We flew from JFK to Nice, France round trip on Delta Airlines. Before stepping into the airport, we had in our possession our vaccination card, copies of these cards on our iPhones, and had pre-filled out special Green Pass Identification Cards needed to enter restaurants, hotels and public transportation(ultimately only I was able to receive the pass and Jon’s pass was never approved. Even though Jon never was approved…

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Our second round of trips began on April 26. At this point of time we had completed 21 successful plane flights, mostly on Delta Airlines. However, on April 26, we flew on JetBlue to Fort Lauderdale on a totally booked plane. This was something we had not experienced in over a year and was a little frightening. We both had middle seats. This trip consisted of three beach days. The next trip was round trip to Salt Lake City. We rented a car and drove to Park City. Park City is a famous ski town. Since we were there in…

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My husband, Jonathan Katz, and I have traveled eight weeks in a row and have flown on 18 plane flights since the end of February, after not traveling for a year, we felt safe to travel domestically. After our second Moderna jab, we waited two weeks as recommended to obtain the full immunity. Our initial adventure began in Stuart, Florida. Our first plane flight felt as if we had just been let out of prison. We were confused when offered different seats in that every seat is a good seat now without the middle seat booked. We flew in and…

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