Crewmembers Guide to Safe Layovers

In light of recent events in Egypt and other countries, Jeff Beck has contributed the following guide to crew members.

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Crewmembers Guide to Safe Layovers
by Jeff Beck

Airport Arrival transportation:

  • Take only airport approved taxi’s. Verify anybody who meets you .
  • Keep Alert !!!!

Hotel and Layover Security

  • At check in, get two business cards or matchbooks with the hotel name and address on them. Place one by the phone in the room so you know where you are and keep the other on your person when you leave so you know where to come back to. Or if you are in a country where you don’t speak the language, you can simply show a taxi driver the matchbook, and you’re on your way back to the hotel.
  • Keep your Passport with you at all times, and keep extra color, scanned copies of the face page and any Visa pages. The only time that you should relinquish it is in some countries that require, by law, you to leave your Passport at the desk when registering. But don’t transfer control if you can avoid it. Frequently the color copies will suffice. If you need to leave the Passport, then get it back as soon as you can.
  • Note where the nearest fire stairwells are located. Make a mental note which direction you must turn and approximately how many steps there are to the closest fire stairwell. In the event of a fire, there is frequently dense smoke and no lighting (similar to the environment we experience during aircraft evac training)
  • At night, make sure to lay out your clothes, jacket, and have your Passport and wallet in or near your shoes, so in the event of an emergency evacuation, you can be up, dressed, have your valuables, and on the way out in just a few moments.
  • Keep Alert !!!!
  • Put the Do-Not-Disturb sign on the doorknob at all times, this deters room burglars (it may affect housekeeping service, however). Turn on the TV or radio just loud enough to hear through the door to give the appearance that the room is occupied. In a foreign country, you may consider tuning TV or radio to an indigenous station, so as not to identify yourself as a westerner.
  • Leave one light on inside the room if you will return after dark. This helps you see upon re-entry and gives the room the appearance of occupancy from the outside. Always go through the same room inspection routine every time you re-enter. Use caution when using the breakfast order doorknob hanger card. This card lists your name and number of persons in the room. A smart crook can knock on the door posing as room service and use your name as a ruse to gain entry. (more…)