News bytes in this edition of Upline Times:
- Flight Rights
- Students and Money
- European Hot Spots
- Changing Your Future
- Freeing a Religion
For the cross country Networker, frequent flier miles often come with a price tag of hassles. What are your passenger rights when something goes wrong with all your carefully laid travel plans? With each of the following, keep in mind that a calm request may get you better treatment (sometimes even more than you might expect) than a harsh demand for what is rightfully due.
- Overbooked Flight: This one is usually good for at least a free ticket if you volunteer to give up your seat. If forfeiting your seat isn't by your choice, you may get cash compensation as well, particularly if there are no flights to your destination within two hours of your original plan.
- Delay: Even nonrefundable tickets qualify for refunds if your flight is delayed, but you should check about getting rerouted onto the next available flight. Most airlines will even book you on a competing airline to keep you happy. If a delay strands you overnight, ask the airline about "pacifiers"-- the free hotel, phone calls, and meals airlines occasionally offer when something goes wrong. The catch here is that you are not entitled to any of those things if the delay is due to causes beyond the airline's control.
- Cancellation: Your ticket becomes your pass to another flight, but only if you can find one. The competition is going to be rough since all your fellow would-be passengers are looking for the same thing you are. Try calling the airline instead of waiting in line at the airline desk. You may get service faster, especially if the lines are long. If you can't switch to a new flight, your rights are the same as for a delay.
- Overnight Wait: If your flight-- the very last one for the night -- was just cancelled, ask for a room at one of the airport hotels. Most airlines will provide a voucher for the stay and for your breakfast, also. If the delay is due to bad weather, the airline is not obligated to pay for any pacifiers, so you may have a different set of choices: bed down in one of the oh-so-comfortable airport chairs; ask the airline for a pillow and blankets so you can sleep on the floor; identify yourself to the airport hotel as a "distressed traveler" to see if they offer a discount for that condition.
- Lost Luggage: The highest risk times for your luggage are those above-- where you and the airline are making up Plan B on the run. Find out where the lost luggage service area is for your airline, fill out the paperwork to identify your bags, and ask what the return policy is for them. Most bags show up on the next later flight. Some even may have arrived earlier, if you were bumped at the last minute. About eight of every ten lost luggage items are returned within 24 hours, and most airlines will offer delivery to wherever you are staying.
(Source: US News & World Report magazine, 5 July 1999)
Students and Money
From an American Savings Education Council survey of high school and college students:
81% worked at least 5 hours/week last summer
62% have been offered a course in personal finance
56% of students say they do a good or very good job managing money
54% feel it is important to save regularly
49% always save
41% worked more than 35 hours/week
23% make and stick to a budget
21% have actually taken a course in personal finance
When it comes to budget discipline, saving, and investment, how do you measure up against the students? The answer may be crucial to your Networking success.
(Source: USA Today, 25 June 1999)
European Hot Spots
Not sure where to look for your next round of international expansion? Below are five economic hot spots which might well be worth your attention. Up from the bottom of Europe's economic ladder, the southernmost four of these countries have experienced significant growth and stability.
Portugal has cut inflation and unemployment by downsizing government and attracting foreign investment. Investors view Portugal as a developed country instead of an emerging market.
Spain still has high unemployment, although that could be a plus for Networkers who show the jobless 17.8% of the country's population that Spain's low inflation and interest rates make a great climate for entrepreneurs.
While in Italy, try running for office-- you might win. Political instability has plagued The Boot since World War II, leaving behind a huge national debt, while inflation and interest rates continue to decline. Head to Rome's train station and greet the panhandlers with opportunity instead of the euro.
The Netherlands currently offers much more that picturesque vistas of windmills and tulips. For the period from 1999 to 2003, the area has been designated the world's best business environment by the Economist Intelligence Unit research firm.
None of these can compete with the Parthenon? Don't worry about heading to the bank-- Greece has to wait another year for the euro, but the country has been working hard to remain qualified to become part of the European economic picture.
Wherever you go, remember to keep track of your expenses for income tax purposes-- one of the perks of being in a industry where chatting with fellow sunbathers on the Costa del Sol actually qualifies as a business activity.
Closing humor note: Iraq ranks last in ratings of business environment. And you so wanted to prospect the Republican Guard!
(Source: Individual Investor magazine, May 1999, and Success magazine, May 1999)
Changing Your Future
Your plan-do-review has started to sound like yo-yo dieting-- you find that you get great ideas for your business, set goals, change your work habits for a week or two, then slide gradually back into your old ways. You'd love to incorporate into your business all the great tips and techniques you've learned from trainings and conferences. How can you make lasting changes in your life and business? Try these slow-and-easy steps:
1. Choose the Right Goal-- Make sure the dream you're chasing is one you really want to catch.
2. Slow Down-- Rushing leads to stress and errors. Take your time.
3. Take All the Necessary Steps-- Shortcuts take you off track.
4. Enjoy the Pursuit-- Who says Networking can't be fun?
5. Accept the Greater Challenge-- Persistence really delivers a payoff when you stretch yourself.
(Source: Shape magazine, August 1999)
Freeing a Religion
While many Networkers work for financial freedom, there is a section of the American workforce which struggles to round out its religious freedom. Followers of Islam pray five times a day, with extra worship time on Fridays. Many traditional jobs don't yet accommodate that schedule, so many Muslims have to make sacrifices of time and basic comfort just to make their daily prayers. With the Muslim population in this country expected to double to over 12 million in the next 20 years, do you think it would be a good prospecting base for your opportunity?
(Source: USA Today, 25 June 1999)
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Reprinted with permission from Upline, Upline Times - September 1999, 888-UPLINE-1, http://www.upline.com