Employee Spotlight Rick Miller | Traveling for LSI
There's often a stigma associated with traveling for work. Crowded airport lines, lack of leg room, hotel food and adjusting to timezones. But the truth is traveling doesn’t have to be that bad, in fact, traveling can be a fantastic opportunity to visit new places, meet new people, and flex your ability to adapt to different environments. One LSI employee knows all too well what it’s like when work takes you on the road or in the air. Rick Miller, currently the Associate Vice President of Service Delivery and the Program Manager for Penn State spends a lot of time traveling for LSI. We thought he would be the perfect person to chat with about what it’s like traveling for work and if he had any tips and tricks for making the most out of it.
Associate Vice President of Service Delivery | Joined January 2006
Where Has LSI Taken you?
LSI has taken Rick to over 28 different locations across the US!
What are the three things you need to take with you?
1. Extra Chargers in every bag "I always forget or lose chargers for my phone"
2. Passport "In case I want to make a break for it"
3. An Extra pair of clothes "In case I get stuck somewhere"
What are the best sites or apps for getting travel deals?
- Google Flights " I always use Google Flights to see the schedule and going rate for flights wherever I’m traveling"
- Trivago "I always check Trivago for my usual hotel or location to see what is available in the area and to make sure I have the lowest rate."
Is travel insurance worth it?
"I’ve never purchased travel insurance. You should check with your credit card companies. Some of the premium cards [including] Chase Sapphire Reserve and AMEX platinum, have some travel protections built in. They also come with travel perks which is great since we travel so much."
Do you have any tips for getting through check-in and security lines quicker? TSA PreCheck?
"If you get the AMEX or Chase Reserve card, they pay the $100 fee for Global Entry which is superior to TSA PreCheck is it also includes expedited reentry into the US when you are traveling abroad. Beyond that, it’s all about dressing appropriately to avoid having to remove belts and shoes. You have to be careful when purchasing shoes to be sure they don’t have hidden metal, or it will constantly slow you down."
Carry on or checked luggage?
"I always carry on, unless it’s a close connection and I’m flying a regional airline. Since you have to gate check your bag on smaller planes and wait for them to be off-loaded, I’d rather ditch the bag and make my connection than wait for the bag to be off-loaded and have to find an alternative flight. The airline will deliver your bag if you get separated."
What’s your go-to airport restaurants and bars and why?
"I usually hit the airline clubs as they offer free food and drinks at the airport. You can also get ticket assistance with a friendlier staff at the club. Membership comes with the two cards I mentioned earlier."
If you have the option to choose your seat, what do you typically go for? window, aisle, front/back of the plane, exit etc.)
"I’m a bulkhead guy because I don’t like people reclining into my seat. With the bulkhead, you get the added convenience of being able to walk past the person in the aisle if you need to get up."
Sleeping on a flight can be tough. Have you perfected the art of sleeping on a plane?
"Oddly, I can always sleep on the morning flights. I just close my eyes and I’m out. On evening flights or red-eyes, I can’t sleep at all."
Do you usually work on planes?
"I don’t work in the mornings as I’m usually sleeping on the flight in. Additionally, most of my team is traveling so my email traffic is light. On evening and red-eye flights I’m usually working catching up on doing quality reviews of deliverables or catching up on emails."
Do you often introduce yourself to your row-mates? What do you do if you have an overly chatty flyer next to you?
"It depends on who I’m sitting next to. Some folks are extremely friendly and easy to talk to. Others are just annoying. I have had a number of interesting seat-mates through the years"
Rick has sat next to some pretty high profile folks! Rob Gronkowski, Mitt Romney, Kandi Burruss, Newt Gingrich, Bobby Brown, and Jon Landau.Any travel gadgets you would recommend?
- A good piece of luggage
- Cord organizer
- Neck pillow
- Noise canceling headphone
What’s your favorite thing about traveling?
"The best part of travel for me is collecting points. When I’m working, I’m really bad about site seeing and getting to know the city I’m working in. Instead, I collect points so I can travel on vacation for free."
What's your least favorite thing about traveling?
"The least favorite part of travel is waking up and not knowing where you are. What city? Am I home or away? Where’s the bathroom and damn, I just stubbed my toe on a table I didn’t know existed."
There's no doubt that Rick Miller is an expert traveler. After 13 years of traveling for LSI, he's got a pretty good system down. Traveling may seem like a lot of work but in fact, Rick spends less time commuting than he would if he were driving to an office every day. Additionally, LSI lets Rick keep all of his points he earns while traveling, this has taken him on many fantastic vacations (which he gets four weeks of by the way). Lastly just because he's traveling doesn't mean he doesn't have flexibility. LSI is in the business of SAP consulting but the company is very much run by humans, leadership knows all too well that life happens. Stay tuned for more Employee Spotlights.
Follow this blog for more LSI employee features, services, and industry news!