Forget their looks or size, all cabin crew deserve our support

Just when you thought the era of the “trolley dolly” was over, one airline has cottoned on to the idea that sex sells, and another stands accused of discrimination against a cabin crew member management described as “fat, ugly and old”.

(VietJet Facebook page)

None of which, in my opinion and that of the crew member herself, are relevant to her core duties: to assist passengers throughout the flight and, especially, if there is an emergency.

Continue reading Forget their looks or size, all cabin crew deserve our support

‘How was it for you?’ A review of airline and hotel surveys

I have just taken a quick return trip between Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur. Within two days of my return, I received emails from both the airline I flew with and the hotel I stayed at asking me to fill in a survey about my experience.

(malaysiaairlines.com)

So, in the interests of doing them a favour, and sharing my experience even further via this blog, I did.

Continue reading ‘How was it for you?’ A review of airline and hotel surveys

The Flying Kangaroo jumps in a different direction

Qantas has slowly but surely been unveiling a new strategy for its big-ticket flights from Australia.

(Qantas)

On top of its announced aim to offer ultra-long-haul flights from Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, the Flying Kangaroo is preparingto redirect its flagship QF Flight 1 to London back via Singapore, rather than Dubai, which has been the single stopover for the past few years.

Continue reading The Flying Kangaroo jumps in a different direction

Review: Cathay Pacific’s business lounges

In the past few years, I’ve been fortunate to do quite a bit of travel at the pointy end of the aircraft. And with that, of course, comes entry to business lounges at various airports.

In this post, I want to focus on Cathay Pacific’s excellent offerings in Hong Kong and Bangkok.

Continue reading Review: Cathay Pacific’s business lounges

How ultra long-haul flights will change the way we travel

Qantas says it wants to be able to fly from the east coast of Australia (Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne) non-stop to London. It’s just waiting for aircraft manufacturers to build a plane that can do it.

Given that a Boeing 777 LR plane can already fly non-stop for 17 hours, a 20-plus-hour flight may not be far away. Airbus’s A350 apparently also has potential.

But it will come with consequences —  Continue reading How ultra long-haul flights will change the way we travel

How I became a budget airline’s dream passenger

Recently, I became an airline’s dream customer — the person who booked and paid for a flight but didn’t turn up at the airport.

Everyone can, but I didn’t.

In all likelihood, the airline was able to sell my seat again and make a small but tidy extra profit.

Continue reading How I became a budget airline’s dream passenger

How TripCase went all trippy on me

When I travel, I often use an app called TripCase. It usually works like a dream. I just forward my flight and hotel booking confirmation emails to TripCase, and my journey shows up on all my devices. Flight delays and other information is updated in real time.

I’m not looking for New England ..,

On my most recent trip, however, something went awry.

When I sent it my booking confirmations for Cathay Pacific flights CX713, Bangkok to Singapore, and CX712, Singapore to Bangkok, TripCase decided that I was going to New England in the United States.

I have actually been to Augusta, Maine — for Thanksgiving, no less — and I had a wonderful time. But I’m not sure how I could go there twice on successive days starting from different Southeast Asian airports.

My Cathay Pacific business-class experience

I don’t make a secret of the fact that I like to fly in great comfort. This is especially important on long-haul flights, but a premium airline experience is also a treat on a relatively short trip.

After searching online for the usual budget options, I found a great deal *on a business class return flight from Bangkok to Singapore on the wonderful A350 aircraft.

Continue reading My Cathay Pacific business-class experience

No tolerance for violent drunks on planes

“I think [the airports] could do more. I think the retailers could do more as well.”

So says Phil Ward, managing director of Jet Blue, on the growing problem of violence and other disruption caused by drunks on planes.

At least Jet Blue has done something about the problem, by banning the sale of alcohol on its early morning flights. But, of course, thanks to bars and retail outlets at airports that operate 24-7, the offenders can already be in an ugly state before they get on board.

Continue reading No tolerance for violent drunks on planes

Five reasons not to believe all that travel advice

This might seem like a strange thing to read on a travel blog, but you shouldn’t believe everything you read, or hear, about travel.

Some things last forever, others change.

It’s a big, bad world out there, and not everybody is being entirely honest in their posts, newspaper and magazine articles, podcasts, vodcasts, tweets, instas, Facebook Live broadcasts and so on.

Continue reading Five reasons not to believe all that travel advice

How to join the high flyers in business class

I recently flew business class with Cathay Pacific and I can heartily recommend the experience.

(Cathay Pacific)

I’m also pleased to say that the experience will be open to more people, now that Cathay has joined the airlines offering upgrade auctions.

Continue reading How to join the high flyers in business class

How that airline seat you paid for is not really yours

Anyone who flies frequently will know the experience of being asked/ told to change seats. Some have even been dragged off the plane.

EasyJet put an unaccompanied minor off a flight. (EasyJet)

I’ve been relatively lucky. It’s only happened twice — once my seat was doubled booked and I was offered and upgrade to business class (no argument there), and on the other occasion, I was asked to move to an equivalent seat in another row so some family members could sit together.

Continue reading How that airline seat you paid for is not really yours

Don Mueang: the low-cost airport in Bangkok that’s doing its best

July 31, 2017 update: Roadworks outside the terminal are to begin shortly, and traffic delays may make you think twice about choosing Don Mueang in the immediate future.

August 7 update: This post may be jinxed. Reports now are coming through of waits of more than four hours at Don Mueang Immigration. Seems it may be best avoided until they sort a few things out.

Continue reading Don Mueang: the low-cost airport in Bangkok that’s doing its best

What’s really important when it comes to airline crew?

The CEO of Qatar Airways, Akbar Al Baker, has caused outrage in some circles by calling American airline flight crew “grandmothers”, and pointing out that his staff have an average age of 26.

(Qatar Airways)

I don’t really wants to give too much oxygen to his ageist and, by implication, sexist comments. Continue reading What’s really important when it comes to airline crew?

How to score a cheap flight by tricking the science of seat prices

It’s a mystery to most of us why airfare prices fluctuate so wildly. In this video, CNN’s Richard Quest (yes, I know, some people do find him irritating) explains why that is, and describes a newish way that you can score an upgrade.



Sadly, the video does not explain why return flights are cheaper than two one-way tickets — I believe it’s because airlines want to lock you in getting there and Continue reading How to score a cheap flight by tricking the science of seat prices

Is your travel provider really paying attention?

I once read an article about the apparently ridiculous “riders” that touring bands have in their contracts, such as asking for the red M&Ms to be excluded from the dressing-room snacks.

View from the seventh floor

It turns out that they serve a function other than pandering to the ego or perceived power of the band members. And that reason can be useful to travellers.

Continue reading Is your travel provider really paying attention?

Travel by numbers

A former colleague of mine has travelled to more than 100 countries. I don’t know if it’s his aim to visit them all, as others have done, but it’s a fairly impressive tally nonetheless.

We don’t all travel in the same way,

And, as far as I know, he doesn’t just dash in and out. He takes his time to see the sights, meet people and go off the beaten track. My country tally is about half of his, but I don’t see it as a competition.

We all approach travel in our own way.

Continue reading Travel by numbers

Scoot sets sights on Oz-Europe route

Although it often seems prohibitively expensive, air travel has actually become far more affordable in recent years. A flight from Sydney to London, for example, costs roughly the same as it did 30 years ago, despite inflation.

Scoot economy (flyscoot.com)

And flying to Europe is about to get even cheaper for Australians, with Singapore-based airline Scoot offering flights from the east coast to Athens for less than $1000.

But cheaper isn’t always better …

Continue reading Scoot sets sights on Oz-Europe route