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”.
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.
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.
So, in the interests of doing them a favour, and sharing my experience even further via this blog, I did.
Qantas has slowly but surely been unveiling a new strategy for its big-ticket flights from Australia.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
Anyone who flies frequently will know the experience of being asked/ told to change seats. Some have even been dragged off the plane.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“Be careful what you wish for.” It’s an adage that applies in many circumstances.
And right now it’s germane to the issue of passenger comfort on commercial aircraft. It seems that we are getting squeezed on like sardines because that’s what comes with the lower fares that we demand.
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.
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.