|Filed Under:||Lifestyle / Travel|
|Posts on Regator:||1441|
|Posts / Week:||4.4|
|Archived Since:||April 18, 2011|
GULLIVER was struck this summer by the difference between arriving at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport and London’s Heathrow. At Schiphol the doors for arrivals opened from the sterile airside customs-hall onto a party atmosphere of welcome-home banners, shiny balloons and excited relatives and partners.
IT IS a moment every traveller dreads. You wait for your luggage at the carousel after a flight, but the last bags come and go, and yours isn’t among them. You leave your name and number with the airline and wait for a call. Weeks go by; the phone never rings. Is there any hope of tracking down these lost items?
IT IS possible to put up a defence of the way that the cost of flying is becoming unbundled. Why should those who travel light subsidise those who have packed the kitchen sink? Or those who bring their own lunch pay extra so that everyone on the plane gets a finger sandwich?
A WEEK ago, Gulliver took a trip to California. His credit card allowed him to check in a bag free, but southern California doesn’t require much bulky clothing in late August so he made do with a carry-on. Still, in this era of luggage fees, it felt almost wasteful to let a baggage allotment go unfilled.
AS PRESIDENT of US Airways, Scott Kirby (pictured) cut costs by eliminating free non-alcoholic drinks for coach passengers. This week, he was probably popping the cork on something fizzy.
IT IS a tiresome truth that when people post on social media, they sometimes become detached from the words they type. Some psychological studies of soldiers suggest that it is easier to kill someone when you can’t see the whites of their eyes—from a bomber, say, or a drone control room.
Gulliver wrote recently about the transformation of safety videos over the past decade from informational snoozers that few flyers bothered watching to eye-catching sensations that are impossible to ignore. Virgin America led the way with a cartoon feature.
WHEN Alan Joyce took over as chief executive of Qantas in 2008, the carrier looked, to use an Australianism, buggered. Costs ran high at the flag carrier, and over the coming years the competitive outlook only worsened. Domestically it became embroiled in a bitter price war with Virgin Australia, which had targeted its market share.
ONE of the most maddening elements of international travel is figuring out when and how much to tip. Most travellers know that in an American restaurant or taxi, it is standard to tip 15-20%, even if the service isn’t exemplary. In much of Europe, nothing more than a round-up to the nearest euro is expected.
IT STARTED with a fanfare, albeit with a bemused tone. “China’s bonkers elevated bus is real and already on the road,” announced Wired on August 3rd. It was not only Wired.
BACK in the 1990s, British Airways, the nation’s flag-carrier, proclaimed itself to be “the world’s favourite airline” in a long-running and hugely successful advertising campaign.
ONLY readers living under a rock for the past two months will be unaware of Pokémon Go. The smartphone game, which overlays augmented-reality onto real-world locations, has been downloaded some 100m times on Google Play alone.
SKYTRAX recently released its annual airline rankings, and the message is clear: given the choice, it is better to fly on Asian carriers and to avoid American ones. Emirates was voted the top airline by flyers across the globe, followed by Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific and All Nippon Airways (ANA).
FOR good or for ill, the start and end to a working day is increasingly blurred. Smartphones and wi-fi mean that even an airline cabin, once the last respite of the business traveller, no longer guarantees escape. But the push is not all one way. Sometimes leisure time can impinge on the business day.
FRANCE has long been the most popular destination for the world’s tourists. In 2015, 84.5m foreigners visited the country, well ahead of America in second place. And for good reason. It is difficult not to fall in love with its medieval villages, the wine and cheese, the chic architecture of Paris and the warm-hearted people.
WHEN many people think of tour operators in Europe, an ailing industry selling tacky package holidays comes to mind. The number of European tourists buying deals bundling accommodation and transport has fallen by a quarter since demand peaked in the early 2000s. But the past year has looked particularly bad.
TWO years ago, this blog lamented the demise of in-flight entertainment on aeroplanes: In a low-margin industry cost-cutting is helpful, but demanding consumers expect savings to be passed on. Equally airlines are keen to develop new sources of revenue.
A COMPUTER system outage grounded all Delta flights worldwide on Monday morning, leaving hundreds of thousands of passengers stranded. Planes have since started taking off again, but not before wreaking havoc on travel plans around the globe.
A VIDEO has been posted (see below) showing the inside of the Emirates plane that crash landed in Dubai yesterday. The most striking thing about the footage is the number of people blocking the aisles to root through the overhead lockers to retrieve their luggage before evacuating the plane.
IT IS going to be a long, difficult summer for European airlines; it may well be a bumpy couple of years. Last week, IAG, the parent firm of British Airways, Iberia and Aer Lingus, became the latest carrier to tell of its woes. It reined in expectations of growth in 2016 from 40% to around 15%.