So this is what happens when you have a nine-hour commute: you get on the plane, you write a column/post about a particular effect of The Shutdown…and when you get off the plane, news is long broken that the end has been announced. So, I better publish this fast! So here goes…
It’s probably a safe bet to say that most of you are sick of hearing about the government shutdown. I know I am. There are lots of things that this political drama is affecting, but I didn’t know that every passenger’s dream was among them.
You see, there’s been a lot of chatter this year about the FAA finally taking a fresh look at the effects of personal electronic devices (PEDs) on airplanes. Finally! That chatter was building – and scheduled for a crescendo – as the results of those studies were due for release. Rumors were zooming around that crews were about to lose our most favorite way to irritate passengers – denying you entertainment during taxi, takeoff and landing. Continue Reading
As a US-based flight attendant who commutes from London – and flies London trips – I get the “What should I do on my London layover?” question a lot. Several weeks ago I posted my hands-down #1 suggestion for a random day in London. I promised some more ideas though. So here you go, in no particular order…ways I personally like to spend an afternoon in London:
#2. Explore Shoreditch
Shoreditch backs right up to Whitechapel – stomping grounds of Jack the Ripper. There are plenty of Ripper walking tours, though lots of local shops also sell self-walking tour books for a few pounds. Walking down the main road in Whitechapel you’ll also find the famous bell foundry, birthplace of the Liberty Bell and Big Ben, to name a couple. (Last time I went into the foundry, we were told we’d just missed a visit by Prince Charles.) Continue Reading
Last week Crewed Talk focused on a recent flight I took from Spain to London. I was a “real” passenger, and this gist is that we missed our flight by 12 hours because…(are you ready for this?!)…I misread the flight information. It left at 1:30am. Not pm. Doh! Not my proudest moment.
While admitting that, the actual flight profile was (in my personal experience) unheard of. A short-haul, 3am, international arrival operated by a traditional carrier? Doesn’t happen, I would’ve said. And I thought I had enough experience to know. (16 years? Anyone?) At that hour of arrival, the transport limitations alone means a plane ticket-sized taxi bill.
But of course it did happen! And, although many travel industry people have shared my surprise, my readers did not at all. Fair enough. But there is a bit more to our story. Continue Reading
I get this question a lot, particularly from flight attendants. London is one of those great cities where you could do something new every day and never run out of ideas – but that’s part of the problem: where to start?
There’s a new travel site in town that I’m pretty excited about. One that I think has been a long-time needed. It’s called Routehappy, and it doesn’t just find you the lowest priced airline ticket – it finds you the best value flight.
Each flight is given a “happiness score” that reflects things like legroom and availability of WiFi and ports to charge your gear. I’ve long thought that a way for customers to be informed on value – instead of just price – is the way to get airlines to compete on more than just stripping things away. But creating something like that myself was too herculean a task. Finally, someone’s done it! (Assuming it works well, of course.) On the other hand, it’s also one way to test out the statements of those who claim they’re willing to pay a little more for better treatment. What do you think? Is this an flight-buying method for you?
Was it only two weeks ago that I was here chewing my nails saying, “Oh blurg, I have to go to Requals”? Well thanks to Saturday’s crash of Asiana’s flight 214, guess who’s more in the mood for a skills test than usual?
Requal might make me nervous, but I know that it’s this constant retraining that helps achieve the impressive number of lives saved. I feel frustrated for the fantastic Asiana crew when so many dismiss their actions with blithe statements like, “A plane crashes, chutes deploy and people walk off, essentially.” Read more…