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badice.com ~ musings for the masses

Archive for September, 2012

This is just a mini-rant. Not even a rant, more of an annoyance. Recently, on a number of social media outlets, I have noticed the trend of airline, travel, etc. rants. I have a few searches set up to see what people are saying about different travel companies and I am used to the normal “such and such sucks” and “I’ll never fly DeltAmericUnited” but recently there has been an uptick of supposed “frequent flyers” who are posting full out rants on Twitter or Facebook.

One example happened this past week during American Airlines pilot work slow-down. A complaint was made on Twitter by someone who in their own words “flies a lot”. At first, it looked like a normal release of frustration about a delay on American, but as this person’s delay went on, the rant became more inflamed. At one point the frequent flyer insisted that they would go out of their way to fly Southwest. Then, somehow, United was dragged into the fray and thrown under the bus.

I do not expect frequent flyers to know everything about an airline, but if you’re a frequent traveler and watch the news, you knew about the problems American Airlines was having. American even put out a press release giving passengers alternatives if their flights were delayed.

The traveler in question told me that this all happened after they were already on board and after a 2.5 hour delay, they were finally on their way. 2.5 hours?! While that is a terrible delay, why did no one speak up and ask to be let off the plane (especially our frequent flyer)?

At some point, if you’re going to give yourself the title of frequent traveler, you need to own up to taking responsibility for fixing your own situation when things go pear-shaped. This is not to say you should not vent frustrations on social media, it’s just a plea for folks to be a little more rational when doing so.

The title says it all. I have been researching resort type destinations in southeast Asia and have come up with very few that interest me. Maybe it’s that my requirements that the destination:

  1. Has a beach.
  2. Has other activities away from the beach (preferably in a town)
  3. Is relatively easy to get to from Bangkok, Singapore, or Kuala Lumpur.

Right now I am focused on Langkawi, Malaysia due to its large rain forest and some activities around the island, but I am open to suggestions. If you have visited or heard of somewhere in southeast Asia that is a relaxing resort environment with other off-property activities, please share.

There is something about Berlin and I have yet to put my finger on it. It is hip, peaceful, busy, and reserved all at the same time. From walking through Tiergarten to exploring the neighborhoods in Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, the city has something interesting from block to block. All I am sure of is that when I leave, I want to return. That says a lot about a city and its people.

How can you say “no” to random strangers enjoying great weather, great beer, and each other’s company?

Fronts Harden in Lufthansa Labor Dispute (Der Spiegel) →

 

As expected, thousands of stranded passengers were none too pleased by the first strike on Friday at Frankfurt Airport, Germany’s busiest. Lufthansa had to cancel nearly half of the 360 flights scheduled to take off on Friday morning, and the airport almost ground to a complete halt until 2 p.m. Lines of waiting passengers in Terminal 1 wound their way through several parts of the building.

There was even uproar in the luxurious and normally serene first-class terminal, as furious frequent fliers ranted at Lufthansa staff. To add to the disarray, flight crews waved placards with anti-Franz slogans directly opposite, at one of the entrances to the airport site.

Things are kind of getting back to normal but Tuesday’s A380 flight from Frankfurt to Houston was canceled due to the strike and the effects of the strike will probably roll into next week. All of this stemming from the flight attendant’s union wanting an increase in pay and the same group being disenfranchised by the prospects of cost cutting by Lufthansa.

The Gulf-state carriers (Emirates, Qatar Airways, Etihad, etc.) are a real source of “hard to beat” competition due to their seemingly bottomless coffers and their willingness to go into a new market and take it by storm. Lufthansa is attempting to cut costs to compete on lower fares. It’s just a question of how far are they going to take that.

On my recent flight between Washington-Dulles and Tokyo’s Narita airport I encountered something that I do not completely understand. The flight arrives into Tokyo at 3:25pm, 13 hours after leaving Washington. About an hour and a half before arrival a meal is served. In business class it looks like this:

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It’s a not so appetizing breakfast (more on the not so appetizing part at a later date).

What I don’t get is why United is serving breakfast for a middle of the day arrival. Sure, most people sleep for part of the flight, but I find breakfast when I’m arriving a few hours before dinner to be a bit odd. Even more strange is that Seth, who was on the same flight, said they received a noodle lunch dish in coach.

Any ideas on why United does this? Do other airlines serve breakfast on USA-Asia flights that arrive in the middle of the day?