Posts Tagged ‘travel’
OK so you have to be a certain age to understand that title.
Nonetheless- I am always fast to comment on airlines and how crap they are, especially Ryanair (Dick Turpin airways) and Squeezyjet (cattle flights). However I am recently just back from a trip to New York and we went with KLM. I have flown with them before but the service was sort of non descript and anonymous if I am honest- I went to Warsaw that time via Schipol. It was OK nothing good especially nothing bad. This trip was the first time I had a chance to experience their long haul service. We went Edinburgh, Amsterdam- JFK (737 then 777, outbound) and the reverse back, (747, Airbus, back). I have to say I was impressed. The Amsterdam, JFK was especially good, service was excellent, entertainment on board just made the hours vanish- they have these seat back videos but you can watch any film when it suits you so its not like a running schedule. Food was fine for an airline meal, you could have all the drink you wanted and we even had ice cream about 3/4 the way through. The flight crew were helpful and friendly and all in all it was the best long haul I have done.
The return was Ok too, it was about an hour shorter in length (the old east/west v west/east thing) and I had no complaints. Being a 747 it was a bit noisier back in Cattle class- but thats just the way 747s are, – had the same in BA‘s in the past.
Would definitely use them again, OK it was a bit of a longer journey than the direct Continental flights out of Edinburgh but hey- it was about £500 cheaper too (we booked via Expedia) and in my book the travelling day ia a dead loss anyway by the time you arrive, get through immigration, get bags and in to your hotel.
Jeez what a carry on this mob are.
I thought e tickets and self service check in’s were supposed to be the way to allow you to check in quickly. Not with Air France its not!
Was at Charles D’Gaulle transferring from a flight from Krakow to Edinburgh and as they were two different airlines ( LOT then Air France) needed to get bags and check in with AF.
Went to the appointed check in area (looked like a terminal 5 lookalike sort of place, maybe new and found the check in area. There were some check in machines somewhat like the standard ones you see in UK. Checked in without problem then was sent to the baggage drop area.
Now the airport was not busy (IMO) and the bag drop area was quiet, in fact myself and some travel colleagues were second in the queue, but we waited and waited and waited, and the queue grew longer and longer. There was only one baggage check in woman there and it seemed she was taking a lifetime to get peoples bags onto the system.
Eventually- and I mean like 20 minutes later, she called one of my colleagues forward, we were all heading to different end destinations so there was no point in confusing the issue by all checking in at once.
Just as the last of them checked in and it was my turn, I went forward and handed over my boarding pass. There was a look of consternation on the lady’s face and she started hitting the machine that issues the baggage tags. A few opens and closes of the lid, she said something to her neighbouring colleague in French then she says, sorry machine is broken wait here and when my colleague is free she will serve you. The other lady was doing the AF passenger with frequent flier status – the posh queue.
Lady number one picks up her stuff and leaves- leaving everyone and the queue, and me at the desk.
So now we have two queues growing. Why she could not simply move to another desk I don’t know there were loads free.
So I wait and wait, this time there were three English women (looked like very ex footballers wives and their granny) one of whom had obviously asked for assistance to the plane. Dunno why they all looked well enough to walk, I sometimes think this is a scam to get the party on the plane ahead of the queues, but maybe I am just cynical.
Anyway it came to a question about do you want to go into departures now or wait until half two and come back and someone will help you with the wheel chair.
Hmm lets seeeeeeeeeeee ……….. 5 minutes thinking about it………… hmm maybe we will come back…………… hmmmm 5 minutes discussing, the queue is getting longer…………….. and longer…………….. hmm maybe we will go through now…………….. hmmmmm …… longer………… We will………. hmmm .. maybe phone a fekking friend??????
This was mental, I was getting well hacked off and the two queues, scum (like me) and WAGs, like them , sort of were now easily 30-40 people long each.
They made their choice eventually and wandered away- I saw no need for a wheel chair.
So she says, OK I will take you now, I stepped to the front of the desk and put my bag on the weighing machine- “please remove the bag from the machine I am still dealing with the previous customer”, I whispered an oath under my breath, but not under my breath enough cos she heard me and started to take a strop at me, so I apologised, blaming my frustration, after all I had only been waiting about 40 minutes to check in a bag (from near enough the front of the queue)
She calms down and does my bags- have to be honest I expected it to be sent o Azerbaijan or somewhere! One of my colleagues bags though was still stuck on the conveyor of the first desk, having been left there by the first lady who cleared off, so I asked the second lady to move it ontot he main conveyor, after all it could get lost, she was not happy, but she did it …. what a bunch of trolls……
Flying back home on Squeezyjet the other week there, I was listening to the cabin crew do their usual safety speil (as you do) and they got to the section where they say:
“In the event of a loss of cabin pressure, oxygen will be provided, a mask like this will fall from the panel above, pull it to your face and by doing so the oxygen supply will be activated. Secure your mask before helping others with theirs….” You know the bit?
Anyway it occurred to me that with Easyjet, Ryanair and no doubt others looking for more ways to extract revenue from their passengers a new ploy could be forthcoming. Don’t forget that many “pleasures” you used to take for granted are now no longer free… they are subject to you paying extra.
- If you fancy queuing longer- pay extra to stand near the front for half an hour before the flight is called : speedy boarding
- If you want something to eat on board, the “easy kisok” will come round offering you food and drink- please have the correct change
- If you want to take a bag with you (as if!) eh, that will be a tenner please…. each way….
- If you want to have a pee, em a pound (Ryanair- well at least they were threatening this- dunno if they did it as I would rather piss on their seat than give them anything more quite frankly- Dick Turpin and all that.)
- If youwant to pay on line with a credit card (no- I would rather pay cash- how do I do that?) there will be a credit card charge…..
- Feeling lucky- buy an easyjet scratch card and win a notional £20 to spend in the easy shop, where the cheapest item is £21, (obviously this entails you spending a £1 on the scratch card, then spening more money to extract the value for the prize- money you would otherwise never have spent) Why on earth woul dyou want to buy a platic orange airbus jet model, or a bear in a flying jacket……
You get the picture…..
Anyway how about this one
“In the event of a loss of cabin pressure, oxygen may be provided, a mask like this will fall from the panel above, pull it to your face . Easy card plus holders will continue to breathe reasonably normally. The cabin crew will come around to assist, and will offer to actually turn on the oxygen supply for a mere £15.
You are reminded by prebooking you can save ££££’s. Prebooking your oxygen supply will only cost you £5 or £7 return.
Why not purchase easy breathing plus our annual oxygen supply card for only £100.
Customers choosing not to purchase our oxygen plan, em, might hallucinate wildly, and ultimately , em,….. die.
Please be aware Easyjet operate a no dying policy, passengers so doing will be refused carriage and may be evacuated from the aircraft over the first stretch of open water we encounter. Please make sure you are wearing clothing that is unlikely to tear in the event of cabin crew having to lift you by it and throw you from the cargo hatch.
We do hope you have a pleasant flight………”
Made it through T5 at Heathrow fairly uneventfully this week, going down to London it was very slow getting bags- even though it seemed very quiet in the terminal and the bags only had to come about 100 metres- I could see the plane outside the window to the baggage hall- but at least it arrived.
While I was awaiting, said bag, a guy came in that I was sure I recognised but do you think I could recall his name. Then he was joined by Steve Cram- the former athlete. Fortunately they didn’t spot me so I never had any hassle having to sign autographs.
Anyway it continued to bug me for ages after who was the mystery celeb, all I could tell people was- I am sure he was on the Holiday program on the BBC occasionally as one of those guest celebs who goes on a free holiday at licence payers expense with his family. A few colleagues asked me what he did- that made hima celeb- and then it struck me- I had no idea at all! I knew he had an unusual name though…..
It was about 4 in the morning in bed when it came to me- he was Rowland Rivron- still could not have told you what he did though- just that he was “famous”- had to look it up on the web.
Anyway- on the way back came back through T5- check in was straightforward though have to say the signage round the place while not actually inaccurate is prone to taking you miles round the place – take the signs to the “South Lounge” (BA’s guest lounge) As you come though security its actually on your right but the signs tell you to go left- past all the upstairs shops, then down an escalator and then all the way back again to effectively where you came from a floor lower. Even once you get their its a bit of a maze to get in- you almost think they don’t want you there! Its worth persevering for though as its really rather nice- beats Squeezyjet travel any day of the week.
They even do hot meals and its really huge in the lounge itself- and all free (well in the price of a business class ticket).
An observation though about T5- it has to be the only shopping centre in the world that Aircarft pull up outside at! I have been to Dubai and its world famous duty free and some others- but T5 takes the biscuit for actually looking far mor elike a shopping mall than the rest, it has a Harrods, A Gordon Ramsey restaurant, PC World, Nokia shop, toname but a few- basically load sof high street names but it does not look like a duty free type airport shopping area- its really like a shopping mall.
Anyway was OK, and almost surprisingly my bags made it through to Edinburgh too.