This year’s Heart Warming Heathrow Bears Ad makes eyes water- so does the airport

This heartwarming video may cause some sniffles! Based on the Heathrow Bear ad from last year (see video at end of post), this tells the story of how Doris and Edward Bear met in Christmas 1967 at London’s Heathrow airport when Doris returns Edward’s hat. It then follows their Heathrow reunions from then until now. Very sweet: Having been a LHR airport user since 1968 when I first flew out on a BOAC Viscount VC10, many elements seem familiar! Filmed in Heathrow Terminal One which opened in 1968, the year after the bears met in this ad! Poetic license is a…

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Measuring Star, Skyteam, One World – Which is the “BEST” airline alliance?

Every airline passenger will have seen the name and logos of the three big airline alliances carrying almost two out of three of the world’s airline passengers.  The names adorn planes, airline marketing materials, boarding passes, in flight magazines and airport signs. All three of the big US airlines (American, Delta and United) are linked to one of the alliances.  In Europe, it is the same with the three major airline groups. There are also three smaller and newer alliances: U fly, Vanilla, Value. I list of all the members of the alliances at the…

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Measuring Star, Skyteam, One World – Which is the “BEST” airline alliance?

Every airline passenger will have seen the name and logos of the three big airline alliances carrying almost two out of three of the world’s airline passengers.  The names “One World“, “SkyTeam” and “Star Alliance” adorn planes, airline marketing materials, boarding passes, in-flight magazines and airport signs. All three of the big US airlines (American, Delta and United) are linked to one of the alliances.  In Europe, it is the same with their three biggest airline companies. There are also three smaller and newer alliances: U fly, Vanilla, Value. I list of all the members…

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Air Berlin’s Transatlantic Farewell Landing -Daring, Dangerous or Deserved?

The pilots of Air Berlin’s last transatlantic flight to Dusseldorf airport last Tuesday clearly did not want a normal landing. As Air Berlin flight AB7001, an Airbus 330 descended toward the runway, the pilot requested a”flyby” over the airport. A request that was refused. The pilot sought permission from Dusseldorf Control tower to make a left turn should a go-around be necessary. (A go around is a standard procedure when a pilot deems that the landing will not be a safe one). Clearly, the pilot decided a “go around” was necessary! As the plane came into land, it pulled…

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Easy Wifi Worldwide..travelling happily with Skyroam

I first started travelling when a postcard was the main communication with my friends and family.  Now wifi is more important to me than almost anything. My banking, travel plans, communication are all based on having access to the internet. That is not always easy. Ever had any of these scenarios?: The advertised free wi-fi at the hotel turns out to be only on the 9th floor and you can only get a room on the 26th The Airbnb’s free wi-fi has the speed of a sloth and the reliability of the same (no offence…

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40 years ago Concorde touched down in New York

One of my never fulfilled dreams was to fly the Concorde from London to New York! One of the most beautiful planes I have ever seen with all of its accompanying mystique and prestige. This week was the anniversary of the first landing of Concorde at John F. Kennedy Airport on 19th October 1977, after a 19-month battle against the jet on the grounds of noise. Scheduled Concorde flights began on 21 January 1976 from London to Bahrain and Paris–Rio de Janeiro (via Dakar) routes. Paris-Caracas route (via Azores) followed on 10th April, 1976. Air France and British Airways both began service to Washington…

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Kenya Airways New Fight to Survive

Recently Kenya Airways ran a feel-good campaign to celebrate Customer Service Week with pictures featuring the carrier’s new Polish CEO Sebastian Mikosz: The tweets hid the turmoil behind the scenes. As a country, Kenya is in the midst of a severe drought and its politics is a mess. Sadly its flag carrier is also in deep, deep trouble. Since my time of living and travelling in Africa, I have seen so many airlines come and go. Air Gabon, Ghana Airway, Nigeria Airways, East African Airlines and Zambia Airways have gone. South African Airlines is teetering as is Kenya Airways.…

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Shinkansen Sprint -Trip Report: Hiroshima-Kyoto

When I was three, my grandparents bought me my first book of trains. My second book followed when I was four. I must have read that book a hundred times and memorised every word. It was in that book, that I was introduced to the Japanese “Bullet Train” which was launched the year I was born. In 1964, they ran at speeds of up to 210 km/h (130 mph). Now they go up to 320 km/h(200 mph ). Today Japan’s high-speed network is the fourth largest in the world (after China, Spain, Germany) and has the second highest…

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Using User Reviews

User-review sites are a staple of my travel diet. I love Tripadvisor, for hotels! Here is the link to my profile.   Yelp is my go to for city services and restaurants. Airbnb, of course, builds in reviews into its system. Skytrax provides reviews from air travellers about their flight experiences.   I have several rules of thumb with reviews: The more reviews the better. For example, an apartment on Airbnb with 3 reviews is usually skipped by me for one with 20+ I take away the number of worst reviews from the number of best reviews.…

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In Solidarity with Somalia

Two bomb blasts rocked the capital of Somalia, Mogadishu this weekend killing over 200 people. The people killed were students, shoppers, restaurant customers and waiters, kiosk workers, taxi and bus drivers.Men, women and children. President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed declared three days of mourning and called for people to donate blood for the wounded. I understand that in a war, there are casualties. But anyone killing civilians is to be condemned. I call on all armies, all governments and all groups to first of all, find alternatives to war and secondly quit with killing the people through the…

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