My Musings (Sundays)

Category Archives for My Musings (Sundays).

Now riding 900+ miles on rail through Asia

Currently riding the rails from Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok about 1,500 km (930 or so miles) through Malaysia and Thailand. This is about the same distance from Boston to Atlanta or almost as far as Melbourne to Brisbane in Australia or Paris to Warsaw in Europe. A few years ago,  I travelled from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur by train. Sadly, the line into the heart of Singapore is no more. The Singaporean government closed it it 2011 after almost 80 years of operation. It has been one of my dreams to do the next stage from…

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The Trump Travel Bans – My Reaction

Update One: British dual nationals have now been exempted from the banning Update Two: People who have already been given permission to be in the USA may return there.  This is blog about travel and not politics and I try not to cross boundaries. The events of this week have so shocked me, I need to make comment. I have been to New York many times and stared at the words on the Statue of Liberty: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming…

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Fixing Poor Passenger Behaviour

Following my post on Expedia’s annual survey of poor passenger behaviour, I have been considering how can airlines and authorities improve the situation? In 1993, Park,  Robertson and Wu found that service value, passenger satisfaction, and airline image each have a direct effect on passengers’ behaviour. Meeting (or exceeding) passenger expectations raise passenger satisfaction levels and results in better behaviour. So what would I do to fix things?: Create more pleasant airports- compare the stress levels of passengers at Singapore airport with JFK!  Rethink the check-in, security and boarding procedures which result in passengers doing…

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Is Flying getting worse or better? Reflections on four+ decades of airflights

  In 1977, flying from Sydney to Roma, I watched one movie per sector (on a large screen on an Alitalia 747). The film was loaded at each stop onto a centrally mounted projector which dropped from roof of each cabin. The flight to Roma had three stops of between two and three hours each so four movies were shown on the one flight! Each airport has very few facilities and were essentially concrete sheds. (Singapore’s Changi was being built). The headphones were a tube and the audio was out of sync with the visual.…

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Reflecting on 2016 and 2017 Travel Goals

What travel goals did you manage in 2016? I achieved almost all of my 2016 goals! I flew 119 times for business and pleasure last year with 20 airlines, rode 14 long distance trains plus a short cross-border train between Singapore and Malaysia, a few long distance buses and some hire car kilometres. My air flights were mostly concentrated in 14 countries in Asia, Australia/New Zealand and the Middle East with no European or US flights at all, as seen here: My goals for 2016 were to: Visit two new countries which I exceeded by going to Egypt,…

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My 350th Boeing 737 flight

I keep on flying the 737! Just reached 350 flights! It is eight months since I flew my 300th 737 so that averages at six every month since April! I have flown more 737s in my life than 767s plus 747s plus 320s!  31 airlines have taken me across five continents with the type-Africa and Antarctica are the two non-737 continents! Sadly, as previously mentioned, the 737 is one of my last favourite planes.  I will take the 767, 747, 757 and 787 over the 737 any day. Which plane is your most flown? Related…

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My 10 Worst Travel Experiences

Create your own visited countries map or check out the JavaScript Charts. I have been to or lived in sixty-two countries. Most of my experiences have been wonderful and magical. There are a very few that were pretty awful: Being threatened with being tortured or shot by the army in El Salvador just after the Civil War- they had not made their mind up what to do to me. Clearly, I survived. Having my bus blown up in the Middle East two stops before mine. I still reflect carefully on life as six  on the…

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An Anachronism- Getting Rid of Passports

In around the world in 80 days, Phileas Fogg of London and his French valet Jean Passepartout (his name means goes everyhwere”) circumnavigate the world in 80 days. Phileas Fogg travels by steam train and coal burning ocean ships, communicates by telegram, uses shillings and presents his passport at consular offices around the world. I have had my current passport for almost seven years. In the time I have held it, I have flown 492 times. For the international flights and any domestic flights in the USA and UK, it will be looked at between…

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Who is the best One World airline?

It’s an interest obsession of mine to “collect” airlines flown. I am inching closer to 100 different airlines flown. Some of those carriers are no longer flying. In most cases this a tragedy (eg Pan Am, Ansett Australia, Malev) and in others, probably a good thing (Air Australia). I’ve flown airlines that belong to all of the three major airline alliances (One World, Skyteam and Star Alliance).  Truth be told, 40% of my flights have been with One World carriers, however. So I pricked up my ears when on Wednesday, the CEO of IAG (Iberia/British Airways) suggested…

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