Lion Air’s Woeful Safety

Have you seen those rants (usually on Facebook) from passengers  fuming because “their” plane has been cancelled or delayed. The tone they use often suggests they believe that airline has single handedly selected them to punish them. There are many reasons for aeroplane delays with weather and technical issues being the most common. An airline with a  good safety culture will not fly a plane which has had a technical issue until that fault is properly rectified. This suits me. Likewise, an airline with a good safety culture will empower their pilots not to take…

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Upgrading my Qantas experience-How I get Top Elite status in three round trips (almost)

I was sitting down to lunch a few years, with the family when my airline called to tell me my flight to Auckland was cancelled and I would miss my connection to Samoa. As a  result, I would get to my holiday  24 hours later than planned. The good news was if I could get to the airport within the hour they could get me into the earlier flight.  My brother in law drove me very quickly through Sydney streets to ensure I made this flight. Not only did Air New Zealand book me onto…

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INSIDE the Aeromexico 2431 Crash

Like many passengers, I sometimes film the take off or landing whilst en route. Some of my films are interesting and some are not. The video below is definitely very interesting as it captures the failed take off of Aeroméxico Connect Flight 2431 which crashed on Tuesday July 31, 2018 during takeoff from Durango International Airport. The Embraer 190 was bound for Mexico City, 765 kilometres (475 miles) away. Whilst accelerating in stormy weather, the aircraft apparently became airborne briefly and then veered off the runway after being hit “by a gust of wind”. The left wing…

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New Turkish vid combines humour, safety, Lego and planes!

The boring safety announcements are looking more and more endangered as airlines increasingly use their on board safety videos to differentiate their brand. The videos are designed to grab your attention and build your awareness of who you are flying with. Whoever in the Turkish airlines marketing department managed to involve the Lego franchise was a genius. Everyone (especially if you have small and big kids) will be remembering this video. If you are familiar with The Lego Movies, then the characters and some of their behaviors will be familiar to you. The safety video…

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Stupendous Shanghai

I  rank every city I visit across a variety of factors including aesthetics, culture and transport. Shanghai is the 200th city of over 100,000 people I have traveled to so I am pretty confident in my ratings! Verdict: My Overall Rating: 86% My Ranking out of my top 200 Cities: 22nd place Global Ranking: Mercer – Quality of Living Survey 101st out of 230 and EIU – Best Cities Ranking 33rd out of  70  Financial Time – Asia-Pacific Cities of  8 out of 163 Why it should be visited: Architecture, Cafes, Food, Shops and to understand the future of China…

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When the change fees cost more than a new ticket

On two occasions, this month, I have had the need to make future changes to flight bookings. On one booking, travel was 75 days away. Each time, the option of changing a one way flight would have cost me more than a new roundtrip ticket ! Nearly all airlines across the globe, charge a customer who wants to change the date of their flight. Usually the cheapest tickets come with a clause specifying no name or date change at all. In other words, if you want to  change the date, you need to buy a…

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Which airlines have names for their planes- and why?

For centuries, sailing ships carried names, had captains, were Christened, experienced water salutes and had their left side referred to as port and right side as starboard. These traditions continued into the air but not all airlines name their planes . No one knows why some airlines in the world adopted the tradition of naming their “ships” and others did not.  When a plane is named, unlike ships, a bottle of champagne is not  broken when naming them, but when used, it is poured over the fuselage. Here are as many major airlines that I…

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4,000 hours of flying: 71 times around the earth

Stepping off my Malaysia airlines flight yesterday at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, I discovered that I have hit a milestone. I have flown  just over 4,000 hours in my life. According to Flightmemory, this is five and a half months I have sat inside tubes of metal. To be extra nerdy, I have flown the equivalent of 71 times around the earth or seven times the distance to the moon. Coincidentally, in the next month, I will celebrate a half century of flying. My first flight was, as a very young child from Kirkwall, Orkney…

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Hainan Airlines Cartoon Safety Video featuring Teapots!

This is one of the more unusual safety videos I have seen! I confess, I have still not flown Hainan so not seen their video on board. The “teapots” go off duty and go on holidays which includes their first time on a plane. They do everything wrong on the plane (luggage in the aisles, smoking on the lavatory, leaving electronics on, panic during a storm, brace inappropriately, take luggage off with them at evacuation etc) The video has one of the most graphic “emergency” situations, I have ever seen in a safety video.  …

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Priceline ditches Name Your Own Price Hire Cars

I was an early adopter of the Priceline Name Your Own Price (NYOP) for hotels. The deals that i got made me a huge fan for many years. For example, a Five star e suite in downtown San Francisco for $US99,  a Saturday night Chicago stay for $79 on a baseball game night and a beautiful Conrad Singapore four star stay during the Marathon, 500 metres from the start line for at least 66% off any rate I could find! Sure I did not get loyalty points for those stays but the price difference was…

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