Monday, 17 October 2011
1. If you miss your flight you will be booked on the next one
This is usually a myth as it all depends on the circumstances surrounding the missed flight. Basically if there was no way that you could avoid missing the flight then you will usually be allotted a space on the next flight. Flight providers take a dim view on tardiness that is your fault so beware!
2.You will be reimbursed if the flight is cancelled
Once again, it depends on who, or what, is responsible for the cancellation. If it is the flight providers fault then you will usually receive a refund. However, if the weather is the culprit then the airline can wash their hands of any money that you expect back - so make sure you are insured!
3.Your flight will wait for you if you check-in late
Having been a victim of this, I can assure you that the pilot will certainly not wait for you as you stumble aimlessly towards the boarding gate. If you are running late, get to the gate ASAP!
4. If you book as a group you are guaranteed to be seated together
Untrue. The flight provider is under no obligation to sit you together. Once again, I can vouch for this one and it's really not fun. Being split from your group is more likely to happen if the flight is close to being filled and you are one of the last to check-in.
Thursday, 6 October 2011
You know the deal, you set down at your vacation hotspot hoping for a speedy transfer so that you can make the most of the hotel pool before the day is up. Instead, you are warmly welcomed by your good friends fatigue, headache and, best of all, irregular sleep pattern - Collectively know as jetlag.
This horrible affliction is common and you are most likely to experience it if you fly through multiple time zones as it is in essence a disruption of the body clock. You see, the human body despite its inherent cleverness, is susceptible to the most basic of things...
...In the case of jetlag the body is experiencing different light patterns to what it is used to, thus disrupting the finely tuned sleep-wake cycle. As well as this, the body will not be used to the new times in which you choose to eat - It seems that the human body is something that adapts to a particular routine, so beware all those that choose to go against it!
The severity of jetlag is affected primarily on the distance that is travelled and the individual in question. Some of us just seem to have the knack of adapting well to the surroundings and soldiering on through it which is often the best piece of advice. For the rest of us jetlag remains our greatest flying opponent!
Wednesday, 21 September 2011
Myths surrounding air travel are flying about everywhere. From mobile phone use on flights causing crashes, to intoxication occurring far quicker in the air than on the ground.
But barely any of these have any substance to them. In this quick run-down we'll separate fact from fiction.
Myth number one is that electronic devices on planes interfere with navigation equipment thus causing plane malfunction. Many people believe that this ban is in place because phone signals interfere with GPS signals, but the basis for this ban is that phone signals bouncing between mobile phone towers will prevent mobile communications from the ground making it to the cockpit. Either way there is very little evidence to suggest this would really cause major disruption.
Myth number two. Air conditioned air on planes causes rapid spread of germs and sickness. This is a big untruth that many people believe to be true. The air filters on board these aeroplanes are in fact very sophisticated and extract 99% of all germs and viruses and therefore cleaner than much of the air we breathe in our everyday lives.
Myth three - Drinking at high altitude gets you drunker, quicker. Inebriation is measured by the quantity of alcohol in your bloodstream and therefore you will not be affected by the altitude at which you are flying.
Myth number four suggests that you can book your flight on any day of the week and your final price will not be affected. This is in fact false as flights being booked on a weekday and a weekend can differ by substantial amounts. Research has shown that Tuesday, Wednesdays and Thursdays offer best value for money combine this with a decent flight provider and you're on to a winner!
Monday, 19 September 2011
Saturday, 27 August 2011
Often, the arrival of food on a flight can come as welcome reprieve from the mundaneness of a long, arduous flight. But once it sits in front of you, there is usually a deep sense of annoyance at what lays before you. Luke-warm mashed potato, microwaved meats and congealed milk are often served in quaint moulded plastic dishes with mass-produced plastic cutlery that snaps whenever any pressure is exerted upon it....Mmmm, Mmmm
But, there are certain pioneers of the sky who endeavour to provide their passenger with a meal-time experience that is a welcome departure from the usual.
In first place must be Qantas who have been known to serve caviar before main meals! This is followed by a further eight courses that sample cuisines from all over the World. Of course, you must reside in 1st class to be fed such fine fayre, but it's perhaps a small price to pay for such a dining experience!
Next up is Gulf Air who provide passengers with an on-board chef who cooks up a range of culinary delights that sample many regions of the Gulf. So expect meals along the lines of honey-glazed quail and spiced Arabic lamb!
Third spot must go to Singapore Airways. Not solely for their food but also for their assortment of premium champagnes served on-board. So expect Dom Perignon or Krug as an accompaniment to your Korean eel fillet!
Friday, 19 August 2011
Friday, 12 August 2011
Wednesday, 10 August 2011
It may seem that such delays are completely out of your hands... and they, are as most are caused by factors such as weather conditions, mechanical faults or airspace issues. But these delays can actually be avoided by following a particular set of rules.
1. Fly in the morning
If there were any mechanical problems with your plane, they are more likely to be fixed through the night when a plane has more chance of being grounded and worked upon compared to during the busier period during the day. Terrible weather is more likely to hit in the afternoon to so this also makes flying in the morning a prudent idea as well.
2. Check who you're flying with
There are now a number of online resources that actively allow you to look up the percentage of flights that are on time or late for a particular airline, showing you who you should be travelling with.
3. Which airport are you flying from?
Many airports are affected by the weather, and therefore delays. Choose to travel from any city that has prolonged periods of inclement weather and things may begin to go downhill. This especially true in the case of cities that are affected by fog and heavy cloud cover so you may want to avoid San Francisco on your travels!
Tuesday, 2 August 2011
David Mackay, 53, will be the chief pilot for Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic when it begins the first sub-orbital space flights by 2013. More than 400 passengers have already paid £125,000 for the experience of a weightless flight 100km above the earth's surface!
Mr Mackay is currently in the U.S training for the flight in one of Virgin's test aircraft named the 'WhiteKnightTwo' and is one of four pilots who are currently placing the aircraft through it's paces.
When Mr Mackay gets round to flying passengers commercially, he will pilot the Mothership to 50,000 feet before blasting of into space on the spaceship by means of a rocket motor, accelerating at 2,500mph before leaving the Earth's atmosphere. Once the ship has reached it's cruising height of 360,000ft above the Earth, passengers will able to unbuckle themselves and experience the weightlessness of outer-space!
In the meantime, we will have to make do with our Boeings and Airbusses, but hopefully someday will all be able to afford this amazing opportunity!
Monday, 25 July 2011
U.S firm Terrafugia have declared that their innovative new flying machine, called 'The Transition', will revolutionise the world of personal air travel and will allow pilots to fly in the air as well as drive on roads and highways.
According to it's makers, the Transition is comfortable and intuitive to use. It is also fuelled by regular unleaded petrol making this aircraft a seemingly viable domestic flying vehicle! Terrafugia also state that this aircraft can also be mastered with just 20 hours of flying lessons which is actually considerably less than learning to drive a car!
With over 100 pre-orders already, the Transition is actually selling rather well and is beating all other viable personal flying aircraft on the market. But at £250,000 this thing sure ain't cheap and it's unlikely that London will resemble a scene from The Fifth Element any time soon (unfortunately). So for now, instead of flying to Spain in our fancy flying cars and saving on our fuel costs, we'll have to make do with low-cost airlines!
Monday, 11 July 2011
Recent figures suggest that as many as a quarter of the 3,500 passenger interruptions have been alcohol fuelled, with these passengers arriving drunk at the check-in desk.
These passenger clearly pose a security risk on flights. With alcohol acting as a catalyst for stupidity and aggression and with security on planes becoming stricter and stricter due to the risk of terrorism, an alcohol ban seems increasingly imminent.
On the other hand, it could be argued that a ban would be unfair for the majority of placid alcohol drinking folk who consume the odd drink to make their journey that little bit more bearable. And how far would such a ban go? Would all alcohol within the airport be banned or just on the plane? Or would it be possible to monitor drinkers and regulate the amount they consume?
In my opinion, the way forward includes screening intoxicated passengers before they embark on a flight and incorporating this with a a limit on the amount of drinks that can be consumed on a flight. If a rule such as this could be used across all airlines then the high figures of delays attributed to intoxicated passengers would surely plummet.
Monday, 27 June 2011
Friday, 24 June 2011
According to a Priority Pass poll, Singapore Changi is the best airport in the world. Respondents to the poll were frequent flyers, averaging 17 flights per year lending gravitas to the findings.
Saturday, 18 June 2011
Monday, 30 May 2011
Thursday, 14 April 2011
I heard a startling fact today about the cost of the UK's aviation taxes. Whilst many countries are actively lowering their flying taxes, it seems that taxes for UK flyers are forever on the up.
The best way to offset such inflated taxes is by purchasing your flights as cheaply as possible through online providers such as directline.
Sunday, 3 April 2011
Tuesday, 29 March 2011
Holidays do not just present us with a chance to get away from the stress and strains of our often mundane existence - They also present us with the chance to stock up on quality luxury items that can be found in the treasure trove that is the duty free section of International airports!
Wednesday, 23 March 2011
Tuesday, 8 March 2011
The other day a friend of mine told me how he and his family had taken the arduous 21 hour flight to Australia for a two week holiday and catch-up with recently emigrated family.
He told of the nightmare he and his wife had in entertaining his two young children, 5 and 3 years old respectively, and how they struggled to cope with the dreaded child jet-lag. I personally would have baulked at the idea of spending so much time in a cramped cabin with nothing more than a colouring book and a series of recently released Hollywood blockbusters to keep them happy!
Tears and tantrums on such a flight come with the territory, but there are a few little things that can make the journey a little more bearable. Firstly, you should make sure that the airline you are travelling with caters for little ones. If the airline provides digital entertainment, make sure that the screens are incorporated into the back of the seat rather than a communal screen for sections of the plane, thus ensuring small children can actually see the screen. Perhaps you could ask if there is a children's T.V channel before opting to fly with them? Better still, see if the airline offers a gaming channel, this will entertain the kids for hours and can give you much needed time to yourself.
Portable DVD players can be a real saving grace, just make sure you pack their favourite DVDs! An excellent tip that you may not necessarily have thought of is to take small presents for your children that you could get them to open at certain times during the flight to relieve boredom and give them something to look forward to.
Dealing with the after-effects of a flight can be equally as tricky, but it's important to remember that a child's body acts in the same way as an adults when it comes to jet-lag. The same rules apply, so try to keep up with the new time zone and go to bed at night time to ensure your body adjusts, This may sound difficult for young children, but you will find that excitement gets them through the first signs of sleepiness!