Category Archives: British Airways

Coming and Going – Air Travel in Images…

Air Travel in Images

Travel, whether on business or leisure, is something my family and I do a lot of.  I have traveled over 2M miles on one of the major US carriers and then there are the numerous flights on a large number of other airlines – United, Eva, Air China, China Air, Korean, Air India, Thai, Malaysia Airlines, Dragon Air, China Eastern, China Southern, Hainan Airlines, Shenzhen Airlines, SAS, Norwegian, … the list can continue a bit longer.

Even after all this, I am always amazed at the beautiful views one can get while on the plane – views of the airports, other aircraft, the sky…

So, I decided to put together some of those views in a series of photo postings…Here we go with the first

JAL-at-Beijing-International Beijing-Airport

Over-Beijing  Over-Beijing-Polluted-Sky  Over-Beijing  High-Above-Asia

United-Leaving-Beijing AA-docked-in-DFW At Dallas DFW-Planes

 

WiFi on Commercial Flights

WiFiIt is amazing how connected out lives have become. The a large percent of the population around the world, being ‘on-line’ is the norm, family and friends schedules revolve around shared calendars, news get announced via short messages (SMS or social media), and on and on.

Take away that connectivity and many feel completely isolated.

WiFiTo the effect airports and many airlines have started to offer WiFi connectivity on flights across North America, Asia and Europe.  Here in this article we will focus on the airlines offering WiFi (free or for a fee) service:

 

Airline WiFi Being Offered Comments
American Airlines Yes-Gogo service $16 pass for 24-hours (you can use on any airline with goo service
Alaska Yes – Gogo Services $1.95 to $39.95 on board or via gogoair.com
Delta Yes – Gogo services similar to American and Alaska; Next year will start new service
JetBlue Yes – Free! The only US airline to offer free WiFi service (I think)
Southwest Yes $8 flat rate on all Boeing 737-800, 700; Service is VERY slow though
Japan Airlines JAL Yes – Satellite based GoGo Service The fees vary by route;

Being offered on both domestic and international routes

Norwegian Yes, Free! On all Boeing 737-800 aircraft
 Lufthansa  Yes  9-euro to 17-euro (for 24 hours)
British Airways Only 1 route London to New York only $14 to $25
Turkish Airlines Some On some B777-300ERs and gradually on A330-300
United Yes Boeing 747 and 757; Also Gogo service
Virgin America Yes – Continental only Gogo Service from $2 to $39.95
Air France Trials Working with Orange since Summer 2015 – limited trials;

Had offered couple of flights only previously

Air Canada Yes Uses Gogo service – leverage pass from Gogo

Overall, the WiFi service is still relatively spotty.  It was interesting to discover that new flights on AA Boeing 777-300ER / 77W have started to offer WiFi for about $19 for international flights.  So hopefully better services are still ahead of us.

WiFi

Hilton Hotel in Paris Resorts to Duct Tape

Have you seen the (I believe) famous Canadian comedy show The Red Green Show?  I liked it a lot (10-15 years ago) – it was shown on PBS…The main character Red (Steve Smith) is the leader of Possum Lodge and a self-proclaimed handyman who is constantly extolling the virtues of duct tape (“the handyman’s secret weapon”).

Well, on my recent business trip to Paris I relived my happy memories of watching Mr. Red….but I also had the bad experience with the Hilton at CDG-Paris.

I arrived late (around 10pm) and checked in quickly into a nice room – exec room on the hotel’s 2nd floor.

In the morning though I had rather unpleasant experience when I tried to take a shower – the hotel shower = a handheld shower with a grip bar – turned out to be broken and fixed with….yes! you guessed it DUCT TAPE  (Mr. Red would haven been proud!)

There were two problems with that

a) the shower was broken and fixed by a questionable housekeeping handy person

b) with Duct Tape that would not hold the handshower in place as the water started flowing through it, the grip would release and the shower would fall to the floor….

Hilton -Charles De Gaulle   The Duct Taped Shower You can see the shower setup on these two photos I took with my iPhone – pretty interesting usage of duct tape after all…

I took a shower eventually – gasp! – by holding the handheld shower in one hand…not convenient but, hey, it is only a Hilton!!!  Not..!

Then, later that morning, the second surprise came about – I wanted to get to the airport.  The helpful front desk staff told me “Yes, of course – which airline?”  I told them “British Airways”.   The response was “Sure – terminal 2….please wait for the shuttle”.  I waited for about 20-minutes and finally the shuttle was there.  Well we boarded, and made it to the airport, but to Terminal 2E!!! We were told here you are for your flights….I asked them “Is British airways here?” the response was “yes”

Come to find out – indeed – BA was in Terminal 2 – but Terminal 2A…. A helpful airport employee smiled and said – “you better hurry…you have a bit of a walk ahead of you”

I guess I needed it – indeed, it took quite the walk to make it from 2E to 2A…. But my frustration was with the Hilton staff.   I bet there are plenty of guests who fly BA

Why not drive to the proper terminal to start with?   Hopefully someone from Hilton will see my gripe and do something about it.

British Airways Rude to Disbelief Flight Attendant

Air travel these days is definitely less than glamorous but on top of that it some cases it could be also very disappointing.  There have been many articles highlighting the fact that flight attendants are becoming increasingly frustrated with their jobs, but what happened to me 2 days ago on a British Airways flight BA307 from Charles de Gaulle (Paris) to London Heathrow, was very disappointing – I encountered a very rude flight attendant.

I boarded the plane pretty tired. Before we even took off, I had fallen asleep while also listening to music from my iPhone with noise cancelling headphones on.  Sometime later I woke up – just at the time when a flight attendant was passing small bags of potato chips (crisps) as snacks.  I picked up one and as I noticed that my seat mates had drinks on their seat tables – I asked for a glass of sparkling water.

What happened next was unbelievable – to me, and to my seatmates… The flight attendant – male, his name tag read ‘Alex’ – stared at me and uttered “Well, I asked you what would you like to drink several times a moment ago and you just ignored me…”

Really ? 

I have never heard this is my flying experience – this flight attendant was ready to spank me or worse !  Hate to see this dude if he was really annoyed …!

After he berated me with words – Alex (the flight attendant) just walked away…

I waited for a minute or two and I pressed the call button.   To my second surprise, nothing happened again!   

This is an incredible attitude and lack of service !

Saturday Night Live skit from several years ago is a perfect example of my experience – British Airways flight attendant must have taken a page our of SNL’s skit and applied incredibly successfully!

David spade was the  epitome of the BA flight attendant !!!!

We love to ignore you !  Is the motto for this British Airways crew member…!

Well folks, if you have had similar experience, feel free to post or drop a comment on this blog – I plan to aggregate and let BA know – all in all my experience was something no passenger on any reputable airline should have to experience!