A Different Kind of Thread

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This topic contains 16 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  MilesThomas 7 Jan 2010
at 14:25
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Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 17 total)

  • Anonymous

    JonathanCohen09
    Participant

    Hello everyone,

    first may I wish you all, and our good friends on the BT staff a very happy new year and I hope that it will be a safe, healthy, peaceful and successful one for us all.

    I thought to start of the new year it would be nice to start a different kind of thread to see what people collectively want from the travel industry this year?

    What I mean by that, is for example, I would like to see the industry try to bring in some kind of global security solution whereby all of us travelling would know what to expect no matter where we are travelling to in the world, or on what carrier or from which airport. i know that this is a very tall order but maybe it is something that could be worked towards by the industry in 2010. what do other people think?

    I do not want this thread to turn into a BA should do this or Virgin should do that or CX is better than EK. Rather it should be a thread where we can discuss some of the more generic issues that bother us or things generally that we would like to see improved.

    Perhaps we could persuade BT to champion some of the most popular things that are discussed to bring them to the attention of travel industry to see if we as a forum can really influence the industry and get it to take note of some of the things that are important to us.

    I do not know if it is possible but who knows. I hope as many of you as possible will think of good/interesting things to post here so that we can have a good old fashined debate/discussion without the thread becoming a slagfest as has happened in too many threads for my liking last year.

    All the best and safe travels,

    Jonathan


    Hess963
    Participant

    Hi everyone !!

    First of all — I wish all a good start and prosperous New Year !! This is goes especially to our BT staffs in Hongkong and London for doing a great job in 2009 ! So we hope and expect the same great job in 2010 !

    Hey Jonathan !! Nice thought to start this new thread and a very good question: what do people collectively want from the travel industry this year ?

    I am sure a lot of people have their special issues which they mostly liked or hated. One very present issue is of course–security matters when flying. How would efficient security checks before the flight at the airport or during the flight or after the flight are done properly and very important–with respect to one’s rights.

    One key aspect has been raised already: profiling–how could it be used righteously and not just getting personal informations from someone to use against him/her? Which authorities should be allowed to use it and how intensively will such profiling goes to someone’s personal life?
    And the other current issue of body scanners? How effectively are they really? How to use it against those individuals who feel insulted and humiliated by such way of security checks?

    Very though questions indeed! Different people, race, cultures and attitudes will always be the key factors in making those security aspects work or ( hopefully not ) not work at all. Everyone of us approach such security checks differently. Some have learned to live with such checks since they are young or for a longer period of time. They have learned to live with it and is a part of their lives–as it is a vital aspect of living secure. They do not see it as a harassment or interferring in their personal lives–but it is just a routine: ” if you have nothing to hide, so there is nothing to be insecured of–right ?? “

    While others in the contrary–never experienced such security checks in their lives or scarcely. And though such people feel offended, insulted or humiliated for being involved in such matters as they have not the experience to find it normal. Most of these people feel –i n the first place — of being check personally–yes, it is very personal. When other people or authorities ask you personal questions or ask you to undergo any body search or extensive checks. In countries where such interference or questioning on one’s individual rights are against the constitution or not a part of their cultural upbringing or just normal aspect of living—these people find it appalling and hurting their feelings and offending their rights as free individuals. And in some regions in our world–these checks could lose “someone’s face” which is very important for those people involved and hurt. These people are more reluctant or do not find it alright and normal–but in contrast they feel too expose to the authorities and their control mechanism, humiliated infront of strangers in public. Very sensitive matters indeed !!.

    I believe beside those wishes to fly in comfort of a full flat bed, great food&beverage onboard,outstanding onboard service attitude from CSD, Pursers and F/As, great perks in one’s frequent flyer programme, heavenly lounges full of great food and drinks with SPA facilities and special escort services at check and boarding –just feeling pampered and special on board our favourite airlines—-the omnipresent aspect of securities before, during and after our flight–will be always the prime issues in our everyday travel around the world.

    I just hope that inspite of those different security procedures in different countries—these aspects should be done righteously and most important: will all due respect to one’s individual rights whatever race, religion, status or colour this person has—- a smile and a sensible communication between pax and security personals during such procedures help to ease tensions down and built up understanding for such thoroughly actions and checks.

    Safe travels and enjoy your perks during your flights extensively !!
    Great and peaceful flights to everyone in 2010 !!

    Hess


    NTarrant
    Participant

    Happy New Year Jonathan, Hess and BT Team

    I agree that there needs to be a review of security and as I mentioned in a different thread, security could be speeded up by floor walkers advising people to start taking coats of for example as they approach the scanners and giving advice if asked. It would also mean that whoever does that could alert other staff if they feel someone is perhaps “dodgy”.

    My other annoyance is the lack of announcements becaise of the “quite airport” rubbish. How many times have you sat in an airline lounge and have to keep getting up to see if the flight is boarding or you go to the gate thinking it is about to board and find that you could have had another cup of tea!

    All the best see you on the 14th


    Expat_Consultant
    Participant

    Happy New Year to all and to BT

    What do I want?

    Airports that are clearly signposted.

    Courteous security service

    Lounges that are large enough to cope with the traffic (BA T5 being best practice)

    Flights that depart and arrive on time, with the promised service delivered

    That’s it.


    Bunnahabhain
    Participant

    NigelT cites the lack of announcements in lounges as a pet hate, and yes it is a bit annoying to keep having to get up to the screen – a bit contradictory to the whole concept of relaxation.

    Like everything though, announcements are a matter of getting the balance right, and the other extreme is fast taking over rail travel, with the east coast main line seemingly wishing to take the lead in the worst practice. Twice recently I have had the rule book read out at maximum volume – so much for the quiet coach – both before and after departure. It just goes on and on – ticket validity, smoking, luggage, you name it. The EC first class at-seat menu card says “Welcome to the calm atmosphere of first class” – well it is until the CSD gets on the karaoke. Surely all we need is the destination and next stop – which are displayed on the windows anyway – and any important en-route running information, although the iPhone does that too. Just leave us alone please! – we do have some degree of neurones left otherwise we wouldn’t be in the job, or need to be. Whilst I accept there’s no chance of them shutting up altogether I would like to see a cut-down announcement culture (in number, length and volume) in first class, for which I would be happy to pay a bit more of a differential. GNER did once do a survey and reported the results in the Livewire magazine – time for a review EC. VT last week Euston – Manchester didn’t seem to be quite so bad.

    The airlines have generally got about the right balance between interruption and statutory / important information, but the increasing trend for £££ aboard does risk that swaying the wrong way.

    Need a smokeless cigarette now! Look forward to more such inane debate on the 14th – advance to Mayfair!!

    Bliadhna Mhath Ùr & Slainte

    J


    SimonRowberry
    Participant

    Hi JoCo, Hess, Nigel, Jim, Tom et al.

    As I’m writing this from a snow-bound Lounge at Vilnius Airport, facing a long delay due to snow, having had to argue with the handling agents that my son has been into this lounge on many occasions and is entitled to do so due to my tier status……I guess that my wish for 2010 as far as travel is concerned is to do as little as possible. Never before have my own four walls seemed so exciting……

    I hope to see many of you on 14th.

    Best wishes again for 2010.

    Simon


    MarcusUK
    Participant

    Indeed an interesting thread…

    SECURITY –
    I am sure we are all concerned regarding the introduction of body scanners, & the many issues this raises. If all passengers have to pass through these, (Even just to the US), it will make travel very unpleasant, slow, more time consuming. Business as well as leisure travellers will find many more hours added onto their required time, & all with a cost of personal & work time.
    I agree that profiling, used very successfully around the world, needs to be the common tool for assessing travellers. In Psychology / Psychiatry, my area of work/Business, the assessment of behaviour is as important as pre-screening for this purpose. It is used in Australia at Airports with customs & Immigration staff, trained in these techniques & skilled in these indicators. They can be used remotely (through cameras eg), & perhaps the use of thermal imaging could be enhanced.
    It is not possible to consciously control Autonomic functions of the body, or all aspects of yr behaviour that reflect out to the skilled eye.

    Personal Security status/certification based on regularity on a route, within yr normal patterns of travel, how you purchase yr ticket (Cash vs cards /accounts), Frequent flyer status history, single or returns, days spent, place where you stay etc…
    All these aspects can be calculated to provide an “out of pattern” or flagged up indicator, & a level of risk, which could be matched with a “security certification level”.
    So, I would suggest & hope, that a long term strategy is developed, not just knee jerk from Governments.

    I would like to see our cutlery/ knives & forks kept on board too! Clearly to anyone sensible, you could use the fork as a weapon, much more than a blunt knife..and even a broken plate or glass!
    Otherwise, we shall all end up in a “locked down” cabin as in Psychiatric Forensic Units, where all is screwed to the floor & plastic or steel!

    AIRLINE’S HONESTY –
    Openess & honesty about the current climate, what they are doing in terms of reducing services, facilities so we can make a proper choice.
    Singapore Airlines is currently failing in this mixing cabins on varying aircraft, “New” seats & Cabins are swapped for older aircraft, & basically you buy a ticket to find what you have bought is completely different, regional for worldwide.
    Clear, open honest please.
    Fares have not been reduced into 2010, in fact many long hauls have increased considerably on last year. So, lets see what we pay for please.

    BT & The Forum
    Finally, a better balance on BT & Its forum.
    A standard of contribution that is more suggestive of the professionalism of business, rather than personal attacks, which at times, have bordered on discriminatory/ unlawful, & offensive.
    Everyone should be able to express their views, share their experiences, discussion, debate, resource sharing.

    The site appears obsessed with BA, lets have a better balance.
    Much more interesting to hear of Contributors travel experiences on different Airlines, places, hotel groups, & tips from around the world, to assist us all in making 2010 as best a travel experience, as the current climate will allow.

    I suggest, The Forum be regarded as a community, where not only the facilitators of the platform / BT, & its members set a standard of contribution, & tolerance of acceptable behaviour.

    If it does continue as it is, BT may well find it is being investigated by Authorities for facilitating its content. BT has responsibilities under law, as every individual.


    travelworld
    Participant

    Some consistency about use of electronic equipment woudl be good, too. Some airlines ban everything from the moment you step on board until you are off the plane. Others let you use Blackberrys once airborne until descent provided “flight safe” (ie no transmitting/receiving) is switched on. Others ban them completely. I think everyone accepts nothing should be on whilst take off and landing but why is there so much variation otherwise?


    Bunnahabhain
    Participant

    Yeah the electronic equipment policies are the antithesis of any evidence based practice which the rest of us are expected to implement and follow to keep our jobs. Whilst airborne, while the engines are running, when the doors are shut (and how do you know that if you’re not beside one), during take off and landing (define that), while the seat belt sign is on – does that mean you have to stop using them during cruise turbulence? – etc etc. Some announcements on the same airline are even inconsistent with or contradictory to one another. Then there are airports – at some you are supposed to turn off mobiles at the gate especially if a walk-out to the aircraft, but you can then use them again on board until the engines start or whatever – reverse on disembarking.

    One for Mark’s psychiatric expertise to hopefully provide an explanation. Certainly doesn’t stand up to any scientific one.


    SimonRowberry
    Participant

    Hi all,

    Some interesting responses so far!

    I entirely agree with the bulk of Mark’s posting, and also Jim and Trevelworld’s points about the use of electronic equipment. An interesting safety point here is the fact that if you’re using any gear with earphones, the chances are that you won’t hear any in-flight safety announcement in the event of a problem (indeed, the volume at which I have my iPod means I probably wouldn’t hear the seatbelt sign come on…!). However, the only airline I know that actually spells this out, and explains why you can’t use them on take off and landing, is Croatia Airlines (a lovely little carrier, by the way, with a really small, cozy and user-friendly hub at Zagreb, but I digress).

    Mark’s point about the nature of comments made in this Forum is apposite; however, it seems to me a long time now since we had any problems of that type. Long may it remain so. I do agree there can be an apparent over-emphasis on BA, though.

    The “real cutlery” issue is interesting. SK use plastic cutlery ex- and to the UK, as they seem to think this is still a legal requirement. Finnair, Lufthansa and (as far as I recall) SWISS use the real stuff. There is clearly some inconsistency here too. I guess many of you have tried to cut an airline steak with a plastic knife……

    Feeling a lot more positive about travel now I’m back home, away from ground staff that have read and ingested L. Trotsky’s famous tome “Customer Service for Beginners”, and am away from temperatures that hovered between -15 and -24 degrees.

    The new Via Spa and Business Lounge at Helsinki Vantaa is absolutely superb, by the way!!

    Simon


    RoadKing
    Participant

    I would wish more airliners subtitled their movies. My hearing ain’t good when at 30′ feet and there is no trick in the book that can fix that.

    As I am confident that I am not alone and certain that many non English would appreciate it, I wish this would be more common.

    BA has done this for some time now, usually one or two of their selection is subtitled. Cudos to them for this.

    If only other carriers could take up on this as well.


    MarcusUK
    Participant

    SQ have some great noise cancelling earphones, that really cut all else out, varying products would do this.
    Could you carry yr own then this maybe assist you?


    RoadKing
    Participant

    Appreciate the suggestion, but it is not the noise that is the problem, it is my hearing. No headphones can help for that. 🙂


    SimonRowberry
    Participant

    Road King

    I sympathise as I have similar problems – that why the volume’s high on my iPod (ibid)! A legacy of too much heavy metal guitar playing in my younger days…..

    I like the subtitling idea – may also help us understand some of the regional accents on UK media output these days!

    Simon

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