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Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 779 total)

  • DavidGordon10
    Participant

    Interesting post, LP.

    A problem I have met twice, once in Iran and the other time last week in China, is a visit where one is given so many things that you need an extra suitcase to carry them home.

    In my neck of the woods these are “when-I’s”. “When I was in Turkmenistan I was given this fine carpet”. “When I was in Japan I was given this huge picture”. (I am looking at them both.)

    The only other person I knew with a comparable collection of “when-I’s” was a finance man who worked for the CIA. I don’t know if he had to buy extra suitcases all the time…


    DavidGordon10
    Participant

    I am breaking my self-imposed silence (posts 44 and 46) to reply to one or two things, but mainly to answer one important point.

    FDOS answered my question: thank you, but the question was rhetorical and did not really need an answer.

    Capetonian replies in detail. Our disagreement is fundamental; I think this forum should mainly be for practical and factual information, and also for interesting experiences and anecdote, but not for unrestrained “freedom of expression”; he does not want his freedom of expression curtailed. Freedom of expression is essential, but not at the price of using language that some find unacceptable. His definition of “dog-whistle” is rather limited, a much better one is at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dog-whistle_politics What kind of “political correctness” is stupid is a moot point. My children and the staff of my organisation find me very politically incorrect – but humorous – at times.

    The important point I want to answer is the one raised by Charles-P. “What kind of society have we created?” Well, I hope a more tolerant and understanding one than we had not many years ago. However, the use of claims of discrimination, by some individuals when they have no good cause is completely unacceptable. I have had to deal with this more than once: the most egregious case was a person who claimed that he had been passed over for promotion because he was of Asian origin. It had to be dealt with very firmly, and with clear evidence. I had to tell him he was not ready for promotion, explain exactly why, and tell him that the full force of our lawyers would deal with him if he tried to sue. He shut up and got on with the task of doing good work so that when he was ready he was promoted.

    I will now return to silence and try and stay that way.


    DavidGordon10
    Participant

    To repeat, I am going to go quiet for a while, and (as Dr Johnson would say) there’s an end on’t.


    DavidGordon10
    Participant

    I have hesitated for some time before responding to this thread, but I think I have to.

    First, for the avoidance of doubt, my name on this forum is essentially my own name, so I cannot be accused as being a snowflake hiding behind my anonymity. Also, it will not take you long on Google to find out what I do, so I emphasise that these are my own views and not those of the international organisation that I lead.

    Second, I have never just reported a post for inappropriate comment. I have emailed Tom twice, once to say I thought things were getting out of hand and once to say that I was worried that a particular post was libellous and might be exposing BT to risk of being sued.

    There is too much inappropriate comment. Phrases like “no wonder Europe is awash with the unwashed, but I suppose there are so many illegal invaders anyway that a few more won’t matter” at the start of this thread, or “another of the benefits of freedom of movement, the Schengen Agreement, and Frau Merkel’s madness” in another thread today are pure dog-whistling and not acceptable. Maybe many of us are concerned about the exact “version and formulation of European culture” but it could be expressed better.

    At a milder level, I find the endless frog-bashing tedious: yes, there are too many employees of Air France (and indeed Lufthansa and other legacy airlines) who are not thinking about the long-term future of their airline, but they do not deserve the vilification they sometimes receive here.

    Also, the “inappropriate content” is not just a matter of language. I do not want to post on a thread where I will just get into a tangle with Mr Allwaysknowsbest Musthavethelastword.

    So I have largely given up. Like others, I have found this forum useful and it has given me excellent contacts and saved a great deal of money – but why should I, for example, bother to post about a current issue with obtaining visas for China that may be useful information for forum members; or write a note about a BA aircraft that was (in the splendid words of an FT writer) apparently so old that it should have a tail gunner?

    So – not goodbye, but I am going to go quiet for a while.

    6 users thanked author for this post.

    DavidGordon10
    Participant

    I would suggest that those airports in the USA often used for transit by passengers arriving from one country, and departing to another without actually needing to enter the USA, should be rebuilt to allow international transits to be made completely airside. This is possible all over the place in other countries – for example, in Amsterdam, Istanbul and in Guangzhou.

    Examples are Miami, Atlanta and LAX. I arrived in Atlanta yesterday from Costa Rica, and departed for LHR. There should be absolutely no need to queue for 1.25 hours to get a stamp in the passport. When on the way to New Zealand via LAX, what is the point of rituals for entering the USA to be applied when you are not entering the USA?


    DavidGordon10
    Participant

    Thank you everyone.

    I had an example today. Does the normal daily AC flight from Geneva to Montreal operate on Friday 3 August?

    Google was useless: the AC booking site said it seemed not to be operating (“dates invalid”): the AC PDF of its complete timetable says that it will operate: Skyscanner also said yes and offered a price. Skyscanner (which I have not used before) was the quickest but of course, it is not primarily trying to give you timetable information it is trying to sell you the ticket.

    I don’t want the sale yet, thanks, I just want to be able to tell the people that I may see in Montreal that I might be able to get a direct flight there on that day.

    Oh for a simple timetable without being battered by the sales, oh for the old days of the ABC railway guide…


    DavidGordon10
    Participant

    To bring this thread back to its original subject, I am not often on BA, but did see the new safety video twice last week, and I think it is dire. Incomprehensible for those of us who do not know who the performers are, and I suspect even more useless for most non-British passengers. Most important, the safety messages are lost.

    I agree absolutely with rferguson on that Quantas video: it really made me watch. I like the KLM video, where images made to look like Delft pottery carry the messages and have a real KLM feel.

    However, (unfashionable on this website) my favourite is the safety video on AF long-haul. Clear, easy to watch, very Gallic and with a little gentle humour that works both in French and in English.

    in reply to: More BAd news….

    DavidGordon10
    Participant

    I have just met the unwanted DCC in Budapest. At the airport, in the bistro, I was given a bill and after pressing the buttons on the credit card machine I was told I had agreed to pay in GBP. No I had not!! The manager came and sorted it out, and I paid in HUF.

    I preserved the voided bill and the one I paid – they were £33.96 vs £33.26 respectively – so I saved 70p. OK, that is not much but a million 70ps is a lot of money. “Who cares about a profit of 0.5% – wholesalers.”


    DavidGordon10
    Participant

    Completely with you there FDOS. What a load of baloney.


    DavidGordon10
    Participant

    Now I opened this thread to see if there might be any disruption to a Swiss fight I am taking tomorrow through French airspace.

    Of the 29 posts to date, 3 convey information alone, and the rest are opinion. Now, quite often, opinions on this forum are useful but I submit that almost all of the 26 opinion posts in this thread are not at all useful.


    DavidGordon10
    Participant

    Our organisation has a travel policy that I introduced when I took over, it was devised with the help of a well-known forum member and woks a treat:

    Flights under three hours – Economy
    Flights between three and five hours – Premium Economy, if available
    Flights of more than five hours – Business,if available
    If Premium Economy is not available for a flight between three and five hours, then Business class may be used for a flight of more than three hours.

    This applies to all staff at all levels. More important, we fly external assessors all round the world on odd itineraries (Almaty to Khartoum, Buenos Aires to Tbilisi, and so on) and it gives clear rules for them. All our mid and long haul travel is booked through the travel adviser, which has definitely been value for money and gives clarity to the external people.

    Two further comments:
    1. As we send people to odd places, the hotel policy is also important in elements such as safety and security
    2. I used to work for a university that had no clearly defined travel policy, but had a recommended travel agent. The fares through the travel agent were often 20 – 30% more than if we booked ourselves. Beware of the unreliable travel agent!


    DavidGordon10
    Participant

    Dear Ian

    +1 absolutely.

    Also, we must allow ourselves other prejudices. For example, my main prejudice against the 787 is the centrally-controlled window blinds. Trivial, I know. In another thread, one of our forum members said that in his airline, the “dreamliner” is known as the “binliner”. I would love to know why.


    DavidGordon10
    Participant

    I never reported FDOS’ reply as inappropriate. We are having a perfectly civilised dialogue. I have no idea how that has got there, unless it is because the “reply” and “report” buttons are too close together and I hit the wrong one. His reply was perfectly appropriate.


    DavidGordon10
    Participant

    With most airlines linear regression of accidents against time will be meaningless, because there will not be enough data. There are too few crashes. I think the interesting analysis is to look at step changes to see if they are statistically significant, and then trying to work out why. Aeroflot is the obvious case of a step change: around the early 1990s, to zero accidents from a previously dire record in the Soviet era.

    In the case of other airlines, is there any point when the airline has got much better in a short space of time? If so, why? Political change, economic factors, change in management, new fleet? If we know why some airlines get better, then we know more about what should be done for the bad ones.


    DavidGordon10
    Participant

    Well here we are all with our own prejudices and not enough data. Certainly, the car to and from the airport is the most dangerous part…

    Ian’s comment on how the EU creates its list is interesting. That is exactly, in a completely different field, what my own organisation does. We don’t evaluate individual medical schools, but we evaluate the authority in each jurisdiction that evaluates individual medical schools. I also share Ian’s aversion to the 787 Binliner, not just the risk of all those batteries but the awful tyranny of someone else being able to control my window blind. So pure prejudice.

    Real local knowledge counts. I take on board, completely, Capetonian’s narrative on Egyptair. I still fly with them (and did yesterday).

    FDOS – well, I chose the last decade as the most recently relevant: things were very different in the 1990s. If you looked in the 1970s and 80s, Aeroflot would look even worse. The real point is that the new Aeroflot is not the old Aeroflot. Statistical analysis of time-series is a tough subject, particularly to identify when real changes happened. Air crashes are now so rare that there is very little data.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 779 total)
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