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I carry a “dummy wallet” – a wallet stuffed with useless cards and a variety of currencies, all in low denomination notes (Chinese yuan, Chilean pesos, and the like). I haven’t been asked to hand over my wallet at knifepoint yet, but…
I keep my credit and debit cards completely separate. In fact, the debit cards are kept at the bottom of my little business card holder, and care completely obscured by the cards. Open the lid and all you see is biz cards.
I keep one high-credit limit CC in a third place, for use in dire emergencies.
And if humanly possible, I wear a jacket with zippable inner pockets.
I’ve also, occasionally, kept some high-denomination banknotes in my socks, under the soles of my feet (in those useful little bags that banks use for coins).in reply to: Travel precautions you should take15 Feb 2018
Keep a copy of your credit card details so you know which ones have been stolen and can report them if they are
I do this, but I also make sure the details include the ‘Lost or Stolen Card’ number which is printed on the back of the cards! Saves a lot of faffing about.in reply to: Travel precautions you should take15 Feb 2018
I must be one of the few people in my company that never, ever expenses for ‘meals and drinks’ at airports. BA Gold, so I avail myself of the lounges. I reckon the company benefits there, and I’d be severely miffed if the points went to the company, considering the sheer bloody angst I occasionally suffer with delayed or cancelled flights. Sorry Bath_VIP, but there it is. In any case, if I can score a decent deal in J, I’m happy to pay the extra myself because I’ve done the maths, and it’s worth it, over a year.
So how would you divvy up the frequent flyer miles in a case like that?6 Feb 2018
As it looks like you are sticking to One World I also recommend Qatar. I have used them a lot from Singapore to Europe and I highly recommend. Lounge in Doha is very good.
I’d second this, except that routing through Doha breaks one very long flight into two long ones (and a wait in between) and interrupted sleep.in reply to: Singapore – BA vs Cathay1 Feb 2018
I used to be quite good at this, in the days when I had a humble BA blue card.
Dressing cleanly, not necessarily smartly, was always essential. Nobody wants to sit next to someone who’s dirty and smelly.
I used to use props. Something visibly expensive or unusual. I like mechanical watches, so my beloved ancient Oris was one. I’m a journalist, so the lens case for a Nikon F2.8 200mm lens (look it up – that’s expensive glass) was another. Scribbling something at check-in using an equally beloved proper fountain pen with an italic nib was another (drummed into me at school, and I have always used proper pens ever since).
And a hat. A proper hat, not a baseball cap. I like hats. The great thing with hats is that lifting them in greeting is a courtesy you don’t see much these days. And a hat makes you stand out a bit from the crowd.
So I’d stroll up to the check-in desk, raise hat, greet politely, open passport wallet which also has a visible international journalist’s card, and snap the credit card down on the desk, with a simple request: “What will it cost me to change this ticket from (eg) World Traveller to Club World?”
It’s not asking, wanly, for an upgrade. It’s “Here I am, I’m not quite run-of-the-mill, I like nice things, I’m polite, and I’m offering to pay.”
You’d get – actually, you still get – three usual responses.
1. “Im afraid the cabin is full, sir.” Response: “Oh. Well, can I give you my mobile number in case there’s a no-show?” “Of course, sir.” “Or perhaps I could wait in the lounge? It’ll be easier to locate me.” (at the very least you get free lounge access out of it…)
2. “How much were you thinking of paying, sir?” This is great. This means there’s space and all you have to do is negotiate. “I don’t know. Make me an offer?” Anything from 200 to 500 dollarpounds seems the usual on-the-spot fee. Still worth it.
3. (fx: Tappitty tappitty-tap). “That will be another one thousand, three hundred and forty pounds and seventy-three pence, sir.” To which the response is: “Ah, well. Too much for me, I’m afraid, but thanks anyway.”
4. “Well, actually, we are over-sold in World Traveller, sir, so we can move you into Club World, yes.” RESULT!!
A few years ago, Mrs TOH and myself were flying back from Singapore and we were killing time by the hotel swimming pool while we waited to go to the airport to catch the evening BA flight. “Come on,” she said. “Let’s go to the airport early and see if you can get us both an upgrade.” (we were in WT) So we got there about three and a half hours early, I fired up my upgrade mojo, and the result was (4) above. She is now convinced of my omnipotence.in reply to: Blagging an upgrade1 Feb 2018
let’s hope this superb comfortable aeroplane continues in production
Amen. It depends what tech the Chinese are hoping to steal, or, become familiar with.
There are three really bits of real core technology in an aircraft – the wings, the engines and the electronics. Developing and manufacturing those is what really, really takes time and money.in reply to: New hope for the A380?1 Feb 2018
Nope. They just said they were satisfied the charge was in order.
I will be back in SA this year, and will be hiring another car from Avis (BA flight & car booking). I will demand a fully itemised and final bill at the desk, and if there is a subsequent charge, there will be all hell to pay.12 Jan 2018
It was some years ago, on holiday in Majorca, and we took a trip on one of those large catamarans that have underwater viewing windows set into the hulls.
And very good it was too, watching all the underwater life pass by. I did notice that there was precious little water between the bottom of the hull and the sea bed (or rocks) sometimes, and idly wondered what one would do if something pierced the hull, especially if you were some way from the entrance/exit. There was another exit at the other end of the hull, I noticed, and having worked my way down towards it, thought I’d use it. It refused to open.
Intrigued now, I went back up on deck, and by triangulation, made my way to where the other exit ought to be, and sure enough, there it was. With two bench seats bolted down securely across it.4 Jan 2018
I accept the above, but I don’t feel like wasting my time, or my bank’s time, with a dispute over £2. I think that flagging it to Avis should be sufficient. If they had messed me around or in any other way failed to provide good service, I would not hesitate to request a chargeback.
This is precisely why they continue to do this and get away with it.3 Dec 2017
It really does look like, as I suggested, that they are levying these small extra charges as SOP, in the assumption that people will not bother to dispute them. They all add up.1 Dec 2017
This year, Madrid to Santiago de Chile, Iberia night flight, business class.
This followed nearly 30 hours of travelling from Cape Town to Madrid via LHR and AMS (too complicated to explain why). Had dinner and a good belt of booze, crashed out, woke up eight hours later.
Incidentally, for those who haven’t tried it, Iberia’s refurbished biz cabin is rather good. Ditto the service.in reply to: Best night ever sleeping on a plane?24 Nov 2017