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Posts tagged “airbus

Worse service on the airlines, and more to come

Thought for the day…”The envious man grows lean at the success of his neighbour.”

“Hope is such a bait, it covers any hook.”

It is amazing that so many people are still choosing to fly with airlines, as a new round of cuts in services are leaked in the press.  The Hong Kong based  Cathay Pacific Airlines has announced that it too will follow the trend and squeeze in 10 across seating on its Boeing 777 services (the aircraft was designed for 9 across, so the change to 10 across will mean even less shoulder room).  There is also talk about going to 11 across onboard the A380, with the same result, less shoulder room for passengers.  And following on from that announcement, it seems that the Lufthansa group will move towards a ‘buy on board’ system for food.   It is being trialed at the moment, and apparently SWISS airlines (part of the Lufthansa group) are also going to trial a buy on board system.    Here is an example of one of the ‘meals’ that was served on a Lufthansa flight not long ago…about 100g of cheese and bread.   No plate, no meat and no other food.

So even before they start charging for food onboard, then they had almost cut out the included ‘meals’.  Earlier there was the news that British Airways were going to reduce the seating pitch onboard, meaning that their passengers would have LESS leg room than those on Ryanair.    And Lufthansa have also followed the trend by squeezing in more passengers on their new Airbus A320 NEO aircraft.   They have also removed one of the toilets (to fit in more seats) and made the remaining toilet even smaller.   Less leg room, less shoulder room and now even less food onboard.     The airlines mileage/frequent flyer programmes have been devalued so much that they are now virtually worthless, so the question is, is there any point now to choose one of the original airlines over the budget alternatives? Seems not.   You often have to pay for checked-in baggage, advance seat selection and a higher basic ticket price on thee traditional airlines anyway.    So why choose them?????

In most other businesses, giving a poorer service would usually drive people away, but it seems that the airlines are an exception.   Poorer service now, but still increasing numbers of people wanting to fly.  One thing is sure, the airlines that have increased the seating to 10 across on their 777s will not be seeing me onboard.   The limit has been passed.  Economy class has become a test of endurance, and is far from a pleasure now.

Staying with the theme of aviation, a photo that is now history, an AirNewZealand 747, seen here at Brisbane airport in Australia in 2004

and another photo from the archives….a local man in Southern Oman….

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RESPECT, CONSIDERATION, FAIRNESS.

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Full power for take off- Queenstown, New Zealand

Thought for the day….”Listening, not imitation, may be the sincerest form of flattery.”

“You cannot start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading the last one”

Full power for this AirNewZealand departure from Queenstown (ZQN), New Zealand.  In the background are the Remarkables Mountains.   Not one of the World’s easiest airports to fly in or out of, due to the surrounding mountains, although they have recently started night flights due to the huge demand for tourist flights to the area.   One of the problems caused by the success of the airport is the severe congestion on the road from the airport to the town centre.   There is already talk about making a 4 lane highway from near the airport into the city centre, although the real problem is that there is not enough public transport.   The town planners’ answer is to build bigger and more roads, whereas the solution should be a public transport system.

and another photo from New Zealand….Nugget Point in the Catlins.   Named after the ‘nuggets’ off the actual point, there has been a lighthouse here since 1870.   The area is home to many fur seals, yellow-eyed penguins and also seabirds such as spoonbills and gannets.   The road to the Point is now being sealed, which will make access easy.

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RESPECT, CONSIDERATION & FAIRNESS


Overloaded, inconsiderate airline passengers.

Thought for the day….”Without dreams there is nothing to love.  And without love, there is nothing worth dreaming about.”

Just had a domestic flight in Norway (on Norwegian airline) and once again, there was absolutely NO control over the number of carry-on bags that people were taking onboard, nor was there any control over the size of these bags.  It seems to be the rule now that if you can drag them (plural, as many people seem to be taking more than one bag now) then that is ok.     And even if the bags are too heavy for the people to lift then they are expecting the cabin crews to lift these overweight bags for them.    Not only that, but again today, inconsiderate people were trying to ram my bag with the force equivalent to a garbage compactor until their oversized bags would fit.    Why are airlines not enforcing the carry-on rules like they used to??    And with the new, higher density aircraft now (more seats squeezed in, but the same amount of lockers for baggage) then this problem will only get worse.   Airlines that charge for check-in (hold) luggage are also making the problem worse, as now more people will try and drag 2 or 3 pieces of luggage onboard.  But the word is consideration, something that was missing with a lot of the Norwegian passengers onboard DY761 today, and respect for other people’s property.

Some New Zealand humour….a sign outside a pub in Picton, New Zealand.

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and another photo from the archives…..the national airline of Portugal arriving in Funchal, Madeira.

LOW-RES-TAP

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Finals to Land – Funchal, Madeira

Thought for the day….”If the world seems cold to you, kindle some fires to warm it”.

” When something is ” new and improved” , which is it?”

Did you know that until recently, the longest scheduled flight was the flight by Singapore Airways from Singapore to Newark, USA, a trip of 18.5 hours?  One of the longest flights now is the Delta Airlines flight between Johannesberg, South Africa and Atlanta, USA, a trip of some 17 hours non-stop.   And for distance, Qantas has a flight from Sydney to Dallas, a distance of some 13 600km/8500 miles.   For short flights, the scheduled service between the Scottish islands of Westray and Papa Westray is scheduled to take just 2 minutes, although a tail wind can reduce this to 90 seconds.      And did you know that a Boeing 747 is made up of around 6 million parts, and has a top speed of 955 km/h?   The photo today is of an Airbus A320 arriving at Funchal, Madeira.   This airport is famous for its often windy approaches due to the surrounding mountain, although no sign of any turbulence for this Monarch Airlines flight.

LOW-RES-Monarch

and another photo from the archives….a market stall in Helsinki, Finland.

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Is air travel becoming too cheap?

Thought for the day…” A bad attitude is like a flat tyre.  You cannot go anywhere until you change it”.

” Look up to the sky.  You will never find rainbows if you are looking down”  (Charles Chaplin).

Is air travel becoming too cheap?   The Flight Centre, an Australian/New Zealand chain of travel agents, published some figures to show how the cost of a return ticket from New Zealand to Europe has fallen in real terms.  Interesting reading….

_____________________________________________

Travel’s golden era
• Best price of a return flight from Auckland to Europe:
• 1947: $1170 (85 weeks’ pay of average worker)
• 1980: $1800 (six weeks’ pay)
• 2014: $1500 (1 weeks’ pay)
Source: Flight Centre
_____________________________________________
Whilst the days of the 1 euro ticket in Europe have disappeared, it is still possible to get flights for under 20 euros.
The New Zealand tourism department are no doubt congratulating themselves on the record number of arrivals into New Zealand, now over 2.9 million arrivals a year.    The airlines are hopping with joy at the demand for seats to and within New Zealand.  Emirates Airline now flies 3 Airbus A380s a day to NZ, Chinese airlines are putting on extra flights and even low cost airlines like Air Asia and Jetstar (part of Qantas) are planning to increase services to cope wit the demand.   All very nice for the the airlines who now have full aircraft.   All very nice for hotel and motel operators in NZ, who are often fully booked.  BUT not so nice for the small towns and popular places in New Zealand.  Most of those 2.9 million tourists want to see the same few places (such as Rotorua on the North Island, and Queenstown on the South Island).   Some of the most popular walks (for example, the Tongariro Crossing) are so crowded that the idea of giving walkers start times has been discussed.   The media in NZ often shows the traffic problem in Queenstown, which at one time was just a small lakeside resort in the mountains.  Tourists are sometimes finding that their travel plans are now dictated by where they can get accommodation, rather than by where they want to go.  Same situation with buses, plans are now being dictated by when the bus has available seats, rather than by when and where the tourist wants to go.  As the number of tourists goes up, often the level of service goes down., cafes, shops and tourist attractions are suffering from the big increase in visitor numbers.    Queenstown, which was once a small, quiet lakeside town has become a major internnational tourist resort.    Try finding traditional New Zealand local life in Queenstown now.   Difficult.    The situation in some places (again Queenstown springs to mind) is becoming similar to the Caribbean islands, where the arrival of 2 0r 3 huge cruise ships absolutely swamps the local towns, when 7 or 8 thousand tourists descend at once.
No sign of any tourists in this photo, the hills near Tarras, Otago, New Zealand.  As usual at the end of summer, the hills here are very dry, and there is little for the sheep to eat.  This view was taken from the main road which heads down to Queenstown.
LOW-RES-Tarras-hills

and another photo from the archives….festival girl in El Salvador….

LOW-RES-El-Salvador-carnival-woman

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Holidays in Paradise – Seychelles duo

Thought for the day…” Keep smiling and one day life will get tired of trying to upset you”.

Airlines again…..just been trying to claim some missing airmiles from Qatar Airways.  Would you believe that they have asked me to send in a SCANNED copy of my e-ticket?    Yes, I had to read that twice to believe it, they want a scanned copy of an e-ticket?   If I had nothing else to do in life then I would print out the E TICKET (what does that e in E-ticket mean, Qatar Airways???) and then scan it and send precisely the same information back to them again.  They might like to play silly games, I do not.

Two more photos from the recent holiday, to the islands of the Seychelles in the Indian Pacific.   it was the first real test of the new camera, the Fuji X-E1 and the results were great.     The X-E1 is a camera that makes taking photos fun again, partly because it does not have fireworks/party/food/sport modes but does have dials where you can again take control of the photos.      Add to that a larger sensor and some Fuji lenses which are outstanding in quality, and it is not hard to get some great photos.   Guess who came back with a LOT of photos !!    The Fuji X-E1 does not take good videos (seems to be a problem with all the Fuji cameras, as there are a lot of people saying the same thing) BUT it does one thing well, really well.   It takes brilliant photos.     The previous Sony A6000 was quickly returned to the shop, as despite having instant autofocus and more megapixels, was let down by lenses that just were not up to the job.  The best camera in the world is no use if the glass at the front is poor, and Fuji have made sure that what is on the front of their cameras is not going to let what is at the back of the cameras down.

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And also from the Seychelles, an Airbus A330 arrives at Mahe, with a Twin Otter already on the ground below.

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Finals to land, colourful – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day…” Those who forget where they came from, tend to get lost where they are going to”.

” Beauty might bring happiness, but happiness always brings beauty”.

Now it is part of everyday life, but only 111 years ago, flying was new.  The Wright Brothers’ first flight could have been performed within the length of the cabin of a 747 jumbo jet.    And before 1926, a person could fly an aircraft without a license.  Soon after the first flying licenses started, Ellen Church became the first stewardess in 1930.   Although an Airbus A320 is pictured below (from the Swiss company Edelweiss Air), the largest Airbus, the A380 is over 72 metres long and weighs around 590 tons.   When flying, the 4 engines on an A380 have a working temperature of 3100 degrees, whilst the actual aircraft is made up of about 4 million parts.    It also takes around 3600 litres of paint to paint one!

If you are wondering about the flower painted on the aircraft, the Edelweiss, it is normally found between 1700 and 3000 m altitude in the Alps, although some forms of Edelweiss are found much lower down in the Artic regions.  It can be used to make an oxidant-rich tea, and also can be used as sunblock or moisturizer.    And the flower was used in the Rogers & Hammerstein musical, Sound of Music.

LOW-RES-Edelweiss

And a photo from the archives…. a girl from Swaziland, Africa. Great neutral light for this photo, and a subject who was a natural.

WORDPRESS-Swaziland-girl

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Finals to land – Not the Quality Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day…” Doing things right is not as important as doing the right things.”

” The past is to improve yourself, and the future is to prove yourself”.

Another photo to prove that you do not need an expensive camera to get a good photo.    Many modern ‘compact’ cameras offer great zooms (the new ones go up to an extreme 60X zoom!) , but even a 20X zoom will get you a photo like this.    Good light and also a high shutter speed will give great results.   Even though the aircraft was moving at around 260 km/h at this point, the high shutter speed of 1/2000th has given a good, sharp photo.  Once again, the Panasonic Lumix camera has done well !!

The Portuguese government is trying to sell TAP Airline, as part of its attempts to raise much needed funds.   It has already sold the airports operations to a French company, but a recent bid by a Brazilian company for the airline fell through.   The airline has huge debts and also a reputation for poor service.

Wordpress-finals-to-land

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Photo of the Day Wednesday 4th July – Not the Quality Spa Resort in Norefjell

Thought for the day….” If at first you don’t succeed, skydiving is not for you. “

The year is flying by, and now it is already July.  What happened to the first 6 months of 2012?????      Off to somewhere warm and sunny for today’s photo, and another photo where timing was everything.   The photo comes from Nadi airport in Fiji, and shows the morning arrival from Korea, just about to touch down.    Good thing that I was there early because the flight arrived ahead of time.  The early morning light and the angle was just right for this shot.    About 850 000 people live in Fiji, which is made up of over 330 islands. Tourism and sugar are the main industries, and the airport at Nadi is busy day and night with international arrivals, with about 1.2 million passengers a year.