Jeritilley A picture is worth a thousand words..

Posts tagged “Korea

They are taking over….already

Thought for the day…”I will go anywhere as long as it is forward”  (David Livingstone).

”  A negative mind will never give you a postive life”.

More worrying news, this time from China.  The official Chinese news sources are reporting that in Dongguan, a factory there is replacing its workforce of 1800 workers with a new factory which is based on robots.  The new factory will employ just 200 workers, so around 1600 workers will lose their jobs to robots (that is about 90% of the factory’s workforce).   And when you consider things like self check-outs in supermarkets (=lost cashier jobs), automatic check-in at airports (= lost agent jobs) and automatic check in at hotels (=lost reception jobs) then the future looks bleak.    If you look at the videos of car production, then you can see how redundant that a human being can become.  So if the trend continues, then what are all the displaced people going to do for work?   A good question.  Technological unemployment is coming faster than we realize.

Off to Seoul, Korea for the photo today, and a busy street market.

LOW-RES-KOREA-market

and another photo from the archives….the ultimate Swiss army knife…

LOW-RES-Swiss-army-knife

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The trend is spreading……more extras from the airlines…

Thought for the day…” Common sense ain’t common”

” If you do not fight for what you want, then do not cry for what you lost”

I have had many good flights with Lufthansa.   Sometimes they have problems, but they are usually very good at trying to sort alternatives out.   Same thing with Swiss Airlines (now also part of the Lufthansa group).    So I had been loyal to them for a long time, and generally very happy with the service and fares.  But it appears that they have now gone the same way as airlines in the USA and also the European budget airlines.   Sad to see that they are now charging for seat reservations (up to 25 euros each flight for long haul for a basic seat).   Not only that, but Swiss airlines are now offering a bag-only fare (to Geneva), ie. if you want to travel with a check-in bag then you must pay more.    And Austrian Airlines are offering Economy passengers the chance to enjoy a better meal on payment of an extra 15 euros.  And KLM (part of Air France), who I refuse to fly with on the grounds of previous bad flights and bad customer service, add in extra charges for paying by credit cards, and also an extra fee of 25 euros if you book by telephone, as well as an extra 15 euros if you check in a bag.   And if you want an economy ‘Comfort’ seat, (are the other seats called discomfort seats on KLM?) with UP TO 10 cm more space, then KLM give you the chance to pay between 5 and 160 euros EXTRA for the UP TO 10cm extra.   And the final straw…..Wizzair airline is also charging for carry-on baggage.

So the quality airlines are copying the budget airlines, and the lines between them become less clear.     But the trend does not stop with airlines.   Swebuss, the Swedish long-distance bus company is offering passengers who pay extra the chance to board the bus first.  Viking Line, the Finnish ferry company that operates around the Baltic is giving passengers even more chances to pay extra…..extra charge to reserve a window seat in the restaurant, extra charge for late check in with a car, extra charge for priority disembarkation with a car etc.

People used to mock Ryanair because although the basic fare was cheap, everything else was extra.    That was the standing joke.  Now it seems, that bus companies, ferry companies and even quality airlines are all going the same way.  You pays your money and you takes your choice, as they say….

Today’s photo comes from Interlaken, near the centre of Switzerland.  A paraglider frames the 4158m Jungfrau mountain in the Bernese Oberland in  Switzerland.  If you are feeling energetic, then you can enter for the annual Jungfrau Marathon, which is run uphill.  One nice touch is that they have Swiss chocolate at the refreshment points during the race.    No doubt that the runners will need a lot of chocolate to run the 42 km uphill.

LOW-RES-Jungfrau

and another photo from the archives…capturing the moment in Korea…

wordpress-Korean-women

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On the Street, Korea – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day…” Do not ask what the meaning of life is, You define it”.

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest”.

Street sellers in Gjeongju, Korea for the photo today.   Great light for this photo, with bright, even light and no hard shadows.   Just right to capture the colours of the scene.  And this photo was taken with a cheap, 12mp camera too, not an expensive DSLR.   In Korea, then number ‘4’ is very unlucky, so most buildings do not have a 4th floor.    Writing a letter in red ink is also bad form in Korea, as it either means that the recipient will die, or else will have bad luck.     Oddly enough, the official residence of the president of Korea is known as the Blue House.

wordpress-street

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Big Brother and something fishy – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day….” Being happy does not mean that everything is perfect.  It means that you have decided to look beyond the imperfections”.

1984 photo

(photo from Infowars.com)   Bad news for all people who take photographs.  Sad to read that a new Hungarian law will now make it illegal for people to photograph other people in public places without their express permission.  Questions are already being asked about how it will affect tourists, who naturally want to take photos in places like Budapest (filled with people in the streets), but also how it will affect reporters trying to photograph news items.   Very bad of the Hungarian government to try and stop photography in this way, definitely a very backward step.    If they start enforcing this no photographing of people rule, then it will be a very good reason to avoid visiting Hungary.    It is bad enough to read about the problems that photographers have in the USA now, but it seems that the restrictions are spreading.   Big Brother/1984 has happened, just that it started later than predicted.  Hungarian citizens may wish to avoid this place in Texas in  the USA though…..they would definitely got caught on camera here….just for entering a beach….

usa-spy-cameras

(photo from infowars.com)

http://www.infowars.com/texas-beach-stacked-with-high-capacity-cameras/

The photo today comes from a fishing village in Korea, Gampo.   Lots of fish and also seaweed is dried here, and despite the village only having around 7200 residents, it is said that there are over 240 seafood restaurants here.   Raw fish dishes (hoe) and also abalone soup (jeonboktang) and grilled seafood is popular.

LOW-res-fish

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747 with a history – Not the Quality Resort Spa Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day…” Everybody is a genius.  But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”    (Albert Einstein).

Watching a TV program recently about the 747 Jumbo Jet, and learnt a few interesting things.   Originally, the 747 was intended as a temporary aircraft until Boeing had developed its supersonic transport aircraft, but when that project was abandoned then the 747 became the big success story for Boeing.   Many years ago I saw this aircraft in Korea, not far from the capital Seoul.   It was being used at that time as a restaurant, but it was a mystery how they had got the aircraft into that location, which was surrounded by hills and big apartments.   During the TV program, a former Pan Am stewardess was interviewed, and she talked about working on the aircraft in the photo, including what had happened on 30 July 1971.   The pilot had miscalculated take-off speeds whilst taking off from San Fransisco bound for Tokyo, and had hit the runway approach lights.  These then punctured the aircraft and entered the cabin, seriously injuring 2 passengers.  The aircraft was able to land despite losing 3 of its 4 hydraulic systems.    The landing was dramatic, including large bounces and a fire from the landing gear, with the aircraft coming to a stop resting on its tail, nose in the air.

Amazingly, despite all the damage, the aircraft was repaired and returned to service, initially with Air Zaire, but later again with Pan Am (but with a new name!).   It continued to fly for Pan Am until 1991, then went to Aerolineas Argentina and also Kabo Air Nigeria before finally ending its flying days in 1999.    It was then used as a restaurant in Korea until 2010, when it was cut up.   Interesting history behind the photo!!

wordpress-jUmbo

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Capturing the moment – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day….” Aren’t the ‘good things that come to those who wait’ just the leftovers from the people that got there first?”

There is a very interesting story currently in the Scandinavian newspapers about Qatar Airways, and how they treat their staff.  The articles are VERY interesting to read, and it is hard to believe that any company can treat its workers so badly.  It seems that they are treated almost as slaves, with few rights and the staff seem to be in fear of their jobs.   The most interesting article (in English) was in the Swedish Expressen newspaper.  Here is the link –

http://www.expressen.se/nyheter/the-truth-about-the-luxury-of-qatar-airways/

It is a very interesting debate about whether people should book with any company which apparently treats its employees so badly.   Years ago, I worked for a company that treated its staff so well that the staff stayed for a long time, worked hard and were happy to work for the company.  Everybody benefitted, the company, the workers and the customers.   So quite why Qatar Airways is treating its staff so badly is a mystery.    I will certainly think long and hard before I book a ticket with them.

The photo today captures a relaxed and happy moment in Korea.   The bright colours, happy expression and candid nature of the photo make this a great shot.

wordpress-Korean-women

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Airline complaint – Emirates – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day..” Deposit happiness into your day, instead of withdrawing sadness”.

We are now in the 21st century (at least according to the Julian calendar) and we are surrounded by technology.   Yet, despite all the technology, life is sometimes very trying.  I made a mistake and purchased an air ticket with Emirates Airlines.  I know now that it was a mistake, as I have experienced their customer ‘service’.   Customer service are not words that I would use to describe the treatment that I received, because the people that I have dealt with clearly do not know the meaning of the words.

The conditions of my ticket stated that I was allowed to change the dates of travel.  That is one reason that I bought that ticket, as the dates were very likely to change.   First problem was that online if you tried to change your booking, you first had to cancel your current booking, not a wise thing to do until you are sure that there is another flight available.     So the next step was to contact the online chat section to ask for help.    There I was met by the most unhelpful staff ever.   The first assistant (‘Mary’) refused to discuss or do anything with the booking, and kept saying that I should telephone in.  Not only that, but she ended the conversation without warning as well.   Tried again, but the next assistant was equally unhelpful.  So what is the point of having ‘online chat’ if the people there are not actually going to do anything???

So reluctantly, I telephone in.  Not just once or twice, but many times during the day, each time trying to get someone at EMIRATES airline to change my ticket.   Usual story, nobody would do it, and I was passed from department to department.   The end result was that a large part of the morning and afternoon were wasted on long (and for that read very long) telephone calls.   Useless customer ‘service’ department.     And to make matters worse, different people gave me different excuses.   They just did not want to change the DATE of travel as I asked for.  And remember, the ticket conditions said that I could change the date of travel.

So the next stage was to try email.   21st century, so of course, emails will make matters easy.  WRONG.    Emirates do not publish their email addresses, and when you ask their staff, they will tell you that Emirates does not have email addresses for Customer Service.    And when you try and send emails to the addresses that you have already had messages from, they STUPIDLY send you a message back saying that the email address is no longer valid.   It is just their way of telling you to get lost.    If you want to pay for a ticket, then of course, no problems there, and they are delighted to make it all very easy online, but when you want to email them, then that is a different story.  Any airline that hides its email addresses is a bad airline.   An honest, open airline will not make it difficult for customers to contact it.

So having wasted a LOT of time on calls, online chats and trying to email, I am stuck with travel date that I do not want.    What is the end result of this?    Emirates have now guaranteed that I will NEVER make another booking with them.  I know that there are decent, open and honest companies out there, and Emirates has proved that their customer ‘service’ is appalling.    So Emirates have lost out in the long run.   I have asked them for a full refund so that I can go and book with a quality airline (such as Qatar) but I guess that I will never hear from Emirates again.  They have got my money already, and that is probably the end of story.  But for me, it was the end of bookings with Emirates.

On the subject of customer service, I will quote some good words written by Mike Michalowicz.  What he writes is very true, and the staff at Emirates should read these.  Thanks to  Mike Michalowicz  for these words –

“The Four Phrases of Amazing Customer Service……..Want your customers to spread the word about your hotel or Restaurant? …….Start by surprising them with the best customer service they’ve ever gotten:

1. “I don’t know, but this is what I’m going to do.” You’re not always going to have the answer to every question at your fingertips, and your customers will understand that. What they expect in exchange, though, is honesty and follow-up. The key here is to make a clear commitment like, “I’ll call you by 5 p.m. with the answer,” and then keep that commitment.

2. “I am very sorry.”  When you or your company make a mistake, the customer wants to hear you accept responsibility and apologize. Too many customer service reps have been trained not to accept responsibility, in some cases because they fear the legal record of having admitted failure.

3. “Yes.” “Yes” is what your customer wants to hear, and your goal should be to say that word whenever possible, especially if you’re working through a problem. Customers want progress.

4. “Is there anything else I can do for you?” Here’s your perfect wrap-up. Not only does this question give your customers the opportunity to bring up additional concerns, but it also lets them feel as if they’re in control. They can ask for additional information or can thank you for your spectacular service. Giving your customers the opportunity to raise additional concerns lets them know you value them enough to spend time ensuring they’re satisfied. Even if the customer called with a problem, if your customer service team can work through a resolution and end on a positive note, you can earn and keep those customers for life.
Source: Mike Michalowicz”

And today’s photo comes from the Korean capital of Seoul.   Nothing to do with airlines, but a nice photo!

LOW-RES-telephone

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