Airports. Bottle threat.

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Fox – sly.  Trots – left-leaning (Trotsky) plus its more insalubrious meaning.  Foxtrots – leading the industry in a dance. 


2007 December 15

Airports. Bottle threat.

You may recall my interrupted passage through airport security checks. I was stopped taking my retractable-toothpick. My argument that if I tried to stab someone with the tiny blade (after all, this is for teeth), it would attract – did not impress the security authorities. 

I have now another case. I will not name the airport because (worryingly) I fear reprisals – despite the apparent levity of the story.

This concerns an empty plastic bottle. The security authorities refused to let this pass – because it is forbidden to take liquid on board. Note the facts – empty bottle, restriction on liquids. 

I reckoned I had a good argument. (For those who need to know, I fill up the bottle with tap water or airline water. The reason is partly that I drink tap water and not generally bottled water, and partly so that I am not throwing away two plastic bottles daily.) 

So I accepted the security officer’s offer to call in the police to confirm his decision – empty plastic bottles are banned because they are a security threat. 

You know the rest. Far from being interested in my argument, the police railed against my wasting their time, and not respecting the decision of the security officer. 

So the plastic bottle was thrown, and I bought another before boarding the plane. And which, so far, I have managed to sneak empty past unsuspecting security officers at other airports. 

The Fox

Deeson. In and on demand.

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 FOXTROTS    Fox – sly.  Trots – left-leaning (Trotsky) plus its more insalubrious meaning.  Foxtrots – leading the industry in a dance.    


2007 December 10

      Deeson. In and on demand.      The new head of the Pacific Asia Travel Association is Brian Deeson, a well-known hotelman. Deeson, who has met me, has had a long career in the region’s hotel business, of which the key bits are a successful spell with Hyatt, leaving to form his own company, which eventually became Century Hotels. And which he eventually sold to Accor. He now works with Accor from Shanghai.      My theory is that any senior executive in a sizeable company who takes the PATA position – honorary (ie, no pay and you keep your daytime job) is on the way out of his company.       I have not researched the theory, so I may be wrong. And Accor needs Deeson more than the other way round, so my theory may not be tested this time.      But I did note that in his first PATA speech, Deeson expressed concern about coming staff shortages – in the travel industry overall, not just hotels. Growth will increase the demand beyond the capability to supply, he believes.      I disagree of course. Supply and demand will be balanced if the market is free. But if there is interference in the market, there will be problems. Take Singapore (please). The Marina Sands casino-hotel (sorry, integrated resort) has said that 75% of the staff it employs will be Singaporeans.      That will be the reason for high wages, and staff shortages, either at the casino itself (sorry, integrated resort) or other hotels in Singapore.       The Fox

Hotels. Pan Pacific, Park Royal, etc.

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 FOXTROTS    Fox – sly.  Trots – left-leaning (Trotsky) plus its more insalubrious meaning.  Foxtrots – leading the industry in a dance.   


2007 December 06

Hotels. Pan Pacific, Park Royal, etc.

Pan Pacific has been bought by UOL.

Not widely-known is that Singapore-based PP was owned by Japan’s Tokyu group, of which Regent Hotels was a spin-off. PP’s progress fell well short of its owners’ original aspirations.

But this deal leaves behind Tokyu Hotels. The Tokyu group is not doing well, so will the Tokyu hotel-brand also be sold?

UOL already owns hotels, including some managed by groups like Accor and Starwood. But also a would-be chain, Parkroyal. Actually UOL bought the Parkroyal name from InterContinental, which acquired it when it bought up Southern Pacific Hotels. 

Which name will survive – PP or PR? I go for PR, more clearly indicating quality, and useful for hotels that are not close to the Pacific – such as PP’s Sonargaon in Dhaka. 

A casualty may be the Quality Hotel Alliance – also comprising Dusit, Kempinski, Landis, Leela, Marco Polo, Omni. Many are now encroaching on each other’s territory.      


The Fox