PAGPFT. St Regis, Niki Lauda, Bangkok airport, WTO, fuel surcharges.

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FOXTROTS

 

 

Fox – sly.  Trots – left-leaning (Trotsky) plus its more insalubrious meaning. 

Foxtrots – leading the industry in a dance.

 

 

2008 October 30

People are getting paid to do this… St Regis, Niki Lauda, Bangkok airport, WTO, fuel surcharges.

Well sometimes I wonder about professional in the travel business. Note the following after some recent real and virtual travels:

 

[] Sign above the entrance to the new St Regis hotel in Singapore reads ‘St St Regis’. This is the first time I have noticed a typographical error actually converted into steel. “People are getting paid…

 

[] Mythbuster. I believe that Niki Lauda must be one of the few, if not the only, person to have created two airlines that use his own name. But the accolades stop there. His Lauda Air failed and was bought out by Austrian, more I suspect to stop a competitor falling into more capable hands such as Lufthansa. And his low-fare-airline Niki was also bought out, this one by Air Berlin – which is facing problems not entirely related to Niki.

 

It seems Mr Lauda was better at racing cars (he had two careers there as well, one in the 1970s, and then a restart in the 1980s, stopping in 1985), but not so good in the airline business.

 

[] World Tourism Organisation. According to a report from the organisation, the number of international arrivals counted worldwide climbed in 2007 to 898mn arrivals, up 6%. That is not the interesting part. Every major region, the WTO informs us, experienced an above-average increase. My maths may not be faultless, but I know enough to know that is impossible. “People are getting paid…’

 

[] Fuel surcharges. Hey, how come regular airlines do not have to include the fuel surcharge in their fares? This is a new European Union law, and applied to stop mainly low-fare-airlines from promoting $20 fares, and adding the other $40 of charges later. Now, same with regular airlines – selling a $200 but omitting the $30 fuel surcharge. The EU, which has often shown bias against low-fare-airlines, is silent on this.

 

[] Bangkok airport. (The authorities are aiming for a ‘Best Airport’ award. I can say that unless the following and others (no internet, few seats, barren [of shops, cafes] after security check, etc) are corrected, it will have been a fixed result.) “People are getting paid…

 

-The baggage belt sign displays either ‘First’, ‘Last’, or ‘Open’. I can hazard a guess on what these mean (although ‘Open’ is a bit harder – maybe it should be a blank?), but – come on – shouldn’t it be clear?

 

-This is one of the few airports where I have exited the plane and could not quite understand the directions to Immigration. It seems there are two ways, depending where your baggage is being delivered – although passengers might not realise that they have to find that out as soon as they leave the plane.

 

-If you look up ‘Bangkok airport’ on the website you will not be sent to Bangkok’s airport, but its old airport, at Don Muang. And I would guess that there is a daily misdirection of people physically, not virtually, going to the wrong airport.

 

-Airlines, usually Thai ones, talk of flights to-and-from ‘Suvarnabhumi’ (pronounced without the i) and not ‘Bangkok’ or even ‘Bangkok Suvarnabhumi’, but surely there are more than a few passengers that do not know the name of the airport?

 

 

The Fox

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Airlines. Tyranair.

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FOXTROTS

 

 

Fox – sly.  Trots – left-leaning (Trotsky) plus its more insalubrious meaning. 

Foxtrots – leading the industry in a dance.

 

 

2008 October 03

Airlines. Tyranair.

Some of Ryanair’s tirades against tyranny have more than an element of justification. We repeat the essence of the airline’s complaints about air traffic control (ATC):

[] Today, France’s ATC is on strike. Last week it was Italy. This is the 16th time they have been on strike since January 2007.

[] In Dublin, traffic has been reduced by 20% due to equipment failure.

[] While EU governments talk about passenger rights and the environment, they reward the ATC monopolies which cause unnecessary delay, unjustified expense and excessive fuel consumption.

 

Ryanair wants the EU to:

[] Require monopoly ATC suppliers to compensate passengers for flight delays.

[] Prohibit ATC providers from recovering income lost due to strikes or service failures by increased levies on airlines and passengers in subsequent years.

[] Allow competition into EU Air Traffic Control in order to eliminate strikes, delays, and service failures.

 

 

The Fox