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

Foxtrots – leading the industry in a dance.


2009 May 25


PAGPFT. Air Asia; UK (Birmingham/Stansted airports, King’s X/St Pancras stations); Francesco Frangialli, ex-WTO; casino in Lao.


PAGPFT (pronounced PAG-puffed); People Are Getting Paid For This:


-Air Asia. Special Offer on its menu: ‘Buy 1; Get 1”. Times must be hard if that counts as a special offer.


-From the south via the M6, Birmingham airport has no road access signs – none – until the airport is in sight. There has been new road directions to the airport for three years so this is not ignorance, but simply nobody in power with commonsense to make the change. I estimate 100 people daily are asking directions of others.


-Stansted airport has introduced a passenger-punishing scheme – for those collecting passengers at the airport. Drivers are forbidden – on pain of a fine – to pick up passengers where they might drop them off. Drivers must – note, must; there is no other option – go into an area that costs US$3 to enter, and stay, for 15 minutes. How many can time to 15 minutes the availability of an arriving passenger? Worse, if drivers exceed the 15 minutes, they pay a fine – not just the extra time. This is clearly a trick to raise money – to hell with passenger service. On this alone, we think BAA should be booted out of Stansted. We agree with devising ways of increasing revenue, but not with trickery such as this.


-St Pancras railway station – the ticket-office is not included on the new information board, where you press a button to locate facilities and services. But the platforms are shown…


-King’s Cross railway station is probably heading the same passenger-punishing way. It has an internal dispute among the professionals redesigning the place about where lifts should be placed for passengers. Answer; lifts are almost worse than hopeless in big traveller centres such as airports and railway stations; an escalator is needed if level-changing cannot easily be avoided. And those professionals wanted to preserve an iron bridge with clock (because it was a fine example of an iron bridge with clock). It could not be incorporated into the new design, so it was painstakingly removed (over three days) to be placed in…er…nobody wanted it. Everybody wanted to preserve it, but nobody wanted it; welcome to the world. Anyone interested in a fine example of an iron bridge with clock?


-A hagiography on Francesco Frangialli, ex-head of World Tourism Organisation, in one of WTO’s publications was headed “Francesco Frangialli, Secretary-General (1998-2008)”. This means FF was born in 1998 and died in 2008. I can offer free (well, almost) lessons on English-language presentations should the WTO be interested.


-And finally, someone who deserves to get paid. A casino just across the border with Thailand in Lao is called…Lao Vegas.



The Fox