Finding some positives

Have to find something good in the current situation, and here’s one thing that worked for me.

My passport expires later this year. I was a bit worried about finding a suitable gap in my schedule when I could do without it for a while. As soon as it became obvious there would not be any travel in the immediate future, I filled out the online form and used my phone to take and upload a new photo. The UK government site said the normal processing takes up to three weeks. 12 days later my new passport was delivered (with the blue/black cover). Much faster than I had expected.

I also need to get the US Global Entry renewal sorted out. That requires an initial background check from the UK which claims to take up to 2 weeks. I received the approval for that in 12 hours.

Just hope I get to use the passport soon…

Flight is 25% cancelled

In the departure gate area at Heathrow, waiting for my plane to board. There are delays, and I can overhear conversations between crew, maintenance staff and agents. Eventually there’s an announcement – “the flight will be boarding soon, but can everyone who is seated in rows 32-40 please come to the side.”

The explanation given is that one of the exit doors at the back is broken. It is shut OK but will not open safely and cannot be repaired right away. So the decision is that noone will be allowed to sit in the rear section of the aircraft; they will have to be rebooked. If an emergency happens, they can get the remaining passengers out of the rest of the doors.

Once on board, I can see that the affected rows are taped off. They are not letting anyone spread out into those seats. There are many checks to ensure all the available seats are taken – the small gaps that often exist get filled in. There’s even an announcement that they will do a walkthrough of the cabin and you MUST be in the seat, not even using one of the lavs. Otherwise your seat WILL BE reassigned. While all that is going on, I can see from the window that there’s activity to remove the non-travelling passengers’ luggage. They claim they got all the right stuff off and left the correct stuff on.

What surprised me somewhat was that even after takeoff, when the emergency doors were not useful, they still didn’t allow people to spread out. But the light load did mean we got to Chicago on time, even after the long departure delay!

This post was last updated on November 18th, 2019 at 08:59 pm

Getting lucky – unexpectedly good food

One of the pleasures (and I suppose there have to be some) of frequent travel is when we discover somewhere good to eat, that wasn’t expected. You can always look up the good restaurants near the hotel, or the nearest brewpub for a tasty IPA. But sometimes you can be surprised by what’s on your immediate doorstep.
More about interesting places

A medical emergency

On a recent flight from ATL to SNA there were several small delays in getting started.  First the incoming plane was late, then there was the “cleaning”, finally they started the boarding process wile announcing that the plane was going to be catered, but the catering would be loaded as we got on (“to save time”).  The first people on included three people in wheelchairs, two with oxygen, and several people with crutches and canes.  As this plane was headed to a Disney location there were many small children in the next phase of loading.  Those of us with many miles trooped on.  Trying to cooperate with the flight attendants,  this was a full bird that might – with a lot of good luck and cooperation – take off close to on time.

  And did we leave on time?

Beating Hobbits, and “an expected journey”

I know it’s been a long time since I put anything new up here. Partly because things have been busy, partly because there’s not been much to say.

But now we’re getting back into conference and travel season. SHARE is going on right now in Anaheim, planning is well underway for Impact, several other public events and customer-specific briefings are also going on.

But here’s a couple of travel stories to be going on with.
Read some short stories

Social Media

So on a recent business trip to Brazil, where I was fortunate enough to be at the Hilton Morumbi where I do not have to shove furniture to hold back wandering shouting people in the halls.  What is of note is the use of social media, in particular facebook (or farcebook as Mark is fond of calling it).  While making it thru the maze of passport control at the Sao Paulo airport (GRU), the young lady checking my credentials was getting into facebook as I approached her desk.  Checking her posts and friends, before checking my passport and visa.  Counting the months left on the visa on her hand before allowing me to pass.

Social media, interfering with everyone’s life….

 

This post was last updated on November 18th, 2019 at 03:34 pm

“Open” is not a good instruction at 35000′

Returning from SHARE over the weekend, I was sitting in the exit row of a 777. There are emergency doors just in front of these seats which gives plenty of legroom.

Emergency Exit on 777
Emergency Exit on 777

About half-way across the Atlantic I was woken by a woman who was trying to follow the instruction written on this door. I had to point out rather loudly that this was NOT the door to the lavs…

Everyone should know that these doors cannot actually open when in flight because of the pressure differential. But I still didn’t like the idea of testing the theory.