Posts Tagged ‘travel’
As of now, you will only pay €10 per kilo of luggage over the allotted weight limit, rather than the usual €20. This comes on the back of Ryanair’s attempts to be a kinder company, rather than the sourfaced asshats who just loved to hit everyone with a raft of punitive fees.
Chief executive Michael O’Leary is determined to fix the image problem Ryanair have suffered from, and of course, the fact that their profits have been in a decline helped this new cuddly image along too. O’Leary told shareholders that they needed to “eliminate things that unnecessarily piss people off” and this latest price cut, as a spokesperson put it, was a “very sincere thank you” to passengers.
After a website overhaul, customer service improvements and the introduction of ‘quiet flights’ between 9pm and 8am, it seems Ryanair are taking this nicely-nicely approach seriously for the time being.
Ryanair’s shares fell by 20% while their rival easyJet reported a 51% increase in pre-tax profit, so O’Leary would be wise to play nice as a recent Which!!! survey saw customers saying that his brand was ‘hostile’ and ‘rude’.
Not that we should overly worry as O’Leary has also announced plans to step down in the next three years.
We need to have this in Britain, MAINTENANT. The Paris Metro has issued 12 commandments of good behaviour on public transport, based on suggestions from the beleaguered public.
Called the ‘Politeness manual for the modern traveller’, the mischievous online guide asks the public not to indulge in various anti-social activities on Le Metro, like playing music, gawping at attractive women, and peeing on the floor.
Of course they do it with typical Parisian flair, using amusing old-fashioned illustrations. And it’s as backhanded and sarcastic as it is charming. It asks passengers to help tourists ‘in Bermuda shirts with a Metro map in one hand and the other hand in their hair’. It also manages to have a dig at tourists trying to pronounce the names of the stations. AW HAW HAW HAW.
Still, it really sets the bar for other global cities to introduce a public transport etiquette guide. The London underground could really use one. Perhaps it could include: no groping, no human interaction, no elbowing, no playing the trombone, no eating tuna sandwiches, no wildly careless applications of bronzer, no farting, no phlegm and no selfies.
Oh, and none of THIS, s’il vous plait.
Are you thinking of leaving the country to celebrate Christmas? Why you wouldn’t want to queue at a food bank and watch Strictly in the homeless shelter is anyone’s guess, but if you are, then take heed. The Which! consumer elves have put together a helpful little list of the cheapest dates to fly during December.
Flight prices always vary like the waxing and the waning of the moon, but the closer you get to Christmas, it would be cheaper to hire a private jet and fly to Mars with the Kardashians. So, Which! have been inputting dates into those little boxes on Skyscanner to blag you the cheapest seasonal deals.
The advice seems to be – go early. For example, a flight to Barcelona on Monday 16th December will cost just £37, compared to £110 on the Sunday before Christmas. Fly to Orlando with Virgin Atlantic a week before Christmas, and you could get a ticket for £474, compared to almost double the price on the weekend before the holidays.
All fares start to rise around Thursday 19th, hitting a peak at the weekend, so if you can get away in the days before the rush, you’ll have a cheaper Xmas break. They also suggest that the cheapest day to fly back is New Years Day. Which might not bode well for the booze-addled anxious flyers out there, but at least there’ll be plenty of legroom for your hangover.
Over at South Florid Container Terminal, they’ve got all the things you’d expect from a hangar filled with people wishing they weren’t there. However, they also have something called an ‘ethnic corner’, which is something of a fail.
Do they have separate water faucets and lynchings in there?
The London Underground is famous for being well, a bit wonky. And in that particularly quaint British way, it shuts early, leaving you stranded in the middle of town and at the mercy of a minicab that costs £30 no matter where you want to go.
But all that is going to change – plans are afoot to make the tube a 24hr service at weekends, and TfL says it’s going to get rid of ticket offices – with the loss of 750 jobs. But it’s OK, because they’ll deploy some remaining staff in the stations! (So they can get stabbed more easily).
TfL reckon the move will be ‘better for customers’ as well as saving £40million a year. They’re talking about Wifi and Contactless payment points and more visible staff. The RMT don’t really see it that way, however – they prefer to call it ‘a lethal programme of cuts.’
News of a 24 hour tube is bound to go down well with passengers, and Boris is using his most eloquent Olympics-style rhetoric to hide the fact that people are losing their jobs and that TfL has had its budget reduced by £78million this year and next.
‘For 150 years, the Tube has been the beating heart of London,’ he said, in his best Churchill voice. ‘Its tunnels and tracks providing the arteries that have transported millions of people and helped to drive the development and economic growth of our great city.’
London Underground has announced a 90 day consultation, but first they’re all going to have to get past RMT leader Bob Crow– and he’s a big lad who is NOT happy.
‘The mayor must believe he is some sort of magician if he thinks he can slash a thousand jobs and still run safe services, when everyone knows that staffing has already been cut to the bone while passenger demand continues to rise. Throwing in the plan for night time operation at the weekends is just a smokescreen to try and camouflage the real issue, which is a savage cuts to jobs, access and safety.’
The unions say they will fight the plans. Meanwhile, passengers will probably be delighted to get home after the pub…
As a reward for sitting in a packed tin can and moving like a sluggish turd through the bowels of London every day, city commuters may soon be able to pick up their shopping at the tube station. Asda are currently talking to Transport for London to install click and collect points at 6 underground station car parks – with a plan to add 1000 more if the scheme takes off.
So you can order your food before noon, and pick it up from 4pm the same day, without having to walk really far with a bunch of bags.
Asda said: ‘Customers in the South East tell us that they want the prices and quality provided by Asda value but they can’t access it easily. This tie-up with TfL solves that. We’ve led the way in click-and-collect by bringing Asda to where customers are rather than expecting them to come to us.’
Click and collect will be available at East Finchley, Harrow and Wealdstone, Highgate, High Barnet, Epping and Stanmore.
But while this is very modern and convenient, there are couple of issues here. What will become of the local shops, who sell you Koka noodles and blue WKD for an extortionate price? Also, why can’t it be a decent supermarket, like Waitrose?
Here’s a thing that never happens to normal people – the British guardian of a 13 year old Russian public schoolboy has accused British Airways of letting him wander around Heathrow unaccompanied – even though his parents had paid £60 for the BA chaperone service.
Nikolay Gorashenko flew from Moscow to London alone to attend private school in Herfordshire, but when he arrived at Heathrow he apparently sent some confused texts to his British guardian – an actor called Richard Cordery – saying he was lost.
But when his guardian complained, a staff member allegedly accused the boy of being ‘a teenage tearaway.’ BA also said that they had made an announcement that all unaccompanied children should wait for ground staff to meet them, but Nikolay had decided to go off on his own. It eventually took staff 45 minutes to find him.
The not-at-all dramatic Mr Cordery, who sounds like the luvviest luvvie of all, said: ‘I then headed to the office that deals with the accompanied flights, a tawdry, miserable affair, and told them, ‘There’s been a terrible mistake, little Nikolay has got off the plane and there’s nobody with him. Then a woman, who I was not talking to at the time, said, ‘Teenage tearaways, what can you do about that?’, which I thought was a disgraceful response.’
BA are investigating the claim, while everyone else slowly shakes their heads and says ‘WTF? Why don’t you send your kid to school in the SAME COUNTRY AS YOU?’
As part of Ryanair’s cuddly makeover, they’ve tidied up their website so it doesn’t make your eyes vomit into the sockets. The airline announced the changes through their Twitter account after previously announcing how they’d be making the Ryanair experience kinder to your nerves.
You have to say, compared to the old Ryaniar site, this new one is a lot easier to look at. The site live if you want to check it out, but there’s no guarantee that Michael O’Leary won’t have some unpleasant surprises in store.
There’s something quite depressing when you have to scroll down for a while when entering your year of birth on a website. The older you get, the longer you scroll. Each passing year reminds you that you’re probably going to die soon.
At EasyJet however, it seems like they’re expecting Mumm-Ra levels of old. According to their website, they’re expecting passengers that are over 160 years old.
Over on Twitter, JonathanDean spotted just how old you can be, saying: “Imagine being 163-years-old, with all the wonder you have seen, and having to take an EasyJet flight.”
Ryanair, in an attempt to stop passengers flying with anyone but them, have decided to redraft their random and ludicrous charges.
At the moment, you have to pay £25 if you have a passing thought about carrying a handbag, and £75 if you forget to bring a crumpled boarding pass, wrenched from the jaws of your Nan’s bubblejet printer.
So instead of charging you for things like breathing, eating and existing – Ryanair are relaxing things a bit. The cost of checking in a bag will be halved to a (still astronomical) £30.
The cost of reprinting a boarding card used to be £70 (because they obviously use a vintage letterpress from the 1860s, operated by artisan craftspeople) but now they’ll charge a more reasonable £15. Oh, and if you happen to be a human being and make a spelling mistake on your booking, GENEROUS Ryanair is giving you a 24 period of grace to correct it, rather than charging you an astonishing £160 to change booking details at the airport.
However, these reduced charges only apply to passengers who check in at the airport, and not online. So in order to take full advantage you’ll have to queue for 3 hours.
Hurray for Ryanair – always putting customers first!
GAME and STA Travel have teamed-up to offer the first video game package holiday, promising a four-week “Epic Gaming Adventure” which will take you to three continents, across eight different countries and 13 locations.
They say that this will be a “pilgrimage to the birthplace of gaming and visits breathtaking locations that have inspired some of the world’s most famous video games”.
Obviously, you won’t be going to bleak planets like Dead Space or visiting Jet Set Willy’s mansion. So where? Well, the trip kicks off in Edinburgh with a visit to GTA studio Rockstar North. You then head to London to visit Soho’s Loading Bar (a place that is designed on gaming cafes in Tokyo) before heading off to Phuket, which is home to some of the islands that appeared in Tomb Raider Underworld.
You’re then whisked off to an e-Sports Stadium in Seoul and a the Konami HQ in Tokyo, before heading of to Los Angeles, San Francisco, New Hampshire, New York, Miami and Texas, finishing up in London for something called ‘a gamer disco’, where you presumably get the chance to dance to the Tetris theme tune and completely fail to interact with other humans.
Oh, you also stop off in Havana and Nassau, as seen in Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag. STA Travel marketing manager Neil Hassall says: ”For gamers, this trip is a backstage pass to some of the most iconic settings in the world’s most famous games – a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience. We’re delighted to be adding our travel expertise into the mix to introduce gamers to some of the most awe-inspiring landscapes and cities in the world.”
Prices start from £5,500 and you can find out more about the Epic Gaming Adventure over at GAME.
Despite the fact loads of people have died on London’s new bicycle super highway, thanks to it being a long strip of deathly errors, commuters and Londoners have been told that, if they don’t like The Tube, they should cycle or walk.
Instead of trying to improve their services, Transport for London (TfL) are basically saying ‘don’t like it? Tough’.
A TfL spokesman said: “For example if you get the Tube at Clapham North to Stockwell just to transfer to the Victoria Line maybe you could instead walk as it would only take 10 minutes. Or could you start your journey 10 minutes earlier to avoid the crowds?”
Basically, the TfL have kicked off a pilot project, starting today, which hopes to ease commuters’ journeys by telling them to go away. A novel approach. Imagine if all businesses said “we’re going to reduce the number of complaints we get by sticking our fingers in our ears until moaners either give up or die.”
A spokesman from website Commuting Expert chucked their hat in the ring, saying: ”Transport costs are going up and up while salaries stay flat so it is frustrating when the service you’re paying for isn’t the service you’re being recommended to use.”
And here we are, in the echoes of his call for a ban on the burka in the UK because he thinks that everyone is “leaning over far too much for some of these minority religions”.
He said: “I think we should ban burkas here in the UK. If you go to Saudi Arabia and they say the ladies have to veil up, you respect the local culture. If you want to come and live in Western society, I don’t think you should be allowed to walk around with some inalienable right to cover yourself up with only your eyes looking out.”
He wasn’t done there either. Seeing as he was getting things off his chest, he turned his attentions to climate change. Unsurprisingly, he doesn’t believe in it: “Temperatures have been moving up and down for 200 years yet every time you have a couple of warm summers they go — “Oooh, global warming’.”
“There’s a degree of arrogance in thinking that any man-made phenomenon is going to change nature. Trying to reverse it by taxing air travel is absurd. We should encourage more driving and flying around because that kind of economic activity is what generates great wealth.”
Here we go again…
Virgin Atlantic are going to offer customers the chance to play catchup with a new service which will let you keep up to date with UK soaps. If you’ve been away, you can get up to speed with Coronation Street and Emmerdale during your flight, so you can keep up with the gossip.
Virgin Atlantic’s director of Brand and Customer Experience Reuben Arnold said: “Here at Virgin Atlantic we are always looking for new ways to add to our customers’ experience every time they fly with us. This latest venture with ITV is another great example of this.”
“We’re really excited to be able to offer our customers a chance to catch up on their favourite ITV soaps as part of our already outstanding in-flight entertainment package.”
Martin Goswami, who does some job at ITV, said: “Soaps are the cornerstone of ITV’s prime time schedule and a key driver of national conversation up and down the country. We are thrilled to have teamed up with Virgin Atlantic to offer this brand new and exciting service enabling their soap loving passengers to catch up on any episodes they have missed on board their flights.”
The service will launch in November, so now you can cry in front of a load of strangers when your favourite character gets slain on the cobbles.
Oh dear, what can the matter be? Well, one poor lady got trapped in the lavatory – during take-off on a BA flight from Amsterdam to Gatwick.
The plane was delayed by half an hour, but cabin crew were rushing around like BA flies, and the plane apparently moved away from the stand while passengers were still struggling to put their bags in the overhead lockers.
The woman, in her 20s, emerged from the toilet just as the plane started to speed down the runway and was screamed at by a steward to get back inside, where she doubtlessly spent a rather hairy few minutes with her face squished against the soap dispenser.
One passenger said: ‘I heard other passengers saying that there was not a spare seat on the flight, so I don’t know how the flight crew didn’t realise that the girl was missing as she had an aisle seat. The crew were sat right next to the plane toilet, but obviously in their rush to depart didn’t check it.’
The girl was eventually allowed out of the toilet when the seatbelt signs went off, and was given a dressing down by staff, who told her it was ‘extremely dangerous.’
Of course it couldn’t also be a case of someone not doing their job properly and making sure everyone was in their seats. No, it couldn’t possibly be that.