Tag Archives: airlines

Turkish DeFlight.

Interestingly, it takes 4.5 hours to fly from Moscow to Dubai, 3+ hours to fly from Istanbul to Moscow, and from Dubai to Istanbul – the same 4.5 hours!

Yes, direct from Dubai to Istanbul it’s a little shorter as the crow flies, but commercial flights fly around conflict zones. Mmm, unpleasant topic, but that’s the reality of today’s turbulent world.

Read on: Interesting selfie…

Greenland or Cloud Cuckoo Land?

While flying across the Atlantic recently, our special correspondent, N.Sh., sent me a bulletin in real time detailing an entirely positive item of news about transatlantic in-flight service.

I quote:

Delta – these guys are just amazing. For a mere $20 or so you can get unlimited Internet – for the whole nine hour flight!

Whoah! I’ll have to try Delta next time. Hmmm. Now where’s that post of mine about terrible transatlantic service? Ah yes – here. But that was about United. Still, they’re all the same those US airlines. However, unlimited Internet for next to nothing – that sure makes up for a lot. For if you’ve got Internet – plus an electrical socket to plug your Laptop into – there’s not much else a business traveler needs now is there?

Anyway. Back to our special correspondent…

So, like I say, he was crossing the North Atlantic. But at one point he was up above Greenland. And what did he see out the window? A green land? A white land? Actually – neither. Just white. Period…

…Nothing but thick white cloud. And he attached photographic evidence:

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This proves one thing. We were sooooo lucky with the weather just recently during our Greenland trip. So here’s raising a glass in the hope that next time we (and you, why not?!) are just as lucky. Not necessarily in Greenland – but wherever we may be :).

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Welcome to Greenland!

By some quirk of fate I often fly across the North Atlantic. Europe-America-Europe; sometimes Asia-America-Europe; sometimes other, more exotic combinations. Example: sometimes I get to fly over Greenland. Sometimes this is at night – so nothing to report there. Other times it’s by day, but the weather’s typically polar and the visibility’s poor. But just sometimes, very occasionally, I get lucky: jetting over Greenland when it’s sunny and panoramic…

One such time for example was in July 2012: Crazy trip, crazy plane, crazy nice weather.

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Fast forward to July 2016, and it’s crazy nice weather again up over the big green white land. But this time I wasn’t just flying over, I was to land and then stay a few days. Hurray!

Read on: inside, deeper, more and more …

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Korea to Switzerland on Turkish.

Quite a flight the other day night for us – 11 hours up in the air!

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Looking at the flightpath got me thinking… I wonder why our trajectory was so straight. If we were to fly via southern Siberia it would have been shorter, thus quicker – probably by around two hours. Is it that Turkish Airlines don’t want to pay the Russian overflight fees? Or is it geopolitical? These musings led to further questions on this topic:

  1. On the Seoul–Istanbul route how many kilometers would you save if you were to fly in a northerly arc, and how many minutes or hours would you save?
  2. How much would the fee be for a Boeing 777 to cross Russia from the border with northeastern Mongolia and Novorossiysk (on the opposite side of the Black Sea to Turkey)?
  3. Or is it all geopolitical based on ‘principle’?

Anyone know the answers?

Read on: Anyway, what does it matter really?…

LHR – TLV on BA: Not OK.

All right, here we go again…

Alarm clock; where am I?; hotel; shower; suitcase; taxi; airport; check-in; x-ray; ‘breakfast’ (sandwich and tomato juice); gate; window-seat. Here comes the first petty torture of this sunny day…: I find myself sat right above the wing – a filthy one at that; a really wide one at that too (we were on a Boeing 777). It was gonna be one of those days. It was indeed…

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Oh well. No view? I’ll just have to get some more shut-eye then. It was an early flight – around 8am – so catching up on the ZZZs would be just the (air) ticket…

I’d just dropped off when I was abruptly awoken by the pilot. He was announcing that due to a technical issue we weren’t able to take off. Boo! Still, better safe than sorry. So we taxied back to our departure gate and all had to pile off and back into the airport until they sorted the problem.

We were sat there for two hours while they pulled out the defective part from the aircraft and replaced it with a new one. At least they had the spare part to hand, I thought.

We piled back onto the Boeing, ushered by the somewhat curt ‘British‘ BA flight attendants with strange accents.

Read on: Every cloud has a silver lining…

S. America to S.E. Asia Air-Route Question.

Getting from Cancun in Mexico to Sanya in China, will never be one of the simplest routes – even given the most favorable of weather conditions. All the same, it will never be one of the longest. Still, that route does belong to the category of the ‘trickiest air routes in the world’, i.e., between South America and Southeast Asia (flying in either direction) : the distances are always big, and the air routes are rarely straightforward.

For example, flying from Hong Kong, Bangkok or Kuala Lumpur to Santiago or Buenos Aires will always be an avia-endurance test both in terms of total journey time and the number of connections. I say always, since all available routes – all four of them – all take approximately the same number of hours to complete.

My question:

What are these four (very different) ways of flying (on a commercial flight) from Southeast Asia to South America? (incidentally, one of them I’ve yet to fly myself). Let’s say, from Hong Kong to Santiago and from Hong Kong to Buenos Aires?

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Read on: … and the answer is…

From Mexico to China.

Your attention please! This is Tijuana Airport broadcasting! I’m now now starting a reality show about the adventures of a traveler trying to fly from Mexico to China. Welcome aboard!

So, the most convenient way of getting from Cancun to China is to fly Cancun -> Mexico City -> Shanghai (with a stop to refuel). This time, the attempt to follow this route was a total failure. Shanghai Pudong Airport closed for technical reasons – that is, due to some dense dog fog. So I’m sitting in Mexico’s most northeasterly city, Tijuana, waiting to depart.

This is a very remote part of Mexico, most people will never make it here and you’ve probably never even heard of it. Which only makes it all the more interesting! It’s known as the third most prosperous city in the country (after Cancun and Mexico City). Perhaps, that’s thanks to the United States, right across the border, which has set up all sorts of manufacturing plants here, uses the local inexpensive (but decent) medical facilities, etc. It’s also one of the most criminalized places in Mexico, supplying drugs and illegal immigrants to the States. Bad stuff…But it looks (downtown, as seen from my hotel) pretty decent – could be somewhere in California or Florida or suchlike.

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Read on: But the weather is nothing like Florida…

To lose a suitcase once may be regarded as a misfortune…

…To lose it twice on two flights in as many days looks like carelessness!

My black suitcase gets around a bit. In fact – right around the globe several times a year. So you can imagine my… incredulousness, when it goes astray – TWICE – on a quick dash over to Western Europe!…

Ok, maybe I’m at least partly to blame. I should have listened. More experienced Europe-hoppers told me how, if you need to get from Moscow to Luxembourg and back quick, it’s best to fly to Dusseldorf in neighboring Germany and then drive a rental car 2+ hours (200 kilometers; untypically autobahny roads) to Lux; and coming back – the same route in reverse.

I just didn’t fancy two hours behind the wheel. So in the end we flew out Moscow-Milan-Luxembourg (Aeroflot + Luxair), and back – Luxembourg-Frankfurt-Moscow (Lufthansa + Aeroflot). In the end this route worked out longer, since we were waiting in Milan more than the 2+ hours it would have taken to drive Duss-Lux. But that was nothing…

See, when you fly with different airlines of different alliances – with transfers involving more than one terminal – there’s always a risk that your luggage won’t keep up with you. Which is what happened with me last week. But, like I say, my case managed to go astray both on the way there and on the way back! I might as well have not taken my case, since I never got round to using the bits and pieces inside it that would have made my trip to Luxembourg… comfortable!

On the way there things weren’t so bad: I was swiftly informed my “suitcase is still in Milan”, and that evening it was delivered to my hotel room. Phew.

It was on the way back when things got unacceptably… boycottable. Customs forms to fill out, having to list what was in the case (why?), a line for lost-and-found… All that meant I left the airport about an hour after landing.

My case did eventually arrive – but only two days later! What would have happened if I’d flown onward, say, to South-East Asia? A friend had that problem once – he was on a multi-city business trip to the US, and his case never caught him up after being mislaid still in Europe (though it did try – following him from hotel to hotel all around the States!!).

Here she is, sat outside my office @ HQ. ‘Rush’? RUSH???!!! :)

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Oh well, at least something positive has come out of this incident: I will now try my best to forgo a large suitcase to be checked in for short trips. Hand luggage only – it’s the only way forward upward.

Back soon folks; don’t go away!…