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Monthly Archives: November 2014

Underneath the Mango plane me honey

Mango Airlines

Dahlings, As I was waiting for thanksgiving dinner around Augustus’ house, I heard some tittle tattle from some fellow guests about a passenger on South African’ Mango Airline who caused some watery trouble during take off.

Later on and being bored with the guests who were now talking about some talentless Tart wishing to destroy the internet, I made some excuse to leave and research to Mango story. You see, curiosity had the better of me and I HAD to find out if it was Gérard Depardieu up to his old antics again. [Déjà Depardieu vu time? see  In the event of a water landing..]

However, I was shocked to find out it wasn’t a story about our Gallic Gerry, even though the headline and sub-lines sound just like him.

According to the Daily Mail:

Drunken passenger pulls down trousers and urinates in front of passengers on flight… and is made to clean up mess by cabin crew

  • Indecent act occurred on flight from Port Elizabeth to Johannesburg
  • Man urinated in aircraft galley after asking to use toilet during take-off
  • He was told to wait but decided to relieve himself next to cabin crew
  • Man was forced to return to his seat after swearing at crew
  • Passenger was detained by authorities when the plane landed

The article suggested that the flight was delayed by 2 hours in Port Elizabeth, which may/may not have been a factor (but there I go again, expecting news papers to give facts).

Another internet source had a statement by Mango spokesperson Hein Kaiser.

“When the commander of a flight advises travellers to fasten their seatbelts, it is for good reason and is standard operating procedure on airlines the world over,” said Kaiser.

He said all the man had to do, if he was desperate to pee, was ask.

“In rare instances, when a traveller’s need for the lavatory is immediate and the urgency occurs during turbulent conditions, the captain may permit use of the ablution facilities.”

What the heck is “ablution factilities”?

I have not heard this word in this manner before. I always thought ablution was the act of washing oneself in a religious context. It turns our that in Urban dictionaries, ablutions’ is Army slang for ‘washing facilities’ or ‘toilets’.

Ah Ha ! Perhaps it was all a simple misunderstanding of vocabulary.

My old friends George and Ira had a song that fits this situation:

You say Tomayto and I say Tomato.
You say toilet and I say ablution facility.
Toilet
Ablution facility
Toilet
Ablution facility
Lets call the whole thing off. [and call in security..]

By now, after reading everything , my glass of Champagne (that was really Cava but don’t tell Augustus I knew) does not look so appealing.

Hey ho, time for  a Gin and Tonic.

Ciao for now, Cleo.

Giving their regards to Broadway : Hotel fines guests for leaving ‘stinking hovel’ review on Yelp

Basil, Patron Saint of Hoteliers

Across the Atlantic to Blackpool in North England, where the Broadway Hotel has apparently charged £100 to the credit card of a  couple who left a terrible review on Yelp. [Telegraph].

What a way to get PR where they called it a ‘stinking hovel. Alas there are other reviewers on Yelp that are not to positive about their experiences. For example:

When we arrived at the hotel , you could see the dirt on the carpet all through the hotel, but I thought well I’m not sleeping on the floor so just ignored it, we went into the tiny room x unpacked our cases…… Went out x about, came back around 10pm x went for a sleep it had been a long day. Fire alarm went off so had to get up x see wat was going on, nothing, nobody to be seen, so went back to bed, first thing around 7. Ish, fire alarm again , went off x on again , 4. Times, I went to top of stairs to shout to reception that there was no hot water, the man told me the fire alarm was going off because of steam from shower..lol.. Had to laugh coz the hot water was not working, he said the boiler went out during the night… I will fix it he said…half a hour later,,, still no hot water, so no shower for me…

If this sounds similar, it is : see our post “Yelp me if you can, I’m feeling down” about a NY State B&B that tried this. Except previously the Yanks tried a $500 fine. Good to see competition and prices for bad reviews coming down.

 

Failure to start : so called ‘insane travel kickstart’ ideas look like non-starters

Kickstarter proejct 'Air umbrella'.

Kickstarter proejct ‘Air umbrella’.

A marketing professional once gave me a bit of sage advice “Be careful of people who tell you there is niche in the market. Instead, you need to ask if there is then a market in the niche”.

I thought of this after reading this fox travel article – originally souced fromYahoo travel – “Insane travel Kickstarters we need right now” which proceeded to puff piece 10 project ideas currently seeking funding.

Proposal #1 Air Umbrella : ‘..battery-operated wand emits strong currents of air that repel the raindrops by creating a force field of sorts’.

Proposal #2 Chair-Pak : “full-size backpack has padded shoulder straps, four separate compartments, a soft cooler, connection loops, and an adjustable seat. So not only can this bag hold all of your stuff — but also you can sit on it! And if that wasn’t enough, certain versions of the bag are equipped with solar panels so that you can charge all of your devices.”. This doesn’t grab me – what is wrong with existing backpacks?

Proposal #3 Collar Perfect : ‘a pint-sized ironing device designed for the wrinkle-prone mover and shaker. All you do is plug in the iron and use it for quick touchups on your collars, pockets, pant creases, and hemlines.’ Really: Those who really care about this would just use/ borrow and iron. Continue reading..

Lyft leaves Houston / Uber stays for now

The Revolutionary Che'ring economy.

The Revolutionary Che’ring economy.

It’s been a while since I looked at taxi revolution / war of backseat independence but in Houston, there have been some changes recently.

The first being that Houston council announced rules about regulating drivers that involve potential drivers presenting their vehicle for inspection and submitting a warrant check and personal information to the city and undergo drug screening. [Houston chronicle 10/29/14]

Both Lyft and Uber say they already take many of these steps, but their procedures differ. Although they use online background checks, City of Houston will require applicants to use the Texas’ fingerprint-based background check company. Lyft have balked at this and claimed “We have found a more efficient way to do these things” according to said David Mack, Lyft’s director of public affairs. Lyft further add that the procedures are onerous especially for people who wish to do this as a hobby job and the drug tests and permits would be expensive. The cost for this would be $62.

The kicker is that Lyft have threatened to exit from the Houston market unless the rules get relaxed or as they describe it, “pause operations”.

The second is that Houston is going to allow ride sharing at the airports where they will be allowed to get an airport permit. [Houston chronicle 11/12/14].  I am not sure how that will work in practice especially if Uber (sole survivor) then charged surge pricing.

So, is this the next stage ie/a counter revolution where other cities follow Houston’s lead and define higher driver and automobile standards if they wish to do business in that city? If so, it will not be the ‘laissez-faire’ environment that Lyft and Uber want.

Ah, C’est la guerre. (Look at moi: I’m showing off my french tonight ! )

Lights, camera, craption: That’s entertainment?

Modern day In flight entertainment

On my flight back to the US from LHR, we had a new Boeing 767-300. Great plane which on first impressions of the IFE, (In flight entertainment) looked as if it had lot of selection.

However, after watching 3 IFE movies that progressively went from bad to worse , I desperately need to moan and get my misery off my chest.

Movie #1 was “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes”. I loved the original Planet of the Apes series and films, but this was “Yawn of the Planet of the Apes”. I did not like it and was pleased to fall asleep towards the end.

Movie #2 was “Into the Wild” by Sean Penn. I hated it and could not empathize with the main character, Christopher McCandless, who was messed up by his father and so goes off to live in Alaska without much planning. I just thought the character was an idiot. (I just looked up IMDb and it has 8.2 rating: Feck me..)

Movie #3 was “Noah” with Russel Crowe as the main character. I couldn’t believe this actually made it to a film.  I was appalled that some major stars – Anthony Hopkins, Jennifer Connelly (I used to have a crush on her) and Emma Watson – actually appeared in it. Noah was one of the worst movies I have seen. What is up with the rock monsters?

Unable to take any more, I turned it off and watched the in flight map instead. It was far more entertaining.

Well Hello Dolly. You’re in jail, Dolly. Leader singer from Cranberries arrested after landing

Dahlings, my friend Dolores O’Riordan has caused a stir on board a Aer Lingus plane from JFK to Shannon. Turns out she is accused of assaulting a flight attendant causing a fractured foot. Dolly was arrested upon arrival in Shannon and reportedly headbutted a Garda officer.

You may know Dolly as the lead singer from her band, “The Cranberries”. They has a hit with the little ditty Zombie’.

How I chuckled as I remembered some of the lyrics:

..But you see, it’s not me, it’s not my family.
In your head, in your head they are fighting.

Then there is another hit, ‘Linger’.

I’m sure I’m not being rude
But it’s just your attitude
It’s tearing me apart
It’s ruining everything

Not one to talk about stereotypes, but I would be shocked I tell you, if I find out that someone from Ireland had over indulged with alcohol.
Ciao for now, Cleo.

Hopping mad

Hop away

I saw this warning sign near Burry Port in South Wales: What was it warning me of?

– Beware of Giant frogs crossing?

– Toad works ahead?

– Attention : Spawn of the dead?

– French restaurant nearby?

– Tadpoliticians?

Since it was so close to Halloween, I’m officially scared.. Help Mommy 🙂