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Monthly Archives: January 2015

Dae ya ken Glasgow? Our town by Belle and Sebastian

Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Art Gallery And Museum

Belle and Sebastian have a new album out called “Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance“. I love it !

They have also guest authored Our Town: Belle and Sebastian’s guide to Glasgow. This is what singer Stuart Murdoch says about  Kelvingrove Art Gallery And Museum:-

One of my favourite places in Glasgow is the Kelvingrove Art Gallery And Museum. There’s nothing too remarkable or internationally ‘important’ about it. Just a warm and beautifully ornate sandstone castle, built when Glasgow was the second city of the Victoria’s British Empire.

I’ve gone there on and off, on rainy sundays and sunny tuesdays, for the past 30 years. Now we take our wee boy there, and it’s his perfect place to run around and explore. He loves the stuffed elephants and the Spitfire hanging from the ceiling, though he’s a little worried about the velociraptors.

When i get a spare minute i like to drift around the permanent collection, The Glasgow Boys, The Colourists, the tale-end Impressionists. And i inevitably drift up to see Dali’s masterpiece “Christ of Saint John Of The Cross” – Glasgow’s best known painting, some would say a talisman for the city. I, of course, would agree with them. So it’s cloistered up in Kelvingrove, and we protect and admire it like a pearl in a very fine shell.

Other places they write about include Argyle Street, Finnieston and The Sparkle Horse.

Their guide is not a long read but it does remind me that I haven’t been to Glasgow in decades. Glasgow is often overlooked by it’s Eastern sister, Edinburgh. For those not familiar with the geography, they are actually very close to each other: About 45 miles.

Next time I am in Scotland, I will make the effort to go and visit.

I haven’t the foggiest: why an Etihade airplane was kept on runaway for 12 hours

Due to Abu Dhabu airport being fogbound – apparently a rare event – Etihad Airlines Flight 183 was stuck on the tarmac for 12 hours. Since all other flights were delayed or cancelled, it meant there was no space for the plane to return to the terminal. When the passengers arrived in SFA, many complained to the media that they had been on board for 28 hours in total.

As it occured outside the US, DOT rules about limiting tarmac wait to 4 hours did not apply.

A commentator,Tom Yates,on CBS San Francisco adds the best insight into the situation.

Yeah, we were in that plane. We boarded then the fog was too thick to fly. They would not deplane us because the special security waiting area was full with people trying to board to go to NY. The real issue was off the plane. The special area after USA screening is small and did not have room for us to go back in. It is a result of US security demands. This was not an ordeal but rather an inconvenience caused by post 911 security.

We has some laughs and fun over it as we knew that we could do nothing. There was enough food. This issue was that some would have liked special treatment such as more food. Instead we received less and then most of the food spoiled. The flight crew also expired so we received more food at about the same time that the new flight crew showed up. The only real problem is that at the very end of the flight we ran out of water. all but one bathroom was closed. None of the had tissues but there were plenty of napkins and hand towels. So we used hand towels but were unable to wash our hands as the water was gone. The flight crew handled it well even though groups of men kept gathering around our seats (ROW 50), meeting and making demands. The crew was calm in dealing with them. One person from the original flight crew even made her personal mobile phone data plan available to defuse the anger of my new friend and seat mate.

So it sounds like there was not a lot Ethiad could do about it. Sometimes stuff in life happens.

Mieders keepers: An summer thrill ride in the Tirol

I jut added this to my to do list. From the Tyrol tourist board site:

Mieders Alpine Coaster, the steepest track in the Alps—it will speed you down to the valley surrounded by the gorgeous mountain scenery of lofty Serles Peak. Those riding the coaster will race along a 2,800 meter track, through the forest, and down the mountain in individual coaster cars. Equipped with rollers and brakes, excitement becomes a reality as you feel the rush of the 640 meter vertical drop. Riders have complete control of their speed (up to 42 kph) for a truly unique, hands-on experience. The alpine coaster makes 40 hairpin turns and is elevated off the ground like a roller coaster.

 

Scamchester United: United sues website that shows “hidden city” fares

skiplagged.com legal defence fund against being sued by United and Orbitz

skiplagged legal defense fund against  United and Orbitz

Skiplagged.com is a site that takes advantage of airline pricing loophole by showing “hidden city” fares. In many cases, an airline offers cheaper fare if connecting through a hub city. Going direct to that city would result in higher airfare. The idea here is that the passenger pretends to want to go to the second city but hops off the plane at the connecting city. This only works in the ticket is a one way ticket and if the passenger is flying without checked in luggage.

The airlines say this is against their ticket rules and if caught, you could forfeit your frequent flier miles.

This sounds like a very niche situation – How many people fly one way ?- but I suppose, it could be stretched by booking two one way tickets.

The airlines know this goes on but tolerate it. However, that was before skiplagged.com.

Last week, United and Orbitz announced a lawsuit to stop sending United ticket buyers to Orbitz.com to buy the “hidden city” tickets. In addition, they are seeking $75,000 in damages and lawyer fees. From Bloomberg Businessweek:

“This practice violates our fare rules, and we are taking action to stop it to help protect the vast majority of customers who buy legitimate tickets,” United spokeswoman Christen David said on Tuesday. The airline also says such passengers can cause delays as gate agents try to determine where a person expected on a flight may be. Passenger count also affects a flight’s total weight calculation, which can delay the plane’s departure.”

Except that this action may not lead to the result that United & their lackey expect. There is little sympathy to these old style airlines and their pricing policies.

Aktarer Zaman the founder of skiplagged.com, went public and set up a gofundme for legal expenses. As of 1/1/2015, over $48k has been raised. One donor gave $666 with a comment “Send them to hell, please” .

I also looks as if United action inadvertently gave more publicity to the website. “Update: Dec 30, Skiplagged is facing significantly higher than normal traffic. Please try again later if you encounter any issues–you will be amazed. Thanks”.

We just donated $25 to their legal fund – Go skiplagged!!