Trajan

Author Archives: Trajan

Skiplagged 1 : Utd 0 (Own goal)

Update on Skiplagged's 'godfundme' page

Update on Skiplagged’s ‘godfundme’ page

Roam got an email update recently from Skiplagged regarding their lawsuit where United was suing them.

The update is a bit meek in saying it was a ‘technical’ dismissal but CNN gives more beef. Basically the judge looked at it and said he had no jurisdiction over the case since the defendant neither lives in not does he do business in Chicago.

Ouch. That is not a good start.

By the way, United: you have invoked the wrath of the Streisand effect – Not many people were aware of ‘hidden fares’ until YOU brought it up.

You should fire your legal team and the idjiot manager who decided this was a good idea.


See previous post:  SCAMCHESTER UNITED: UNITED SUES WEBSITE THAT SHOWS “HIDDEN CITY” FARES

Let there be flight… Preferably a G650

Gulfstream G650: Doing God’s work in Comfort

Today’s reading is from from the Book of Genesis.

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
And the earth was without form, and void; and darkeness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
And God said, Let there be flight: and there was flight.

Wait a minute, I thought it was light not flight.

Not according to Reverend Ceflo Dollar of World Changers Church International (WCCI), who wants to raise $65million to buy a Gulfstream G650 as reported in Christianpost.com which quoted from Dollar’s appeal:

Continue reading..

France : A Land of Striking Beauty. A Land of Striking Workers.

Beware of French Unions : it may impact your travel

Il est avril en France, Le soleil brille / It is April in France and the sun shines brightly.

The flowers are blooming, lovers are walking hand in hand. What a better way to take in Paris, than go up in the Eiffel Tower.

Except you can’t.

Why you ask, because the workers of the Eiffel Tower have gone out on sympathy strike. That’s why.

Oui, mes amis, L’Eiffel workers are showing their fraternity with the Air traffic controls who have shut down French Air Space.

And what are the ATC striking over? The answer is delaying retirement from 57 years to 59 years and restructuring.

Of course this causes chaos for the airlines and passengers but the Trade Unionists don’t care as they face no financial penalties for the problems it causes.

Not only that but this is not the first time France ATC have gone on strike. Just look at this – see a pattern?

This gets old.

Is the European Union doing anything about the enforcement of the Freedom of good and services? No, they are too cowardly.

Anyone planning on going to or through France needs to consider the probability of some strike disrupting your plans or at worst, leaving you stranded. Latest we heard is that they are threatening a 4 day strike over the May bank holiday.

Maybe Bobby Jindahl was right afterall, about Paris being a “No go” Zone but for a different reason.

The Roaman Emperor’s verdict on French Unions: “FEED THEM TO THE LIONS” and since a picture paint a thousand words, this is our message to them:

The Roaman anti-greeting

Coroner declares first case of aerotoxic syndrome

Airplane warning

Airplane warning

An update to a prior story “Flying on fumes : Are aircraft leaks poisoning cabin crew?“.

The Daily Telegraph is reporting that Dorset Coroner declared “aerotoxic syndrome” as the cause of death for pilot Richard Westgate. From the article:

Toxic fumes in cabin air pose a health risk to frequent fliers and aircrew, a coroner has said in a landmark report.

Stanhope Payne, the senior coroner for Dorset, said people regularly exposed to fumes circulating in planes faced “consequential damage to their health”.

Mr Payne, who is inquiring into the death of Richard Westgate, a British Airways pilot, called on BA and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to take “urgent action to prevent future deaths”. Most airline passengers, who fly only occasionally, will not be affected by the problem, but some frequent travellers who are genetically susceptible to the toxins could fall ill.

Mr Payne’s call for urgent action is likely to be welcomed by campaigners who have raised similar concerns for a number of years.

His report, obtained by the Telegraph, is the first official UK recognition of so-called “aerotoxic syndrome”, a phenomenon long denied by airlines but which is blamed by some for the deaths of at least two pilots and numerous other incidents where pilots have passed out in flight. Co-pilots can normally take over, but campaigners claim the syndrome is a suspected cause of some mid-air disasters.

At issue is the source of where the airplanes sources their compressed air to pressurize the cabin- the engines themselves which if it malfunctions, is a potential source for contamination from oil particles.

Trajan.

It’s snow joke: the historic storm that wasn’t.

NOT the Weather forecast for NYC

So the historic winter storm that was to cover New York City in a few feet of snow, didn’t happen. While it blanketed New England further up North, the storm changed course only dusting NYC instead.

However, only in New York would people moan about missing such a weather event and they cast scorn on the weather forecasters who in turn, issued a public apology.

Really?

Niziol suspects he was not to blame: earlier in the weekend, he was on the Weather Channel predicting between 12 to 18 inches of snow for the city, half that of the NWS’s direst warnings. Meteorologists, including Niziol, generally make their predictions based on the same data and a half-dozen or so internationally shared computer models.

On Monday afternoon, not long before Cuomo announced the subway would close to riders for the first time ever because of a snowstorm, Niziol rolled his prediction back to between 8 and 12 inches: snowy, but not one for the ages.

The NWS, which has the gravitas of a federal agency and whose officials directly brief civic decision-makers, continued to stand firm on a prediction of three feet.

Events would show that Niziol’s revised estimate was close enough. Most of the city got no more than 8 inches, De Blasio said on Tuesday, although some areas of Queens got 10.

As with the NWS and other meteorologists interviewed on Tuesday, Niziol also pointed out that the far end of Long Island, east of New York City, and swathes of Massachusetts and other neighboring states were grappling with an actual blizzard, more or less as predicted.

“There is no pleasure in getting the forecast right over the guy at the next desk,” Niziol said, “because, you know what, next time I’ll get it wrong and that guy will get it right.”

Louis Uccellini, the NWS director, was by turns defensive and remorseful in a conference call with reporters on Tuesday afternoon.

“What we learned from the storm is we all need to improve how we communicate forecast uncertainty,” he said, after citing a list of places besides New York City where the NWS accurately predicted a disruptive amount of snow.

He said he was still “tracing” who wrote the service’s “CRIPPLING” and “POTENTIALLY HISTORIC” advisory, whose language was widely echoed by civic leaders as they declared states of emergencies.

Individual NWS offices are responsible for what they publish, he said. The chief meteorologist at the NWS station in the Long Island town of Upton, which is responsible for New York City, did not respond to a request for comment.

The preferred meteorologists of Cuomo and de Blasio, who both continued to cite the scarier forecasts on Tuesday as they defended their transport shutdowns, could not immediately be determined.

Cuomo’s office said his officials rely on the regular briefing services that the NWS offers to city officials. De Blasio’s office did not respond to questions on the matter.

Let the blames begin.

Sicky Mouse : Disneyland measles update

January 27th, City of Roam and a follow up Galen’s post on the outbreak of measles centered around Disneyland. The updated number of people infected by the Disneyland Measles is at least 87 in 7 states plus Mexico.

Right wing talk radio is going nuts blaming it on the illegals coming into this country un-vaccinated. Left wing talk radio is going nuts blaming it on the anti-government home schoolers not getting vaccinated. At least they’ve found some common ground to be united on: Lack of Vaccinations.

From the LA Times:

The California patients range in age from 7 months to 70 years. The vaccination status is known for 42 of the patients. Of those, 34 were unvaccinated, three received partial vaccination and five were fully vaccinated.

Of the cases in California, about one in four have had to be hospitalized, officials said.

Across California, officials have been scrambling to get ahead of the outbreak, identifying farmers markets, grocery stores, malls and other public locations where contagious people have been.

Health officials are urging people suspected of having the measles to first call their health provider before going to a clinic, enabling caregivers to make special preparations so patients don’t risk infecting others in the waiting room. An urgent-care clinic in the San Diego suburb of La Mesa was forced to shut down for a few hours when five people arrived with a rash. Anyone without proof of vaccination who came in contact with the five at the clinic was put under a mandatory quarantine for 21 days.

For those wishing to read more about the effectiveness of Measles vaccines, the overall mathematics (aka ‘Heard Immunity’) of the Disneyland outbreak, I recommend a recent Wired.com article “Why Did Vaccinated People Get Measles at Disneyland? Blame the Unvaccinated”

Trajan.

 

Would you like Ice with that delay? Flying in the winter

The forecast for Winter Storm Juno Copyright Weather.com

Weather.com’s forecast for Storm Juno Weather.com

January 26: Last time I  looked 5740 flights were cancelled due to the ‘Historic’ winter storm Juno that is hitting the North East today. There are all sorts of advisories about not going out where three feet of snow are expected.

I am not sure if three feet of snow is really ‘historic’ or ‘histrionic’ but as usual with the press, they just love aweather story that fills up the column inches and provide some nice videos to demonstrate how bad winter is. The Daily Mail is in it’s element over this

So why is is historic? According to weather.com

“Historic” is not a precisely defined term, but generally meteorologists reserve it for weather events of exceptional strength or magnitude. A hallmark of such events is their ability to break all-time records. For instance, Winter Storm Nemo broke the all-time 24-hour snowfall record for the entire state of Connecticut when it dumped 36 inches of snow near Ansonia on Feb. 8-9, 2013.

That said, Northeast blizzards aren’t just snowfall amounts: They’re high winds, they’re storm surge, they’re epic traffic jams, they’re days-long power outages. Arguably a storm doesn’t have to break all-time records to have historic impacts if it brings a crippling combination of disruption and destruction.

This had us thinking about which airports are ones rated for worst for flying in winter. One measurement is the number of flights delayed. Note that for all Continental US airports analysed by Hooper, all were over 20%. For the mathematically challenged, at least 1 in 5 flights were delayed in over 20 airports.

So what happens if you are delayed? Time.com has 5 Strategies for Dealing With Your Flight Cancellation.

  1. Check in Early: This avoids you being bumped.
  2. Stay informed in real-time : be ahead of the crowd and not wait for airline to rebook you)
  3. Know your options: Understand the airlines policy with respect to weather cancellations as there are no federal requirements.
  4. Photograph your valuables: Just in case your luggage disappears and you need evidence in a claim. [good advice anyhow]
  5. Turn on your charm: In other words, don’t be an a-hole if things go wrong. You aren’t the only person put out.

Trajan

PS: Juno is a Roman goddess. Daughter of Saturn, Wife of Jupiter and mom to Mars and Vulcan.

top 10 worst US airports during winter

ORD 42% delay
NWR 37% delay
DEN 37% delay
DFW 32% delay
TPA 32% delay
LGA 31% delay
MCO 31% delay
JFK 30% delay
LAS 30% delay
% delay

Orbitzuary : Orbitz is having a sale – itself !

The Booking Dead

Orbitz: The Walking Booking Dead


ORBIT
noun
  • the curved path, usually elliptical, described by a planet, satellite,spaceship, etc., around a celestial body, as the sun.
  • the sphere of power or influence, as of a nation or person: a small nation in the Russian orbit.

verb (used with object)

  • to move or travel around in an orbital or elliptical path: The earth orbits the sun once every 365.25 days.

verb (used without object)

  • to go or travel in an orbit.

 ORBITZ
noun
1.An  online travel agent, small player without the benefit of economies, up for sale by vulture venture capitalists looking for  gullible suckers, uhm “Someone from the outside looking for a a foothold in the industry”.

Bloomberg is reporting that Orbitz.com is up for sale. Maybe we have missed something, but we haven’t found a reason to ever use Orbitz.com. We’ve looked around their site before and didn’t see any differentiator over other travel booking sites.
What is more, Orbitz is the weasel company who joined a law suit with United vs skiplagged.com of which Roads-2-Roam donated to Skiplagged’s legal fund.
As you can imagine, we are not fans of Orbitz.com.
1/20/15 : update on skiplagged.com legal fund: it has now raised $70.5k. Target was $60k

Franc’enstein: Swiss currency jumps 17% after central bank stops pegging to Euro

Reaction to the Swiss currency exchange rate

The Reaction to the Swiss currency exchange rate

For those of you traveling to Switzerland, you just woke up and found your money will buy you 17% less. In an announcement that completely surprised the financial markets and business community, the Swiss National Bank announced a “decision to abandon the franc’s cap against the euro, two days after an official reaffirmed it would remain a pillar of policy”. [Good to see that a banker’s word is his bond unless it is a few days later]

The franc appreciated 17 percent to 1.02569 per euro at 8:37 a.m. New York time after earlier jumping 41 percent to 85.17 centimes, the strongest since the euro’s 1999 debut. The Swiss currency gained 16 percent to 87.66 centimes per dollar, after touching 74.06 centimes, the strongest since August 2011.

This is an incredible move in an exchange rate where a 1% move in daily exchange rate is regarded as a big move.

The Euro was also impacted by this news where it dropped a further 1.8% on the news where it is ~1.16. Some financial pundits are predicting Euro will be parity with the dollar in 2015.

We say 2015 will be a good time for Americans to visit Europe. If you don’t mind the odd riot or two.

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.