To attract customers and keeping them satisfied, airlines are adding amenities that keeps you relaxed and rested while flying. These days most airlines provide in-flight Internet service, TV programs, multiple movies, Full-size pillow, onboard lounge among other amenities. Airlines with best amenities may be setting themselves apart.
We’ve put this poll together to figure out which airlines have the best in-flight Amenities. Please vote in the poll and share your experiences in the comments below.Read More
Though it has a rich, varied and significant history, vibrant culture and central location, Birmingham is often unfairly overlooked by holidaymakers in favour of cities further north or the bright lights of London.
As a result, it’s a city that is ripe for discovery with fantastic restaurants, great shopping facilities and world-class attractions. Though Birmingham has long vied to for title of Britain’s second city with nearby Manchester, the new energy, investment and optimism palpable in the city seems to be swinging the pendulum in the West Midland’s favour.
So if you’re planning a visit to Birmingham anytime soon, you’re sure to find a flight as Birmingham airport connects to the world. You can travel with Flybe for instance, that offers cheap flights to any UK destinations. Here are some not-to-be-missed Brummie attractions.
The Bull Ring
With its distinctive architecture and central location, the Bull Ring has been an important feature of Birmingham city life since the Middle Ages when a market was established on the site.
Shopaholics will be in heaven as the centre houses one of only four Selfridges department stores in the country as well as the fourth largest Debenhams in the UK.
The latest shopping centre on the site was opened in 2003 and in its first year saw over 35 million people walk through its doors.
If you’re a chocoholic, this is one attraction that is not to be missed during your Brummie adventure.
Cadbury World is made up of 14 zones that visitors can explore to learn all about the history and the making of chocolate. There are also interactive displays, demonstrations and activities, including the chance to create a chocolate of your very own.
Birmingham Back to Backs
Like many cities in the Midlands, Birmingham has a strong industrial history and the 19th century saw hundreds of homes built to house local workers.
The Birmingham Back to Backs, located at 50-54 Inge Street, is home to the last surviving back-to-back homes in the city and offers a fascinating insight into life over the last 200 years.
Now owned by the National Trust, the houses have been transformed into a museum that vividly brings the past to life and makes a great day out for kids and grown-ups alike.
With much to see and do, Birmingham is a great destination for a weekend away and it’s easy to reach this central metropolis whether you’re coming from London, Manchester or worldwide.
It is hard to find humor in Airline complaints but this letter made me almost crack my bones. This guy Rich Wisken had to tolerate fetid whiffs of body odour from ‘infant hippopotamus’ obese man sitting next to him for four-and-half hours. Mr Wisken was not at all happy with the four-and-a-half-hour flight and has penned a furious letter to the airline, Jetstar, a subsidiary of Qantas.
MR WISKEN’S LETTER TO JETSTAR
Do you like riddles? I do, that’s why I’m starting this letter with one. What weighs more than a Suzuki Swift, less than a Hummer and smells like the decaying anus of a deceased homeless man? No idea? How about, what measures food portions in kilograms and has the personal hygiene of a French prostitute? Still nothing? Right, one more try. What’s fat as f***, stinks like shit and should be forced to purchase two seats on a Jetstar flight? That’s right, it’s the man I sat next to under on my flight from Perth to Sydney yesterday.
As I boarded the plane, I mentally high-fived myself for paying the additional $25 for an emergency seat. I was imagining all that extra room, when I was suddenly distracted by what appeared to be an infant hippopotamus located halfway down the aisle.
As I got closer, I was relieved to see that it wasn’t a dangerous semi-aquatic African mammal, but a morbidly obese human being. However, this relief was short-lived when I realised that my seat was located somewhere underneath him.
Soon after I managed to burrow into my seat, I caught what was to be the first of numerous fetid whiffs of body odour. His scent possessed hints of blue cheese and Mumbai slum, with nuances of sweaty flesh and human faeces sprayed with cologne – Eau No.
Considering I was visibly under duress, I found it strange that none of the cabin crew offered me another seat. To be fair, it’s entirely possible that none of them actually saw me. Perhaps this photo will jog their memories.
Pinned to my seat by a fleshy boulder, I started preparing for a 127 Hours-like escape. Thankfully though, the beast moved slightly to his left, which allowed me to stand up, walk to the back of the plane and politely ask the cabin crew to be seated elsewhere. I didn’t catch the names of the three flight attendants, but for the purpose of this letter, I’ll call them: Chatty 1, Chatty 2 and Giggly (I’ve given them all the same surname – Couldnotgiveash***).
After my request, Chatty 1 and Chatty 2 continued their conversation, presumably about how s*** they are at their jobs, and Giggly, well, she just giggled. I then asked if I could sit in one of the six vacant seats at the back of the aircraft, to which Giggly responded, “hehehe, they’re for crew only, hehehe”. I think Giggly may be suffering from some form of mental impairment.
I tried to relocate myself without the assistance of the Couldnotgiveas*** triplets, but unfortunately everyone with a row to themselves was now lying down. It was then I realised that my fate was sealed. I made my way back to Jabba the Hutt and spent the remainder of the flight smothered in side-boob and cellulite, taking shallow breaths to avoid noxious gas poisoning. Just before landing,
I revisited the back of the plane to use the toilet. You could imagine my surprise when I saw both “crew only” rows occupied by non-crew members. I can only assume Giggly let them sit there after she forgot who she was and why she’s flying on a big, shiny metal thing in the sky.
Imagine going out for dinner and a movie, only to have your night ruined by a fat mess who eats half your meal then blocks 50% of the screen. Isn’t that exactly the same as having someone who can’t control their calorie intake occupying half your seat on a flight? Of course it is, so that’s why I’m demanding a full refund of my ticket, including the $25 for an emergency row seat.
I’m also looking to be compensated for the physical pain and mental suffering caused by being enveloped in human blubber for four hours. My lower back is in agony and I had to type this letter one-handed as I’m yet to regain full use of my left side. If I don’t recover completely, I’ll have to say goodbye to my lifelong dream of becoming Air Guitar World Champion. If that occurs, you will pay.
To discuss my generous compensation package, email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or tweet me at: @RichWisken
Rich Wisken.Read More
Alan and Jan’s love story is special and unique.
They met at Regis University in 1988 where they both were completing their degrees. From their first coffee date to their 21st wedding anniversary, Alan and Jan shared an indescribable connection that would last a lifetime.
“Our love was an exception,” said Jan. “We were always able to work out any issues and go to bed happy – I truly feel blessed to have known this kind of love.”
After their first year of marriage, the couple started their own computer company, which allowed them to start saving for their future. The company continued to thrive into the early 2000’s. The success of their company brought numerous business trips around the country, allowing the couple to attain thousands of frequent flyer miles, which they agreed to save and use for personal travel upon their 25th wedding anniversary.
But in 2008, Alan passed away from a sudden lung aneurism at the age of 51, just three years short of their 25th anniversary and plans to travel the world together. The couple’s frequent flyer miles sat untouched for several years until one morning in December when fate intervened and showed Jan what to do with them.
“It was an odd morning to begin with,” said Jan. “My dog, Thunder, woke me up earlier than usual to go to the bathroom, so I decided to turn on the local news, something that I NEVER do in the mornings, for some background noise.”
When Jan turned on the television, the 7NEWS morning broadcaster appeared and eagerly asked viewers to call in and donated their unused frequent flyer miles to help Make-A-Wish Colorado wish kids.
“It was perfect timing,” said Jan. “So I dialed the number, spoke to a Make-A-Wish volunteer and instantly broke down into tears. These airline miles were so important to Alan and me that it was very emotional for me to be donating them all to charity because it truly meant that we would never be using them together as planned.”
After collecting herself, Jan announced to the volunteer that she wanted to donate 323,083 airline miles.
“Alan and I were saving these frequent flyer miles for our future,” said Jan. “But, donating them was the best decision I’ve ever made because now kids and their families will be able to fly to their wish destinations and create lasting memories together.”
Jan is reminded of Alan’s kindhearted spirit every day and knows that he supports her decision to donate the airline miles to Make-A-Wish Colorado.
To donate your airline miles to help wish kids take flight please visit here.Read More
The recent mysterious disappearance of Malaysian airliner MH370 has brought security issues into sharp focus. Airport security is the “necessary evil” you have to deal with every time you take a flight. You have to go through a barrage of security checks to certify you safe for flight.
From full body scans to x-ray scans, there is no running from security. It can be time consuming and a hassle at times. Today we explore steps you can take to make your walks through airport security a breeze.
1) Dress for the Occasion
Post 9/11, everything going through airports is scrutinized. This includes your clothes. For faster processing, wear something light. Heavy jackets and coats have to go through x-ray scanners and delay your progress. Opt for shoes without shoelaces. You have to remove them for scanning thus something easily removable will do. Avoid any metal objects and if you can’t do without them, opt for few pieces. These include jewelery, watches, rings, piercings, bracelets etc. They can’t go through the metal scanner, you have to remove them. The fewer you have the easier it will be.
2) Pack Smart
Your bags, carry-on or checked have to be scanned or manually inspected airport security. Pack light. This will save you inspection time. Don’t stack up items. Don’t over load items into bags. You might have to remove them at the counter or watch them riffled through by security officials. Don’t pack liquids. If you do, follow the recommended 3-1-1 TSA regulations on liquids. 3.4 ounce (100ml) bottle or less (by volume); 1 quart-sized in a clear, plastic, zip-top bag. This will expedite your security screening.
You can check here for an additional list of prohibited items and guidelines.
3) Get Your Documents Ready
Have your government issued photo identification ready and in an easily accessible place. If you are traveling abroad, have your passport ready and ensure its up to date. Carry your boarding pass along with your official documents and produce them whenever they are requested. They will be inspected at different points, ensure you have the right documents.
4) Laptop? Check!
You will need to travel with your laptop often. Especially if you are a business traveler. Laptops can delay your progress through airport security unless you prepare adequately for them.
- Be prepared to prove ownership to customs especially if traveling abroad.
- Carry the necessary documentation to prove ownership and payment of relevant customs.
- Boot the laptop and put it into sleep mode. You maybe required to show its working.
- Carry the laptop with you at all times. Don’t put it into checked luggage.
- Protect it from screening machines. If possible, request manual inspection.
- Have the laptop outside the carry case when you are on the security screening line.
5) Get an Airline Miles Credit Card
An airline miles credit card enables you to earn points/miles from traveling or transacting on it. Airline miles programs also have other perks such as easy upgrades on flights, preferential treatment etc. Among these perks is speedier check-ins and expedited security checks at most airports. This is especially true for frequent fliers who have achieved an elite status level. You can easily reach elite status through loyalty to your program and exploiting any opportunity to acquire bonus miles.
With the right travel bonus credit card program, your airport security woes maybe history!
6) Sign Up for TSA Pre
According to the TSA website, “TSA Pre✓™ allows low-risk travelers to experience faster, more efficient screening at participating U.S. airport checkpoints for domestic and international travel.” Basically, PreCheck allows you expedited security checks at most airports. Other benefits include shorter wait times, shorter lines and improved customer experience. As an added bonus, PreCheck participants don’t have to remove their shoes or belts for inspection. There are no guarantees however. Even when accepted into the program, you may still be subjected to random airport security checks. That said, it beats waiting at the line.
You can check your eligibility here.
7) Traveling With Kids? Prepare Them
Kids can be a major source of snarl-ups at airport security lines. They don’t have to be. You can get them ready and pass through security before you can say Bo! Just follow these simple steps:-
- Carry toddlers in small collapsible strollers. This makes it easy to bundle it onto the X-ray belt.
- Dress your kids for the occasion. They have to go through the scanner with you. Avoid metal objects.
- Baby formula is allowed. Pack it in removal ready kits.
- Practice with the kids at home. Get them used to the idea.
- Arrive earlier. Let the kids get used to airport bustle and relax as they watch airplanes take off.
8) Pack Checked Bags Right
Pack your checked bags light. They have to be inspected, manually at times. Don’t use padlocks to secure them since they will be broken. Opt for non-locking fasteners. Only bring what is necessary and pack valuables separately; never in checked bags. Don’t stack books or documents into bags, arrange them neatly and leave enough room for airport security officials to check them through.
9) Bring a Self-Addressed Envelope
Chances are that one of your items might get flagged; even when you have taken all the precautions. The self-addressed and stamped envelope comes in handy here. You can mail the item back home. Otherwise, you have to fore-go it and risk never seeing it again. Always travel with a couple of self-addressed envelopes in case of these unforeseen events.
10) Ask Nicely!
You will be surprised with how fast you can clear airport security if you just ask! Security officials are human, and travelers too. They understand the hassle you have to go through. If you just ask nicely and follow directions, you just might get bumped to a faster security lane. You might be granted an expedited process!
There you have it. Airport security is necessary for our safety at airports and aboard flights. It helps prevent possible disasters and mishaps. As demonstrated, you don’t have to hassle your way through security. With prior planning and taking a few key steps, you can breeze through airport security and spare time to appreciate the crucial role the security officials play.
What other tricks do you use to speed through airport security checks? Please share in the comments!Read More
If you’ve ever looked at last minute holiday deals, or even those further away in terms of dates, you’ll probably have seen that it’s more often than not cheaper to fly from London than any other regional airport. It’s quite frustrating for those of us that don’t live within easy reach of the capital, however I’ve decided to embrace the situation, and use it to my advantage.
I recently booked one of those holidays. Jetting off from Heathrow, and even with the cost of one of the hotels near Heathrow Airport, I got a good deal on holiday insurance also, the holiday was still cheaper than the same break, departing from my local airport. The major advantage wasn’t just the money saved, because it also meant I started my holiday sooner, had a night’s relaxation in a nice hotel, and I got to see some of London along the way!
Of course, travel costs and the price of staying overnight won’t always combine with the holiday price and still be cheaper, so it is a case of weighing it up before you book, however there are many occasions when it will be a definite option, and in that case, I say book it!
If travelling further, with the risk of delays or disruption, worries you then you can easily check up to date, real-time information on your airport in the days running up to your departure, and on that very morning. I did this, by constantly checking information on Heathrow departures, and was suitably informed. I also found out important information, such as my terminal number, as well as more sociable things, like where to eat and drink whilst waiting for my flight.
All important stuff!
You will probably also see that there are more destinations on offer from London airports all year around, with good flight times. Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, and to a lesser degree, Luton, are all busy, huge airports, so it’s advisable to get there early and settle yourself in, especially if you’re not used to airports on this size scale. Of course, being there early means more time to peruse duty free, which is never a bad thing! Cutting out the stress with organisation means a much less stressful, and calmer start to your holiday too.
So, the next time you see that cheap deal, and you get downhearted because you see it’s not from your closest airport, think outside the box. Travelling a little further afield gives you more flexibility, experience, and also the chance to save money, and these days, it’s always better in your pocket.Read More