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On late night flights

Heathrow T5 at 9.40 pm is a ghost town. There are five people in the giant BA lounge, and all the food is being cleared away. I have never flown out so late before, and the whole airport is strangely empty. I am on the third-to-last flight of the night; the last one is at […]

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Heathrow T5 IRIS scanner shut until further notice

The reason it is so quick passing through the iris recognition immigration system (IRIS) lane on returning to London’s Heathrow Terminal 5 is that not many people are able to use the lane. Why not? For the last four months – at least – the airport authorities have kept the office shut, where travellers could […]

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Heathrow pod Personal Rapid Transit System

Driving home from the airport around the Heathrow perimeter road, I caught sight of these little pods ferrying people around the Terminal 5 long-stay carparks.   As a London resident, I don’t have much call to frequent the long-stay carparks, which is a pity because these four-seater pods look like an ideal alternative to the […]

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No-frills travel liable to offend senses

A guest posting from Caroline Murray, blogging for ICIS on her way to a symposium on PET in Florence … This time last week I donned my trendiest shades to protect my eyes from the garish orange hue that is Easyjet, on a non-business flight to London. Once jostled into position I was forced to fold my […]

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NASA lift-off for ICIS Heren

On a trip to see the ICIS Houston office last week, three of the London ICIS Heren team were invited to a special ‘Salute our Shuttle’ evening at the Johnson Space Center just south of Houston.   Just for workers and their friends and families, it was a tribute to the end of the space […]

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The Guard – and a good cinema

Contains very strong language, strong violence, sex references and drug use, said the warning on the cinema website. I didn’t think that sounded like my kind of film, but “The Guard” is very funny and even quite touching. It is a story about an Irish village cop and a straight-laced FBI agent, and their fight […]

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The best of fellow travellers

The easiest of flying companions is my son. After years of student travel on bargain Megabus or Megatrain, the world of taxis and planes holds only relieved delight for him. When a succession of airline staff bid him good morning, he replies with a surprised smile, and he picks up a free newspaper with glee […]

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Fish foot spa at Edinburgh airport

Foot-nibbling fish are swimming hungrily in a green spa tank in the middle of the concourse at Edinburgh airport.   Foot-weary travellers can have the fish chew off all the dead skin on their feet, in full view of passers by, next to Gate 11 in departures.

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KLM Dakota at Edinburgh airport

A surprisingly old KLM Dakota propeller plane was taking off from Edinburgh airport on Thursday morning as the Blog family was passing through.   Later the local paper revealed that the Dutch airline was celebrating 65 years of flying to Scotland. The airline’s chief operating officer said, in a stirring statement of Scottish solidarity, that […]

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Brave new food – durian mooncakes

It is time to give durian fruit another chance. A stall outside the Marriott Singapore on the corner of Orchard Road is selling a variety of mooncakes for the Mid Autumn Festival, and one of them is “Snowskin Mooncake Pure Mao Shan Wang Premium Grade Durian.”   I’m up for that, although not a presentation […]

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