I’m on a packed 6 o’clock day-trip commuter flights back to London from one of the chemical hotspots of mainland Europe. Every seat is taken. Next to me, two men in suits are buying trinkets from the “Shop in Flight” magazine. STOP! What are you thinking of? Do not ever buy your sweetheart gifts from the on-board Duty Free. Don’t you know it’s the equivalent of buying plastic-wrapped flowers from the petrol station forecourt? Do you imagine that your partner never opens the in-flight magazine? If you can’t pick up something in the city you’ve visited or in the airport shops (and I know some of them are pretty barren, eg Frankfurt), it’s best to forget it altogether.
Tag Archives | business travel
I am prepared to believe that Shanghai Pudong airport’s new Terminal 2 is the most beautiful and tranquil airport in the world. The soaring architecture, the serenity and the sparkling cleanliness of the place all play their part, but for the final astonishing touch, you have to see the washrooms in the Shanghai Airlines first class lounge. Here you have the last word in hi-tech toilets: heated seats, various angles and directions of water cleansing aimed at your lower torso, a choice of spurting or pulsing water jets, and such a variety of flush modes that I just didn’t have time to work my way through them all.
Nothing beats the daily rush-hour commute on the Shanghai metro for getting the real flavour of working life in the metropolis. From the minute you step into the station – by-passing the teams of workers polishing the ground, the railings, the turnstiles – to when you drop your four yuan coins into the ticket machine, click through the ticket barriers and swarm onto the trains along with hundreds of other office workers, the whole experience is efficient, cool, air-conditioned and above all, to a seasoned London commuter, clean. It’s six stops to Songhong Road, at the western end of Line 2.
The European Commission’s approval of mobile phones on planes means that passengers will be able to have those important “I’m on the plane” conversations within months. The UK’s telecoms watchdog Ofcom has given the go-ahead for the service to be offered on British aircraft, and the Blog is sure that chemicals folk will be amongst the early adopters on this as in all other communications gadget freakery. However, the British “Daily Telegraph” newspaper has launched a campaign to keep flights mobile-free, saying: “We believe that for the sake of passengers’ sanity and security all flights should be kept mobile-free.”
Our Houston petrochemical readers will enjoy this musical dig at American Airlines, which I’ve just seen from our fellow bloggers at Airline Business. From The Arrow – Classic Rock 93.7FM in Houston, it stars the station’s morning show hosts Dean and Rog in a parody of “American Woman” – featuring the immortal lines “I have to get to Baltimore/but now I’m sleeping on the airport floor.”
An empty flight is a joy to mankind. The vacant seats and the lack of visible activity make the ten-hour flight from London to Houston, Texas an entirely stress-free experience. Best of all, we nip through the dreaded arrivals hall and immigration in a matter of minutes instead of the usual hour’s zigzag queuing.
Are you booking your hire car for the long drive from Houston to San Antonio, Texas for the NPRA chemicals conference at the end of March? Be sure to request this added security feature, the “Trunk Monkey”, as recommended today by our fellow bloggers at the Made by Monkeys blog. (Disclaimer: The Blog in no way endorses violent conflict resolution.)
Moscow tops the world’s capitals in terms of hotel room rates, according to our fellow RBI bloggers at Travel Weekly. Here is the top ten from a survey out today by Hotels.com of the average price per night and increase/decrease from 2006 to 2007. The Blog isn’t so sure about what you’ll get for your money in London at £115.