Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Virgin Australia and Singapore Airlines decide to share

As a member of Virgin Australia's Velocity Rewards scheme, you can now earn points on Singapore Airlines, and even Status Credits.

Not a bad alliance. I know my preference if I was deciding whether to travel on a code share Qantas/British Airways, or a Virgin Australia/Singapore Airlines flight. Did anyone mention convicts?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Calling all Font and Kearning Nerds

If you are transfixed by the correct kearning of letters of a typeface, or want to understand what kearning is, or just want to amuse yourself for 5 or 10 minutes, then this site is for you:

Kearning Type - The Kearning Game

After 10 goes getting 100%, I proclaimed myself champion, and wrote this post.

Source: Reece Karena

2PAXfly.com: Qantas Lounges soon to have Optus as their ISP

2PAXfly.com: Qantas Lounges soon to have Optus as their ISP: Australian Business Traveller today reports that Qantas is ditching Telstra as its ISP in lounges, and has signed an agreement with Opt...

Friday, October 7, 2011

Dear John (Borghetti)



Dear Mr John Borghetti,

Thank you for matching my Frequent Flyer Status on Star Alliance, and giving me a Velocity Silver card.

Thank you for running an airline that is not plagued by industrial unrest.

Thanks for giving me two free entries to 'The Lounge'. I really liked the one in Brisbane - its crisp and modern and the barista made me a great coffee, but frankly the Sydney Lounge needs a total makeover. It looks like the equivalent of a middle aged hand with badly chipped nail varnish.

Thank you for having a priority boarding lane on all gates.

Oh, and thanks to the lounge staff who let my partner enter the lounge on the same pass, and the flight attendant who gave me a free snack because my partner was on a flexible fair ticket.

Thanks for moving your airline from the budget end, to something like a full service airline.

But, Mr Borgetti, you have to do something about my home terminal. Your Sydney terminal is like an underground bunker combined with the poker machine floor, including the carpet from a leagues club. It's just not a pleasant experience to be in compared to the open airiness of the Qantas terminal.

You gave me the best business class service I have ever had on my flights between Sydney and LA, but until that Sydney Domestic Terminal is upgraded, or you join the Star Alliance, my loyalty will not be completely won over.

I want to be seduced to your side - but you are going to have to try just that little bit harder.

Yours,

(so close its touching) Wannabe Fan

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sofitel Brisbane won't take Phone booking because its Sunday!


Would you believe it.

The Sofitel Brisbane won't take phone booking enquiries on a Sunday. They ask you to ring back between 7am and 7pm on Monday! Or, they will get the front desk to call you back "When they are not busy" to quote the phone answer at the hotel.

Unbelievable! Sure gives you the impression that you are going to be a treasured guest and be staying at a place where service is their top priority!

And what is really weird, is that as part of Accor Hotels, they do have a 24 hour international booking number which you can ring.  Mind you - you have to search for it a bit on the Accor website, and there are different numbers for different countries.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A quick summary of what Angry Birds does to us

I think that this little infographic sums up what Angry Birds seems to do to most of us. (click on to see detail)

Are you part of these statistics?

Scource: AYTM

Monday, September 5, 2011

Design Hotels - the 5 things they get wrong

I love the idea of design hotels - little boutique hotels that have an aesthetic to be admired, sometimes quirky, sometimes cutting edge.

The problem is that they always fall down on the basics:
  1. Inadequate bathroom lighting - as a man who shaves - you need good light - and I am sure the same is true for putting on makeup
  2. No, or too few drawers. In my experience travelers are either unpackers, or live-out-of-the-suitcase types (see below). So why should my underwear or electronic cables litter the room, when a simple drawer would solve the problem.
  3. Never anywhere to put your unpacked cases - so you have unpacked, and you still have to place the cases somewhere annoyingly inconvenient in the room, thus destroying the clean designer lines
  4. Too many sharp corners in inconvenient places. I'm talking about the corners on my bed base that I keep on banging my shins on in a certain Hotel Brick in Mexico City, not to mention almost every piece of furniture at the Adelphi in Melbourne.
  5. Attitude - sometimes you feel like the staff are doing you a favour in their Armani/D&G suits. Think Paramount, and The Standard in New York.
But there is good news. Design hotels often exceed in other areas such as:
  1. Free high speed internet access. Design hotels have worked out that we live in a connected world and expect to be connected all the time. they also realize that charging for it would be like charging extra for pillows
  2. Having a happening bar is an asset. And preferably having a good restaurant - or even both is an essential for those who want to experience the new in a destination.
  3. Good design - like The Standard in New York - where the rooms are small but perfectly formed. All the press goes to the floor to ceiling windows, but forgets the brilliantly designed lounge/coffee/dining table/work desk arrangement.
I'm not going to abandon either chain or designer hotels - both have their place. Chain hotels need to be more personal, and designer hotels need to up their service game.

I'll tell you when I find the perfect mix.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Qantas Classic, Points plus Pay, or Business Class = best way to spend FF points

I feel vindicated. I have ben spending my Qantas Frequent Flyer points not on things like crappy sandwich makers, or Qantas brand luggage, but on classic awards fares, or upgrades to Business class. According to a summary of findings by reports from Macquarie Equities, I'm doing the right thing.

See 2PAXfly.com for the best way to spend your Qantas frequent Flyer points. Read why the Qantas FF business is so profitable.

Friday, August 26, 2011

While Qantas dominates the news with strikes, no dividend and a mainline international operation losing money - Virgin takes the initiative by offering that its frequent flyer scheme Velocity will match whatever status you have on any other airlines frequent flyer scheme.

I've just submitted my request to match to my Star Alliance status. You should get yours in too.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Steve Jobs resigns from Apple

The co-founder of Apple Steve Jobs has announced that he is 'no longer fit' to serve as the companies CEO, and has officially resigned from the position, which according to the existing Apple succession plan will be taken on by what was the Chief Operating Officer, Tim Cook.

Jobs has been battling a form of pancreatic cancer which involved a recent liver transplant

But Jobs is not completely leaving Apple - he will stay on as Chairman of the board.

So what does this mean for Apple:
It's stock was down 7% in after-hours trading, but rallied and was down just 5% by 7:50pm ET (USA)— suggesting Apple’s succession plan had calmed the markets. Mashable
The most influential promoter of Steve Jobs' indispensability, of course, is Steve Jobs. But another person who is very much with that program is the one executive who has actually filled in for Jobs as CEO. That would be Tim Cook, Apple's chief operating officer and its interim chief executive for two months in 2004, when Jobs was recovering from cancer surgery. CNN/Fortune
"Great companies rarely go from strength to strength," said Charles O'Reilly, a management expert, at Stanford University's Graduate School of Business, adding that Apple faces a particular challenge in that Mr. Jobs has had an unusually strong influence in setting Apple's corporate culture and strategy. Wall Street Journal Online
“Investors are very comfortable with Tim Cook even though Jobs has been a driver of innovation and clearly an Apple success. Tim has shown Apple can still outperform extremely well when he’s been acting as CEO,” said Shannon Cross, an analyst at Cross Research.  Telegraph UK
We very, very much hope that the greatest businessman, CEO and product developer of our era is doing okay, and that this decision does not mean his health has taken another turn for the worse. He is an icon and idol who has made this world we live in a better place. We sincerely and deeply wish Mr. Jobs and his family the best. Gizmodo
Consensus seems to be that Tim Cook will continue to streamline Apple's operations, but the inevitable question is - who will replace the vision for Apple which Jobs has so firmly driven, savig the company in 21997, and making it one of the largest companies in the world earlier this year.

As I type this entry on a Mac keyboard, joined to an iMac, I feel that an era is ending.

More analysis to come . . .