Quest's blog: On the road
By CNN's Richard Quest
YOUR E-MAIL ALERTS
(CNN) -- Posted: April 25, 2006
I have been on the road now for the past two weeks. From LHR to PVG (Shanghai) to SYD to AKL to LAX to HSV (Huntsville, Alabama.)
I am now heading back to LAX and tomorrow I go home. Road warriors will recognize that there is nothing unusual about this sort of lifestyle; where we can quote airport codes better than we know our own family's birthdays.
Over the next few months this is going to be a blog of my travels and the trials and tribulations that go with it. About every week I will update it. I ask you to contribute your feedback -- your own stories, your own comments and your own thoughts. What did I do right and what did I do wrong? And hopefully over the next few months we can, together, share our misery on the road. You can e-mail me, and yes, I will read all the emails ...
My gripe today is thoughtless passengers behind me that heave themselves out of their chair grabbing on to the back of mine! What is up with these people? Don't they realize when they do it, they effectively give me a roller coaster ride? I know some airlines (I think it's Virgin) actually have somewhere in the in-flight mag a warning about doing this.
I was snoozing wonderfully listening to my iPod -- I think it was Pet Shop Boys -- when the person behind decided to go to the bathroom. Heave ho, up they lifted and in doing so woke me and the guy in the seat next to me. And then, yup, you guessed it the same when they went to sit down. Why can't they use their own chair? It's even worse in economy (yes, I was in First Class. I paid a US Airways FirstUp at the gate $40 per 500 miles alright alright alright, your sympathy is evaporating.)
Talking of that, it really is a risk waiting to see if a paid-gate upgrade is available. Both J and Y class were heaving at the doors (the new U.S. Airways must be making some money on these routes at least ... )
Anyway ... next time you have to get out of your seat -- spare a thought for the traveler in front! Unless of course you want to annoy them because they've reclined into your dinner! That's another story.
NZ2 to London tomorrow -- looking forward to trying out the NZ version of the VS bed. Will report back ...
Memo to Quest: You are never too experienced to make a silly mistake...
I am on the last leg of this RTW ticket (a Great Escapade ticket that allows me to use VS/SQ/NZ). It's a paper ticket with coupons.
BINGO -- check in for the NZ2 at LAX and realize that somewhere up route the WRONG coupon has been pulled and I don't have a coupon for the last leg from LAX-LHR. Catastrophe!
NZ required me to go back to VS as the original issuing carrier to revalidate. Thankfully, VS is at the next check-in desk, not another terminal, but VS wanted to know where the lost coupon was before they'd issue a FIM (Flight Interrupt Manifest.) I had no idea what had happened to it or when it was mispulled. Round and round in circles.
I imagined the worst-case scenario where I'd have to buy a rev ticket -- grim!
I didn't get angry. I didn't pout. I sort of looked like I was about to burst into tears (not far from the truth -- I am pretty tired from all this travel.)
Finally they did agree to check me in and said they'd sort it out later.
Moral of the tale? No matter how many miles we fly, or how much elite status we have, there's always the chance to fall at the final hurdle. I am getting so used to traveling on e-tkts that I have forgotten the disaster that befalls you when you lose a paper ticket or coupon (how many of us have had to buy new tickets and then go through the rigmarole of claiming a refund.)
Memo to Quest: Check -- check and check again. You are never too experienced to make a silly mistake.
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