Saturday, January 6, 2007

Loving British Airways

This is more of a plug than advice.You've read the first class lounge story. Still one of my fondest travel memories. But here's another. Last year I decided I was tired of watching Dick Clark's New Year's Rocking Eve on TV. So I decided to go somewhere and have fun. The destination ended up being London. I love London. It's one of my favorite cities. So I booked my ticket. British Airways had the best price for my dates at the time. I chose the e-ticket option. We all remember what happened with the paper ticket. Not that it was a totally bad thing. But I didn't want to be on a first name basis with their customer service reps AGAIN. They even let you print your boarding pass at home the day before. Easy right? Yeah, wait for it. Well, I tell you I was damn grateful I did the e-ticket route. The shuttle pulled into JFK about 70 minutes before my flight was scheduled to board. I still had to check my luggage and find the gate in the horrifically overcrowded airport. I hear from my traveling buddy in Chicago(we were meeting in London) she's fine and boarding her flight to Gatwick. Lucky her. Now they call my flight. I wait for my seating rows to be called and they scan the barcode on my pass. I was in row 36 or something close to it. I upgraded to Coach plus for the wider seat and free newspapers. Hey, with nothing to for 6 hours I wanted something to read. So I bop down the jetway(narrowly avoiding being searched by the non-hunky security) and all the way to my seat. I have my coat off and am sitting down when....the jetway attendent comes up to me and tells me there has been a mistake. So they take me off the plane back to the gate. I will confess to being a little nervous. What kind of mistake? And can they fix it in under half an hour? It wasn't too nerve racking. The computer had a fit. It wasn't used to scanning the e-ticket boarding pass barcode. They gave my seat to someone else. But that was okay. Since it was their screw-up they upgraded me. Business class baby! Which reformed my thinking about just paying for the first class lounge. The extra money for leg room and food is worth it. They hung up my coat, got me a drink, gave me a menu for dinner. It was great! For the first time on an overseas flight I actually got some sleep. Everytime I fly British Airways something good always happens. I mean other than going to London.

Monday, January 1, 2007

If you can't be a good example v.2

Okay jump to mid December. Remember these are real life experiences that I hope you learn from so you aren't the horrible warning.For the last ten or so years the women in my family have gone to lunch and theater in New York City with the children.Most of the time we go to Radio City Music Hall for the Christmas show. But we've seen The Lion King and Mary Poppins and Beauty and the Beast too.My mother has bought the tickets for the kids. This year it was all 5 of my nieces and nephews. And she pays for the train ride, and usually lunch.So, you know, it adds up. Especially for the Disney shows.But most of the time she was glad to do it. Except for this year.First of all, my aunt and cousin get lost and blame Mom. They didn't pay attention to where they were going. In one of the biggest, busiest cities on the planet they let their attention wander. With 5 kids. Smart.Second, they don't understand that when theatre starts at 2, theater starts at 2. So hurrying is a good thing. You don't stop to put on hats or look at store windows or gawk at celebrities. It doesn't start at 2:30 or whenever you decide to get there.Third, please don't stand in the middle of the sidewalk on Broadway and dither about what you want to do next. I mean it's a pretty busy place. Same goes for Times Square. Unless you are taking photos with the Naked Cowboy. ;D But that's different.Okay, fourth and most important. When someone treats you to theatre and lunch and a train ride to NYC thank them. Offer them candy, or to pay for their lunch or buy them a souvenir. SOMETHING for crying out loud. Just to show them that you aren't totally selfish and self-absorbed.And fifth. It's standard etiquette to leave with the person you came with. Check Emily Post, Miss Manners, The Fabulous Girl's Guide to Etiquette, How to be a Lady, ect. So yes, that means sitting with them on the train, unless the train doesn't have enough seats when you get on. That's different.So here endeth the lesson. But stay tuned for lesson 3.