Showing posts with label airlines. Show all posts
Showing posts with label airlines. Show all posts

Thursday, July 26, 2018

On inlfight meals on Thai Airways

I always opt for Thai Airways for flights between Manila and Bangkok, if I had that opportunity. No, its not an unpatriotic thing that I don't fly Philippine Airlines or Cebu Pacific. I do when I'm on a tight budget. But given the sponsorship (I was invited as a resource speaker at an international workshop.) and seeing that Thai was (surprisingly) less expensive than PAL, the decision was easy. Service, for one, is better and then there is the food. Inflight meals are notoriously lesser quality on-board PAL and CebPac. PAL experienced a resurgence of sorts the months it was managed by San Miguel but reverted when the beer conglomerate quit the business.

Snack in the form of salted and roasted almonds and a glass of orange juice
Lunch on board Thai Airways economy class
I've written about inflight meals before and I guess the better ones were on-board Singapore Airlines, Japan Airlines and Emirates. I can only say that from the point of view of an economy class passenger. The wife tells me food on business class is definitely much better. :)

Friday, April 13, 2018

On inflight meals again

During my recent travel to the Netherlands, I decided to take Emirates in order to have more manageable (for me) times in flight. The flight between Manila and Dubai was about 7 hours while the flight between Dubai and Amsterdam was about 8 hours. My layover in Dubai was 4 hours. That meant a lot of time to walk around and get my bearings between long flights. I have also been informed that the inflight meals on Emirates were better than most airlines even on economy. I must agree with that observation and I’m now posting some of the “stolen” shots I took of the inflight meals.

Breakfast served on the Manila-Dubai leg of my trip
Breakfast on the Dubai-Amsterdam leg of my trip
Menu on the Dubai-Amsterdam leg of my trip
Details on the meals served on the flight between Dubai and Amsterdam

The lunch selection was okay and I always thought that one doesn't have to consume everything served to you inflight. Eat and drink just enough so you won't feel hungry or thirsty on a long flight. Check out the food if the taste suits you. If you don't feel like eating or it doesn't taste right to you then perhaps you should pass or opt for some light snacks. I do recommend drinking more as you tend to become dehydrated especially on long flights.

I refrained from taking photos of my meals back to Manila but they were again alright compared to most inflight meals I've had. I guess the better ones I've had would be those on my long-haul flights to and from the US via Japan Airlines (JAL). Of course, I am sure that other people would have other opinions about inflight meals including those who categorically state these are unhealthy. You are certainly entitled to your opinion. :)

Friday, November 17, 2017

Of collections and model airplanes

I have several hobbies collecting various items of interest to me. When I was much younger I had several collections, too, including stamps (I was pretty much into philately at one time) and coins. My stamp and coin collections started with the stamps and coins Tatay brought from his trips overseas particulary from Japan and Indonesia. He made a lot of friends from different countries and they exchanged greetings on Christmas and New Year for a few years. It was later when he participated in an international training program in Tokyo when suddenly we had mail coming from many countries including Africa, Europe and Asia when I was encouraged by my mother to start a collection. She and a close cousin even bought me albums for where my stamps can be organized.

My coin collection started with Japanese coins but I eventually got more from various countries thanks to an uncle who was a seaman. His pasalubong to me were coins from the countries whose ports their ship called on.

Fast forward to the present and I now have a few active collections including my humble watch collection (mostly Swatches that I use regularly) and model airplanes. The planes aren't the kind you assemble from so many parts but rather the ones airlines and shops typically sell as scale replicas of their own aircraft. I only collect planes from airlines the wife and I have flown on. And so there are not so many of them but they have already occupied a good amount of space on my office shelf.

British Airways model plane being assembled. This was purchased by the wife during her most recent trip.
Qantas and Cathay Pacific model planes mounted, and British Airways model underway. I got the Cathay and Qantas models from a toy fair where one booth was selling models. I was tempted to purchase others but I had to keep by my code about airlines we have flown on.

The challenge for me is to find models of planes I've flown in the past and that includes one of the now defunct Northwest Airlines (acquired and now flying as Delta) and another of Egypt Air. I also don't have JAL and ANA planes. I hope to get one from each airline soon as well as those from Asiana and Korean Air.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Flying again

The Clairvoyant's post this morning read like this: "after months of nesting, hitting the skies again." While its not been so long since the last time she traveled overseas (the last time would be May 2014 in Hong Kong), that was almost 5 months ago. We moved into our new home only last March right after we traveled together to Tokyo in late February. Since then, I have had the more recent trips, both domestic, to Iloilo and Puerto Princesa only last month.

Her trip to London will be a long one, around 15 hours non-stop. I just hope that her aircraft is a good one. We've been reading a lot lately about Philippine Airlines downgrading the plane used in its Manila-London-Manila flights. They started out with their newly acquired long-range Boeing 777's but now are using "used" Airbus A340's for the flight, which happens to be their only one in a European destination. I make a big fuss out of this because the sleek B777's are better equipped for long flights even for people traveling on economy (or Fiesta Class as PAL terms it). The A340's are supposed to have been leased by PAL from Airbus and were previously utilized by another airline so they have had some mileage among them. Shame on PAL for downgrading the aircraft. They don't seem to realize how much "word of mouth" and online buzz this is generating that will eventually hurt their ridership along this route. Apparently, as one online article points out, PAL has decided to deploy their B777's to the US routes. The direct flights to San Francisco and Los Angeles had been utilizing the B747s that were already retired recently. So it seems the focus is the US market where, of course, there is a considerable number of Filipinos that they think will likely take PAL between Manila and SF or LA.

I was reminded of one flight from San Francisco where people expected a B747 only to board what seemed to be an older A330 heading back to Manila a couple of years ago. That was definitely a letdown in terms of comfort and a lot of passengers were probably thinking that they won't be flying PAL again after that. This is basically the sentiments of a lot of people who flew between Manila and London after the downgade. And to think that the options prior to the direct flight by PAL were Singapore Airline via Singapore, Thai Airways via Bangkok or Cathay Pacific via Hong Kong - all excellent carriers. There are no shortcuts to getting back the confidence of travelers and earning back a reputation for good service (PAL was excellent before!) and PAL definitely needs to determine (and quickly!) whether it is lining up as a budget carrier or a legacy and full service airline that it should be.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Inflight meals

I don't usually take photos of the meals I've had during flights. This is so even in cases where the temptation was so strong to take a souvenir shot or two because I was impressed with the service even though I was flying economy. Such were the cases every time I flew Singapore Airlines, which I believe is one of if not the best airline I've flown to any of my destinations. Previously, I thought the economy class meals on Japan Airlines and Asiana Airlines were the better meals I've had inflight. However, I've always exercised restraint in taking photos mainly due to the dyahe factor because there was another passenger seated beside me. But as temptations go, I finally gave in during one return flight to Manila when I was all by myself in my row inside the plane.

Chicken, mushrooms and noodles c/o Thai Airways
Perhaps I should try to take more inflight meals later just for comparison. My next chance would probably be on my upcoming trip to Hong Kong when I will be taking our flag carrier, Philippines Airlines.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Aircraft models

I like to think of myself as an unconventional collector. This is because I have several collections including stamps, coins, bills, model tanks, comics, toys, and others. My collection of collections now includes a few aircraft models including three commercial airliners and two bombers. The latest addition to my small fleet is an Airbus A380-800 I bought from Singapore Airlines, the first airline to fly the huge jets. This adds to my humble collection of two models - a Philippine Airlines Boeing 747-400 and a Cebu Pacific Airbus A320. The small collection is symbolic as I have been flying in and out of Singapore to visit the Clairvoyant and our home for a little more than 1.5 years in that city state.

The box with the plastic wrap
Photo of the box with the plastic cover off/removed
Contents - components still in their cases/wraps
Aircraft model parts
Underside of the model with my Swiss knife as a reference
Unmounted model aircraft
Testing the landing gears - they actually work!
Aircraft model mounted for display
Mounted model photographed using my BlackBerry Bold
Our humble collection of aircraft

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Plane always late

I had an unpleasant experience yesterday mostly about waiting for my flight to Singapore to finally announce boarding. When I first arrived at NAIA Terminal 2, I already saw the announcement on the electronic board that my flight would be delayed by an hour. I like to be always early for my flight so that I wouldn't have to rush through travel tax payments, checking in, and immigration processing. I always assume that there will be many other passengers every time I travel abroad and that the terminals (whether 1, 2 or 3) will be very crowded. There are also the security checks that are sometimes lax and sometimes strict. So an hour delay was relatively acceptable considering the turnaround times of aircraft. What was not good was the anouncement an hour later while I was having a late light lunch that our flight would be further delayed by another 3 hours! And so I ended up with a rough start to a

I am no stranger to delays, whether on domestic or international flights, and I have written about what has been a harrowing experience only last June on my trip back from a conference in Korea. That experience reinforced my acceptance of delays only if the reason would be related to safety. That is, I have come to accept that delays are inevitable due to technical or maintenance issues. After all, I would not want to experience engine or other troubles while in the air. I am quite thankful that I am not one of those who have such experiences where the plane had to turn back or had to make an emergency landing because of technical problems.

In this case, however, I suspect that it is not really a case of engine trouble or whatever technical difficulties was announced as a general reason for the delay. The airline has been experiencing a lot of other troubles lately and these included serious labor issues and their pitch for flights to additional destinations to the US being disapproved for a variety of reasons by FAA officials. The consequences have included possible cancellation of orders for aircraft that they intended to use for these flights. Not that they would need these aircraft at current demand considering that they have fewer aircraft to juggle, and this has led to delays that have been experienced by not a few travelers. In fact, I pity those who had to make an effort to transfer to other airlines to make their connections. That is a terrible predicament that I wouldn't want to experience myself. In comparison, the main competition is pushing through with 20 aircraft orders in the next 3 years that should allow them to expand domestic and international offerings that would surely escalate a competition that seems to be as one-sided as many already perceive these days based on ticket sales alone. Clearly, the monicker "plane always late" need not be reinforced by the airline and they need to address a whole lot of issues including those relating to management considering that they have been steadily losing ground to competition for quite some time now. Their only advantage has been their flights to the US and Canada, and soon that advantage will vanish and further endangering a franchise that was touted as Asia's first.