Thai airlines codeshare

April 24, 2017 by  
Filed under Editor's Post, Travel Logs

BANGKOK, 24 April 2017: Two Thai airlines finding common ground to cooperate and codeshare spells good news for travel consumers.

Thai Airways International and Bangkok Airways announced a comprehensive codeshare agreement, just days before the mid-April Songkran Festival. It’s good news that will make it considerably more convenient to fly the national airline and connect with Bangkok Airways to 10 destinations in is domestic network. Read more

Travel wrecked by a bully and trickster

April 18, 2017 by  
Filed under Travel Logs

BANGKOK, 18 April 2017: It wasn’t a good week for consumer protection for US airline passengers and  Thailand’s Songkran holiday makers.

Airport security guards assaulted a passenger on a United Airlines flight at Chicago’s O’Hara airport, while here in Thailand more than 1,000 holiday makers were stranded at Suvarnabhumi airport, victims of an elaborate scam.

United Airlines faces a rough ride on every front. Read more

Thanks India for easy visas

April 10, 2017 by  
Filed under Don Ross, Editor's Post, Travel Logs

BANGKOK, 10 April 2017: India might be a giant in the outbound travel stakes capable of  challenging even China in the long-run, but it is often classed as an under achiever in the lucrative inbound travel market.

That is likely to change as India continues to liberalise and open its visa procedures.

Last year, India attracted 8.89 million visits in 2016, representing an increase of 10.2%. Some of the credit for growth should go to the government’s decision make it easier to obtain visas. Read more

Sabre rattlers swipe Champagne

March 27, 2017 by  
Filed under Don Ross, Travel Logs

BANGKOK, 27 March 2017: The first time I witnessed a demonstration of Sabrage, the art of opening a bottle of champagne with a sabre, was at the St Regis Bangkok a few years back. It was quite impressive especially the part when the cork, still attached to the bottle’s lip, shot off in the direction of the well stocked bar lined with expensive wines and liquors.

It made it to the bar top and landed an ice bucket. Well done, cried the F&B manager and we all applauded the feat like kids at a circus.

Where I hail from there was a significant lack of champagne culture. In the 1960s folk in Manchester, UK, frowned on pub goers sipping champagne, let alone whacking them with a sabre. Read more

Laptop ban: Is there a commercial plot?

March 23, 2017 by  
Filed under Don Ross, Travel Logs

BANGKOK, 23 March 2017: Trump’s arch enemy, The Washington Post, fielded an alternative explanation for the US laptop travel ban that it claimed was more to do with commercial reasons than a terrorism threat.

Writing in The Washington Post, Wednesday, Henry Farrell and Abraham Newman, professors at George Washington University, suggested that the ban might have been more to do with economic protectionism than a national security threat.

Domestic Homeland Security says the new rules were introduced because of intelligence that shows terrorists are continuing to target airlines flying to the United States. Read more

Laptop or bomb who knows?

March 22, 2017 by  
Filed under Don Ross, Travel Logs

BANGKOK, 22 March 2017: The latest inflight ban on laptops and other devices larger than a mobile phone sends mixed messages, most of them the worrying kind.

Once the US declares an aviation related ban it is usually adopted worldwide. Within hours the UK introduced a similar ban and Canada is likely to follow later today.

Right now the US ban relates to 10 airports in the Middle East and airlines based there that fly to US destinations, but three of the identified airports – Dubai, Doha and Abu Dhabi – are major hubs for global networks. Read more

Bad manners in the sky

March 20, 2017 by  
Filed under Don Ross, Travel Logs

BANGKOK, 20 March 2017: Expedia’s study on Thai airline travellers’ perceptions of good inflight manners hits the nail on the head, but some of the blame for delinquent behaviour should be placed at the boardroom doors of domestic airlines.

Yes, seat-back kickers are animals. They spoil your flight with their fidgety Kung Fu kicks, although I tend to put it down to the absence of breast-feeding when they were cuddly babies. They still think they are infants in a cot kicking the living daylights out of a feeding bottle. Could there be another reason?

Perhaps they are considerably taller than the airline’s arbitrary ruling on the average height of an Asian passenger. Read more

Thai cash floats Michelin guide

March 13, 2017 by  
Filed under Don Ross, Travel Logs

BANGKOK, 13 March 2017: Michelin Guides arrive on Thailand’s varied and exotic dining scene and the government’s decision to seed the project with a USD4.1 million grant raises a few eyebrows and a chorus of dismay from foodie tourism critics.

Understandably, the government is keen to exploit Thailand’s success that has placed its devilishly hot, spicy cuisine top-of-the-table in almost every capital city, worldwide. It’s a success story that is now justifiably the pride of Thailand’s chefs and restaurateurs, who spent decades striving to elevate Thai cuisine to become an international brand without a dime’s support from government.

Now Michelin has dropped by to pick up the cheque and frankly it might be resented, or seen as a waste of public funding. Read more

Are Chinese travellers a pain?

March 6, 2017 by  
Filed under Travel Logs

BANGKOK, 6 March 2017: Chinese are not alone when it comes to spitting out of car and bus windows, or urinating behind an obliging tree, but we conveniently like to think they have a monopoly on bad manners.

Late last month, China National Tourism Administration released a survey on whether Chinese travellers were improving their manners when visiting the top 10 overseas destinations.

(See Read more

Fair Prices please for everyone

February 27, 2017 by  
Filed under Don Ross, Travel Logs

BANGKOK, 27 February 2017: We are comfortable with Fair Trade having read the small print on the label of our joggers that confidently assures us they were manufactured with an eye on ethics.

Fair play is internationally accepted as the ruling principle in the drive to rid global sports of cheats. No one challenges that enterprise.

So why is the tourism industry slow to campaign for fair prices? We don’t see the UNWTO coming out in condemnation of dual pricing that is practiced by many of its member countries. But there is no doubt that establishing prices based on nationality is a form of discrimination for the rest of the world. Read more

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