SSSS – not on our boarding pass please!

Have you ever wondered about those cryptic letters on your airline boarding passes? Now we are sure you are more than familiar with the flight class indicated on the pass. And you’d also be aware of the airport codes in case you fly to the wrong city with the same name (remember this post?).

Now if this article is accurate, then having the letters ‘SSSS’ printed on your boarding pass would be a big no no. Now just in case you did not read the article, let us summarize it for you. This code essentially identifies you for additional security checks before you board the aircraft. It means you will be Sadly Suffering Security Screening… though that’s not what it’s suppose to mean… heheh. Hey, this was the best we could come up with. Applause please.

Of course this was making reference the folks traveling to and from the US. But before you snicker at the thought that this does not affect you because you are not stateside, think again. You never know if this will be implemented in a different form elsewhere. Wonder why the security check folks ask for your boarding passes all the time even after you’ve been id checked? Perhaps in other airports there are similar codes which have been surreptiously incorporated onto your boarding pass without you ever noticing? Have we gotten you paranoid now?

Look out for strange and indecipherable codes on your boarding pass the next time. What did you find peculiar?

Fly like you were at home

Once more, we are witnessing ever increasing juxtapose. In the airline business of course! Time to set aside all these bad press recently and dream a little. Will you pay for the opportunity to fly in what is touted as the world most advanced airline seat? One that makes you feel at home, as if you were lying on your own bed? Assuming you love you own bed in the first place.

Well this article shared how high tech has transformed the way priority passengers will be treated to when they need twenty winks while flying to their destination(s).

You might have read in our past posts (here and here) about futuristic developments when it comes to the flying experience. In those articles we had read, the common thread is appears to suggest how airlines can fete passengers to a new level of comfort. Our view? It is more of an approach to “up trade” the flying experience for the ones with the means to pay. Which means it is not applicable to most of us.

No. This is not a 99% rant. That’s so passe.

Rather this is an examination of the travel equivalent of the ‘misery index’. One where it is postulated that airlines sets the travel conditions to be so onerous that one would simply pay to get out of that situation. Checked bags? Pay. Choose seats? Pay. To which some might throw their hands up; heck with all of this, just buy the full fare ticket. Or better, since it may be a long flight – perhaps buy that business class seat that turns into a bed?

Will you fall for this ruse? If you had the means, would you pay to sleep on the plane as if it was your bed?

Waving a stick

Can you imagine a stick being waved in your face as you walk along? Well, that’s the subject of this ban in Milan some months back. And they are not the only city or attraction to roll out this rule – ie no use of a wefie stick. How risky can it be some may ask?

Well. Did you know that India has been cited to be where the highest incident of fatalites occur from the taking of selfies and wefies? If statistics are reliable (and sure take it with a pinch of salt), it is said that almost half of the fatalities worldwide occurred in India. Most of the occurrences were from falling and drowning. And specifically for India there was mention about railway track deaths too. Even Wiki has an article on this. Wonder if it was because of lack of transparency that we don’t get much of data about fatalities in other countries…

Of course some might be curious as to what numbers are we talking about here. And that’s where we come to a grey area. The Boston Globe suggests 127 fatalities over the last several years (kind vague huh?). Does not sound like a lot? Well every life is precious you know.

Anyway.

We wondered what happened to good ole asking a favour from other folks to take a picture. Because that seems safer and it is pleasant to return the favour too. Unless one is intent on taking risky photos – such as the rooftop ones we cited here. Now that one you’ve signed onto a totally different thing because you know the risk.

Does this convince you to swear off taking selfies or wefies now? Or are you guilty of waving a stick in the air too?

Happy 2018!

Although our little red dot won’t be the first to receive the new year (the Chatham islands of NZ does), we are nonetheless part of the hemisphere that spins into 2018 first. We use this word because this blog’s all about spinning little yarns for your reading pleasure. This is also the beginning of the third year of our blog. So we wish ourselves happy blogging day too.

And to you we wish you did not have too much of a hangover from last night.

Last year at this time we sent a post out from the Phoenix hotel on the outskirts of Beijing airport. So apt. The phoenix symbolizes a new beginning, rising from ashes and eventual ascendency in the skies. And so we store and put away 2017 to look forward to the new year.

This year, we shall continue with our handprint stories and share with you the journalogs of our journeys. The quarterly newsletter will be in its final year of publish and shall be discontinued, since we’ve observed that there is too much duplication with the blog. We shall also be starting up regular posts on the MRT stations of our little island + especially the environs around them. A sort of local tourism, unfortunately we are not commissioned by anyone to do so… they can pay us though because we don’t mind. Don’t argue with money – that’s our motto. And keep it comin

Have you made any resolutions to keep for this year? Or do you think resolutions are passé?

A selfie is all it takes

Imagine you are walking to your airline departure gate. You have only your hand carried luggage with you. Your passport or identification documents are tucked safely inside your bag. No boarding pass. And you get onto the flight.

What! No hassles?

Yep. If the trial that this airline in the US proves viable (read here), we could all just be taking a selfie and get on our way – flying across the friendlier skies… without being beaten up or dragged off the plane heheh…

Yes. Simply take a photo at the boarding gate and you will be waved through when the system signals the all clear. Wow we hear you holler out. Is that possible in today’s security obsessed airport terminals? While it is only a trial between one port pair from Boston to Aruba (hmm… wonder why), this pilot (not the flier) has great potential to be rolled out across all airports and airlines. A wonderful development in our opinion. Because it’s definitely coming, since iPhones can already do that.

One thing though. Because this technology works on image recognition, one might want to ensure that one’s photo records in the passport, immigration and identification documents are closely matching. Perhaps the software is intelligent enough to get through it these days (such s the physical features), but it pays to be diligent. Because our facial features do change as we age (that’s another topic to delve into). Don’t rely on that old photo in your driver’s license!

We’ve been writing about how it gets more onerous to travel these days. So this is definitely one step in the right direction to lessen stress from air travel. Here’s to more seamless travel. One less hassle is always welcome.

Reduce, reuse and recycle

Oh wow. Talk about the 3Rs. Shocking were the words used for this story on the web a few months back. Can you imagine drinking a glass of wine poured from this bottle? True. True that there could have been good reasons for doing so. And perhaps readers who know better can comment. But today our focus is on airline waste. So maybe the attendant was not wrong in doing what she apparently did.

You’ve heard about the amount of waste we (ie humans) have generated. There are many a statistic, and one claims that we purchase a million bottles of plastic every minute! Wow. Can you imagine the volume of trash that is building up. This reminds us of the animated feature “Wall-e”. Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth. The story is that by the year 2805 the planet is contaminated with too much waste.

Think we’ll last that long?

There is a guardian article (here) that suggests that 5.2 million tonnes of airline waste is generated every year. And that some airlines are finally attempting to help reduce this load. A wonderful development in our opinion. Here’s a thought. While we do not support budget airlines with no frills at all such as catering, how about making it mandatory for passengers to choose their meals and drinks ahead?

It may sound draconian, but packaged and marketed appropriately (heheh, occupation hazard) this can become a ‘feature’. That way, airlines can work seamlessly with catering companies to prepare the right meals, reducing the “buffer” stock of meals they need to carry with them on the plane. We probably can’t bring back the use of metal utensils on flights anymore (perhaps except in business and first), but perhaps a move towards bio-degradable ones could help?

Wouldn’t you support efforts to reduce waste from your flying?