Posted February 17, 2011 by BookingBuddy
Ever wondered why inflight food hardly ever tastes good? Celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal attempts to answer that question while trying to satisfy the tastebuds of 100 000 airline passengers. He will be doing all that and more, in the tiny confines of a plane’s galley. This will all be part of his Heston’s Mission Impossible programme, to be shown on Channel 4.
Blumenthal will be collaborating with BA crew members Jackie Simister and Simon Curley in order to come up with a meal that will taste just as good at 35 000 feet in the air as it does on the ground. They will be working with Steve Walpole, BA’s develop chef to develop that meal, which will then be judged by a tasting panel.
Changing the bad reputation of airline food may seem like an impossible mission, but Blumenthal is no stranger to challenges. If anything, the award-winning chef of the Fat Duck Restaurant in Bray seems jump at them. He recently gave the menu at Little Chef a make-over, and will also attempt to do the same for NHS meals in the Heston’s Mission Impossible series. If his menu for BA proves successful, then BA passengers will be able to enjoy his creations as part of their inflight meals. Anyone ready for snail porridge, followed by bacon-and-egg ice cream?
Posted October 7, 2010 by BookingBuddy
It looks like we may never escape from them after all. Twitter has been taken to new heights these days (quite literally), and addicts can get their latest tweet-fix even while in the air.
Finnish carrier Finnair has just announced the launch of its own Twitter page. This will be an addition to Finnair’s Facebook page and blog, so you can keep up with every bit of activity the airline gets up to. Finnair is just the latest in a long line of technologically savvy carriers that have jumped on to the Twitter bandwagon. Other airlines that have followed suit include British Airways, Air Asia, Air France and EasyJet.
It may seem like airlines are merely riding the Twitter wave in a bid to score some ‘hip’ points and attract customers. However, it makes sense for airlines to utilise these social networking tools, especially during urgent situations such as the Eyjafjallajokull eruptions. In such cases, airlines would be able to use their Twitter and Facebook sites to notify their passengers about new developments. These sites are also useful as marketing tools, to let potential passengers find out about upcoming deals and discounts.
Posted November 3, 2009 by BookingBuddy
Start packing your swimsuits and sunglasses, and head to the Caribbean this winter! BA has launched several new flights to the Caribbean this season, bringing their total number of flights to the region up to 45 flights every week. The new flights will be between London Gatwick and Montego Bay, Jamaica, and Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic (both known for their sun-drenched beaches). These new routes mean that British Airways currently offer more flights to the Caribbean than any other UK carrier.
So if your summer tan is fast fading away and you’re languishing under layers of knitted jumpers, maybe it’s time to ask the boss nicely for a week or two off. After all, lounging about on the golden sands of a beach in St. Kitts, rum-based cocktail in hand, will surely help recharge your batteries in no time. Just tell your boss you’re trying to boost your productivity. If St Kitts or Montego Bay isn’t your scene, BA also offers flights to Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada, and St. Lucia. Just open up a map of the Caribbean, close your eyes point, and BA will take you there.
And don’t forget to pack your sunscreen!
Posted December 31, 2008 by Jaklien van Melick
Travelling for work may sound very glamorous, but everyone who does it on a regular basis knows how lonely it really is. Your friends and family may be green with envy when you’re dashing to Heathrow airport to hop on yet another flight to yet another far-flung city, but really, what’s so great about watching TV you don’t understand and having another club sandwich because that’s the only thing you really like on the room service menu? Sure, you’ve racked up a gazillion British Airways frequent flyer points, but believe me, it’s b-o-r-i-n-g. Or should I say; was boring?
On Triplife.com, the networking website ‘where travellers click’, you can find people who are in the same boat (or plane or hotel for that matter) at the same time you are. It’s free and easy to join and all you have to do is enter your travel itinerary and voila, you have found yourself a travel buddy. At least that's the idea. You could hook up before your trip and travel to the airport together, arrange to sit next to each other on the plane, share a cab, work out, meet for dinner, drinks or both. Whatever you fancy. No more lonely nights channel surfing in your hotel room. And if you’re really lucky, you might even meet Mr or Mrs Right. Who knows? Provided you’re single, of course. Everything is possible. So no need to bring your book or newspaper to dinner anymore and it sure as heck beats spending the evening with the remote control.
I don’t know about you, but I'm really looking forward to my next business trip—although I will miss watching Rambo in Korean.
Posted December 11, 2008 by Jaklien van Melick
After Lufthansa’s takeover of bmi, now British Airways, the U.K.’s flag carrier and Qantas, the ‘Flying Kangaroo airline’, are reported to be discussing a possible merger. A decision will probably not be made anytime soon, but it made me wonder what this airline would look like. Would the British stiff upper lip fit in with the laid-back Ozzie attitude? Let’s take a little preview, shall we?
When boarding travellers are greeted with a 'g’day mate' or a 'how do you do, madam' by flight attendants wearing tweed uniforms and Ugg boots. A symphony of bagpipe and didgeridoo music sounds through the cabin as passengers try to find their seats, which are upholstered in fabric with aboriginal prints and Burberry head rest covers. The drinks from the mini bar vary from ice cold Foster’s beer and fine wines from Hunter Valley to warm ale and Tetley tea with milk. The menu features kangaroo steak and ale pie or crocodile roast with Yorkshire pudding topped with a Vegemite gravy. The in-flight entertainment consists of endless reruns of Eastenders and Neighbours that can be enjoyed while nibbling on Quality Street chocolates and Tim Tams from the midnight snack bar. On overnight flights passengers cuddle up underneath English duck-down Doonas and in the morning the crew serves a full English breakie accompanied by Weet-bix.
It's not set in stone yet, but with all of these cross-cultural combinations, how can this merger not be a great success?
(Photo: News of the World)
Posted December 4, 2008 by BookingBuddy
For those of you who own one, the iPhone has been a whole other universe of fun. Sure, you carry it around all the time in case an ‘office emergency’ crops up, but when you think no one’s looking, I’m pretty sure you turn on the iBeer application and pretend you’re having a pint in the office while listening to its realistic gurgling sound effects. Or maybe you have a go on the Ocarina app and rock out, hippie-style.
But some people may be surprised to find out that the iPhone isn’t simply a pocket-sized fun factory, it actually is pretty useful sometimes, too. For those of you that travel frequently for business, you might be pleased to find out that, in July this year, British Airways launched an application that allows passengers to check in using their iPhones. No more waiting in line!
And once you’ve checked in, there’s no need to sit idly by waiting to board the plane, you can always download another application on your iPhone and play with it … er, work on your next presentation. Once you’ve arrived at your destination, you can always download maps onto your iPhone, saving you from the embarrassment of getting lost in a new place. Perhaps the only downside to owning an iPhone is saying goodbye to any free time you might have, as you’ll probably spend it all popping virtual bubble wrap on the Bubblewrap application.
Posted November 11, 2008 by BookingBuddy
Were you one of those kids who always wanted to be a pilot? Then you grew up and realised that running around with your arms spread while making whooshing noises was a lot easier than actually flying a passenger plane and being responsible for hundreds of lives. So you got another job instead. Or you became John Travolta and got a boatload of money and can now afford to buy your own planes.
Well, if you’re not John Travolta, let’s hope your job pays you enough to be a member of British Airways' Executive Club. Why? Well, BA’s CAE 7000 Series full-flight simulators (try saying that without pausing for breath) are now available to members of the Executive Club to try out.
Wannabe pilots can choose from a fleet of Boeing aircraft, and spend between one and three hours in them. The simulators also offer a wrap-around display (so you can see what’s happening in the pretend sky), full-motion feedback, and space for an entire cockpit crew.
So, you may not be John Travolta (and let’s face it, he’s got a double chin these days anyway), but you still get to enjoy the fun of flying without any of the potential drawbacks..
Posted November 4, 2008 by Jaklien VanMelick
After 50 years of roaming around Paddington train station in London, the quintessentially English Paddington Bear is broadening his horizons and trying his luck in the sky. The mischievous, but well-mannered bear from darkest Peru is the new face of the children’s fun pack on all of British Airways' international long-haul flights.
Pretty much everyone in, and possibly outside of the U.K. who has been a child in the last 50 years, is familiar with the story of the orphaned bear who travelled all the way from South America to England. He was found by the Brown family in a quiet corner at Paddington railway station,which is of course how he got his name. The Browns adopted him and took him to their home in Notting Hill where Paddington got into all kinds of trouble.
Since last October, British Airways have been offering their young passengers between the ages of three and five Paddington-themed activity packs on those long-range flights. On flights from the U.K., the pack will hold a Paddington Bear case including an activity book, stickers and crayons. On flights to the U.K., children can entertain themselves with another activity book, finger puppets and more crayons--all in a Paddington backpack.
Now hopefully your kids will not get any naughty ideas from the furry troublemaker. Otherwise those already-very-long transatlantic flights could get even longer.
Posted October 30, 2008 by BookingBuddy
Ever been about to check in, and then decided, at the very last minute, that you want to live the high life and get a seat upgrade? It used to be that you had to be famous or own a company before the airline deigned to allow you that sort of privilege.
But recently, British Airways came up with a better idea—you’re able to spend your hard earned cash and splurge on an upgrade, even right up to the very last minute. Unless you’re Heather Mills, this sounds like a pretty decent idea.
The service was first offered at Gatwick Airport last year, and has proved so popular that BA is also introducing it to Heathrow Airport. Passengers will have the choice of paying extra during check-in to move their seats to the Club Europe business-class cabin or the World Traveller Plus premium-economy cabins.
And just in case you think it’s going to end up costing you an arm and a leg (which you probably would have lost when someone sat on top of you in economy class anyway), fear not, the service only costs £100 for European flights and £180 for flights further ashore. When you think about it, it’s not a lot of dosh to shell out to avoid a sweaty neighbour sitting on your lap during a long-haul journey.
(Photo: British Airways)
Posted October 21, 2008 by BookingBuddy
Surprise, surprise! Even judges on reality TV shows can get it wrong too! Turns out being on television doesn’t save you from hanging your head in shame, red-faced about having made a mistake. And what is this ‘it’ that those TV personages have got so wrong this time?
Well, economy-class travellers, say a big ‘Hello!’ to the Jetsleeper? The what? No, the Jetsleeper isn’t some new overnight airline service, it’s a pillow! Alright, maybe it’s slightly more than a pillow. The Jetsleeper works by being a self-expanding pillow with two straps. You hook one over the top of your seat and the second one over the armrest, thereby sparing yourself the pain of a stiff neck after a long-haul journey.
The Jetsleeper’s inventor, Tim Williams, had previously gone on ‘hit BBC2 series’ Dragon’s Den in an attempt to secure funding for his invention. However, the show’s panel of multi-millionaires—including Peter Jones, Theo Paphitis and Duncan Bannatyne—rejected the proposal.
Williams’ invention has come at just the right time. Now that U.S.-based carrier JetBlue has decided to charge for pillows on their flights, who’s to say that their European counterparts won’t follow suit? The Jetsleeper also ensures a more comfortable flight for travellers who can’t or won’t pay for an upgrade to business class. At around £20 per pillow, it’s certainly a lot cheaper than paying for a Club World seat on a British Airways flight, and much more affordable than having a private cabin on Singapore Airlines.