Connect with us

Travel

This is what long-haul travel to Europe looks like right now. Spoiler: It sucks

Published

on

By


Alan Granville is a travel reporter for Stuff.

OPINION: I have to admit I’m not a big traveller.

Yes, Alanis Morissette could add another line about how ironic it is for the travel reporter who doesn’t really enjoy travel, but here we are.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the ultimate destination and joy of exploring a city, region or country, learning about new places and cultures, trying local food and drink, but the nuts and bolts of getting there are overwhelming and rather stresses me out.

I’m one of those “we have to be at the airport four hours before our flight” type of traveler, constantly checking to make sure my passport is in my pocket while constantly worrying about flight connections and if I should be must have a pen ready to fill out an arrival card. You’ll never see me on The Amazing Race, that’s for sure.

CONTINUE READING:
* Travel writers reveal the best places they’ve visited
* What you should pack in your hand luggage in the travel chaos
* Flying from Wellington to Dublin: A 41-hour journey of attrition

So you embarked on a delayed, Covid affected trip back to Ireland last month Filled me with both genuine excitement at seeing my family again after four long years and uneasiness at having to contend with traveling in a world of endless airport queues, AWOL luggage and general flight chaos.

It turned out that my fears would come true completely.

Try and fail to sleep at Singapore airport.

Alan Granville/Stuff

Try and fail to sleep at Singapore airport.

Long-distance travel still sucks

First the bad news. All of the usual aspects of long-haul travel that were (literally) a nuisance in the past are still there, just with a glossy coating of pandemic. Lots of waiting, outrageous food prices, boredom and stunning seats now coupled with face coverings, empty airport shops and extremely hassled staff.

Unless you’re sitting at the pointy end of an airplane, long-haul economy class travel is still an acid test that relies heavily on a) having a good airline and b) having well-behaved fellow passengers.

Luckily the airlines my husband and I used to fly to Ireland and back were mostly decent. Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa, Aer Lingus and Qantas were all seen somewhere along the way and I cannot fault the crew or the service. Where available, there were no bad meals, and drink and drink breaks were frequent. So that’s a big tick in the positive box.

But no matter how good the airline, I don’t think an economy seat is particularly comfortable on a flight longer than an hour, even on the state-of-the-art Singapore Airlines A350 we had on one of our legs . It was a case of constant fidgeting and desperation. I envy and sometimes despise those who can sleep on airplanes.

The flights were all full, so there was little or no movement to take over an empty row. After four years of non-long haul, I had also forgotten how difficult it can be to grab a meal in a confined space. I just resorted to throwing bits of rice towards my mouth. It mostly went in. Usually.

Which brings me to my fellow travelers. For the most part they were pretty good, but it It only takes one horrible experience to ruin a trip. Ours were very, very, VERY active little kids who spent 13 hours screaming and kicking the longest leg of the journey from Singapore to Amsterdam while their gentle parents looked on humbly. It was on an airplane.

Masks suck (but are necessary)

Look, I’m not getting into the often heated debate about masks, but wearing them for hours on end on flights is irritating. I don’t think anyone really likes wearing them, but these are the times we are in that it’s a part of life. For the record, I’m pro-mask because I’m immunocompromised.

There was a very adamant passenger on a Singapore Airlines flight who made it very clear that he dislikes wearing masks and that the crew could not force him to wear them. It wasn’t for health reasons, he just didn’t like her. He protested before he got on the plane, he protested on the plane, and no doubt he protested afterwards.

Here’s the thing, you bought a ticket from an airline that makes mask use mandatory. You have even been to an airport (Singapore) where it is mandatory. You cannot ignore these two facts. If you’re too valuable to follow the rules, book tickets with a mask-free airline. Making the already difficult job of ground crew and flight attendants even more difficult doesn’t make you a bigger person. As I said, nobody likes to wear them, but it’s something we need to do on certain services. Suck it on Buttercup.

Masked at Singapore Airport.

Alan Granville

Masked at Singapore Airport.

Queues suck

I’m not sure what has happened since Covid emerged, but I think researchers need to look at the effect of Rona on people’s ability to queue.

This has been exacerbated by staff shortages across the industry as the rapid return of travel combined with the desperate need to rehire those who have been axed during the particularly dire times of the pandemic has caused general confusion.

Three separate check-in experiences resulted in queues that merged, split, and then merged again as travelers grew frustrated with a lack of direction from staff, as well as a lack of open check-in counters.

It took more than an hour to walk a few steps at the Lufthansa counter at Dublin Airport when the ‘bags check only’ queue formed, only to be closed by a puzzled-looking staff member through a queuing barrier flap fold them back into the “Check-in only” line. As more than 100 people tried to get the attention of the limited check-in staff, voices were raised, nerves racked and trolleys pushed against each other.

A global shortage of baggage handlers has led to an increase in the number of delayed or lost bags.

Getty Images

A global shortage of baggage handlers has led to an increase in the number of delayed or lost bags.

Losing your pockets sucks

I cannot describe how happy I was when I saw our bags fall onto the carousel at Dublin Airport. Horror stories pollute ours Travel issues section but we had escaped unscathed on the outward flight. That changed on the way back.

I knew we would be in trouble because of a short connection time. Our tickets allowed an hour to change trains in Frankfurt. However, our arriving Lufthansa flight was delayed by 45 minutes. Luckily Lady Luck smiled at us as we pulled up to our gate, right next to our next Singapore Airlines plane. We were in Germany a total of five minutes when we raced up the gangway, turned left and raced down the next gangway. We made it…but our luggage didn’t.

If there’s one crucial tip I can give budding world travelers right now — buy a baggage tracking device like an AirTag or Tile. We had put one in each of our two bags and as we made our way to Australia to catch up with my husband’s family we were able to see the bags come to life. The lovely lady at the baggage handling desk at Brisbane airport assured us that our luggage would be forwarded to us at our next stop in Hervey Bay.

The bags did arrive in Brisbane but then firmly refused to move. For days we could see the luggage was there and our tiles were pinging the locations. However, it proved impossible to contact Singapore Airlines or the baggage handler Swissport. An automated daily email said they were working hard to locate the bags. But we knew where they were – Brisbane. More than 30 calls to a voicemail or answering machine added to the frustration. The (non-)conversation went back and forth.

Eventually a begging message on social media helped clear the blockade and a very apologetic Singapore Airlines got us back together with our bags the day we flew back to Wellington from Brisbane.

Covid sucks

Oh yes my husband and I also contracted Covid in Dublin where I gifted it to my mum and we then missed a belated celebration of our wedding with my family and saw the cancellation of my aunt’s 90th birthday party. But that’s a story for later.

I know traveling has always been a privilege, especially over the past few years, and it’s something I will no longer take for granted. It’s great to see the world opening up again, families and friends being reunited, new and old destinations being explored and rediscovered. I just hope when it’s your turn to ride long distances the experience won’t be that crappy.



Source link

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Travel

List of Top Amazing Places to Must Visit in 2022

Published

on

By

List of Top Amazing Places to Must Visit in 2022

Are you a newly married couple searching for new experiences and recollections collectively with out denting your financial savings account, or do you wish to plan a household journey with out spending your retirement or emergency funds? 

You may contemplate taking a travel loan from famend monetary establishments or NBFCs at reasonably priced rates of interest. Nonetheless, chances are you’ll be confused about which locations it is best to go to which can be on virtually each traveler’s record. So, listed below are probably the most appreciated locations in India and overseas the place you’ll be able to plan your journey utilizing a private mortgage. 

Listing of Prime Wonderful Locations to Should Go to in 2022

  • Assam – India

Amongst many stunning states, Assam is one with a definite id and is on the precedence record for nature lovers. There are various sanctuaries and nationwide parks the place you’ll be able to see animals just like the one-horned Rhino. You may go to many fantastically designed historical temples. Vacationers can take pleasure in quite a few scenic parks like Nehru Park, the place you’ll be able to see imposing granite sculptures.

  • Switzerland

Switzerland is the choice of people who wish to take pleasure in snow-capped mountains. A metropolis in Switzerland – Lucerne, is understood for its medieval structure in stunning mountains. Swiss chocolate and Swiss timepieces are ready for you – the one place to expertise them. Put an finish to your worries about touring bills. Take a journey mortgage with a versatile compensation facility of 12-60 months. Now you can plan the holiday you could have at all times desired.

  • Paris – France 

Paris is a vibrant and alluring touring spot recognized for the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum – the Palace of French kings, and varied different thrilling and delightful locations. You may go to iconic monuments just like the Arc de Triomphe and Notre Dame Cathedral, which is within the rebuilding course of, apart from the town’s quaint cafes and avant-garde artwork galleries. So, put together for a Paris journey and make your dream come true.

  • Bangkok – Thailand

Bangkok is an iconic spot for a trip. Its variety within the world-famous scrumptious road meals have to be alluring for a lot of. The largest buying centre – MBK Centre – is located in Bangkok. You may go to the Grand Palace – the official residence of the king of Thailand. Thai delicacies can be there for you.

  • London – the UK

London is likely one of the cities that has one thing for each traveller. Historical past lovers can go to the British Museum to see Egyptian mummies and Buckingham Palace to benefit from the change of guard day by day. Artwork lovers can go to the Nationwide Gallery, the place work by Leonardo Da Vinci are the important thing sights. You can too see the conflict room utilized by Churchill in World Battle 2.

  • Hong Kong 

There’s an growing variety of vacationers visiting Hong Kong, and there are various causes for this. There’s a well-known gentle present in Hong Kong Harbour. The skyline is simply as fabulous, with a particular level known as Victoria Peak. You may have a look at the sight views utilizing telescopes. There are the most important Buddha statues and scenic magnificence lined by forests. After all, how are you going to keep away from the enduring Disneyland in Hong Kong? Take pleasure in all of the rides within the Disney theme parks impressed by Chinese language tradition.

You may shortlist your favourite locations and plan your tour one after the other utilizing private loans for touring. 

Allow us to see the eligibility for the greatest private mortgage rates of interest from the main monetary establishments. 

Straightforward Eligibility for the Greatest Private Mortgage for Journey

  • Age Restrict: The mortgage applicant ought to be between 21 and 65 years previous. 
  • Fundamental Earnings: The lender needs a minimal wage of Rs.20,000 a month, relying in your metropolis. You will get a mortgage quantity as excessive as Rs.25 lakhs.
  • Credit score Rating: A mortgage applicant’s credit score rating is the first issue {that a} lender opinions to approve a mortgage quantity. Most lenders require a rating of 750+.
  • Whole work expertise: The lender checks your employment historical past to supply the greatest private mortgage rates of interest. Total work expertise ought to be a minimal of 1 yr and 6 months with the present employer.

https://www.traveliogroup.com/category/travel-products/

You may verify your eligibility for a private mortgage for journey utilizing the private mortgage eligibility calculator obtainable on-line totally free. Discover one of the best NBFC providing fast private loans digitally and prepare in your journey to your favourite place internationally.

Continue Reading

Travel

DOT proposes new airline refund rules amid travel chaos

Published

on

By


comment

The Department for Transport has proposed new rules to better protect travelers if their flight is delayed, canceled or otherwise significantly changed – in response to the “barrage of complaints about air travel” the department has received since the coronavirus pandemic began , it said in a press release.

By defining when a flight can be considered canceled or significantly changed, the proposal aims to fill a gap in the Department of Transportation’s ability to prevent what it sees as unfair practices in the transportation industry and airlines to oblige consumers who they believe are victims of these practices to be reimbursed.

If it goes into effect, it would be the “biggest expansion of travelers’ rights in decades,” according to Scott Keyes, founder of a website that helps travelers search cheap flightshe wrote on Twitter.

So what does it mean for you?

What are the proposed rules?

Under the proposal, which is subject to a 90-day public consultation period, airlines and ticket sellers would have to refund consumers if they “significantly” change their flights.

This applies to domestic flights delayed by three hours or more or international flights delayed by six hours or more. It would also apply if the departure or arrival airport is changed, if additional connections are added, or if the class of service or aircraft type is changed, e.g. than expected.

If an airline published a flight in its online reservation system when the ticket was sold but ultimately did not operate the flight for any reason, it would be considered canceled under the new rules.

From traveling light to booking your flight direct with the airline, here are some helpful tips to keep in mind during particularly chaotic travel times. (Video: The Washington Post)

“When Americans buy a plane ticket, they should get to their destination safely, reliably and affordably,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in the release. “This new proposed rule would protect travelers’ rights and help ensure they receive the timely refunds they deserve from airlines.”

The new rules would also require airlines to issue ticket holders who decide not to travel because they are ill or are unable to travel due to government travel restrictions, including, for example, imposing a quarantine requirement on incoming passengers, with no expiration date. In the case of airlines receiving future government bailouts, the rule would require them to issue refunds instead of credits.

But there are limitations. For example, if someone books a flight but later new public health restrictions are imposed that would render the trip “pointless”, that person would be eligible for a non-expiring voucher or credit. But if someone does not check what is required for the trip, such as B. PCR tests, and cannot travel, he is not eligible.

How do they differ from the current rules?

Under current rulesTravelers to and from the United States are already eligible for a refund if their flight is canceled or significantly delayed and they choose not to take another option, or if they were involuntarily downgraded to a lower tier than what they paid for , to be demoted.

However, because the Department of Transportation does not define “substantial delay,” the question of whether travelers are eligible for a refund depended in practice on many factors “including the length of the delay, the length of the flight” and individual circumstances, it said. When a complaint is made, the individual process for the department to determine whether a refund is required takes a long time, she warns consumers.

Vacations Gone Wrong: Read these six stories of epic travel failures

The lack of clarity about what constitutes a canceled or significantly delayed flight has led to “disagreements between airlines about when passengers are eligible for a refund,” the transport ministry said in the press release.

Meanwhile, passengers who choose not to travel because they are ill or are particularly susceptible to illness are generally not protected by current regulations. For this reason, people who are ill and could infect others, or people who are particularly at risk of becoming seriously ill, can still travel so as not to lose the money they spent on their ticket. “This type of action by consumers is not in the public interest,” the department said.

Welcome to the travel hell of summer with lots of gas and canceled flights

When would this take effect?

The Department of Transportation’s proposed rule still has a while to go before it can be enacted. After the period of public hearing 90 days ends, the department reviews the comments and decides whether to keep the proposed rule unchanged, modify it, or withdraw it.

Anyone can comment, including businesses that would be affected by the rule. If the rules are enacted, companies can apply for an exception, which the department will only consider if it finds that “unique circumstances were not taken into account in the rule-making”.

What rights do I have if my flight is delayed now?

Travelers have reported a spike in travel issues this summer – from canceled or delayed flights to lost luggage and strikes – as many countries eased or eliminated all pandemic-related restrictions, which has led to higher demand and airports and airlines have been unable to cope.

Have nearly 550,000 flights been delayed So far this year, the United States has operated more than twice as many such flights in all of 2021, according to the Department of Transportation. More than 88,000 flights were canceled, about 3.2 percent of all flights, compared to less than 1.6 percent of flights last year.

If your flight is one of them, the current rules still apply. For a flight arriving or departing from the United States, you are eligible for a refund if your flight is canceled or significantly delayed and you decide not to choose another option. This also applies if you are involuntarily downgraded to a lower service than you paid for.

How to get refunds from an airline if your flight is cancelled

You are also entitled to compensation if you were denied boarding because your flight was overbooked and you did not voluntarily give up your seat. Airlines are allowed to overbook flights and there is no minimum they have to offer when asking travelers if someone is willing to take a later flight. passengers have reported that airlines have offered thousands of dollars for people who voluntarily get kicked off their flights.

If you are involuntarily bumped, airlines should provide you with a form detailing your compensation claims, which are often tied to arrival at your final destination. Keep in mind that most airlines require you to be checked in or at the boarding gate by a certain time in order to be eligible for compensation over and above the cost of the flight.





Source link

Continue Reading

Travel

First EU travel route with only digital ID pends approval: Finland to Croatia

Published

on

By


Passengers could soon fly to Croatia from Vantaa Airport in Helsinki using a digital ID on their phones instead of a physical ID card or passport, subject to approval by the European Commission. However, in the initial phase of the project, passengers would still have to take their passports with them to return home, the reports Sanomat newspaper Helsinginvia online translation.

Finnish authorities will need guinea pigs to test the first cross-border route, but they have yet to pack their tiny suitcases. The first step is to complete the application by the end of August and await the European Commission’s decision on whether to fund the pilot. If approved, a multi-stage pilot would begin, with the Commission reportedly keen to see the results of such pilots, with a view to rolling out digital travel documents across the EU.

If approved, the project could begin by the end of the year, although there are no direct flights between the two Finland and Croatia until spring 2023. Finland is therefore considering other destinations. The Netherlands and Canada are also mentioned.

Mikko Väisänen, inspector of staff at the Finnish Border Guard, said the Commission had contacted Finland to see if it was interested in participating. The use of digital ID cards could help speed up checks.

phase out of the physical

In the first stage, a passport would still be required. Väisänen told Helsingin Sanomat that a traveler would have an app on their phone containing a digital travel document. Before the trip, they would send the information in the document to the border authorities electronically and in advance. The data will be deleted after the trip.

At the border control, a photo of the passenger is taken for identification. The passenger would have to hold the passport over the reader but not open it for a scan. This would be to read the chip. In a later step, the passenger could hold their mobile phone over the reader.

Similar plans exist for Croatia, but passengers would be required to carry physical ID to ensure they can complete all stages of the journey.

Helsinki’s Vantaa Airport would have a line for departing and arriving passengers to pass through border controls during the digital ID pilot.

The digital travel document could also eliminate the need for boarding passes and other documents, as facial recognition could be used at security and boarding instead, says Väisänen.

Finland may also plan to use it Biometrics from civil and tourist traffic Serious Crime Investigation Register.

Article Topics

biometric passport | biometrics | Croatia | digital ID card | EU | Finland | apartment | pilot project | travel documents





Source link

Continue Reading

Trending