EasyJet Customer Experience – A failure waiting to happen

As companies continue to inch (literally) ever closer toward greater and greater productivity, I can say that I was only mildly amused when the EasyJet flight attendant on a recent flight cajoled us into listening to the pre-flight safety announcements. As with most of us who travel a lot, we consider these announcements over the loud-speaker as an obligatory nuisance. On this particular EasyJet flight, I decided to put down what I was reading to listen. One specific part of the instructions caught my attention. Not that I am against productivity gains; nor am I against an airline wishing my safety. However, someone needs to revisit and update what must be a rather old script.

In case of emergency landing, take the customary “brace” position, by bending over, placing your head between your legs and tucking your arms around your thighs.

Not being of the circus contortionist variety, I can say that I am just about able to put my chest on my thighs, nothing more. Getting the head to tuck down neatly is a bit of a stretch. And, I am fortunate not to have a pot belly.

Brace for it

Here are the instructions as printed on the plastified sheet in front of each seat (in this case for an Airbus A319/320). Continue reading

When collaboration goes wrong – Why the power of your network is vital

In today’s connected world, we have had to learn to find ways to break down silos, to work in networks and to collaborate with others. I believe that the power of your network is keenly related to your ability to survive.  It is a key part of the so-called “web 2.0” world.  Most companies struggle with this because it requires two fundamental shifts:

  • getting internal teams to work together
  • listening to customers

I have long felt that you are as strong as your network, the people you know and the people with whom you are associated. In some countries such as Japan, China or Korea, in order to do business, companies typically need to create partnerships or joint ventures with local players, and it’s not always obvious with whom to partner.

The power of your network in the CLOUD

On my most recent trip to Australia, I flew to Melbourne via Guangzhou.  I am a frequent flyer on Air France, part of the SkyTeam alliance, and for the leg from Guangzhou to Melbourne, flew on China Southern Airlines (CZ – corrected 27 Sept 2013 thanks to Olivier’s comment!).  CZ is one of the 19 partner airlines of SkyTeam.  As such, I assumed that CZ would be of similar quality to AF.  It turns out, from what I understand, that CZ is the largest, but third best airline in China, and a far cry from the AF standards.  Granted, this is from an experience on just two flights (same route), but if CZ is a large organization, boasting the largest fleet and network of routes within China, it is not on par with Air France.  I note, meanwhile, that SkyTeam also has three other Chinese partners.

Skyteam brands, Minter Dialogue

INCONSISTENT MESSAGING

Aside from the fact that the “SkyTeam” pre-roll advertisement on the inflight entertainment directly contradicted my experience boarding (priority boarding was closer to a mass rugby scrum), there were some major disappointments in the level of service on board.  The staff was well meaning, but the caliber of service in business class was substantially weak.

QUALITY IN THE DETAILS

For starters (literally), the appetizer was a rather poor excuse for a starter.  I think the term would be closer to an unappetizer.   Presentation, quantity and choice were below standard.  See for yourself.

China Southern Air Appetizer, Minter Dialogue

THE IMPORTANCE OF WRITING

The menu was handed out before take-off.  The CZ process requires that I pre-order my meal before take-off.  The English language version featured a little storytelling.  Aside from the rather primitive story and incompatibility with the meal I was served, I noticed a couple of grammatical errors in the menu.  Can you find them?

China Southern Air menu, Minter Dialogue

I cannot reveal to you the discomfort of the Business Class seat (barely the equivalent of Economy Premium in Air France, with a 3-tier seat that provided an incline of under 120 degrees). It measured just 48cm in width.  Meanwhile, the inflight entertainment system was broken.  Symptomatic of the situation, the “remote” was rather beaten up (see below).  And the choice of films was reminiscent of TV in 1970s with a selection of around 15 English language movies.

Power of your network - China Southern Air Hand Remote, Minter Dialogue

The moral of the story

You are your network.  CZ is clearly pulling down the Sky Team partnership.  In a flat world, companies need a strong coalition to cover the four corners.  I wonder how Sky Team came to the conclusion that they should ink a deal with CZ.  Perhaps they underestimated the need to have partners, thinking that they were able to manage themselves.  Perhaps they were slow to recognize the legitimate interest in BRIC “third world” countries.  Perhaps they were too late to sign up the better alternatives?

China Southern Airline’s motto is “Fly like the first time.”  Clearly, they have forgotten to cater to those who have flown before!  In their trailer, they gently wax: Whichever you trip you take, preparing is like child’s play, featuring kids running around in a backyard.  They even feature a gratuitous Labrador dog in their trailer.  All rather puzzling and unrelated to the business in which they are operating.

As part of the SkyTeam network, there are 520 member business class lounges around the world… I had no major quibbles about the CZ lounge in Guangzhou, but on my return leg, I had to make do with the AF side of the lounge and there were no quiet and/or comfortable seats.  I was disappointed that there was no access to the CZ side!  Here again for SkyTeam members, one expects consistency in quality throughout the network, otherwise, it degrades the value of belonging to the network.

Power of your network

In any event, the formation of Sky Team, is an excellent demonstration of how and why it is critical to choose the right partners and to form strong partnerships.

I know there are many horror stories in travel.  This was far from a horrible experience.  Here, I wanted to illustrate the power of your network, rather than just berate CZ.  The staff on board were indeed well intentioned (and I send a special wing tip to the Purser, Ms Lin, on my return journey).

Model Jet RC SR71 Blackbird

Sehr schön! This is a 7-minute video of the flight of a model RC SR71 USAF jet plane (the “Blackbird”) made, it seems, by a German engineer.  The video has nearly 2 million views as we sit today. Proof that a great innovative product can get attention still!  Worth taking a look at… especially if you like gadgets.  Comes with twin jet engines and retractable gear.

Spelling Mistake at Orly Sud Airport… really!

Have you ever spotted a spelling mistake on restaurant’s menu and wondered if you should tell the waiter?

What about when you see an error on an official document or signpost?  Wouldn’t it be handy if, right near by, there just happened to be a comment box (complete with a pen on a string) where you might be able to jot down and drop in a helpful comment?

Instead, I am again left with the only means I know how: a little blog post.  Below is an error spotted at the baggage carousel area at Orly Sud airport, Paris.  I had spotted mistakes in less developed airports (most recently in Marrakesh), but Paris should know better.  Forgiving the extra space after Norway, I could not, however, let the faulty translation of Islande pass by.  For my friends from Iceland: I am looking out for you!

CDG Airport Error on Signpost: Island instead of Iceland

No smoking ban enforced on planes — why the ashtrays?

Airline Toilet DoorDo you know that there has been ‘no smoking’ policy on airlines since the mid 1990s*? How can you possibly not know that? Then, the question I have is: why do airline companies — and their suppliers Boeing and Airbus, in particular — continue to produce doors for the toilets with embedded ashtrays? Having taken to the airs first, no smoking is now terrestrial in many places in most developed countries. Mindsets are changing. Habits are evolving (if not decreasing unfortunately, in the case of smoking). Airplane constructions have changed in many ways — with so many companies ardently looking at ways to reduce weight and costs. How is it, then, they still waste resources and money on these archaic ashtrays which now become the favoured repository for used chewing gum and other bits and pieces? Even the flight attendants on a recent Virgin Atlantic flight were hard pressed to come up with a sensible answer (**see below for someone else’s more elaborate response). Having checked on my three latest flights (two Boeing 747 and one Airbus 777) and seen this extraneous appendage 3/3 times, I will now need to cross-check with some brand spanking new planes to see if the folly persists. Anyone seen anything different? On your next flight, check it out and report back please!Airline Toilet Door Ashtray


As usual, I found that somebody else was on the case ahead of me. No harm! See here at Good Experience.

Surely, no smoking means no ashtrays needed, don’t you agree?

*The first ban in the US on flights 2 hours or less was April 1998; that was a year after Canada I might add. Coverage of the first US ban can be found here on the NY Times. It seems that, as of 2003 per A.S.H., meanwhile, only 91% of all flights to/from the US have a smoking ban. Does that include non commercial flights and freight? In any event, I personally have not been on a flight that allows smoking for over a decade.


**You can also find a good meme here on www.airliners.net. And I have copy/pasted a comment that I thought was quite fun by hungupanddrive:


“What’s broken is the attendant’s response.
The reasons that ashtrays still exist on planes are:
1. Cheaper to install, then re-tool the assembly line
2. Not all planes are manufactured for the airlines. There is such a thing as a privately or corporate owned airbus A321
3. Smoking is not banned everywhere in the world, but planes are sold everywhere.
What I find broken on planes is the razor blade disposal in the lav. When is the last time anyone used a safety razor for shaving? And, if they did, what are the odds they would be doing it in a moving airplane?”

Airline Competition & Inflight Entertainment – How do they fare?

AIRLINE COMPETITION & INFLIGHT ENTERTAINMENT
ARE YOU ON BOARD?


As the competition for airline passenger dollars is only going to get worse — between higher oil costs, personnel issues & union negotiations, terrorism threats, ecological considerations [not to mention economic crisis] — you wonder how most of the companies in the airline industry are going to get through this. In many regards, the question is whether the airline companies have kept a keen eye on customer satisfaction? For myself, there are five key criteria (in order):

  • time/direct flight
  • cost
  • comfort
  • food & amenities
  • service

The first two criteria have the benefit of being quantitative. The last three are subjective and certainly vary within a company’s fleet, much less between the competitors. So, on what basis should airlines be competing?

Although the US market remains the most active in terms of volume (see here for the Worldmapper by number of flights by country), the margins are clearly under tremendous pressure and there seems to be little value creation by the US companies. The hub system, security hassles and unpredictable weather make travelling in the US already quite the burden. But, on top of that, the US airline companies seem to be in a negative spiral of cutting costs, eliminating frills and, as a consequence, taking the fun out of flying — particularly for domestic flights. It would seem that the US airlines are bent on competing on cutting of costs, which unfortunately means too many grumpy personnel and unhappy passengers.

Looking at Europe, you only have to think of the exits of SwissAir (now Swiss Intl Airlines) and Sabena (now Brussels Airlines and 45% owned by Lufthansa), the continuing tribulations at Alitalia and the massively splintered market (with each country having its own network of companies) to know that there is going to have to be a further shakeout. Moreover, the frills and pleasures of flying on European carriers isn’t particularly thrilling either. And, if the high speed train network becomes more commonplace, there will be evermore competition on the ground. But, for now, I am going to compare the experiences inflight.

To illustrate the difference in offer for two international flights with a similar duration (6 hours), I have made a few comparative snapshots of life in the cabin (economy class that is) for two different routes, with a focus on the inflight entertainment.

First [above], there is Air France (for which I am generally a big fan). On this route from Paris to Boston (26 Jun 2008), they offered a dingy inflight entertainment — with no personal screen (left – you get to see where it might be) on the flight (7 hours in broad day light). What you get is the ‘ole pathetically small and distant general screen (to the right). The good news? You are encouraged to read or rest…On the flight back from New York to Paris, the plane was equipped with a [very small} personal screen, but on the West-to-East flight, you are only interested in sleep.

Now taking look at another international flight of a similar distance, Paris to Dubai with Emirates Airline; the story is radically different. The personal screen (pictured to the right) comes with masses of choice. The touch screen is very user friendly (I blogged about this before — see here). And, even the booklet announcing the inflight entertainment is interesting to read. It comes with an informative music anthology (scanned below)…

What is even more startling is when you start to compare Emirates Economy Class and Air France Business Class. On the left, you see the Air France business class experience, Paris to New York. The screen is stationed on the back of the seat in front of you which, good news/bad news, is quite a distance. And, on the right above, you see the Emirates’ economy class entertainment system. The screen is touchscreen (better functionality), bigger and, as you can see with the seat number (28A), is entirely personalized. You might say it’s a small detail. First, details count. Secondly, I feel it is a huge difference because it is what I want in a long flight. Kudos for knowing your customer.

The truth is, however, the level of comfort, service and amenities absolutely depends on the route you are on. Some routes — for the very same airline — are better equipped than others. The problem with such “variation” is that, as a passenger, you no longer can trust the brand you are choosing. And, in terms of comparing one airline with another, unless you have the option of taking different airlines on the same route, you and I are systematically evaluating apples and oranges. So, there remains plenty of confusion out there and, to the extent that timing and cost remain top considerations, the “fluffy stuff” all too often takes a backseat.

All this to say, all things are not created equal in the airline industry. And, with the stiffening of competition, the economic crisis and inflexible cost structures, you have to imagine that the market forces will not be kindly for the airline companies that have taken the fun out of flying for both cabin staff and passengers. In another post to come, I am going to look at the advertising campaigns as a looking glass into the strategies employed by winning and losing airlines. Watch this space. In the meantime, please give me your feedback!

Parking Red Light Innovation at Parking Lot in Aix-en-Provence

Little inventions that make the world go round…

Ever driven around and around in a parking lot looking for a free place? Some parking lots mark on a digital board outside that there are X number of free spaces on certain levels and sometimes, judging by hard it is to find a free spot, you would have thought there was a zero too many. Aside from the waste in petrol and time, as you swing down yet another crammed aisle, you have the growing frustration and the intake of additional toxic air in underground locations. Well, I found an answer to that pain below. This is a small little innovation that just tickled my fancy and I felt merited a post.

Aix-en-Provence parking lot
This underground parking lot in Aix-en-Provence [pictured above] installed a small lighting system, whereby when the spaces are taken, there is a red light above each spot in the alley and, if there’s a free place, a green light indicates its location. Ironically, there was no dearth of free spaces in this parking lot… but love the idea.

Since coming across this system in Aix, I have found out, of course, that Aix was not the first city to have such a system…. There are many other parking lots that have been similarly equipped many years ago: Barcelona via Pogue’s Post, LAX and in Baltimore’s BWI Airport among others.

Have noticed it yourself and thought, wow, that’s a great idea! What about commenting on any other small little innovations that help improve our daily existence?

Kenya Safari Holidays April 2008

Kenya – A Recap of our 6 days in the Great Wild Bush

We arrived in Kenya at Nairobi International airport on our holidays in May and, somewhat predictably, spent the first 30 minutes in a highly disorganized line up to get through customs. We had already purchased our tourist visas at the Kenyan Embassy in Paris only to find that you could do the same thing at the airport customs counter. In fact, buying the visa at the customs counter would have been quicker than the time we spent in the “regular” queue to have our passports stamped–much less when you add the two separate trips to the Kenyan Embassy in Paris. Our main confusion was that we didn’t know which queue to join. There was an empty counter for “All Other Nationals” and two other manned counters for “Kenyan nationals” and “East African Nationals.” When I think back on the customs lines in Paris’ CDG Roissy airport, I believe the confusion is probably comparable, but it is always more challenging to figure out in a foreign country.

Our guide, Ibrahim, met us outside the baggage claim. We then made an one-hour journey – through some back roads – to the house of my old Kenyan friend and schoolmate from the Old Mathouse (OMH), Martin Seth-Smith (Ker & Downey Safaris Kenya). Along the way to Martin’s, we were able to view the Kibera slums (which are the second largest slums in Africa and even more impoverished than the townships of Alexandria and Soweto in RSA). We had a wonderful evening reminiscing and catching up. The next day, we headed off at 8am, in a deluge of rain.

Our driver, Ibrahim, was a stalwart, serious and gracious man. Aged 68, Ibrahim presented himself more like a 50-55 year old. Having been a guide for 35 years, he knew all the roads well and safely steered us through our 6-day trip. Ibrahim, a Muslim, comes from the Kalenjin tribe (a tribe known for its long distance runners, and the tribe from which came Kenya’s second President, Mr. Daniel Arap Moi). Ibrahim described how he used to run 10 miles to and from school that was situated on top of a hill.

Among the marvelous experiences in Kenya, and despite being in the rainy season when animals are not migrating through Kenya, we managed to spot each of the Big Five, including a rare and fleeting view of a scampering leopard, as well as just one cheetah (one of the remaining 15,000 on this earth). While we were out looking for animals, I wanted to pick up a bit of Swahili. Cheetah in Swahili is Duma (the name of one of our most wonderful babysitters when we lived in Paris back when…). The cheetah can get to 45mph in 3 seconds and looks so approachable… Tricky.

At Mara Intrepids in the Maasai Mara (6 hours from Nairobi), the tented sleeping arrangement was a first for us all. Including the enormous hippo sounds that woke us in the early morning, it was a wonderful experience. Also, the children absolutely enjoyed the Maasai tribe induction where they were entertained morning and afternoon with bow & arrow making, Maasai clothing and dancing (or rather jumping vertically). The Mara Intrepids Camp was, all told, the best quality we experienced.

We did one night at the idyllic Sweetwater tented camp. The restaurant-side watering hole that attracted all forms of animals was a great spectacle. One highlight was the visit of Morani, (the Little Warrior) the tame black rhinoceros (photo to the right). A pleasant home video on Morani was done here on YouTube. We also did a 1 1/2 hour “night safari”, which, at the heady price of $80/person (including the kids), was a complete fiasco. Aside from the fact that the only animals we saw–that we were not able to see during the day–were one big white owl and 2 mongooses (or should that be mongeese). And, what other animals we saw, the one spot light lamp gave us a poor viewing. Of course, the hoped-for “hunt” was not to be had the evening we went out. But, the main problem with our ride was the impact of a rain shower that rendered the road into a skating rink. We got stuck in the mud twice and, with the jeep bucketing from right to left and back, our eyes were glued on the road rather than on any animals.


Driving from camp to camp afforded us a view of the “inside” of Kenya as opposed to airplane hopping and just seeing the refined camps sites. This meant that we saw the poverty of rural Kenya, the hard working farmers, the lounging men, a woman carrying wooden benches (tied by rope and affixed around her forehead) and the enormous number of young children, many of whom were sitting on the side of the highway. There were even a few instances when I spotted machete-wielding children.

Driving on the roads of Kenya meant that we also saw the state of the infrastructure. Some of the roads were in such poor condition and so bumpy, it made picking your nose an extremely hazardous (if just as unsightly) habit. You also see the presence of police – there were police checkpoints roughly every 15 kilometers. We were stopped only once in the 7 days.

In another insight into the Kenyan way, on our way down to Amboseli, we had to make a stop at the Catalyst Travel Agency office in Nairobi to meet John, the “agent.” In an unfortunate and ungracious act, John (read: the boss) dropped 48 bottles of water on the street beside the jeep and obliged our guide to pick up the bottles without lifting a finger to help. An unnecessary humiliation

After our visit to Sweetwater, we made a brief stop at the Sweetwater Primary School, run by Mr Peter Bitaka. We met all the children and delivered a little care package. Education will be at the heart of progress in Kenya as in so many other developing countries.

Kenya, whose name was abridged from the Kikuyu name of Mount Kenya, Kiri Nyaga (“Mountain where God is”), boasts a population of 35 million people, up from 7 million 40 years ago. According to Wikipedia, the major ethnic groups of Kenya, which has 43 different tribes are as follows: Kikuyu 23%, Luhya 14%, Luo 13%, Kalenjin 11% (such as our guide Ibrahim), Kamba 10%, Kisii 6%, Meru 5%, Maasai 1.8%… I believe the 1.8% Maasai might be understated. In any event, driving through Maasai Mara, you obviously see mostly Maasai and, it would appear that it is a group that is growing fast. Non-Africans (Asian/Desi, Anglo-African/European, and Arab) amount to 1%. Refuting Wikipedia’s entry, I also believe that there are many more Indians, especially in the Mombassa region.

In terms of religions, Wikipedia lists the religious affiliations accordingly: Protestant and Quaker 45%, Roman Catholic 25%, Islam 10%, Traditional Religions 10%. Apparently, for those of you studying US social studies and the founding of Pennsylvania (like my son), Kenya actually contains the largest body of Quakers in a single nation.

For a review of the 4 lodges we stayed out, we’ll go with a quick star system:
1* (poor) up to 5* (great)

Animals Accommodations Service
Mara Intrepids (Maasai Mara) **** ***** ****
Sarova Lion Hill (Lake Nakuru) *** *** ***
Sweetwater (on the Equator) **** **** ***
Serena Amboseli *** ** **

While we went in the midst of the rainy season, we were lucky enough not to be dumped on too badly. There were few people in the lodges (the first three we were running at something between 30-40% occupancy). As for the political unrest, there was nothing to see. We were spoiled with views of Kilimanjaro on both days. A French journalist we met at Amboseli told us that there were many more animals to see in Tanzania. That did not stop us from seeing plenty of animals and enjoying our safari experience. However, next time, maybe we will head for the land of Zanzibar…

Losing Weight on Planes

Boy, you’re going to carry that weight...

Carrying the weight on airplanesWith the rising cost of fuel on the tips of all our tongues, the chase to reduce fuel costs is in full tilt. I am fascinated (if not confounded) by the work done by the airlines in this regard. It seems that every day there are new actions being taken to reduce fuel costs or pass them along to the passengers. In June, United and US Airways joined American in charging for the first suitcase (on leisure fares) — see here the Herald Tribune article from June 13, 2008.

A few interesting facts & figures:

– According to Northwest Airlines, every 25 pounds (c. 11 kilos) removed saves $440,000 annually.the weights on board

– Delta has reduced its seats to the “slimline” designs that are each 5 pounds lighter…and I dare say a little less comfortable. Air France is putting a lighter chair in service for the end of 2009 which will lighten the plane load by 650 kilograms.

– Water weighs 8 pounds a gallon. So, airlines are reducing the amount of water held in the lavatory reservoirs.

– American Airlines is lightening the load of its drinks cart, enabling a saving of 2 million gallons of fuel a year, and therefore 16 million pounds or 8,000 short –ie. US– tons [or 7,143 UK tons] less fuel to transport.

Delta has asked the pilot and co-pilot to share the famously heavy manuals (the manly Jeppesen manuals, for example).

And then the gas guzzling McDonnell Douglas DC9s and MD80s are being grounded in favour of the more fuel efficient planes—hence the commercial success of the Boeing 787 which consumes 2.6 litres per passenger for 100km or the Airbus 380 (2.9l/pax).*

Heavyweight BoxerAnd now, to my main point, Air France has started to count the number of females in its passenger list in order to estimate better the passenger haul – the premise being that women are known to weigh less than men. So, the question seems around the corner: will women get to pay less? Or will the heavier passengers be charged a pound-for-pound price? I imagine the boxing terminology coming to bare: welterweight woman, featherweight fare, heavyweight human, super heavyweight savings…

Robert Mann, an airline consultant came to the same conclusion on an ABC World News webcast (Jun 11 2008), “passengers will in effect pay by the pound.”

This would be where sustainable development and travel economics marry up perfectly: theSustainable Development thinner you are [excluding anorexia, etc], the healthier you generally are (the less food you consume, the less hospital resources are needed…) and the less energy you use in transport (whether it is planes or cars…). Would that airlines also provided healthier foods on board!

Of course, I truly believe that travel is a wonderful aspect of progress, helping different cultures to learn from each other and, perhaps, more emphatically, to learn to work together and not to be scared of each other. The case for warming global relations and making durable global development (in sharp contrast to global warming).

Losing weight, if not losing wait…ing time?

But, sustainable development (OECD definition) should also include the performance of its passengers. It is one thing to encourage its passengers to lose weight, but what of losing the waiting time for passengers? We are getting charged for extra weight, suitcases and more. Will passengers get to charge back for late arrivals, lost productivity and other hassles on our end? The problem here is that airlines can just point the finger at another organization (the airport authority) to discharge themselves from the airport heartaches. In the end, it will likely mean that we should all be buying shares in video conference technologies and companies!

The BandAnd, for nostalgia’s sake, here’s a couple of lines from an old song that could take on new meaning:

“Take a load off Fanny, take a load for free.

Take a load off Fanny, and you put the load right on me”

(Quote from the song The Weight from The Band)

——————————————————

* Source: Challenges No. 129 (19 June 2008).

The New Age of Travel – Life after changes in the USA Visa Waiver Programme

The US has announced recently that citizens of the 27 visa waiver programme countries (most of Western Europe, Australia, Brunei, Japan, Singapore and New Zealand) will need to register (online) 72 hours in advance of their visit to the US. See here on the official VWP site. The new plan goes fully into effect at the beginning of 2009 (Jan 12 to be exact, after the last of the yea-end holidays are over). This is quite a new dimension to the US’ “security strengthening” policies. It means that any last minute travel to the US is ruled out entirely. Aside from giving a new meaning to lastminute.com (more like last4320minutes.com), this could have a serious impact on last minute deal-making. It will also put a crimp of rushed surgeries, funerals and marriages.

The New Age of Travel (and the new Visa Waiver Programme)
Along with the new surcharges for higher fuel prices and, now, for luggage, the nature of flying is shifting rather brutally. Is it possible that our children will travel much less frequently because of ticket pricing reminiscent of when airline travel was a novelty, security controls that make it necessary to arrive at the airport the day before and service that reminds one of the labor relations at the outset of the industrial revolution?

Overrun airports and flight paths, high fuel prices, global warming and carbon footprints are all rather dissuasive issues for airplane travel. For example, British Airways has announced a £60 fuel surcharge for long-haul flights. As the Daily Telegraph reports, “[t]hat will mean a family of four that is already paying £672 in surcharges on long-haul holiday flights must now find £872.” That equals 1,100 euros or US$1,700 at today’s exchange rate. Apparently, there are more surcharges ahead. Take a look at ClimateChangeConnection’s discussion on air travel (from whence cometh the picture above).

Surely, the new age of travel has dawned on us. Anyone care for a stroll?