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21 January 2010 @ 11:59 pm
Bits and bobs  
Last year we noted development applications for a new coffee bar and a late-night dessert and chocolate bar in Erko. Immediately I wrote to the council in support of the latter and am happy to report that it has been approved ;-)

The coffee bar is a bit further progressed, and they have recently unveiled the new fit-out. It will be called The Kick Inside. Mr Brammers and I are now dreaming of a Kate Bush Tribute Cafe.

I went to post nail polish to people on Monday, and was told at the crazy post office that it is illegal. Yesterday I went to the sane post office and they agreed that yes, it was, even though it's ridiculous. I have written to the management of Australia Post to ask why, and how the Australian nail polish supplies are kept current and in season given the lack of an indigenous industry. Worst-case scenario, I will ship things to the appropriate countries with travellers ;-)

Finally, Air France and KLM are going to charge obese passengers an extra 75% to book the seat next to them, which will be refunded if that seat is empty due to low carriage numbers. I want to know if I can also book a second seat for 75% of a discount price? That's enough space for me to have a reasonable nap! Surely it would be discrimination to charge small people more!

So, now that the airlines have decided it's really all about making sure people are 'comfortable', I think we should all get involved and tell them what would make air travel truly enjoyable. I can't see a return to neat stewarding staff and edible food, but I am sure we can have a few pleasant changes. So ...

Poll #1514553 Air travel gets madder

Which airline change/s would you support?

20% surcharge for people who kick the back of your seat
1(1.4%)
30% surcharge for people who loudly discuss abdominal surgery
0(0.0%)
40% surcharge for people who loudly discuss toilet training children
0(0.0%)
Fines for parents who fail to take care of their children in a reasonable fashion
0(0.0%)
Extra discounts on duty free and seat rebates for parents who do a good job, even if the kids are shits
1(1.4%)
Blowdarts containing sedatives given to all women on flights containing sporting teams
1(1.4%)
Passengers able to mute/demand $5 from service staff who are cheery in the final hours of a 27 hour flight
0(0.0%)
Perfume ban
1(1.4%)
Complusory low-scent deodorant usage
1(1.4%)
Person who designed menu's phone number printed on every ticket
0(0.0%)
NB, the blowdarts are for use BY the women ON annoying members of the sporting teams. And no, men do not need them when the women's cricket teams travel, those girls are lovely!

I'm sure there are other great ideas out there, feel free to share!
 
 
 
prone to mischieftreacle_tartlet on January 21st, 2010 01:11 pm (UTC)
Clickety-clickety-click-click-click!

The provision of Quality Literature in the seat pockets, as well as the in-flight magazine. Paperbacks are cheap, and there is only so much I can read about the wonders of pot-plant gardening, and Leonardo DiCaprio's environmental crusade.

And don't talk to me about The Kick Inside...
*pokes belly*

Edited at 2010-01-21 01:16 pm (UTC)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on January 21st, 2010 01:18 pm (UTC)
OH! I have news! No, not me! Don't be ridiculous!

You would be surprised to learn about the science of the in-flight mag: can usually only weigh up to 500g, needs a 40% ad ratio, has a certain number of pages dedicated to the airline's needs, can't offend ANYONE, must be comprehensible by the drunk ... it's a highly complex beastie!
(no subject) - treacle_tartlet on January 21st, 2010 01:20 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on January 21st, 2010 01:22 pm (UTC) (Expand)
alienor77310alienor77310 on January 21st, 2010 01:12 pm (UTC)
The only flights I've taken lately are short, low-cost flits. But I suppose it's the same all over: How are you supposed to put your head on your knees in case of emergency if you're taller than a 10 y.o. child?
blamebramptonblamebrampton on January 21st, 2010 01:20 pm (UTC)
Folded arms on the back of the seat in front of you ;-)

I have to say that every time I get on a plane, it's just that little bit more soul destroying. Flying used to be fun, but now it makes that Aeroflot jaunt I took in the early 80s looks like high class. And there was a woman on that sweeping the aisles before we took off!
(no subject) - treacle_tartlet on January 21st, 2010 01:21 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on January 21st, 2010 01:22 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - treacle_tartlet on January 21st, 2010 01:26 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on January 21st, 2010 01:34 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - treacle_tartlet on January 21st, 2010 01:37 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on January 21st, 2010 01:43 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Anwynanthraxia on January 21st, 2010 01:36 pm (UTC)
I think you need to add penalties against seat neighbours who insist on sitting with their legs apart, and thus have their feet in your foot-space. And given that some airlines charge outrageous prices for not particularly good food, I'd like an outrageous discount every time I get served appallingly bad coffee, or milky dishwater that once said hello to a tea leaf and is now pretending to be tea.
I'd also like Virgin Blue to refund my ticket for the re-routed flight from Adelaide to Canberra via Melbourne due to fog. I don't mind them landing in Melbourne because Canberra Airport was fogged in (although it was annoying to learn that 10 minutes after they made the decision to re-route, Canberra started letting planes land again.) No, my beef is that for the entire horrific 6 1/2 hours I was stuck on that plane, they played Michael Buble on repeat. One song. No escape. I refuse to name the song because the hideous ear-worm will invade my mind for a month if I do.
Shivshiv5468 on January 21st, 2010 01:42 pm (UTC)
That is surely a breach of some international torture treaty. I know we ignore them these days but still...
(no subject) - blamebrampton on January 21st, 2010 01:44 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on January 21st, 2010 01:46 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thisgirl_is on January 21st, 2010 02:00 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on January 21st, 2010 02:01 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thisgirl_is on January 21st, 2010 02:08 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on January 21st, 2010 02:10 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Shivshiv5468 on January 21st, 2010 01:45 pm (UTC)
All me the above apart from discounts for good parents. No subsidies for those who meet basic standards!
blamebramptonblamebrampton on January 21st, 2010 01:51 pm (UTC)
It's come to the point where I am so pathetically grateful for good parenting that I feel as though it deserves a reward. The nadir was on a trans-Tasman flight when three small boys were allowed to run riot and one actually hit Mr Brammers, who had the temerity to be in an aisle seat. One of the crew had the facial expression of 'Must Not Plough Down Infants With Coffee Cart', I was not alone in hoping she would snap.

Behind us sat another woman with three small children, one in arms. Her little boy could be heard to say 'I'm not like that, am I, Mummy?' Mr B turned around and said 'No, you're not. You're a credit to your family.' Kidlet and mum were both chuffed.
(no subject) - astarael02 on January 21st, 2010 02:01 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on January 21st, 2010 02:06 pm (UTC) (Expand)
maevemistmaevemist on January 21st, 2010 02:29 pm (UTC)
First off let it be known that I have never been on a very long plane flight. The longest one was from Adelaide to Sydney and that was 20+ years ago.

Having said that I can not imagine how awful flying for 27 hours straight must be if all aeroplanes are as squishy as the one I took recently to Brisbane. I am so very glad I am not claustaphobic.

I clicked on the reward points for good parenting, simply because; children that run wild piss me off at the best of times let alone if I had had very little sleep and was stuck in an enclosed space for an extended period of time.

I would like to suggest for the benefit of my frequent flyer friends that children under 2 not be allowed to fly any longer than 2 hours. I would say the time should be extended to correspond with their age but that wouldn't really work. If it didn't make me sound like a horrible person I would also stipulate that children needed to be sedated to fly. (or take an over night bus trip)

blamebramptonblamebrampton on January 21st, 2010 02:51 pm (UTC)
International flights are a bit roomier, but not a lot. Alas!

Kids on planes can be unavoidable, though I do try to talk my friends out of flying with toddlers, who will usually be miserable the whole time. Babies can be kept pretty quiet with just regular feeds, especially on take-off and landing, but toddlers are BORED. So the parents who go to lengths to keep them amused are fabulous, while the ones who let them run riot while they drink the free drinks are evil.

And I have to say, dad would often pop a tiny smidge of whisky in my bottle when we were flying when I was a wee bairn, but that sort of thing was not frowned on in the 60s ;-)
Loyaulte Me Lieshocolate on January 21st, 2010 02:41 pm (UTC)
*rolls eyes*

I just posted nail varnish to the States - I put 'bottles' on the customs form - let's see what happens!!
blamebramptonblamebrampton on January 21st, 2010 02:47 pm (UTC)
The terrorists have won, I tell you ...
not your typical annihilatrix: all your potterpuffsfuriosity on January 21st, 2010 03:00 pm (UTC)
Air France and KLA are going to charge obese passengers an extra 75%
I've boycotted Air France since they shipped my best friend's beloved Irish Setter to Alaska instead of Toronto, but what is KLA?

Either way, what a douchey move. It's certainly not a pleasant experience to be jammed in next to a very large person -- especially on transatlantic flights -- but I don't imagine it's pleasant for the obese people, either. If the airlines want to make people comfortable, they should commission planes that will accommodate larger people, not make them pay extra for not being the weight the world wants them to be. :(
blamebramptonblamebrampton on January 21st, 2010 03:12 pm (UTC)
Oh good grief ... Did the dog make it home? KLA is a typo for KLM, apparently I decided to have a flashback to the Kosovo crisis ...

And yeah ... On the one hand, I do not think it should be appropriate for the airline to make you sit next to someone who spills over into your seat (and have had to move once when I was being physically squashed, that was a hard one to do politely!). But I receive no rebate for not taking up all of my space, so why should they pay extra? Why not just have better configured seats so that everyone is more comfortable?

The argument is that it is partly for the passengers' health, but I know some fat people who are very fit. I also know some who are just lazy-arsed pie-eaters (and have been one at times myself), so while the latter group may need a kick in the bum for their own good, the first group doesn't, it's just the way they are. I doubt a check-in clerk can tell the difference.
(no subject) - furiosity on January 21st, 2010 03:36 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on January 21st, 2010 03:58 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - furiosity on January 21st, 2010 04:19 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on January 21st, 2010 09:39 pm (UTC) (Expand)
oopsoddishly on January 21st, 2010 03:01 pm (UTC)
Strongly, strongly arguing for a block of seats for people who are disgustingly able to continue with their normal sleeping patterns on 27 hour flights. ESPECIALLY when that translates into being comfortable with using your neighbour's shoulder as a pillow. You know, whoever your neighbour happens to be.

Am also willing to pay a fare-and-a-half for an aeroplane with merely effective (as opposed to over-enthusiastic) aircon.

... ooooh, and shootings for people who crack open their window blinds at dawn, thereby lighting the entirety of the cabin for the Brand New Day.

Just for starters ;)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on January 21st, 2010 03:14 pm (UTC)
ARGH! No shoulder nappers! And yes! I had to steal an extra blanket on the way back to Sydney, which was ridiculous. And we had a Daylight Person in our window seat. I didn't even say anything, just Gave Her A Look. She put it back down. Bless.
Hueyphoenixacid on January 21st, 2010 04:20 pm (UTC)
I hate it when people kick the back of my seat - even after recieving the full brunt of my epic Huey!death-glare. Also, don't they have those chess/puzzle/tv thingamagicas that could keep the kids entertained for hours? :/
Darry Willis: Miller Timenursedarry on January 21st, 2010 04:30 pm (UTC)
I would so love to name the dishes of food that Cafe would serve: Babushka Bagels, anyone?
cassie_blackcassie_black12 on January 21st, 2010 06:39 pm (UTC)
Can I borrow the blow darts to use on people who recline their seats either a)when leg room is already virtually non-existant, or b) while you are trying to eat your meal!!
Samena: The Guysamena on January 21st, 2010 07:21 pm (UTC)
I also propose a large fine for people who recline their seat all the way back, so that they're practically in your lap and you can't watch the movie any more, because the monitor is also in your lap. This happened to me on a flight from Washington DC to Amsterdam, and the anti-social woman in front of me kept reclining her seat all the way down, no matter how nicely, or how many times, I asked her not to do it. Grrrr.
shadowclubshadowclub on January 21st, 2010 07:34 pm (UTC)
Nail polish is illegal? Haha, you are a rebel!

Flights are ridiculous. I'm waiting for the moment that they start charging for air. Maybe clean air versus recycled air. I foresee this! I would like to see what happens if you opt to not have air:) Panic?

pingridpingrid on January 21st, 2010 07:41 pm (UTC)
All of the above! Except for the abdominal surgery, talk away. And while I would tend to agree with Shiv that a normal standard of behaviour shouldn't need rewarding, I opted for it anyway just for the potential for encouraging evil parents to do better, in turn making their offspring into better people!

The extra money for an extra seat ... It's a tough one. While I would love for airlines to make seats bigger and better spaced in general, being the sort of person who prefers a window seat so I can lean into the wall and not have my fat arm bump my neighbour, given that they're out to make a profit I have to say I see their point. They're not making money if they're giving away seats for free. Although ... I don't know what their profitability calculations, but if a fairly low-cost airline would reduce the number of seat rows and have more options for wider seats, I would fly with them EVERY TIME, even if it cost a bit more. As would, I suspect, everyone else over 1,70 cm and/or 70 kilos.
Keeper of the Superfluous Es!: AS/S/?themostepotente on January 21st, 2010 09:33 pm (UTC)
I checked the box for 20 percent, but really the surcharge should be much higher for assholes who kick your seat :P