To take you to his mansion in Nome

Fine, challenge, anyone that can work out what the video is tonight, before you look, I’m seriously impressed, because this is about as cryptic as they get. There will be a possible clue before we get there, which might help, but even so…

Last year, I achieved something that I never thought I would, as I’m not one of those workers who flies everywhere (Yes, Kate, I’m only teasing you x), I always thought that gaining any real status on the couple of airlines I’m a frequent flyer on, would be way beyond my abilities. Then of course, I flew to LA twice, in the same year, with the same pair of airlines, and lo and behold, I hit silver status with Delta Airlines (video clue, here), until the end of 2016, with of course, the possibility for more. Except for the fact, that as things stand, getting to fly anywhere this year, seems to be becoming an impossible dream! Yes, so frustrating. Even more so, given that I so want to make a flight in my new name, but anyway…

Oh, for the curious, the other I have membership of, American Airlines. I used to have both them, and US Airways, before they amalgamated, but I’m not even close to any form of status there, all the same. But yes, Delta is the one I want to fly with this year, given the chance!

And this weekend at least, where would I love to fly to? Why, Anchorage. An extension to Nome would be even more heavenly, but being in Anchorage would do me just fine. Why? Because as I write this, the ceremonial start, through the city, of the Iditarod is taking place. The race proper, starts tomorrow, a little way out of town in Willow. Then 85 incredibly brave teams, will set off, for just under 1000 miles of Alaskan wilderness, until they reach Nome. No, are you kidding, I wouldnt do that for a million dollars, even now! But would I love to see them set off, or even better, finish, you bet I would!

Maybe one day I will finally get to Alaska, its my dream. Being practical, at my age, and with my health issues (joints), I’d have to do overnight stops en route, both ways, if I did. So fine, even if the financial situation ever improves, its not likely to happen until post retirement, simply because of time issues, in my life. So I suspect it will be one of my dreams, to my dying days, somehow, getting to Alaska. No, not in March, too cold in all probability, but at any point in the year, would be good.

Oh fine, the video. If you managed to get the cryptic clues worked out, and come up with this song from 1973, I’m impressed. Somehow, I doubt anyone did!

Flying, then and now

One of the endearing images we have of early passenger flights is the luxury of the planes involved. Of course, back then, only the wealthy could afford to fly, which may well have something to do with it. Its really only since the 70’s, and 80’s that we even started to have what could be called flight prices that the general masses could afford to pay.

So for those who complain about the lack of comfort nowadays, just remember, 50 years ago, you wouldnt have been able to afford long distance flights, in all honesty. If you consider that flights now between popular cities are no more expensive than they were in the 30’s, and 40’s…you get my drift? Of course, you were treated to a whole different level of treatment back then.

The thing is, despite the comfort, those early flights were a pretty dangerous experience. Navigation was extremely basic, especially at night, and many lost their lives in incidents, and accidents. And to even cross America, let alone the Atlantic, took 4 or 5 stops. Whereas nowadays, flights go from coast to coast, non stop, without any problems. As for crossing the Atlantic, by passenger plane, this wasnt even seriously tackled until the 1950’s!

Mind, I remember a story my late mother told me, of flying home from Bermuda (my father was in the navy) in the early 50’s, and the plane had an upstairs luxury bar, and the works! Now, they prefer you to stay in your seat, whenever possible.

My first flight would have been in the late 70’s, a short hop from Gatwick, to Jersey, and back. My first Transatlantic flight was in 1987, when I flew out from Heathrow, to Boston, and back from New York. After that, I began to fly more regularly, but always in economy.

And since then, apart from the Toronto trip, when I supposedly flew First Class with Air Trans (I would say it equated more to premium economy, than first), I’ve always flown economy class, until now. Yes, this week, and next week, when I return from LA, I will be flying premium economy (Virgin), and economy comfort (Delta) for pretty much the first time.

No, it wont truly be luxury, but a step up for me. If I’d had a job to come back to, post redundancy, I might have flown business class, but for now, better safe than sorry. Maybe if I’ve got one, in September, I might treat myself again, and maybe more?

I’ve been told by Kate, that maybe, just maybe, by flying on a Wednesday, I might get a reasonably priced upgrade on Delta to first class, and that would be a real Jean Harlow type landing into LA. But I wont hold my breath. Mind, I say that, all evidence I’ve seen, Jean stuck with the trains, rather than trusting the planes, but…

So, if anyone from Delta sees this, the 4.20 pm Atlanta to LA flight on Wednesday, look for Ms Nicholls if you start offering upgrades to first class, pretty please!

OK, so this is all about flying, so lets have some Gerry Rafferty. Not a live performance (cant find one, despite single release), so I’ve gone for something involving the brave boys of the military, and Alaska.

US Airways, take on me

Yesterday was progressing just as a Saturday generally does at work, in a sports related industry, it was busy! But I was getting by, waiting for 10.00 to come around, especially as I had the next 2 days off, when an email arrived in my box, from home.

Seemingly, in their wisdom, US Airways had decided that the plane scheduled to bring me back in November, from Albany to Philadelphia, was no more, so Expedia were desperately trying to contact me about this. Fine, even in these times, on a Saturday afternoon, there is a good chance that people will be at home when they call, not slogging themselves silly at work. But in my case…

Thankfully, calm logic is a good point with me, even with news like this, so I dived onto US Airways website, to check for myself, and yes, it was gone. At this point I had 2 lines of thought. One, the serious one, was that there was a lunchtime plane on the same route, with vacancies, so there had to be a good chance of getting on that. The less serious one was the thought that would US Airways be duty bound to offer me a job in the area, if they couldnt get me home?

Yes, fine, I know the answer to that!

Anyway, this morning, I took on US Airways, rang Expedia, and sorted out the whole matter, I’m on the lunchtime flight. In a sense, the inconvenience is minimal, as I would have to have been out of my hotel room by 12.00 anyway. Now, for a 1.35 flight, I have to be regardless. I gather the main reason they needed to get hold of me was because the difference in time change was over 3 hours, and I had to authorise it.

But yes, US Airways took me on, and lost of sorts, though some might think that 6 hours at Philadelphia airport (my fate now on the return route) suggests I was the one that lost. Delta Airlines (just 3 weeks), dont get any ideas! Because for you, I will demand being set up as Jean Harlow, or Harlean Carpenter, spinster of Kansas City, complete with job! 😛

The video, a wonderful spoof on the A-Ha video suggested in the title, by the British comedic genius, Harry Hill.

Price of confusion

I always assumed that the cheapest place to get an airfare, would be at the airline company’s website. Sound reasonable to you? Well, I was wrong, and you probably would be too.

Today, for my trip to Kansas in September, I paid £770 return for the airfare, with Expedia, flying with Delta. So you would assume that Delta, given that they would presumably need to pay Expedia commission and the like, would be cheaper? Wrong, Delta wanted £812 for the exact same trip, if I booked through their website! Oh, and when I checked yesterday, Delta was £762! So I assume its a seat availability thing, at least I hope it is!

Now, to be fair, I dont know, maybe Expedia are given so many at a special fare, and until they are used up, the cheaper fare doesnt get adjusted, but…? Or maybe, because all these airlines are in alliances with various other airlines nowadays, I got a deal price through one of them, though all my flights are on planes run by Delta!

To be honest, another thing that amuses me, is the wide variance in price, between relatively similar standards of airlines. The reason I went for Delta, is that American, who would normally be my preferred airline wanted about £100 more for exactly the same trip! Maybe Chicago charges more for landing there than Atlanta, but seriously, that much more…?

Oh, and this girl is getting dangerously modern in her style, I transferred money via internet banking today, for the first time! Dont worry folks, I’m still a 30’s girl at heart though.

So, in tribute to Delta, and their confusing price system, a bit of Genesis