Before I get to the travel bit – last week was one of mixed live music experiences – all good.
Tuesday was rock – Haim played in Copenhagen on the tail end of their Sister, Sister, Sistor tour. And gee, don’t come and tell me that girls can’t rock!
Switch of genre and geography: Saturday was opera – Verdi’s Aida at the Arena in Verona. With a magnificent Anna Pirozzi singing Aida and the most stunning surroundings and ambience.
That done and told, here are my three major “I don’t get it” travel mysteries:
Those of us who travel a lot for work also get some perks for our time and trouble spent. As an elite member (“Gold”, whatevertheycallit), one of these is priority boarding. And yes, in days and time where airlines restrict checked luggage in favour of fees, it can be quite nice to get abord first and have time and reasonable opportunity to get your bag up in the overhead bin and not having it limit the already scarce space between you and the seat in front.
So – when the plane happens to be in a remote parking and boarding is by bus, why on Earth do airlines bother with doing priority boarding first, only to pack everyone together in the same overcrowded bus and releasing them to a free-for-all at the plane?
Dear airlines – either do it properly (announce priority boarding, then drive those passengers off in a bus first, followed by the next boarding waves) or don’t bother at all and just do general boarding right off the bat.
The dreaded plane change
You’ve been diligent and checked in online and early and picked decent seats. At time of boarding, the smiling gate agent hands you a new boarding card – or you get on board and find that your seat is not what the seat plan on the website/app promised.
The plane has been changed in the meantime. To a type with a different layout.
And this invariably gives someone like me a bad customer experience because – and this is the first part of the mystery – 89+ times out of 100, the change is to a less desirable seat. Even, at times, one of the dreaded middle seats.
The major part of the question is – in this day and time where we can have computers predict ordering patterns, tailor ads precisely (more or less) to our exact needs and all that, why can’t airlines create an algorithm for plane type changes?
One that goes “Reseating? Let’s iterate through the whole passenger list in some elegantly weighted manner that analyses check-in order (the sequence number is on your boarding pass, so they do know in what order people checked in) and airline status and then, as much as possible, assign people the same general kind of seats as they picked originally…?
As in “OK, Seq 008 picked an aisle seat in the forward third of the cabin. Check, done. Oh, hey, Seq 12 wanted emergency row, aisle – seems like this one is Gold and checked in early – yeah, fine, let’s grant that…”
Don’t tell me it can’t be done.
When the elite isn’t really that elite anyway
This one is particular to SAS. My dear home airline is part of Star Alliance family – but it seems, sadly, to me that they are choosing at the moment to be the black sheep of the family, the cousin who does come to the family gatherings but noone really wants to talk to.
I have recently been in four different airports – MXP, AGP, DUB & BLQ – where there are lounges marked with a big friendly “Star Alliance Gold Lounge” signs and security fast track queues for Star Alliance Gold members.
Only to be told that yes, my card has a beautiful Star Alliance Gold symbol and name on it – but as it also has an SAS logo in the other corner, sorry, but it is not the right kind of Star Alliance Gold.
At some point, SAS needs to decide if it is part of the family or not. Because this is just getting bloody annoying.
Oh well. First world problems, I guess 😉
The music list is a longer one – had a meeting today on the other side of our small country.
Born In The USA – Bruce Springsteen
Get Out Of You Lazy Bed – Matt Bianco
Smoke On The Water – Deep Purple
Celebration – Kool & The Gang
Born For This – Paramore
Sexual Healing – Marvin Gaye
By The Time I Get To Phoenix – Cæcilie Norby
My Love, My Life – ABBA
Better Than Anything – Sinne Eeg
Orinoco Flow – Enya
The Ballroom Blitz – The Sweet
Bag duggede ruder – TV-2
Photos by me.