Escape to Europe: Brussels, Barcelona & Berlin

The last post on escape was published more than a month ago. Actually, July is a blank slate. Let’s try not to let that happen with August.

  • The next posts will cover my EU trips in July.
  • July was a mix of summer school, business and adventure.
  • First stop:  Brussels, Belgium.

Ah, Europe! Long time no see. First impressions:  the Euro apparently still exists! No Grexit yet. Additionally, the Belgian summer was curiously similar to the Australian winter. Or worse. But my stay in Belgium was short, very short. I had exactly 22 hours in Belgium to run home, unpack, pack again and fly to Barcelona. And I spent at least 3 hours in an immobile train.

Travel can go wrong, incredibly wrong.

What is wrong with British Airways? BA costs more than £8 billion to run each year, you would at least expect some decent service and information when delays occur. Actually, BA’s whole service appears to be outdated. Take their planes for instance. While carriers as Qantas and Singapore Airlines are steadily shifting to the Airbus A380, BA sticks to the Boeing 747-400 for long-haul flights. The 747 used to be  state-of-the-art. But that was in the 90s and by A380 standards the 747 feels a little prehistoric. I don’t expect seats that one can rock from side to side or complete a full 360-degree rotation, but there is definitely some room for improvement here! A few recommendations:

– After downing way too many drinks, the guy next to me had the annoying habit of talking the whole flight time with his imaginary friend Rupert. Although you may take this cum grano salis, it’d be great to see next to whom you will sit. If his interests on Facebook are limited to beer, I might shift to a different seat.

– The inflight food is not exactly to die for, more to die of. Qantas has fresh fruits and mint tea. Why not copy? The latter would even have a slightly English feel to it.

– The High Life entertainment system ‘offers’ the worst user experience ever. The commands are just terrible, who designs this? Could you please partner with Apple and implement the iPod click wheel?

– Anyone familiar with the BA safety video knows: the rabbit will be lost. Face the truth kid. Offer a more realistic safety video and card (see below).

– The flight attendants have lost their charm a long time ago. Or they keep them secretly hidden in first class.

– Delay due to bulky orchestra items is a lame excuse.

So instead of mowing the grass in nice Olympic circles in the vicinity of Heathrow Airport, please update your fleet. Your customers will appreciate.


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