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Guest meekal

BACK IN TOWN

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Hi Guys,Back in town after a long, long journey half-way round the world. From where I was, it was two cents a minute to call the USA. From here to the same place, it costs you fifty cents. I think you guys are getting massively ripped-off. I don't think I like these 14 hour sectors. Uness you can knock yourself out with ample quantities of Chivas and take a couple of pills, there is only so much you can do enterining youself and gazing out of the window. The moving-map even takes the mystery out of flying. I much rather prefer a break along the way even though for many that can be tiresome and disruptive. Eight hours to Manchester and eight hours across the Atlantic. Perfect. Get down at Manchester, have drink, stretch your legs etc. I don't mind the intensive search by security because you are travelling TO America. They really put you through the ringer apart from doing a complete search of the aircraft. I noted the steel reinforced cockpit door which is mandatory for entering into US airspace but I could swear the door was open! Any thoughts, guys? I know Geoff is a great traveler. What about the rest of you?Meekal

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Meekal,I do not travel anywhere near as extensively as I did in the past. I do have frequent flier miles outstanding on USAir, American, KLM, Northwest and Delta. While I seldom drink these days, a set of noise cancelling headsets along with a DVD on my laptop help me while away the miles/hours. One other thing I do is very actively select the airline/aircraft for the trip. Following that, I use a website to try to pick the best seat in the bird.One trip I was travelling from Dallas-Fort Worth to LAX. The aircraft happened to be a Boeing 777. I chose an aisle seat in the last row. A friend of mine who happened to work for that particular airline met me at Dallas for a brief meeting. He noted that I was flying coach that trip. He asked me if I wanted to upgrade to First Class as that aircraft had seats that reclined into a bed in First. I politely declined. He gave me a look in return that indicated he thought I had a few brain cells dead.And I answered thus, "Well, do you know what is behind the last row in your Triple 7's? Service cart storage and restrooms. I can go grab a drink anytime I want from the cart and I won't have to stand in line for the john." He then understood the method in my madness. I also told him I did not have any great need to hurry when I got off the aircraft as I had arranged for a limo to pick me up outside the baggage claim. On the return leg to Dallas I did take the upgrade to First in a 757.Doc Bryant

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The difference in time zones is what kills me. I used to fly from Paris to various cities in the U.S. once a month for trade shows, conventions, and other useless jaunts. Get off the plane, go to a standard hotel room, and immediately go to bed because for my body it was bedtime. Wake up in the middle of the night with nothing to do. After a week, I would finally adapt to the time zone, but then it was time to leave. And getting back to Paris, it started all over again. A great way to destroy your body.Once, I had been to Boston 3 or 4 times in a row, so the next time in Roissy I just got in line for the Boston flight. Handed the girl my boarding pass, got in my seat, buckled up, and the girl came running in, "no, sir, you are going to Atlanta, this is the wrong flight." Good thing she took a look at the boarding passes.Best regards.Luis

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The difference in time zones is what kills me. I used to fly from Paris to various cities in the U.S. once a month for trade shows, conventions, and other useless jaunts. Get off the plane, go to a standard hotel room, and immediately go to bed because for my body it was bedtime. Wake up in the middle of the night with nothing to do. After a week, I would finally adapt to the time zone, but then it was time to leave. And getting back to Paris, it started all over again. A great way to destroy your body.Once, I had been to Boston 3 or 4 times in a row, so the next time in Roissy I just got in line for the Boston flight. Handed the girl my boarding pass, got in my seat, buckled up, and the girl came running in, "no, sir, you are going to Atlanta, this is the wrong flight." Good thing she took a look at the boarding passes.Best regards.Luis
Luis,They recommend immediately changing to local time, not going to bed! But I suppose you do whatever works for you.Meekal Meekal

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I don't think I like these 14 hour sectors. Uness you can knock yourself out with ample quantities of Chivas and take a couple of pills, there is only so much you can do enterining youself and gazing out of the window. Any thoughts, guys? I know Geoff is a great traveler. What about the rest of you?
Meekal,Having done over 140,000 miles on average over the last 5 years with United ALONE, I do understand. Am writing this from London as a matter of fact, having spent the last week in Frieburg, Germany and Paris. We took the TGV from Basal to Paris and the EuroStar from Paris over to London yesterday. The security at Gare de Nord was as stiff as that at any airport. I need to write a book someday on how to survive long hauls - Chapter One would be entitled; "Single Malt Scotch as a Survival Tool in Business Travel". However, "long haul" is a relative term. My definition of "long haul" is leaving Charlottesville, Virginia to Canberra, Australia (which I have done 9 or so times in the last three years) with no over nights along the way. From my door to hotel pillow is 36+ hours, 23'ish hours of which is actually in the air. EDIT: Flying from Washington D.C. to London LHR to me is the same as taking a taxi from Crystal City to downtown D.C.

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It is hard to imagine how you have survived all those long haul flights for so long, Tom. You must have a very robust constitution and great health.Best regards.Luis

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It is hard to imagine how you have survived all those long haul flights for so long, Tom. You must have a very robust constitution and great health.
Luis,Survival is also a relative term. I just might be "well-preserved" given my survival strategies. :( At 58, this is getting to be tougher and tougher to do. Knees, hips, back, liver, brain cell depletion, ad nauseam. I suspect that when I finally get planted, United will donate a 747 wing as my tombstone... :(

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Luis,Survival is also a relative term. I just might be "well-preserved" given my survival strategies. :( At 58, this is getting to be tougher and tougher to do. Knees, hips, back, liver, brain cell depletion, ad nauseam. I suspect that when I finally get planted, United will donate a 747 wing as my tombstone... :(
How right you are Tom. In days past, in my youth, I could do an over-night flight and sit in the cockpit fully alert instead of sleep (those days they did let you sit in the cockpit), land at 5 am local time, and unlike Luis, go home, take a shower and go straight to work. No rest, no sleep, no jet-lag, no problem at all. Maybe have enough energy to even play squash after work. This time, being older, it took me a week to get over jet-lag. I kept waking up at 3 am local time not knowing what to do with myself. At a more general level, even professional long-haul commercial pilot's have a hard time coping with time-changes. Not surprisingly, they are perpetually tired. They spend a lifetime in a constant state of fatigue, which gets worse with age. Fatigue, as we know, is a huge factor in air accidents. Anyway, the standard practice is to arrive home, go into their bedroom and pull the heavy curtains closed to keep out the light, turn on the air-conditioner to drown out any sounds (from the wife and kids), and sleep for the entire two/three days they are home, only waking to eat. Then they leave again on another long-haul flight.Whether the practice (requirement, really, by civil aviation authorities), of having two full sets of crew and reasonably comfortable rest areas on long-haul flights helps, I don't know. I suppose it does to come extent. I asked one captain whether it does and he said not because even when he is asleep, he dreams of flying! In the case of my national airline, there are two captain's and one first officer. Why only one F/O? After all, the poor sod does all the work. Meekal

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