Saturday, December 25, 2010

Pay per use toilets next?

The airline industry in the US earned over $4B in fees from "extras" last year. I realized where this was coming from when I was traveling with the country a couple of weeks ago. The industry claims that it is simplifying the fare structure by unbundling various amenities that were included in the fares. This gives greater flexibility to customers who can pick and choose the services they want in proportion to the fare they want to pay.

We all know that we had to pay for peanuts and soft drinks. But now, there are fees for check-in baggage, pre-boarding (yes, for an extra $10, you can board early), headsets and premium seats (nope - these are not bigger seats with more space. Some of the regular seats are now designated as premium seats, such as ALL window and aisle seats!). It's a pretty creative pricing structure and the possibilities are endless. Consider the following possibilities:

1. Choice of passenger sitting next to you: $20
2. Experience level of pilot: $75
3. Watch the in-flight movie: $5
4. Watch the final 10 minutes of the in-flight movie: $25
5. Newspaper: $5
6. Water: $5
7. Cold Water: $10
8. Pillow: $5
9. Reading light: $5
10. Usage of toilet: $10

Friday, December 10, 2010

In the winter wonderland

"From the frying pan into the fire" is the thought that went through my head as I walked out of the Dulles international airport in Washington DC. Weather seemed to be as cold or colder than London. Thank god for the pair of gloves that I picked up in London and my ski cap! But I have to admin, it felt great to be back in the US. There is something about the familiarity of a place built over two decades. Plus Washington DC - the seat of power! As Todd and I were driving to the city for a breakfast meeting, we passed by the Pentagon. I have been to DC before but have never seen this legendary building (is it the largest office building in the world?). Quite a kick!

I am in Rochester, New York now, where the temperature is several degrees colder and there is white cold stuff all around us. Can't wait to get to Los Angeles (78 degrees on the weekend).

Feeling exhausted and still struggling a bit with jet lag. But having a blast eating my favorite food. We stopped in at the Five Guys in Washington DC. This is the burger joint that hit the headlines when Obama stopped in to pick up a Cheeseburger (video). I tried one here and I can see why the Prez favors this place. Had great ribs last night in a barbecue joint in Rochester. My favorite Cheese Cake in London and Mexican at a new hot chain - Chipotle! Boy, packed quite a bit (literally!) in a couple of days that I have been here.

Monday, December 06, 2010

What is COLD? London in December.

You have not experienced cold until you have spent time in London in the month of December. I am in London at the moment and am experiencing the coldest weather that I probably have experienced in my entire life. We are talking about bone-numbing cold, you-can't-feel-your-fingers-within-minutes-of-being-outside cold! It is so cold out here at the moment that the code to access wi-fi at the hotel is ... you guessed it right ... COLD!

I can't write anything more on this as my fingers are frozen.

Bangalore - I miss you!