My assignment for OnTheSnow is to cover “planes, trains and automobiles,” so I’ve saved a couple nuggets of travel information to make your next flight perhaps more interesting.
The first comes from a survey conducted by Skyscanner, based in Scotland and Poland. Here’s what the editors at Skyscanner say:
“The aviation industry has long used the frisson of flirtation to sell flights, beginning with strict ‘glamour’ criteria for cabin crew on the first commercial flights and continuing through to recent sexy advertising campaigns from airlines such as Virgin. The survey has revealed our romantic associations with flying are still going strong with the trend for ‘flyrting’ – the practice of passengers flirting whilst flying.
“The survey of over 1,000 travelers revealed that 45 percent of passengers admitted to flirting whilst on board a flight, with a third leading to a rendezvous following the flight, and 8 percent of them resulting in a relationship.
“Skyscanner employee Karin Noble, a former cabin crew member commented:
“’More and more people are now traveling by air so it’s no surprise that flights have become a place to flirt. After all, you are sitting next to someone for an hour or more, and the fact that you’re both traveling to the same place means you already have something in common. Add this to the heightened effect that alcohol can have at altitude and the more relaxed holiday mood that many travelers feel, and it tends to give people the courage to flirt with a fellow passenger or even take things further, especially on long haul routes such as flights to Australia.’
“More shockingly, for a small minority the flirtations may actually lead to membership of the infamous Mile High Club; a separate survey found that 20% of travelers have joined this risqué association and half of these had done so with a stranger they met on a flight.
“For those that are not members however it certainly still seems to appeal with a massive 95 percent of those surveyed admitting they would like to join the Mile High Club, while a Valentine’s Day survey showed that 6 percent of men claim this was their ideal gift.
“However, a UK firm offering ‘Mile High’ flights was recently shut down by the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) after just two years of operation, as they weren’t satisfied that on board safety criteria were being met, and feared the in-flight action could be ‘too distracting’ for pilots.”
Here’s another intriguing survey: FlightNetwork.com, an online site in Canada, announced the results of their newest 'State of Air Travel Poll,' aimed at giving Canadians a voice to weigh-in on the biggest issues facing the travel industry.
The poll asked Canadian consumers to report and rate the best upgrades they have ever received on a flight.
Of the 1000 Canadian travelers polled, 52.8 percent said that they have never actually received an upgrade. 37.3 percent lucky travelers reported a bump up to first class, 6.1 percent considered roomier seats the best upgrade they have ever received and 3.8 percent cited free drinks.
When asked what three upgrades they would most appreciate on their next flights, Canadian travelers overwhelmingly voted for a bump up to first class at 82.9 percent followed by roomier seats at 74.1 percent and a free meal at 49.8 percent. Travelers would also like no one sitting on either side of them 42.2 percent, free drinks (25.7 percent) and a free in-flight movie (25.3 percent).
Interestingly, when asked what upgrade would make them switch airlines, more than half of travelers (58.8 percent) voted that 'it doesn't matter, they were just looking for the lowest prices."
The following is a quotation from the Transportation Safety Administration’s (TSA) web site: “NEVER leave babies in an infant carrier while it goes through the X-ray machine.” More generally applicable (I hope) is the note that gel shoe inserts are forbidden.
Here is a press release from Qatar Airways, the national airline of the State of Qatar, announcing new flights from that Middle Eastern country to Montreal, which could send Qataris whooshing down the slopes at Mont Tremblant and elsewhere in Canada:
“Canada’s second largest city will be served with three-flights-a-week on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays using the airline’s flagship Boeing 777-200 Long Range aircraft. The non-stop journey from the airline’s hub in Doha to Montreal’s Pierre Elliot Trudeau International Airport will be a total flying time of 13 hrs 20 minutes.
“The destination marks Qatar Airways’ first foray into Canada following a series of bilateral negotiations in Doha last year, when the airline secured rights to fly passenger and cargo flights to the country.
“The province of Quebec’s capital city becomes the airline’s fourth destination in North America. The award-winning airline, ranked Five Star for service, excellence and high standards, currently operates daily flights to New York, Washington and Houston.”
This writer hopes the pilots for Qatar Airways know more about geography than the publicity agent. Quebec City is the capital of the province. From Quebec, skiers and riders reach Mont-Sainte-Anne and Le Massif, among other mountain destinations.