British Airways relaxes mobile phone restrictions

british airways logoAccording to The Telegraph, British Airways Passengers will be allowed as of July 1st, to use their mobile phones and gadgets moments after the plane has landed.

Once the aircraft has landed, cabin crew will make an announcement to customers to let them know they can use their handheld mobile devices, it said. On departing flights, customers will still be required to turn off devices when the aircraft leaves the gate.

Customers will no longer have the frustration of having to wait until their plane has arrived at the terminal building before being able to use their mobile phones and other handheld electronic devices,” he said. “Now they’ll have that extra time to phone ahead for that important business meeting, check their emails, or make sure someone is there to meet them at the airport.

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In-Flight Wi-Fi Still Costly, but More Available

Airborn WiFi8,700 domestic flights or 38 percent of the total, now offer Internet connectivity, according to Routehappy.com, reports The New York Times.

It remains to be seen, however, how viable in-flight Wi-Fi will be as a business — though Gogo, which leads the field with systems on more than 80 percent of all Wi-Fi-enabled flights in North America, had an initial public offering on Friday.

So far, only a small number of passengers have been choosing to pay for Wi-Fi, which can cost $12 or more per session. Gogo, for example, said that in the first quarter of this year, 6.2 percent of passengers on planes with its Wi-Fi systems opted for its service, a slight improvement from the 5.6 percent who took it in the 2012 first quarter.

Gogo, which has its air-to-ground-based system in more than 1,900 airplanes flying domestically, plans to use proceeds of the stock offering partly to finance a planned international rollout using Ku-band satellite technology, which allows the service to work over oceans. That will enable the company to sell its services on overseas flights.

According to the Routehappy report, which is based on current data from domestic and international commercial flights, the 38 percent of daily domestic flights that have Wi-Fi service cover nearly half of all actual flight time, because planes used on longer flights are more likely to be equipped with the service.

And, the report adds, “international Wi-Fi is becoming a reality, with 38 daily international flights from the U.S. offering it, and another 241 international flights having “a chance of Wi-Fi or cellular roaming” on various airlines.

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The best food in Bangkok

Bangkok street food

The best food in Bangkok is not found in your hotel or 5 star restaurant but in small restaurants and street side stalls.

A decade ago, when I first moved to Bangkok, a friend who had emigrated there long before me let me in on a secret: the best food in Thailand is served by street vendors and at basic mom-and-pop restaurants. To prove his point, he dragged me to Chote Chitr, tucked into a side alley and decorated with nothing but a wall calendar. I saw no foreigners, and we pored through a menu all in Thai. We sampled the specialties, and I was quickly convinced, eating the same dishes then that I would enjoy 10 years later, and dozens of times in between.

That Chote Chitr would prove a culinary revelation shouldn’t have come as too much of a surprise: small places often prove to be the best eating spots in many cities. But for historical reasons Bangkok may boast the finest street food on earth. The city has long attracted migrants from across Asia, so its street cuisine, both at vendor carts and in tiny restaurants, blends many styles of cooking. Even a simple snack like murtabak mixes Malaysian-style roti pancake with curry fillings that betray Indian and Burmese spices.

THAI habits also lend themselves to street meals. Since Thais normally eat many small meals rather than three squares and traditionally prefer to meet outside the house, street food suits them. Many Thai dishes can be cooked relatively quickly, and Thais are fastidious about cleanliness, important to customers worried about eating alongside a road.

Street Food in Bangkok


Ryanair: Is it really Europe’s most punctual airline?

ryanair

Ryanair has announced record profits this week, and the purchase of 175 new Boeing airliners. It’s evidently one of Europe’s most successful airlines at present – but has it even so been blowing its own trumpet a bit too much? The BBC reports:

Ryanair’s overall punctuality score – taking into account its flights landing at or taking off from other airports around Europe – could easily be higher than 83%, says Jim Paton, senior lecturer in the Department of Air Transport at Cranfield University.

“A big proportion of their network in Europe is operations to small airports that don’t suffer from air traffic congestion, as would be the case around London and Paris,” he says. This makes it easier to avoid delays.

He adds that Ryanair flies to airports where the facilities are relatively close to the runway, so the plane doesn’t spend several minutes taxiing, as it would often have to at airports such as Schiphol in Amsterdam.

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