Lounging around in airports mean that the once private, tranquil space for corporate travellers has generally become a thing of the past – more gripes from our disgruntled corporate traveller

As the world starts to get a grip on the coronavirus spread so discussions are already taking place between families and friends about where we’d travel to once it is safe to do so. It is generally agreed that domestic travel will be open much earlier than international but regardless of where we are flying to, there are some things that we really hope disappear along with Covid-19.

“How about making the air travel experience more comfortable and bringing back the golden days of flying, making its a pleasure to fly, with more space, better products and an all-round calmer experience.”
The Blue Swan Daily

The Blue Swan Daily has solicited the views of a group of regular travellers to understand some of the gripes they have with air travel. Mr Victor A Forcenteain, our disgruntled corporate traveller, highlighted his initial gripes last month (May-2020).

Here, he returns with some more thoughts.

“My litany of complaints about the travel industry clearly touched a raw nerve with frequent flyers out there as a number got in touch. With more time to think and remember all the bad and worse times spent travelling, we all realise there is so much more wrong with the current system and long for some changes to be made.

“For instance, airline lounges. When will the airlines learn that these are supposed to be havens of quiet relaxation? Instead there are TV screens wherever you look with the sound turned down to an annoying buzz; absolutely nowhere to avoid them. And children playing video games with the sound on high while mummy and daddy have a wee drink.

“I’ve found myself frequently seeking out the quiet spaces, almost impossible I hear you cry. I was once in the Qantas business lounge in Sydney, obviously a while ago. It was busy. There was almost nowhere to sit unless you joined others.

“The screens had been turned up above the usual annoying buzz to a very annoying rumble that was still indecipherable. There were kids and adults, playing their video games and two loud, rather drunk, parties.

“After several attempts to find a quiet place I went to the reception desk to ask if there was anywhere quiet. The nice lady pointed to the children’s play room behind me and suggested I should go in there ‘because usually no-one uses it’.

“It’s not a joke – it actually happened. I left the lounge and went to a coffee shop mezzanine downstairs where I was the only guest – and I could pass the time by watching the passing parade below. One can only hope that with social distancing requirements in the future these quiet lounges will have to improve, thank goodness.

“Then there are the hotel rooms. Why oh why can’t hotel designers think about where to put plugs? They never seem to be located in a useful place. Most of us arrive with our phone batteries dying but is there a plug anywhere near the bed so we can connect and fall into an exhausted sleep? Of course not. The nearest is across the other side of the room which is great unless you need your phone for an alarm.

“Personally I prefer my own gentle phone alarm than the harsh hotel phone buzzing to wake me with an automated voice. And hotel clock radios are always unfathomable so I certainly wouldn’t trust one of those to get me up on time.

“Then as my wife tells me what’s the point in having a hair dryer if there’s no plug near a mirror. Her need to have a nicely coiffed look means she has to give a burst of hot air and then move to the mirror to check she’s not creating something more akin to Einstein. It doesn’t lead to a happy start to the day, let me tell you.

“And don’t get me started on mobile boarding cards which are definitely going to be essential in the future. These are absolutely great when they work. But so many airline apps don’t work all of the time so you end up unable to check in or download the boarding card. This means having to go to the hotel’s business centre, assuming they have one.

“Getting back on board is eagerly awaited by some of us. But please can those aisle hoggers just get a move on. How is it possible for them to take so long to sort out their luggage and sit down in their seat.

“Could they not sort out what they need for the flight in advance rather than spend endless minutes holding up the boarding process while they take items out of the bag before putting into the overhead locker.

“Is it the same group of people who are actually in a later boarding group but try to push forward to get on earlier? Their seat will not go without them so why do they need to feel the need to push in? There are some who think of themselves as ‘elite’ who also fall into this category.

“And those people who were unfortunately allocated a middle seat and decide to try it on by sitting next to the window or aisle. No, I am not going to swap with you, get back into your middle seat where you belong.

“And once onboard we get given a tiny bag of Pretzels. Does anyone really enjoy them? What is the point?”

Some further interesting observations. Do you share the same opinions? What annoys you most about the travel experience? What do you most want to change?

we are almost certainly going to have to spend more for flights in the future. How about making the experience more comfortable and bringing back the golden days of flying, making its a pleasure to fly, with more space, better products and an all-round calmer experience.

We would like to hear from you about those little (or big) things that annoy you about travel. Please share your own travel gripes via email with Victor A Forcenteain via The Blue Swan Daily Content Team and we will feature them in coming articles.

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