A rant about public transport

Following on from my earlier blog about commuting and menswear I now feel compelled to rant about the state of public transport. It amazes me that the smallest thing can stuff things up so  badly and in the process screw my entire day up.

The other week it was a person under a train at Wimbledon and now this week its not only a trespasser at Clapham Junction but a security alert at Victoria. In the UK we have some of the  highest public transport costs in Europe but it does not seem to get reinvested. For comparison  the journey I took before I wrote this blog cost me £4.00 a comparable journey in Prague costs 81p. In Frankfurt its £1.10. In both of these places I have never seen public transport delays like we have here in the UK. It simply does not happen.

2 hours to get from Wimbledon to Cetral London is an absolute joke. What is even more of a p*** take is having to pay £4 for it!

South West Trains are seriously doing my head in so its no wonder I am now seriously considering buying a scooter for travelling into and around London.

Right you lot i’m back

Some of you may remember me from way back. My name is Swiss and some of you will remember my alleged demise after being captured by the plod at Malaga Airport. They are bastards them Spanish police, but you can’t keep a good knife down. I may have changed colour but because of some clever planning I made it back into the UK under the cover of a sombrero and a bottle of sangria the other night! Has much changed? Nah! Memory stick and SD card are still in their rightful place in the bag and Court is still as ugly as ever! I have warned him though that the sharp blade will stab him somewhere painful if he ever tries to smuggle me inadvertently or not through airport security ever again. It does say a few things though UK Airport security is useless and the Spanish plod are better at airport security than the English plod. More piccys of me back on hallowed English turf will follow soon. Lots of love Swissy swissy

Wakey wakey BA!

This year I have had to use EasyJet quite a bit. I used to slag off cheapo no frills airlines a lot, preferring flag carriers such as BA. Fear not I still hate Ryanair with a passion!

The reason for this is simple profit and loss. I much prefer BA’s policy of two bags in the over head and not having to put a bag in the hold. But BA to Prague for the flights I need are coming in too expensive. £400 for BA compared to £130 for EasyJet. But it gets better, in 15 months BA have only managed to get one or two flights I have been traveling on arrive on time. In 16 flights. EasyJet have only been late once!

BA and I have had quite a few run ins in the space of16 years. I still remember the swipe card incident which was their biggest fuck up and cost me an awful lot of money. That was 11 years ago but it still rankles.

EasyJet seem to be getting their house in order now and creating an airline that the frequent flyers wants to use. This new relationship is working. I do fear that BA are losing their way a little now and need to regroup but I cannot see how they can do this especially with the stranglehold Unite have over the organisation. Now everyone knows how much I hate Unite but BA have to sort them out in order to move on.

I do wonder how long BA have left in their current guise.

On a cheekier note lets talk about cabin crew and eye candy. BA used to have a good reputation for providing very good looking ladies to serve me why coffee or on a friday evening, champagne or whisky but on recent BA flights I have been served by munters. EasyJet on the other hand seem to be attracting their fair share of stunners!

So wakey wakey BA! its time to start smelling the coffee 🙂

Airports Rated

As many of you know I travel a lot and spend a lot of time at airports, so much so that I have decided to rate them.

The Best

Berne Airport, Switzerland. I swear my flat is larger than this airport! Very small, very friendly and with the friendliest security staff I have ever met. The coffee is great too!

A very worthy mention must go to Luxembourg airport which is a very worthy runner up.

The Worst

2 airports share this award. If god were going to give the world an enema and wanted to use an airport as the hole. He could most definitely choose between Frankfurt Airport and Schipol airport in Holland. I actually cringe when I have to go through either of these airports! Schipol is particularly singled out for their approach to Schengen transiting arrangements.

A worthy mention goes to Glasgow airport in Scotland. It simply aint a great place to fly to or from and i’m not just talking about the airport here!

The middle ground

Dublin Airport, how could something that could be so easy go so badly wrong? Not a nice place to fly from.

Charles De Gaulle, Paris. Its ok and I can say I do not mind spending time here.

Malaga Airport. Full of chavs – Avoid if at all possible.

Geneva Airport – Its ok! Nothing to write home about.

Manchester Airport. This place has the makings of a very good airport and they do try to do everything well. They may not always get it right but they do try. The same goes for Leeds Bradford Airport.

Teeside Airport. A few sheds or nissen huts bolted together and the nastiest coffee I have ever had at an airport. Why they tried to gentrify it by renaming it Durham Tees Valley I will never know.

Newcastle Airport – Horrid, just horrid.

Copenhagen Airport, A good airport this with a great smoking area 🙂 Recommended.

The Channel Islands. Both Guernsey and Jersey have good airports that are let down by crap coffee.

Brussels National. Its ok. Very long transit times though depending on your gate.

Prague Airport is good and the transit times are generally quick but £3 for a small coke is taking the mickey!

London Airports

They are all not great. Heathrow is a mess but Terminal 5 is ok. I still get a great sense of pride walking through this terminal and fondly remember the time I worked on the project to build Terminal 5.

Stansted is just too far away to be of any use to me.

Luton is ok but full of chavs. Gatwick is getting better but the walk through duty free shop at Gatwick South is annoying. As for London City Airport there is a very good reason that amongst myself and a number of my colleagues it has picked up the nickname of London Shitty!

So there you have it! A number of European airports rated!

British Airways and punctuality

Since the beginning of 2012 I have taken 105 flights with British Airways. The most recent being from Malaga to London Gatwick last week. You can read a little more about that trip here and here. Suprise, suprise, both the flight out to Malaga and back to Gatwick were heavily delayed. Doing a little research I cam across these statistics. These contradict heavily with my own findings. of 105 flights I can only recollect one flight from Luxembourg to London Heathrow being on time or early in nearly 2 years. In nearly 2 years I have flown with British Airways to Malaga, Madrid, Glasgow, Geneva, Amsterdam, Manchester, Newcastle, Brussels and Luxembourg. I do find these statistics I link to above as they contradict my own. For the avoidance of doubt let me be clear that every delay has been greater than 15 minutes duration. Alas I do not and will never fly as much again, however I do reserve the right to challenge the statistics, especially as in my experience less than 1% of flights arrive on time thus making these statistics potentially incorrect.