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Month: July 2016

Bird on the engine cowl of 737-800, refuses to move, and delays flight

Not a care in the world. Probably enjoying warm feet in this 11ºC (52ºF) Adelaide winter day.   I was on a standard commercial Qantas flight (QF764) yesterday (Wednesday) returning to Sydney from Adelaide, Australia. We had reversed from the gate, but were pausing before our turn to reach the runway. I was sitting in an aisle seat exit row (row 14) on the left hand side of the plane, when I realised there was a lot of chatter and mobile (cell) phone cameras being deployed. A ‘Maggie’ – Australian slang for Magpie (actually the Piping Shrike – the...

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Skyteam Lounge Heathrow – Terminal 4. I was a bit disrupted.

There are some airport lounges that are very memorable, and some, that are not. Or, it may have been because of the un-notified change in flight times that meant I wasn’t concentrating on the lounge, but harbouring the rage of an airline passenger spurned. From relaxed to edgy You see, this was the day of our flight January 2nd 2016, a flight we had made a preliminary booking for in April 2015. Trying to be thoroughly modern, I have begun to spurn paper itinerary’s and load up to Kayak, where I can access them from all my devices. That...

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The chase to see the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) from Tromsø, Norway

Just a taste of what we saw on the first night – in retrospect the bad viewing night. The highlight of my Northern Hemisphere Christmas trip, besides spending Christmas with our very good London friends, was to see the Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis. I’m going to cut to the chase on this post, giving you the goods at the end of the rainbow – the actual trip before I give you the background and planning and detail. You’re welcome. The Start We used Chasing Lights as our tour company, booking two chases on successive evenings. We were picked up at...

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What do you do when someone is already in the room you have been assigned? Clarion The Edge Hotel, Tromsø, Norway.

In the continuing saga of my first northern hemisphere Christmas, we decided to get a touch of real snow and cold, which just wasn’t available in London (London was having a balmy winter, with midday daytime temperatures around 16ºC (60ºF). Our excuse was to see the Northern Lights, and one of the best places to do this, is from Tromsø in northern Norway. Map courtesy of Prof Google Maps. The red thing indicates Tromsø, in case you were asking. You can review the flight report, or our pleasant encounter with the Plaza Premium Lounge in Heathrow Terminal 2 as...

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My first ever extreme cold weather flights and de-icing. Scandinavian Airlines London to Tromsø via Oslo

More firsts on this trip: Frst trip on Scandinavian Airlines First trip to Norway First visit to Oslo Airport First time witnessing wing de-icing First flight with on-board WiFi As you might have read previously here, this trip to Tromsø was part of my first northern hemisphere Christmas. I live in Sydney, Australia, where real cold is rare. We call 8ºC (46ºF) overnight freezing, and regard 30ºC (86ºF) as just getting warm. So -10ºC (14ºF) comes as a real shock. We started our trip at Heathrow Terminal 2 – The Queens Terminal, at a better than average Plaza Platinum lounge,...

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