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Travelling Tips

Wednesday 29 October 2003
Path > Heathrow (UK) to Adelaide via Changi Airport (Singapore) Melbourne Airport (Australia) Adelaide Airport in South Australia

Business class has got to be the way to travel. But what really matters is how you take advantage of the options available to you to ensure your comfort whatever class you travel.

My first example of this is related to the luggage restrictions that are placed on passengers when they travel.

Normally, economy class passengers are allowed to take on one piece of cabin baggage or a certain size and no heavier than seven kilos as well as one piece of checked luggage up to twenty kilos. Business class extends the checked luggage allowance to 30 kilograms, which is what saved me on this flight.

But the problem comes when I have a laptop and camera as well as a motorbike jacket. Despite their combined weight being nearly fifteen kilos, I can talk my way passed carrying on the laptop and camera, but the advantage comes with the jacket.

I could put the jacket in my checked in case, but the many useful pockets can be used to hold small but heavy items (such as books) that might have tipped the scales if carried in the check in luggage, incurring excess baggage fees. It is amazing just how heavy a couple of thick books can be!

Just remember to warn them when staff ask if they can take your jacket.

With jacket hung up my next task is to make sure that the laptop and camera bags are put away safely and securely where other passengers wont accidentally drop them from great heights.

As I was flying Business Class, I didn't have to worry as much about other passengers getting in my way or other comfort issues, and just settled in for the ride.

Singapore never comes quickly from London, and after thirteen hours on the plane there is nothing better than a quick shower.

We only had an hour stopover, but I knew where the business lounge was and headed straight for it. It is amazing how much better you feel at the end of a 24-hour trip if you can shower in the middle!

Other tips I'd pass on would be to limit alcohol intake on the trip, especially in the lounges while you are on the ground. I generally only have a few glasses of wine in the air when I am looking to catch a few hours of sleep, but then sometimes I do break my own rules...

The other amazing thing that I discovered on this latest trip home was the noise reducing headsets for listening to music or watching movies. The output actually cancels the noise around you, allowing you to hear clearly at lower volume.

I quickly found an additional benefit was to turn down the volume of the music when I wanted to sleep. The music was very quiet, but the noise cancellation still worked, removing the roaring sound of the flight.

Another thing that came to me as I was reflecting on my time in Europe and enjoying the service.

It always amazes me that people cant wait to be served for a meal and then will rush through it like they had something else to do! Where can they go? They are generally watching a movie anyway, so why not slow down, relax and enjoy the meal?

The final tip from this latest trip applies to most situations in life. Smile! Being friendly to the guys that server you or the other passengers isn't hard and might even open up an unexpected conversation.

I made it into Adelaide after a day of flights and some six months away. Was this my last homecoming for a while? Only time will tell...

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Copyright © Rob Mader 2000, Journal date Wednesday 29 October 2003