Thursday, 17 July 2014

Malaysian Airlines flight reportedly shot down over Ukraine-Russian border

The passenger plane is reported to have been en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. Various reports say that the flight was shot down over disputed airspace. Amateur footage shows thick smoke trailing to the crash site.

Malaysia Airlines confirms 'incident' on board one of its flights amid reports of plane crash in Ukraine near Russian border
Ukrainian Interior Ministry: "295 dead in Malaysian airlines crash"
Interfax agency reports that the plane was brought down by a ground-to-air missile. Ukrainian news reports that the missile was fired by separatists.

Pro-Russian separatists claim to have found the planes black box voice recorder and intend to send it to Moscow for investigation.

The flight was a codeshare flight between Malaysian and KLM.
Reports of many Dutch, American and Malaysian citizens on board. France claims 4 french citizens were on the flight.
Unverified reports that ant-government forces near Donetsk claimed to have shot down a "Ukranian" Jet in the area around the same time MH17 was brought down. The Ukranian government claims that no Ukranian aircraft were in the area at the time. BUK missiles were being transported by the rebels in the area in the past few days.

IATA states that MH17 was not flying in restricted airspace.

Rebels are willing to grant a 3 day ceasefire to allow for recovery.

Airbus patents new “moped-style” aeroplane seats

FRENCH AVIATION GIANT Airbus has filed a patent that would see no-frills become even more uncomfortable.
Not content with non-reclining chairs and limited leg-room, the French manufacturer has proposed a new system that would see short-haul planes fitted with more seats. The extra seats would be added by adding a seating system that has “reduced bulk”, appearing to look something like a moped seat.
That means taking the cushions out and mounting the seats on a pole. The patent filing says that the plan would allow Airbus increase the number of people on short-haul flights. Thankfully, they say that it can only last a couple of hours.
“In effect, to increase the number of cabin seats, the space allotted to each passenger must be reduced.
“However, this reduced comfort remains tolerable for the passengers in as much as the flight lasts only one or a few hours.”
However, a spokesperson for the company told The Telegraph that it is “unlikely” that you’ll ever have to sit on one.
“We file hundreds of patents each year and it’s all about protecting ideas,” he said. “We are actually pushing airlines for an 18-inch seat width to come as standard on long haul flights – some aircraft have only 16.7 inches.”

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Hotel Review: Hyde Park Executive Apartments.

Top Tip: Stay anywhere else!

I'm not normally one to complain about poor quality service, often put it down to the staff just having a bad day. But I have never in my life witnessed the likes of this. I booked this accommodation through a booking site online, but for personal reasons had to cancel it. So I rang the accommodation directly to do so. I was told by the lady on the phone that she would cancel it for me and that there would be no charge. I rang the next day to confirm this and was told again that there would be no charge. The hotel have since charged my card for a no show fee. I rang them to query this, and they said I should have cancelled through the booking agent, when I told them that I cancelled with themselves, they denied this and said any one of their staff would have told me to cancel with the agent.

In the two times I spoke to them prior to this nobody mentioned this to me. They said they would investigate this and if they could find out who said they would cancel it then they would refund me. Having heard nothing back from them, I rang and neither of them would speak to me, they told me to email their manager. His response was this ;

"Dear Mr Griffin,

Thank you for contacting Hyde Park Executive Apartments regarding your recent reservation with us.

I have spoken with the two front office agents that were working here on Tuesday 1st July , and I am afraid none of them recalls speaking with you on that date. Do you recall by any chance who did you speak with?

Your booking was made through the online agent, so as my colleague correctly mentioned to you, all modifications or cancellations can only be done directly through them, and we would have been unable to cancel that booking for you in any case.

I completely understand that you might have been unaware of that fact, but let me be very clear regarding this matter Mr Griffin. It is your sole responsibility to be aware of the relevant cancellation policy and procedure when making a reservation, and not my receptionist's one. These terms and conditions are clearly visible in the booking agent, both on their website, and in the confirmation letter that you received from them when you made the reservation, so saying that you were charged because nobody informed you about the fact that the booking needed to be cancelled through them is simply not accurate at all.

Furthermore, if as you mentioned, someone at our property would have told you that they were able to cancel the reservation free of charge for you at that time, the booking would be cancelled on our system, but after I checked the booking history, I could not find such cancellation, and you were in fact charged as for not showing up to the property, as the booking remained active the whole time.

Based on all the above, I am afraid we are unable to refund that amount to you as requested.

If you have more specific information about the person that you spoke with, or if they gave you any sort of cancellation number please let me know and I will of course be happy to investigate this matter further."

The staff here are the most unprofessional I have ever dealt with (and I deal with a lot working in the tourism industry). They have no integrity and are obviously lying to weasel their way out of taking responsibility for their mistake.