More flight attendant fallout...world's most expensive cities for hotels...
I love it when we get a big story like the Jet Blue flight attendant who pulled the cord and slid down the emergency chute at the airport in New York after getting fed up with rude passengers. It's probably the news guy in me, but some days I miss the adrenaline rush of the big game or the big story.
So it was fun to weigh in yesterday with a quick blog supporting (mostly) the now infamous Steve Slater, who joins the likes of parachutist D.B. Cooper and the Barefoot Bandit as instant legends. And it's great to see the story going around the world, with bloggers and TV and radio folks all weighing in.
Advertising Age has a great item today about how there are a whole whack of Facebook pages set up already for the guy, including ones called "Free Steven Slater," "WWSSD (What would Steve Slater Do?) and, you gotta love this, "Can Steven Slater Get More Fans Than Justin Bieber?" page. I also found "Steven Slater is My Hero" and then spotted a Jimmy Fallon take-off tune he did on TV last night, with the unofficial title "You Gotta Get Two Beers and Jump."
Ad Age also points out that Jet Blue is normally quite active with social media, but that the airline has been pretty silent on the Steve Slater issue.
As for my own meanderings, it was fun - and rather surprising - to find out so many people agreed with me when I insulted air passengers as being rude and, frankly, not that bright.
There are exceptions, of course. I don't think most of us are truly stupid; just that we don't always think about why there are rules and why flight attendants have to obey the rules, even if they personally find them stupid. I mean, I doubt most flight attendants truly believe that my using over-the-ear-headphones on descent instead of the crummy in-air headphones they give you on the plane will truly bring down a 747. But what are they supposed to do - read only the rules they agree with? Of course not.
I sympathize with flight attendants, for sure. I was just surprised that more readers didn't take me to task, that's all.
Anyway, I wanted to give some of you folks a chance to vent your opinions. So here's a brief sample.
"You are so right about increasingly stupid passengers. I am one of them. In my defense (and I am nothing if not defensive) I had been trying to sleep on the floor of my snoring friend's hotel room for 8 nights and was operating on a bit of a sleep deficit. Sunday morning, I awoke at 1:30 am because of some stupid, inconsiderate hotel guests and couldn't get back to sleep. I had to leave at 6:20 for a bus to Encinitas (California) and as soon as I arrived back at my LA hotel, I grabbed a taxi to LAX, only to learn that my AC flight was delayed, not by the 20 minutes i was told, but by two hours! After some really memorable (belch) airport food I began to transform into a cranky, fussy baby. By the time I landed in Vancouver, I was in an altered state and really needed to be led by the nose through all those hoops and obstacle courses. My whining got me no sympathy from employees probably on OT by then. Even so, they were all very tolerant and seemed to realize they were dealing with someone with diminished capacity. Even the security guys were pretty easy going about the fact that, contrary to my claims, I did have a bottle with some green fluid in my carry-on. (he wanted me to drink it but I declined, feeling it had been too long in the 'danger zone'). In my experience, flight attendants are among the most disciplined professionals on the planet. They are often treated like over paid wait staff but have saved countless lives when things have gone wrong." - Elizabeth Wallac
"The carry-on baggage appears to be an issue especially when some travelers ensure they hit the maximum allowable weight and struggle to get it into or out of the overhead storage, or take up space other than their own allotment above their seat. Weight and dimensional restrictions should be rigidly enforced at the last check-in counter prior to boarding." - Willy Sio
"Having been a Flight Attendant for over 35 years and recently retired I have nothing but understanding for what Flight Attendant Slater did and what many of us dream of doing when we have had enough. I would not call allpassengers dumb or idiots for that matter but some idiots do exist and they are the ones who push us to the limit. Standing up to get your luggage when the aircraft is moving is assine and can cause injury and I have lost my cool a few times when walking down the isle someone's baggage is in the way because they did not secure it and I have tripped causing me to lose my balance. It is not easy job especially when things don't work on the aircraft and it causes anger and there is a lot of that in theworld, things go wrong and it is entirely out of the hands of the flight crew but people don't care they want what they want and they want it now. While I don't miss the job one little bit I will always have memories of how it was good and bad all at the same timeso to the passengers who may want to ignore your flight attendant when they ask you to do some thing please consider this is for your own good and give us a break!" -Tessa D'Aguiar,Retired Flight Attendant, Air Canada
As if burning fires and smoke wasn't enough to deter tourism to Moscow, now comes a report by the Hogg Robinson Group in the UK that puts the Russian capital at the top of the list of most expensive cities in the world for a hotel room.
The study found that the average hotel in Moscow these days costs a whopping $392 per night. That's almost $100 more than the number two city, Geneva. The full top ten chart for world cities is shown below. I also dug around a bit and
found the top ten list for North America (both of these are for the first six months of this year, by the way), so I'm also sending that along.
TOP TEN MOST EXPENSIVE WORLD CITIES FOR HOTELS
1. Moscow, $392
2. Geneva, $304
3. Hong Kong, $302
4. Paris $301
5. New York $297
6. Washington, D.C. $295
7. Zurich, $287
8. Abu Dhabi, $283
9. Stockholm, $280
10. Oslo, $267.
TOP TWELVE MOST EXPENSIVE HOTEL CITIES IN NORTH AMERICA
1. New York, $297
2. Washington, $295
3. Los Angeles $246
4. Boston, $240
5. San Francisco, $220
6. Toronto, $214
7. Chicago, $203
8. Vancouver, $186
9. Houston, $182
10. Philadelphia, $173
11. Ottawa, $171
12. Montreal, $155
Quite surprised to see Ottawa more expensive than Montreal. I like Ottawa fine, but is there really any comparison between the two cities? Any at all? I didn't think so.
Also surprising to me was not seeing London on the world chart. I don't actually find it all that expensive, relative to others, but it usually finds its way onto these charts so I was a bit surprised. Mind you, I think you have to take these things with major grains of salt. You can find perfectly fine hotels in London for $100 Canadian, and nice ones in Paris for $150. So I sometimes think these charts are all done up by high-falutin' guys in business suits who need four-star properties with fancy room service and the ultimate in spa treatments and tiny bottles of toiletries with French designer names. Me? I don't mind them at all. But just as happy to have more space at a Courtyard Marriott than to be surrounded by lace doilies at a five-star place where I can't feel comfortable wearing shorts and a Jimmy Buffett t-shirt in the lobby.
I stayed at a lovely resort in Whistler last September, right at the base of a ski hill. But my room at the Hilton a few days prior to the resort stay was far larger; almost a full suite. It wasn't as fancy, but I'll take the extra space almost every time.