Thursday, March 9, 2017

Flying Silver

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It’s been, well, decades since I flew in the airlines lowest privilege category. ‘not a bad thing, but different now that I’m demoted.

The cause is a combination of factors.  I’m not traveling as much overall. When i do, it’s to Stockholm, Budapest, Dubrovnik: Low-cost carriers rather than the majors.  And my long-time loyalty partner, Delta, has changed their program to reward dollars spent rather than mils flown.  ‘not good if I am always looking for a discount fare.

Which leaves me Silver, not Platinum, for 2017.

Differences.  No lounge access.  Half-full wine glasses.. No complimentary upgrades.  Lower mileage matches.

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But, you know, it’s good.  The day was coming, and the chase was getting tired.  The pre-flight mimosa, the complimentary newspaper, the miso soup and shortbread, early bag unloading, occasional preferred customs, and the speedy wifi, adds up to little.  Really. Being part of the global elite is addictive, but neither necessary nor defining.

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So I am exploring the airport shops for small gifts, buying a panini and a pint when the mood strikes, and scrounging power from the Witherspoons in exchange for purchasing a bucket of chips.

All good, nothing lost.  ‘just different.  And really, not worth the money or chase.

Even given the cheap wine glass, only half full.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

London twilight

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Saturday, March 4, 2017

Poole, into London

DSC01298 (867x1300)A close friend called, asked if I could meet him in London today on a personal matter.  Of course, anything, let me get the train in.  I pick up a flower and a some fizzy water before heading out.

I’d planned a day along the beach, long overdue.  A storm surf would have been wonderful, white foam and booming breaks, but the early morning was placid along the harbor and the beachfront.  Still, lovely to walk the sands and share the morning with the couples and dog-walkers.

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Right.  9 am: hit the roads north.  On arriving in Basingstoke, though, there were a few adjustments.  There is no more cruel word in Dutch than snelbus. The British equivalent is Replacement Bus, evident only after I’d paid for parking.  When track works are on, the transit times double.

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In this case, the delays start with waiting for an onwards bus, and end with further 45 minute waits for a train in Woking.  Still, it’s a chance to see the place, and, in my case, to find the landing spots for Wells' Martians.  They are well remembered in the city: a landing spot near the mall, the mechanical tripod striding along the thoroughfares.

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All in all, five hours to London, car, bus, and train.  And there will be an equal measure back for the evening.  Still, the visit with the family in St. Thomas meant a lot for all of us.  Between conversations, there were moments free for walks along Southbank.  A small food fair, a burst of rain, a lot of tourists to study.

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‘not a terrible trade for the day on the beach.