Tag Archives: Air travel

Air Sick

an aeroplane is not always a healthy place to be

at least you wouldn’t be breathing recycled air

Flying back from Turkey very late on Monday evening I was sitting in seat 7C, and I was unfortunate to be right across the aisle from an older women sitting in 7D, who was obviously quite poorly.  Overhearing the lady’s daughter talking to the cabin staff it seems as though the poor lady had been ill for most of her vacation.

The whole thing then became very complicated.  The fight was still sitting at the gate as our departure time came and went, as the cabin staff fussed around the poorly lady, her concerned daughter, and the grand daughter, who had ‘special needs’.

Then the captain appeared, walking down the aisle from the front office, looking slightly worried, which is unusual for a pilot.

Still we sat there, a nurse on the flight came back to help the cabin staff with the situation, and she looked worried after she took a look at the ‘patient’.

Then the captain re-appeared, clutching a bit of paper, and said that all three had to get off the ‘plane.  Tears, consternation, fussing and flapping.  A guy with a special narrow wheelchair arrived, and the unfortunate people were deplaned.

Then there was a detailed passenger count, and a check of all the luggage on the plane, in the hold and in the overhead lockers.

Amazingly we left the ground only 45 minutes late, and made up time on the way back to Blighty.

Why am I telling you all this?

Well whatever the poor elderly lady had, I’ve now got too.

No way I’m going very far from the bathroom for a while.

The good news is it’s not the damn coronavirus.  Just the Turkish equivalent of what we Sahibs used to call ‘Delhi Belly’.

Some say that air travel is the safest way to go.  And that you’re more likely to be hit by a meteorite than you are to be in a plane crash.  All I know is that if there is anybody sick on your flight, then you are going to get it too.


jack collier



how we should dress for air travel

OK, maybe not the bikini

No Travel Please, I’m British

these days, an Englishman’s home truly is his castle

a castle in the clouds is as far as I’m likely to get

Just going to the store is becoming very complicated here.  To begin with you can’t pay in cash, for most places you have to stand in line outside for a while, and in a few days time we are all going to have to start wearing face nappies again in stores.  Face coverings are a requirement on public transport too, but the last time I was on a train, (just last week), hardly anyone bothered with that.

Train timetables are very restricted, for some services one must book in advance, and when you get to wherever the train is going you will find that most ‘attractions’ are shut.

The airlines are flying again, but face masks are a requirement in airports and on aircraft.  How much fun would it be for me to wear a face mask for a continuous 24 hours if I was travelling to the USA?  No fun at all.  Not that I could fly to the USA in any event, because immigration wouldn’t let me in, and even if I was stopped at the US border I would still face 14 days quarantine when I returned to the UK.

That’s the problem with overseas travel.  Theoretically there are flights, but when you get to where you’re going you’re probably going to be facing 14 days of self-isolation.  Rather spoils the average vacation of business trip.

It’s all utterly pointless and political ~ nothing to do with health at all.   Turns out that the number of COVID-19 deaths is very hyped / inflated.  All deaths will be recorded as coronavirus related, whenever and whatever poor soul tested positive for the virus, even if the proximate cause of mortality was being run over by a bus.

I hope the right people start to make the right decisions soon.  But I very much doubt it.


jack collier


not going to happen for me any time soon

Vacation Travel Chaos

the longest journey starts with the first step

at least we can still do our 10,000 steps a day

There is no quick resolution to the COVID-19 chaos that is affecting airlines, tour operators, hotels, and whole countries around the world.  Yesterday the government in England, via the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, exempted some countries from its advice that we British should avoid any but essential overseas travel.

There is a list of these exempted countries ~ it’s fairly useless.  No matter what the Government says here, these countries all have their own rules, which in some cases prevent people who have recently been to England from entering ~ hopefully pro tempore.  In some cases there are no commercial flights anyway.

The full Department of Transport list can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-travel-corridors

But beware, Cyprus, Greece, and Malta will not let UK nationals in without a test, lots of documentation, a 14 day quarantine, (or at all),  there are no flights to the Seychelles, Portugal doesn’t seem to exist any more, & etc. & etc.

Places I think I could travel to in the near future are Italy, Spain, Turkey.  Not really an extensive list of holiday Destinations is it?  France is definitely off the list of places to go, and large parts of Spain are under lockdown again.  There’s always Gibralter, and maybe Morocco.

My best advice is to contact a reputable tour company and airline ~ and then do lots of on-line research before booking anything.

Or stay at home for another couple of weeks.

Sadly, if you are in the USA, you can’t go anywhere, and nobody can come to visit you.  Perhaps you may be able to travel by Thanksgiving, or Christmas.

Have a nice Independence Day.


jack collier


Doom and Gloom when it comes to travel to or from the USA, or anywhere within America either

English COVID-19 Travel Restrictions Eased

live with no excuses, and travel with no regrets

As it has been widely expected, today a list of countries will be announced that residents of England will be free to travel to very soon.  The travel ban is expected to be lifted on some 60 countries from July 4th, and from the 10th of July the 14 days quarantine for arrivals into England is not going to be required from these countries.  It is expected that Cyprus,  France, Germany, Italy, Malta, Spain, and New Zealand will be on the approved list ~ but not Greece.  It is a lot more complicated than that.

For example; Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland are doing their own thing ~ health policy is devolved to those regions.

The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson,  is expected to make an announcement, listing the countries for which the English travel ban is being lifted, at 17:00 hours this evening.

The place I want to go to the most, the better parts of the USA, are not expected to be on the list of permitted destinations.  Not yet.  Both the the US and English governments show no sign of rescinding their travel bans.  Foreign Office and State Department rules still have to be followed.  Otherwise travel insurance could be invalid, and laws may be broken.

And tomorrow, pubs, bars, cafes, restaurants, holiday parks, and other branches of the hospitality industry will be allowed to open in England too.  Hotels are also expected to be open in limited ways.  The social distancing limit in England is reduced to 1 metre (3 feet or so), from tomorrow.  The UK tourism industry may be coming back to life.

We can all get a haircut tomorrow.

Actually, it is all very confusing.


jack collier


not certain I want to fly on a 737-300

Coronavirus and Travel

it is not the length of life that matters, but the depth of it

There is nothing much in the news these days except the effects, implications, and horror stories concerning the coronavirus, or to give it it’s more sinister name COVID-19.  There is no doubt that there is an outbreak of illness involving a couple of varieties of this nasty little bugger.  According to some organisations, (WHO), the death rate from coronavirus is about 3.4%, (in comparison to a death rate of 0.1% from your average influenza).  But will I let that change my life ~ the hell I will.

In little while I should be heading off for an extended vacation ~ first stop California.  My journey to the warm sunshine should take me about 24 hours, elapsed time.  During my journey I will likely pass through 5 different airport terminals and sit in 3 different aircraft for a total of maybe 15 hours.  I will be in close proximity to hundreds, thousands, of people who could have come from just about anywhere in the world.  Was I of a nervous disposition then that’s the last kind of ordeal I’d put myself through during this present medical emergency.  But then, by that token I should never leave the garret at all ~ ever.

However, I will be taking some sensible precautions ~ in essence these will be no different whatsoever to the precautions I always take when travelling long-distances.

  1. Do not go to or through some disease-ridden hell-hole like Africa, or India, or China, or right now Northern Italy.
  2. Organise myself aisle seats on all flights, which usually costs extra in coach.  An aisle seat because if I’m sitting near someone I don’t like, for example someone coughing and sneezing, then I can always get up and find someplace else to spend most of a long flight.  It also gives me a chance to stretch my legs.
  3. Carry and use cleansing wipes.  It’s bloody terrible carrying stuff like a hand sanitiser through airport security, but I will buy one in the departure area.
  4. Don’t eat any food or drink any liquid that’s of dubious origins.
  5. Thoroughly wash my hands and face as often as possible.
  6. Never, ever touch anyone, and touch mucky looking surfaces as little as possible.
  7. Have comprehensive health cover included in my travel insurance, (£10 million + £10 million repatriation).
  8. Carry a list of emergency contact numbers.

You’ve seen news footage of people wearing masks ~ that’s bloody pointless.  A virus is so small it will just go right through anything you can breathe through.

Some say that it’s better to be safe than sorry.  And that they don’t want to get near to anyone who may have been exposed to the coronavirus.  All I know is that normal life has a 100% mortality rate and I intend to make the most of every moment I have left in mine.


jack collier


better to cash out going backwards off a cliff than forted-up in the garret

Songs on Saturday ~ Airport

You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy a plane ticket.

I’m going on a trip soon, during which I’ll pass through a half-dozen airports; Newcastle, Heathrow, Chicago, John Wayne, Phoenix, and Dallas / Fort Worth.  Isn’t John Wayne such a cool name for an airport?

Airports exist outside of normal time and space ~ airport bars doubly so.


jack collier


it’s always dawn somewhere

Cars, and Planes, and Trains

It’s very nice to go travelling, but it’s so much nicer to travel home.

Actually no it isn’t.  In comparison to warm and sunny Orange County, the North of England in late November is bleak, boring, grey, and bloody cold, even down at my favourite boat on the marina it’s miserable today.  And it’s a pretty long journey to get back here from where I was staying with my friend.

  • Leave my friend at 04:00 Pacific Time on Monday 19th November.
  • Uber to John Wayne Airport.
  • Take off from John Wayne at 07:00.
  • Flight to Dallas Fort Worth     2hrs 35
  • Land DFW at 11:35 Central Time (2 hours time change).
  • Take off DFW at 15:15 for London Heathrow, a flight of 9hrs 00, (benefiting from a 125mph tail wind over the Atlantic).
  • Land London Heathrow at 06:15 GMT on November 20th (6 hours time change).
  •  Leave LHR for Newcastle upon Tyne at 09:45 GMT, a flight of 1hrs 15
  • Arrive NCL at 11:00
  • Leave Newcastle Airport by Metro Subway for Newcastle Central Rail Station at 12:40 GMT
  • Arrive back at the garret at 14:30 GMT on Monday 20th of November.

Total journey time of 26hrs 30min.  Time in the air 12hrs 50min.

It’s about 5,500 miles from SoCal to the North of England, all in all, and from 38,000 feet you damn well know the world is round when you look out of the aircraft windows.

Some say that it’s excitement and adventure that keeps a man alive.  And, that when you can’t be bothered to go travelling, you may as well just curl up and die.  All I know is that I loved every damn minute of my latest trip ~ maybe the best trip ever.


jack collier


much on New Mexico is Indian land

(is one allowed to say that?)


I’m Going Home, bye, bye…..

Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home

England is my home

By 07:00 Pacific Standard Time on Monday, I should be in the air, somewhere between John Wayne Airport in Orange County, and Dallas, Fort Worth in Texas. After a 3 hours or so layover in DFW, I fly to London Heathrow, then on to Newcastle upon Tyne, and then eventually back to my garret at sometime after 13:00 hrs on Monday 20th Greenwich Mean Time.

A long and convoluted journey ~ around 18 hours in the air, 6 hours or so of layovers, and an 8 hour time change along the way.  The North of England to Orange County, CA, USA, and back again, is not a trip for the faint-hearted.

California is cool.  And who knows?  If some things change, and some things work out, I may even go back there someday.

Some say that travel and adventure is what keeps a man alive.  And that meeting new people with new things to say broadens the mind and sharpens the intellect.  All I know is that I happen to like California a hell of a lot, but maybe a few Californians not so much.


Jack Collier


Old Glory on Balboa Island CA

Destination – New Mexico

The cool thing about smaller aircraft transportation is that it’s never boring

Today I am flying from John Wayne airport in Orange County CA, to Albuquerque in New Mexico.  Then picking up a rental for the drive to the luxurious Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort and Spa in Santa Ana Pueblo NM.

I think the aircraft is going to be a small ‘puddle jumper’…..  as long as I get an inside seat I don’t mind.

In New Mexico I shall be at a retreat with the interesting headline From Chaos to Coherence – The Power To Thrive In Life Extremes, and by the cringe do I go to EXTREMES!

Hopefully I’m going to experience something deeply spiritual.

The resort hotel looks interesting.

Jack Collier


Vacation Time

It’s very nice to be able to afford to go travelling.

I’m just about ready and prepared for my next long vacation, which starts on this coming Thursday.

Today I booked a car to collect me at the garret, for 06:00 on Thursday March 15th, as my flight leaves from Newcastle upon Tyne airport at 09:30.  I then have layovers in London Heathrow, and San Jose International in Santa Clara County, before I eventually arrive at John Wayne airport in Orange County California at 20.32.

I’m renting a Toyota Rav4 at John Wayne, and then I have a shortish drive, so I expect to get to get to my accommodation sometime around 22:00.

If you add in the 8 hour time difference between England and California, that makes the journey exactly 24 hours.  Why does air travel always take so long?  Even if everything goes to plan?

Poor Marmaduke isn’t coming along on this trip ~ because when I looked at the layovers I decided I’d just take one carry-on bag.

Poor Marmaduke has been in tears since he found out.

I expect to be back in the garret on Wednesday April 18th ~ after another 24 hours of travelling.

I will be in touch while I’m away.


jack collier


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