Friday, July 30, 2010

Manners, Jetlag, Airlines, Hotels...and Surprises

I have just returned  from Europe flying Qantas and Air France via Singapore. What a delightful combination it was! The expected friendliness of the Qantas crew and genuine friendliness of the Air France attendants; the attention to detail in all areas; the fact that nothing was too much trouble and most importantly the impeccable manners of those wearing the colours of both airlines. A joy in this day and age of increasingly uncaring, impolite and disinterested airline assistants. Irrespective of whether we are travelling in the” pointy end” or “down the back” we as passengers should remember our manners and have them reciprocated.

My arrival at Paris airport was painless and efficient. After 20 or so hours of travelling it was a pleasure to be greeted with a smile and offers of assistance through a seamless transit process, despite the early dawn timeframe. Then onto London and the dreaded Heathrow airport, which proved to be also efficient with both immigration and luggage.

I had a car waiting for me, well sort of…as my flight was late the driver had decided to grab a coffee and I was left in a mild state of panic for 10 minutes or so until he arrived following a frantic call to the service provider in London – via Australia thanks to global roaming.

And after arriving at my hotel,  I later revived my jetlagged self with a quiet lunch at the Oyster and Champagne bar in Selfridges.

It was such a pleasure, over a tiring 24-30 hour period, to encounter so many genuinely pleasant people.

Good manners don’t require a knowledge of language or culture. They have a universal appeal and allow for easy rapport between peoples, whether they are from “Downunder” or an ancient country of Europe.

A few more hours sleep is needed and then I will share some of my insights of my new favourite country, Belgium and its lovely neighbor, The Netherlands. Not to forget the fabulous family wedding at a gorgeous estate in Kent.

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