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The past is orange

March 19, 2012

What is the point of putting on your website that one can check in at 12.30 at Havana airport when in fact you cannot until 4pm? The omens for another spectacularly ordinary flight with at the appalling Virgin Atlantic back to London Gatwick were good. The plan then was to jettison bags early and then pop out for a sneaky last lunch but these were dashed by this useless piece of information. Dickie Pickles, the bearded wonder and titular head of Virgin will be getting the sharp end of my pen in the coming days. His airline has now forever damaged the Virgin brand in my mind. It was not just the misinformation, they had run out of wine 2 hours into the 9 hour outward trip thus making a mockery of their claim to serve drinks throughout the trip and the in flight entertainment was limited of poor quality both artistically and technologically with constant fuzzy lines and black outs on the very few things worth watching. They claim to have won the award for the best in flight entertainment. If that is the case then I want a stewards enquiry.

The trip back was little better, so with once again no stewardess in sight I stirred myself to go the the galley to secure a drink. Finding no one at the first one I went to the second one where the curtain was drawn. Asking for a for a glass of wine was clearly an affront to the rude member of staff who tersely asked me to give her a couple of minutes as she was doing some kind of calculation. A full five minutes elapsed and she had still no emerged but luckily some other hapless helper eventually arrived. Disgraceful service from people trained to offer a service. Had she been in my employ then she would now be looking at her P45.

Then that nice lady decorator got in on the act. The idea was to try to sleep on the plane. She even had a sleeping pill to aid her, but someone must have tainted it with some Columbian marching powder or something similar as she was like a Jack in the box, drinking a litre of water and waking me up four times to go to the loo. So, an utterly sleepless, mainly dry, miserable experience. I shall never complain about Easyjet again. Virgin Atlantic is officially the worst airline with whom I have flown, worse on this trip than Ryanair.

A real beauty in down town Havana
My picture today is of my personal favourite vehicle I saw in Havana. The sheer number of great old cars, many used as taxi’s on the road each day is something wonderous to behold. At least 25 per cent of the cars on the road must be old American models from the 1950’s or earlier, many in a desperate condition and doing a great deal to enhance Cuba’s carbon footprint, but as a spectacle and a testament to the American embargo (incidentally being flouted by a number of Americans who can gain entrance via Cancun in Mexico) it is hard to better. Cuba I love, Virgin Atlantic I hate.

So by the time my phalanx of readers are excitedly reading this, we shall be back in the tender embrace of dear old England where I am informed that the weather in the coming days will be unseasonably pleasant, so I should be able to get away with only buying one winter coat of  the type I do not need to posses when in France. Thereafter in the coming week Currencies Direct will get my divided attention, that and clearing out our old house in Weston Turville which looks like it going to sell after 7 years on the market, oh joy.

Chris France

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Julie permalink
    March 19, 2012 3:21 pm

    You are not alone. My daughter has just flown back with V A from Grenada, 50% of TV’s not working and her food was one day out of date, drinks ran out (do you think a cost saving ploy). She said the plane was circa 1975, yes Dickie does have a lot to answer for, although she did comment the flight was almost £500 cheaper than quoted by good old BA!


  2. Rev. Jeff permalink
    March 20, 2012 1:49 pm

    Oh you poor dears . How you manage to survive these terrible deprivations is a wonder to us all !


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