Tag Archives: question for readers

Question for Readers: What Do You Like to Read in Blogs?

Instead of answering reader questions, I’m asking questions of readers this week.

Personally, I like reading trip reports. This is a large part of the reason about half the posts on my blog are trip reports. I find trip reports helpful from a logistics perspective (e.g. are there ample food options that will appeal to me on this flight? do the lounges have good showers?), and there’s also something fun about living vicariously through the aspirational experiences of others (at least to an extent). On the other hand, I have been consciously trying not to let other people’s trip reports limit my own experiences, if that makes sense.

Beyond trip reports, I’m always interested in new redemption tips or award availability trends or manufactured spending techniques, provided that they’re applicable to my desired travel habits. This seems harder and harder to find just because I’m already intimately familiar with almost everything that is applicable to my desired travel habits.

Finally, I’m always on the lookout for voices that either challenge how I view things or else provide a voice for things that have been bouncing around in the back of my mind but I haven’t yet articulated.

What do you like to read about in points/miles blogs? Do you have favorite bloggers that you think should get more love?

Question for Readers: When Do You Change Into Airplane Pajamas?

Instead of the usual answering of reader questions, I’m posing a series of potentially (or in today’s case, severely) inane questions to readers instead.

I really appreciate airplane pajamas. My favorite airplane pajamas are those from Cathay Pacific made by PYE, and I regularly wear the bottoms as pajamas even when I’m not on planes. I’ve actually started to take CX pajama bottoms with me on most overnight flights, just because I’d rather wear those with a comfortable t-shirt than most other airline pajamas. Not only is wearing pajamas comfortable, but it helps prevent the airplane smell from building up on your other clothes.

Anyway, my question for readers today is when do you change into pajamas? From reading other people’s trip reports, it sounds like many like to change into pajamas immediately upon receiving them, so before pushback, and almost certainly before the first meal service has commenced. But personally, I almost always wait until after the first meal service is complete before I change (the exception being if I’m skipping the meal service to go to sleep immediately).

I wait because to change because it seems odd to me to eat dinner in my pajamas. I don’t (often) do that when I’m at home, so why do it on a plane? It’s the same reason why I stopped watching movies on the IFE while eating. In general, I try my best to resist the infantilization of passengers in premium cabins, although it seems that that’s partially what people are paying for.

Somewhat relatedly, I also don’t like eating while the seat is in bed position on airplanes…

Question for Readers: Do You Lie Compulsively on Planes?

Instead of answering reader questions, I’m asking questions of readers this week.

I often find myself lying compulsively on planes.

Mostly, I lie because it’s easier. I find that it makes people more comfortable for me just to say that I’m flying for work, which is a reason that easily fits into people’s schemas of the world and explains why I might be flying in business or first class or I might be flying somewhere for only one or two days, rather than for me to try to explain using frequent flyer miles or mileage running.

For example, on one of my trips around the world, on one segment, my seat mate asked me where I was going, and I told him that I wasn’t really going anywhere because I was just flying around the world. He then looked at me funny and didn’t talk to me the rest of the flight. On the next segment, when my seat mate asked me where I was going, I told him I was going to ____ very briefly for work, but it’s not that bad because my company pays for business class or else I would never do it, and he quickly agreed and continued the conversation.

So I’m curious, do you ever find the need or desire to lie to people on planes rather than get into the details of our hobby?

Question for Readers: What is Good Service?

Instead of the typical answering reader questions, I’m instead posing a series of questions for readers to share their thoughts on this week.

I appreciate good service. But even as I write that, I think it’s ambiguous what I mean by “good service”. Is good service unobserved and unobtrusive? Is it fawning and obsequious? A service experience that I might enjoy another might find underwhelming for exactly the same reasons.

For me, good service is effortless and gracious. By effortless, I mean that service is so ingrained into the mentality that every request is considered and attended to (but not necessarily fulfilled) without hesitation. In the best examples, service is effortless because your needs are predicted and attended to even before you realize them. By gracious, I mean that there’s a sort of courtesy and pleasantness that makes every interaction a delight.

Here are examples of bad service that come to mind:
1) A flight attendant physically pushing people out of the way during meal service. She clearly made sure everyone knew how much of a burden her job was that she had to push people to finish it, and pushing people is definitely not gracious.
2) Flight attendants reading magazines/books or just chatting away with each other in the galley. They’re making it clear that any sort of service they provide takes so much effort because they have to interrupt themselves from whatever else they’d rather be doing instead of serving you.

Here are examples of good service that come to mind:
1) On a Cathay Pacific flight, the flight attendant noticed that I kept ordered Hong Kong style milk tea, so she proactively gave me some of the mix that they use to make the drink. This was already much appreciated, but at the end of the flight, she gave me even more as she had scoured the other galleys for their leftovers.
2) I once went to the United First Lounge at NRT instead of the ANA Suite Lounge so I could take some pictures for a lounge review. Upon checking into the United lounge, the lounge dragon told me that I was welcome to the United lounge, but I should really go to the ANA lounge instead. I made up some bs reason about wanting to use the United lounge because I liked the showers there better, and when I took the elevator up one level to the United First Lounge, the agent there greeted me and immediately offered me to take me to the shower room.

So I’m curious, what does good service mean to you? What examples come to mind of particularly good or bad service?

Question for Readers: Do You Leave Your Bags Unattended in Airport Lounges?

Instead of answering reader questions, I’m going to pose some questions to readers.

One of my habits upon entering any airport lounge is to find a place to dump my stuff and then traipse off to take photos for lounge reviews. I often leave my laptop, passport, boarding passes, and bags out in the open, plus whatever electronics need charging. But I’m wondering if other people feel as comfortable leaving their personal belongings unattended as I do, or if people have other concerns about security, given that there are often overhead announcements at airport warning people NOT to leave their bags unattended and to report unattended bags to security.

I believe that the overlap between people in an airport lounge and those who would steal opportunistically from a stranger is nil. You’re probably pretty well off if you’re in an airport lounge, so why would you need to steal from someone else? So I have no qualms with leaving my things at a chair while I get food, take pictures, or go to the bathroom. In fact, it’s one of the things that I appreciate most about airport lounges–instead of having to lug my stuff around with me, I can just leave it and walk around unencumbered.

That being said, when I travel with friends, many have commented that they find my behavior strange. And I don’t often see unattended belongings in lounges besides my own. So I ask my readers: do you lave your bags unattended in airport lounges? Why or why not?