Friday, 28 December 2012

EasyJet switches to assigned seating

In a move I welcome wholeheartedly, easyjet has abandoned its first come first served seating policy (speedy boarding aside) and now assigns seats automatically to passengers who decline paying an addiditional fee to choose their own.

You can now buy the first and exit rows for £12 per passenger, rows 2 -6 for £8 per passenger and £3 for any other. Speedy boarding will now be reserved only for passengers buying £12 or £8 seats.

This is an entirely reasonable and dare I say it - professional move from an airline that has steadily grown up in stature since the appointment of Carolyn McCall as Chief Executive, a lady I know very well from her days at The Guardian senior management.

Whilst Ryan Air continues to forge its own path clearly intent on providing a service (which it does very well in my opinion) without a hint of customer service  (which it shouldn't in my opinion), easyjet has quietly raised its game considerably in the budget flight market.

At last we can kiss goodbye to that dreadful easyjet gate experience, where some passengers almost camped out in an effort to be at the front of the line, and speedyboarding got you on the bus first!

Full marks easyjet, for doing something for the passengers for once.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Samsonite Cosmolite. Can suitcases get any better?

First they told me it was almost bullet proof. Apparently it's made from Curve technology, which is used to make bullet proof vests. Then they told me it could withstand over 25 continuous drops from a great height, and temperatures of minus 12. Not wishing I’d have to endure any of those situations, I was much more interested that the Samsonite Cosmolite was one of the lightest hard cases on earth.
Now we’re getting somewhere.
With baggage weight even more critical in these days of budget airlines’ rules and regs, getting a case that doesn’t take up half your allowance before it’s even had anything put in it is pretty handy.
This is though, a case that’s in the premier league as far as baggage hierarchy and price is concerned, but you do get a lot of case for your money.
There’s four wheels for a start, so you get the option of wheeling it alongside you, or dragging it if the terrain is dodgy. The collapsible long handle is very robust, I mean how many times have you had to pull up your case by its long handle to see it break in front of your eyes? There are two more handles, one on the side and the other on the end so you’re covered whichever way up you want to be. There’s a combination lock built in to the chassis, and the muscular zip looks strong enough to contain your clothes and the kitchen sink if needs be.

Inside is a tale of two halves, on one side a zipped net ensures all your stuff stays packed away neatly, and at the same time protecting the other half from any potentially dirty objects. The other is left bare save for a small pouch for toiletries and a sturdy strap to keep everything in its place.
To complete the package, the case comes in a range of sizes and particularly striking colours, easy enough to pick out on the baggage carousel from miles away.

 If you’re looking for a hard case that will stand up to the rigours of travel for a long time, then the Samsonite Cosmolite ticks all the boxes for me and in the long term would certainly return your investment. Just remember though, extra durability is a balancing act between the potential additional space you won’t have for jamming in those last minute extras.

 Samsonite Cosmolite Spinner £340