AOB – March 2017

30 March 2017

The electronics ban just keeps getting stranger:

Can pilots and cabin crew take their electronics items on board: Yes.

“Uniformed operating crew can carry personal electronic devices on board the passenger cabin. Ensure that if you use your personal device, you do so discreetly, away from customers. Please comply with your departmental policy for using personal electronic devices on board.”

Meanwhile down the road at Etihad:

Etihad Airways will offer free Wi-Fi and iPads to its first and business class passengers on all its US-bound flights from Abu Dhabi from April 2.

The service comes in response to the US government’s ban on large electronic devices in airline cabins, which came into effect last Saturday. It affects US-bound flights from Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Qatar, Kuwait and the UAE.

In a notice on its website, Etihad said that free Wi-Fi and iPads on all US-bound flights from Abu Dhabi will provide free Wi-Fi vouchers for the duration of the flight, the airline said.

Etihad said electronic devices larger that mobile phones, including laptops, tablets, larger cameras and e-readers, have to be placed into checked-in baggage or into the aircraft’s cargo hold.

So I cannot take my own laptop or ipad – but I can borrow one from the airline. Qatar is offering the same service.

Which seems to invalidate the whole purpose of the electronics ban.

23 March 2017

Emirates solution to the USA’s electronics ban on non stop flights from Dubai:

“Dubai, UAE, 23 March 2017 – Emirates will introduce a new service to enable customers to use their laptops and tablet devices until just before they board their flights to the US.
Emirates customers travelling to the US via Dubai will be able to utilise their laptops and tablet devices on the first part of their journeys, and also during transit in Dubai. They must then declare and hand over their laptops, tablets, and other banned electronic devices to security staff at the gate just before boarding their US-bound flight. The devices will be carefully packed into boxes, loaded into the aircraft hold, and returned to the customer at their US destination. There will not be any charge for this service.

Passengers on US-bound flights starting their journeys in Dubai are encouraged to pack their electronic devices into their check-in luggage in the first instance, to avoid delays.

Customers should be aware that there will be a detailed search of all hand baggage on non-stop flights to the US from Dubai. They should therefore declare their devices before the search, or ensure their electronic devices are packed into their check-in luggage in the first instance.


Emirates is working to ensure that its operations comply with the latest restrictions on electronic devices in the cabin, for when the rules take effect on 25 March. Emirates will deploy extra staff at the airport to ease and assist passengers, especially in the first days of the new rules being implemented.

From Saturday, 25 March, travellers on non-stop flights to the US from Dubai International airport (DXB) will not be allowed to carry any electronic device larger than a cell phone or smartphone, excluding medical devices, into the aircraft cabin. Travellers must pack these electronic devices in their checked-in baggage.

This new security directive, issued by the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA), applies to all passengers travelling on non-stop flights to the US from Dubai, including those in transit. It does not apply to passengers travelling on Emirates’ US-bound flights via Milan and Athens, or Emirates flights to/from any other destination.”

Andrew MacGregor Marshall on the fatal attack at Westminster in London yesterday afternoon:

“The world’s greatest cities are places where global cultures collide. London’s greatest asset is its diversity.
Yesterday’s murderous attack by a lone assailant armed only with a Hyundai car and a couple of knives killed an American man, a Spanish woman, and a British policeman. The wounded included citizens of France, Germany, Romania and Greece.
The attacker was born in Britain.
Anybody exploiting this attack to oppose multiculturalism, tolerance and openmindedness is not an ally of true Londoners and has no understanding of what makes London special.
Closing London would kill London. Don’t let the haters on all sides destroy the magic of this city.”

Nicely said.

22 March 2017

Sorry about that – I have calmed down a little.

Let’s just say that a certain individual who insists that he has been a family friend for 60 years betrayed every aspect of that friendship with a truly breathtaking display of arrogance and ignorance that came very close to jeopardising our ability to best look after our mother.


So Rose View in Newton Ferrers is now sold. Completion was on the 20th. It was my parents home for 19 years. It is the only Uk home that Tai and Alex have ever known. And it has been something of a family sanctuary through that time.

Dad is buried in the local church. One day we will take our Mother there to be with him. Mother meanwhile is a combination of safe, sad and confused. We will move her to Abingdon, and to a much more suitable home that is close to my brother.

It does feel a little sad- like the end of a part of our collective lives.

Still one plus – at least we will not have to do that long drive down to Devon.

I even feel a bit nostalgic for Plymouth. In many ways an ugly city – but it was familiar and comfortable.

So here we are saying goodbye to Rose View:

We were also in South Africa from 8th to 14th March which helps explain my silence here.

The lovely Apple and Tim were married on the 10th at the Dieu Donne vineyard in Franschhoek; high on the hill overlooking the town and a glorious sunset.

Yours truly officiated at the wedding – without any obvious disaster – it did seem a bit quick to me – but it was 35C – everyone was hiding under parasols – and being out in that heat for too long was not a great idea.

The fact that the ceremony was not translated into two other languages shortened the event as well!

And afterwards I was asked if I did funerals as well 🙂

I think that was meant as a compliment!

As near to a perfect setting as you could get.

From Franschhoek we drove to the quieter and more remote Tulbagh region. It is far less commercial and far less self-conscious. Pretty countryside; nice people; a town that felt better integrated.

We had our own cottage at the Vindoux resort. A longer stay would have been easy to do. The resort had a terrace overlooking the zebra and wildebeest in their paddock. Very pleasant to sit there with a glass of wine.

7 March 2017

Am so f***ing angry……

6 March 2017

From today’s Guardian:

“Since his election a scant six weeks ago, Trump has defamed a great newspaper, a federal judge, and a former president. He has attacked whole institutions, pillars of American democracy. He appears willing to hold a great constitutional order hostage to his narcissism and political insecurities.”

Yep. That is how bad things are.

5 March 2017

Back on the golf course today – I think only my second game this year. Rusty. Sore. And surprisingly tiring.

A big shout out to Nina and Brendan after baby Aiden arrived today – a younger brother for Indy. Mother and new born are both doing well.

Too many good people leaving Emirates – too much experience leaving Emirates – too many new people flying the airplane – and apparently no one left in the recruitment pool.

Here is one farewell posted today on pprune:

“It’s like having a massive weight lifted off your shoulders when you know it’s over. That’s the best way to describe the feeling after handing in your notice.

10+ years and it’s getting worse by the day almost. This airline was even fun at one time, but not anymore. All they say is “If you don’t like it then leave”.

When will they learn? The experience level in the flight deck now is so low in both seats the inevitable is only a matter of time. Appalling unsustainable rosters, unable to get leave and a bad management attitude, all driving people away.

New joiners are now waiting months for a course, sitting around doing nothing or sent on forced leave, why? because the trainers a resigning in their droves!! Sick of being abused and worked to death. Four big name TRE’s this last week for example.

Wake up EK management, you only have yourself to blame.

Look at the guy’s down the road. B777/787 month on month off, happy days. No it’s still not perfect there by any means but things like that go a long way to making pilots happy. What do they do here at EK? NOTHING!!!

I’m leaving with no job to go to, for me just now EK have killed the great job I used to have in airline aviation. I hope I fly again for someone smaller, friendlier, who can restore my faith in the industry.”

It is sad – because all I here from friends that I respect is that I am leaving or that I am looking.

We met up yesterday with a friend who is a 777 – our wives are great friends. He is leaving for a Chinese carrier – but will be based in the USA with a twenty days on and ten days off roster. For him the lifestyle change – being able to live back in his own country – makes all the difference.

2 March 2017

Back in Dubai after a short break with Tai in Chiang Mai.

Nice trip. Drove around for a couple of days to explore.