Miami nice

Even when it’s a bit rainy, you have to admit Miami is still very pretty

The Doral Resort: a view over the golf course

Yes, I’m on another press trip.

Pictures from Monaco

Here are a few pictures of Monaco. Average temperature yesterday was 25ºC. As you might expect, since I had approximately 15 minutes to explore Monaco during my whole time there (deadlines is deadlines, as they say, and although I could have stayed the night, there’s an article I need to write today, and a few interviews that need conducting), most of these are from within 100 metres of the Meridien hotel in which the press briefing was being held. All the same, I think you can see that Monaco’s really, really nice, particularly in June.



Business class on BA

So I’m at the gate, ready to board the flight back to London from Nice from my press trip. I’ve been impressed by Nice’s clever plan of having two lines for boarding – one for rows 24 and upwards and one for everyone else. Certainly speeded things up a bit. When what should happen but the person checking my boarding pass frowns. I’m not coming up on her system. She passes it to her colleague, who searches her system and delights me by informing me that I’ve been upgraded from “Euro traveller” to “Business class”.

“Excellent,” I think to myself. “I’ve never been business class with BA before. I wonder what it’s like.”

Well, I’m writing this on the plane right now and I’d have to say, not much different from economy.

Does it have more leg room or more space? No.

Does it have WiFi access? No

Does it have power sockets in the arm rests for laptops? No

Surely it must be quieter and more conducive to work in some way? Well, that screaming baby on the other side of the plane isn’t making it seem very conducive to work.

In actual fact, the only differences I’ve spotted so far are that I could have used the under-equipped lounge if I’d known that I was going to be upgraded (I actually did get to use the lounge, but only because Jeff Kimbell at Dell smuggled me in on his card); and you get better cutlery with the meal. The meal itself isn’t that much better, particularly since they substituted the usual functional block of cheese they provide for the biscuits with some icky blue cheese that they can probably smell in China from this altitude.

Maybe it’s better on the long haul flights, but for the short hauls, economy is as good as business class, I reckon, and a damn sight cheaper.

Press trip season is upon us

May has come and gone, spring is here and summer is almost upon us. That must mean it’s press trip season. I’m off to Monaco tomorrow, thanks to Dell, who seem very fond of whisking journalists off to foreign climes for a day to announce things they’re going to press release the next day. Not that I’m complaining: you just don’t get this on consumer IT mags – God bless trade mags!

Anyway, probably no blogging tomorrow, but I’ll bring you back pictures of airports, train stations and probably not much Monaco on Wednesday. Assuming my camera doesn’t get nicked like it did in Zaragoza.

Since it’s nearly a year since that particular event took place, I’m finally able to cancel the contract that I took out with Orange when I got back from that press trip. Despite really wanting to like Orange, they’ve been nothing but rubbish and I’m paying out about £30 a month on a contract, even though I work from home and barely use the phone. So adios Orange, hello Virgin Mobile, I hope.

I say/write ‘I hope’ because getting an address to send my request to is particularly hard now they’ve merged with Wanadoo and redesigned their site. I’ve already tried speaking to a customer service rep, who apologised for Orange being rubbish at customer service and then told me to contact the company nearer the time. He really wasn’t getting it, was he? I’ll keep you updated on my progress.