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Nov 02

The “joys” of international travel

This has been a busy year for me with one trip to Europe and South America in June and a second trip to Europe in October. My blog has suffered from all the travel, but I have plenty of insights to share over the next two months. Watch this space!

Mercifully the last trip with Air NZ and Virgin Atlantic passed without incident.  This was in stark contrast to the trauma of flying with LAN Airlines.  Do read LAN Airlines: "Third World" not OneWorld if you have not already done so. My experience cannot be that rare, as LA801 was nearly 12 hours late today, with the flights to Sydney and back to Auckland cancelled.  I happen to know this as my wife was flying out of Auckland airport today and I was checking the arrivals and departures.

Admittedly I did fly Premium Economy with Air NZ to London via Hong Kong, but this made quite a difference to my mental and physical state when I was preparing for the REHACARE trade  fair in Germany with my client Multifit Hospital Supplies Ltd.

If you have an important business trip, do allow time to recover before any important meetings or a major event like an international trade fair. It also helps to take some time to relax before heading back home.  The flight with Virgin Atlantic from London to Hong Kong was a first for me. My impressions as "first time Virgin traveller" were positive but not extactic. Do note the capital V.  The service was OK, but the seats were not that comfortable and there was not that much leg room.  The Economy Class seats with Air NZ from Hong Kong to Auckland were more comfortable and there was definitely more leg room.

When travelling long distances such as from New Zealand or Australia to Europe, it makes sense to break the journey and even more sense if you can arrange some meetings to make good use of your time. I had two very worthwhile meetings in Hong Kong on the way back and felt very refreshed when I got back to Auckland.  I was even on the golf course the following day!

The main messages are:

  • If possible, fly with the better quality and more reliable airlines. Sadly there do not appear to be any attractive options of flying from Australia or New Zealand to South America.
  • Plan well in advance and be creative about routes, stop-overs and meetings.
  • Premium Economy is well worth considering if your budget does not stretch further.
  • Watch out for Business Class deals, especially if there are two of you travelling together.

Bon voyage! Gute Reise!

Simon Fawkes
Business to Markets Ltd