Airlines


For the third year running Jenny Handley Promotions has recognised top restaurants, and is an interesting predictor of Eat Out Awards, even though they do not always coincide. The 2019 Awards winners and Gourmet Guide were revealed on Monday. A total of 25 restaurants and their chefs were recognised with one, two or three Plate awards.  (more…)

Yesterday I attended the launch of Yumcious Café in the DeVille Centre in Durbanville, the second restaurant of Chef Jenny Morris, her first one being the very successful Yumcious Café in the Cape Quarter.  (more…)

The Sweet Service Award goes to Emirates, for its flight from London to Dubai, on Sunday 1 July. At the check-in I was told to reduce 5 kg of weight of my suitcase, luckily having bought a hand-luggage suitcase into which I could transfer items of that weight, and having to check it in too, to avoid paying extra. My son had left my check-in too late, so I was allocated a poor seat. I asked the check-in lady if she could find me a window seat, but she told me that the fight was full, and that all such seats were taken already. She said that she would continue to try to find me a window sat, and that I should ask again at the boarding gate desk. Lo and behold, there it was, in the second row from the front, in the company of a (more…)

 I am about to leave my second home, Apricus Locanda in the village of Apricale in Italy, close to the French border. I have spent the last thirteen days here, writing SwitchBitch Book 2 here, and recovering from walking the Camino in Northern Spain for three weeks. 

Despite having had the most unbelievable obstacles put in my way by airlines Emirates and Iberia to finally get to Apricale, via train to Ventimiglia, last year and this year, respectively, there is no friendlier and more perfect location for me to have written my first two SwitchBitch books.  (more…)

The Sweet Service Award goes to RyanAir, for its exceptional service (unexpected after a previous flight with this airline years ago), for the flight from Santiago de Compostela to Madrid, from the check-in, where the staff member spoke to me in German, allowed me to have my walking sticks in the hold without extra charge, turned a blind eye to my overweight suitcase, and the same staff member spoke to me in German again when she checked my boarding pass. The seating in the plane had ample leg room, and the service was impeccable. 

The Sour Service Award goes to Iberia, for cancelling the flight from Madrid to Nice, while we were sitting in the plane already, after we were told that the flight would be delayed for 90 minutes, and then that we would depart in 15 minutes. Only two Iberia staff handled the plane-load of passengers, and their reissuing of new tickets to new destinations, Iberia refusing to book any destinations in France. We were given a hotel voucher for NH Hotels too, with a dinner and a breakfast buffet and two beverages too. I had to be routed to Turin the following day, with a 90 minute departure delay due to striking air traffic controllers in Marseilles, and take a four and a half hour train ride to Ventimiglia, to get to my end destination of Apricale, a full day journey.  I was not compensated for the train trip cost! 

The WhaleTales Sweet & Sour Service Awards are presented every Friday on the WhaleTales blog. Nominations for the Sweet and Sour Service Awards can be sent to Chris von Ulmenstein at chrisvonulmenstein [at] gmail.com. Past winners of the Sweet and Sour Service Awards can be read on the Friday posts of this blog.

Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.chrisvonulmenstein.com/blog Tel +27 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@Ulmenstein Facebook: Chris von Ulmenstein Instagram: @Chris_Ulmenstein

JHP has published its top 21 Restaurant list, awarding plates rather than a ranking or stars, and adding a 3-plate accolade for the first time this year in the second year of her awards. There are some surprise inclusions and dare I say karmic exclusions!  (more…)

Airlines from Germany, Switzerland, and Austria will soon be flying directly to and from Cape Town, some expanding the number of flights per week, and some first time entrants, boosting tourism from these and other European countries during our summer months, according to Tourism Update. (more…)

The Sweet Service Award goes to Audi Cape Town, and its amazing customer-caring Service Manager Hennie Kriel. My car had been in for panel beating at Farber Coachworks whilst I was overseas, and they must have disconnected the electronics in doing so, as the time on the dashboard was incorrect. The dashboard also told me that my car key needed a new battery. Hennie sorted out both problems quickly, as he always does, and there was no charge, as the battery cost is covered by the Maintenance Plan. The service by Audi Cape Town is almost as fabulous as driving an Audi!  (more…)

I had the misfortune to experience Dubai under less than perfect conditions, and with it Emirates airline, which once was the best airline in the world (now dropped to number four, as rated by Skytrax)! A City Tour by Sun Tours helped to restore my appreciation for what Dubai has to offer! (more…)

The Sweet Service Award goes to Thrifty car rental in Durban city centre, for coming to my rescue when I had forgotten to bring along my driver’s licence when traveling in KZN last week.  The company rules are that they cannot rent out cars without the driver’s license. I rented a car from the company eleven months ago, and was relieved when they were able to access a copy of my driver’s license from last year’s paperwork!  (more…)

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