Blog » Leaving on a jet plane … maybe

27 Jul 2005

Leaving on a jet plane … maybe

Filed under: Personal — paulcook @ 10:36 am

I’m now doing the last of the packing and organising before leaving this evening for New York, and then Johannesburg. It’s the usual marathon two days of travelling — but at least I should sleep well on the plane, having not had much sleep this week.

While in Southern Africa I’ll be spending about 10 days in the Okavango Delta, in Botswana. I’ve never been there before, and am really looking forward to it. It’s a huge inland wetland, full of all your favourite African animals, and some beautiful scenery. Many of the camp sites are on islands, accessible only by canoe. Then I’ll be seeing family and friends in Johannesburg, most of whom I haven’t seen in a whole year! And, of course, the benefit / curse of theoretical physics is that it’s portable, so I’ll be taking along some of that too.

Though all of the above is somewhat dependent on whether my flight actually flies. South African Airways (SAA) is in the midst of their worse strike ever — all the cabin crew are on strike, so most domestic and virtually all international flights have been cancelled for the last five days. I can only imagine the havoc caused by hundreds of flights being cancelled — especially when flights to South Africa are almost always fully booked, so it’s really tricky to route through another airline.

Apparently agreed beforehand was that cabin crew overseas at the start of the strike would carry on working till they returned home, so apparently SAA was flying some empty (!) 747’s to Europe and North America, to continue what flights they could.

It seems that SAA management really messed up the wage negotiations. They were claiming that they couldn’t offer more to the cabin crew due to SAA’s tight financial position, but midway through talks they reported excellent operating profit for the year. The result was something of a plausibility problem.

UPDATE: Just reported on Google News is that Unions have accepted the latest revised offer, so it looks like the strike might be ending. The problem is that it needs to end soon enough for a plane (with crew) to fly for 18 hours to JFK, to be waiting for me to board it tomorrow. Nothing like life on the edge!

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  1. Here’s to hoping that you do indeed make your flight. If not, you may get to see a bit of NYC that you hadn’t planned on before.

    Comment by jjk — 27 Jul 2005 @ 12:24 pm

  2. “It’s a huge inland wetland, full of all your favourite African animals…”

    Penguins?!?! Elk?!?! Sasquatch?!?! Yeti?!?!


    Oh wait. You said “favourite”, not “favorite”. So I guess that’d be lions, tigers, elephants, monkeys, and gorillas. Yeah, that’d be cool too.

    Have a great trip!

    Comment by Adam — 27 Jul 2005 @ 9:42 pm

  3. Have a great trip! I want to hear all about the Okavango Delta, pictures and all: please blog generously.

    Comment by michelle — 28 Jul 2005 @ 8:03 am

  4. […] n my short and long overnight flights. I had been thinking of hitting New York, but due to certain uncertainties in travel plans, I’ve decided to do some work in the […]

    Pingback by Langabi.name Blog » Wartravelling — 28 Jul 2005 @ 8:51 am

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