Hello, and welcome to those of you who have just signed up. Many thanks to those who entered our October competitions, which closed at the end of November. The copy of Rosy Thornton’s The Tapestry of Love was won by Mike Kingdom-Hockings, who lives in France himself, while the iPod courtesy of Parcel2Go went to Chris Green in Malta. Well done to Mike and Chris, and thanks to everyone who took part!
There’s plenty of new content on the site again this month. Following on from our Singapore trip, we’ve reviewed the Robertson Quay Hotel – and our latest Pic of the Week shows a sci-fi sunrise over the city’s Marina Bay and its futuristic buildings. Daryl Yap takes us off to the islands off Sabah where they filmed the first series of the reality TV show Survivor Island. Mortgage broker Mike Jones advises expat owners of UK homes not to despair if they’re running into a brick wall trying to remortgage their property. And there’s a new quiz about weird words too.
Oh yes, and I was interviewed by Vanessa Feltz on BBC Radio London too, after the Daily Mail carried yet another story claiming that expats were all living the good life while people in the UK were all mired in misery. Of course, the truth can be very different. But you knew that already, didn’t you?
Meanwhile, by popular demand, we’re continuing with the Editorial section which was described as the highlight of the newsletter and something that people enjoyed reading.
After all the predictable annual complaints that Christmas has become an orgy of consumer indulgence, with the public’s appetites both whetted and sated by manufacturers, it’s nice to hear of one company that decided to take a slightly different approach.
Spanair’s flight from Barcelona to Las Palmas on 24 December was scheduled to land at nearly midnight, so its 190 passengers would be flying while most other people would be celebrating Christmas Eve. No big deal if you’re British, probably, but as in many European countries, Christmas Eve traditions in Spain are a much more important part of the whole Christmas celebration than they generally are in the UK. (The Royal Family famously exchange presents on Christmas Eve, but they’re German anyway.) So the airline decided they should lay on a surprise for their passengers so that Christmas Eve could be a special day for them too.
Imagine the passengers’ surprise when they were all standing at the baggage carousel waiting for their bags, and the first things to emerge through the rubber strips were a whole lot of brightly wrapped boxes in a variety of colours, shapes and sizes, each one individually labelled for a different passenger!
Actually, you don’t have to imagine it – you can see it on YouTube here:
YouTube: Spanair – Un Equipaje Inesperado (An Unexpected Piece of Luggage)
OK, it’s easy to be cynical and to dismiss the whole thing as a stunt, and I’m sure that Spanair did it primarily to generate good publicity for themselves. But on the other hand, I’m sure their imaginative act did make it a special evening for the travellers too.
I only hope they all got their baggage OK…!
Have you come across any other instances where a business has gone that extra mile to bring a smile to its customers’ faces?
We’d love to hear your thoughts, so please post on our forum discussion.
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Till next time…
Kay & Dave
Editor & Deputy Editor
British Expat – the definitive home for British expats
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