Truth and myth
I'm reading John Gimlette's book [Wild Coast, winner of the Dolman prize]. Well done to him for such an absorbing read. John Walsh's opening reference to "the slippery genre called travel literature" seems slightly superior, almost derogatory. One wouldn't generalise about all literary fiction in such a way, so why lump all travel writing together? If many of our autobiographers were on oath when they wrote (or had ghost-written) their life stories, I'd imagine a few of them are feeling the wrath of God right now.
easyJet allots seats
I would pay more for a seat not surrounded by screaming kids, loud conversationalists or people with buzzing earphones. All of whom may choose the seat next to you ...
One of the things I liked about easyJet was its "no seat allocation" system. This is a backward step in my view and will make me look at other alternatives.
Third runway at LHR
Heathrow is the only option. The only reason it doesn't happen is that there are lots of well-healed Tory or new-Labour supporting opponents – they are vociferous and slick nimbies disguised as environmentalists. They are happy for Heathrow to be hobbled and a new airport to be dumped in Kent. They are interested only in preserving their own private little castles.
The tosh being spouted about Heathrow includes Simon Calder's own ludicrous assertion that an extra 120,000 flights a year could be squeezed in by introducing "mixed mode". Industry experts reckon that only about half that number could be accommodated.
It is not correct to say British Midland pioneered cut-price domestic flights. Far ahead of this was British United Airways, who introduced lower fares on domestic services from Gatwick to Glasgow, Edinburgh and Belfast.