Author Topic: Southend to Melbourne without flying...  (Read 3454 times)

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
« Reply #50 on: August 22, 2019, 10:16:05 am »
Air travel seems to be totemic
That might be the reason Wow's determined to avoid it? (Or maybe not, I don't know.) To act as a totem himself for others.
A cup of tea is the perfect bridge between real life and cake.

Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
« Reply #51 on: August 22, 2019, 11:14:32 am »
Personally I'd see it as a great adventure rather than trying to tie it in with morals and ethics.

I fly for work about twice a year, I use trains as much as I can in the UK and occasionally go on European trains for holidays. I also fly when I see no better option (see post about about working and holidays). Flying is a horrible experience, you are treated as cargo from the moment you arrive at the airport to the point at which you are dumped in a horrible sparkly lounge full of consumer designer crap, before sticking you in a tube with a thousand other miserable (or drunk) people, all of whom are hoping the whole experience will end soon and they can get on with their holiday.

However, a long distance train journey such as Wow is considering would be just brilliant. You see the world changing at every stop, you'd meet new people as you went, you'd be travelling at exactly the right speed to get somewhere but slow enough to appreciate it.

We shouldn't feel guilty about the fact we are here. Life is about experiences and this would be a far better experience than sitting in an aluminium tube for 18 hours.
Duct tape is magic and should be worshipped

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
« Reply #52 on: August 22, 2019, 11:58:38 am »
I won't argue with the fact that flying is a grim experience of iterative queues, boredom, and discomfort. Sure, it may be vaguely palatable if you can spring for a couple of thousand quid extra to get into business or higher, but since there are limits to how airlines can distinguish those elevated classes of travel and make them even vaguely financially justifiable, it's mostly just easier to make economy class worse. This has the benefit of being cheaper to the airline. Fly business or spend eight hours being waterboarded, that's passenger choice. The best thing about first is that you get a control panel that allows you to pick a seat in economy and then manipulate the discomfort level of whoever is sitting in it.

The downside of business and first-class (and as for the airlines that call it 'envoy' or 'diplomat' class, they're not, and there's a special place in Hell for those who thought of it) and first they don't mention is that it's generally full of self-important dickheads that you'll want to kill (that primarily the reason they restrict even vaguely sharp implements on planes). Premium economy is a con, you pay a couple of hundred quid for an inch of extra legroom and, if you're lucky, a small glass of cheap fizz when you sit down, and you can tell everyone you're not in economy which is about the least impressive brag ever.

All this said, I wouldn't want to be in economy all the way to Australia, it's bad enough in business with a tiny bed and staff that have to remember your name and who have been specifically trained not to look at you like you're an unexpected discovery of human excrement. Of course, business/first are not only vastly more expensive, but there's also proportionally a lot more impact.
!nataS pihsroW

Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
« Reply #53 on: August 22, 2019, 12:22:41 pm »

All this said, I wouldn't want to be in economy all the way to Australia, it's bad enough in business with a tiny bed and staff that have to remember your name and who have been specifically trained not to look at you like you're an unexpected discovery of human excrement. Of course, business/first are not only vastly more expensive, but there's also proportionally a lot more impact.

For the record, one of the best business class options to Oz or NZ is Air Malaysia. Book early and it is 50% of the cost of any other. The route via Kuala Lumpur is one of the most direct with the break at midway, with A380 Heathrow to KL. As an added non-very-eco-conscious-bonus as they are a One Word Alliance member you get instant AirMiles to bump you into Silver.

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
« Reply #54 on: August 22, 2019, 12:33:57 pm »
Singapore is my favourite, but Air Malaysia business is nearly always cheaper and not unpleasant.

It's really not a trip to split unless you plan on spending time visiting those places, there's nothing grimmer than sitting around at airports in a journey that will take >24 hours...
!nataS pihsroW

Martin

  • Give me bas relief
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Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
« Reply #55 on: August 22, 2019, 12:37:22 pm »
I did a bit of flight shaming calculation a couple of weeks ago; here's my annual sin just travel (negligible ferry use)

Flights 6 return within EU (I put Barcelona as an average)
1.12 tonnes of CO2e
Car 5000 miles pa
1.35 tonnes of CO2e
Bus & Rail 76 miles commute 5 / 7 x 46
1.35 tonnes of CO2e 
Total = 3.83 tonnes of CO2e

Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
« Reply #56 on: August 22, 2019, 12:47:46 pm »
All this said, I wouldn't want to be in economy all the way to Australia

Have done that and didn't have a problem, but I'm not tall (only 5'9") and was used to spending a lot of time on aeroplanes. I watched films, read books, slept, drank, etc.

I can understand why others might hate long distance flights but I've never had a problem with them, but then I'm happy sitting on my bike for 40+ hours at a time so I'm used to dealing with mild discomfort and boredom.
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
« Reply #57 on: August 22, 2019, 01:13:25 pm »
To be fair the flying bit is actually OK. I've been a lifelong aviation enthusiast and plane spotter so I like the engineering of it all and I always have to know which aeroplane I'm on. It's airports (whom have all replaced their viewing platforms with more shopping areas) and the attitudes airlines have towards their cattle passengers I have an issue with. I have rose tinted glasses we should all be treated in the same way airline passengers used to be in Cary Grant movies. Train companies in many cases aren't much better but you can get up and walk the length of the train.

I flew back from Singapore a few years ago and the entire row from Singapore to my transfer in Dubai was empty in economy, I could stretch out across four seats - but I'm only 5'4 so I will never pay just to get more leg room, I'm lucky that way. For the leg from Dubai back to heathrow the plane was full to capacity of British tourists and their duty free, it was horrible.
Duct tape is magic and should be worshipped

Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
« Reply #58 on: August 22, 2019, 01:52:44 pm »
I did a bit of flight shaming calculation a couple of weeks ago; here's my annual sin just travel (negligible ferry use)

Flights 6 return within EU (I put Barcelona as an average)
1.12 tonnes of CO2e
Car 5000 miles pa
1.35 tonnes of CO2e
Bus & Rail 76 miles commute 5 / 7 x 46
1.35 tonnes of CO2e 
Total = 3.83 tonnes of CO2e


That makes me feel slightly less guilty about my occasional city break. I’ve not driven for 20 years & commute by bike or foot. 
Not fast & rarely furious

tweeting occasional in(s)anities as andrewxclark

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
« Reply #59 on: August 22, 2019, 02:30:16 pm »
All this said, I wouldn't want to be in economy all the way to Australia

Have done that and didn't have a problem, but I'm not tall (only 5'9") and was used to spending a lot of time on aeroplanes. I watched films, read books, slept, drank, etc.

I can understand why others might hate long distance flights but I've never had a problem with them, but then I'm happy sitting on my bike for 40+ hours at a time so I'm used to dealing with mild discomfort and boredom.

I dunno, I mostly fly economy, I can only justify to the Far East and beyond, even LA doesn't make the grade these days. There's a point about three movies in where I start to go a bit mad, and there's that bit in the seat that just won't stop digging, digging, digging and oh god, miss, MISS, can I have another gin and tonic? It's nice to at least stretch out, though I can never really sleep in plane beds either. Plus economy is prime fart zone, at least up-plane there's fewer people packed in.

I'm not that tall so legroom isn't an issue, but my wife is taller and thus makes that my issue. I got business back from KL the other year (and she came out to see me at the end) but as it was a late booking she was in economy. I'm still hearing about this grand ignominy. It's even eclipsed The Durian Incident.
!nataS pihsroW

Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
« Reply #60 on: August 22, 2019, 03:16:04 pm »
It's even eclipsed The Durian Incident.

Oh yeah Durian  :sick:
Duct tape is magic and should be worshipped

Martin

  • Give me bas relief
    • WWW
Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
« Reply #61 on: August 22, 2019, 03:31:10 pm »
I did a bit of flight shaming calculation a couple of weeks ago; here's my annual sin just travel (negligible ferry use)

Flights 6 return within EU (I put Barcelona as an average)
1.12 tonnes of CO2e
Car 5000 miles pa
1.35 tonnes of CO2e
Bus & Rail 76 miles commute 5 / 7 x 46
1.35 tonnes of CO2e 
Total = 3.83 tonnes of CO2e


That makes me feel slightly less guilty about my occasional city break. I’ve not driven for 20 years & commute by bike or foot.

The car use is the most surprising, 5000 miles is quite low by National standards (don't use it for commuting or even to go to most Audaxes, although I do organise 3 events which require it)

Not sure how they work out train, it doesn't distinguish between diesel and electric, and in the case of electric whether coal gas or nuclear generated

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
« Reply #62 on: August 22, 2019, 03:31:58 pm »
For me, the environmental impact of flying isn't actually the biggest issue with why I don't fly unless absolutely necessary (1 flight since 2005).

I hate the way luggage is handled, that you have to pass it on to the custody of some disinterested min wage worker, to throw it about and hopefully load it onto the right plane. There's no choice on the matter, and when there is damage or loss, the airline just goes *shrug*, we accept no liability for what we made you do by providing no other option.

I remember seeing a BBC program about environmentalism, and they took a family and gave them train tickets to Spain on sleepers and the like to see if it was a viable alternative. The main comment was about having to lug their luggage and they said "if we could check in luggage and have it appear at the end". I just found myself screaming at the TV that defeated one of the biggest plus points of rail travel over flying.

As for the security theatre they make you go through to get on a flight. ARGH!

It looks like inside the next 10-20 years short haul flights (~1000km) will be battery electric. Longer flights are likely to shift to synthetic kerosene.

Won't solve airports. Airports suck. I fscking hate airports...

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
« Reply #63 on: August 22, 2019, 04:25:37 pm »
Likewise, not an airport fan, especially when taking a bike. Other luggage I don’t worry about.
I’d like to use Eurostar more for travelling, but having to get down from Liverpool to St Pancras adds 2 hours plus to the journey.
Not fast & rarely furious

tweeting occasional in(s)anities as andrewxclark

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
« Reply #64 on: August 22, 2019, 04:31:12 pm »
I'm still quite inclined to use the trans-Siberian express, if for no other reason that it would be one hell of a journey - something I'm never likely to repeat. It will take quite a bit of planning though.
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.


Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
« Reply #66 on: August 22, 2019, 04:46:24 pm »
For me, the environmental impact of flying isn't actually the biggest issue with why I don't fly unless absolutely necessary (1 flight since 2005).

I hate the way luggage is handled, that you have to pass it on to the custody of some disinterested min wage worker, to throw it about and hopefully load it onto the right plane. There's no choice on the matter, and when there is damage or loss, the airline just goes *shrug*, we accept no liability for what we made you do by providing no other option.

I remember seeing a BBC program about environmentalism, and they took a family and gave them train tickets to Spain on sleepers and the like to see if it was a viable alternative. The main comment was about having to lug their luggage and they said "if we could check in luggage and have it appear at the end". I just found myself screaming at the TV that defeated one of the biggest plus points of rail travel over flying.

As for the security theatre they make you go through to get on a flight. ARGH!

It looks like inside the next 10-20 years short haul flights (~1000km) will be battery electric. Longer flights are likely to shift to synthetic kerosene.

Won't solve airports. Airports suck. I fscking hate airports...

J
I returned from Australia with a bronze resincast sculpture in my luggage. Wrapped in enough bubblewrap that I would have been quite happy to have bounced it like a basketball on concrete. Placed in a semi-hard suitcase (hard plastic side shell), padded by loads of clothes.

It came out smashed. The suitcase was crushed as if it had been driven over by an arctic.

Sculpture had no value other than sentiment; it belonged to my parents and meant a great deal to them (and hence, to me).
<i>Marmite slave</i>

Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
« Reply #67 on: August 22, 2019, 05:07:51 pm »
I remember seeing a BBC program about environmentalism, and they took a family and gave them train tickets to Spain on sleepers and the like to see if it was a viable alternative. The main comment was about having to lug their luggage and they said "if we could check in luggage and have it appear at the end". I just found myself screaming at the TV that defeated one of the biggest plus points of rail travel over flying.

I can kind of see where they are coming from. I'm off to Annecy on the train soon and that means lugging bags across Paris on the RER/Metro from Gare du Nord to Gare to Lyon. Even then when you're on a train you've got to keep an eye on your bags at each stop in case someone decides to steal them (no chance of storing luggage sized bags near your seats on the long distance trains). Air travel is much nicer in comparison as you get rid of the big annoying bag very early in the airport process and then free to wander around the airport with just hand luggage for the next couple of hours. (I don't mind airports at all.)

I couldn't really give a shit about the stuff in my bags. It's just stuff (clothes, shoes, toiletries, etc). It'd be quite annoying but I don't take anything on holiday that wouldn't easily be replaceable at my destination, anything valuable goes in hand luggage. (Yes, reimbursement is a different issue, but my travel insurance would cover me for that.)

Luggage is less of a problem with a sleeper if you have your own couchette although having to change trains at the French/Spanish border (thanks to the gauge differences) was the biggest pain, especially as it is was just past midnight.
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
« Reply #68 on: August 22, 2019, 06:01:53 pm »
I think the luggage problem is in part down to the way of travelling, not the mode of transport. It wouldn't be a problem if we travelled in short hops, spending a little time in each place along the way. Neither would the change of gauge etc. But we travel in big leaps, because we want to get to the Spanish beach or our relies in Oz. For most of us with a week or two to spend on holiday in $place before going back to work, there isn't really much alternative to this (other than making moving around the holiday itself, or only holidaying in places not more than a few hundred miles away, but most people don't fancy those). It would be more expensive too. But Wow has the luxury of time and money. He can make this the holiday of a lifetime, taking in the Trans-Siberian, then exploring China, SE Asia, hopping across the Indonesian islands till he finally reaches Australia. Then again, his reason for going there is to see family. If they weren't in Australia he wouldn't, AIUI, be motivated to visit any of those places.
A cup of tea is the perfect bridge between real life and cake.

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
« Reply #69 on: August 22, 2019, 06:09:31 pm »
Luggage, tbh, has got a lot better. If you travel regularly you assume the worst and pack on that basis. I often check in my bag because I can't be bothered lugging it around the airport. I use a hard-shell, and yes, it wears its baggage handling scars with a degree of pride. It's not often it gets lost these days (what does it look like sir? A suitcase, that's what) and they often look online and declare, that yes, we've found your case, sir, no need to worry. In Bogota. It'll be back in a week, after it's seen the sights and tried the local cuisine. Security theatre is tedious but it is what it is, just have your stuff ready to go, and expect some gruff person to tell you 'no not that' or 'leave the laptop in the bag.'

I got the Eurostar the other week to Lyon, generally more civilised, sitting there, some good tunes and a book watching the tapestry of France scroll by. The only annoyance was on the way back having to get off, with bags, in Lille so we could go through security and passport control, and then line up to get back on the train.
!nataS pihsroW

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
« Reply #70 on: August 22, 2019, 06:33:00 pm »

I can kind of see where they are coming from. I'm off to Annecy on the train soon and that means lugging bags across Paris on the RER/Metro from Gare du Nord to Gare to Lyon. Even then when you're on a train you've got to keep an eye on your bags at each stop in case someone decides to steal them (no chance of storing luggage sized bags near your seats on the long distance trains). Air travel is much nicer in comparison as you get rid of the big annoying bag very early in the airport process and then free to wander around the airport with just hand luggage for the next couple of hours. (I don't mind airports at all.)

The design of both London and Paris for interchange between stations is a right pain in the arse, having to connect between stations to take long distance trains is a poor design choice.

I'd rather spend the train journey looking at my bag on the train, checking it at every stop, than having to worry that the throwers at the airport are looking after it properly. I can also take my bike on the train without dismantling it.

Quote
I couldn't really give a shit about the stuff in my bags. It's just stuff (clothes, shoes, toiletries, etc). It'd be quite annoying but I don't take anything on holiday that wouldn't easily be replaceable at my destination, anything valuable goes in hand luggage. (Yes, reimbursement is a different issue, but my travel insurance would cover me for that.)

I give a shit about the stuff in my bags. It's things I've saved up for to buy, it's stuff I've carefully chosen to meet a purpose. Some of it might not be made any more, some of it is expensive, some of it is hard to find. I can't just replace it like for like at a tourist trap anywhere on the world. And then there's my bike...

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
« Reply #71 on: August 22, 2019, 07:51:53 pm »
The Scary Devil Monastery solution to avoiding your luggage being damaged or going AWOL is to check in a firearm (they'll have a procedure for this, involving copious amounts of extra paperwork), and put whatever it is you care about in with that.  For some reason, they're suddenly really careful...

Threads passim elseweb make me glad that I don't have to fly with a wheelchair.  "ZOMG batteries!" doesn't cancel out "Will it fold?  Oh, it does now." tactics.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
« Reply #72 on: August 22, 2019, 10:09:13 pm »
We are not planning to take bikes with us. We may well hire when we are out there.
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

Martin

  • Give me bas relief
    • WWW
Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
« Reply #73 on: August 22, 2019, 10:21:45 pm »
sorry Wow for posting about bikes as it's not relevant to your trip; will move  :)

Re the Trans Siberian Express, is it still available as a normal public train as it seems to be on everyone in the World's ( I won't say bucket as I hate the term) list?

Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
« Reply #74 on: August 22, 2019, 10:40:06 pm »
This is pertinent. It won’t help much with your travel conundrum, as it’s mostly looking at travel in the future, but there are some interesting numbers:

https://theconversation.createsend.com/t/ViewEmail/r/3B198A7EB72026A72540EF23F30FEDED/C67FD2F38AC4859C

Quote
Meanwhile, the aviation industry is predicted to double by 2040 – doubling the number of flights and the number of people taking them

Thinking about climate catastrophe in general, it is remarkable that while social media and the news are full of reports related to concern for the planet and politicians waffle on, behind the greenwashing, global industries are planning massive increases in output of all kinds. Plastic production, for example - the petrochemicals industry is forecasting enormous increases in demand over the next couple of decades. I’m listening to planes closing in on Heathrow - the sound is constant at the moment - and the plan is, in effect, to add an airport the size of Gatwick on to it in the not too distant future.

It’s not so much that we are not slowing down fast enough. We are accelerating.