Dell 6430u updated to bios A10

Two days ago I did a new bios update on the notebook.

The process worked fine as usual and, again as usual, did not fix or improve the issue with the fan noise.
After 36 months with it I have to bear it for only 12 more months until the notebook is due to refresh.

A positive note about the 6430U: it does no longer trigger the security scanner in the Ben Gurion airport. Whatever the chemical that was there it is now completely evaporated.

Turkish Airlines: great in-flight food, not-so-great customer care

In the last 12 month I’ve had 20 flights with Turkish Airlines.
The food was always nice and I’d say that it’s the best available in any airline at least as far as economy class is concerned.

It’s more than 15 years that I don’t fly business hence I can’t comment on the current food level: in the past Iberia was great while Alitalia and Lufthansa were nothing to write home about.

Too bad that the customer care for the frequent flyer program is not at the level of the food.
I’ve compiled the module in the in-flight magazine several months ago, taken the tear off card and started to register the related number at check-in time.
Given the long time without news from the program I tried to register the card on the website, but it’s not possible: I only can get a new card number when registering.
I wrote an email to asking for support 1 month ago: no answer at all.

Today I’ve tried dialing the customer care: there it is no way to register the card I’ve used so far.
Nor to get the flight moved to the number I already got from the web.
A new account was created and the flights have to be added one at a time; and some of them appears to be already registered but it’s not clear if this is referring to the paper-only number or to the Miles&More account that I also have.

After 35 minutes we were only at flight #2 and the rep asked me to send in the boarding cards.
Guess what? I have not kept them after the flights.
Line dropped.
Morale dropped.
No smiles.

How good a “five star” food is really?

A few days ago I’ve posted about a very nice crème caramel I had at Mangiari di strada and I defined it “delicious”.

I started to think how to put in perspective the pleasure I had from it.
It was for sure one of the best, if not the best, crème caramel I ever had, but was it worth driving 30 miles for the sole purpose of eating it?

My answer is no and it’s a relatively easy one ’cause I’m more into appetizers and main courses than into desserts.

My reasoning did not stop there and I continued to think of foods and places evaluations based on the distance I would be happy to travel to taste them.
It’s really the complete package of distance plus direct cost that I take into account.

A few examples:
Once or twice a year Lo Dzerby is worth a 200 miles trip.
Mangiari di strada for me is worth a 30 miles trip (even on a weekly basis, given the great number of different great dishes they offer) as a complete eating experience but the single crème caramel is not. Even if it’s five stars without any doubt.

Live concert in Prague @ Rudolfinum

I’m just back from the Dvořák Hall at the Rudolfinum in Prague.

I discovered by chance in the airplane magazine that at this time of the year Prague hosts an international music festival so I decided to spend the evening away from the work email.

And it was a good decision even if I was not familiar with the selection of music (from Strauss, Beethoven and Brahms) of the concert.
Live performances are a different and better world than what even the most audiophile stereo system money can buy could ever reproduce.
The Czech Philharmonic Orchestra performance was really enjoyable.

If you happen to be in Prague at this time of the year in 2013 you should take the opportunity.

I’ll do for sure.

If you never went to a live classical music concert give it a try at the first opportunity.
There it is only one golden rule: arrive on time don’t make any noise or chatting during the performance.

Booking online was easy and doable until the day before the concert.
There it is one important caveat!
In the balcony (the most affordable place) there are columns that may completely block your vision: if you don’t see seats directly in front of the one you’re selecting while reserving then you have the column in front of you.
While this can be acceptable for a pure instrumental execution you really don’t want it.

I was unlucky in the seat selection, but then lucky as just in front of me there were 3 free seats and I was able to move from the 790 crowns column-seat in row 5 to the 1490 crowns central seat in row 4.

Airline looking for a ticket price integration 4 months after the flight

I don’t know if it’s because I fly very often, but I’m surprised by some of the strange things that happen to me with airlines.

This time is the request for an integration for the ticket of a flight that I did more than 4 months ago.

Due to change in plans I had the travel agency adding an intermediate stop to my roundtrip.
It looks like some confusion was made by the agency at the time and that I paid less than I should have.
Now the airline wants the integration and the agency says that this is normal and right.

It really sound absurd to me, like if my car dealer was asking me additional money months after I paid the amount indicated in the signed contract.
Is this really normal?

Crazy waiting time to get an airport tax reimbursed

In january I had one of my frequent trips across Europe and when I arrived at the checkin desk to fly back home it turned out that the travel agency had my ticket wrong.
I paid for a new one.

Once home I checked my written request to the travel agency and it was for the correct day.
I started asking back to the travel agency the extra money I paid.

After 8 months I finally got reimbursed, but only the airport taxes from the airline: 34.95€
No surcharges, no actual ticket reimbursed.
I wonder if this is common practice.