Archive for September 2009


For the not-so-premium voyageur

Air France

The struggling French carrier Air France have just introduced a new “premium voyageur” seating class:

With Premium Voyageur, you will enjoy:

– 40% additional space: on average, 22 Premium Voyageur seats will be available over an area which before held 40 Economy class seats; this translates to very generous legroom.
– A completely new seat: equipped with a fixed shell which guarantees passengers’ space and privacy. You will also enjoy an extra large tray table and a leg rest.
– A wide individual video screen: enjoy hours of video on demand.
– Amenities from the Affaires (Business Class) cabin: travel kit, noise-reducing headphones, a feather pillow, pure new wool blanket.

Seat and amenity innovation is an area that is often overseen by airlines (not to mention international award shows). This should therefore be encouraged. In theory. But where is the innovation in taking the amenities from Affaires and adding seats with less space than in the front?

There’s a perfectly good place to sit in aeroplanes, and that means turning left when boarding. We see no point in wasting space with an upgraded cattle section.

Renaissance retail: The dry cleaner

Opening hours

A couple of days ago we were picking up our less than minty scenting and not so freshly ironed Anatomica shirts from the local dry cleaning shop. As we brisked through the shopkeeper in the door, just as he was about to close, we had a rather rude check-out experience. This resulted in a discussion about the ever failing concept of dry cleaners. The only true quality dry cleaner we have met ditching across Europe is Alberti’s at Piazza Castello in Milan. There you find spotless, clean and service minded personnel in appropriate suits that more resemble George the butler than Joe the cleaner. This rare treat makes us wonder if dry cleaning is due for a make over. And a real one at that.

Our proposal: The renaissance cleaner

The answer is most likely a laundry boutique, where you will drop off your Incotex trousers and Uniqlo underwear at a friendly bakery and pick them up in a vibrating pintxos bar.

Morning drop-off: A scandinavian style bakery, with a touch of italy in a world class barista. The lovely scent and taste of freshly baked cinnamon buns fills the shop during the morning hours. You can also pick up a couple of dark rye breads baked with ingredients picked from the farm lands of Västergötland. Supplemented by a tiny pet bakery providing a perfect morning treat for your favorite Jack Russell.

Evening pick-up: At night the venue provide an atmosphere right out of the quarters of Parte Vieja in San Sebastian, through a pulsating pintxos bar. Providing a great selection of traditonal pintxos, the anchovy on mini-baguettes and alikes. Mixed up with pintxos nuevos, such as crepe de bacalao with a light parsley sauce. You’re welcome to stay for five minutes or five hours. When leaving you’ll find a nicely wrapped package with a lush scent of lemon waiting for you.

A proper ending for any day.