This week’s “free” ticket only cost me $128 – on American Airlines from Dublin to Hamburg. My free Delta ticket from Denver to Dublin cost me just $5.

Plane-spotting at Heathrow – while taxiing from the gate to the runway, noticed that KLM “names” their aircraft. The one that caught my eye had The Flying Dutchman painted on its fuselage. Would you really want to board this plane for anywhere?

Through Heathrow twice in the past few days. I remember actually getting out of the airport for a few weeks a year or so ago. Was wandering through a suburban London town trying to stay awake on jetlag day. A nice woman with a tablet computer came up to me with a series of survey questions. The first? How far did I travel today to get to their store? The second – How long did it take me to get there? I told her the truth and we agreed that nearly 5,000 miles and an overnight flight were not answers that would help them refine their marketing efforts. After a wonderful few minutes of chatting she pointed me toward a good coffee shop. Then she went back to work. I went back to staying awake.

Another time in Germany – I found a nice hotel near the train station – and had the mechanical key break off in the door, locking me inside my room late in the evening. Did I mention that my room was at the end of the hall, a long way from the elevator well? And German is not one of the languages I can stumble through? Several hours and several stories later I was able to resolve the issue. The hotel gave me a VERY nice room upgrade that I slept in for four hours, until I left way too-early the next morning.

This time in Germany – stayed in a much nicer hotel, went to a good theatre festival, had a great time with wonderful friends.