Frequent Flier

Featuring: A cruise down the Thames, offline Google Maps, new seating plan for airplanes and more.
Team BT More        Print Edition: September 13, 2015
Tips for frequent fliers: A cruise down the Thames and more
Indulge your stiff upper lip with a cruise down the Thames.

DRAMA ON THE THAMES

A historic cruise that kicks off from Highclere Castle is Downton Abbey and a course on British aristocracy.

Indulge your stiff upper lip with a cruise down the Thames. More Downton Abbey than Three Men in a Boat, luxury cruise liner Magna Carta's week-long journey promises relaxed entertainment. Weaving a heritage trail from Hampton Court to Oxford, the vessel will make stops at Runnymede, Cliveden and Windsor Castle. There are tow-paths, pubs and cream tea thrown into the long sail. The cruise is run by Barge Lady Cruises for fans of the award-winning series and those who simply can't get enough of British aristocracy. The tour includes trips to the Hampton Court Palace, Christ Church and the imposing Highclere Castle, home of the Crawleys. Hillary Mantel's Wolf Hall being set in Hampton Court Palace, it has its fair share of curious tourists. The dose of history extends beyond a fabled monarchy to tales of local inhabitants and fishermen, thanks to well-informed guides and museums.

Prices start from $5,250 per person for a double-occupancy room.

TRAINED ELEGANCE

Paying a lavish ode to the cultural trinity of historic Europe, the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express is all set to chug to journey Berlin in 2016. Through northern France, the original art deco carriage breezes through the German countryside offering hours of spectacular views. Evocative of the glamorous lifestyle of the 1920s replete with a thriving art and cabaret scene, it's an experience worth the two days and one night you get pampered by special attendants. Opt for the ride when traipsing between London, Paris and Berlin for a taste of vintage travel. Prices start from 2,210 pounds for a double cabin.

OFFLINE BEACON FOR MAP USERS

As much as we may rely on Google Maps, it can be a finicky app when confronted with flickering connectivity. The maps come especially handy when you're scouting for a spot and not when you're in the cushy Wi-Fied confines of your home. In a smart move, Google Maps has announced its intention to go offline by the end of 2015. Consequently, you'll be able to navigate through bad stretches. So far, the option available to users was that of saving portions of a map offline then using GPS to drop pins and pre-plan routes.

RADICAL SEATING PLAN FOR AIRPLANES

Attention introverts and socially awkward lurkers! Zodiac Aerospace, A French aerospace company is dicsussing the benefits of a new seat plan, the highlight being hexagonal seats adjoined in a single line. Called the 'Economy Class Cabin Hexagon', it has the middle seat turned around 180 degrees and facing backward. Though the seats are wider and foldable, enabling more movement but we're not sure whether to rejoice. The folding seats mean boarding is faster and there's lesser bumping into co-passengers. You will be directly facing a co-passenger the whole duration of the flight. The idea has been awarded a patent already but no aircraft manufacturers have taken it up yet. But look at the bright side, the closer you are, the better you know the person. So ladies and gentlemen, don't hesitate in exchanging numbers once the flight has landed. This "Economy Class Hexagon cabin" is to come up in the year 2017. The seats, as suaul, will be fitted with a tablet and cup holder.

SAY GOODBYE TO LUGGAGE WOES

How about going on a business trip empty handed? DUFL, a travel service, makes the arduous task of packing for a trip even easier. Register with the app and get a large suitcase meant to be filled with travel essentials and outfits. They store and inventory your stuff (undergarments encluded) and keep it laundered and ironed. Three days prior to the trip, check into the app and select the items you'd like to carry. Feed in your hotel and arrival details to be greeted with your bag. Understandable, it's for people with never-ending wardrobes. Cost starts from $9.95 per month for storage and for round trips including the cleaning and maintenance it's $99. The service is yet to be launched in Asia.

APP CORNER: LoungeBuddy

Free Wi-fi compatible only This can put an end to worrying over where to spend those long hours between flights. For the uninitiated, it is simply an app that can locate lounges in 500 airports worldwide and tips you off about whether it's free or has a one-time use fee. Use the smart Lounge Access Wizard to include details of your trip, service level and elite memberships, where applicable to add to data.

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