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WHICH DIG­I­TAL FLIGHT LOG­BOOK TO USE?

➜ SWITZERLANDING

We’ve been man­u­ally log­ging the flights of our 21-month-old, but think it’s time to go dig­i­tal as he’s al­ready reached 50 flights. Any sug­ges­tions on the best web­site/app to use?

➜ SWISSDIVER

I use flight­mem­ory.com and have about 1,000 flights logged. It works well, although there’s been no up­date for years and no app. I was us­ing flight­stats.com for flight times, but I moved to my.fligh­tradar24. com as it’s eas­ier to use and not re­stricted (oc­ca­sion­ally flight­stats.com is). I pay a nom­i­nal an­nual fee for both ser­vices.

➜ TRAVELSFORFUN

I would strongly rec­om­mend open­flights. org. The main dif­fer­ence com­pared to sites like flight­mem­ory.com is that it isn’t com­mer­cially fo­cused, so it al­lows easy ex­port­ing of data (CSV for­mat is eas­ily read by Ex­cel) should you ever want to use the data some­where else. It also al­lows easy im­port­ing of CSV data, so if you’ve been record­ing in­for­ma­tion in Ex­cel, it should be easy enough to switch, with min­i­mal re­nam­ing/for­mat­ting of fields. But equally, it al­lows en­try of in­for­ma­tion di­rectly on the site.

Open­flights.com also in­cludes a few dif­fer­ent map back­grounds, is fully zoomable and of­fers com­pre­hen­sive stats by num­ber of flights or dis­tance for air­line, air­craft, air­port and class.

➜ FFLYERTJW1

I highly rec­om­mend Flight­di­ary – it’s now part of fligh­tradar24 so a lot of the data syncs au­to­mat­i­cally across. Also, it has an ex­cel­lent vis­ual dis­play of all your in­for­ma­tion (in­clud­ing print­able map) and a sup­port ser­vice that al­lows you to

re­quest new air­ports/air­lines to be added. It even has some of the dirt airstrips in Kenya in­cluded!

➜ INTHESANDPIT

From 1975 I used a man­ual log, which came from Ian Al­lan books. My first flight recorded was VC8 LHR MME on Bri­tish Mid­land, although I had flown be­fore that as a child (BOAC Ju­nior Jet Club Log Book) and youth, but could not re­call flight num­bers. Sim­i­larly, a lot of my cabin-crew days in the 80s are not in­cluded as I mis­placed my log­books.

Over a course of many week­ends, I up­loaded the lot onto my flight di­ary at my.fligh­tradar24.com, which works re­ally well for what I need. This next trip will see my 1,100th flight logged, it’s in­ter­est­ing to look at the map and go through the log to see where I have been and on what fright­en­ing types of air­craft/air­lines.

➜ LUGANOPIRATE

Elec­tronic flight logs are all well and good, but I’d go for an old-fash­ioned pen and book. I’ve had mine since 1979 and it’s a wealth of in­for­ma­tion, from date, air­craft and seat to reg no, route, ad­di­tional notes and more. I tried an on­line ver­sion, but I can’t re­call its name so I’m un­able to re­trieve the data – luck­ily I have it all in my hard copy log­book.

My boys also had one from Lufthansa, which the cap­tain would sign for them so they have a nice record of their flights.

And my fi­nal point, it’s such a shame to lose the art of writ­ing as we go all elec­tronic. I still send hand­writ­ten in­vi­ta­tions and thank-you cards, and

I still make pa­per notes in meet­ings.

➜ ALAINBOY56

Good to hear from an­other fel­low Ju­nior Jet Club mem­ber. Like INTHESANDPIT, I still have my de­tails – first flight was on a BOAC DH Comet 4 in May 1959 from LHR to Tokyo, with stops in Beirut, Karachi, Delhi, Cal­cutta, Bangkok and Hong Kong, a near 24-hour jour­ney. As a child, I al­ways used to get the cap­tains to fill in my log­book and on many oc­ca­sions sat with them in the nose cone. Now, as that log is long since full, I have made my own Ex­cel ver­sion on the lap­top and fill in the de­tails by us­ing flightaware.com, which gives miles flown for each flight, is quite ac­cu­rate and very use­ful.

➜ MKCOL74

Have you tried Jet Lovers Your Flight Club, jet­lovers.com, yet? Us­ing so­cial me­dia check-ins it au­to­mates some of the process. You can se­lect your flight from the list, which pre-pop­u­lates the air­craft reg, then you can de­fine the pur­pose of the trip, crew, what cabin type and even in­put your seat num­ber.

It then gives you in­ter­est­ing stats, such as most pop­u­lar air­port used, cabin type, long­est route and so on. It also has a good GloVe vi­su­al­i­sa­tion of your trav­els. The site works well on a com­puter and is mo­bile friendly. I’ve not spot­ted an app yet.

➜ SWISSDIVER

I’ve taken a look at these var­i­ous ser­vices, ex­cept jet­lovers.com, which is based on so­cial net­works, and which I don’t want for all sort of rea­sons.

So, open­flights.org: a ba­sic ser­vice. Main ad­van­tage – im­port­ing! While it didn’t work from Flight­Mem­ory, very un­for­tu­nately, I could do it from TripIt, tripit.com, with lim­ited suc­cess (ba­sic data only; travel class wrong). So I’ll delete it as soon I have no more hope with the Flight­Mem­ory im­port.

I think flight­mem­ory.com is still ex­cel­lent, but a bit out­dated. Only pdf ex­ports avail­able and in­putting is as ba­sic as with Open­Flights. For ex­am­ple, the only item that comes au­to­mat­i­cally is the air­line once the flight num­ber is en­tered. It does, how­ever, have a “Jour­ney” fea­ture that al­lows the re­group­ing of some flights. Cost: US$55 for two years (one year is pos­si­ble).

By far the best is my.fligh­tradar24.com. Once you’ve en­tered a date and flight

num­ber, the sys­tem does the rest, for ex­am­ple air­craft type and ID, route, times and so on. Tripit and CSV im­port­ing is avail­able, while CSV ex­port­ing is also pos­si­ble. And, for now at least, it is free.

➜ SWITZERLANDING

Af­ter look­ing at the sug­ges­tions, I fi­nally went with my.fligh­tradar24.com. As SWISSDIVER men­tioned, it’s by far the best and easy to in­put the data with just a few clicks per flight. Thanks again!

TOILETRYTASTIC! ➜ SKY­HIGH

I stayed at the Radis­son in Tokyo and Mel­liber Ap­part in Casablanca this year. I travel the world and was sur­prised to find the Rit­u­als toi­letries in Tokyo were sealed with a clear tape, while in Casablanca there was a seal that stated “do not use if bro­ken”. I think all ho­tels should fol­low suit for safety and hy­giene rea­sons, oth­er­wise any­one could put any­thing into the toi­letries.

➜ MARTYNSINCLAIR

You raise an in­ter­est­ing topic. I hope ho­tels don’t remix and re­use left­over toi­letries. I did ask when I checked out, but got a be­mused look from re­cep­tion.

➜ IN­QUIS­I­TIVE

I am sur­prised that SKY­HIGH is sur­prised – most five-star ho­tels pro­vide sealed toi­letries. I mainly stay in Hy­att, Mar­riott and Hol­i­day Inn prop­er­ties in Asi­aPa­cific, and all these ho­tels pro­vide toi­letries in sealed pack­ets.

➜ IANFROMHKG

I would much pre­fer a pump-ac­tion bot­tle for all this stuff rather than add tonnes of plas­tic waste to the world, not to men­tion all the prod­ucts that are thrown away be­cause they are in a par­tially used bot­tle.

I am not par­tic­u­larly wor­ried about con­tam­i­na­tion – most of these prod­ucts only go on your skin rather than into your body and most of them are im­me­di­ately washed off. Un­less the prod­uct in ques­tion is caus­tic, toxic or al­ler­genic it is very un­likely to af­fect you un­less you have a skin con­di­tion or an open wound. If you have a skin con­di­tion then you should prob­a­bly use your own toi­letries, and if you have an open wound you should be dis­in­fect­ing it or wear­ing a wa­ter­proof dress­ing any­way (if you know what’s good for you).

➜ CANUCKLAD

I re­cently vis­ited Malta and stayed in a fan­tas­tic Airbnb prop­erty in Bugibba, where a hos­pitable host made it a great value al­ter­na­tive. Any­way, ar­riv­ing late at night with cabin lug­gage meant I went for my morn­ing shower to­tally de­pen­dent on what was avail­able in the bath­room, which was lots of lit­tle bot­tles of this and that, clearly amassed/ left by pre­vi­ous guests from all over the world.

Nei­ther my­self nor my trav­el­ling com­pan­ions wanted to risk break­ing up the col­lec­tion, and opted to use the stuff from the al­ready opened bot­tle of brown gloop, made by a high-end toiletry man­u­fac­turer. Safe to say, the pri­or­ity def­i­nitely was the lo­cal su­per­mar­ket to get nor­mal shower gel – so the toiletry col­lec­tion was added to by the end of the trip, and I’m still alive to tell the tale!

In­ci­den­tally, Penta Ho­tels has all its toi­letries sealed in a clear plas­tic bag. A bag that could be reused to re­place those non­sense air­port se­cu­rity bags?

➜ MANXMAN123

I’m more wor­ried about ho­tel guests boil­ing their un­der­wear in the ket­tle, which was ex­posed a while back.

➜ LUGANOPIRATE

I’m with IANFROMHKG on this, ho­tels seem to want to save by wash­ing sheets ev­ery two days (now three in more and more places), but waste who knows how much by throw­ing out half-empty bot­tles, used soaps, barely used toi­let rolls and min­eral wa­ter in plas­tic bot­tles. I just hate this need­less waste.

➜ MANXMAN123

Used soaps are all re­cy­cled.

➜ LUCKYONE

I’ve been lucky enough to stay in both four- and five-star ho­tels that mainly seal toi­letries – in­clud­ing sham­poo, con­di­tioner and body lo­tion tubes – with a tam­per-free tape. I must say, it’s to be ex­pected with the price charged for the room/suite.

As to boiled wa­ter, I’m ex­tra par­tic­u­lar. I rinse all cups, mugs, glasses and spoons with boil­ing wa­ter since I don’t know how “clean” they are. I do this since house­keep­ing don’t have a clean sup­ply of these items and they’re washed in the kitchen/bath­room, and I don’t re­ally know how clean their dish­towel is. From a med­i­cal point of view, I only drink bot­tled min­eral wa­ter and boiled bot­tled wa­ter, which ac­tu­ally tastes very dif­fer­ent from boiled tap wa­ter.

LUGANOPIRATE, you’ll be sur­prised there are re­cy­cling plants in de­vel­op­ing coun­tries, although mainly in the cities. They may not have the means to re­cy­cle plas­tics coded 1 to 6, but they do re­cy­cle other bot­tles, pa­per, porce­lain and so forth.

In Thai­land all forms of bot­tles, drinks and food cans are col­lected and sold in ru­ral ar­eas. The ring pulls from drinks cans are also col­lected and given to hos­pi­tals to be made into pros­thetic arms and legs, which they have been do­ing for the past 20 years.

I’m more wor­ried about ho­tel guests boil­ing their un­der­wear in the ket­tle, which was ex­posed a while back

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