If dogs run free, why not me?

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Martin Moodie
Martin Moodie is the Founder & Chairman of The Moodie Report.

If dogs run free, why not me
Across the swamp of time?
My mind weaves a symphony
And tapestry of rhyme
Oh, winds which rush my tale to thee
So it may flow and be
To each his own, it’s all unknown
If dogs run free

~Bob Dylan, If Dogs Run Free

‘Travel nightmare: Another 2,500 flights cancelled Monday’ proclaims CNN in a report that details more than 2,800 cancelled and 11,000 delayed flights on a single day. Globally, airlines scrapped over 6,000 flights on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day, often because of staff shortages due to them being infected with the Omicron variant.

Click on the image to read (if you can handle the bad news) the original CNN article

So here we go again with yet another twist to this long-running saga. Not just border and quarantine restrictions limiting traveller numbers but now a lack of crew to fly those who can fly. Groan. The Year of the Tiger, now just weeks away, looks alas as it may begin with a mew not a roar, though hopefully Hainan and Macau and parts of the Middle East (think Qatar, Dubai and Saudi Arabia in particular) will continue to prosper. For the rest we will have to wait and see.

Just before Christmas I received a lovely 2022 calendar from Airport Authority Hong Kong General Manager Alby Tsang, entitled ‘What type of passenger are you?’ While ‘Frustrated’ immediately sprang to mind, upon opening it, I discovered that there are 12 types of airport passengers ranging from The Techie to The Backpacker to (thankfully for our industry) The Shopaholic (splendidly played by the beautiful Alfie, below). Each calendar month features a different personality type, their personalities captured in the fun, furry form of the feline friends and canine companions pictured below.

What’s it all about Alfie?

A quick glance through the months confirmed what I already knew, that I have multiple personalities when it comes to travelling.

The Rusher or The Latecomer: That’s me to a tee. I believe I may have more ‘Gate Closing’ and ‘Final Call’ selfies than anyone in the travel retail community – mostly, I point out in my own defence, down to store checks or last-minute Blogs in the lounge.

Speaking of which…

The Selfier: Yep, for the past 19 years since launching The Moodie Report (as it was known), I have spent much of the time on the road and snapped an inordinate number of airport selfies to prove I was there. Oh to be able to take one again…

The Workaholic: Sadly yes. As with the adorable Uncle Chu pictured below, many an airport moment has been spent at the keyboard. And, just like Uncle Chu, this workload sometimes causes me to paws for thought and look up with a sad face for sympathy. That’s what comes from being an old newshound, I suppose.

Sadly, I will never – unlike Zach here – qualify as The Heartthrob, but you know right now I would simply settle for being any kind of passenger at all. Alas, unless I want to do my time in hotel quarantine (and even, depending on the country I would be returning from, Penny’s Bay quarantine centre), that is going to have to wait a while. For now at least, only the dogs can run free.

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