Innovations keep our airport flying high

Central Station | Nury Vittachi 25 Oct 2019

"Ding!" goes your phone as you browse in the airport duty free shop. On screen is a message from your suitcase: "I've arrived at baggage carousel five; come and get me."

Hong Kong's airport is the only one in the world where suitcases call their owners.

Transport supremo Frank Chan Fan said that more than 10,000 Hongkongers had now bought the airport's patented luggage tags (costing HK$30 up).

And for people on the way out, it now has a system in which your face becomes your boarding pass, Chan said.

Does that mean when you stand in the boarding gate queue, a Cathay Pacific flight attendant will hold your face still with one hand, and scrawl her initials on your cheek with the other?

I hope so.

* * *

The world's first Monopoly Dream theme park opens at the Peak Galleria tomorrow. Monopoly is a board game where you make other people pay ridiculous rents until they go bankrupt, or, as we call it here, "normal life."

* * *

Tomorrow is the birthday party of one of the world's greatest hikes: the 100-kilometer MacLehose Trail. Head to section six at 11 am and historians will show you the secret tunnels the British built in a failed bid to stop the 1941 Japanese invasion. A possible clue as to why it failed: the original name of the series of defensive outposts was Gin Drinker's Line.

* * *

The Fila designer clothes shop in Causeway Bay yesterday had a dramatic window display featuring mannequins with faces partially covered and the words "Ignite the streets." Considering the number of firebombs thrown in Causeway Bay streets, that may be just a bit too close for comfort.

* * *

Rambler Channel may stop being smelly. The Tsuen Wan West waterfront has been stinky for years.

Government engineers found that plumbers had accidentally connected sewage outflow pipes to the area's drainage system.

The authorities have now fixed most of them, a spokesman said this week.

Residents used to say: "Rambler Channel is breathtaking - literally, since you can't breathe."

* * *

Hong Kong may be in recovery mode from its political troubles. A study of weekday violent incidents shows a sharp drop-off between the second week of October and now.

That was the weekend the MTR started closing early.

From October 8 until now, the only street-side violence has resulted from weekend rallies by the Civil Human Rights Front.

The word "civil" in that name may need urgent revision.

* * *

Readers (with tongue in cheek) tell me that there are plans for a number of new courses at the Chinese University:

Fashion: The Art of Looking Sexy in a Gas Mask;

Writing: Conspiracy Theories 101;

Physical education: The Two-Handed MTR Turnstile Leap

Physics: Firebomb Design For Maximum Impact;

Management: Decentralized Control of Mobs;

Textiles: Facemasks For All Occasions;

Engineering: Weak Spots of MTR Ticket Machines;

Politics: Secret Funding Across International Borders

* * *

In all the discussion about the difficult negotiations over the transfer of alleged killer Chan Tong-kai, I wondered why no one came to the obvious conclusion. And then reader Peter Fredenburg said it: "The obvious problem right now between Taiwan and Hong Kong is the lack of an extradition law!"

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