Thank you to Dick for inviting me to comment at his blog, I hope to bring you some useful travelling information for smokers drawing on my experiences as a business travelling bear.
To introduce myself, I am a Project Manager for an international business concern and spend more than 50% of my time travelling to clients around the world. I enjoy red wine, tobacco and am an Arsenal fan for my sins, but don't let that put you off.
I have some notes on smoking policies at airports and other venues in places including Singapore, Dubai, Australia and America amongst others, and have many stories to tell as well as expecting many more in the future. I have only just started to collate notes on what I have seen before after talking via email to Dick, but I shall be making sure to share whatever observations I gather on my travels more in the future.
For a taster, why don't I begin with my home airport of Birmingham because every journey begins with a single step, as they say.
Birmingham airport, unbeknown to a lot of occasional travellers, now boasts a smoking balcony which is unusual in Britain but not in the rest of the world. This, for the observant, is advertised on boards outside the airport so keep your eyes peeled on the way in. What they don't tell you is that shortly after opening this facility, they decided to put an entry code on the door.
The balcony is located through a door on the right hand side when entering the Meriden bar. You can get the code at the bar. However, you appear to have to be a customer to get the code which can be expensive and best avoided if on a budget. It seems to change every couple of months and was 1121 a couple of weeks ago. I will update when I can. Note that if you stand by the door, the constant traffic will ensure you get out there without the code because, contrary to what you are told by newspapers and others, people like to smoke and footfall is very busy. Smokers are also very approachable too, so people who have been out there or returned will only be too happy to share the code even if it is a quiet day.
To stay close to home for now, here are a couple of brief tips about travelling to airports in Germany, particularly Munich.
Unlike other German airports, Munich airport does not sell EU paid cigarettes. Also, if you look at the official website, it tells you that Bavaria is most strict on the smoking ban and you cannot smoke in the airport anywhere. This is completely untrue. In common with other German airports, some areas have Camel smoking cabins. There are also some smoking rooms with decent seating and as comfortable surroundings as we can hope for these days. Frankfurt and Dusseldorf airports have just as agreeable places to smoke indoors.
I hope that this will have been informative as a cut out and keep starting point, I have a couple more posts in the pipeline but would welcome any comments questions or hints about destinations you could share with me. My articles will be tagged under Bear Tripper for your future reference.