It took all of yesterday to buy plane tickets to Berlin for the end of October: one hour to book the reservation and nine more to get over the fact that air fares to Europe have doubled, and because of taxes. The tax on the $480 flight was $560. Figure that one out. Being a Virgin Atlantic fan who’s just finished reading Richard Branson’s energizing autobiography, I felt disloyal doing business with British Air, but we’re stopping over in England and Virgin doesn’t go to Berlin. The agents at BA were much grumpier than the ones I’m used to at Virgin, but maybe everyone’s grumpy now. The good news (it pales next to the bad news, but at least there is some) is that England has lifted its carry-on restriction so that you can now take two bags on board (a handbag or computer case in addition to a suitcase). I’ve decided to cheat and bought a travel vest into which I can tuck even more stuff.