NEW ORLEANS - WGNO's Travel Girl Stephanie Oswald is packing her bags in honor of the new nonstop flights between New Orleans (MSY) and London (LHR). Here's the inside scoop on what you can expect - and how to behave - when you travel across the pond.
1. It's okay to call the Queen 'ma'am.'
But only on second reference. If you're fortunate enough to encounter Her Majesty while in the United Kingdom, you should curtsy (women) or nod (men) and greet her as "Your Majesty." As the conversation continues, you can then call her "ma'am."
2. Turns out the Queen is a fan of Downton Abbey!
So don't be ashamed if you feel the need to watch every episode of the award-winning British drama yourself before heading across the pond. There's plenty of tradition and etiquette to be picked up from watching this PBS series.
3. If you ask for dessert, you'll get pudding.
But it's not actually pudding -- that's just the British term for any type of after-meal treat. It's similar to asking for a "Coke" in the South. In this case, having a "pudding" means you could be enjoying cake, trifle, apple tart, etc. It's a synonym for "dessert."
4. The exchange rate is in our favor.
The British Pound is at a 30-year low against the U.S. dollar, so your travel budget will go far! Right now, $1 U.S. = .80 British Pound.
5. Big Ben is not a tower.
It's a bell! There's a common misconception that Big Ben is the name of the famous clock tower in London -- but it's actually the name of the 13-ton bell inside the tower.
The tower is named St. Stephen's Tower.
6. Forget about High Tea.
It sounds royal, but "High Tea" is an outdated term used to describe tea for the lower class, when they had it as a meal replacement years ago.
Visit Britain says it's no longer used or done. Reminder, you "have some" tea with someone, you don't "take a" tea! Check out the video above for more tips!
7. Snap some pics and win a trip: MSY to London Heathrow (LHR).
There are six of these bright red sculptures scattered around town at local landmarks. Each one represents an iconic image from the United Kingdom, in honor of the newly announced direct flights from New Orleans to London on British Airways.This is currently the only non-stop flight between New Orleans and Europe.
From now until April 2, take a photo featuring these bright red cut-outs and post it with the hashtag #BAlovesNOLA for the chance to win two round-trip tickets on the new flight, plus a four-night stay!
8. They don't eat fish and chips every day.
But it is high on the must-eat list when you're in London. It's like making sure you try beignets when you come to New Orleans.
This is considered "a humble supper" in the U.K., and it's a mainstay on most British menus.
9. Head for the pub.
According to Visit Britain, another British myth that needs debunking is the one that say the Brits are stuffy.
They may have a different sense of humor than you're used to, but Caitlin Johnson of Visit Britain says, "They're very welcoming people, they're very cheeky. Just hang out with one in a bar and you'll have a great time!"
10. Remember, there's more than one country on the island of Great Britain.
Here's a quick geography lesson: England, Scotland and Wales are all on the same island. You'll find Ireland on the neighboring island, along with the U.K. province of Northern Ireland.
The term U.K. is short for The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.