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Wilkinson Coutts & Matthews Integrity Training

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WILKINSON COUTTS / MATTHEWS INTEGRITY HUB: an up-to-the-minute information mix designed to help you with your lifework and career development in the asset integrity, inspection and NDE industries.

Matthew Petroleum Notes


It’s our duty, no less

This all started with a suggestion from the TRAVELLER member of our website contributors.  Asset integrity and inspection  is an industry where extensive travel is the rule rather than the exception so after lively discussion the way forward was agreed unanimously. You, the valued visitor to the Matthews Integrity Hub: HEAD OFFICE website deserve the absolute best in unproven and unjustified travel advice we can offer based on our combined experience. There’s just so much questionable wisdom we want to pass on. Let’s have a start.

Passing time on flights

How to pass the time on flights

This is a problem for us all. We have found however that there is no better way than to devise yourself a little statistical regression project on the incredible shrinking airline seat

There’s absolutely no doubt in our mind; those naughty airlines are steadily reducing the space between rows to squeeze in extra seats and make more money. It was reported in 2016 that the average distance between airline seat rows has declined from more than 89cm to 79cm, while the average seat size has shrunk from 46cm to 43cm since the year 2000, all this while the aircraft themselves have got persistently bigger.

For the uninitiated, seat pitch is the distance measured between a point on one seat and the same point on the seat in front of it. For many carriers, the pitch in economy class varies from 74 to 81 cm. Low cost charter operators often chance it, bringing it down to 71cm (airline seats slide on rails). Airlines sometimes claim that a reduction of seat pitch can be compensated for by a thinner seat-back design.

Airline Seats

Back in the good old days some American airline business class seats in Boeing 767-200s, had a whopping great pitch of 160 cm, but they scrapped them. Today, in some first class flatbed seats you get 240cm, more than enough for most people, if you want to pay the price.

Anyway, on your next flight, after you’ve checked your pitch you can measure your seat width. This is the distance from armrest to armrest, typically around 43–46 cm in economy class. If yours is less than that then amuse yourself by filling in a complaint form. A research report commissioned by one company concluded that an extra 2.5cm in seat width improves sleep quality by over 50%.Fill in some more flying downtime by pondering exactly where they got that figure from.

Finally, ponder the demise of desolation row. This was the truncated 2-seat row at the very back of first-generation transatlantic 747s, a mere spitting-distance from the tail plane. In those heady  days 10-12 passengers would regularly gather in the aisle there, drink their own duty-free purchases (as you could then) puff away on cheeky cigarettes and swap tall travel-tales with strangers .All this whilst jostling for elbow-room with people queuing for the toilets. A lively little bunch they were. There was some club or other you could join apparently if you were successful in striking up a special transatlantic relationship. Try and decide where these people sit now. They must still be on the plane somewhere and can’t be very happy, so just look for the most miserable ones, and that must be them.

By now you will be just about to land. Job done.


Airport Car Hire extras (legalised inertia selling)

Car rental

Ho Ho…everybody gets caught by this dodgy practice, so stop worrying. Whatever fantasy cost figure for daily car hire you get quoted on the phone or website, it’s just fluffy fiction; read our article about it here


Minibar tales‘Priceonomics’; The strange case of hotel minibars

Our TRAVELLER fell foul of one of these big-brother plastic-plated bandits last year. Despite not consuming anything, he was still charged $20+ on his hotel bill for ‘incidentals’. That got us thinking; I wonder how they work and what do you actually have to do to get them to register a fictitious sale? Read our hotel minibar destructive test report to find out.



The exclusive NDE Travel Club

NDE Travel ClubIt might seem unlikely to you but one of our ex-NDE contributors at Matthews Integrity Hub: HEAD OFFICE is a long-standing member of one of those Exclusive London clubs. You know, the sort of misguided place that at one time only allowed Gentleman past its hallowed portals. He doesn’t find it easy, poor chap, bringing pressure vessels and crane failures into the discussion at the long dining table when surrounded by outstanding representatives of the civil service and diplomatic service whose knowledge of such things is, shall we say, a little basic.

Nevertheless, our contributor has persisted and over time has become a respected member with his own seat under the smoking-room cornice depicting a fine collection of British Empire plundered booty. In past years, so he tells us, foreign leaders and dignitaries of all persuasions have sat in the same spot ruminating on the best ways to redirect the monetary aid income of their parent countries to its more rightful owners.

OUR TRAVELLER doesn’t just travel of course, he works also. Travel brings understanding and humanity, the voice of experience of others smoothing off the expansive thinking of our younger years. It did it for him. Allow him to share it with you in his Travel Club NDE Supervision article. Read it slowly and enjoy..

We welcome the contribution of THE TRAVELLER to Matthews Integrity Hub: HEAD OFFICE. He is off to the airport as we speak, but leaves us with his famous quote from a distinguished British Gentleman on the subject travelling to foreign climes.

‘Travel to far flung countries is the ideal solution to that age-old problem of what to do with your large leather travelling trunk and under-utilised manservant’