Let The Holidays Begin

Traveling is not always all it’s cracked up to be. But most of the time it is. I’ve had a pretty busy end of November and most of December. I really enjoy spending time seeing new sights and getting to spend time on planes, especially when on vacation and when I get to sit and sleep in a suite like this.

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Asiana a380 first class!!

That being said in the past month, I’ve been away from home 25 of 28 days, and I’m just looking forward to Continue reading

Categories: Family, Travel, Travel Blog | Tags: | Leave a comment

Review: Thai Airways Frankfurt-Bangkok First Class On The a380

Thai Airways Frankfurt-Bangkok First Class On The a380

Introduction

Cashing in my last 300,000 United miles

American Express Centurion Lounge San Francisco

Flying First Class on Lufthansa Seattle-Frankfurt

Rubber Ducks, Cured Meats and VOSS – Lufthansa First Class Lounge Frankfurt

Flying First Class on Thai Airways also on the a380

The Conrad hotel Koh Samui

Flying Asiana Airlines on the a380

Visiting Thailand and the island of Koh Samui

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Here we go.

Let me just say that after an incredibly great flight on Lufthansa in First, I was looking for an equally good experience on Thai Airways. This was my second time experiencing Thai in First Class, but for both my wife and I our first time on the upper deck of an a380. So I was really looking forward to the experience. If you’re curious how I booked these tickets and how you can too, click here. Continue reading

Categories: a380, Airlines, Around the world, Food, Thai Airways, Travel, Travel Blog | Tags: , , | 5 Comments

Review: Rubber Ducks, Cured Meats and VOSS – Lufthansa First Class Lounge Frankfurt

Review: Rubber Ducks, Cured Meats and VOSS – Lufthansa First Class Lounge Frankfurt

Introduction

Cashing in my last 300,000 United miles

American Express Centurion Lounge San Francisco

Flying First Class on Lufthansa Seattle-Frankfurt

Rubber Ducks, Cured Meats and VOSS – Lufthansa First Class Lounge Frankfurt

Flying First Class on Thai Airways also on the a380

The Conrad hotel Koh Samui

Flying Asiana Airlines on the a380

Visiting Thailand and the island of Koh Samui

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Wow what a flight we had on Lufthansa 491 from Seattle to Frankfurt. Once we landed we were greeted at the tarmac by a driver and a Mercedes Benz minivan. Unfortunately we arrived at a remote apron, so we had to bus/drive to the terminal. Thankfully being in first has perks on the ground too and that’s why we had a car waiting for us. There were two cars based on whether you were ending or connecting. Since we were connecting, we were sent to the terminal and then dropped off. My only pet peeve, the driver had no idea where to send us form there, we were left on our own. Since we had a 4 plus hour layover, our fight was not on the board, we had to find an agent to tell us what terminal to go to. I know first world problems here. In our case we lucky this was our terminal.

After going through security to get back in the terminal, we were left to our own devices. I know that we had lounge access but I didn’t know if it was the Lufthansa Senator lounge of the Lufthansa First Class Lounge. I figured we roll the dice and try the latter first. Worst case scenario they’d kick us out and send us on our way. Because we were traveling onward on another Star Alliance carrier in First, I thought we would not have access, so to my very happy surprise we we’re allowed in. Yippee!!

I was truly surprised in how nice this place was. Besides having a dining area with self-serve food, with some really amazing options. Including freshly sliced prosciutto and fresh made Nutella. They also had a cigar lounge, bathroom suites and an incredible bar selection. I was blown away. I’ve been very lucky to have visited The Private Room four times in Singapore, which is a lounge within a lounge within a lounge. As well as the Cathay Pacific First class lounges in Hong Kong and the Qantas First Class international lounge in Sydney to name a few. These are some of the best in the world from what I understand, but the Lufthansa First Class Lounge in Frankfurt took the cake. Every amenity I just mentioned was free here, it was just incredible.

Ok so like an idiot I forgot to take a picture of the actual sign to the Lounge, this was the best I could do.

It’s the one leading up to the shower suites.
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Categories: Airport, Around the world, Europe, Food, Lounges, Lufthansa, Travel, Travel Blog, Trip Report | Tags: | Leave a comment

Review: Lufthansa First Class Seattle- Frankfurt

Lufthansa First Class Seattle- Frankfurt

Introduction

Cashing in my last 300,000 United miles

American Express Centurion Lounge San Francisco

Flying First Class on Lufthansa Seattle-Frankfurt

Rubber Ducks, Cured Meats and VOSS – Lufthansa First Class Lounge Frankfurt

Flying First Class on Thai Airways also on the a380

The Conrad hotel Koh Samui

Flying Asiana Airlines on the a380

Visiting Thailand and the island of Koh Samui

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This was the beginning of a journey almost 1 year in the making. And was to celebrate our 10 years of marriage plus the first time in 3 1/2 years we’ve vacationed without our little kid in tow. Granted as I’ve said earlier in other parts of this Trip Report, we’ve not scaled back our travels. She’s been to Australia, Singapore, Maldives, Disneyworld twice, over 1/2 a dozen trips to Disneyland and even a Transatlantic Cruise from London to Florida.

That being said if you’re parent you can relate to my excitement of haveing an opportunity to travel with just your better half. Knowing that you don’t have to worry or think about all the little things that go along with traveling with a kid. Let alone hoping and praying that they don’t disturb the other guests.

 

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Yes, finally our first experience in First Class on Lufthansa

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Categories: Airlines, Around the world, Food, Lufthansa, Travel, Travel Blog, Trip Report | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Review: American Express Centurion Lounge San Francisco Airport

Review: American Express Centurion Lounge San Francisco Airport

Introduction

Cashing in my last 300,000 United miles

American Express Centurion Lounge San Francisco

Flying First Class on Lufthansa Seattle-Frankfurt

Rubber Ducks, Cured Meats and VOSS – Lufthansa First Class Lounge Frankfurt

Flying First Class on Thai Airways also on the a380

The Conrad hotel Koh Samui

Flying Asiana Airlines on the a380

Visiting Thailand and the island of Koh Samui

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American Express had done it again! They have recently opened a new Centurion Lounge at the San Francisco International Airport in terminal 3 by Gate 75. This Lounge is just amazing, let me start out by saying that much. If you haven’t been here yet make sure you trek over to the United Terminal to check it out. You won’t be disappointed.

This lounge like all the others (Las Vegas, Dallas, LaGuardia and a few others in South America plus coming soon to Seattle and Miami) have simple access criteria. Have an American Express Centurion Card, Amex Platinum or better like the Amex Black. I’m not a shill for Amex, nor do I make any money for promoting their card/services but I do have the American Express Platinum, with it’s hefty $400/year membership. That’s a long story, but it does come with a $200/year airline service credit and of course free access to their lounges worldwide, which are $50/per person entry otherwise. Besides that, the fact that you earn Membership Rewards that can transfer to many programs and also get access to really good hotel rates via the Amercian Express Fine Hotel and Resorts Program. It’s become one of my goto cards. Google it if you’re interested and you’ll find a dearth of information, but for me that’s all I’m going to say.

 The Centurion Lounge Entrance

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Categories: Airport, Around the world, Lounges, Travel, Travel Blog, Travel Tools, Trip Report | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Review: Dublin Airport DAA Executive Lounge T-1

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Executive Lounge Terminal-1 to the left of the Premium Security checkpoint

I recently traveled to Dublin for the night and on my return trip home I had a chance to visit the DAA Executive Lounge at Terminal 1. It’s a contract lounge meaning that many airlines, and alliances utilize this facility and based on your status or class of service and what airline you’re flying you can gain access to this facility. In some cases airlines will provide you an invitation card at check in that will allow you access. In my case I was flying British Airways and as an Executive Platinum on American Airlines or Emerald One World status I was able to access the lounge. But at check I when I asked about lounge access the BA agent had no idea if I would get access nor would she give an invitation. No worries thought I was easily able to get in though.

At terminal one there appears to be two sets of security lines, one for premium passengers and one for the rest of the guests. The lounge itself is located after security and to the left of the premium security line. So once through security look for signs pointing to the lounge. Continue reading

Categories: Airport, Europe, Lounges, Travel, Travel Blog, Trip Report | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Review: American Airlines Business Class London to LAX On The Newish 77W

As part of my whirlwind mileage run to Dublin Ireland last month I had the opportunity to sit in Business Class on the newish American Airlines 77W from London to Los Angeles. I had booked an elcheapo ticket thanks to the FLIGHTDEAL and their dogged approach to finding the best and cheapest flights worldwide. In any event thanks to them I had this great deal and then used one of my eight hard-earned upgrade coupons to bump myself up to Business.

Upon boarding the plane I took a seat in 9k. This plane offers four classes of service. First Class with two rows (8 seats) in a 1-2-1 configuration with all seats offering direct isle access. Business Class has 52 seats also in  1-2-1 configuration and also direct isle access, there is a min cabin too and it offers a private feel and only 8 of the total Business Class seats. The balance of the plane has Main Cabin Extra and Economy Class. If you want a review on that products check out my review here. What I love about the Business Class seat, is that they offer a pretty darn private seat and environment. Since the seats are in a reverse herringbone pattern, the seats on the window angle towards them, and the ones in the middle angle tword each other, so with this type of setup you have a private space to call your home for the next 10 hours as was the case for me. If you’re traveling with someone else and want to talk to them the middle seats are best.

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The AA Business class cabin – 52 seats in total. Notice mini-cabin of 8. Thanks Seat Guru for the image

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Categories: Airlines, American Airlines, Europe, Food, Travel, Travel Blog, Trip Report | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Wandering The City: Dublin

13 months after my first visit to Dublin, Ireland I went back for one glorious day. Yes that’s right one day. While wandering the city, here are some of the sights and foods I had that I just had to go back and do again.

 

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First Guinnes of the trip. At Temple Bar

 

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Full Irish Breakfast

 

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Stew three ways. Coddle, lamb and beef. Plus more starch and carbs on the side

 

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Temple Bar

 

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Jaimeson’s

 

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Jaimeson’s getting into the spirit

 

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Double decker

 

 

Categories: Europe, Food, Travel, Travel Blog | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Review: Hilton Dublin Airport

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Hotel Facade

 

On my recent trip to Dublin I spent one night at at the Hilton Dublin Airport. There are a few Hilton properties to choose from in Dublin including a Conrad (my favorite brand), but at $120 bucks per night it was in the right price range so I booked it. All the others were close to if not over $200 per night and way over my budget for a one night vacation. The hotel was not at the airport, but was within 10 minutes by shuttle which they did have BTW. It ran on the half hour and was free from the airport but was 2 Euros going back. Continue reading

Categories: Hilton Hotels, Hotels, Travel, Travel Blog, Trip Report | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

How I Cashed In My Last 300,000 United Miles

map (1)

Introduction

Cashing in my last 300,000 United miles

American Express Centurion Lounge San Francisco

Flying First Class on Lufthansa Seattle-Frankfurt

Rubber Ducks, Cured Meats and VOSS – Lufthansa First Class Lounge Frankfurt

Flying First Class on Thai Airways also on the a380

The Conrad hotel Koh Samui

Flying Asiana Airlines on the a380

Visiting Thailand and the island of Koh Samui

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Back in 2013 United Airlines announced a major devaluation of their frequent flier award program. It was a sad day for me because I loved their program and it was generous. For example you could fly in first class to South Asia via Europe from anywhere in the US for 75k miles one way, now 130k on partner airlines. Also if you booked a roundtrip (double the points) you could include a stopover of any length anywhere along the way plus and open jaw. In plain English this means you could fly from LA to Singapore stopover in Paris for as long as you want and then continue to Singapore. Then when you fly home you could fly from say Thailand and go back to the U.S. via Europe again. Also you could make a total of 10 connections and on those connections stay up to 23 hours 59 minutes in each connection city. There’s no other airline that let you do this as far as I know.

Continue reading

Categories: Airlines, Around the world, Travel, Travel Blog, Travel Tools, Trip Report, United Airlines | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

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