TRIP REPORT INDEX: AROUND THE WORLD IN FIRST ON THE A380
I was in Seoul, stranded for 24 hours and needed a hotel pronto. My first choice was a Sheraton property due to constantly chasing platinum status. There are actually a lot of SPG options in Seoul, but due to not wanting to take a 45 minute or longer bus/cab/train ride to a more central hotel I chose the closest one, the Sheraton Inchon Hotel in the Songdo International Business District. I really had no idea what to expect, but TripAdvisor gave it pretty decent reviews, and I was hopeful. Continue reading
After my stupid good flight on Singapore Airlines from Shanghai to Singapore, I had about 12 hours to kill before heading out on SQ 12 Suites Class to Los Angeles. I arrived at about 10 PM and could have easily slummed it at the airport. The lounges are open 24 hours and there’s a transit hotel and a Crowne Plaza connected to Terminal 3. Besides these hotels Singapore is chock full of 5 star properties that run the gamut of hotel chains. I was trying to stay on a budget of sorts and based on cost would have used points or cash depending on how expensive the hotel was I would end up staying at. In this case it came down to how much time I would actually have at the hotel and how much it would cost, and decided that the Sheraton Towers Singapore on cash was the best way to go. I really wanted to stay at the Conrad or W Sentosa Island, but they were both too expensive anyway you sliced it (cash, points, or cash points).
After a quick cab ride I was quickly greeted by reception at the hotel. It was quiet at reception, but there was a wedding going on one level up and you could tell people were having a really great time. I had requested a Sweet Suite Upgrade. As a Starwood Platinum who stayed 50 nights with them in 2014, I get 10 confirmable upgrades. These can be used and will confirm up to 5 days out from arrival. At the four day mark I received an email letting me know I had been upgraded to an Executive Suite. This is my fourth year as Platinum, but the first year I’ve qualified on nights and gotten the 10 upgrades, so I had no idea how good a deal this could or would be. In this case once I got there I was assigned my room and quickly went off to get some shut eye. On a side note, I’ve almost gotten upgrades as a Platinum, so I’m hopeful that the Sweet Suite Upgrades will actually get me an upgrade when I haven’t previously. Continue reading
Ah the year is over and it’s time to start the rat race all over again. Here’s how the year shaped out reflecting on all of my work and personal travel.
Airports visited this year: 38
New Airports visited:
Countries visited (including transit): 7 compared to 12 last year
Revenue miles flown by airline:
- American Airlines (and partners): 125,000
- United (and partners): 500
- Alaska Airlines (and partners): 37,500
This doesn’t include a few trips on Jet Blue, Southwest and Virgin America plus the mega around the world trip we took in December plus a couple other award trips. All totaled I flew another 30,000 miles.
- Hilton: 40
- Starwood: 50
- Holiday Inn: 8
Anyhow it’s time to start again, and the first quarter of 2015 looks to be a doozey. Wish me luck.
I recently was lucky enough to be featured on the awesome travel blog Million Mile Secrets in their weekly Interview series. If you haven’t read or seen Daraius’s blog you should check it out (and read my interview too). Since this is my first ever interview about my travel habits and blog, I thought it would be nice to welcome all my current and hopefully new readers to participate in a giveaway. Since I love Starbucks and can’t imagine anyone who doesn’t I thought a $25 gift card would be the thing to give away.
So if you’re interested in being included in my giveaway, please leave a comment on this post about your most memorable trip, vacation or travel experience and why and also include your name and I’ll pick the one I think sounds the most fun. I know it’s not very democratic or random, but hey it’s my blog so I can make my own rules. I’ll leave the contest open for one week starting today July 11th and ending at Noon Pacific Time on July 18th. Once I pick a winner I’ll message you back with the code to redeem the card.
For readers that are new to the site, I’ve listed a few of my favorite adventures that you might find fun to read about. They’ll hopefully give you an idea of what types of things I write about and what makes me tick as a traveler.
Flying Singapore Airlines First Class Food Porn
Malossol caviar at 35,000 feet with a glass of Dom Perignon and Russian Vodka of course.
Categories: Contest, Interview, Review, Singapore Airlines, Starwood Hotels, Travel, Travel Blog
Tags: air travel, Family travel, my life in review, Travel, USA, Where is rahul
A few weeks ago I had the week of delays, I had four segments on American Airlines from San Jose to Baltimore connecting in Dallas and return. Every segment was delayed from as short as one hour and up to two hours. In fact on the two hour delay I missed my connection in Dallas and had to get rebooked on the next available flight. This made my return home a 10 ½ hour trip instead of eight. Ouch. Being late is just the nature of business travel, you can’t fly 100 segments a year and expect to be on time on all of them, but to have four in a row just stinks. It makes travel just crappy sometimes, but hey that just the breaks I guess. Continue reading
So it’s been two years this month writing whereisrahul, and it’s been a blast so far. My intention initially was to talk about travel and travel only, since that’s what I do a lot and enjoy a lot too. But travel 24/7 can be dull (not really) and writing about life, family, travel and fun stuff I’m lucky enough to do has been really rewarding and even better than just talking about travel. I stared this blog, because I wanted a platform that I could use to talk, vent and share my experiences in hopes of helping others, and that’s exactly what I’ve been able to do.
It’s rewarding to see that my “insight”, can be helpful to other geeks out there and that people actually read my diatribes, reviews and drivel. Who knew what I had to say could be interesting? So as the journey continues on, I hope that my faithful readers, and new ones keep an eye out for my families travels. And as always if you have a question about why, how or how come I did something crazy please ask, that’s how I know someone is reading.
In any event thank you to everyone that takes the time out of their day to read about my craziness, it’s been fun doing this and hope to continue for a long time.
For our annual vacation this year we decided to visit Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida for a week. This trip report contains entries on why we’re going, how we got there, where we stayed and what we did at the Mouse House.
Yeti Up, Yet’s Go- Why we’re going to WDW
Why I spent $160 on Delta Airlines- planning our trip to WDW
Review: WDW Magic Bands-A new way to stay, play and pay
Review: Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
Well the test of Disney Magic Bands is now no longer a test as of April 30th it is now available to anyone that goes to any of the Walt Disney World Parks. They have been testing it for almost a year for hotel guests and annual pass holders, but now any guest that wants to fork over the $12.95 for a Magic Band can do so and take advantage of the perks.
My family was at the WDW for eight nights in early May and because we had booked a room at the Animal Kingdom Lodge we had the opportunity to pre-order the bands and have them sent to our home or directly to the hotel, and because we were a guest the bands were free. The perk itself is pretty cool. It allows you to do several things from open your room door, pay for meals and souvenirs, get into the park (if you link your park ticket to your My Magic account) and also make Fast Pass reservations up to 60 days in advance.
Forget pin trading buy a band
Only 80,000 miles traveled thus far this year
So this has been a very very busy quarter for me. Wow I know I have traveled a lot of miles in other years, but for some reason this year and this quarter just seem a little over the top. The majority of the travel has been personal, three trips to Dubai over an eight week period and one trip to LA. But for work I’ve already been to Portland, Dallas, Chicago, Calgary, Toronto, Phoenix, Eugene, Bozeman, Las Vegas and Denver and it’s only March 28th. Wowezers. Continue reading
A couple weeks ago I had the pleasure of working in Newport Oregon. I had a pretty good time in this coastal town and wrote about it here and here. While I was there instead of staying at a hotel I had a great stay at a VRBO Condo right on the Yaquina River. You never know what you’re going to get when you rent on VRBO you’re hoping the pictures on the website actually match what you get, and in this case it really did. This place was just great, as you can see form the pictures below. The furniture, fixtures, appliances and all finishes looked brand new. It had the feel that it was put together by a designer. As I said it was right on the river and had a fabulous view of the ocean, Yaquina Bridge and was on the road to a State park. It was really quiet but super convenient to the city and about 500 yards from the Rogue Brewing Company. Can you say great beer. Continue reading
Well I’m not Superbowl or World Series MVP, so let me clarify. I’m an Alaska Airlines MVP Gold. What does that mean, well it means I have mid-level status with them. They have three levels of status MVP, MVP Gold and MVP Gold 75K.
As it may seem I tend to obsess about status. I’m not really one to try and achieve every airline and hotel status, but this has been an interesting year so far. After my decision last year to give up on having top tier status on two airlines (United and American) I had some decisions to make. Ever since I become executive platinum on American I had taken a small amount of Alaska flights. Alaska is the great free agent of the airline industry they are partners with airlines in two of the three major airline alliances so that means I could put my miles to good use in requalifying with American. Plus I also would get free checked bags and priority boarding. In my line of work and play when I usually fly 150-200,000 miles per year these little perks are very welcoming. Imagine if you always used Wi-Fi and now you had to use wired internet. Think how that would hinder your opportunities to read my blog at the beach or at a baseball game. Well that’s what it’s like when you travel a lot and then loose a really good perk. Continue reading