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Thai Airways Royal First Class on the Airbus A380 Frankfurt to Bangkok

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After a less than smooth transit experience in Frankfurt, I was excited to try out the new flagship of Thai's fleet, the A380.  Lots of purple as expected, but the Royal First Class seat was a great way to travel.

Thai Airways Royal First Class Suite on the Airbus A380

I've flown Thai First class before, but this is the first long haul flight in a cabin designed to their specifications.  My past ...

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Lufthansa First Class Lounge in Munich then transiting Frankfurt

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After my excellent Lufthansa flight from Toronto, I had a few hours in Munich before continuing to Frankfurt and beyond.  I planned spend the layover in the Lufthansa First Class Lounge in Munich, which I could access as a passenger arriving on Lufthansa in First Class with an onward flight.  

 

Munich First Class Lounge Entry - Photo from Flickr

I was greeted on the jetway, and escorted through security, and given directions ...

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Now You're Flying - Newest commercial from Virgin Australia

Despite living nearly 10,000 miles from Australia, I kind of keep tabs on Virgin Australia.  I had good experiences on the few occasions I have flown with them, and I hope to again.  I am a fan of good advertising especially airline commercials.  As part of the Virgin Group, style is front and center of everything, but in my experiences with the Australian brand, there is actually some substance to back it up as well.  

The airline recently launched a new ...

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First Class all to myself: Lufthansa Inaugural Toronto to Munich

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Hello Lufthansa First Class, it is nice to see you again.  For this flight from Toronto to Munich, I'd have the Airbus 330-300  First Class cabin to myself.  Score!

 

Lufthansa A330-300 First Class Cabin

Note: getting this posted has been delayed by a major event in my life, the birth of my daughter Adeline.  My wife's pregnancy is also why I took this trip solo, as it was ...

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Turkish Airlines Elite packet has arrived, also 2 years of domestic lounges

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After letting my United Club membership lapse, I've had a few trips without club access.  In most cases, I really didn't miss it.  Now that my Turkish Airlines status match has been approved, and I received my card, I again have the option for access when traveling domestically.

I have been weighing my options for a while, and even reached out to my readers for suggestions on maintaining United Club access.  I opted to do a status match to Turkish Airlines with ...

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Air Canada to Toronto and the Maple Leaf Lounge before departure

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My next trip report series is about a recent whirlwind trip around the world I took.  It was a Star Alliance First Class award using United miles (at pre-devaluation rates, 135,000 miles), but I didn't have a single United flight so that in itself is a win.  It was a fun mix of new destinations, new routes and product, plus some familiar pieces as well.  The ultimate destination was a bucket list place for me, the temples of Angkor Wat in Cambodia.

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The Andaz Peninsula Papagayo, a Review of Paradise in Costa Rica

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My wife and I recently visited the Andaz Peninsula Papagayo in Costa Rica.  It is a lovely new hotel in a beautiful part of the world.  Here is my review.

The reception area of the Andaz Peninsula Papagayo.  Photo credit: Hyatt.com

 

It's already been almost 2 months since our trip to Costa Rica, but I'm finally getting to this report.  We wanted to find a nice getaway without ...

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One Million Miles on United

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I ended 2013 with about 910,000 lifetime miles on United.  Despite countless issues with United, one of my goals for this year was to get over the million mile mark since I was so close.  I've done more flying this year than I originally expected, so I hit 1MM on August 1.

I now have lifetime Gold status with both on United and Starwood. 

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The Concourse Hotel at LAX: Frequently Asked Questions

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There seems to be some questions about The Concourse Hotel at LAX here and elsewhere.  In addition to answering a few of those, I stayed there again recently and have some more information to share.  

LAX sign near hotel via Flickr Creative Commons license

Since my first stay soon after the rebranding from Radisson, it seems the property is getting better integrated with Hyatt and ...

The Concourse Hotel at LAX, now a Hyatt Affiliate

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The Radisson at LAX airport has recently been rebranded as The Concourse Hotel at Los Angeles Airport and will eventually fall under the Hyatt flag. This property was originally built in the 1960s as a Hyatt and has been rebranded a few times.  

Nighttime view from the Concourse Hotel towards LAX

 

I needed a hotel near LAX before a morning ...

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United Airlines: "Operational Difficulties"

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Yep, another post about United's poor operational record.  This isn't the first time I've written about issues like this.  Nor is it the second, or the third, fourth, fifth or sixth instance.  

I believe it is better to laugh than to cry, and I was entertained by this, so I'll give due credit.  At least this time the delay was classified in an honest manner in the United app:

Hence the title ...

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United 787 Dreamliner BusinessFirst from Lagos to Houston

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After a great time in Ghana, and a long layover in Lagos airport, I finally was headed towards the gate for the flight back to the US.  

United from Lagos to Houston on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner

 

 

Boarding time was listed at 7:30pm for a 9:45 departure.  That seemed a bit crazy, but it is at least partially due to poor boarding lounges.  I got to the gate about 8:30, and ...

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Arik Air from Accra and lounge hopping during a long layover in Lagos

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A short flight on a tired 737 built for AirTran then a nearly 12 hour layover in Lagos.  Not my best travel day, but I tried to make the most of it.  Due to limited flight options between Accra and Lagos, I ended up with along layover before my flights home. Like my outbound trip, I remained in transit in Lagos, so I'd be stuck in the airport.  I knew about this long layover  ahead of time as opposed to my previous visit to Lagos where I had a much longer stop than ...

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Travel to Kakum National Park and being the only obruni on the bus to Accra

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From walking among the treetops, to an hour long sermon on a bus ride.  My last few days in Ghana had some unique experiences, and only some of them were intended.   Since my time in country was pretty brief, I didn't get to explore too far, but I tried to make the most of the time I did have.

Kakum National Park, Ghana

A group of us went to Kakum National Park to partake in a canopy tour.  It was ...

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Exploring history of the slave trade in Cape Coast, Ghana

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Besides being in Ghana for the wedding, we wanted to do some local exploration.  Ghana does not have much of a developed tourism industry.  There are several worthy sites, one of them was rather close to where we were staying, so we hired a tro tro (minibus that functions similar to a taxi for more people) to take us there.  I'll talk more about transport options in my next post.

Cape Coast, Ghana

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Around the world in a week - preview of Germany, Malaysia, Cambodia, Costa Rica

I recently returned from another fun trip.  It really was 2 trips, and I'll provide a full report for each, but for now, while trying to settle back into work and finish up other reports here, I'll provide a preview of my trip thanks to some photos I posted to Instagram.

It was my last Star Alliance First Class reward with United miles booked before the devaluation.  This trip started when Lufthansa opened up space on their new Munich to Toronto ...

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A stay at the Ko-Sa Beach Resort, Cape Coast, Ghana

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We had a long, but fun road trip from Accra, and we finally made it to our destination and the site of the wedding, the Ko-Sa Beach resort.  This is unlike any other beach resort I've been to, much more simple but perfectly nice, and rooms are less than $70 per night even for their best rooms.  It is definitely not over the top, and its not hard to forget you are in a remote spot in Africa, power occasionally comes and goes and not surprisingly, only cash is accepted.  It is a ...

Road trip from Accra to Cape Coast in a van

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It is maybe 100 miles from our hotel in Accra to where we were staying for the wedding, but due to heavy traffic getting out of town, and along the way, it took several hours to cover that distance.  A big portion of the wedding party and guests traveled together to the site of the wedding, on the beach at a resort near Cape Coast.  We were all packed into a van.  It was a fun trip that reminded me somewhat of riding the school bus

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Cash only in Accra, Ghana and Africa in General

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Now that I was finally in Africa, I had one short night to relax in Accra, meet up with friends, and then head up the coast to the site of the wedding.  After my extended layover in Lagos, I was one of the last to arrive at the hotel in Accra, but it was good to see some familiar faces after a long trip to get here.  

 

 

Great photo of Independence Arch in Accra by George Appiah ...

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Extended layover in Lagos Nigeria and flying Africa World Airways

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Many travelers have heard horror stories about the experience of Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos Nigeria.  Here is my story, I don't think it was necessarily a horror, but I'll let you decide.  Others have alleged some major issues when flying through Lagos, including bribes from immigration officers and baggage not being transferred between flights.  I didn't encounter either of these, but here are a few examples of some horror stories others ...

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