Kevinoncloud commuting

Pictures and Thoughts: An Overview of the Star Alliance Lounge at Heathrow LHR

It occurs to me that I sure do post a lot about lounges… In the case of United, they often suck. Singapore Airlines hooks up the ice cream, and Air Canada provides a great dose of Canadian charm, even when they let people weasel in because Canadians are just too nice :-).

If you're flying a Star Alliance carrier and you're in London Heathrow, you have a couple lounge choices: the BMI lounge and the Star Alliance lounge. I decided to visit the latter.

I got to Heathrow ...

Check Out Donald Trump's Private 757!


I just saw this over on Gadling... I think it's hilarious / awesome that Trump's 757 only seats 43 passengers. He must have installed Economy Plus Plus! :-). Some of the stuff is a bit over the top like 24kt gold plated seatbelts. Of course, Google's got Donald Trump beat with their 767. But even that's not that cool anymore... Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud has his own "flying palace," a private Airbus A380. C'mon, Trump... Catch up... 

16 Days in China: Hanging Out in the HKG Singapore Airlines SilverKris Lounge

Part of my big trip to China included a night in Hong Kong. While I didn't get to see any of the city, I spent the night at the LMC, and then I went to the airport the next day to relax before my flight to Beijing. My stopover was just used as a day to adjust to the timezone before beginning work on Monday.

The Hong Kong Airport really is one of the  nicest airports I have ever been to. Many frequent fliers deem this airport to be their favorite. For me, that would be YVR ...

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Marriott to Open New York City's Tallest Hotel


(Image courtesy of

I originally saw this over at Gadling, but reports that Marriott is set to open the tallest hotel in New York City. When I first read the article, I assumed that Marriott would be building some epic new hotel a la JW Marriott or Marriott Marquis. Instead, this hotel will be a combo Courtyard by Marriott / Residence Inn. Floors 6 - 32 will be designated for ...

A Look at the SWAG

Are you posting at MilePoint? Or are you still a FlyerTalker? In order to incentivize people to post at MilePoint, Randy Petersen has created a "store" where you can earn free things, in exchange for being an original member or becoming a silver member. The two things I've qualifed for are the t-shirt and the luggage tags. Let's take a look...


Woot! Free shipping too!

I think the shirt is really nice. It's a nice color, and it's not obnoxious. ...

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Boeing Rolls Out the ANA 787 - Flights Begin in September!

(Image ripped off from Brad's Blog)

After countless delays, it looks like the 787 might finally arrive. In fact, Boeing just rolled out ANA's 787, ready for delivery next month. All Nippon Airways will take delivery of the plane in September. If you're looking to redeem miles on one of these flights in a premium cabin, I wouldn't get your hopes up.

The interior of the first aircraft includes 264 seats -- ...

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I'm Annoyed with Pricing Engines' Inaccurate Pricing

My favorite tool for finding flights is Kayak. Kayak will perform a search, with pretty specific parameters you give it regarding stopover airport, takeoff time, landing time, etc. I use it to find flights, and then I typically go to BigCrumbs and then onto Expedia to book the flight, that way I get $3.20 from BigCrumbs and Expedia Rewards points from Expedia, all in addition to the typical airline miles I'll earn once I fly.

In any case, Kayak is only useful when it reports prices ...

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Park 'N Fly SFO is a Zoo (Thanks to FastTrack Closing)

I parked at Park 'N Fly SFO last week for my trip to the UK. Driving by FastTrack to get there was somewhat of an odd experience, as that lot had always been completely full. Now it's one big huge empty lot. However, there were maybe fifteen cars on the lot, which I did find humorous. When FastTrack announced they were closing, they mentioned that you had two weeks to get your car out of the lot. I always wondered what would happen to those who had parked ...

Review: Hilton St. Anne's Manor; Verdict: Skip

Every travel year has its ups and downs. I'll just have to add my stay at the Hilton St. Anne's Manor to the list of downs. The disappointing part about the Hilton St. Anne's Manor is that it could be a really classy, unique property, but it will take a bit of renovation to get it to that point. Read on for the full report.

After landing at Heathrow, Blue Diamond Car service (which I must give a shout out to - Zam and the other drivers there are fantastic!) picked me up, and we ...

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Kevin's Photography v. Part 2!


Microsoft's search engine may leave something to be desired, but I love their daily pictures, and thus it remains my homepage. Every now and then, MSFT decides to stick a picture up there that is eerily similar to one I've taken before. I like to compare my photog skills to theirs.

Part 1, at least according to Matthew, was won by Click here to see the comparison of the Anhinga Trail in the Everglades.

Part 2 is below. What say you, commenters? You can click ...

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A Great Trip Across the Pond: 9/25 UA930 SFO-LHR in Business

I was a bit surprised to hear the agent at the Red Carpet Club tell me that I was number one on the list for an upgrade to London. Being on a on a U fare, I was only one higher than W, which is the minimum fare class needed for an SWU. I figured there would be some 1K or GS with a higher fare code on the list. Then again, maybe everyone with a higher fare code already cleared.

In any case, it had been a long day. I worked the better part of a full day in the office, and then I was ...

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Air India's Star Alliance Application Suspended


Today isn't the best day for Air India. USA Today, and many others, are reporting that Air India's application to join the Star Alliance has been halted. It's interesting news. The Star Alliance press release says the following:

The member airlines of the Star Alliance network and Air India have jointly concluded that the integration of Air India into the global airline alliance will be suspended. This is due to the fact that Air India ...

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The Worst International Business Class Seatmate

Seatmates in International Biz matter way less than seatmates in Economy. Generally, you don't share an armrest, and if you do, it's quite large. If the seatmate happens to be obese, at least the wide seats with high walls keep them from pouring over onto you. If said seatmate is stinky, typically the extra room will prevent you from having to smell them the entire flight. In fact, I find United's International Business Class seats so pod-like that it is often easy to forget you're sitting ...

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The Sad State of Food Today at the SFO United International Red Carpet Club

Hungry? I sure am. Let's walk through what you might eat if you were here with me right now at 5:45PM on Monday, July 25, 2011, at the San Francisco International Terminal Red Carpet Club.

Do you have a sweet tooth? Interested in sampling some fine candies? Fear not! United has you covered.

As you can see, one of the United employees has likely robbed a B-rate restaurant, stealing all of their after dinner mints. How thoughtful! There's a ...

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Ritz-Carlton to Build First "Reserve" Property in the US (Puerto Rico)


(Image courtesy of PR Newsire)

It looks like Ritz-Carlton is going to be expanding their "Reserve" line of properties with an addition on Dorado Beach in Puerto Rico. According to a manager at the Ritz-Carlton Reserve Phulay Bay, The Reserve line is designed to be a complete luxury resort getaway experience, where people should feel fully immersed in their surroundings and secluded from the worries of everyday life. We ...

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SPG Award for Earning Platinum: $25 or a Magazine Subscription


I think the sentence, "It's better than a sharp stick in the eye!" applies here. I qualified for SPG Platinum status about a month ago. This was the first time I had ever achieved this status level with Starwood. This morning I got an e-mail from Starwood congratulating me on my newly earned status, and as part of my congratulations, I could pick between a $25 certificate to use at an SPG hotel or a magazine subscription. I'm not much of a magazine guy myself so the decision was pretty much a no brainer. I don't believe they're offering this to people who re-qualify or status match. I think this is only for newly minted Plats. $25 isn't much, but I'm not one to turn it down. Thanks!

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So You Think US Airways Sucks? Perhaps You Want a Free Bumper Sticker?

(Picture courtesy of USAirSucks.ORG)

Now this is just hilarious. Tracy Reed, owner and maintainer of, is giving away free bumper stickers to anybody who wants one. Well, the stickers are a bit self promoting, pointing you right back to his site, but it's still hilarious nonetheless. Everyone has a travel nightmare or two, but he's especially mad about his, saying the following:

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FastTrack Parking at SFO Loses Lease, Shuts Down


Well, this is annoying. You can definitely file this one under "things I wasn't expecting to hear on Monday morning." It turns out that FastTrack SFO, my airport parking lot of choice, has closed its doors. They sent the following in an e-mail:

Attention: Bay Area Customers


The FastTrack at SFO is closed to entering parkers. The lease at this property was lost, forcing us to turn away our guests. It will remain open for ...

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Alcatraz: San Francisco's Best Tourist Attraction


The question comes up all the time: "If you only had one day in city XXX, what would you do?" It's never an easy answer, and unless you're in Barstow, CA, you usually need more than one or two days to fully experience a city. But when it comes to San Francisco, my home town, my answer to that question is simple: Alcatraz.

For those not familiar, Alcatraz is the famous (now closed) maximum security prison ...

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Euro-Trip: Stockholm, Zurich, A Wedding in the Alps, Budapest, Prague, and an A380!


My cousin, a Swiss native, is getting married in September so we're off to Switzerland for his wedding! We used the trip as a great excuse to do a bit of traveling around Europe so I thought I would post the itinerary here. I will report back with trip reports after the trip.

My girlfriend and I are flying on United non-stop SFO-LHR and connecting there to an SAS flight to ARN. The tickets are W revenue fares, and we are on the same PNR. I booked ...

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