Our Trip Around the World Began with a Bus Ride

The name of this blog is Regional First, due to the fact that many of my trips begin with a regional jet.  That is less common in my travels than it used to be, but even for this trip with some pretty amazing products, the first leg of our big trip wasn't exactly luxurious.  It could have ...
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Japan Airlines 777 First Class from Tokyo Narita to Chicago O'Hare

Another flight in First Class on a top flight Asian carrier, what a nice way to finish up our trip and head home.  Better yet, it was an easy nonstop flight between Narita and Chicago.  We took a train from Tokyo to Narita, and then would drive home from ...
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American Airlines Can't Prioritize Gate Checked Bags

I’m still mostly content with my decision to switch from United to American as my primary carrier for business travels mostly in North America.  One area of frustration has been when forced to gate check a bag.  American just can’t seem to get it right.
 
Valet ...
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Update on our Round the World trip in Premium Cabins.

A few updates on our round the world trip in premium cabins, as we made a few changes to better fit our schedule.  By shortening our trip, we lost a few things such as extended time in Australia, and a flight in AA International First class, but we gained a more convenient route ...

Japan Airlines First Class Lounge at Tokyo Narita

Made to order sushi, a sake bar, plus free massages are just some of the features of the Japan Airlines First Class Lounge at Narita.  Our trip in Japan was nearly over, but this nice lounge was a good way to relax before the flight back to the States.
 
Freshly made to order ...

Celebrating New Years in Tokyo

New Years seems to be a big holiday in Japan, at least in the sense that many places are closed on the holiday itself.

 
We were staying at the Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills, and while the immediate area was pretty slow, we found plenty to do (and mostly eat) a little further ...

Is the new Etihad First Class Lounge and Spa the best in the world?

Is the new Etihad First Class Lounge and Spa the best lounge in the world?  Maybe not, but after having visited, in my opinion it is certainly in the conversation among the best lounges I have visited.
 
 
 
Dessert and drink display in Etihad First Class ...
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Review: The Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills

For our hotel in Tokyo, we stayed at the new Andaz property in the Toranomon district of Minato, Tokyo.  I've heard good things about this property, so I was happy to check it out and experience it on our own.  It definitely met my expectations.
 

The Andaz Tokyo ...
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Next Adventure: Round the World in Premium Cabins

I've had this trip in the works for a while, and now it is finally here.  I booked a few final pieces just recently as availability opened up.  

Map courtesy of the excellent gcmap.com
 
This trip was built around availability for Etihad First Class Apartments on ...
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The New Hyatt Regency Los Angeles Airport - Close to Reality

LAX  is one of my most frequently visited airports, and I usually try to avoid mid-con red eyes to get home to Milwaukee.  This means I'm often staying near the airport prior to early morning flights.  There are countless options near the airport, but one I've been following closely ...
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Traveling around Japan on Shinkansen high speed trains

I've long been intrigued by the Japanese high-speed rail network.  If nothing else, the trains themselves look really futuristic.  This journey was somewhat unplanned, but in the end it worked out much better than the flights we were originally planning on.  I have also written out ...
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A Few Days Exploring Kyoto

We had finally made it to Kyoto, and as much as I remain fascinated by Tokyo, I was excited to visit another place in Japan that is somewhat less hectic than what is the world's most populous city. (At least according to some measures).

a finely manicured zen garden in ...
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The Hyatt Regency in Kyoto, Japan

After our delayed flight into Tokyo, we missed the flight we had originally scheduled to take us from Narita to Osaka, so we took a high speed train directly to Kyoto.  In retrospect, this was probably easier than our original plan which would have required a terminal change, another flight, ...
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United's New Safety Video: Team USA

Election years in the US are often miserable given the incessant mud slinging which some refer to as "campaigning".  In better news, US  presidential election years are also the same year as the Summer Olympic Games are held.  Airlines often use this national pride in their ad ...

ANA First Class from Chicago to Tokyo Narita

International First Class on an Asian carrier; definitely one of the more exciting parts of this hobby.  I've flown ANA before, but never in First Class, so as we got on board, I had pretty high expectations.  I think for the most part these expectations were met, my main complaint was ...
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Amenity Kit Review: ANA First Class

I was fortunate to fly ANA First Class from Chicago to Tokyo in late 2015.  I'm nearly finished with my trip report, but first I wanted to add a review of the amenity kit I received. For our introductory post and description of the categories, and the 5 point rating scale, please ...

Exotic airlines I've flown

Arik Air, Maldivian, Spanair, Virgin Blue, Jetstar, and many more.  Some of these are still flying, and some are long gone, but none of them fly anywhere close to the US, so they seem at least somewhat exotic.  While talking travel with fellow Upgrd blogger, Sriram, we were discussing a ...
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The United Global First Lounge at Chicago O'Hare before ANA flight

Our trip to began in Chicago on a cold, windy winter day.  The cold isn't usually a problem for O'Hare operations, but as the day wore on, the snow became a problem, ultimately leading to a pretty significant departure delay.  
I'm generally not someone who arrives to airports really ...
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Getaway to Japan for a week

I traveled a lot in 2015; most of it was work travel, but I had some fun personal travel as well.  One of the best trips was to Japan with my wife.  We have wanted to go there for some time, and we finally were able to make it work.  We had some good experiences both while getting to ...
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