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Best Western Amaranth for a short layover near Bangkok Airport

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Now that i've experienced the temples of Angkor and my first trip to Cambodia, the long round-about journey towards home would begin.  I was aiming for some new experiences as well as some fun ones that I've done before.  First I had a short overnight layover in Bangkok.  In the past, I had gone into the city (and have had some lovely stays (Grand Hyatt, Sheraton, Park Plaza), but given this visit was very short, I opted to try a new place.  I booked a room at the Best ...

A Picture Tour of the Angkor Wat Temples Around Siem Reap

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For touring the temples of Angkor, I wanted to experience it first hand, and at my own pace, so I decided to rent a bike from the hotel and visit them that way.  The roads are flat, there isn't too much traffic, so I thought this would be fun.  It was hot, and I was sweaty, but it was well worth it.  The following photos doen't do justice to how beautiful everything was, or how hot it was. 

There are certainly good tour guides available, but I kind of ...

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The Le Meridien Angkor, my home base in Siem Reap

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Cambodia has been a place I've long wanted to visit, so it was exciting to finally be here!  Since my plans had changed somewhat, and was traveling alone, I opted to be a little more frugal and stay at the Le Meridien.  Its a plenty nice hotel, but I couldn't really justify the splurge on the new Park Hyatt when traveling solo. I'd rather share an experience like that with my wife.

My ride to the Le Meridien was booked by the hotel; and better yet, it was free. ...

Malaysia Airlines economy between Kuala Lumpur to Siem Reap

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Malaysia Airlines has had a horrible year.  I was somewhat hesitant to book travel with them, but the flights were convenient to my needs.  My flights occurred before the tragedy of MH17 over Ukraine.  

Malaysia Airlines Boeing 737-800 that I took to Siem Reap

I paid cash for the roundtrip flights between Kuala Lumpur and Siem Reap, which was about $265.  After my day in Kuala Lumpur, I returned to the airport for the ...

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Another nightmarish travel experience on United. Where should I put my loyalty?

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Or as I refer to my typical travel on United, "Another day, another delay"

I've finally had a travel experience that has caused me to seriously reevaluate my airline loyalty.  For a relatively simple trip from Milwaukee to Los Angeles through Chicago, due to a long string of issues including maintenance and crew problems (and some ATC delays for good measure)  I ultimately arrived in Los Angeles about 19 hours after ...

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My time in Kuala Lumpur and at the Le Meridien

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I really enjoy Southeast Asia, and Kuala Lumpur is a favorite destination there.  I was excited to have a little more time to explore and eat in this fun city.  And gawk at the Petronas Towers...

Moon over the Petronas Towers

My time in Kuala Lumpur (KL) was just a bonus due to flight schedules.  I only had about 24 hours on the ground there.  To keep things simple, I booked my stay at the Le Meridien.  This hotel ...

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Thai Airways Royal Silk Business Class between Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur

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I had one last leg remaining on the award ticket for my outbound journey.  I was connecting to Kuala Lumpur where I would spend my first night in a bed after 2 nights in a row sleeping on planes.

Thai Airways A330-300 like I rode between Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur. Photo credit: Flickr

Because I am a geek, and now was traveling alone without my wife to maintain sanity in travel plans, I added an extra flight to visit the Thai Royal First ...

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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