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Delta medallions on Virgin Australia get additional benefits


I've spent a lot of time discussing Virgin Australia on this site, particularly since I live far from their home base.  I had a great trip to Australia last year, and got some excellent value out of some Delta SkyMiles for the trip.  I wish I had more opportunities to go to and around Australia, but unfortunately I do not.  Hopefully some readers who also hold some Delta status do, since the partnership between Delta and Virgin Australia continues to expand. I ...

Boeing 747-8i in Lufthansa First Class from Washington Dulles to Frankfurt - The Journey the Destination


Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental, The world's longest passenger aircraft.  

I was quite excited to get on the new Boeing 747-8i, the newest 747.  Lufthansa is the launch customer for this model, and Dulles to Frankfurt is the first route.  The initial delivery was just this one aircraft.  I was a little nervous that something could happen, and I would miss my chance to get on this bird, but thankfully it ...

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United Global First and Lufthansa Senator Lounges at Washington Dulles (IAD) - The Journey the Destination


I don't travel through Dulles often, mostly since I live so close to O'Hare.  Since I was connecting to my Lufthansa flight and had a few hours, (and for the benefit of the blog), I figured I would visit the United Global First Lounge.  It was a new lounge to me, and it was relatively close to the arrival gate for my flight from Chicago.  This post is part of my trip report describing a recent trip  that I'm referring to as "The Journey the Destination".  Here is a ...

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United Global First Lounge at Chicago O'Hare (ORD) - The Journey the Destination

The Sky\'s the Limit

Great photo of "The Sky's the Limit" at ORD by w4nd3rl0st from Flickr

My trip began at O'Hare, as many of them do.  I didn't like the United flight to start the trip, but I figured that the almost brand new 747-8i in Dulles would make this worthwhile.  I could also visit the United First International Global First lounge before departure, which added a ...

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Booking 10 segments in 9 days - The Journey the Destination


"The Journey the Destination"

I was looking at a rather slow upcoming business travel schedule, and a lot of vacation time banked, plus a growing balance of United Mileage Plus miles.  My wife didn't have as much vacation time, and she was very gracious to give me a free pass for a leisure trip without her.  Since she wasn't there, that allowed me to get crazy on some of the arrangements, since when we travel together, she brings a heavy dose of ...

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Cathay Pacific First Class from Chicago to Bali in April 2012




This post will serve to conclude my series of posts from my Cathay Pacific First Class award redemption to Bali.  In all it was an excellent experience.  Although 95% of my flying patterns is on Star Alliance carriers, I really look forward to the opportunity to get back into Cathay Pacific First Class.   I couldn't recommend it highly enough.

I'm fortunate to have booked this for 150,000 British Airways miles before their conversion to ...

Touring the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park


Sixty seven years ago, on August 6, 1945, the world was changed forever, as an atomic bomb was dropped above Hiroshima Japan. At 8:15 in the morning, the B-29 named Enola Gay flew over Hiroshima dropping its only payload, a single bomb known as Little Boy. It detonated about 2000 feet (600 m) above the ground.  The nuclear era had begun. 


Hiroshima Peace Memorial/A-Bomb Dome


I recently took a ...

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Bali trip in Cathay Pacific First Class: CX828 Hong Kong to Toronto: Heading home


First off let me tempt you with some "food pr0n" :

The holy grail of airplane cuisine

As frequent readers know, the search for a tasty, properly cooked steak on a plane is an ongoing mission of Mike.   Many of us here have joined in his Quixote-like search: (Elyse, Sara, Josh, Matthew, Sluggo, me).  As you can see above, I'm pleased to report that Cathay Pacific can do a steak medium ...

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A day in the life...a frustrating travel experience.

Sheraton BWI

On some recent business travel, I had flights messed up by stormy weather and ATC delays.  I want to share my experiences, and how I tried to make the best of a pretty frustrating situation.


This was just a short trip, one day at a customer site near BWI.  I flew in the evening before so I would be ready to go first thing in the morning.  I stayed at the relatively new Sheraton near BWI. 

Photo courtesy SPG

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A photo preview of my trip to Japan and southeast Asia


I am back from my quick trip to Asia, and wanted to share some photos before I get to the complete trip report soon (hopefully).


 The Lufthansa 747-8i just before boarding



The beginning of dinner service.  Seats face at an angle due to placement in nose.

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A review of the Andaz San Diego, including an upgrade to the Andaz Extra Large Loft

Andaz pool

One of my colleagues was organizing a meeting in San Diego, and she asked me for suggestions as to where to hold it.  The places she was considering included the Westin Gaslamp Quarter, the Omni, and the Andaz.  I've stayed at the Westin before and its fine, but I encouraged her to look at the Andaz.  I didn't hear anything for a while, but I was pleased when the meeting was eventually scheduled for the Andaz San Diego. 

The Andaz in West Hollywood is the only ...

My blog is now RegionalFirst


Hello from Japan!


This photo is shortly after takeoff from Tokyo Haneda on my first 787 flight with Mt. Fuji in the background

I'm still in the midst of my #avgeek trip to Asia, and am soon to be heading back to Tokyo on an ANA 787.  I'll have full trip reports when I return, but in the meantime, please follow me on twitter for more timely updates on my travels.


I have decided to rename my blog. ...

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A spontaneous trip where the journey is at least as important as the destination.

Lufthansa A380

I'm in the midst of a super Aviation-geeky trip. I have a lot of vacation time to use, and quite a few United miles, so I decided to burn some of each.  After the Singapore Airlines excitement this past weekend, my United mileage balance is really low now!

photo from Flickr

I'm planning to fly on 3 new aircraft types for me.  My first flight on the 747-8i, A380 and 787.  I'm also finally going to spend some time in Japan, a place I've ...

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Bali trip in Cathay Pacific First Class: Lounge hopping in Hong Kong before flying back home



After the speedy delivery from the Hyatt Regency Tsim Sha Tsui via taxi, we were back at Hong Kong International Airport.  We already had boarding passes that we were given in Bali, but I went to the check in desk in the airport, where they reprinted our boarding passes and provided us lounge invitations (that were likely not required).  We were pretty early, so we had time for some lounge hopping.

HKIA departure hall from ...

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Bali trip in Cathay Pacific First Class: Club King at the Hyatt Regency Tsim Sha Tsui


Its always enjoyable for me to transit the beautiful Hong Kong International Airport.  This was a short visit, as we just quickly went from our Cathay Pacific flight from Bali to the Airport Express train station.  Our timing was good, as the train departed shortly after we sat down.  

I should mention that there are certainly more convenient options for overnights at HKIA.  There is a hotel adjacent to the airport, the Regal Airport Hotel (reviewed by ...

Book Review: In A Sunburned Country


I travel a lot for both work and leisure, and its often only when on a long flight or relaxing on vacation that I am able to spend much time reading.  I read various things, but on occasion, I like books about travel.  I recently finished “In a Sunburned Country” by Bill Bryson.  This one is about his travels throughout Australia.  My introduction to Bryson was his stories from hiking the Appalachian Trail, called A Walk in the Woods.  He does a ...

Bali trip in Cathay Pacific First Class: Business Class Service from Denpasar Bali to Hong Kong

DPS airport

Once back at somewhat chaotic Denpasar airport, we cleared a few security checks before getting to the check in counter areas.  Despite some traffic, it was maybe 30 minutes or so by taxi from The Laguna.  There is a lot of construction going on at the airport, and hopefully on our next trip, the renovations will be complete.  Since our Hong Kong layover was only 14 hours or so, we asked if we could check our bags all the way through, and carried our overnight items in a ...

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50% more points for select purchases on the Hyatt Chase Visa


I think the Hyatt visa is one of the better hotel cards out there.  There is a $75 annual fee, but there are no foreign transaction fees and a smart chip for purchases in Europe.  It earns 3 Hyatt points per dollar for Hyatt purchases and 1 point per dollar elsewhere.  Initial sign up bonus is 2 nights in any property worldwide, plus Hyatt Platinum status.  Diamond members get those 2 nights in a suite. 

I was able to utilize that benefit for suites ...

United Club Visa Card free for a year (more codes)


note 6/28/12: all codes have been distributed

In my travels of late, I've noticed these brochures continue to be in United Clubs.  According to a sticker on them, the offer for a fee-waived card is extended through June 30, 2012.  This is the same as the offer Fozz made recently.  This offer allows for the first year waived on the Chase Visa which includes United Club membership (a $395 value).

I have a handful of these, and may have the opportunity to get a few more in my trips this week and next.  

I will randomly select winners for the codes I have from anyone interested who comments on this post by midnight Central time June 26, 2012.  

Note: winners have been notified, and all codes distributed.  Thanks for your interest.

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British Airways tells UK residents "Don't Fly"

British Airways continues to have innovative advertising campaigns in the run up to the Olympic games in London later this summer.

Once again British Airways has a created a great commercial, from the music of The Clash, to some of the sights of London as the 777 taxis around the city and stops at the Olympic Stadium.

This may be the only airline advertisement that tells viewers "Don't Fly", but they want UK residents to stay home during the games to support their ...

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