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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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Bali trip in Cathay Pacific First Class: Executive Suite at the Laguna Resort, Nusa Dua


We spent a few nights at the end of our trip to Bali at the Laguna in Nusa Dua. We split our time between the Laguna in Nusa Dua and the Bali Hyatt in Sanur.  We wanted to explore a few places during our stay, and we decided to try the Nusa Dua resort area for part of our stay.  Nusa Dua contains a bunch of high end hotels, including an Aman, Melia, Nikko, Grand Hyatt and Conrad. 

After our time at the Hyatt, I wanted to get some stay credit for ...

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United is finally moving forward with TSA PreCheck

TSA PreCheck

As a frequent traveler, one of my biggest frustrations is the security screening process.  Even with the benefits of elite status typically allowing a shorter line, the process is at best, an annoyance.  I have been following the news about the PreCheck roll out closely, since I would welcome anything to make this process less of a hassle.  

Just as a reminder, the TSA describes PreCheck program as:

TSA Pre✓™ is a pre-screening initiative that ...

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Frontier offers free mileage conversion to Delta Skymiles for Wisconsin Residents


A few years ago, Midwest was the leading carrier in my home airport, General Mitchell Airport in Milwaukee.  I never flew with them regularly, but it was a nice backup option if I was dealing with limited time flexibility, since I could catch one of their non stops to east coast business destinations.  I was also rerouted on Midwest several times when irregular operations caused me to misconnect, usually due to issues at O’Hare. 

More recently, Republic Airways ...

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Bali trip in Cathay Pacific First Class: Club King at the Bali Hyatt

Bali Hyatt

After our Cathay Pacific flight to Bali, our first stop was the Bali Hyatt.  Its located in Sanur, on the Timor Sea, just east of Denpasar. 

 Image from VFM Leonardo, Inc.

We wanted to split our time in Bali between a few locations to get a more varied experience on the island.  There were several options that we considered, looking at both Hyatt and Starwood properties.  There is the ...

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

Cathay Pacific 747-412 B-HKF

After our brief stay at the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, and our visit to The Pier Business Class Lounge, we were off to our flight to Bali.

Cathay Pacific 747 photo via Flickr


Cathay runs daily 747 service from Hong Kong to Denpasar.  They only sell Business Class and Economy, but after asking at The Pier, we were seated in the First Class cabin.  The service and meals were Business ...

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Bali trip in Cathay Pacific First Class: Lounge visits at Hong Kong International Airport


This post discusses the lounges we visited at Hong Kong International Airport on our outbound trip to Bali.

Hong Kong International Airport

Following our extra long First Class flight from O'Hare to Hong Kong, we opted to head to The Arrival lounge to get cleaned up.  The fact that the MTR was not yet running also influenced this decision. That and 24 hours on the plane.

The Arrival

The ...

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