Bradonregional first

A photo review of a Marvellous Suite at the W Hong Kong


This review is from our stay at the W Hong Kong.  It was a stopover on my trip to Thailand in late 2010.  We spent a few days in HK, using free nights from the (now expired) SPG Free Weekends promo, and decided on the W due to its easy access from the Airport Express line and to the other MTR (HK subway system) lines, plus very positive reviews for the property.  The fact that I was able to redeem free nights for a category 5 property (normally 12,000-16,000 points per ...

Trip report: BKK-HKG in Thai Royal First Class, including the BKK ground experience



After a great trip to Phuket and Bangkok, we then headed to Hong Kong for a few days. Part of maximizing the Star Alliance First Class award was to take advantage of a stopover.  I had been to Hong Kong in the past, but only for a short time by myself.  I thought this might be a good way for my wife to see a piece of China as well, without the visa requirements and in a much more approachable way than the madness of Beijing or Shanghai.  I had to be a bit ...

Tales of life on the road: $800 in 2 hours, a cheeseburger, and 200,000 BA miles.


In the past week or so, I encountered some personal travel milestones that I wanted to share. 

Last week I had business in the Bay Area, then from there was heading to Las Vegas for the weekend to meet some friends.  I bought a one way SFO-LAS ticket on United.  Due to the relatively short notice of my ticket purchase it was not a good price for a short one way, but thanks to an electronic voucher, it was only $35 out of pocket.  As I walked to the gate, I noticed ...

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A photo review of Grand Suite King at the Grand Hyatt Erewan Bangkok


After our journey to Phuket, we had a layover in Bangkok.  We were stopping over in Hong Kong later in the trip, so due to ticketing rules, we could only layover in Bangkok.  I booked it so we had a 22 hour or so layover in Bangkok.  I've often visited cities in a mad rush when traveling alone for business, but this trip was leisure with my wife, so it took a bit of selling to get her on board.  Plus, after a leisurely week in Phuket, she wasn't ...

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Tales of life on the road: My trip to Seattle on Delta


When I talk to some friends and my extended family about my job, many of them assume that frequent travel is all about luxury travel.  As many business travelers know, that's far from the truth.  I certainly feel like I know how to be comfortable on the road, travel can lead to lots of headaches as well.  A recent trip was particularly memorable.


I was originally booked on United to Seattle.  My Skywest flight MKE-ORD  was significantly ...

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Long Washington Airport (IAD) layover: Udvar-Hazy Center


I recently had some meetings near DC finish up early, and I was staying near Dulles, so I wanted to take advantage of an opportunity I've been interested in a while.  I finally went to the Udvar-Hazy Center near the airport.  For those that are not aware, this is a companion facility to the Air and Space Museum on the Capitol Mall, with lots more space for artifact display.  It is free to enter, but a bit difficult to access.  They have lockers for baggage storage if ...

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Update: Enhancing my V Australia Business award using Delta miles

As I blogged about before, I'm planning a V Australia business class award (details here) for late 2011.  My original award was only the V Australia legs, LAX-SYD-LAX.  Since I'm not in LAX, I wanted to add flights to get there to the same award.  As many people are aware, finding low availibility with Delta can be very difficult.   It took some creativity, but I was able to do it. 

Not the most ideal routing, but since I was able to find low ...

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The joy of flying my 'home' leg, MKE-ORD on Skywest

I recently blogged about the odd sensation I had while flying a United itinerary with all mainline flights.  Now I wanted to discuss the leg that I fly most frequently, between my home airport and O'Hare. I normally like to have lots of photos of nice locations in my posts, but instead this one is a bunch of statistics, so please bear with me.

Given that MKE-ORD is one of the shortest flights in United's system (at least out of ORD), it seems to often be used ...

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Coming soon: Redeeming SPG free resort nights at the St. Regis Punta Mita

St Regis Punta Mita, photo courtesy


Thanks to a lot of travel of late, I've been able to rack up some nights towards SPG's excellent current "Getaway Free" promotion; (which Kevin covered here) where 3 stays earn 1 night at any category 1-6 resort property with standard rooms available.  One exception to this is the Category 7 St. Regis Punta Mita in Nayarit, Mexico.  There are a lot of great properties that are available for ...

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Recent travels: A United itinerary with all mainline flights, sadly a rarity for me.

I recently had a flight experience that was unique to me, but likely not out of the ordinary for many of you.  I flew a 4 segment round trip on United that had 4 mainline flights.  Most of my itineraries on United begin with a 67 mile CRJ hop to ORD.  I used to fly Northwest more since at least they were all mainline from MKE, but now i'm almost exclusively flying on United.  A few years ago, on flights between MKE and ORD, there was at least occasional ...

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An introduction to Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport (MKE)

Since I’m relatively new here, as a bit an introduction, I figured I would blog about something very familiar to me, but likely not so to many of you.  I'm talking about my home airport, Milwaukee General Mitchell International Airport (MKE).  While it is considered in what's considered flyover country for some, its actually a nice little airport, and maybe a place to connect for people flying Frontier or AirTran who both have hubs ...

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Is a Trusted Traveler program coming soon?

According to this article by Scott McCarthy in the Wall Street Journal, there is progress on plans for a trusted traveler program for US domestic travel.  I don't often read the WSJ, but McCarthy's weekly column is the one time I actually enjoy "The Middle Seat"

How would you like to keep your shoes on, keep your laptops in the bag, and avoid the body scanners when going through TSA checkpoints in airports? 

A graphic from the article is ...

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A photo review of Le Meridien Phuket Beach Resort


As I have said previously, I have a lot of blog material from my trip to Thailand in late 2010.  This review is of the Le Meridien Phuket, which is near the (in)famous Patong area.   We moved to this property after a few days at the JW Marriott to get a feel for a different part of the island. 


This resort has a private beach on the Andaman Sea, and restricted access from roads on the island.  This is an excellent ...

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The Aloft Minneapolis, a review

As mentioned in my review of Starwood's W Minneapolis - The Foshay, I have been working in Minneapolis quite a bit of late.  I have explored a few properties in the area.  This is my review of the Aloft Minneapolis. This follows Jamie's excellent recent review of the Aloft in Dallas.

As at most Aloft properties, there is a relatively standard layout, particularly in guest rooms.  Aloft is a relatively new concept.  Started by Starwood a ...

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Video of tornado hitting Lambert Airport (STL)

Scary footage of a tornado hitting the main terminal of Lambert Airport in St. Louis.  This hits home for me since STL is one of my most frequent destinations.  2 days after the tornado, the airport is finally starting to resume normal operations. 



This video from security camera footage of TSA at checkpoint scattering as power goes out and items start blowing around the terminal.  Scary!

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Across the World with the Singapore Girl

This ad isn't particularly new, but its new to me.  I first saw this on TV earlier, and had to look it up to see the whole thing.  I guess I'm a fan of airline commercials in general, but I thought this one was particularly good.   I think it really continues the iconic image of the Singapore Girl that has been part of their advertising for 40 years.

I've not yet flown Singapore Airlines, but I certainly hope to soon.  Too bad premium cabin redemption is often such a challenge, but it does keep it mysterious for people like me who haven't experienced it. 


How many destinations can you spot in the 1:00 commercial?

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Award ticket in business on V Australia using Delta miles

Success!  I now have a V Australia trip booked for a vacation for my wife and I.  We are actually eventually destined for New Zealand, but this seemed like the best way to get there.  We did a trip to SYD a few years back, and wanted to try a new destination.  That trip was my first international First trip, on United in what was then "new" first, and I guess that's where the bug really started for international awards.

I've been collecting Delta SkyPesos ...

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Humor: Laser Pointers and Airplanes

I was browsing the Onion, aka America's Finest News Source, when I saw a flying related piece that I couldn't help but share. 

This commentary from an airplane captain is a funny look at what apparently can be a serious issue.   I've heard that this is real danger, and a quick search yielded a fair amount of information on the topic.  Here is a link from a website called, and here is an article from the New York Times on ...

Seeking advice : me vs. booking engine

.bomb indeed.

I'm working to book travel for myself to NYC for the Frequent Traveler Awards and Frequent Traveler University.  Yes, its a bit last minute, but until I knew my work schedule was clear, I couldn't book. Much of my travel is for business using an corporate booking engine, so I don't often book domestic trips for myself.  I'm not having much luck, so I defer to some of you experts out there. 

Here are my details.  I'm based ...

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Relaxation at the JW Marriott Phuket- a review

In late 2010, my wife and I had a great vacation to Thailand.  I'll likely draw a fair amount of material for the blog from this trip.  This was a Star Alliance First award, and we had some great hotel stays and experiences along the way. 

Here, I will review the first hotel stay of our trip, at the JW Marriott Phuket at Mai Khao beach.  I haven't really been actively collecting Marriott Rewards for a while, but still have a fair number of points ...