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Extended layover in Lagos Nigeria and flying Africa World Airways

united-787-arrival-lagos

Many travelers have heard horror stories about the experience of Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos Nigeria.  Here is my story, I don't think it was necessarily a horror, but I'll let you decide.  Others have alleged some major issues when flying through Lagos, including bribes from immigration officers and baggage not being transferred between flights.  I didn't encounter either of these, but here are a few examples of some horror stories others ...

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United Airlines 787 Dreamliner BusinessFirst from Houston to Lagos

united-787-to-lagos-boarding

Although I was flying to a new and exciting destination, the initial part of this trip was pretty typical for me, with domestic flights on United. Thankfully, they were uneventful, and actually arrived ahead of schedule.   I got to Houston with plenty of time to relax before the long flight to Lagos.  Unfortunately, when I checked this status upon landing, this flight had already posted a delay.  It was strange in that the inbound flight (from Heathrow) had arrived on ...

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Winners of Singapore, Turkish Austrian amenities and United Club pass giveaway

My giveaway of items from Singapore, Turkish and Austrian Airlines seems to have been quite popular, at least based on the number of comments.  Thanks for reading, and especially the many kind words.  

Using random.org, I drew numbers for the 7 prizes plus a few alternates just in case.  The comment number in the original post was selected at random thanks to random.org.  Those selections are listed below, and the 7 winners have been notified.  

Stay ...

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Giveaway: Amenity kits and pajamas from Turkish, Singapore, and Austrian premium classes

Singapore pjs

I'm an avid collector of airline amenities, especially amenity kits and other goodies from premium cabins.  I've collected much more than I need for myself on various trips, so I thought I'd offer some up as a giveaway to readers.

Each item is unopened condition, and in most cases is sealed.  I have photos of each item, plus a link to the trip report and in some cases a review of the kit itself.

Update 5/21/14:
Thanks for all of your entries.  Winners have ...

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Turkish Airlines 777 Business Class from Istanbul to Houston

turkish-to-houston-view

The last portion of my trip report of my Business Class award on Turkish Airlines is the return trip between Istanbul and Houston.  I had already had an eventful day, getting up early to see some of the sites in Istanbul.  I then returned to the crowded airport and had a brief visit at the famous Turkish Airlines Lounge before departure.  Turkish Airlines is a frequent topic on Upgrd, and James just reviewed his flight from Los Angeles to Istanbul.

 I ...

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A new take on the Turkish Airlines CIP Business Class Lounge Istanbul Airport

IST lounge

While there is no doubt that the Turkish Airlines lounge in Istanbul is excellent, but after 2 visits there, I'm am not as impressed as I hoped or expected to be. The experiences I had did not match the hype.  

The lounge design is beautiful, Mike was more fortunate than me for it not to be packed.

 Both times on the two separate days I visited it was terribly crowded.  Despite very tasty fresh food being prepared, it is ...

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United's poor social media strategy

United Twitter team

Clearly I'm not alone in my annoyance with United these days or with airline social media teams.  Matthew's recent post on the complete lack of trust in United leadership is excellent and on point building on the HuffPo piece he linked. I discuss how that affects other aspects of the United operation.  Also, Rocky had a poor experience with the USAirways twitter team, and my post is about more general frustrations with the United social media team over time. ...

Touring Istanbul on my short overnight layover

istanbul-blue-mosque

After a nice time in Belgium, and an easy flight back to Istanbul, while I had the business class cabin to myself, I would finally have some time to leave Atatürk Airport and see a few of the sites in Istanbul.  Of course, a few hours exploring is not nearly enough time, but I was pretty happy with what I got to see in the short time I had.  

The Sultan Ahmed Mosque, commonly known as the Blue ...

Initial thoughts on my first trip to Africa

As I mentioned previously, last week returned from my first trip to the African continent.  I am planning a complete trip report, but I'll try to finish a few other reports first. Here are a few comments and some photos from my trip.

My first view of Africa from the air:

 

Lagos airport wasn't as bad as I feared, and bribe requests were laughed off.  It was not a great place to have a layover while in transit, but once I was able to get online, ...

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Swiss Air Lines Business Class to Luxembourg

manchester-sunrise

After Liverpool, another leg on my trip was to Belgium for some touring and tasty beers.  I also was able to and get the somewhat elusive passport stamp in Luxembourg.

Early morning in Manchester UK 

My trip began early in the morning in Manchester Airport.  The security line was a bit of a mess, but once through, I had enough time for a quick stop in the lounge for a snack and some tea before ...

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A trip of Firsts: United 787 Business Class to Africa

United 787

My next trip is one I've been anticipating for quite a while and for a few reasons.  It is my first trip to the African continent, my first trip in a premium cabin on a 787, and the first time on a intercontinental flight in United's current (subsidiary Continental) BusinessFirst cabin.

United 787 Business Class (Photo from Rocky's 787 report)

 

A good friend is ...

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Exploring Liverpool

liverpool-royal-liver-building

The main reason for my trip to Europe was to attend a English Premier League match at Anfield, the home of Liverpool Football Club.  I've visited Liverpool before, but never attended a football match there.  I'm a fan of most sports, and love attending live events, but I've really started following Liverpool closely over the last few years, so a friend and I decided to make the pilgrimage to this historic city and stadium.

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Turkish Airlines 737 Business Class Istanbul to Manchester - True Business Class intra-Europe

turkish-business-class-to-manchester-view

After a nice flight from Houston, I had an overnight layover before my flight onward to Manchester.  Thanks to Turkish Airlines generous offer of a hotel during my layover, I stayed at the Renaissance Polat Hotel near the airport.  

My 737-900ER above the clouds somewhere over Europe

 

Unlike most airlines flying in Europe, Turkish still maintains a true Business Class cabin on many of ...

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New Destinations and New Perspectives

ireland-passport-stamp

I’ve spent the last week in Dublin for a work trip.  My employer is going through some transitions following a merger.  The merger has led to much uncertainty, but maybe things are becoming more clear at least for me personally.  It looks like my business travel patterns will be changing a bit, with likely much more international travel.  This is something that I used to do, but for the last several years, most of my work travel has been in North America.

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Turkish Airlines 777 Business Class from Houston to Istanbul

Turkish 777

The first leg that I will review from my winter trip to Europe is the flight from Houston to Istanbul in Business Class on the Turkish Airlines 777.  The eastbound flight is typically about 11 hours, which is an ideal length for my preferences; with enough time to enjoy a meal, work or watch some TV and then sleep.  After that, there is time for more eating, reading or resting before arrival.

 

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Booking an award trip Europe in Turkish Business Class with United Miles

With all of the devaluations of travel loyalty programs in the past year or so, I've tried to do a better job of burning miles, and not just growing my balances.  It was a change in my mindset, but I think the right choice.  I recently returned from another Star Alliance Business Class trip to Europe, burning more of my stash of United Mileage Plus miles.

 


This trip had a few fun components.  I got to explore Istanbul for a short time, and ...

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Easy surveys for free magazine subscriptions - RewardSurvey

Economist

How would you like free subscription to The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, or Forbes? RewardSurvey allows you to do just that.

Now that electronic devices can be used throughout flight, maybe travelers will read magazines and newspapers on airplanes less frequently, but I guess I'm old school in this way.  Then again, many airlines outside the US still provided free newspapers to their customers, so I'm sure I'm not alone.  

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Maintaining United lounge access in 2014 and beyond

United Club

I seeking advice on how to renew lounge access for my routine travels, primarily on United.  

United Club in Austin, photo thanks to Kevin

 


I have never directly paid for a United Club membership.  For the last 2 years, I had access thanks to my United Club Visa card.  The first year fee was waived as a promotion, that is still available on occasion.  Prior to that, I used my BMI Gold status to ...

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Austrian Airlines Business Class Vienna to Chicago - Star to Spain

austrian-business-class-sign

After a great trip to Spain, as an AvGeek, the last leg of the trip was one of my most anticipated segments, our ride home in Austrian Airlines Business Class.  

 In case you forget which airline you are flying, just check the bulkhead.  

 

Austrian recently completed a 90 Million Euro renovation to their entire longhaul fleet, currently consisting of 4 777-200ER and 6 767-300ER. ...

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NEXUS kiosks to be updated, plus additional member benefits

image

I haven't flown to Canada in several months, and I haven't noticed any technical issues with NEXUS kiosks, but I am not surprised that this excellent program is popular.  I have a trip across the border next week, but hopefully there won't be any delays.  I never had to wait more than a minute to get to a NEXUS kiosk.

My occasional travel across the border made the NEXUS application very worthwhile, especially since it makes me eligible for PreCheck and Global ...

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