The anatomy of trip planning, an introduction - Star to Spain

Next up on my list of trip reports is our recent journey to Spain in Star Alliance Business Class. Our longhaul flights were on new business class products on Brussels and Austrian Airlines.  

I mentioned my excitement about booking this trip, which was something a bit different for ...

2013 in review- a lot of Regionals, but some First too

It is nearly 2014, which means it is time to reflect on the past year, and look ahead to the what the new year may bring.  It also means the counters reset for elite status qualification (argh!)
Here is my flight map from 2013.  
Obviously much of my flying was domestic for ...
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Singapore Airlines First Class to Seoul SQ15 - Singapore Award

The final legs of my trip to the Maldives and in Singapore First Class would take us back to the US from Singapore with a stop in Seoul.  
 

We had already flown this route in the reverse direction on the outbound journey to Singapore.  Like most eastbound ...
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Why would anyone voluntarily fly United...

...well, besides me?  
Despite doing many things wrong, and being rather customer 'un-Friendly', for a few reasons which I will discuss; they will remain my airline of choice, at least for another year or so.
 
I discussed my recent travel difficulties when my trips were ...
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Tales of Life on the Road: Flying Delta and Winter Snows

It's December in the upper midwest, and not surprisingly, we do actually get winter storms.  Not as often as some people think, but I tend to be flying on the days they hit.  Thus far in 2013 its been pretty mild, but the first storm of the season hit over the weekend.  Of course, ...

United Club Pass Giveaway (expires 12/31/13)

Thanks for your interest: pass has been claimed
I have a United Club Pass that I'd like to give to Upgrd readers as a thanks for reading. Hopefully someone can take advantage of this for some upcoming December travel.  The clubs have been devalued a bit, but hopefully it still can be a ...
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Starwood Suite Night Awards expiry extended 4 more months

2013 has been the year of devaluations in loyalty programs.  I was pleased to learn of a positive change for once.  
 

Marvellous Suite at the W Hong Kong
 
Suite Night Awards from Starwood Preferred Guest that were scheduled to expire at the end of 2013 ...

My impressions as a United Frequent Flyer

Rohan's recent post with his thoughts on the current status of United Airlines and his ideas to solve some of the issues has certainly caused a reaction.  His points are valid, but I'm sure the United board of directors is a long ways from such a drastic change.  

I ...
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The True Cost of Building the 777X Includes Cheap Labor

Boeing wants incentives from both its home state and its employees for its just announced 777X project.  Due to workers not agreeing to cuts in benefits, assembly will likely be done elsewhere, possibly even outside the US.  Everett, Renton, and the entire state of Washington have helped ...
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Visiting the Singapore Airlines Private Room - Singapore Award

Singapore Airlines is highly regarded for their in flight service.  On the ground, their service is not nearly as over the top.  Their home base at Changi Airport makes layovers easy, it is one of the nicest airports I've ever experienced with movie theaters, butterfly gardens among many ...

Preview of my recent trip to Spain

I'm starting to settle back into the normal routine, and I wanted to give a quick preview of my most recent trip. 
 
A preview of our seat on the train at Dulles airport.  Thanks to a delay we nearly missed it!
This trip had a few new experiences for me.  New ...
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Executive Suite at the Sheraton Towers Singapore - Singapore Award

After returning from the Maldives, our flight schedules required an overnight stay in Singapore.  I wanted to have something that was convenient.  There were certainly closer hotels to Changi, but I wanted a SPG night credit, plus the cash and points cost (before the 2013 devaluation) was ...

Plaza Premium Lounge at Male Airport - Singapore Award

After checking out of the Park Hyatt, a boat ride, then an hour of flying on Maldivian (with one short stop), we were in Male ready for our departure back to Singapore and then towards home.  
 

 
We walked with the Park Hyatt representative from the domestic ...

Park Water Villa at the Park Hyatt Maldives - Singapore Award

After six nights in a Park Pool Villa, we paid the up charge and moved to spend our last night in a Park Water Villa.  This was our wedding anniversary, and who knows when we'd return to a place like this, so we had to splurge on the quintessential Maldives experience: an over water villa. ...
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Dining and activities at the Park Hyatt Maldives - Singapore Award

I'm not the best person at simply relaxing.  I am usually on the move, and tend to get bored when in the same place for too long.  While I was really excited for this Maldives trip, I was a bit concerned about spending 7 days on an island in the middle of the Indian Ocean.  In ...

Park Pool Villa at the Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa - Singapore Award

The ultimate destination of our trip on Singapore Airlines was the Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa.  Park Hyatt is one of my favorite brands, and this seemed like a truly aspirational redemption.  I rarely stay anywhere for an extended period, so a whole week on an island with nowhere to go ...

Male to Hadahaa on Maldivian - Singapore Award

 
After arriving in male after our Business Class flight from Singapore, we had a little while to relax in the Moonimaa Lounge.  This is a lounge offered to Park Hyatt guests, and presumably other resorts that require a domestic flight after arrival in Male.   It is also ...

Singapore Airlines A330 Business Class to Male - Singapore Award

After our time in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, our Singapore Airlines travel continued, with a business class flight to Male.  
 
Singapore uses its medium-haul 2-class A330-300 for service to Male.
We were seated in business class for the flight, which was about 4 1/2 hours. ...