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Virgin Australia's new commercial - "The romance is back"

I've talked a lot about Virgin Australia since my nice experience with them on my trip to Australia and New Zealand about a year ago.  I was pretty impressed with their style, and highly recommend their long haul flights.  Booking Virgin Australia Business Class with Delta Skymiles is still the best redemption option for award trips to Australia.  

Their newest commercial isn't the best airline commercial I've seen, but I am a sucker for most any airline related advertisement.  I like the simple message that this one is telling, that the people make the difference. 

 

 

What do you think of VA's new campaign?

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Exploring Tokyo-Tsukiji Market and beyond - The Journey the Destination

tokyo-tsukiji-auction-outside

Japan, and in particular Tokyo has long been a place that has intrigued me.  I have been to Japan several times, but other than one 22 hour layover, on those other trips I did not leave Narita (and one unplanned stop at Haneda...).  I was excited to finally have the chance to spend a little time in Tokyo.  

I hit some tourist highlights of the city on my previous whirlwind trip, but one thing I was interested in, but unable to visit on that trip was the Tsukiji ...

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Airbus A380 in Lufthansa First Class from Frankfurt to Tokyo Narita - The Journey the Destination

Lufthansa A380

 

After another lovely visit to the wonderful Lufthansa First Class Terminal, I was riding in a Mercedes S-Class across the tarmac at Frankfurt to the plane that would take me to Tokyo.  This would be my first flight on a Airbus 380, and the first trip to Japan where I would actually spend more than a few hours.  The Lufthansa A380 product is not that new anymore, and in fact, several Upgrd.com bloggers have reviewed the product already.  Fozz reviewed ...

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Reminiscing about a past trip- Bird on a wire

potw3Although I took this picture a while ago, it brings back great memories of traveling. This is one  of my favorite cities, even after visiting several times it never gets old. So much history, so diverse 
and I can easily get by.

This bird (or others like it) can always be found in this location. In fact it's said that 
if these birds get lost, bad things will happen to the people nearby.


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The Lufthansa First Class Terminal in Frankfurt- The Journey the Destination

lufthansa-first-class-terminal-exterior

After my flight on the new Lufthansa 747-8i in First Class, I arrived in Frankfurt with about 6 hours until my A380 flight to Tokyo.  I could have stayed air side in the very nice First Class lounges in Frankfurt, but since I just got off a long haul flight, and had an even longer flight coming up, I decided to get some fresh air, and head to the wonderful Lufthansa First Class Terminal.   

  

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A good experience flying United--new 767-300 configuration in BusinessFirst

new 767

Most news regarding United lately has been almost uniformly negative both on this website and in other news reports.  From computer system failures, maintenance delays, and customer service snafus, it has been tough on United passengers, as well as employees.  I have experienced plenty of issues first hand, but I’m pleased to discuss a recent pleasant experience on United.

 

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Delta medallions on Virgin Australia get additional benefits

VA_repainted


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

lufthansa-iad-748i-gate-view

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

Dulles

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

japan-thailand-routing

"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

cx807_cabin_front

 

 

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

hiroshima_dome

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

cathay_828_steak

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

The holy grail of airplane cuisine

As frequent upgrd.com 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

lufthansa_748i

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

ana787_mtfuji

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

HKIA

 

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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