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Air New Zealand's newest safety video featuring hobbits and others

Air New Zealand continues to flex their creativity with their unique safety videos.  I had the opportunity to see the horrific Richard Simmons video on my flight on Air New Zealand between Christchurch and Melbourne.

Their newest video is Hobbit themed, with Peter Jackson's next cinematic take on JRR Tolkien's works.  There was some filming going on when I was visiting New Zealand last year, and as the release date of these movies approaches, clearly Air New Zealand Air ...

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Thai Royal First Class on the 777-300ER from Tokyo to Bangkok - The Journey the Destination

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There are various options to fly between Tokyo and Bangkok.  Not all of them have First Class, so I was somewhat limited since I wanted to maximize my award redemption.  When I saw the Thai flight on the 777-300ER configured with "suites with doors", I knew that's the option I wanted to take.  Its not the newest product anymore, but its still a pretty nice way to fly.  Jet Airways bought these planes, configured them, but then has leased them out to various carriers. ...

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Rain Gutters - Photo Flashback

potw6

This photo is another from a past trip that has brought back a flood of memories of my experiences.

  I was exploring this old city when I came across this very modern (and musical) solution to dealing  with rainwater...    

Where was this photo taken, and what is the story behind this unique location? 

 

Have you visited there?

 

 

 

This is part of a "photo flashback" series of photos I'm ...

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The ANA Suites Lounge Narita Satellite 4 - The Journey the Destination

Narita

 

After leaving the Park Hyatt Tokyo, I headed back to Narita airport to catch my flights to the next leg of my journey, onward to Thailand.  I took a Limousine bus directly from the Park Hyatt to Terminal 1 at Narita.  I've always enjoyed my visits to Narita airport, such a diverse collection of carriers, and a well organized and easy airport to navigate.  

This looks like the (far) eastern terminal in ...

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Cliffs to the water - Photo Flashback

potw5This photo is another from a past trip that has brought back a flood of memories of my experiences.   This area is more than 2000 miles from Washington DC, but is still on US soil. The views here are  beautiful, and there is significant history as well.  

 

 

Where was this photo taken, and what is the story behind this unique location?  Have you visited there?

 

This is part of a "photo flashback" series of photos ...

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A Park View King at the Park Hyatt Tokyo - The Journey the Destination

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The next stop on my trip was a return to Tokyo.  This time, I decided to splurge on one of my most anticipated hotels ever.  Like many people, ever since seeing Lost in Translation, I wanted to visit the Park Hyatt Tokyo for myself.  Despite my attempts to keep this whole trip on a relatively lean budget, I decided to splurge for this one night in Tokyo.  

Park Hyatt is my favorite "reasonably attainable" hotel brand, and Tokyo is one of my ...

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Suite Upgrade at the Westin Minneapolis

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Minneapolis is a relatively frequent destination for my business travels.  I've previously talked about my stays at the W Minneapolis and the Aloft near the Metrodome.  As I was preparing for another trip back in Minneapolis, I was expecting to stay at the Aloft, which has become my go-to place there, for its convenient location and typically reasonable rates.  I'm always open to trying other options, particular with the various Starwood options in the area.  I've often ...

Boeing 787 in the ANA Domestic Configuration - The Journey the Destination

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The long-awaited 787 has been in the news a lot lately.  The first United 787 was recently delivered to United, so seeing more of these innovative new airplanes in North America will become more frequent.  Japan Air Lines flies a 787 between Tokyo and Boston, and just this week, ANA launched 787 services on their Tokyo to Seattle route.

 

 

I first got up close with a 787 in the summer of 2011 when I visited the EAA ...

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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 ...