Saturday, May 25, 2013

#throwbackthursday: 8 Involving My Most Memorable Flights/Trips.

Throwback Thursday night, also known as #tbt concerning Twitter and Instagram, is when people posting old pictures of themselves with the past. Well, I thought I'd join in a fun walk down memory lane including pictures from a number my memorable past flights/trips. In my situation, some of my best trips may not be the best in-flight products, but in my eyes when a flight can deliver me to an unforgettable experience, then that achieved its goal along with I've achieved mine.

1) While maybe the application isn't throwing back past the boundary, this past week I flew Milan to JFK on Alitalia's A330 using new Magnifica Class lie-flat seats (full review to come). Value: I booked the airfare using SkyMiles and since it can be a partner, it was at the low 50, 000-mile level for the one-way (my outbound was mid-tier so it was 150, 000 mile after mile total roundtrip).

This trip was memorable because I decided on the Beyonce concert with Milan last Saturday and actually got to meet your queen bee herself following on from the show, thanks to some friends who're friends with her most people. She was incredibly welcoming and funny, which was impressive after using an incredible 2-hour show and the need to fly out that event!

2) When My partner and i quit my job at Morgan Stanley in May of 2011, I left my workplace on my last daytime and headed straight for JFK for my first visit to Tokyo. This was three months or more after the terrible earthquake within Japan and tourism generally there had dropped off some cliff. Delta actually comped this flight since flights were empty where they wanted to let people realize their LAX-Haneda 777-LR flight was like (I don't take comps from that travel industry anymore and additionally haven't since this trip). Certainly, this was my to begin with solo trip and first-time to Japan and visiting over the crisis aftermath ended upward being great because I could see so much of the city in a short period. I even got your behind the scenes tour inside the Tsukiji Fish market, which you normally can't do the moment tourism is booming.

3) Flying behind Madonna in British Airways Top in June 2010. Last season, I encouraged my friend for getting in on the first British Airways 100, 000 (now 50, 000) credit-based card offer and he found themselves spending $30, 000, which qualified him with the Travel Together Ticket. We a friend's wedding in London that summer, so he agreed to make use of the companion ticket for me – on condition that I paid the ~$800 within taxes/fees for my priced. $800 for a roundtrip journey in British Airways Excellent to London? Sign me up!

On the outbound leg Madonna appeared boarding as the especially last person and she was seated in front of me. Unluckily for people, I had just taken a sleeping pill making sure that I could sleep immediately upon takeoff on the short hop to London. The flight ended up being delayed for about 90 minutes and Madonna diva'd out several times and I must struggle to stay awake to savor the shenanigans! At one point the pilot released and apologized for the next thunderstorm (the cause of this delay) and Madonna asked he "step on it" when airborne. Lesson learned: do not take sleeping pills until airborne!.

I did speak to her briefly that morning and asked her upto a concert she was designed to perform in Rio for any New Year's – there was many internet speculation, but not confirmation then i decided to ask the cause directly. She confirmed she was required to cancel, but apparently she may just be returning this year or even next. I remember she talked about "Hi Sweetie" when in conversation with me, which was a high light for me…being called Sweetie by way of the Material Girl. Thanks to the British Airways Visa companion pass to make it happen!

4) In November 2012 I got to fly on a United 787 from S . f . to Houston to Chicago in the Star Mega Do #4. I what food was in coach, but in a bulkhead, and I certainly enjoyed the ride, especially since it was grounded a few months later. United just resumed aircraft this week and I hope the 787's troubles usually are behind it, because a a spacious, smooth plane. I look forward to help testing it out around the globe, which is where its jet-lag-reducing benefits are actually supposed come into enjoy.

5) My Nanna, who lives in Asheville, NC currently is 90 years old although she's still sharp for a whip, her body is frail and traveling ingests a toll on her. One of her favorite things to attend to is visit my cousin in Santa Barbara, Ca, but since she experienced a hip replacement, this girl can't do the voyage alone. So for Thanksgiving 2011 I burned some US Air tract miles and redeemed for excellent Charlotte-Los Angeles and made the pilgrimage with your girlfriend. I learned a tremendous amount traveling with someone who had mobility issues, but we'd an amazing trip. Community . wasn't the fanciest entry to miles, it was an individual trip I'll remember for good.

6) In September 2010 I burned 120, 000 Delta SkyMiles and booked vacation to Paris and Seychelles. Air Seychelles was pleasant and intensely unique. I remember getting scented oils inside the amenity kit and the food was definitely…tropical. It was my first time to the Indian Ocean and a very exotic place I had been during the time so the trip had been extra special. Sadly, Air Seychelles don't offers codeshared flights coming from Paris to SEZ, so it's much harder to obtain there using SkyMiles.

7) Last April I spent two to three weeks in Thailand, Cambodia and additionally Hong Kong and As i flew home on Cathay First using British Airways Avios. It was a great experience and one I hope to do again soon. Cathay First is one of several top first class solutions, so if you haven't expert it yet, put it within your to-do list!

8) This January I actually went Capetown, Johannesburg and Kruger together with flew South African Airways trading class roundtrip for 110, 000 US Airways miles. While the seat was a lttle bit short and the product wasn't great, I be required to say my South Africa trip was probably one of the best I've ever taken. South Africa has so much to offer – out of beaches in Cape Town, amazing wine and food in wine country (just a couple of hours outside of Cape Town), historical past and culture in Johannesburg along with life-changing safari experiences.

My own South African Safari ended up being a breathtaking experience especially seeing this rare leopard merely feet away.

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned from the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author. s alone, not those in the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or in any manner endorsed by the debit card issuer. This site could possibly be compensated through the credit-based card issuer Affiliate Program.

Link: Millions of Americans will cross "structurally deficient" bridges this weekend

Friday, May 24, 2013

Marshall Fitzgibbons on Travel - A few Free GoGo Passes together with a $50 Dollar Amex Surprise Card.

I'm giving away a pair of free GoGo passes and a $50 dollar American Exhibit Gift Card in event of my 1, 500th article at MJ on Holiday. Surf over to the following post to enter.

Deals We Like - Double AirTran A+ Credit for Flights to/from Atlanta

Last week I posted that when booking through Southwest you will get double points for all travel to/from Atlanta, however, the same double credit promotion holds true for those itineraries booked through AirTran. Although the two airlines are in the middle of a merger and you can fly one airline even when booking through the other, the promotions are only good through the airline booking site you made your reservation with. If you made your reservation through, only promotions offered through the AirTran site will qualify, while if you made your reservation through, only promotions offered through the Southwest site will qualify. However, the itineraries are able to be operated by the other carrier.

For itineraries booked through AirTran Airways for travel between June 16 and July 24, you are able to get double credits per flight if you are flying to/from Atlanta. With this promotion, you'll earn two credits for every one-way Coach flight and three credits with every one-way Business Class fare.

Again, like every other AirTran promotion, you must have booked your ticket during the promotional dates and have registered for the promotion PRIOR to booking. This means that any travel that was booked previously, even if the travel dates fall into the promotional dates will not earn you double credits.

More Info: 5 charming Getaways Beach for relaxation

New york: After 3-Year Delay, Four Seasons New york Downtown Is Back On the.

Three years ago, we told you to mark your calendars for ones 2014 opening of Four Seasons New york Downtown. Well, here i am in 2013 and little progress has been made. In fact, we were juuust getting ready to strike said reminder from our iCal whenever you stumbled across this posting yesterday throwing our hopes back into the air.

The reports says that the project is once all over again moving forward—now that financing is secured—and that the 185-room luxury hotel is right now set for a 2016 beginning. Originally, this hotel has been slated to open with 2011 (ha! ), though now we've come to keep in mind that projected opening dates really mean diddly squat and any sort of hotel that opens in a timely manner is a rare element indeed.

But back in the Four Seasons: the report doesn't give us a lot of new information except that building will be 926 feet tall (one of the tallest hotels in NYC) which the lobby is a three-story atrium with lounges, a ballroom, a restaurant, meeting spaces, and a massages.

The Four Seasons Big apple Downtown will be situated at 99 Church E, in an area containing seen an explosion of trendy hotels in earlier times few years (Smyth Tribeca, W New york Downtown, Conrad New York) and which has been the focus involving multiple tourism campaigns through the city.

More Info: 15 songs to combat the aerofobia

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

New Web-based Game Ideal for Geography and Travel Fans

If you're the kind of person visually stimulated by geography and have a knack for identifying far off locations, GeoGuessr is the game for you.

Using Google Street View and Google Maps to plot location images around the world at random, the player is tasked with "pinning" their guess for the image's location on a map. The closer the guess in mileage, the higher the score.

Heather Bond posts from Chicago, the windiest city in the world. She likes yoga, pub trivia, a hot towel and a fully reclined seat. She hopes her next trip will be to Djibouti, because she loves to say Djibouti so much. Follow Heather on Twitter @metro_naturale

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Bulldozers Destroy Maya Ruin In Belize

The news outlet detailed how construction crews demolished parts of a pyramid in the Nohmul complex, the most important Maya site in northern Belize, near the border with Mexico. There are 81 structures in the complex, but the destroyed pyramid was the ceremonial center, as well as the namesake structure for the complex. Now the once large structure has been whittled down to its core, and the limestone that was extracted will be used for gravel roads in a nearby village.

Although the land the pyramid sits on is privately owned, laws in Belize maintain any pre-Hispanic ruins are under government protection. According to the Associated Press, police said they are conducting an investigation and criminal charges are possible.

Via: Medina Azahara, the Arab city of Cordoba

The Gatekeepers Of Asia: Face To Face With The Border Guards Of The Far East

know that active sadism is supplanted by bureaucracy, vanity and venality. In my opinion these are highly preferable alternatives. Once you know how land borders adopt these principals, they can be easily navigated with a bit of tact, patience and occasionally a small financial stimulus. I find these vagaries far easier to deal with than the gleaming desks and suspicious minds that protect Western countries against threats

To make things easier, I've noticed after a long period of driving my own car around Asia, with all of the bureaucracy that entails, that there are some core motivations that drive Asia's customs officials. These motivations result in eerily similar individuals from border to border. And so it is one of the peculiarities of driving overland for long distances that you can have a near-identical experience crossing the borders of countries so disparate as Iran and Cambodia.

I haven't been to everywhere in Asia, so I can't say these truths are universal. But the following four types of border official have shown up at almost every land crossing I've been to so far so it wouldn't surprise me in the least if these were pan-Asian characters.

Entering Pakistan from Iran was a long process. We signed gigantic registers with entries dating back to '80s and traipsed from building to building over barbed-wire fences. When were finally ready to go, having been in the borderlands for hours already, we had to wait for our security detail. We stood impatiently in the rapidly warming desert waiting to get under way. And waiting. And waiting some more. Where was this guy?

Time has no meaning when you're dealing with authority, so we sat down for chai and were off promptly when we finished. Adam Hodge, GadlingLater, in India..."And so I can go now?" I asked, having laboriously acquired half a dozen stamps and bits of paper with Hindi scrawled all over them.

"Oh, I am sorry sir, but he is unavailable right now. He is having his lunch and should return in a couple hours. Perhaps you would like some tea?"

Even later, in Cambodia..."You cannot go," the customs agent told me. "You need to have your car's documents stamped by the head of customs."

"Two hours ago, maybe. He should return soon." rdockum, FlickrThe Wal-Mart GreeterOblivious to his country's immigration and customs protocols, he welcomes you like an old friend, often to your detriment.

Deep in leafy green forest in northern Malaysia there is a small border post with Thailand. I stopped at the Malaysian checkpoint and they stamped my car's papers and practically pushed me out of the country. I inched my car down the lane into Thailand, expecting someone to stop me and ask for papers, passport, where I was headed... anything. Ah! A Thai guard at the end of the lane was watching me from the security lane and he beckoned me toward him. I drove up and rolled down my window. He smiled broadly at me and indicated I should just keep on driving.

I pulled away from the border and drove slowly down the road. I noted Thai people buying fruit from stalls and walking around with the evening groceries. I was in a bustling Thai market. No passport check, no vehicle registration, no searches. I parked and walked back to the customs building and proceeded to confuse everybody.

Of course, I hadn't been stamped out of Malaysia either. I trotted back across no-man's-land to the Malaysian office where I had more or less the same conversation with the border guard, who couldn't understand why I needed an exit stamp when I was clearly coming from Thailand.

Later, in Laos...A few months after, I entered Laos by way of vehicle barge, sharing the boat with two gigantic cargo trucks for the 4-minute ride across the Mekong. As I drove up the ramp to the main road at Huay Xai, I stopped and asked a uniformed man where to get a visa, showing him my empty passport. He only grinned and nodded. So I drove on, and I was suddenly in a town. I sat down at a riverside bar and drank a Beerlao, enjoying my minor transgression. Eventually I found the immigration checkpoint 3 miles downstream from where the barge had dropped me off. The customs officials seemed slightly perturbed because no passenger boat had come across for an hour, so where had I come from? This required a fairly taxing explanation, which they eventually and begrudgingly accepted.

The Smuggler's DreamHis only job is to check you're not carrying anything illicit, but he's either too trusting, confused, or it's too hot outside today.

Entering notoriously strict Iran from Turkey, I had done the paperwork dance, and it was time for customs to inspect my car. I nervously led a gruff-looking man dressed in fatigues to where I had parked. He barked at me to open the trunk, which I did in haste. He glanced over the heap of gear from afar, his eyes lingering on the possibly suspicious-looking photography and electronic equipment, camping gear, backpacks, and food.

Even later, in ThailandIn Cambodia I had picked up some fellow travelers and the trunk was packed with bags. The Thai customs officer looked through the window when we rolled up.

After my inadvertent entry to Thailand and the subsequent confusion about visas, I still needed to register my vehicle to drive in Thailand. In a fan-cooled room in the Thai customs house I found a fat uniformed man melting into his chair, as if squashed by gravity and the weight of his immense responsibilities. He barked orders at two demure women as he fanned himself with my car's customs documents. He seemed in no hurry to let me go, raising objections to every one of my attempts to move things along. After stonewalling my paperwork for a while, I realized the problem: he actually had no idea what he was doing, as he never did any of the work himself. With this established, it was a simple task to organize things with the two friendly ladies, who filled everything out and then deferred dutifully to the great squinting Hutt for his precious signature.

Later, again in Thailand...When I left Thailand from the north, I realized the ghosts of customs past had followed me up the entire length of the country. The big man in the south had neglected to give me some obscure piece of paper that would allow my car to leave Thailand.

About halfway through my sentence he had turned and slithered back into his freezing lair. I leaned my head into the small window and another official batted me away like a stray dog.

So I did what a dog would do. I stood there staring forlornly into the distance for 10 minutes, whimpering softly, until he came back. He had a document in hand, and he was smiling at me.

He was now my best friend. I was on my way. Jeremiah Roth, FlickrBonus Guard: The SleeperThe sleepers will do whatever it takes to get you gone so they can get back to their dreams.

I still had to get my car's customs documents stamped first before I could leave Thailand. I didn't expect this to go any better. I climbed the steps to the customs office and poked my head through the slightly open door. A young guy in uniform was out cold at his desk, his belly rising and falling in a peaceful rhythm. I cleared my throat and he awoke with a full body spasm. He looked mildly ashamed when he saw me, his wide eyes betraying the guilt of a lurid dream. I whipped out my form.

He shrugged and started stamping, offering me a self-satisfied grin when finished, as if there were no easier task in the world.

Via: The music of Turkey

Friday, May 17, 2013

Frequently Flying - Just Within: Woman Breaks Into Usa Airlines Headquarters in Chicago, il.

CHICAGO – Earlier today, a woman was seen leaving your United Airlines employee parking lot headed West with Algonquin Road in your ex car, making a quick escape through the airline's Executive Offices.

Security cameras later revealed she pulled in the lot undetected and snuck via a door that hadn't recently been securely shut alongside one of several long corridors of a building.

Footage inside also exhibited she entered the employee logo gift shop and about a quarter-hour later, exited with your bag of United Flight companies collectibles and memorabilia.

Megan Smith, the shop clerk working right at that moment, later revealed in interviews that this woman seemed enthusiastic and excited being shopping for items brand with United's logo.

Milliseconds. Smith went on to talk about, "she was beside herself mentioning how much her son would definitely love the things she was essential. "

The mysterious partner paid with cash, so you don't have way to track her identity. If you have any information regarding this particular incident, please contact Darren Booth at Darren@frequentlyflying. com.

Who was the headline and page, or so I'd always think, back in this early- to mid-1980s with suburban Chicago. The story holds true, actually, and I know exactly who did it.

It is my Mom, and I will almost allways be grateful for having this unconditionally loving mother that she'd risk trespass charges for getting her United-loving son a product unique for his birthday.

[And yes, my astute long-time customers, this is a try of my Mother's Day post from two years ago, but hey… it's my own blog and prerogative ]

Link: The best tours in Madrid

New Long distance Hiking Trail To Opened In Africa.

The Sir Samuel and Lady Florence Baker Historical Trail will stretch for 360 miles from Gondokoro – the administrative centre of South Sudan – to help you Baker's View, which is near the shores with Lake Albert in west Uganda. The route follows roughly exactly the same path that Samuel Baker utilized on his expeditions to examine central Africa, which happened throughout the 1860s together with 1870s. Baker's wife supported him on those activities, which is why the trail is named to honor her as well. In 1864, Baker made the greatest discovery of his career when he became the initial European to set eyes relating to the massive body of water which he would name in honor of Prince Albert, the late consort of Britain's Queen Victoria. Baker's View marks the place that the explorer first caught some sort of glimpse of Lake Albert itself but they are still hiking the trail will get to relive that moment a century . 5 later.

The new trail is the pet project of explorer together with anthropologist Julian Monroe Fisher, who recently walked almost all the route as part involving his Great African Dispatch. Fisher is working closely along with the Uganda Ministry of Travel related, Wildlife & Antiquities; your Uganda Wildlife Authority; plus the Ministry of Wildlife, Efficiency & Tourism for South Sudan to earn this project a reality. The trail has full support of the descendants of Samuel Baker as well and Fisher credits each of those RailRiders Adventure Clothing along with Costa Del Mar Sunglasses for helping to push this project along.

While many of the fantastic long-distance hiking trails around the world are designated for walking only, one of the more interesting things about this trail is that it will allow for mixed use. That means mountain motorcyclist can ride the route and in many cases 4x4 vehicles will end up granted access. The choice is reportedly very beautiful, remote and largely untouched by modern conveniences, which will be a major part of its allure.

In addition to to be a great attraction for open-air enthusiasts and adventure travelers, the trail is supposed to be an economic boon for ones communities that surround the idea. South Sudan in particular is experiencing having enough funds to aid its development process being the country emerges from years of conflict as being the newest nation on Our planet. The influx of travellers dollars that could come with the trail will be especially very theraputic for that country.

I'm sure news of this trail will be a lot of welcome amongst trekkers and additionally mountain bikers alike. It sounds like it'll be a beautiful and challenging hike that will prove popular with those people who are truly looking to get away from it all.

More Info: Six surreal moments on a cruise ship

This Gatekeepers Of Asia: In person With The Border Guards Of Cina.

know that lively sadism is supplanted just by bureaucracy, vanity and venality. For me these are highly better alternatives. Once you skills land borders adopt a lot of these principals, they can be easily navigated with a lot of tact, patience and occasionally a smaller financial stimulus. I find these vagaries far easier to accommodate than the gleaming glove compartments and suspicious minds that will protect Western countries next to threats

. At least that caprices of Asia's gatekeepers can be motivated by personal incompetence, never institutional torment.

To make things easier, I've noticed from long period of driving mine car around Asia, the crazy things that bureaucracy that entails, that you have some core motivations that drive Asia's customs officers. These motivations result around eerily similar individuals coming from border to border. And so it is one of the peculiarities of driving overland for long distances which you can have a near-identical working experience crossing the borders involving countries so disparate when Iran and Cambodia.

I haven't been to everywhere in Asia, so that i can't say these truths are universal. But the following four different kinds of border official have shown up at just about every land crossing I've visited so far so that wouldn't surprise me at all if these were pan-Asian characters.

Entering Pakistan from Iran was a long process. We signed gigantic registers with entries dating back to '80s and traipsed with building to building above barbed-wire fences. When were finally prepared to go, having been in the borderlands for hours already, we had to have to wait for our security characteristic. We stood impatiently in the rapidly warming desert waiting to get under way. And patiently waiting. And waiting some more. Where was this chap?

Time does not have meaning when you're experiencing authority, so we sat straight down for chai and were off promptly when we finished. Adam Hodge, GadlingLater, with India... "And so I can go now? " We asked, having laboriously acquired some stamps and bits from paper with Hindi scrawled all over them.

"Oh, I here's sorry sir, but they are unavailable right now. One is having his lunch and really should return in a number of hours. Perhaps you would like some tea? "

Quite possibly later, in Cambodia... "You cannot go, " the customs agent informed me. "You need to have your car's documents stamped through the head of customs. inch

"Two hours past, maybe. He should bring back soon. " rdockum, FlickrThe Wal-Mart GreeterOblivious to help his country's immigration and additionally customs protocols, he welcomes you prefer an old friend, often for your detriment.

Deep in leafy natural forest in northern Malaysia there is a small border post along with Thailand. I stopped at the Malaysian checkpoint where they stamped my car's papers and practically pushed me straight from the country. I inched a car down the isle into Thailand, expecting anyone to stop me and ask for papers, passport, where I was headed... anything. Goodness me! A Thai guard at the end of the lane was watching me with the security lane and this individual beckoned me toward her. I drove up in addition to rolled down my windowpane. He smiled broadly with me and indicated I will just keep on generating.

I pulled away through the border and drove slowly later on. I noted Thai families buying fruit from stalls and walking on with the evening food. I was in a bustling Thai market. Certainly no passport check, no auto or truck registration, no searches. I parked and walked oh no- the customs building and additionally proceeded to confuse most people.

Of course, I hadn't been stamped using Malaysia either. I trotted back across no-man's-land with the Malaysian office where I had more or less the same conversation along with the border guard, who couldn't understand why I needed an exit stamp when i was clearly coming with Thailand.

Later, in Laos... A few months after, I entered Laos with vehicle barge, sharing the boat by using two gigantic cargo trucks for ones 4-minute ride across this Mekong. As I drove up the ramp to the significant road at Huay Xai, I stopped and asked a uniformed man where you get a visa, showing your ex my empty passport. He or she only grinned and nodded. So i drove on, and I was suddenly in the town. I sat down with a riverside bar and sipped a Beerlao, enjoying my minor transgression. Eventually I discovered the immigration checkpoint 3 miles downstream from where the barge had dropped people off. The customs officials looked like slightly perturbed because virtually no passenger boat had encounter for an hour, so where had I come coming from? This required a relatively taxing explanation, which these people eventually and begrudgingly accepted.

The Smuggler's DreamHis only job is to check you're not keeping anything illicit, but he's either too trusting, lost, or it's too warm outside today.

Entering notoriously strict Iran coming from Turkey, I had conducted the paperwork dance, plus it was time for methods to inspect my auto. I nervously led a gruff-looking man wearing fatigues to where My partner and i parked. He barked at me to open your trunk, which I managed in haste. He glanced with the heap of gear with afar, his eyes lingering in the possibly suspicious-looking photography in addition to electronic equipment, camping supplies, backpacks, and food.

"Uh, simply no, but... " I launched, because I certainly managed have things from Pakistan. Nonetheless I was interrupted, as with Iran.

Perhaps later, in ThailandIn Cambodia I had produced picked up some fellow travelers and the trunk was packed by using bags. The Thai customs officer looked with the window when we rolled up.

After my inadvertent entry to Thailand and also the subsequent confusion about visas, I still wanted to register my vehicle they are driving in Thailand. In a fan-cooled room within the Thai customs house I came across a fat uniformed male melting into his recliner, as if squashed by gravity as well as the weight of his tremendous responsibilities. He barked requirements at two demure females as he fanned their self with my car's traditions documents. He seemed in no hurry to well then, i'll go, raising objections to most of my attempts to proceed things along. After stonewalling my paperwork for a short time, I realized the problem: he actually had zero idea what he was doing, as he never did any of the work himself. With the following established, it was a hassle-free task to organize things while using the two friendly ladies, who filled everything out and then deferred dutifully to the truly great squinting Hutt for his precious signature.

Later, all over again in Thailand... When I left Thailand in the north, I realized the ghouls of customs past had followed me in the entire length of the country. The big man within the south had neglected to provide me some obscure section of paper that would allow my car to abandon Thailand.

"So wait, delay. You will let me drive oh no- where I came from without any permits, but you won't allow me to leave? "

About halfway through my sentence he turned and slithered into his freezing lair. I leaned my head into the small window and additionally another official batted me away like a stray dog.

So I did thats dog would do. I stood there staring forlornly within the distance for 10 min's, whimpering softly, until he went back. He had a document at hand, and he was grinning at me.

He was now my ally. I was on my own way. Jeremiah Roth, FlickrBonus Defend: The SleeperThe sleepers will do anything to get you gone so they can get back to your dreams.

I still had to get my car's practices documents stamped first before I could truthfully leave Thailand. I didn't expect this going any better. I climbed the steps to the customs office and poked my head on the slightly open door. A new guy in uniform ended up being out cold at his desk, his belly rising and falling in a peaceful rhythm. I cleared my throat and he awoke by having a full body spasm. He or she looked mildly ashamed any time he saw me, his wide eyes betraying the guilt of an lurid dream. I whipped out my form.

He shrugged along with started stamping, offering myself a self-satisfied grin when finished, as if there were no easier task on earth.

Via: The Exploratorium, San Francisco Science Museum reopens

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Live from a Lounge - I got a flat tire on a plane!

On my way back from the Boarding Area Conference (BACon) at Colorado Springs which ended today, I was booked on a very simple route to get to New York via Dallas/Fort Worth in the afternoon. If all would have been well, I'd have been on the East Coast by now, sleeping in a hotel room in Manhattan. However, it was not to be.

Once we were seated on our slightly delayed flight, the captain informed us we had a flat tire on the plane, which could happen on landing at high altitude airports such as COS, and as such, they won't be able to move before the tire was changed. The good news, he said was, they had a tire and a jack at the airport, so all they had to do was fix this thing and it would be 30 minutes to 45 before we'd be on our way, considering paperwork needed to be done. I thought, even a plain and simple car tire takes a while to fix, so this plane isn't going anywhere soon! This is how it looks when there are people trying to replace a plane tire.

We were advised to deplane and wait inside the terminal and things were not looking good now. I was booked on the second-last flight to NYC that evening from DFW, and I called to protect on the last flight out, however I was informed the flight was sold out and I could not go anywhere till the morning. I would be on my way on the first flight out in the morning however.

A short while later, we heard that the brakes had also come off while fixing the tire, so there was no way this plane was going to be fixed anytime soon since they'd need stuff which was only going to be available in Denver. So, the flight take off time, scheduled for 1:35 PM was now looking at 7:15 PM or so. The agent was honest and asked to call AA Reservations to rebook on the 4:55 PM flight, since they were not going to be able to handle all the load themselves.

I managed to get across to the Executive Platinum line, and they rebooked me onto the 4:55 PM flight, that too getting me in First again. However, I was now supposed to be sleeping at DFW and going to New York next morning.

I decided that sleeping was going to be a waste of time so I'd rather keep moving. Hence, once in Dallas, I called again, and tried to get on a more sane routing, which meant flying on the next plane from Dallas to Los Angeles, and then going on the red eye from LAX to New York JFK. That means, a simple thing like going to New York now looks like this routing.

So, I just got off coach in DFW-LAX, where they were asking for volunteers for a bump and offering $500 to stay over the night, and off I go on the 3-class LAX-JFK redeye where business class upgrade has been confirmed. However, I'm right now in the LAX Admirals club, and this beast is teasing me to go to Australia. I think I'll just head out to board for JFK instead.

Link: Hotel restaurants follow the example of restaurants

View From The Wing - How to Keep Your Miles from Expiring

Most airlines have some form of expiring miles. Most programs promote that their miles never expire… but there's a catch. The miles may not expire, but the account itself can become dormant with all miles forfeit if there's no activity for a prolonged period of time.

Only Delta, among major frequent flyer programs, offers no mileage expiration – period. Ironically in the middle of the last decade they were one of the early adopters of shortened expiration times. Most US frequent flyer programs expired miles after three years, and they led the charge to reduce that initially to 24 months and they even limited the types of activity that would extend the life of an account. Once they had expired a bunch of miles off of their balance sheet, they announced their miles would no longer expire. Though they promoted it as 'the right thing to do' they didn't go back and restore miles they had taken away.

Nonetheless, I don't mind expiring miles as long as the policies are clear and the rules aren't draconian like Spirit Air's program which expires miles if you do not earn miles in your account every three months.

You need to keep your account active, be an engaged member at some level, and your miles will be fine. Use a tracking tool that helps you manage your frequent flyer programs and track expirations. I use Award Wallet.

Once you have your balances, and many of your account expiration dates in front of you, it's easy to keep miles alive in most frequent flyer progams.

You'll see that some non-US frequent flyer programs will expire your miles no matter what you do. You have to use miles earned right away, or least within three years, or else you will lose them. Then there are hybrids, like the Air Canada Aeroplan program, where you have to keep your account active with some sort of earning or burning every 12 months or else you'll lose your miles. But all miles earned, regardless activity, will lapse after 7 years.

So what are the simplest ways to keep an account active? The particulars vary by airline, since their specific partners aren't all the same, but in general the tools to keep at your disposal (in addition to flying the airline, or using their co-branded credit card) are:

Tim Winship used to sign off, "May your miles never expire!" Use these Hunger Games tricks and the expiration odds will be forever in your favor!

More Info: Hotel restaurants follow the example of restaurants

Point Me with the Plane - AA 10% Global Destination Coupons are Back… Some to Give Away!

Another big because of reader BigMiker15 who could pick up the last 5 AA 10% coupon codes at his local D'Agostino supermarket with Manhattan. The coupons are good for 10% off any airfare booked through May 15, 2013 to get travel through May nineteen, 2013. The offer is valid to get a destination worldwide and is good for one-way or round-trip vacation. The coupons are given at checkout counters at D'Agostino supermarkets in trade for making a donation to Citymeals.

I'll email the promo codes to your first 5 readers to email me a Say Precisely what? Overheard on the Plane entry. Please also respond inside comments section with "email sent". Requests without an entry is not considered. What is Say What exactly? Overheard on the Airplane? It's a weekly blog entry with ridiculous stuff that Point Me to your Plane readers have overheard on the flights. The weekly feature can be returning in June. Everyone!

Link: Zagreb, the Croatian capital is perfect to visit in spring

Monday, May 13, 2013

Barclay’s Lufthansa Mastercard 50,000 Mile Bonus

The Barclaycard Lufthansa Miles & More Premier World Mastercard usually comes with a bonus of 20,000 miles upon first purchase and up to 15,000 additional award miles when you complete an initial balance transfer.

However, Barclay's just launched a new bonus offer on the card where you can earn a combined total of 50,000 award miles – 20,000 miles with first purchase and an additional 30,000 award miles when you spend $5,000 on a purchase within the first 90 days.

While 50,000 miles isn't earth-shattering, from what I can find, the bonus on this card hasn't been this high since April 2011, so if you've been thinking about getting in on this card, now is the time to do it.

You might be asking yourself why you'd want to get a mileage credit card with a non-US program, but there are a few good reasons you might want to consider it.

First, this card is a Barclay's product, so if you're all applied-out on American Express, Chase and Citi cards for the moment, it might be time to look at another issuer. However, Barclay's has tightened up on accepting new credit applications and has been known to deny applications for people with a lot of recent credit inquiries. No one knows what the threshold number is, but that can make it difficult to get a new line of credit with them.

Second, Miles & More is the award program not only of Lufthansa, but also of SWISS and Austrian airlines. Finding premium award space on these airlines in advance (they tend to open up a lot more just a few days out) can be notoriously difficult, especially on SWISS unless you have a Miles & More account since the airline holds back award space for its own frequent flyers. So if you're thinking about awards to Europe, it could be a good idea to bank some of these miles simply for that award space availability.

According to the Miles & More award chart, 50,000 miles is enough for an economy class roundtrip ticket from the US to Europe on Lufthansa, SWISS or Austrian – other carriers will be 60,000. That's also enough for a one-way business class award on these three carriers – highlighting another positive feature of Miles & More: you can book one-way awards.

Third, Lufthansa (and SWISS and Austrian) is part of Star Alliance, so you can use these miles on any of 27 partner airlines, including United and US Airways. Also according to the award chart, domestic flights are 25,000 in Economy, 35,000 in Business and 50,000 in First roundtrip, so you could potentially score some business class tickets for a real discount at that 35,000-mile level, and if you complete the minimum spending requirement, you will have more than enough miles for 3 one-way business class award tickets domestically.

Fourth, Lufthansa Miles & More is a transfer partner of Starwood Preferred Guest, so you could always use some of these points to top up your account for a specific award, and remember, when you transfer in increments of 20,000 points, you get a 5,000-mile bonus – 25% more miles.

Fifth, this card entitles you to a companion ticket. According to the card terms, "Cardmembers will receive an Economy Class Companion Ticket upon the first use of your new Account for a Purchase or Balance Transfer and on your Account opening anniversary every year you are a Cardmember." This companion ticket is good only for economy travel from the US to Europe/Middle East/Africa and Far East and must be booked in H class (not full-fare economy, but not the most discounted either) or higher on Lufthansa-operated flights only, so you will be paying more for the first ticket, but getting the second one for free.

Like other companion tickets, taxes and fees must be paid for the revenue ticket as well as the companion ticket – the companion portion is only the airfare. While most people buy the cheapest fares, with Lufthansa, you only earn 50% of the mileage on these, so this program isn't for anyone who wants to get full mileage on the cheapest fares. However, if you do pay for refundable or high-fare classes the companion ticket could be a decent value in some cases.

For a quick example, I looked at economy roundtrip tickets from Chicago-Frankfurt in June. A non-refundable economy ticket was going for $2,227 – $1,547 in airfare and $680 in taxes and fees.

While those in B class, which is actually a higher fare class thank H, the ticket was $2,804 – $2,125 in airfare and $680 in taxes and fees.

To pay for two discount economy fares, you'd be paying $4,454. For the companion-eligible fare, you'd pay $2,804 on the first ticket and $680 in taxes and fees on the second for a total of $3,484. Still very steep, but it saves you almost $1,000.

With the higher fare class you earn 150% miles on the paid ticket instead of just 100% for the lowest fare class. That said, this was an extreme example, and with a bit of flexibility, in many cases you'll likely find discount economy fares that will be much cheaper to book two of than using this companion ticket. As with all things miles-related, do the math!

As the above example also pointed out, Miles & More is also notorious for charging high award ticket surcharges, so those award tickets might incur hundreds of dollars extra in fees. According to this FlyerTalk thread on the topic, even roundtrip economy awards from the US to Europe regularly top $500 in fees, while intra-European flights can range between $200-$300 in fees. Something to keep in mind.

Also beware, there is a Platinum version of this card that only offers a bonus of 15,000 miles upon first purchase and up to 10,000 miles with a balance transfer, and which only earns 1 award mile per dollar.

Still, if you're in the market for a new card and are looking to diversify your miles portfolio with some more Star Alliance miles, this could be a card for you to consider. I'll cover specific features of it in future posts, but feel free to comment with your questions below.

This content is not provided or commissioned by the company whose products are featured on this site. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or evaluations provided here are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the Advertiser. This site may be compensated through the Advertiser's affiliate programs.

Link: Aquileia, a not so well known in the North of Italy historic city

Friday, May 10, 2013

Deals We Like - Clarification on American Airline Status Upgrade Promo

Last week I posted about a targeted promotion where American Airline was sending select AAdvantage members the opportunity to upgrade their status. There are four different promotions overall and you MUST actually register for the promotion.

Now, as I mentioned last week, you will only be upgraded IF you in fact received this email. With all American Airline promotions, anyone can register and receive a confirmation page and email. This DOES NOT mean you actually qualify for the promotion. Of course it doesn't hurt to register and see if the promotion applies to you (in case the email went to your spam folder or what not). You will know whether or not you were targeted based on what your current AAdvantage status now states online. If you tried registering last week when I first announced this promotion, your status will already be updated. If your status is NOT updated that means you were not registered and thus not eligible for the promotion.

I know there was a lot of confusion around this, so I just wanted to clarify! Here are the four promotions that people received.

*With this last promotion, you'll have to call American to ensure you qualify as there is no way of telling in your account. This was a promotion where you will not receive status right away (like the other ones), but will only earn it once you hit the various miles/points levels.

For those of you who received this email, enjoy your upgraded status and good luck earning the points to continue the status for almost another 2 years!! Just don't forget to register.

Is it safe to travel in Iran

I just came back from Iran and the short answer is YES. Yes, it safe to travel in Iran. None of my friends who traveled to Iran in the last couple years or other tourists I met in Iran had any troubles there.

Only "problems" are when you are sitting at home and watching news on TV. "Iran is evil" – all you can hear on TV. A long time ago I learned don't trust news as nowadays journalists are looking just for sensations, accidents or conflicts. I spend two perfect weeks in Iran disconnected from mass media. Just I came back, switched on news and it was again the same – Iran did that or that.  Hmm… It seems I visited totally different country.

It was no surprise my family and some friends where asking me: "Iran? Why Iran?" when I told about my plans. I knew people who already have been there, I knew some Iranians and I couldn't find any reason which could prevent me to visit that country.

I was thinking about Iran for long time. Two years ago I won Lonely Planet travel guide giveaway on Fresh Roads blog. I could choose any LP guide available at the time. I picked "Iran".  Two years later I visited it at last.

What can I tell? It was no any issues with safety.  In any hotel or hostel you can find similar advice like this from on hotel in Tehran:

2. Nobody is allowed to search you and inspect your private things. Only the Police (with uniform and the police car) presenting the valid ID can check your ID or ask for it.

3. Leave your passport and valuables in the hotel safe. Do not leave valuables in the room. Do not carry large sums of money; carry only what you need. Check your belongings regularly.

4. for traveling in the city a copy of passport and a hotel card would be enough for presentation to the police or when necessary.

5. Always carry with you card information of your staying hotel. In case of any problems the police can help you to your hotel.

6. Avoid connecting strangers. For visiting places or strolling in the town, ask your hotel desk for help or guidance.

7. Both for inner city and country roads, use authorized transportation. When possible let the hotel desk clerks make these arrangements for you.

But all these are just common sense things you use in any country you travel. It just shows there is nothing special about security in Iran.

Most people I met were very friendly and helpful thought a lot of them don't speak English, but still they will try to help you if you are asking for direction or looking for something. Of course there are taxi drivers who wants to charge you double price comparing to locals, but it is nothing to do with your safety.

I wasn't worry about safety before my trip and I will tell "yes" even with more confidence now if somebody will ask me "Is it safe to travel in Iran?"

More Info: "We all do Peru" invites you to enjoy this country so rich and diverse in culture and natural charm

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Points Miles & Martinis - W New York Times Square Service Comes Through With Whatever Whenever

I was reminded of how customer service should work during a recent stay at the W New York Times Square. At every turn I was met with great customer service and even the whatever whenever came through.

During check in I was offered an upgrade to a cool corner room facing Times Square. But I requested a room on the opposite side of the hotel from Times Square since those are optimal for actual sleeping. No problem. I was upgraded to a corner room facing the Hudson River.

Next, I asked for directions to the nearest CVS and was directed to the Duane Reade. While not the same, it was a nice quick resolution to my request.

Finally, once up in my room, I called down a request to the Whatever Whenever line and within minutes, multiple sets of W Hotel slippers were delivered even though I only requested 1 pair.

I noticed you were checking out tomorrow and I wanted to make sure you have had a wonderful W experience! If you have any feedback, or if there is anything we could have done to make YOUR escape better, please let me know!

View From The Wing - The 5 Best All-Around Rewards Credit Cards

In my post on the 5 credit cards with the very best signup bonuses, I offered that there are three different types of value in frequent flyer cards and each is a distinct reason to sign up.

And so I separately wrote about the five best credit card bonuses, the five cards with the best benefits, and the 5 most rewarding cards for spending.

But several readers have emailed to say that I really haven't put it all together. I carry several very mission-specific credit cards, but most readers want to know what one card is best, which one should they get since they aren't going to sign up for three or five?

So here are my top five all-around credit cards, taking into consideration signup bonus, value for every day spending, and benefits for holding the card.

These are in my opinion the very best current signup bonus offers for any credit card, since the value of the points themselves is really high.

And the earning on the cards is tough to match, as well. Both cards offer double points on gas and hotels (when you book directly with hotels, not when the spend is charged an online agent like Expedia) and quintuple points on telecommunications and office supplies. Between internet, cell phone, XM radio and cable television that's a lot of points each year, and it's amazing what you can buy at office supply stores.

Points transfer to United, British Airways, Korean Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Hyatt, Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, Priority Club, and Amtrak, in many cases instantly.

Like with the Ink Bold and Ink Plus, points transfer to United, British Airways, Korean Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Hyatt, Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, Priority Club, and Amtrak.

The value of the points for everyday spending, I especially like the bonuses on all travel and on dining, and it has one of the best signup bonuses to boot.

The annual fee is $0 the first year then $175 thereafter. So you need to spend a lot on the card to make it worth keeping after that first year — but if you do put $30,000 on the card in a year you receive 15000 bonus points, which is worth well more than the annual fee (and is why I continue to carry the card myself even past the first year).

I recently wrote up how to make the most of Membership Rewards points. My personal favorite is transfers to Singapore Airlines to redeem first class awards (since availability is actually really good).

This is the strongest American Express Membership Rewards card for points-earning, and I believe that Membership Rewards are one of the three most valuable currencies (along with Chase Ultimate Rewards and Starwood Starpoints).

The reason this card is great, though, is because Starwood has the most number of airline points transfer partners where transfers are 1:1 into miles (or better). And there's a built-in 25% transfer bonus: for every 20,000 miles you transfer points into Starwood gives you 5000 additional miles. So you effectively earn 1.25 miles per dollar on all of your spend (a built-in 25% bonus), and you get to pick what airline program you want your miles in later.

The card carries a $450 annual fee, but you can designate one airline on which you'll receive a $200 fee credit for the year. The fee credit is based on a calendar year so getting the card now means you can get a $200 credit in 2013 and another $200 credit in early 2014 before the next fee hits.

The Platinum American Express also reimburses the $100 application fee for Global Entry, comes with Gold status in Starwood Preferred Guest, along with other benefits.

There's also a Mercedes-Benz co-branded version of the card that has a $475 annual fee and comes with 50,000 points after $3000 spend within 3 months.

It's interesting to me that I believe the very best cards come from Chase, with the rest of the list filled out by American Express products. There are some nice niche products from Citibank, Barclays, Bank of America, and US Bank for sure. But these are the cream of the crop.

I've been a Starwood Preferred Guest cardholder for better than a decade, and I have all of these cards myself, they're also the ones I recommend as the very best in a fairly crowded and competitive field of rewards cards.

These cards represent what I believe are the very best, though I recognize there's some subjectivity to it (if you value airline lounge at zero, you wouldn't agree with me on the American Express Platinum card). But overall I think this is a pretty fair rendition. Any disagreements or cards you think are better than the ones listed above, appreciate the comments as always!

(Note that cards in this post offer credit to me if you're approved using my links. I try to offer only the best available cards, and most lucrative deals available for those cards. So if you're aware of better deals than I've featured please do let me know! The opinions, analyses, and evaluations here are mine. The content is not provided or commissioned by American Express, by Chase, by Citibank, US Bank, Bank of America, Barclays or any other company. They have not reviewed, approved or endorsed what I have to say.)

Via: Music from Switzerland

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Place Me to the Plane - Qatar to Fly Non-Stop to Philadelphia (PHL)!

Qatar Airways made the big announcement on their Twitter site earlier this morning. Theyall be employing a B777 on the approach to Doha and Philadelphia is likely to be Qataras 5th US gateway. With the imminent AA/US merger and Qataras expected October/November entry into oneWorld, the PHL choice appears to seem sensible. Qatar Airways happens to be a oneworld member specify, and thus within the next 6-12 months you need to be in a position to receive American AAdvantage and other oneworld carrier miles with this flight. IfAavailabilityAis as good as it was throughout the Continental( UA )/Qatar relationship, this may be a fairly sweet (andAreasonable) payoff opportunitya Associated a see Qatar to Launch Direct JFK a' Athens Service Placed by adam

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

One Distance at a Time - A Noble (dis )HHonor: Cathay Pacific Bar Bay Area

IntroductionAloft San Francisco AirportCathay Pacific Lounge San FranciscoCathay Pacific First School San Francisco to Hong KongCathay Pacific First Type Hong Kong to SingaporeSt. Regis SingaporeSingapore Airlines Silver Kris Bar SingaporeSilkAir Organization Class Singapore to Koh SamuiConrad Koh SamuiBangkok Airways Economy School Koh Samui to BangkokLe Meridien BangkokRoyal Jordanian Company Course Bangkok to Hong KongCathay Pacific aThe Winga First Class Lounge Hong KongCathay Pacific First Type Hong Kong to San Francisco We took a shuttle from the Aloft to the airport at around 10:30PM, and made it there about 10 minutes later. Iave gotta state so far as US airports go, I donat think there are several that are better than San Franciscoas Airport, especially the international terminal. Terminal exterior Airline signage Terminal interior We simply found the Cathay Pacific check-in region, which was fairly clear considering that many people had already checked in. Cathay Pacific check-in There is nobody ahead of us in the first type line, and we were served in a matter of seconds. Cathay Pacific first class check-in Cathay Pacific has one of the smallest first class rooms on their 777s, with only six seats. If the cottage is full Iave discovered itas like musical chairs to make certain every one sits together. You will find two rows of seating with three seats per row. The two middle chairs start towards the best section, meaning if youare traveling together you desire to stay in either 1D & 1K or 2D & 2K (or if you prefer windows you may do 1A & 2A or 1K & 2K). In cases like this we had seats 1A and 2D provided how late we booked, and the cabin was complete. I wasnat actually going for them to replace our seats to ask, though there clearly was a traveling in first class and the check-in agent asked if we'd mind swapping chair 2D for 1D, because the couple in first class had seats 2K and 1D designated. Obviously we didnat head because that would give us seats 1A & 1D, and if it would be possible to ask the individual seated in 1K whether theyad be ready to switch to 1A at that place I asked. If youare traveling alone 1A & 2A are the finest seats since you donat have other people sharing the section with you, therefore like it'd be described as a win-win it seemed. He explained theyad focus on it, and that I should check-in again at the door. We headed towards security, and they only had an individual street open, on top while it wasnat very active. Heading towards safety Below is a image of how my boarding pass looked after the security agent (itas not TSA in San Francisco, but rather aTeam SFOa) checked it. Iam maybe not wanting to be an ass, but could someone please reveal to me how thatas even slightly necessary? Significantly, what is this, kindergarten? And are these testicles? Boarding complete after the always check I find aTeam SFOa to be among the rudest safety ateama in the usa, and currently was no exception. They were only utilising the full body scanners and perhaps not the metal detectors, that I imagine is okay, except the queue for entering the full body scanner was about 20 people deeply. The agent working the line kept screaming adonat enter line until your entire items are within the x-ray.a Thatas good, though thereas a slight problem. Youare not allowed to keep your items untreated, but youare also not allowed to get in the line for the whole body reader until your items come in the x-ray. The line for the full body scanner was about 5 minutes long, and from the full body scanner line you couldnat begin to see the other side of the x-ray strip, where your possessions are. So I asked the representative aexcuse me, how am I supposed to be able to keep an eye on my possessions when I canat see them from here?a He gave me a blank look, mumbled somewhat, and explained, atheyall be wonderful, weall ensure other passengers donat feel them.a I responded with aitas not other passengers Iam involved about,a but that seemed to go over his head. Positive thing I wasnat transiting Heathrow, where the normal protection question is ahave you been in possession of your bags the entire time?a Anyway, once through security we turned left towards the region with the lounges and took the elevator up to the next level, where in actuality the Cathay Pacific bar is located. Lounges 2nd level bar area Cathay Pacific opened their new bar in Bay Area a little over last year, therefore I was curious what it was like. Last time I took this journey they used the British Airways bar, which was quite average. As soon as I discovered the lounge it felt like a universal Cathay Pacific lounge at among their outstations, which they be seemingly pretty in keeping with. Lounge exterior Upon entering the lounge we were welcomed and advised there would have been a boarding call for our trip. Near the entrance was a company center with a small number of Mac computers. Organization center As the lounge is a great size, it was packed. There clearly was hardly a clear seat, and thereas not just a separate first class section, therefore it really doesnat feel like all that premium of a bar. It fundamentally has four partitioned off seating parts, each with maybe a dozen seats, in addition to a bar area. Bar seating Bar seating Lounge sitting The bar area contains a few communal tables. Bar place There was a home assist buffet which was okay. It contained four hot recipes, salad, finger sandwiches, and packaged snacks. Buffet Buffet selection Warm possibilities Cold choices There was also a modest open bar. Bar is served by self Self assist bar As is rather common in Cathay Pacific lounges, there is also a made-to-order noodle station. If youare likely to eat in the lounge, thatas possibly the destination for a achieve this. Noodle station Noodle section menu I'd the wonton crackers, of really good since I hadnat enjoyed all night. Wonton noodles Itas worth noting the wifi in the bar was excruciatingly slow. I know the lounge was full and consumption was probably high, but I still think that is unacceptable in a brand new lounge in the usa. Attempting to check on the status of my chair change, I went to the door about 10 minutes before boarding was called, at around 11:20PM. Walking to gate Our starting entrance was A3, that is located down the escalator from the primary concourse. Escalator to departure door Whilst the flight was completely reserved, the gate area was surprisingly bare. Iam guessing everybody else was in the bar centered on how complete it was. Departure gate I headed up to the podium to see if they were able to change my chair, and before my sentence could be finished by me they handed me a brand new boarding pass for 1K. Great. At around 11:45PM boarding was called, starting with first and business class. 777 taking us to Hong Kong 777 taking us to Hong Kong

Sunday, May 5, 2013

California with kids a' A Great Place for Cheap Holidays!

Bring them to Florida, If you like to see your kids faces light up. Texas is packed full of activities for kids, all that's necessary to learn is which ones are the best. First end, Busch Gardens.A Located in Tampa, Florida it's a 335-acre adventure park. Busch Gardens, Tampa, Florida Here you'll find wild animals and even wilder rides.A From cheetahs and giraffes to tigers, lions and elephants, Busch Gardens has it all. Only your camera is forgotten by donat. If your children love films then Universal Studios in Orlando is a must.A A genuine behind-the-scenes look at the ingredients of films and television production, Universal Studios is a great day trip for the whole family.A Lots of flights, shows and sights make-up this fantastic park. No trip to Florida could be complete without a visit to Disney World.A It truly is a host to pleasure and magic, whether you are a young child or an adult. Disney fort in Florida Why don't you read the old classics like Space Mountain and Buzz Lightyearas Space Ranger Spin? Donat forget to view the march? It's a genuine manifestation of precisely what Disney provides. When the weather is hot and humid in Florida there is only 1 thing for it, Adventure Island.A 30 miles of water-splashing fun. AAdventure Island includes falls, trend pools, slides and water playgrounds to create a good day out for everyone.A The right method to cool down. Along side Disney World, another Florida favourite is SeaWorld a achance for you and your family to get up-close with a number of the most wonderful creatures of the sea.A Located in Orlando, Florida the shows will provide you with thoughts you will always remember. Therefore, if you are looking for the ideal place to take your children this summer, make sure Florida is top of one's record because it is definitely an ideal place for inexpensive all inclusive holidays.A You wonat be trapped for what to keep them entertained, thatas for sure.

More Info: Sweets of France

Teremok Maritime Lodge: Store, Must-Visit Accommodations in South Africaas Umhlanga Stones

Itas rare that individuals publish straight-up resort evaluations here on Vagabondish. But itas seldom that we find near-perfect accommodations possibly. And that's why South Africaas Teremok Marine Lodge is worth a note (itas clear that a lot of other travelers recognize). Iave been singing its praises to anybody and everybody else since my stay static in April. Itas maybe not the largest, priciest, most luxurious, or most luxurious. And luckily itas not attempting to be; instead it just gets anything right. aGoldilocksa accommodations, in the event that you can. (Prepare for effusive, elaborate terms of encouragement a) Guest Bar at Teremok Marine Resort, Umhlanga Stones, South Africa Based on a peaceful hillside ignoring Africaas Sugar Coast, its Russian namesake is taken by Teremok (literally meaning alittle hideawaya) very seriously. The owners consider it as a aluxurious five-star shop lodgea and I've to recognize a' itas intimate, yet spacious; magnificent, yet reassuring. Itas as if youare staying in a friendas home, the format allows for plenty of privacy. Whether meaning retiring to one of only seven visitor bedrooms or soothing fireplace with coffee and a book in any of their semi-private common areas. Iave never felt much more comfortable or at home in a hotel than used to do at Teremok. Every guest room is made with an original design, decor, feeling CD, and smell a every last bit carefully decided upon by the owners. (Seriously, what hotel cherry picks another aroma for every room?) If your budget allows, opt for a room on the upper level. The aDurban Viewa room, for instance, is roomy, decked out in a streamlined, modern, African-inspired theme with, among other things, polished concrete floors, leisure system, king-sized mattress with enough pillows to meet a, large, private balcony with beautiful views of the Indian Ocean, massive soak bath, and a stand-up bath nearly large enough to park a Mini Cooper. Teremok Marine Hotel, Umhlanga Rocks, South Africa A Paul Richard Which is fairly expected of a five-star house in these times. However the devil is in the important points a always. A hotel marketed as aupscalea rapidly loses its appeal when visitors find apparently little things a peeling paint in the toilet, overpriced wi-fi costs, foolish small bar charges, guest party calls that go unanswered, and etc. Not with Teremok. The three owners (Debbie Davidson and kids Tracy Gielink and Kim Davidson) proudly report that theyave no background in the hospitality industry, but all are enthusiastic tourists and have used both of these points with their advantage. Betty was quick to generally share that they opened the lodge with one particular problem in mind: aWhat would we wish in a hotel?a And therefore it is that all friends may also be offered: Yes a itas the small items that keep people happy. Enhance the long list of services an onsite massage a' a rather strange offering for this type of little house. But Kim claims that itas turn into a spot for residents in its right. And Iam perhaps not amazed. The spa was recently renovated this season with just two individually-themed treatment areas (Aqua and Orchid) both offering a relaxed, close experience inline with the hotelas ahideawaya namesake. Massage at Teremok Maritime Resort, South Africa The extensive menu supplies a number of massages, facials, natural clay human anatomy wraps, holistic treatments, and spa deals (for bachelorettes, severe makeovers, and all-day acocoona treatments). The resort generously presented me with their Teremok Signature massage a' a fantastic two-hour treatment, including straight back, throat & neck massage, leg and foot stress point massage, classic Dermalogica cosmetic, scalp massage a and a with coffee to sweeten the deal. Thereas also a retail space: a born to provide an outlet for a personal collection of things that arouse and encourage the three Davidson women, which ranges from clothing from manufacturers Leigh Schubert and Michelle Ludek, to LoveWaterLove costumes, Missibaba handbags, Swarvoski-studded crocodile cuff necklaces from Leather Rose, handmade sterling silver jewelry, and bottles of old fashioned desserts. Lighthouse, Umhlanga Rocks, South Africa Teremok can be found merely a short (5-10 minute) walk from just about everything in Umhlanga Rocks, including the Umhlanga Lighthouse, Oyster Box hotel, party, Umhlanga Rocks town and more. Get your camera + get among the hotelas free bikes to explore the town further, if youare feeling much more ambitious. The substantial beach here's stunning! Locations starting around R3,250 (around $350 USD by May, 2013). Check always current prices and plans. Even the pricing falls into the just-right aGoldilocksa range. Considering the long listing of features, excellent awareness of detail, sweeping ocean views, onsite club, excellent food, and extremely polite team, Teremok is one of my top five all-time favorite hotels, not just in Africa, nevertheless the world. Undoubtedly a must-visit. You may be enthusiastic about related articles tagged with: Accommodations, Review, South Africa Disclosure: Vagabondish received two free times at Teremok Marine Lodge before this evaluation. Vagabondish founding publisher, Mike Richard, is a Rhode Island local, professional web designer and journey junkie by having an unhealthy addiction to backpacking, hiking and seeing the planet. He likes small, declarative sentences, knit caps and talking in the third person. His professional loans include "Woman's World magazine contributor" and having once been surveyed by Tyra Banks (really). Name (required) Email (expected) Internet site What d'ya say?

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Friday, May 3, 2013

Of Young ones, Water, a, and Chicks a the Kili Centre Orphanage

Planning to Tanzania was not more or less climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro though that used the majority of my energy pre-trip (and, heck DURING the trip! ).A I had completed a in the Transylvanian Alps in Romania last summer with Trekking for Kids (TFK )A and I was so impressed, not only with the excellent logistics planning for the hike, but also with the truly amazing care with which the orphanage had been chosen and the jobs chosen.A So likely to Kilimanjaro was also about having another opportunity to help increase the lives of orphaned children via TFK.A Tanzania is far and carrying this out journey was a not-trivial usage of my time and money (though TFK is significantly cheaper than many outfits who organize Kili hikes ).A But I realized that my efforts would really create a distinction on these kidsa lives and that my hike would be safe and well-planned. I've written a couple of articles about the planning of my vacation and the rise itself (see links at the end of this post ).A So I wished to concentrate this post on the orphanage we worked with in Moshi:A the Kili Centre. I placed in LinkedIn that I was going to rise Kili and function with this orphanage as an ingredient of the fundraising all trekkers spend to do (increase a of $1,000 ).A One of my connections replied that she had been there and that the Centreas leader, Michael, was doing a great job with the orphanage and the kids.A Though I know TFK does a comprehensive job vetting orphanages, it was still great to hear this.A After finally meeting and hanging out with Michael in Moshi, I've to agree with the review my association had made.A He'd a vision for the orphanage and the tasks he had proposed were quite well thought through in terms of sustainability, impact to the kids and the potential of the orphanage, and power to show to the donors their money had been well spent. The Kili Centre rents its present location but it's not adequate anymore for the requirements of the orphanage or meeting its future plans to recognize more children.A Some of the changes that could make it more adequate may not be acceptable to the landlord so the Kili Centre needed to find, not merely a new location, but a spot where it could be owner of its site, so to speak. So Michael was able to raise funds to buy a lot (with a view of Kilimanjaro!!A though probably this is not hard in the region given its proximity to the mountain and the level of the mountain ).A But this lot sat empty and ran the risk to be absorbed by others.A In lots of places in Africa, having title to property isn't enough.A If people squat on it, or neighboring persons begin farming it, at some time one runs the risk of losing it.A In addition, I noticed you will find rules that a purchased lot should have something constructed on it in a certain quantity of or, otherwise, the government may take it back.A So here came an opportunity for the first and primary project financed by the trekkersa fundraiser and their generous donors:A developing a perimeter fence around the lot. Though not an instantaneous influence to the kidsa lives, it'll plainly help the young ones eventually have a new place that will better serve their needs.A As an example the current location of the orphanage does not have working water.A So water must be trucked in (at great cost due to the cost of the automobile and gasoline ).A In the new location, not only did the project develop the perimeter wall (and the gate/guardhouse) but it also connected the lot to the townas water system!! I was very excited to see the running water within my visit of the new site.A Water is essential to advance in less developed locations because it is important for good health.A Without good health, the education of the young ones suffers.A So having running water in their new location is a real progress in the total well being at the Kili Centre. Demonstrably, only having a wall and running water won't be enough to offer the Kili Centre its new home.A However, the evidence that different contributors found the Kili Centreas plan as reliable will help it in fundraising to own the wherewithal to construct the different components that will be needed. One of the Centreas actions that provide both a food supply and income is its chicken coop.A However, the Centre had been forced to sell its chickens in order to pay for the schooling of the children.A The chickens had been towards the end of their productive years so the decision to sell them for beef was a great one nevertheless, it established the chicken coop back.A So, some of the budget TFK had for projects went to get chicks to areplenisha the chicken coop and promise some income and food for the Centre. Yet another item on the project list was fixing the furniture in the kidsa rooms and getting them new beds with new bed addresses (to create them last longer) along with new blankets.A Their rooms appeared great! As alluded to, the Centre is focused on the children getting a good education.A (I wonder if the children of the Centre are far more aluckya than the children outside the orphanage given the attention paid to their reports by the Centreas staff. )A The Centre had a computer laboratory with understanding software but the PCs were ancient and they no further were likely to be good for promoting new/additional software.A TFKas funds supported the wholesale replacement of the computer lab! The focus on education does not end at school and academics.A The Centre had determined creating a sewing aprograma to train a potential income-earning skill to the women at the orphanage.A Once kids keep an orphanage, it's essential to have given them education and skills to make it in life in terms of livelihood.A So the Centre had offered TFK fund a room:A from setting up the electricity shops to the scissors and materials, and everything in between.A With the resources provided, used sewing machines were received, added up to par and installed in the new sewing room! While these aren't all the projects, I hope you can view why I was so happy that my attempts to fundraise and my ainvestmenta of my very own time and money were worth it.A But enough about the projects and to the good children of the Kili Centre!!! The first time we got to the Kili Centre, the kids were there waiting for us.A They as we arrived for the first of 4 days we'd spend together (2 before and 2 after climbing Kilimanjaro) surrounded our bus. That morning, they'd prepared a show for us.A You might tell they loved dancing and putting on a and, in us, they'd an audience attempting to see all they'd prepared.A The children who danced were definitely high power and not shy! Our time at the Centre was generally spent with the kids.A We'd brought presents for them (they're kids after all!) and it was lots of fun giving every one of them a backpack high in goodies and also distributing stuff like soccer balls, frisbees, and volleyballs.A Of course, we then got to use many of those things within an morning of only abeing.aA I labored along with two kids and another trekker on a tough jigsaw puzzle that, to this day, I hate lacking had time to finishing! One evening, we ate at the orphanage within a party where again the children danced and neighbors of the orphanage were asked to come.A I was so happy watching the kidsa manners.A They set up by section to go get the food, got everything back when they were performed, etc.A Just like I noticed in Romania, the children of this orphanage were very well trained by their staff.A The staff was very much involved with the kids and I do not recall any case of the staff only bossing the kids around.A All the proposal I noticed was warm and, at moments, playful.A It made me feel great this was the best orphanage to own spent myself in. One of the toughest times in these visits is saying goodbye.A You have developed, usually, a link with some of the young ones and you dislike to leave.A Unfortunately, the fourth day of being with the orphanage, I was bedridden with an unpleasant cold/infection that struck me after we came down from Kilimanjaro.A I had pushed myself on the next day to come along with the party but on the fourth day, I just slept all day.A So I missed saying my goodbyes and I'm saddened by that.A However, I know the children now have a better house and are set up for a level better one in the future thanks to presenting been part of this journey. To Michael and the staff at the Kili Centre:A thank you for the good job you do with the Centre and the kiddies. To TFK:A thanks for another good possibility to force myself (up a mountain) and to produce a clear huge difference in childrensa lives. To my contributors and supporters:A many thanks for your economic generosity and moral support to create this happen for the kids! To the Kili Centre kids:A keep studying hard, be good and stay cool! a'a'a'a'a'a'a'a'a'a'a'a'a'a'a'a'a'a'a'a'a'a'a'a'a'a'a'a'a'a'a'a'a'a'- -A Get yourself ready for the walk is significantly more than education and equipment -A The Machame Route:A our way up -A 7 things you'll not see me without when I rise Kili -A Day 1 of the hike (starting the climb!) -A Day 2 of the rise (dealing with Shira Camp) -A Day 3 of the rise (the Lava Tower and hail) -A Day 4 of the rise (Barranco Wall) -A Day 5 of the hike (addressing summit foundation camp, Barafu) -A Day 6 of the hike (the excursion to the peak a Uhuru Peak) -A Interview with other Kili climber and Ultimate Worldwide Explorer May third, 2013 Posted by Raul

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MilesQuest - Thank you for smoking

I recently took a from Nigeria to Kenya on Kenya Airways. Itas an I and older plane was amazed to see an actual ashtray to put your cigarettes in. You can find symptoms, of course, that say no smoking but nonetheless a little humorous. Tags: thanks for smokingPosted in Kenya Airways No Comments;

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Place Me to the Plane - American to Work Near-Hourly Shuttle Company on JFK-LAX

Lindsay Lohan could have an easier time actually making a flight from JFK-LAX the following time sheas needed to turn up in court, all because of AAas potential near-hourly shuttle service on their JFK-LAX way. According to a story in Bloomberg Businessweek, American is planning to start a shuttle service of forms from JFK to LAX a while in early 2014. AA programs to employ their new A321s on the path, changing the existing B767s and reducing the amount of seats per flight from 168 to 102. With the company, AA plans to boost their daily frequencies from the present 8-10 trips to several in the low-mid teens. Theyall also be upping their premium services on the path, providing a better business and first product and requiring instructor people to board via a separate boarding home to make certain privacy for premium guests. All three classes of individuals on the A321 are in for a much better knowledge compared to current B767s a American Previews Upgraded Fleet Plans & Interiors a Steps It Up. The new AA A321 solution characteristics fully lie-flat seats in first and company (all-aisle access out of every first Class seat) as well as Main Cabin Extra seating. Thereas a total of 20 fully flat business seats and 10 high grade seats. Placed by adam

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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

One Mile at any given time - Recapping three greater than normal bank card offers available today

It's been a rather dull year on the credit card front up to now, with not many new or promotional offers out there. Chase continues to possess some very nice offers, though itas also wherever weare most limited with regards to the amount of new cards we can sign up for. There are in regards to a dozen Chase cards Iad like to get, but Iam getting it sluggish since Chase isnat really an issuer with that you can consistently grab five new cards per year. That being said, there have at the very least been a couple of good non-Chase offers that Iave described recently, therefore I thought Iad summarize them, since theyare all recently increased or promotional and probable not around to stay: 1. The Business Enterprise Gold Benefits CardA from American Express OPEN This card typically doesnat include any sign-up bonus, though right now offers a bonus of 50,000 Membership Rewards details after spending $5,000 on the card within 90 days. Whilst the annual charge on the card is $175, itas waived for the first year. In the day Membership Rewards points used to be exceedingly easy to earn, although today the sign-up bonuses are consistently lower than they used to be, and there are also fewer approaches to earn them. And Iam really pricing Membership Rewards points more again given that theyare the easiest currency to make use of for reservations in Singapore Airlines Suites Class, which can be one of my favorite items on earth. Also keep in mind that Membership Rewards frequently has transfer bonuses for their partner programs. Like, today theyare supplying a 35% move reward to British Airways Executive Club, meaning 50,000 Membership Rewards factors gets you 67,500 British Airways Avios. 2. Barclaycard Introduction World MasterCard The sign-up reward with this card was recently increased to 40,000 factors after investing $1,000 within 90 days. The annual cost on the card is $89, although itas waived for the first year. cash straight back vacation rewards credit cards get this is about as good. You earn two points per dollar spent, and each stage can be used for starters dollar of value towards the expense of travel. Best of all you get hundreds of your miles back whenever you earn for travel, primarily causeing the a 2.2% cash back travel rewards card. If nothing else the sign-up benefit with this card will probably be worth $440 in vacation. I recently wrote a post wondering just how much of a prize you guys need certainly to make an application for a charge card. Our threshold is just a $400 prize, and that threshold is passed by this card. And quite seriously thatas pretty tough to complete continually nowadays for those of us which were in the overall game for a while. Lastly, keep in mind that numerous Barclay credit cards are churnable, and so I believe thatas also the case with this card. 3. Alaska Airlines Trademark Visa This card provides a 25,000 level sign-up reward upon acceptance, and an additional $100 record credit after paying $1,000 within 3 months. The card comes with an annual payment of $75, which isnat waived for the initial year. Still another good thing about the card is you will get a $99 coach companion certificate good for travel on Alaska. The card is also churnable, to help you make the sign-up bonus on this card numerous times. Alaska lovers with Emirates, therefore itas one of many few ways to redeem miles for an onboard shower. Anyway, just thought Iad recap these three bonuses that Iave recently included, as Iam finding at the least two of the three in a charge card turn later this week. (In the interest of full disclosure, a number of the above links make me a bonus, and all are for the very best available presents for each card a thanks for your support!)

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