Cathay Pacific “The Wing” Lounge and HK Express Hong Kong to Chiang Mai

IntroductionAmerican Airlines First Class Greensboro to Charlotte to New York and a Day in NYCCathay Pacific Business Class New York (JFK) to Hong KongCathay Pacific Arrivals Lounge and 12 Hours in Hong KongCathay Pacific “The Wing” Lounge and HK Express Hong Kong to Chiang Mai Le Meridien Chiang Mai and Exploring Chiang Mai (Part 1) Exploring Chiang Mai (Part 2) and Dusit Princess Chiang Mai Hotel Thai Airways Bangkok to Delhi and Radisson Blu Connaught Place New Delhi Exploring Delhi (Part 1) India Rail Delhi to Agra Exploring Agra and the Taj Mahal and Radisson Blu Agra Taj East Gate Continue reading Cathay Pacific “The Wing” Lounge and HK Express Hong Kong to Chiang Mai

Cathay Pacific Arrivals Lounge and 12 Hours in Hong Kong

Our 8072 mile, 15 hour flight from New York to Hong Kong landed at about 4:35 am, which sounds insanely early, but we had already been up for about 4-5 hours for breakfast (and given that the flight left around midnight, after 10 hours, we couldn’t really sleep anymore!) so it felt like mid-morning at that point. We made our way through Customs and Immigration, which was a breeze since we were one of the first flights to arrive that morning, and soon found ourselves in baggage claim. It took us a few minutes to find the aptly-named “The Arrival” lounge, but we were there by about 4:55. Continue reading Cathay Pacific Arrivals Lounge and 12 Hours in Hong Kong

Cathay Pacific Business Class New York (JFK) to Hong Kong

IntroductionAmerican Airlines First Class Greensboro to Charlotte to New York and a Day in NYC Cathay Pacific Business Class New York (JFK) to Hong KongCathay Pacific Arrivals Lounge and 12 Hours in Hong KongCathay Pacific “The Wing” Lounge and HK Express Hong Kong to Chiang Mai Le Meridien Chiang Mai and Exploring Chiang Mai (Part 1) Exploring Chiang Mai (Part 2) and Dusit Princess Chiang Mai Hotel Thai Airways Bangkok to Delhi and Radisson Blu Connaught Place New Delhi Exploring Delhi (Part 1) India Rail Delhi to Agra Exploring Agra and the Taj Mahal and Radisson Blu Agra Taj East Continue reading Cathay Pacific Business Class New York (JFK) to Hong Kong

American Airlines First Class Greensboro to Charlotte to New York and a Day in NYC

I always question myself when I book these painfully early flights, but in this case, we were starting our trip, flying from Greensboro to New York on Saturday, November 21, which was the Saturday before Thanksgiving. As a result, finding award availability was a bit tricky, so our only real option was to leave super early in the morning. The good news was, we would be in NYC by about 9:30 am, so we would have the full day in the city.

We were mostly packed the night before, and soon headed out the door in the dark.

We pulled into the Greensboro airport around 4:40 am, and had already checked in online. The American check in counter was actually bit busy, since American has several departures before 6:00 am (yes, this is busy for Greensboro).

We headed straight to security, where we were the only passengers in the Pre-Check line. I’m thrilled everytime I fly out of Greensboro, since I haven’t found a time yet that they don’t offer full Pre-Check, unlike many major airports (I’m looking at you Philadelphia and Newark, among others) where they only offer Pre-Check screening at certain hours. In any event, we were through security and at Gate 44 in no time, with about 10 minutes before boarding started. Continue reading American Airlines First Class Greensboro to Charlotte to New York and a Day in NYC

An Amazing Asian Adventure: Introduction

I had been eyeing a trip to Asia for a little while, since we had most recently done trips to Europe, South America, and the Caribbean. Both the Mrs. Guru and I had a relatively sizable number of frequent flyer miles with American Airlines, and as of now, American has, by far, the cheapest award prices to Asia. For comparison, a One Way Business Class ticket from North America to anywhere in Asia currently only costs 55,000 miles using American miles, but United and Delta both charge 80,000 miles. I knew that eventually, American would be raising their prices, which they just announced a few weeks ago, so it was the perfect time to book this trip while their prices were still way below the competition.

I also had read a lot about Etihad Airways (based in Abu Dhabi, UAE), since they have a First Class that is head and shoulders above any seat on any other airline today. Their First Class on the Airbus A380 isn’t just a seat; they call it an Apartment – and for good reason! Inside your Apartment, you have a huge seat, along with a separate 80” long sofa that folds down into a bed. Here’s a sneak peak of what the First Apartment looks like: Continue reading An Amazing Asian Adventure: Introduction

An Update on Updates

Happy Holidays to everyone – it’s been a while since I’ve had a chance to post an update, but in the mean time, we’ve taken a number of exciting trips.  You may have seen a few recent posts on Twitter or Facebook about the trip we just took to Hong Kong, Thailand, and India, which was a fantastic time.  We also had a great time down in South America, and I never finished our trip to Greece, so I have plenty to catch up on.  I’m planning to cover our Asia trip first, since that’s the freshest in my mind. Continue reading An Update on Updates

Exploring Santorini (Part 3) and Aegean Airlines Santorini to Athens

Kamari Beach, Santorini

Our final day in Santorini gave us the opportunity to explore a bit more of the island. We had the most delicious dinner of the trip up on the northern tip of the island in Oia, and took a sunset dinner cruise around the southern tip into the central caldera, but there are several other towns worth exploring. On the southeast corner of the island are 2 black sand beach towns, Perissa and Kamari. We decided to spend a day out in Kamari, which involved another challenging bus episode.

We did make it on the Kamari bus, which was about a 25 minute ride from Fira town. The bus pulled in just a block or two from the beach, which is lined with dozens of shops and restaurants. We decided to walk down the main street, running parallel to the beach, which had some shade, but it was a bit off-putting that every 10 steps, as the next set of tables was part of a new restaurant, we were loudly offered to “Come! Have a seat! Delicious food!” Continue reading Exploring Santorini (Part 3) and Aegean Airlines Santorini to Athens

Exploring Santorini (Part 2)

Sunset Dinner Cruise - Santorini

On our second full day in Santorini, we had booked a sunset dinner catamaran cruise, which was definitely the highlight of the trip. In the morning, we had breakfast again at our hotel, and then planned to head up to a small town just north of Fira called Imerovigli. Our hotel was well situated for getting into Fira (also sometimes spelled Thira or Thera), the main town on the island, but the island is about 15-20 miles from north to south, so getting to other towns (such as Oia, where we had dinner the night before, or the beach towns of Perissa and Kamari) definitely requires a vehicle. There are some cars available to rent on the island, but they tend to be on the expensive side ($40-50+ per day). Another popular option for getting around is by renting an ATV, which are somewhat cheaper (about $30 per day) or small mopeds (about $25 per day). Continue reading Exploring Santorini (Part 2)

Anamnesis City Spa Hotel and Exploring Santorini (Part 1)

Floga Santorini - Shrimp Caldera and Stuffed Calamari

On Monday evening, we flew from Athens to Santorini, a quick 30 minute flight on Aegean Airlines. As I’ve mentioned a few times, Aegean Airlines seems to run a pretty poor operation – delays aren’t posted timely, leading to chaotic boarding, without any sort of order or priority boarding for passengers who have paid extra for Business Class or have earned the benefits through being a frequent traveler. In the end, we arrived safely, which is obviously the most important factor, but I certainly would choose another airline over them if possible. The Santorini airport is small, so it didn’t take long to make it through to baggage claim, where there were dozens of drivers holding signs for arriving passengers. Continue reading Anamnesis City Spa Hotel and Exploring Santorini (Part 1)

Athens Airport Lounges and Aegean Airlines Athens to Santorini

Aegean Airlines Lounge Athens

We made it to the Athens Airport around 6:45 pm after spending 2 days exploring Athens. Our flight from Athens to Santorini was scheduled to leave at 9:35 pm, but since we had checked out of our hotel earlier that morning, we were ready to be on our way to Santorini.

Check in was a bit crazy, but the Business Class line only had a handful of people in front of us. After we checked in, we passed through a checkpoint where we simply had to show our boarding pass and passports, but we wouldn’t pass through formal security until heading to the actual gate. Once we made it through the first checkpoint, we headed down the long hallway towards the end of the B terminal where the Aegean and Lufthansa Lounges are located next to each other. We decided to check out the Aegean lounge first, which is a bit larger than the Lufthansa lounge: Continue reading Athens Airport Lounges and Aegean Airlines Athens to Santorini