3 ticket, 6 fights, and 56 hours…

In order to get a good deal on tickets, I’m willing to fly a bit out of the way; okay a lot out of the way.  My flight home from Sweden was not only long, but ended up being longer than anticipated.

The journey started out decently.  I found a cheap flight to Istanbul on AtlasGlobal which arrived late on the Saturday night, with plenty of time to make my connection.  Since these were two separate tickets I wanted to allow for a lot of time in case something went wrong; luckily, it didn’t.  AtlasGlobal is a discount carrier based in Turkey, but they are much better than any other “discount” airline I’ve flown, such as EasyJet or Ryan Air.  The flight from Stockholm to Istanbul was on time, and fairly pleasant.  With free food, free drinks, and a row to myself, it was a lot better than many flights in North America.  I will say that someone was allowing their children to run up and down the aisle, jumping on seats.  Some people just have no clue.  I was close to saying something, but then the drink cart came by and blocked them in the back of the plane for a while… and the wine also helped. Continue reading

Musings from 36,000 ft

Sometimes there are moments when you travel when stuff just hits you. Running back and forth to another continent for a weekend is fun, but it can also be stressful. I’m not sure why, but on my recent flight back from London, I had one of those experiences. And I wrote about it it the moment
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It’s been a roller-coaster weekend when it comes to my emotions, but I have to say the capper is happening right now. I’m currently speeding 36,000ft above the earth at over 900 km/h over the coast of Greenland. Most would say this is an odd place to have a “moment,” and generally I’d agree. I’ve flown over this spot likely tens if not a hundred times, but this is the first time it’s had an impact. Continue reading

A quick update from my travels

I’ve been having a wonderful time in Stockholm visiting my friends and even had a chance to jump over to Helsinki for the day on the infamous “Party Ferry”.  While the trip over was relatively painless (except for the pure number of stopovers), the trip home is a different story.  I left my friends around noon, which is 3am in Vancouver on Saturday morning.  I will not arrive home until just around midnight on Sunday evening.  Almost 48 hours of travel.

Now don’t feel too bad for me, all flights -except the first leg on a discount carrier – are in business class.  Plus I have the recent addition of my Priority Pass (which I’m currently using to relax in the lounge in Stockholm) so I doubt it will be too hectic.  Unless some of the storms hitting the Pacific Northwest affect my flights.  But that’s a whole other issue.  So for now I will just sit back, relax, and enjoy my 45 hour journey home.

view from the plane window

Stockholm for a Whole Week!

So I’ve got another crazy trip coming up! If you’ve known me for any amount of time, you would not find this shocking. The surprising part is that I’m actually spending a whole 6 days in Stockholm! The crazy part is just they way I get there. I never spend that much time in one place, so it should be fun! I’m going to visit a friend who just bought a house there (although I really don’t need a reason to visit) and I managed to get a fantastic deal on airfare!

It’s a bit convoluted…My routing is as follows:

  • YVR-SEA-SFO on Alaska
  • SFO-AMS-ARN on KLM
  • ARN-IST on Atlas Global
  • IST-CDG on Air France
  • CDG-SEA-SFO on Delta
  • SFO-SEA-YVR on Alaska

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From one corner to the other…

Of the United States that is.  Okay, so technically it’s not quite true since I actually flew from Vancouver, but we’ll just go with it.

One of the things I’ve always found a bit funny/strange is that most of the time it can take longer to travel within North America than it does to travel to Europe.  There are very few direct flights from the Pacific Northwest to Florida and exactly zero from Vancouver, so you’ve always got to stop somewhere.  I had a pretty direct route this time, YVR-DFW-TPA.  One stop only!  This was key since I tend to have really bad travel luck and had to get there by 4pm Friday.

The good thing about travelling west to east is that usually you can catch a redeye flight.  The bad news is usually you have to catch a red-eye flight.  I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with domestic (North America) red-eyes in that they’re rarely long enough to get a good chunk of sleep, even if you can manage to grab a nap, but you also don’t lose a full day travelling and waste a day of vacation.  The flight to Dallas left just after 11pm and was 4 hours long… Just enough time close your eyes and get comfortable(ish) before you’re starting your decent. But I had a limited schedule and not a whole lot of extra time to waste, so the red-eye it was. Continue reading

Trip Report: Lufthansa SEA-FRA Business

After landing at Seatac airport I had about 4 hours to kill so I decided to visit both the United Club in the main terminal and The Club at the south terminal.  The United Club was almost empty as there were not many united flights leaving around the time I arrived.  It’s a petty small lounge but it’s got a nice seating area, a limited bar and food area, coffee maker, newspapers and magazines… Pretty much everything you’d expect in a United Club lounge.  I had a drink and settled into a chair to charge my phone and hop on the wifi.  Though the airport has free wifi, I find that typically lounge wifi will be faster and has much longer time limits, if any, before you have to reconnect.

After a few hours relaxing in the quiet lounge, I moved over to the south satellite terminal, hoping on the train for the quick trip to the gates.  Upon making my way to the gate area I headed over to The Club lounge to wait for my flight to board.  This lounge was much busier, but I managed to find an empty seat and settled in to wait.  This lounge had a larger selection of food, and more drinks options, including mixed drinks which they would make for you and bring to you at your seat.  I grabbed a few snacks and a drink or two while I was waiting.  The lounge had large windows looking out onto the Tarmac and if you grab a bar seat by the window, you can watch the dance of planes. Continue reading

Trip Report: Istanbul and Dubai, Fall 2015

As I mentioned, I’m going to go over a few older trips while I’ve got a bit of down time… First up is my trip to Istanbul and Dubai in October of last year. I’ll be posting this in a few parts.

  • Introduction and planning
  • Air Canada YVR-SEA Economy
  • Lufthansa SEA-FRA Business
  • Lufthansa FRA-FCO Business
  • A day in Rome
  • Turkish Airlines FCO-IST Business
  • Istanbul not Constantinople
  • Emirates IST-DXB Economy
  • Dubai, city of concrete and sand
  • Turkish Airlines DXB-IST Business
  • Turkish Airlines IST-lAX Business
  • Air Canada LAX-YVR Business

Introduction and Planning

The impetus for this trip was getting rid of my Aeroplan points as I was not flying Air Canada enough to accumulate very many and it was likely that I would lose my status after that year.  When looking at redemption options I had more than enough for a round trip business class ticket to Europe but not enough to get all the way to Dubai to visit my friend 😦  But with a little creative thinking I did have enough points to get a one way trip for each!  I would just need to buy a short hop between Dubai and Eastern Europe (wherever I ended up going).   After looking through the Europe 2 options, I decided that Turkey would be a great place to go because it was on my “list” and it was fairly close to Dubai (as far as Europe goes).

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Airline + Sale = new trip!

Okay, so I might have done a bit of a bad thing. I bought another airline ticket.  I know this doesn’t seem bad, and it was a really good deal, so I should have just gone for it, right?  Well I did.

If you’re thinking of heading over to Europe in the fall, there are some great business class deals!  Most of them seem to be on KLM/Delta/Air France and are about $1500-$1700 CAD round trip, which is an AMAZING deal for business class.  It usually costs just that much to do a last minute upgrade both ways.  So I’m heading to Stockholm to see my friend’s new house! and perhaps meet up with some other peeps along the way.

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Anything that goes as planned is boring.

First adventure of the blog!

We are a starting out small for this one… A quick trip down to California for the long weekend. Hmmmm should be a nice easy trip…

Things started out alright: minimal long weekend traffic, no line at the border (yay nexus, although the regular line was only 20 min), quick trip to Bellingham…. Only to find out my first flight was delayed, making it basically impossible to make the earlier flight to SFO as I had planned (the connection was too tight to make an official booking, but I was hoping I’d make it). It was okay as I had been upgraded on the flight down to San Fran. I killed some time in Bellingham before heading to the airport.

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