A trip to the Etihad Airways First Class Lounge in Abu Dhabi was the warm-up to the main event: flying the Etihad First Apartment from Abu Dhabi to Melbourne. It was essentially the only reason we had chosen to route from the US to Australia via the Middle East. And a visit to the brand new lounge was nearly as exciting as flying the A380 since our trip was just about 3 weeks after the May 30th grand opening–talk about timing!
As a result, we were purposely very, VERY early arriving at the airport for as much lounge-time as possible before heading to our gate. We checked in quickly and were welcomed into the lounge which is located immediately after going through [...]
So we’ve covered a few other “Top Lists”, including:Top 7: Longest domestic US flights Top 10: Longest Domestic Flights in the World Top 12: Longest Non-Stop Delta Flights in the World Top 15: Longest Fifth Freedom Flights in the World Top 16 Longest Emirates Fifth Freedom Routes: Coming to a City Near You Top 14: Longest United Airlines Flights In the World
…but what about the longest non-stop flights in the world? Airplane manufacturers are always pushing the envelope trying to design planes that fly faster, farther and more efficiently. So far, the plane that has held the record is an Airbus A340-500 with a range of 9,000 nautical miles (10,357 [...]
Vietnam Airlines Flight # VN 602 Bangkok-BKK to Ho Chi Minh-SGN Dept: 7:35 pm Arr: 9:05 pm Duration: 1 hr 30 min 445 miles (716 km) Airbus A321 Economy Class: Seats 36E and 36G
Here’s a map of our route:BOOKING
We booked our flight as part of a multi-city itinerary that included the following flights:ANA Flight NH1011 – Chicago-ORD to Tokyo-NRT – B777-300ER ANA Flight NH 913 – Tokyo-NRT to Yangon-RGN – B767-300
It was a bit bizarre that we were flying Vietnam Airlines to begin with as we booked our ticket via United Airlines, a Star Alliance [...]
Singapore Airlines Flight # SQ 953 Jakarta-CGK to Singapore-SIN Dept: 8:25 am Arr: 11:00 am Duration: 1 hr 35 min 546 miles (879 km) Boeing 777-200 First Class: Seats 1E and 1F
Our trip continued with an early morning departure from the Keraton at The Plaza Hotel in Jakarta to the Soekarno–Hatta International Airport. The departure time was 8:25 am so we found ourselves up and out of the door at a dreadfully early hour. The good news is that we were in the car on the way out by 5:15 am and made it to the airport in record time since there was no traffic!
After a quick but fun and action-packed 48 Hours in Bangkok, it was time to head to our next destination: Vietnam.
We were booked on Vietnam Airlines flight VN 602 from Bangkok-BKK to Ho Chi Minh-SGN out of Gate F3 and decided we had a bit of time to try out one of Bangkok’s Priority Pass Lounges: Louis’ Tavern CIP Business Class Lounge – Bangkok-BKK Concourse G.
First off, Louis’ Tavern has a total of 6 lounges at Bangkok-BKK airport, all of which are accessible with a Priority Pass membership. Here’s a map of all of their offerings:
After checking in for our flight at Jakarta’s Soekarno–Hatta International Airport on Singapore Airlines, we headed through security and off to the lounge.
There are 3 options all in the same area: Pura Indah, Executive and Esplanade. The designated Singapore Airlines lounge for First and Business Class passengers was the Esplanade Lounge, so that’s where we headed.
Additionally, this lounge appears to the be the only lounge that is exclusively for Singapore Airlines premium cabin passengers. There didn’t appear to be any other way to enter, i.e. no other airlines use the lounge and it’s not possible to purchase [...]
The Park Hyatt Dubai is a Hyatt Category 5 property, meaning award nights will cost you 20,000 points or 10,000 + $125. Booking with points didn’t make much sense, though, as we were able to book a special 3-night minimum Ramadan rate of about ~$150 US/night + tax. Best of all, when booking with cash or Points + Cash, you can apply a Diamond Suite Upgrade which will land you in a suite and get you access to the minibar for free. More on that later.CHECK-IN
We arrived at the Park Hyatt Dubai around 9:30 pm on a Thursday night during Ramadan after a very long travel day from the US (see Etihad B787 [...]
After leaving Istanbul, we headed to Göreme, in the Cappadocia region of central Turkey. The Cappadocia area is known for its unique geography and rich history. Our main reason for visiting the area was to see the famous caves and “fairy chimneys” and take a world-famous hot air balloon ride.
Trying to cram a lot into a small amount of time, our first 24 hours in Göreme involved lots of activities with little sleep: we got to the hotel (which was partly built into the volcanic rock) around 8pm, dropped our stuff, and headed to dinner at this cool restaurant we found within walking distance, Topdeck Cave Restaurant.
First off, here’s the video we shot with my drone that I impulsively bought at the Apple Store in Greenville earlier today. It shows the Harleston Village around Beaufain, Smith, Rutledge, Coming etc…
All of the pictures were shot around 5-6pm on Saturday 10/8.
As part of our quest to fly on Etihad’s A380 in their “First Apartment” from Abu Dhabi-AUH to Melbourne-MEL, we had to find a way to position to AUH for the flight over. We decided it would be fun to spend some time in the UAE (we quickly regretted this decision as soon as we stepped into the desert in 117°F heat) and found award availability from Washington-IAD direct to Abu Dhabi-AUH. Best of all, it was operated by one of their new 787s and featured their “Business Studio” class of service.
Here’s a map of our route for the 13 hr 10 min flight that covers a distance of 7,088 miles (11,407 [...]