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Re: Crown Heights master thread
Any Phomen or Allenbi reviews?
I really liked Phomen, although I have heard very mixed reviews from friends. I happen to love ramen and make it frequently, so am familiar with the Asian flavors. I think the reason people don't like is simply that the food, flavors and concept is very foreign to the kosher restaurant scene. The closest people have come to ramen is, as quoted, a tradition soup! Phomen is very different from your standard "Meat and two veg" restaurants. I highly recommend it, but go with an open mind.

June 07, 2018, 07:36:07 PM
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Not Everything Is Qantas First Class Welcome to my first trip report!

Introduction:

I was thinking about going to Melbourne to visit family and had heaps of points just burning a hole in my pockets, so why not shed some of that weight.

At the time I had an abundant of AA and UA miles so was looking for some good awards with those programs. Whilst I was still on the fence if I should go or not, I stumbled across a flight in QF F using AA miles! My mind was made up for me! I couldn’t let this pass so booked it on the spot. At the same time I was on united.com trying to find a good flight for the return. The day I was looking for had quite a bit of availability and ended up booking a flight via Asia.

My trip looked like this:

Outbound
72,500 AA miles + $24.20

Flight 1
JFK-LAX
American Airlines - AA117
First Class - A321

Flight 2
LAX-MEL
Qantas - QF94
First Class - A388

Return
80,000 UA miles + $81.80

Flight 1
MEL-BKK
Thai Airways - TG466
Business Class - B772

Flight 2
BKK-ICN
Thai Airways - TG658
Business Class - B773

Flight 3
ICN-JFK
Asiana Airlines - OZ222
Business Class - A388



Disclaimer:
This trip was taken about 2 years ago so some of the details may be a little outdated.

I am going to be publishing this report in 5 installments:

Introduction
AA First - JFK-LAX
QF First - LAX-MEL
TG Business - MEL-BKK and BKK-ICN
OZ Business - ICN-JFK

Thank you for reading, and any feedback welcome!

June 17, 2018, 09:35:38 PM
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Re: Not Everything Is Qantas First Class Part 3
 
Introduction
AA First - JFK-LAX
QF First - LAX-MEL
TG Business - MEL-BKK and BKK-ICN
OZ Business - ICN-JFK
 
Upon exiting the flight from New York, I made my way to the Tom Bradley International Terminal for my Qantas flight to Melbourne. I may be alone in this view; however, I think the Tom Bradley International Terminal is one of the nicest terminals in the USA – that I have been to.

Since I had a few hours before my flight I spent some time browsing Duty Free before heading to the Qantas First Class lounge. To put it simply: the lounge is gorgeous! The lounge itself is split up into many areas with plenty of seating in many different varieties (restaurant, bar, lounge, recliners, and casual seating).


Lounge View



Fruit and a Beer at the Bar


Long View of the Bar

Before leaving the lounge I had a shower which, to my disappointment, was not as nice as the rest of the lounge. Before too long it was time to board the A380 to Melbourne.

Flight #2
LAX-MEL
Qantas – QF94
First Class - A388
 
When I arrived at the gate there was already a large crowd and several gate lice floating around. Boarding commenced around 45 minutes prior to departure with First Class. The aircraft operating this flight was VH-OQH which was painted in their special “GO WALLABIES” livery.

This was my second time flying on an A380… All I can say is: “WOW!” What an airplane! When boarding this massive behemoth of an aircraft, with so much space and a grand staircase leading upstairs, it’s easy to forget you’re on an airplane!


The Whale at Sunset


A380


Entrance to the A380


Grand Staircase
 
I was greeted at the door by the flight attendant who’d be looking after me for most of the flight. She escorted me to my seat (2A) and showed me the workings of the suite. Qantas have 14 suites in their First Class cabin in a 1-1-1 layout. It’s worth noting that all F and K suites use the right aisle, while A suites have the entire left aisle with no other traffic.

The suite itself is very spacious with lots of storage space and gadgets. The seat is initially facing forward but swivels into a reverse-herringbone after take-off. The one downside is that there is not much legroom for take-off since you have the back of the suite in front right at your feet.


Cabin


Cabin


Suite


Suite


Ottoman and Screen


Seat

After settling in, the flight attendant came around and offered me pyjamas, amenity kit, headphones, a menu and a pre-departure drink. I asked for ginger ale in a champagne flute because... why not?!


Pyjamas


Amenity Kit


Vintage Dry (Ginger Ale)

Once boarding was completed, the safety video was played, we had a quick taxi and began our take off roll. It amazes me how a machine of this size and weigh can take off so effortlessly and quietly! It’s quiet enough to continue a conversation without having to raise your voices.

The one downside to the A380 is that the windows are very far from you, therefore making it difficult to look out the window. But there is nice Hi-Def tail camera.


Watching Take Off from the Tail Camera

As soon as we reached 10,000 feet the seatbelt sign was turned off (and remained off for the next 15 hours) and I changed into my pyjamas.

When I returned the flight attendant asked me if I wanted to eat or sleep first. I opted to eat as I was quite hungry. She set my table, bought me a glass of water and the meal. I opened it and it looks so gross that I didn't touch it and settled for a deli sandwich that I brought with me. The meat was as dry as the Sahara Desert and the rice was practically raw.

She felt so bad and was trying to find other food to give me, but I assured her I was used to the sub-par food already to care too much.


Mmmmm… Delicious! Let’s eat!


Uh, no!

After my delicious dinner of a day-old pastrami sandwich with mustard. I asked the flight attendant if she could make my bed as I was very tired at this point. She obliged and while my bed was being made I went upstairs to check out the lounge area. The lounge area is nice, but there is not much going on there. It is just 2 small couches, a screen showing our flight progress, a magazine rack and a self service bar.


On-Board Lounge


Cool Kangaroo Logo

I came back down to a very cozy looking bed. There is a sheepskin seat cover/mattress pad which makes the bed extremely comfortable! Aside from this, the seat is very wide and long, so there's plenty of wiggle room. I snuggled into bed, closed my eyes, and slept soundly for close to 7 hours!


Bed


Ooooo! Oh, so cozy!

When I awoke, there was still 6.5 hours left to the flight. I asked the lovely flight attendants for some fruit which was served right away.  After that I made myself busy for a few hours by watching some movies and touring the plane. Approximately 2 hours prior to landing breakfast was served. Breakfast looked more appetising and I partook. Surprisingly, it was semi-decent.


Fresh Fruit Plate

[
Breakfast


Breakfast


Breakfast


Main Course


Muesli


Cappuccino

Before long we were beginning our descent into Melbourne and this fantastic flight was sadly coming to an end. While the food situation was a real downer on what was otherwise a real “First Class” flight, the enthusiasm and attentiveness of the crew made up for it. While I’m not a fan of these long night flights to Australia, this was one of the first times I arrived feeling very refreshed! This was by far one of the most memorable flight's I've taken.


Touchdown in Melbourne!

Thank you for reading, and all feedback is welcome!

June 18, 2018, 08:46:30 PM
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Re: Not Everything Is Qantas First Class Part 5
 
Introduction
AA First - JFK-LAX
QF First - LAX-MEL
TG Business - MEL-BKK and BKK-ICN
OZ Business - ICN-JFK
 
Upon landing in Seoul, South Korea, I cleared transit security which was a breeze and headed to the Asiana Business Class Lounge. The lounge is massive and split in two, with both sides almost identical. In the time since the flight and writing this post, I seem to have lost most of my pictures of the lounge, so I’ll try to describe it as best I can from memory.
 
There was plenty of seating including: casual, lounge, table top, office cubicles and private massage chairs. As far as the kosher food situation, aside from a fresh make-your-own salad bar and fresh fruit, there was not much. There was some good coffee and other drinks. I stayed in the lounge for a bit and had a shower before heading to the gate for my final flight of this trip.
 

Grand Piano in the Bar
 

Big A380 Model (I Want One!)
 
Flight #5
ICN-JFK
Asiana Airlines – OZ222
Business Class – A388
 
Boarding commenced approximately 45 minutes prior to departure. There was no real order and everyone and all classes just boarded at once. It was quite chaotic, but I eventually made on board.
 
I boarded directly onto the upper-deck and was directed towards my seat (10A). The seats on this particular aircraft are staggered, full-flat seats. They are decently conformable and if you can snag a “true” window seat you’ll also have a ton of privacy. The reason for this is because the rows are staggered, the even rows in the forward cabin, and odd rows in the rear cabin are next the window with the console by the aisle. See below for pictures and the map from SeatGuru.


 



Seat map from SeatGuru






Legroom and Ottoman


Extra Window Storage on the Upper Deck



We pushed back on time and headed directly to the runway for take-off. Once we were airborne the crew commenced their service. The meals on this flight were provided by Hermolis, and were hand’s down the best of the entire trip! The main course was salmon with rice and steamed veg. The salmon was fresh and tasty. Not dried out.


Views on Take-Off


Lunch

I just want to point out at this point that for the entire duration of the 14 hours, there was a mechanical whine coming from, what sounded like, the door. It wasn’t loud, just continuous and whiny.

After lunch I settled down and watched a movie or 2 before going to explore the plane. As mentioned previously, the A380 is huge! And it’s quite nice to be able to go for a nice walk during the flight. At the front of the cabin there was a small lounge, not unlike the one on Qantas. There was a small 4 person couch, a self-service bar and big screen showing the moving map.


Lounge Area


Moving Map


Moving Map


I don’t recall what was provided as the snack from Hermolis, however, I did ask for a fresh fruit plate. The flight was long and about half way through I was so exhausted that I passed out and woke up an hour from landing. ONe thing of note is that the bathroom on the A380 is very big and spacious!


Fresh Fruit


Very Spacious Bathroom


Bathroom


Beautiful View

Thank you so much for reading my first trip report! Any and all feedback is welcome!

June 24, 2018, 07:34:01 PM
1
A Long Weekend in Mexico City and Puerto Vallarta Introduction
Delta SkyClub JFK
AeroMexico JFK-MEX
Hyatt Regency and Mexico City
MEX Airport and Volaris MEX-PVR
Puerto Vallarta
PVR Airport and Volaris PVR-MEX
Overnight in Mexico City Airport
AeroMexico MEX-JFK


Welcome to my next trip report covering AeroMexico Business Class, Volaris, Mexico City and Puerto Vallarta.

Back in March there were some great priced Business Class AeroMexico tickets to Mexico City, so my good friend and popular DDF contributor, @Yaalili, asked me if I wanted to go with him. After giving it some thought (about 60 seconds) I agreed, and we booked a round trip from JFK to MEX. The pictures in this review are a combination of both of ours, and the full review will be posted in 9 segments as outlined above.

There are 4 daily flights operated by AeroMexico between JFK and MEX, but only 1 is flown by a 787-9 which features reverse-herringbone in business class; whereas the other 3 are 737-800's with a basic business class (like a domestic business class). When booking, we ensured we booked the flights with the 789.

 

AeroMexico 787-9

Being we were going over the weekend, we were deciding where to spend shabbos. We could of course, have spent it in Mexico City, but what fun would that have been!? So, we looked at one of the coastal resort cities and narrowed our search down to: Cancun, Cabo and Puerto Vallarta. We eventually settled on Puerto Vallarta.

Flight's between Mexico City and Puerto Vallarta are not too expensive so we booked a round trip on the Mexican low cost carrier, Volaris.
 

Volaris A321 (Stock Image)
 
For accommodation, we booked the Hyatt Regency, Mexico City (using a Hyatt anniversary night) for the one night we were there, and an Airbnb for the 2 nights in Puerto Vallarta.

 

Hyatt Regency Mexico City
 

Airbnb Puerto Vallarta

In the end our itinerary looked like this:
 

Map

JFK-MEX
AeroMexico - AM409
Boeing 787-9

Hyatt Regency
Mexico City

MEX-PVR
Volaris - Y4784
Airbus A321

Airbnb
Puerto Vallarta

PVR-MEX
Volaris Y4787
Airbus A321

MEX-JFK
AeroMexico - AM408
Boeing 787-9

As always, any questions, comments and feedback are always welcome!

June 28, 2018, 11:14:31 AM
1
Re: A Long Weekend in Mexico City and Puerto Vallarta Part 3 - AeroMexico Buisness Class JFK-MEX

JFK-MEX
AeroMexico - AM409
Business Class - Boeing 787-9



AeroMexico 787-9

Boarding commenced with Business Class and we were soon on board the beautiful 787-9. We were greeted at the door and pointed left towards the forward business class cabin where our seats were located. The business class cabin takes up the entire space between doors 1 and 2, and there are a further 2 rows of business class behind door 2. The cabin looked clean and fresh and we made our way to seats 1 & 2A.

Waiting at our seats were headphones and a pillow and blanket. The seat is reverse-herringbone, meaning it faces away from the aisle which gives you some privacy. These seats are very comfortable and have ample storage for all your bits ‘n’ pieces. Upon settling down we were offered a glass of water or wine; we chose the former.







Cheap Headphones


Hand-held Controller and Charger


Cabin View


Welcome Drink

Once boarding was completed, the safety video was played and we taxied towards the runway for a beautiful, smooth take-off.


[more] Plane Spotting


The Beautiful Israeli Queen


Views of JFK on Take-Off


Views of JFK on Take-Off





As soon as the seatbelt sign was turned off, the crew commenced their in-flight service. Lunch started with a beverage service and then we were handed our mouthwateringly-delicious, never-changing, Borenstien business class lunch. The starter was the same unidentifiable fish covered in a smiley sauce on a bed of some coleslaw along with a chickpea and corn salad. For the main we were served - yes, you guessed it - chicken, potatoes and carrots! The dessert was a [stale] Reisman pastry.


Borenstein Starter


Main Dish


Chicken and Potatoes


Sprite


Iced Coffee

The lunch service was completed approximately one hour after take-off which left a nice 3.5-4 hours left to the flight. At this point we settled back and relaxed. Aside from a drinks service prior to landing, there was no more service (which is perfectly fine for such a flight). There was, however, a self-service bar between the 2 business class cabins. There was fruit and packaged snacks as well as sodas and a Nespresso machine which made espresso and cappuccino drinks.


Gorgeous Wing Flex on the 787-9


Gin and Tonic

Before long we were commencing our decent into Mexico City! We had a smooth touchdown and after a 20 minute wait in the immigration line, we were on our way to the hotel.

As always, any questions, comments and feedback are always welcome!

July 01, 2018, 09:38:10 AM
1
Re: Pictures taken from or on the plane/airports (only taken yourself) When you have an entire A380 to yourself










July 01, 2018, 02:36:49 PM
1
Re: KSML (Kosher Airline Meals) Master Thread I'm very new to the DDF's and in the few posts I’ve shared, I've been very critical about the kosher airplane food scene. So, being a person who likes to fix things instead of just complaining about them, I re-designed the KSML. Alas, it was a one-time production run and only a handful of “passengers” received this, since this was done for Purim 2018. Nonetheless, I still feel it belongs here!

Each airline was personalized to the person to whom it was given, and included a “Boarding pass” and “First Class Menu”.

The actual meal was as follows:

Starter:
Mixed Marinated Olives
Bread Roll with Cream Cheese and Jelly

Main:
Cheese Blintzes with Sour Cream and Blueberry Jelly

Dessert:
Strawberry Shortcake
Mixed Berries
Chocolate

Beverages:
Orange Juice
Wine

Thoughts?









July 02, 2018, 10:53:03 AM
3
Re: KSML (Kosher Airline Meals) Master Thread
Very cute. If only...
Wow next level KSML!
Cute ! #avgeek

Thank you!

July 02, 2018, 11:54:26 AM
1
Re: KSML (Kosher Airline Meals) Master Thread
can you do it for $2.50?

 ;D

July 02, 2018, 11:56:41 AM
1