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Topics - Hudi

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Goods For Sale/Trade / Delta Companion Certificate for Sale
« on: May 16, 2018, 08:42:31 PM »
Expires in July asking for $95

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So I'm way overdue in doing this, so I'll get right to it. I've been to Koh Samui, Chiang Mai, and Hong Kong two years ago and just last week got back from Phuket (with another stopover in HKG.)

2014 - Itinerary 1: YYZ - TPE - HKG (EVA Air J) 3 days in Hong Kong at the W. HKG - USM (Bangkok Airways J) 4 days at the Conrad Koh Samui. USM - CNX (Bangkok Airways Y) 5 days at the LM Chiang Mai. CNX - BKK - CDG (Thai Airways J) CDG - MUC - CLT (LH J)

Cost: 120k United Pre deval. W Hotel: 16,000 points/night with 35% off voucher for re-earning platinum status. And the kicker 37.5k/Night Hilton Points at the Conrad Koh Samui, Booked pre deval.

2016 - Itinerary 2: EWR - HKG (CX J) 27 hours in Hong Kong at the Regal Airport. HKG - HKT (KA J) 5 nights at the Naka Island HKT - HKG (KA J) HKG - JFK (CX J)

Cost: 110 AA Miles pre deval, I somehow convinced an agent to let me stay for more than 24 hours in Hong Kong on a stopover.  Regal Airport Hotel was $32 USD (Price Mistake) and the Naka was $146/night after claiming an SPG BRG. Totally not worth it to use points here as it will run you 30k+ points/night. 

I'll let the comparisons begin...
Part I: EVA Air Royal Laurel vs. Cathay Pacific Business.

EVA Royal Laurel:
The lounge in YYZ was quite underwhelming as it was the Plaza Premium Lounge but the boarding process was efficient and pretty awesome. As it was our first trip to Asia, and we were the only Caucasian people on the flight, we felt like we were headed off to an exotic world. Royal Laurel (Business) is the highest class on EVA so you have their full, undivided attention, it may also have been because the business class cabin was nearly empty.  Either way, I'll take it. One of the best long haul flights I've ever been on. Quiet cabin, superb, attentive service but not too in your face. Oh, and the flight attendants practically knelt before us when they speak to us. Must be a Taiwanese thing. EVA's amenity kits, especially the case they come in, are pretty awesome. The contents are all standard but the presentation is what takes the cake. The KSML was really nothing to write home about. Typical, tiny tray, barely edible etc.

The only negative of the flight (compared to Cathay) is that the Captain did not make ANY announcements.  Not before, during or at the end of the flight. All the announcements were made by the flight attendants. IDK why I cared but I just found it a bit weird.


Plaza Premium Lounge YYZ.

EVA Air Royal Laurel

EVA Air Royal Laurel

Cocktail menu

Amenity Kit (this is actually not my pic because mine didn't do it justice.)

Same disclaimer as above.

IDK why but I thought this was cool.


We arrived in Taipei at 4:30am to a stunning airport. I honestly don't remember if we went through Passport Control but I do remember searching for the EVA Lounge. After stretches of empty pristine hallways and passing a plethora of closed shops we found it. It was well worth it, as you can see below. The shower was the cleanest bathroom/shower I've ever been in. Having made the mistake of reserving a shower at AAdmirals Lounge in JFK on my way back, I can really appreciate what we had in Taipei.


EVA Lounge Taipei


EVA Lounge Taipei






Shower room


Shower room


Breakfast room


Breakfast room

The two hour flight from TPE - HKG was in a 747, we were seated upstairs in EVA's old business class layout (Sorry no pics.) Still very comfortable for a two hour flight in another empty cabin. The best part was that the Hermolis breakfast we got on this 2 hour flight was more (edible) food than the entire 15 hour flight from YYZ - TPE. I'll post pics in the KSML thread when I get a chance.

Cathay Pacific Business EWR - HKG

We got access to the BA Galleries lounge. It was quite nice and airy with lots of space. The only downside is that the entrance to the lounge is right next to the Virgin Clubhouse... Need I say more :) One pet peeve I have about European & Asian lounges is that they don't have disposable cups for tea or coffee.

The flight was great! For some reason they weren't letting flights to Asia  fly over the North Pole, so we were told to buckle in for the 16.5 hour flight over the Pacific. The service was impeccable, the IFE was endless and sleep was restful. One reason I chose this route was because the 777 we flew didn't have a First Class so it would be a good comparison to EVA. Cathay gets a lot of well deserved attention but its seats are already showing some wear and tear.

When arriving in Hong Kong at 6am we looked for the Arrival Lounge because we had some time before we could check into our Hotel. After finding it though we were quite disappointed. It was small and crowded and don't even think about waiting around for a shower. To be fair though, the morning hours are known to be overcrowded at the arrivals lounge.


Cathay Business

Legroom


Next up: Part II - Hong Kong + Dragon Air Business vs. Bangkok Air Business.

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Fly with us on our new nonstop flight SK951 & SK952 between Stavanger - Houston and become a Gold or Diamond member fast.
A) fly one round-trip You become a Gold member. 
B) fly two round-trips You become a Diamond member.

http://www.flysas.com/texas

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Deals/Deal Requests / Homeowners Insurance
« on: August 13, 2013, 10:01:06 AM »
I live outside of the tri state area. Are there any miles/points bonuses available for getting a new homeowners insurance policy?

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Up In The Air / 25% off JetBlue Award Redemption
« on: August 13, 2013, 09:51:42 AM »
http://www.jetblue.com/deals/fallredemption/

Book by 8/14 for travel between 9/3 and 11/14. Can't be less then 5k

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Webroot SecureAnywhere Complete 2013 - 5 Devices. Normally $79 Link

It's rated pretty high by PC Mag

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Selling a 4 night stay at the Conrad NY. Mon - Friday June 10 -14 at $225/night.

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On The Road / Marriott Stay 2 get 1
« on: May 05, 2013, 02:16:48 AM »
http://www.marriott.com/rewards/promotion.mi?promotion=MY13

To earn your free nights:
Register by July 31, 2013
Stay twice at any participating hotel between May 15 and September 2, 2013
Earn one free night after each second paid stay, up to two free nights
Enjoy your free nights at any category 1-5 hotel worldwide

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So I just found out that Delta GMs are charged $150 to redeposit an award ticket. I HUCA several times already at the Medallion desk no avail. Anyone ever have luck with this?

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Trip Reports / Venice, Milan & Zurich TR
« on: July 25, 2012, 07:20:09 PM »
Just completed a Europe trip. here goes:

Flew LH J from IAD - FRA on the new 747-8. We checked in at the Lufthansa Senators lounge, they hav  separate lounges for first and business. My Turkish airlines gold card got us into the FC lounge even though we were flying biz.

We sat upstairs. Very comfortable new seats in LH new business class, great storage space by the window seats. Downside is that the leg rest space is tiny. IFE was great with plenty of selections for a 7 hour flight. KSML meals (Borensteins) were awful. Service was pretty good though, other then the fact that there are 94 ppl in business class which makes you kind of feel "unspecial." In general I prefer delta's new business elite or US Airways's new Envoy to LH J.

Connected to our intra Europe flight FRA to Venice. Although business class seats are a joke, service was actually pretty good for a domestic flight.

Venice
Stayed 3 nights at the Westin, was upgraded to a canal view suite as a SPG plat. Had an awesome time in Venice. A couple tips for visiting in July: It's HOT, so the best time to explore Venice itself is in the early morning hours before it gets hot. Or the late afternoon. We preferred morning as it is a lot less crowded. If you go past the tourist sites like to the Rialto market you'll catch the locals waking up for work and setting up shop. A great midday trip would be marano and barano which is a lot less crowded and quite an experience.

For public transportation you can buy a 3 day unlimited pass for 19 euro if you're under 29 (they didn't check our ID though.) Easiest way to GamGam from the westin is to take the no. 2 waterbus from San Marco to the Train Sation and from there its a 5 min walk. 

Also if you're not planning on staying for Shabbos, the Hilton is a good option as it's even closer to Jewish Ghetto via water bus then the Westin and it's a nice retreat after a long hot day in the crowded streets of Venice.

Milan
Not much in terms of sights but food was great. Checkout MyKafe for their homemade ice cream and plenty of other goodies and Carmel for their Pizza. We didn't check out Denzel but we heard good things. We stayed at the RadissonBlu.

Zurich
2 nights at the PH corner suite. Zurich is awesome (and expensive.) Weather was perfect and hanging out in the old city was priceless. After a day of walking, boat rides, sightseeing, there is a park near the lake which is a great place to hang out and ppl watch. For Kosher food check out Olive Garden (8 minute walk from PH) Books and Bagels and LeShuk are a good place to pick up sandwiches etc. Fein & Schein was really nothing special.  Only buy a Zurich Card if you plan to take the boat ride AND visit a couple of museums. Otherwise just buy an unlimited day pass. We bought Zurich cards for a Sunday and it was raining and all the museums were closed. #Mistake

For the return we were scheduled from ZRH to IAD on UA 763 in J. Flight was canceled and for the fear we would be rebooked in Y (as reservations booked with miles are treated like the bottom of the barrel) we accepted a flight via LHR on United's 777 horrible 2-4-2 configuration in J without Kosher meals. Kosher meals from London are actually good. To make matters worse we were put in the two middle seats facing backwards. :(

total cost: 200k UA miles. 36k SPG points. 2 Hyatt suite certs.

thanks everyone!

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General Discussion / Mention of DD
« on: July 20, 2012, 06:27:49 PM »
Found DD mentioned on this blog post via boarding area. I can't tell if it's a negative mention or not...

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