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Messages - JoeCha

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181
Up In The Air / Re: One World Award Search Tips
« on: April 22, 2015, 09:27:04 AM »
Yes

182
Trip Reports / Re: JoeCha's Photo Bucket
« on: April 22, 2015, 08:28:50 AM »

The licensee is Gemini Jets. Gemini Jets can, and does, manufacture, sell, and distribute EK model planes.

People, like me, can buy those jets from Gemini or any of the distributors, or second-hand sellers.
Don't really wanna go into a stupid back and forth here,  but how do you know that?

I haven't found any legit place selling EK planes.
And ebay is not  proof of anything.

183
Trip Reports / Re: JoeCha's Photo Bucket
« on: April 21, 2015, 11:17:32 PM »
I didn't buy an EK model... (see pic above).

But, since you asked:

http://www.amazon.com/Gemini-Jets-Emirates-Diecast-Aircraft/dp/B00J69GP2S
http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/121624518804?lpid=82&chn=ps
I didn't say you can't buy other airline models, I was talking about EK which I was told is only being sold at the Emirates store in DXB.

Those Ebay sellers are apparently unauthorized resellers.

184
Trip Reports / Re: JoeCha's Photo Bucket
« on: April 21, 2015, 10:20:29 PM »
-1

http://www.geminijets.com/

...or any of their many distributors which sell online.

-1

Find me one place selling EK models. The website above doesn't sell them.

185
Trip Reports / Re: JoeCha's Photo Bucket
« on: April 21, 2015, 08:40:36 PM »
You've inspired me.

Just got this one:





Is yours 1:200?

Yes. Heavy metal.



You can't buy it anywhere, they only sell it in DXB.

Where did you get yours from?








You can't buy it anywhere, they only sell it in DXB.

Where did you get yours from?

186
Trip Reports / Re: JoeCha's Photo Bucket
« on: April 21, 2015, 07:07:10 PM »
Nice TR! Did you actually spend any time on the ground? What was the purpose of the trip?


Business


Also, how much was the EK A380 toy?
$150-200

187
Trip Reports / Re: JoeCha's Photo Bucket
« on: April 21, 2015, 04:37:49 PM »
I can think of a few things... :P
I almost missed a heartbeat when the agent in ICN (helping me getting my onward boarding pass) asked me if I had alcohol.  :D

I have no clue why he asked just me  ;D

188
Trip Reports / Re: JoeCha's Photo Bucket
« on: April 21, 2015, 04:24:36 PM »
First class on the A380 is basically identical to the experience on the 777, with the 'only' difference of having the on board bar and the on board showers.

I also think that the suites on the A380 are narrower than those on the 777 (maybe because it's on the upper level?)





After the Lebanese head FA came to introduce himself and complain on his bad luck that most of today's flight attendants are women (!) making his job more difficult due to them "speaking in another language than the men" (I couldn't tell whether he was serious or just joking), a Japanese flight attendant came over taking appointments for the shower.

He told me that maximum shower time is 5 minutes of water and 30 minutes of spending in the shower room.
That's just brutal.
I mean, even inmates in federal prison get more than 5 minutes of water. 
In no way is 5 minutes going to be enough for me.
So I asked him since the limit of 5 minutes is due to the limitation of water on air, being that the first class cabin only had 4 out of 14 occupied seats, would he let me use the 'portion of water' designated for one of the empty seats? He told me he has to ask someone ( I hope he didn't ask the captain...) and came back with a positive answer.
Yay! 10 minutes of turbulenced shower time!
I felt like I won the lottery (childish, I know).









When my scheduled shower tone came,  a flight attendant knocked on my suite to pick me up and gave me a 'tour' of the shower room, while the two designated shower attendants waited outside. The shower had two types of toiletries, a relaxing version and a reviving version. Why not.

How does the shower feel like? Well, just like your  regular shower at home. Powerful, hot and... some light turbulence...
But it just feels amazing just thinking about what you're doing now: showering 36,000 feet in the air... I'm not sure what else could be added in terms of in-flight luxury. Maybe a mikvah?

Out I was, and had the remaining time of the flight sleeping and spending time at the bar.



The bar itself is a cool experience. You get to schmooze with different sort of people from all over the world.
A New York orthodox Jew with a South African dean, an Australian businessman and a Indian flight attendant discussing politics, religion, aviation and technology.
Only in the Emirates bar.

By the end of the flight, doing my last round of bar visits, the situation seemed to look like Purim in the evening, I saw some FAs enjoying the bar's beverages (even though they're not allowed to drink on duty) and the atmosphere went a little out of -------- I won't bore you with the exact details, but it was quite interesting to say the least :)

Finally, the pilot announced the saddest PA I've ever heard, to prepare for landing.
I just didn't want this flight to end...
The social area and bar are being cleared from all drinks and instead replaced with some nice stuff and dim lights.



After landing I was out of the airport in 10-15 minutes, thanks to Global Entry. The EK chauffeur agent directed me to my car which was already waiting for me and home I went!

189
Trip Reports / Re: JoeCha's Photo Bucket
« on: April 21, 2015, 04:11:33 PM »
And then the real fun begins.

Since I booked my Emirates ticket with EK miles I was entitled to complimentary Chauffeur service. A black Mercedes picked me up from the hotel and dropped me off at the airport.



I got into the Emirates first class lounge, davened a stressful shachris in the prayer room constantly thinking what would happen if a Muslim will decide to join me in my prayers - and possibly feel that I offended his religion by davening there. (I'm now thinking whether it was even permitted to daven in a room designated for Muslim prayers).







Then I boarded!
Emirates operates the B777 on the HKG-DXB route (unless you take the one-stop flight via BKK) and the A380 for DXB-JFK, giving me the chance to sample both of their aircrafts.
They also have a few A340s in their fleet but they're slowly getting rid of them).

I don't even know where to begin describing Emirates' first class suites. It's just amazing.
Every inch is lavish with no specific reason - just because it's Emirates.
In the front there's a place called the 'social area' with fresh cut fruit and the most expensive champagne and liquors (no full service bar on the 777), and you can always press the button to ask the FA to make you any cocktail you wish.
But apparently that's not enough, what if you're not in the mood of seeing an FA now? No problem! Every seat has a minibar with Pepsi and some other drinks. I mean, seriously?





Need to get a good look on your nice face? We have a beautiful mirror in front of you.

Need something light to eat? Well, you can ask the flight attendant whatever you want. But here Emirates also took into consideration those loners who are not socially stable enough to take the courage and ask a flight attendant - they place a basket of light nosh in your suite! (which they remove during takeoff and bring it back later...)
You can adjust the natural light of the window by using either the light shade or the dark shade...
And everything is controlled electronically by a press of a button on the touchscreen controller, even to open or close your suite doors you have to use the touchscreen (took me a while to figure that out...)

Emirates prides itself by having a crew of over 15 nationalities on all flights, all the first class crew came to me to introduce themselves with their name and country of origin and that I shouldn't hesitate to ask anything I wish etc.

The whole flight experience was just amaaaazing, I simply didn't want it to end. The only thing that kept me going was the fact that next flight will be the A380 with the on board showers...

Landing in DXB






I landed in Dubai 12 noon. At first I was a little afraid being that I look quite Jewish so I wore a cap,  but after a few minutes I realized that the majority of the passengers in DXB are westerners and I felt completely safe to remove my cap. I just got a few weird stares from some white robe people who I'd bet they come from the tribal areas in Afghanistan or Pakistan, but that's all.





I took the train from my terminal to the new A380-exclusive terminal.





Dubai airport is the nicest airport I've been to. Massive duty free shops and beautiful design.

I spent an hour shopping at the Emirates store, I got myself a miniature EK A380 (am I childish?) and proceeded to the first class lounge. 

My new little toy


Nice couple








Well, I wouldn't call it a lounge. It's rather a first class terminal.

The terminal consists of 3 floors with the ground level for economy, the second level designated for first class and the top floor for business class passengers.
All with separate gates for their respective cabin.

You can't stop wondering just how much extra cash these folks must have. Everything is blown out of proportion, massive and unbelievably beautiful.











Finally they called for boarding, and within minutes I was in my seat.

Departure was delayed by 35 minutes due to the fact that DXB, despite being the busiest airport in the world (topping LHR and JFK), has only one runway in operation.




190
Trip Reports / Re: JoeCha's Photo Bucket
« on: April 21, 2015, 03:55:10 PM »
Landing in ICN







After landing in Seoul, I spent a while in Asiana' first class lounge and then boarded my Air China flight to Beijing.

OZ F Lounge


Upon landing in PEK, your immediately get the feel in which country you are in - because of political rifts between the Chinese government and Google, Facebook and other American companies,  access to their sites are completely blocked.
That means no Facebook, Google search, gmail, or any service provided by these companies,  including Google Drive, YouTube, Google Maps etc.
And they're constantly tightening the grip on people trying to circumvent the firewall by setting up VPN services.

I can mostly get around just fine without all that for a few days, but one thing that I can't live without is email. So I set up my office computer to never sleep and from time to time I logged in from my laptop to my PC by using TeamViewer just to follow up on emails.

PEK




That all was followed by two non-eventful flights from Beijing to Hangzhou on Air China and Hangzhou to Hong Kong on DragonAir.

Hangzhou


We landed at a remote gate in HKG and took a cab to the Hyatt Regency Tsim Sha Tsui.

Landing in HKG



Cabs are very cheap in Hong Kong, total fare for the 40 minutes ride equalled $36 USD.
It is important to get HKD cash in the airport as the cabs don't accept credit cards or US dollars.

The Hyatt is a very nice property and courteous service, they even picked up a kosher dinner for me from Kehilat Zion (which I ordered by email from New York).

191
Trip Reports / Re: JoeCha's Photo Bucket
« on: April 21, 2015, 03:38:58 PM »
Asia/Mideast 2015

Flights:
JFK-ICN OZ F
ICN-PEK CA J
PEK-HGH CA J
HGH-HKG KA Y
HKG-DXB EK F
DXB-JFK EK F

Hotel:
Hyatt Regency Tsim Sha Tsui

Cost:
105k AC
7.5k BA
178k EK
15k HGP


Hello everyone,  I just got back from a long/short exhausting trip - which I must admit was the best trip I ever had in my life.

The reason why? I flew Emirates first class.

Total trip didn't last more than 81 hours, logged over 42 hours on a plane, touched 5 countries, had 6 takeoffs and landings, and circled the globe  (not at its widest part though).




It all began last week Monday morning, when I got myself a few bagels and spreads (I wasn't sure the airlines will have KSML made after Pesach), dialed up an Uber and nice black Escalade showed up  (I always seem to be getting SUV cars when I add JFK as my destination even on an UberX trip).

Arrived at JFK T4 to crazily long security lines  lines, of course no TSA Pre on my boarding pass since I was flying an international carrier  (Asiana), but I decided to try my luck.

I got into the TSA Pre line, and when the officer asked me for my BP, I just waved him my Global Entry card and lo and behold, he let me go!

After 3 minutes I was past security (could've been 2 minutes if not for that lady in front of me who stood like a dummy astonished or confused by the fact that she don't have to take her shoe off. #n00b).

OZ uses the LX business lounge for their premium cabin passengers, which is a shame of a lounge, so I made other plans.

I always wanted to check out the roof deck of the Delta Sky Lounge which gives you an outdoor look of plane landings, so I did what I had to do in order to be considered a Delta premium cabin passenger, scanned my mobile boarding pass at the lounge front desk and beep, I'm in!

The lounge itself is quite decent, but just that you don't forget you're not in a facility operated by any decent European or Asian airline - they don't offer complimentary premium beverages.

I spent a while outside on the deck, then I excused myself from the Delta ticket and I was on my way to board my flight.







OZ F is phenomenal! I don't know why I'd doesn't get more attention on the blogosphere, fully enclosed suites and outstanding service by the cabin crew, it was a highly pleasurable flight experience.

In short: what can possibly go bad with 13 hours of unlimited screwdriver and mojito?...




192
Just Shmooze / Re: Where Are You Posting From Now?
« on: April 20, 2015, 03:35:20 PM »
TLV
Is this the US flight from Philly painted American?

193
Up In The Air / Re: List of Airline MASTER Threads
« on: April 20, 2015, 02:27:28 PM »
How do they compare to other airlines?
Average airline - not exceptionally good or bad.

Think of your typical US airline - AA, UA etc.

194
Up In The Air / Re: List of Airline MASTER Threads
« on: April 20, 2015, 08:04:26 AM »
What do you want to know about them?

195
Up In The Air / Re: Etihad Master Thread
« on: April 20, 2015, 08:03:05 AM »
I had my best sleep in the last 2 years on CX.
+1
Beats even SQ and EK.
But didn't try QF yet,  so who knows.

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