Author Topic: Ergel's August 2011 trip planning thread  (Read 9142 times)

Offline Ergel

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Re: Ergel's August 2011 trip planning thread
« Reply #60 on: May 20, 2011, 01:06:17 PM »
I can't get over the call back link. I used to dread calling continental, waiting on hold... It's incredible.

Next dilemna:
For the return I am currently booked on

Edi Fra aug 25 18:05 21:00 lh I
Fra JFK aug 26 10:25 12:45 lh i

There is now availbility on
EDI LHR Aug 25 21:05 22:20 bmi i
LHR JFK Aug 26 10:35 13:25 co i (code share with version atlantic-this means upper class-right?)

Taxes are $1.27 different (thought it would be much more, but it's not)
Leaving later on Thursday which is good (get a real full day in edinburgh).
Hotel situation is a little worse at lhr (the sheraton seems much nicer in fra).
How does the va upper class compare to lh business?
Which do you reccommend?
« Last Edit: May 20, 2011, 01:10:01 PM by Ergel »
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Offline Dan

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Re: Ergel's August 2011 trip planning thread
« Reply #61 on: May 20, 2011, 01:12:30 PM »
VS J beats LH J.
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Offline Ergel

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Re: Ergel's August 2011 trip planning thread
« Reply #62 on: May 20, 2011, 01:23:23 PM »
will they check my luggage through with this combination. lh for sure would because its the same airline. will vs do it from a different airline?
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Offline Yordai Dooma

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Re: Ergel's August 2011 trip planning thread
« Reply #63 on: May 20, 2011, 01:37:35 PM »
I can't get over the call back link. I used to dread calling continental, waiting on hold... It's incredible.
Its funny. I tried it this week and tried to make a change to an intl award and they told me i had to talk to a diff department. Put me on hold for an hour and 45 min before i hung up.
I called back the next day using the link and the rep who answered was able to do it that time.

Offline Dan

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Re: Ergel's August 2011 trip planning thread
« Reply #64 on: May 20, 2011, 02:33:55 PM »
will they check my luggage through with this combination. lh for sure would because its the same airline. will vs do it from a different airline?
I'm not even so sure LH would do it on an overnight connection.
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Offline Ergel

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Re: Ergel's August 2011 trip planning thread
« Reply #65 on: May 22, 2011, 11:42:39 PM »
Argh! Incompetence. I spoke to them three times today. First they told me the connection thru lhr was available. he tried to book me and then my wife. After he booked me he said all the bmi flights zeroed out and he couldn't book me. Called back again and all the bmi flights were unavailable. Now I call back and the vs flight is unavailable and I check online and it now is really unavailable.
So annoying. Guess I'm stuck on lh
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Offline Ergel

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Re: Ergel's August 2011 trip planning thread
« Reply #66 on: May 25, 2011, 02:19:07 PM »
Availability became available again on vs and I was able to change it. Hurrah.

However, just looking at my direct ewr-cdg flight. Didn't realize it is on 767-400. No lie flat seating. You think I am better off with a stopover for lie flat?
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Offline Ergel

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Re: Ergel's August 2011 trip planning thread
« Reply #67 on: September 02, 2011, 02:27:08 AM »
Paris Trip report:
Sunday afternoon flight from ewr to cdg in co business first. It was great to be able to go to the check-in downstairs and not to have to wait online, etc. A big benefit for us travelling premium class was the weight limit on the bags. We brought a lot of food with us and being able to put 70 pounds in each bag was very helpful. Also, that gave us the ability to check all of our stuff minus a small carry-on of valuables and stuff we needed on the plane. It was a real pleasure to walk thru the airport with one bag instead of multiple carry-ons (plus a daughter) like we usually do. The pc lounge was very nice but overly packed, it was difficult to find a seat. We eventually found one and got some soda and an apple. Boarded the plane on time and just had a slight wait on the runway. Landed in Paris early.
We tried to get into the lounge upon arrival in CDG in order to daven shacharis, however we were told that the lounge was only a departure lounge and not an arrivals lounge. We ended up finding a public lounge area near where the lounges are which were completely deserted so we were able to daven in peace. We then went thru customs without any lines and tracked down are bags (they had already been removed from the conveyor belt). The Roissy bus came very quickly and we were on our way to Paris. There was absolutely no traffic (apparently August 15th is some sort of holiday-everyone was off but no one we asked knew why) and we were in the middle of Paris in around 25 minutes. We walked five minutes to the PH and although it was 10 AM they checked us into our room. They had upgraded us to a deluxe room, I emailed asking for a suite and they said no. The room was very nice and I really enjoyed the hotel in general.
We took a tour of the Opera house (offered at 11:30 and 2:30 in English daily during the summer). It was an interesting insight into the Parisian 19th century culture and the building is very pretty. We then went to Pitzman's which I thought was OK and overpriced (and it was packed). We checked out the Jewish museum and then the Pompidou which is this wacky building with the pipes on the outside and houses the Modern Art museum which was pretty interesting. We then went to Musee L'Orangerie which is small museum housing Monet's lilies which was very nice. We went back to the hotel and I went to daven at Beth El, 3 Rue Saulnie which is a 15 minute walk from the hotel (I took the train once or twice, three stops on the M7 but I think it's faster to wak). Then we walked down Champ de Ellyes or whatever you call it (the major shopping area) went to the Arc de Triumph and climbed up to the top for an unbelievable view (we never made it to the top of Eifel tower-such a long line. If you have the museum pass you don't have to wait on line for the Arc de Triumph- a much better idea. Then we went to Darjeeling which I thought was awesome. Got bread filled with chicken-excellent. Some meat kabob type things-excellent pasta with lamb-excellent and chicken off the grill which wasn't so good-pretty dry. Back to the hotel for some well deserved sleep.
Went to shacharis and came back to kosher breakfast from the hotel which was as has been stated, pastries and bread which was good enough for us. Then headed out for Versailles. Took a long time to get there (construction on the metro station we went to, needed to take a bus to different station...)-this is the only time in Paris I wished I had a car. Waited on line to get into the palace for over an hour. However, the palace is really interesting and I think it is a must see (I would reccomend arriving at Versailles at 2 oclock and going straight to the gardens, walking around, rent a bike, eat lunch, etc. and then head over to the palace at 4 o'clock or so when the lines were about 20 min instead of an hour plus). Then went to the gardens, agree with Dan they are not that nice (gardens in Tivoli outside of Rome were nicer) and since they had a fountain show we had to pay for entrance-the water show was really nothing. Rented bikes and took 2 mile ride around the water, one of the highlights of our trip, just a really nice ride. Stopped at Maria Antoinette's palace for like 10 minutes and looked around, nothing special (this is one of the best things about the museum pass-you can go into something for 10 minutes and not feel bad about it). Returned to the hotel, went to mincha and ate dinner in our room. Took a train to the eifel tower and watched the light show. Line was to big to go up so we retired back to hotel.
Woke up really late next morning (9:20), despite having scheduled a 9:30 segway tour. Thank God we had  4 oclock check-out so we davened really quickly and made it to the segway place around 10 and they let us on the tour. Pretty interesting tour, guide was pretty knowledgeable, fun to be on the segway and just a great way to see the city. Then went to sewer museum which although it smelled really really bad, was actually pretty interesting. Went back to the hotel to check out. Then went to get lunch. Ended up in Mickey's Deli which was actually pretty good (I ended with a Pastrami burger with a sunny side up egg because i didn't understand the menu but it was actually pretty good). Then went to Holocaust museum which had a really intersting exhibit on the Eichman trials. Rushed back to the hotel to get our bags and got to Roissy bus at 6 (pretty tight for 8:20 flight) and saw a bus pull away. But next bus came right away and we got to the airport a little after 7 which ended up being fine. Swiss checked our bags through to London since it was less than a 24 hour stopover (despite saying on the phone that they wouldn't).
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Offline Ergel

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Re: Ergel's August 2011 trip planning thread
« Reply #68 on: September 02, 2011, 02:34:33 AM »
Zurich trip report:
Business on intra Europe flights is really shvach but it was a short flight and arrived early. Walked miles to the Hertz desk and was able to use my free day voucher to rent an automatic car (bought the voucher for $34 on ebay, originally Hertz charged me 35 francs but I emailed them and they refunded me that amount). They gave me a Volvo hard top convertible which was AWESOME. Went to the PH and they had agreed to let me use a suite upgrade despite being on a rewards reservation. Got upgraded to a really awesome suite. In the morning after shacharis which was an easy 5 minute walk we walked around Zurich, which was pretty nice. Someone told me that you can get free bikes but we didn't find it (it seems like in Europe nothing opens before noon). Back to the hotel to check out and drove out to Lucerne. Bought the golden ticket. Boat ride was really nice. On top of Pilatus was beautiful and we took a an hour hike which was very nice. Drove back to Zurich and got dinner from Books and Bagels which was very good but insanely expensive. Went to the airport. Nearly missed our flight but they held it for us and closed the doors right after we boarded.
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Offline SuperFlyer

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Re: Ergel's August 2011 trip planning thread
« Reply #69 on: September 02, 2011, 03:36:08 AM »
Very nice report, thanks.

In france all opens late, in switzerland, when you wake up, they almost have lunch.

Its called Zuri-velo where they lend you bicycles, but the downside vs other towns with similar service is that you need to return it to the same place.

Offline Dan

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Re: Ergel's August 2011 trip planning thread
« Reply #70 on: September 02, 2011, 03:37:03 AM »
I know the PH Paris gives bikes for free.  I actually think that most PHs do in fact.
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Offline Ergel

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Re: Ergel's August 2011 trip planning thread
« Reply #71 on: September 02, 2011, 12:47:46 PM »
I know the PH Paris gives bikes for free.  I actually think that most PHs do in fact.
Yeah, but I can't imagine wanting to ride around Paris on a bike, seems like a nightmare to me. However, Zurich may have been nice. I should have asked at the desk if they have bikes, didn't think of it.
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Offline aussiebochur

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Re: Ergel's August 2011 trip planning thread
« Reply #72 on: September 02, 2011, 12:50:35 PM »
Yeah, but I can't imagine wanting to ride around Paris on a bike, seems like a nightmare to me. However, Zurich may have been nice. I should have asked at the desk if they have bikes, didn't think of it.
Actually riding around Paris is really nice and a ton of fun.

Offline Ergel

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Re: Ergel's August 2011 trip planning thread
« Reply #73 on: September 02, 2011, 12:53:54 PM »
Did you ride in the street (like everyone seems to do)?
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Offline moish

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Re: Ergel's August 2011 trip planning thread
« Reply #74 on: September 03, 2011, 01:32:45 PM »
i agree with aussie, and yes, rode on the street. iirc there were bike lanes