Author Topic: 10K And A Prayer: An International Lunch  (Read 8148 times)

Offline AJK

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10K And A Prayer: An International Lunch
« on: July 30, 2017, 10:58:14 PM »
So what to do if you have a slow week at work? Probably just come in a little late to work, maybe leave a little early.

...what do with if you have a slow week and a JetSmarter subscription?






Anyway, recently YUL (Montreal) - TEB (Teterboro) popped up on JetSmarter at 2:00 PM on a Hawker 800XP (which, by the way, is the exact same plane as the 850XP, except the 850XP has winglets, extending its range by about 100 nmi, and some upgraded avionics).  So with the ability (the JetSmarter subscription), the opportunity (the YUL-TEB leg), all I needed was motive (as if flying internationally on a $3-4 MM private jet is not enough of a motivation on its own)...

Anyway, I've heard much about Yakimono, which is, some would say, the most delicious kosher sushi in North America, so given the timing of the flight, I thought it was a perfect idea to go to Montreal for lunch, you know, as people do.  I asked a fellow DDF'er if he wanted to join ("TR"), who said yes, and all that was left to do was book the outbound.

Now, you may rightfully be noting that the JS leg was the inbound, and given JS' propensity to cancel repo legs, I might get stuck in a foreign country, all alone, with no way to get back.

Except, no.

First, I would not be alone (see above).  Second, Canada is not Iran.  Third, I have more miles than sense, the BP MR Promo until 2018, and a fire in my belly.  Fourth, this was being operated by TMC, and not an outfit like XO Jets which is notorious for cancellations.  Finally, even if it all went sideways--as in cancelled after I departed on the outbound (and not, say, cancelled before I left my for the airport in the morning, which would not be a big deal)--I'd still get to try Yakimono and a story to tell the ol' grandkids when the time comes.  Win-win-win.

As far the outbound, I found two XN seats for 10K each for the 7:45 AM UA departure to YUL arriving 9:15 AM. So, I booked X class >21 days out, did the magic, and 4 mins later, was the proud owner of next day XN tickets sans expedite fee.

Then we waited for the cancellation.

...and waited.

At 5:30 AM the next morning, still no cancellation, so I got up and checked us both in.  Well, I tried checking us in, but because it was an international flight, and TR's passport info was not saved in my UA account, it only allowed me to check in, requiring TR to see a gate agent for presentation of docs.

Well, we didn't leave as early as we wanted to, and EWR was jammed, so we arrived at EWR at 6:58 AM. Shame on us.

We head to premium check-in, were told by the gate agent, sorry, but no dice, need to be here 60 mins before. We say we have no bags, she says, I'll speak to supervisor.  During the interim, I tell TR, well, it was a good try, eh? I'll bring you back some sushi :)

Long story short, she phoned the gate who apparently gave her a restricted OK and she gave TR a boarding pass and told us "security is a nightmare, and if you don't make it, you'll have to be rebooked."  Well, being rebooked at 2:45 PM to catch a flight back to TEB at 2:00 PM would be... inconvenient, so we were out of the gate to TSA like... we had a plane to catch.

We made it to the gate 7 mins later.

(FYI, while I was in Uber, I screenshotted my boarding pass. Not sure why, but it's a good practice, e.g. if your phone dies, or if TSA is out of service, or whatever.  Anyway, I most definitely was able to pull up my BP in the car.  However, when I got to TSA, I was *only* able to pull up TR's BP, and not mine. Whatever the supervisor did seemingly *un*checked me in, and no matter what I did, I could not pull up my BP on my phone.  I began to get a bit freaked out out because though we had enough time to make it through one time, I don't think I had enough time to run back to the supervisor at premium check-in, ask her to reprint my BP (if she even would), then run back through TSA, and then to the gate all before the boarding door was closed.  Just when I was about to make this likely futile attempt, I remembered the screenshot!  It scanned successfully, and off I went.  From now on, I'll definitely be making this a practice.)

The flight to YUL was uneventful, and... still no cancellation.

Because Yakimono did not open until 11 AM, instead of going through customs and out the door, we attempted to go through the transfers, so we could sit in the air side lounge until it did.  Well, this is how the conversation went:

Agent:  Where are you connecting to?
Us:  Teterboro.
Agent:  Teter what?   
Us:  It's close to EWR, in NJ.
Agent:  OK, where are you coming from?
Us: EWR.
Agent: I know where connecting, you just said that, but where are you coming from?
Us:  EWR.
Agent:  OK, where are you going?
Us: Teterboro, in NJ.
Agent: Wait, what? You're coming from NJ and going back to NJ four and a half hours later?
Us: Yes; we're here for some good sushi.
Agent: [speaks in French to colleague; each eyes us suspiciously]  So where's your boarding pass?
Us: Well, uhm, we don't have one.
Agent: You don't have boarding pass? Then you have to clear customs and get one, and then get re-screened.
Us: Hmm, well, that won't work because we're flying private.
Agents: [look at us like we're space aliens]  So you're flying private to YUL for some sushi? Are you sure you're flying from YUL? What gate?
Us: Well, it's not a gate per se...
Agent: Well, you need to speak to information, after customs, and they'll help you.

Seeing as this was going nowhere, we cut our losses, and as we were headed out of customs, one of the agents shouted to us, "I'm really sorry, guys, but without a valid boarding pass, we can't let you through; hopefully someone at information will be able to help. Sorry again!"  Yeah, only in Canada.  In the US, we would have been sent to Guantanamo for trying to access air side with only a repo-invoice from JS.

At about this time, Dan asked me to put some Cheskies in an Uber and send it to him in CLE.  "Dude, Cheskie's is a better bakery than Yakimono is a sushi joint." Wait, seriously?

Considering we had about an hour before Yakimono even opened, we jumped in an Uber and went to Cheskie's, to try Eden in carb form.



Wow, he wasn't lying.  Best cheese pastries ever. Unlike other bakery's attempts at cheese pastries, where you have to eat the garbage to get the the goods, each and every bite of these were the goods.  Delicious.

Cheese muffins were good; cheese cakes were incredible; cheese crowns were nirvana.







After dropping about $100 CAD, we jumped in another Uber to Yakimono.  We arrived at 10:50 AM, ten minutes before they opened, but they seated us right away, which was nice. 








I ordered mixed fries (potato/sweet potato) which were fantastic, especially the sweet potato fries. 




Also ordered a boat of sushi with all of the sauces, knowing I wouldn't be able to finish even half, but that I'd take home to Mrs. AJK.









The food took. a. long. time. to come.  But come it did, and the sushi was excellent, though I'd still give the nod to Shallot's sushi...

After paying, we hopped in another Uber to the FBO, SkyService Aviation, and made it there at 1:35 for the 2:00 PM departure. 





We were joined by two other pax, both Canadian, and the Captain checked each of our passports to make sure we were who we claimed to be.  The other two pax had luggage, which was whisked onto the plane, and about five minutes later, we were escorted 30 feet from the door, to our multi-million dollar private chariot for the 70-minute trip down to TEB. No lines, no security, no rude TSA or customs, just a relaxing, non-stressful experience.  This wasn't my first time flying private (or my last ;) ), but goodness, each time I do, I realize why people pay what they do for this.









During the trip, the Canadians, who were Italian and super nice guys, popped a bottle of champagne, and over the course of drinks, divulged they were in internet affiliate marketing, and were headed to a conference in NYC.  It also came out that one of the guys, the owner, spent $3-4 MM a month on advertising, but put it on...

...wait...

...for...

...it...

...the Plum card.




Suffice it to say, after chatting a bit, he gave me his number and asked me to call him to help him "right his wayward ship."









We landed a short while later, taxied to our spot in front of TEB customs, and were met at the plane by two customs officers, who escorted us inside to process our paperwork.






No GE here, just an old-fashioned scan of the passport, a welcome home, and then we were ferried to Atlantic Aviation, where we were met by an Uber.

10K XN saver award w/o expedite fee? Check.

Cheskie's bakery? Check.

Yakimono? Check.

Hawker 800XP? Check, check, check.

All in all, a highly recommended way to travel to an international lunch. 





So recommended, in fact, that I may or may not have done it again two days later. They're starting to recognize me at Atlantic Aviation...







« Last Edit: July 31, 2017, 12:00:31 AM by AJK »
2015: 116K bkd | 1.6M brnd | F: OZ,NH,AA,EK | J: UA,CA,TK,DL,TN,AF,VA | LIH,NRT,ROR,PEK,CNS,BOB,MEL,TLV & Pacific Hopper

Offline Dan

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Re: 10K And A Prayer: An International Lunch
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2017, 11:07:10 PM »
Awesome!
But that Uber never got to me  >:(
Save your time, I don't answer PM. Post it in the forum and a dedicated DDF'er will get back to you as soon as possible.

Offline yitrap

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Re: 10K And A Prayer: An International Lunch
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2017, 11:17:09 PM »
I was sure this was ending with you almost missing the jetsmarter back. Cool TR... front of the hawker looks very similar to the Challenger 300

Offline davidmal

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10K And A Prayer: An International Lunch
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2017, 11:56:16 PM »
When you could spend 50 mill a year on advertising

Using Miles is beyond the scope.

Ps. So much Fun TR!!! I I'm impressed with the well detail oriented review!!
« Last Edit: July 30, 2017, 11:59:38 PM by davidmal »
-DMC
"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it ~Ferris Bueller"

Offline tageed-lee

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Re: 10K And A Prayer: An International Lunch
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2017, 11:59:20 PM »
Ha! Amazing! Well done...

Second, Canada is not Iran.


 ;D
 
But that Uber never got to me  >:(

The driver must've eaten it once he saw the label...  ;D


Offline David Smith

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Re: 10K And A Prayer: An International Lunch
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2017, 11:59:36 PM »
Just curious; what card would you recommend them put their advertising spend on?
Who do you think you are fooling? You think you are going to pull a quick one on your Creator? Good luck with that.
JTZ

Offline davidmal

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Re: 10K And A Prayer: An International Lunch
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2017, 12:13:51 AM »
Just curious; what card would you recommend them put their advertising spend on?
BP, JP

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Offline davidmal

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Re: 10K And A Prayer: An International Lunch
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2017, 12:15:24 AM »
But for a business that big 1.5% back is worth more than points.
-DMC
"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it ~Ferris Bueller"

Offline David Smith

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Who do you think you are fooling? You think you are going to pull a quick one on your Creator? Good luck with that.
JTZ

Offline mmgfarb

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10K And A Prayer: An International Lunch
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2017, 12:20:34 AM »
But for a business that big 1.5% back is worth more than points.
Not necessarily, if he's already booking international revenue tickets in F than he'd save more money with 60-100MM MR per year.
ETA: on second thought that would have to be a lot of tickets.
"JS [is] a fetid cesspool of unvarnished linguistic manure, with lots of useless drivel and post-padding." -Moishebatchy

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Re: 10K And A Prayer: An International Lunch
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2017, 12:40:45 AM »
Didn't read an AJK TR in long time. Nice fun write up as always. Thanks!
You can say what you think when you think what you say.

Offline sillypainter

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Re: 10K And A Prayer: An International Lunch
« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2017, 02:03:46 AM »
Thanks for the TR. Looks great and I'm glad it worked out for you.

Of course BGR for advertising. You get 3X.

Offline thaber

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Re: 10K And A Prayer: An International Lunch
« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2017, 02:06:10 AM »

(FYI, while I was in Uber, I screenshotted my boarding pass. Not sure why, but it's a good practice, e.g. if your phone dies, or if TSA is out of service, or whatever......  It scanned successfully, and off I went.  From now on, I'll definitely be making this a practice.)
On a recent flight AA actually told me to do this.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2017, 02:09:13 AM by thaber »

Offline Yaalili

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Re: 10K And A Prayer: An International Lunch
« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2017, 08:04:46 AM »
Awesome TR!

Offline Joe4007

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Re: 10K And A Prayer: An International Lunch
« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2017, 09:02:52 AM »
Thanks for the write up! Looks fun!

Of course BGR for advertising. You get 3X.
Up to 100k annually. That's like telling someone to use a card that has a bonus on the first $5...

Offline @Yehuda

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Re: 10K And A Prayer: An International Lunch
« Reply #15 on: July 31, 2017, 10:25:52 AM »
Fun read!! Thanks. Never underappreciate the flexibility of your job.

I always screenshot my BP, mostly for the convenience of pulling it up quickly. You mentioned it's also good if your phone dies, but if it did, you wouldn't be able to pull up the photo either :P. Screenshot and email to your travel partner in case their phone still has juice would solve that, but there is only so much a sane person can do.

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Re: 10K And A Prayer: An International Lunch
« Reply #16 on: July 31, 2017, 10:39:40 AM »
Nice TR

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Re: 10K And A Prayer: An International Lunch
« Reply #17 on: July 31, 2017, 11:27:35 AM »
You mentioned it's also good if your phone dies, but if it did, you wouldn't be able to pull up the photo either :P

Haha! Was thinking the same...  ;D You can always charge your phone i guess?

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Re: 10K And A Prayer: An International Lunch
« Reply #18 on: July 31, 2017, 11:40:58 AM »
Nice TR

Not polite to comment on a person's traveling companion, even to be complimentary.
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Re: 10K And A Prayer: An International Lunch
« Reply #19 on: July 31, 2017, 12:01:41 PM »
Thats one expensive UBER YUL-CLE..Prob be cheaper to just fly there to pick it up..