Vivian, the United checkin agent in Koror, was amused that we wanted duplicate boarding passes, and even more amused when we started telling her about our island hopper adventures. Turns out she was the gate agent as well and we talked about everything from missing the flight to Palau to the reduction in flights from Guam (since that time more Guam flights have been cut). She said she just prays that Smisek doesn’t cut Palau off from the network. With Delta making a play for the Japanase market with twice weekly nonstop service from Tokyo to Koror, the locals were worried what that would mean for United. But Vivian promised to get us out on time and have us make our connection to Tokyo. … [Read more...] about United Island Hopper Trip Notes Part 3: Koror, Palau And Jellyfish Lake
Packing on a trip
AJK was doing some work but I wasn’t about to stay indoors all day. [AJK: And, I knew I had to pay the fever piper, so it was either going to be at the expense of Guam or Palau. I chose the former, and thankfully, it turned out to be the right decision as the fever was completely gone by the time we took off for Palau. Ain’t no substitute for rest!] Guam isn’t known as an island with a lot to see or do. But the #1 activity in Guam is Ypao Beach which was within walking distance of the hotel. Well technically it was within walking distance. I didn’t realize that there would be a steep hill with no sidewalks whatsoever, but full of speeding drivers. After a rather harrowing walk though I made it to the beach: … [Read more...] about United Island Hopper Trip Notes Part 2: It’s Time To Hop!
I’m going to make a number of comparisons between Singapore and Cathay Pacific first class. On Cathay you don’t have a suite per se but you do get a very comfortable wide seat that is semi-private. Besides for in the very first row in the nose of the Cathay 747 there are no good seats for couples on Cathay that want to see each other during the flight. Contrast that to Singapore suites where the double suites are just perfect for 2 people traveling together. Cathay First has awesome availability and can be booked with partner miles like AA and BA. Singapore Suites can only be booked with Singapore miles with fuel surcharges and it can be very tough to find 2 seats at saver rates. While Cathay First from the US means flying just to Hong Kong on Singapore there are flights to Moscow, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Seoul. … [Read more...] about Trip Notes: Singapore A380 Suites And 46 Hours In Paris
One big disappointment was that they took the extra mini fridge from my old room to the new room, but they didn’t put the items that were in the fridge back into the fridge. That meant that lemon pie was now crawling with hundreds of ants. They did give me 10,000 points when I asked them why they would empty the fridge out and not replace the items that were now ruined. … [Read more...] about Trip Notes: The Final United 747 Flight And 2 Days In Maui
-I requested a suite in the older building, but there are only 3 suites in that building and at first they were unable to fulfill the request. No matter though, we were upgraded to a spectacular Park Executive suite that was possibly the most spacious hotel room I’ve ever been in. The room normally sells on their website for $1,100 per night, so not a bad deal for 18,000 points per night (a value of 6.1 cents per point). The room had 2 bathrooms, a vast dining and living room area, an office, a couple of closets, and a huge master bathroom and rain shower and jacuzzi. Not that I don’t have any complaints about the room though. The light switches are seriously poorly conceived. They are too “modern” for practical usage, even their own employees could barely operate them. Also a dozen lights are controlled by a single switch which is highly impractical and switches are not where they ought to be and are quite … [Read more...] about Trip Notes: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Despite having separate bills for everyone from the beginning, it took a very long time for them to run our credit cards. I got to Newark airport just 20 minutes before my flight and pre-check was closed. Usually I’m very good at timing these things, but for the first time in many years I was afraid I might actually miss the flight. Most of the people in line though were going to Tel Aviv and had no problem letting me go ahead of them. … [Read more...] about United Island Hopper Trip Notes Part 4: Tokyo, Japan And Back Home In ANA First Class