On the way to SFO
I am 6 hours in on a 13 hour flight in Economy Plus on United Airlines on my way to Jerusalem. My body still hasn’t fully recovered from my trip to Japan, so this should be an interesting trip. I did want to push myself to see if I could do two international trips back to back, and also to see how I can handle a long-haul flight in Economy. I’ve been very lucky the past few years to do nearly all my long-haul flights in Business Class thanks to a combination of upgrades and cheap business class fares (yes, yes, I do see those tiny violins you are playing for me…I’ve just been lucky and the luck has run out). The business class fare for this direct San Francisco to Tel Aviv flight was quite expensive ($8,000) and upgrades were just not happening (even as a 1K; evidently lots of full fare and Global Service and 1Ks flying from Silicon Valley to Silicon Wadi) so here I am.
I’ll have a full review of the flight later, lets just say I’m on a Dreamliner which is a pretty plane, but whoever made the decision to shove 9 seats across on this 787-8 should be tortured throughout eternity for the torture of all the passengers having to sit in these seats for long flights. My goodness, I’m a small person and I fill the seat completely; no wiggle-room in this 17.3″ across seat. And as for sleep, well the seats sort of slide and don’t recline and even with a neck pillow I keep pitching forward. So I’m writing instead.
I’m on my way to Jerusalem. The Holy Land! This is exciting. I’m actually going to a Travel Blogging conference called TBEX, but also spending a couple of days as a tourist with Mr. Travelholic and my niece Claire who is flying in from Continue reading
How many times on this planet does one find oneself flying over the Aleutian Islands? Not many for most of us, including me, and hence my blog title today. Turns out if you leave from Denver for Japan instead of from San Francisco or Los Angeles, your route takes you over Vancouver, skims Alaska and then goes right over the Aleutian Islands! Just like Sarah Palin I can wave to Russia today.
I’ve had a very pleasant day flying to Japan so far. At this very moment, I am literally over the Aleutian Islands, with about 5 hours to go on my 12 hour flight. Well, the day has been MOSTLY pleasant except for having to wake up at 3:40am to catch the Courtyard Marriott Natomas airport shuttle to make my 5:25am flight. The shuttle times were 4 or 5am, so I didn’t have much of a choice; I only had about 25 minutes time at the gate before boarding my flight to Denver. And am I the only one who sort-of sleeps with one-eye open before an early morning flight because your subconscious thinks you’ll miss the flight otherwise?
I’m sure you are wondering why I am flying backwards to Denver to go to Japan. Well, my circuitous route got me an unbelievable deal on a Business Class ticket for the trip (less than 1/2 the usual price). I am lucky to fly business a fair amount of the time thanks to miles, upgrades, and searching out discounted fares. With my Rheumatoid Arthritis, a good flight with my legs up and room to stretch can mean the difference between a painful first few days of a trip or not, so this is a good thing. I couldn’t find a discounted business fare to Jerusalem for the TBEX (Travel Blog Exchange Continue reading
Leaving Boston Logan Airport
From the first moment I set foot on an airplane (I was 12 years old and headed to the Bahamas) I have loved flying. I loved it so much as a teenager that I even looked into being a flight attendant (at 5 foot 1 inch tall, that was a no-go).
I started traveling when I was 6. My life was pretty dull and I remember very little of it before then. But once I started going places…well, now THAT was something. Pre-flying I remember Cape Cod, Lake George, Lake Placid, and the Catskills (all in upstate New York; my family being from New York City), Vermont, New Hampshire, Bar Harbor and Freeport, Maine. Those are the places I remember most fondly.
And then once my family started flying…oh, the places you go! While I was a teenager we went to Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Mexico City, Acapulco (back when that was still an amazing place), Hilton Head Island in South Carolina , and Hawaii.
Made Premier 1K with United Airlines!
No need to innumerate all the places I’ve been since then, because that is what this blog is about. Lets just say I feel completely at home flying and, well, going. Which is a good thing since so much of my family lives on the other coast, and also a good thing since my husband and I share traveling as a hobby.
Back to today. Applause to United for a great experience flying; my first as a Premier 1K. I cleared both of my RPU upgrades (one last night and one at the airport). I already had printed out my boarding pass for the one that had cleared yesterday but they still called me at the gate and gave me a new and improved boarding pass that said in giant letters PREMIER 1K at the bottom. Since this was my first notice that all had gone as planned for my December 30th flight I was a happy camper. Continue reading
Flying over the Sierra Nevada
So I decided I hadn’t traveled enough in 2016 (a dubious assessment, you might rightly think) and I therefore took off today, December 30th, to spend New Year’s in Boston with my son. He broke up with his girlfriend this Fall and was planning on dinner alone at a family favorite restaurant that I introduced him to, Cragie on Main. This upset his mother. Oh, and I might also mention that a trip to Boston pre-January 1 would throw me over the finish line for 1K status with United next year. So my long-suffering husband (who hates New Year’s and hardly ever stays up till midnight on New Year’s with me anyway) said MERRY CHRISTMAS and here I am on a United flight to ORD (Chicago) and then BOS (Boston) to meet my son. It’s funny, but as you get near 1K status, all of a sudden you can speak in airport shorthand…
In any event, I also decided to try to burn some RPU certificates that I got as a Platinum elite flyer with United. I got a fairly cheap flight and booked myself into Economy Plus…and even though all the flights had TONS of first class seats, of course United waitlisted me on all of them. Um, thanks United. And then on this flight I go to check in and there are still 2 seats left in first class. United, in it’s non-infinite wisdom, decided they would try to upsell the remaining first class seats for $200 each (yep, I was offered to BUY the seat for $200 at check-in) instead of honoring my hard-earned RPU. Of course they both sold for that price and I ended up #1 on the upgrade list and my upgrade didn’t clear. I hope that the $200 makes the difference in your yearly profitability report United, cause It seriously pissed off this frequent flyer. Continue reading
United Club at SFO
My kids have already departed from Boston and Mr. Travelholic and I are ensconsed in the United Club at SFO awaiting the beginning of our trip to Japan. We are here a million hours early because of that one time I gave myself 6 hours to get to SFO from my home (normally a 3.5 hour drive) and nearly missed my flight due to Bay Bridge traffic. Of course today there was no traffic and we have nearly 4 hours now to wait till our plane departs for LAX, and then to Haneda on the red eye.
You might ask why we are going from SFO to LAX and then to Haneda, and then why on an awful redeye. Well, we were able to get 1/2 price Business Class tickets by picking this route, and since putting my legs flat vs not for 12 hours help the rheumatoid arthritis affected knee joints immensely, this is the route we have picked. The difference between flat legs vs bent legs for that long can mean hitting the ground running vs. a slow and painful start to an international trip.
As for the redeye, we get into Tokyo at a godwaful 5am arrival time. Mr. Travelholic sleeps great on planes and is already plotting his day in Tokyo. I never sleep on planes and look at all such plans with great trepidation.
We are taking All Nippon Airways (“ANA”) for the first time internationally. This is exciting because we always take Continue reading