Wednesday, June 24, 2015

LAN-Deals: Frankfurt to Madrid in Business for €160! South America for €1400!

LAN-Deals: Frankfurt to Madrid in Business for 160! South America for 1200-1400!

LAN operates a 5th freedom flight between Madrid and Frankfurt as an extension of their Madrid to Santiago de Chile flights.


(C) NYC Aviation
These are usually very competitively priced but right now they are a true bargain. On certain days it's possible to fly from Frankfurt to Madrid Round-trip for as low as 160 or 180USD in Business Class. These flights include 3 pieces of checked luggage.



At this price it is lower than coach on airlines such as Iberia or Air Europa.



These flights are operated by a LAN Boeing 787 with Lie-Flat Business Class.


Photo (C):  Short Hair Francis and SFO777.com
Photo (C):  Short Hair Francis and SFO777.com
Photo (C):  Short Hair Francis and SFO777.com

There are other sales on going with prices from Frankfurt to South America for as low as 1234 Euros: These flights are operated by TAM via Sao Paulo. 

Frankfurt to Foz de Iguazu1234 
Frankfurt to Rio de Janiero1336 
Frankfurt to  Buenos Aires1440 




Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Off to Dhaka in style! Etihad First IAD-AUH-DAC

Etihad IAD-AUH-DAC (Airbus 345/ Boeing 77W)

When flying to South East Asia and the Indian subcontinent, flyers have a variety of flight options, one of the most enjoyable ones, but with a forced overnight in Abu Dhabi, are the flights operated by Etihad.

I had originally booked this flight when Etihad announced the introduction of the Boeing 787-9, but a few weeks before the flight it was changed to an Airbus 345/346 combo.
Luckily, the Airbus 345 was operating my flight, the interior in First and Business Class is the same on both planes, but I had never flown the 345 and it completed my Airbus 340 family, having flown the 342 with Aerolineas Argentinas, the 346/3 with Iberia, 346 with Lufthansa and now the 345!

Etihad has its own lounge at Washington Dulles airport, which is laid out over two floors and has both a Business and First class section. Sadly on the day I flew, the First class part was closed.


Interesting side note, Etihad actually lined up all the passengers hand baggage in a nice line as a way of avoiding overcrowded situations in the lounge.


The lounge also had some of the biggest strawberries I have ever seen!

Boarding was done directly from the lounge and I was one of the first to board the plane. I was sitting in 2K, a side suite and right across the aisle were two gentlemen who were clearly flying for the first time. We all have had our first time in First Class, but it was a bit funny seeing them struggling with the controls, had to show them how to adjust the seats, they quickly fell asleep, not even changing into the Pajamas that Etihad provides.

Overall the hard product was pretty good, it offered a decent amount of privacy and a great screen/IFE system.







Service started with the classic nuts, olives and chips with a drink shortly after taking off.



I had the shrimp as an appetizer and then the lamb with a side of baked french fries as my main choice and then proceeded to watch a few movies before sleeping for several hours.



Midflight I had the Etihad steak sandwich, which was a great snack to enjoy while catching up on some movies.



We landed on time and I had a close to 12 hour layover in Abu Dhabi, I had booked myself into the Premier Inn hotel which is connected to Terminal 1/3 and is a strong option for a forced overnight. Single rooms were available for under $100 and included Free Wi-Fi and two bottles of water.



The next morning I decided to get up early and explore the Abu Dhabi lounge, this lounge serves as a combined Business/First lounge as the First class lounge is being renovated with a mid-2015 open date.







I had been monitoring my flight for several days and as boarding approached I was still the only passenger in First Class. This plane was operated by Jet Airways for Etihad, and while a top-notch First Class suite in 2009/10, the product was clearly showing it’s age with several nicks and signs of wear. Business class was at about 40% while Economy was packed to the gills. Overall it felt nice to have my own Private Cabin, using one suite as a storage unit (later on a Emirates 380 First Class flight , I joked with the crew that I usually end up commandeering a suite as a storage unit)









Food Time! First the classic nuts , olives and chips with a side drink.





Sunday, June 21, 2015

WOW-ed by WOW Air! BOS-KEF-BOS

WOW-ed by WOW Air!
BOS-KEF-BOS
Airbus 321
Lovely FA saw me taking cabin photos and said you must take my picture! :D 
Back in 2014, WOW Air announced flights from Washington and Boston for as low as $99. Since I had never been to Iceland, I decided to book myself a flight. It was easy to get the return KEF-BOS , but had to play some tricks to get the BOS-KEF segment... 

It did mean having to get to Boston, no Avios space on the day I was flying (Friday afternoon) so was stuck with Megabus. It was a slow ride , but had cellphone connection most of the way and a few hours later we arrived at South Station. THe MBTA was free that day (only learned this after buying a Charlie Card) as a way of apologizing to Boston for the horrible service they had during the last Ice Age known as the Winter of 2014/15.

It took a few moments to find the WOW Air desks as most of the signage at the airport had not been updated (this was late April).

Check-in was relatively smooth, I arrived a bit early knowing that I would access via Priority Pass to the Air France lounge at the E concourse. The boarding pass was quirky, as most things with WOW Air.  I was lucky and got directed towards the Pre-Check line, WOW is not a Pre-Check airline so it was nice to avoid the TSA smurf massage I get every-time I opt-out! ;)


I found my way to the Air France lounge which had a decent food spread with tasty mini-pizzas, some sushi and a variety of sandwiches. I grabbed a few extra ones for the flight over to Iceland.
Food options at the Boston Air France lounge.
Drink options at the Boston Air France lounge.
WOW Air added two Airbus 321 for the new BOSton and Washington (IAD) flights, these are called MOM and DAD (TF-MOM) and (TF-DAD). They have a reversed color-scheme and keep the quirky factor!  Sadly, even if there was a jet-bridge, WOW Air uses buses at Boston which slows down the boarding process.




I paid $30  for Row 10 which was the Emergency Exit row. Well worth it with tons of leg room. I was on the B/C side which just has two seats. The Flight Attendant sits across the aisle facing those in the D/E combo.





I tried to sleep, and even had a few extra beers from the lounge in a futile attempt to sleep, but made it to Iceland without even a minute of shut-eye. :( I was able to use the opportunity to observe some of the interesting sleeping patterns of passengers.
This girl seems to be able to position her legs almost vertically, it was definitely an interesting, and no clue if comfortable sleeping position.




After 36 hours in Iceland it was time to fly back, I had booked 2D on the way back and at airport , (I was travelling back with a friend) we were able to get her upgraded to 2F with 2E not assigned! Score! We ended up using the middle seat as our storage, kitchen area...

 Airport security at KEF... No NUTELLA! ;)






I bought a Pasta salad and a few mini-bottles of wine at the airport and enjoyed them on-board. WOW Air is OK with BYOF as far as I can tell.



We got some spectacular views out the window over Greenland.












Some more cabin shots.





Overall, even if I am not a huge fan of Economy flying, WOW Air is a great experience at it's price point especially when you splurge the extra $30 for Row 2 or 10. We landed on time in Boston and once again had to wait for the buses to take us to International Arrivals. Afterwards, I made a mad dash to my JetBlue flight and was able to change my flight from EWR to JFK due to my legacy expired Mosaic status which I had obtained via a Status Match last year, which for some reason was still displayed on my Boarding Pass.


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