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Exciting times: international flight reservation booked


railsquid

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cteno4

Just had a friends kid from Holland to Dulles with a similar situation as Toni’s with first the direct flight canceled and rerouted ny flight canceled due to the nyc to dc flight canceled but she forced it thru to get to the us and then 12+ hrs to get to dc from nyc (should have taken the train!). Good as bothers wedding is Saturday. Lines not fun and parents with babies w.o enough diapers, but the staff stuck in there way past their clock out time and kept calm.

 

cheers

 

jeff

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railsquid

If it's any consolation, twice this week I've arrived at a station to find the line in question (the same one both times) with operations suspended, once due to contact between a train and an unspecified number of sentient squishy organisms, the other due to a lineside fire (and I wouldn't be surprised if that's connected with the current record high temperatures).

 

Meanwhile my head-addled brain has found an excellent procrastination project, namely to list up every flight I've ever been on (I was wondering vaguely how many actual flights I've ever flown, and one thing lead to another...). Should be doable back to around 2000 based on emails and other electronic records, passport stamps for long-haul, some photographs, and an eclectic collection of boarding passes and invoices I appear to have kept around just in case I ever need them. The 80s will be fairly straightforward as flying was a special event limited to a small number of holidays; it's the intra-European trips in the 1990s back when one went to the travel agent and handed over cash which will make for interesting research.

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railsquid

This is turning out to be an interesting challenge... I can remember which airlines I used on my trips to Japan before moving here, and have the dates from my passports, but working out which airline was which trip has been a bit tricky, but finally sorted it. Except for one of the earlier trips which was via Frankfurt, I know the connecting flight in Japan was ANA (the flight was late arriving and they gave me this big sticker with "FUK" written on it to wear, as I was going to Fukuoka, ah the memories); I assume the flight from Frankfurt was ANA, but pretty sure Lufthansa was involved somewhere (maybe a code-sharing thing).

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Tony Galiani

Saw an article on the Asahi Shimbun website - ANA has restarted its A380 service from Tokyo to Hawaii.  These planes are in the Flying Honu livery and I hope to fly this route one of these days.  Great planes from a passenger's perspective.

https://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14660706

Ciao,

Tony

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JR East
1 hour ago, Tony Galiani said:

Saw an article on the Asahi Shimbun website - ANA has restarted its A380 service from Tokyo to Hawaii.  These planes are in the Flying Honu livery and I hope to fly this route one of these days.  Great planes from a passenger's perspective.

https://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14660706

Ciao,

Tony

 

A380 is the most comfortable plane I ever flown. I really appreciate its silence. An on Emirates & Etihad ... the inflight shower. Absolutely useless and futile but so quirky !

 

JM. 

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railsquid

I hope I get to fly on one before they disappear... Looks like Emirates will be keeping theirs around for a while, which is the most likely chance I'd get on one, especially as long as Russian airspace is effectively closed.

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Giugiaro

By the way, flights are going through hell in Europe. Is the same happening in America and Asia?

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JR East
1 minute ago, railsquid said:

I hope I get to fly on one before they disappear... Looks like Emirates will be keeping theirs around for a while, which is the most likely chance I'd get on one, especially as long as Russian airspace is effectively closed.

Emirates already announced that the A380 will not be replaced soon. It's a flagship for them too where the in-flight bar is THE place to be !

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railsquid
6 minutes ago, Giugiaro said:

By the way, flights are going through hell in Europe. Is the same happening in America and Asia?

 

I haven't heard of any particular problems as far as Japan goes, the main issue seems to be a shortage of international flights. The other day I was looking at flights to India as there was some talk of me going there for work reasons soon, but there was nothing reasonably direct available in the time frame I was looking at.

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Tony Galiani

My flight experience to Europe from the USA had been erratic - ranging from smooth departure and early arrival in the US to a three hour plus delay leaving Europe.  Not sure how things are flying to Asia.

Tony

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JR East
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Tony Galiani said:

My flight experience to Europe from the USA had been erratic - ranging from smooth departure and early arrival in the US to a three hour plus delay leaving Europe.  Not sure how things are flying to Asia.

Tony

There a strikes in Paris airport, spot strikes, but jeopardizing the service (eg luggages, etc ....) and - on top - some airlines suffered IT issues. That doesn't help. 

 

JM. 

Edited by JR East
typos
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Tony Galiani

Ah .... memories .... my last international trip prior to Covid was December 2019 - Paris - massive strikes shutting down all transit to the airport and resulting in barricades in some sections of the city.  Our pre-arranged transfer could not run so we were stuck at the hotel.  The women at the reception desk made a few calls for us and found a taxi driver who parked outside the barricades, walked to our hotel and helped us get to his car with our bags for the drive to the airport.  Haven't been to Paris since and not likely to go in the near future.

Tony

 

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maihama eki

We just flew the A380 on Singapore Airlines from New York to Frankfurt and back. It was my first time, and we picked the flight specifically to fly the A380. On the return flight, I walked the entire plane - starting at my seat on the upper deck, all the way back to a curved staircase at the rear, from the back to the front on the lower deck, up the front stairs, and back home. It is a huge plane. In Frankfurt, they feed it with 3 jetways - one on the upper deck, and 2 on the lower deck.

 

IMG_1289.jpg.923873e3ed62ec1e9d0488e72b65f21b.jpg

 

I would like to fly ANA's Honu from Tokyo to Hawaii some day too. I spotted one out the window at Narita in May of 2019.

D2510507-834F-4192-82FA-44D401053461.thumb.JPEG.0ed208727e33dd2ecbde1361fdeea643.JPEG

 

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Bob Martin

The A380 is an amazing aircraft, I’m glad they’re back in service.  I’ve been fortunate enough to fly with Asiana in First class.  Amazing service, four flight attendants for 12 passengers. The private compartments are really nice, especially to have a bed on a 14 hour flight.

 

2544C375-902B-4FB3-BA72-BEC66B1A2098.thumb.jpeg.dd2ebd8bc1424c1f6b6434b7ced1c3c7.jpegC76EFEA3-0F35-4CA6-AD06-85F2135F926D.thumb.jpeg.05e747274a23174aafa4bcf08d7b589b.jpeg4ED3CC60-ABB8-47E1-9B29-26892BD741B4.thumb.jpeg.7a53828c8223350fd488aa9fe7e30a1b.jpeg470FB6BB-0500-4E1D-9E97-998F1FC4B9B8.thumb.jpeg.5058a0f95d85d31d085ea2f798e4da55.jpeg

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railsquid
16 hours ago, railsquid said:

 

I haven't heard of any particular problems as far as Japan goes, the main issue seems to be a shortage of international flights. The other day I was looking at flights to India as there was some talk of me going there for work reasons soon, but there was nothing reasonably direct available in the time frame I was looking at.

 

Well it turns out the big cheese around whom the potential trip was predicated caught the 'rona on a trip to London last week (which I was also kind-of-supposed to go to but weaseled my way out of as I thought something like that would happen) so the whole shebang has been postponed until September... Going by the adventurous routing that was coming up for India, with a bit of "planning" I might be able to "accidentally" work in a long layover somewhere interesting on the way to or from.

 

11 hours ago, maihama eki said:

We just flew the A380 on Singapore Airlines from New York to Frankfurt and back. It was my first time, and we picked the flight specifically to fly the A380. On the return flight, I walked the entire plane - starting at my seat on the upper deck, all the way back to a curved staircase at the rear, from the back to the front on the lower deck, up the front stairs, and back home. It is a huge plane. In Frankfurt, they feed it with 3 jetways - one on the upper deck, and 2 on the lower deck.

 

IMG_1289.jpg.923873e3ed62ec1e9d0488e72b65f21b.jpg

 

 

 

Looks like the poor little plane is being grappled by a giant robot.

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Kamome
On 7/1/2022 at 9:45 PM, railsquid said:

big sticker with "FUK" written on it to wear, as I was going to Fukuoka

I remember having a rather weird conversation with the guy checking us in at Heathrow when we were flying the Finnair long-haul section to Fukuoka from Helsinki with a short hop from Heathrow with BA. This was always quicker than going via Tokyo for us Kyushu-based lifeforms but we would also miss out on the opportunity to get some  Tokyo Banana (not a euphemism) . He didn't believe it was a real place or didn't want to risk offending anyone by trying to pronounce it. Good job our final destination wasn't Takeshita (next to Hakata.)

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JR East
Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, Bob Martin said:

The A380 is an amazing aircraft, I’m glad they’re back in service.  I’ve been fortunate enough to fly with Asiana in First class.  Amazing service, four flight attendants for 12 passengers. The private compartments are really nice, especially to have a bed on a 14 hour flight.

 

2544C375-902B-4FB3-BA72-BEC66B1A2098.thumb.jpeg.dd2ebd8bc1424c1f6b6434b7ced1c3c7.jpegC76EFEA3-0F35-4CA6-AD06-85F2135F926D.thumb.jpeg.05e747274a23174aafa4bcf08d7b589b.jpeg4ED3CC60-ABB8-47E1-9B29-26892BD741B4.thumb.jpeg.7a53828c8223350fd488aa9fe7e30a1b.jpeg470FB6BB-0500-4E1D-9E97-998F1FC4B9B8.thumb.jpeg.5058a0f95d85d31d085ea2f798e4da55.jpeg

 

For those who want to use Google Translate otherwise just looking at the pictures, here is one on my Flight Report in A380 with Singapore Airlines in First Class. 

 

 

 

https://flight-report.com/fr/report/44877/singapore-airlines-sq317-london-lhr-singapore-sin

 

It's really a nice in-flight moment. 

 

JM. 

 

 

Edited by JR East
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maihama eki
6 hours ago, JR East said:

 

For those who want to use Google Translate otherwise just looking at the pictures, here is one on my Flight Report in A380 with Singapore Airlines in First Class. 

 

 

 

https://flight-report.com/fr/report/44877/singapore-airlines-sq317-london-lhr-singapore-sin

 

It's really a nice in-flight moment. 

 

JM. 

 

 

 

I checked out those First Class suites when I did my plane walk through. They look incredibly decadent - a bed separate from the seat is just outstanding.

 

I think only 2 of 6 suites were taken FRA-JFK. For some reason, they did not offer us an upgrade from business to first. It probably would have been more than we would have gone for, so it likely didn't matter.

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JR East
Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, maihama eki said:

 

I checked out those First Class suites when I did my plane walk through. They look incredibly decadent - a bed separate from the seat is just outstanding.

 

I think only 2 of 6 suites were taken FRA-JFK. For some reason, they did not offer us an upgrade from business to first. It probably would have been more than we would have gone for, so it likely didn't matter.

 

Singapore Airlines never upgrade from Business to First Class. It's their internal policy. Moreover, only few flight attendants are First Class trained (they must be very well rated in Business service then they receive add weeks of First Class service before the exam and then the real service). More over, there is a difference at SG between First Class & Suites. For example, only the Suites pax are granted to access the 'Private Room' at Shangi airport which is a dedicated lounge into the First Class lounge. 

 

For lots of airlines, upgrade Eco/Premium Eco to Business is an option reserved to high rated frequent flyers (minimum is Gold, usually it's more frequently offered to top rated such as Platinum AF / Senator LH / PPS club SG /United Premier 1K   etc ....) but the upgrade from Business to First is not unless there is a last minute no-show and and a lifetime super high rated frequent flyer (meaning more than 10 years at top rating) is there.

 

There are several reasons behind.

  1. First class must remain 'exclusive'. Airlines doesn't want this exclusive class to be 'devaluated' for any reason. Moreover, now few airlines have first class. 
  2. That could be seen as 'not acceptable' for a customer having paid something like 10 K€ to know that it can be accessed for 'free' for a Business passenger (or any other passenger)
  3. And one add very important is the catering. Meals are prepared ahead of the flight, cooled / refrigerated, put into trolleys and scealed then delivered at the plane as soon as it his at the gate (roughly 45-15 minutes before the boarding starts). So that, the meals number (and sometimes plate choice done 48h in advance as per 'Book the Cook on SG) is adjusted to the expected / booked pax. The cost of the meal is quite high in First Class (caviar, lobster, fine meat, truffles ...). So that, there is no real 'extra meal' like you've in Business (it's not really extra meal but you've quite always a no-show or last minute change where a customer delays its flight)

 

Having 2 of 6 suites occupied in FRA - JKF is already a good ratio. You were more than very lucky they let you access the First Class whilst you did your plane walk through. If for any reason one of the two passengers have sent a complain on the feedback form, the flight attendant would have been severely blamed, and in some cases, 'downgraded' to Business. Singapore Airlines is well known for being 'quick to punish'.

 

 

JM. 

Edited by JR East
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maihama eki

I was definitely not expecting a free upgrade. Singapore certainly does offer paid or frequent flyer mileage upgrades to First/Suite.

 

https://www.singaporeair.com/en_UK/us/plan-travel/yourbooking/cabin-upgrades/

 

They did send an email some days before the flight that seemed to imply an offer to upgrade. I didn't see it until the day before the flight, and when I did open it, it said no upgrades were available. It may have been too late at that point. As I said, I expect the upgrade cost would have been more than I would have paid. Business class was a relatively good price on this round trip - cheaper than US and most of the European airlines on that same itinerary.

 

I talked to the business class flight attendant - one of the "Leading Stewardess" attendants by her uniform - for some time about the plane, and asked if it was okay to walk through as I did, and she said it was okay.

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JR East
Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, maihama eki said:

I was definitely not expecting a free upgrade. Singapore certainly does offer paid or frequent flyer mileage upgrades to First/Suite.

 

https://www.singaporeair.com/en_UK/us/plan-travel/yourbooking/cabin-upgrades/

 

 

Let me be clear, paid upgrade or milages upgrade is not what I was explaining here:

Quote

'Singapore Airlines never upgrade from Business to First Class. It's their internal policy. '

 

When I'm saying 'upgrade' in that case, it's the direct exchange of ticket for free (no money, no miles) at the boarding gate:

  • when you arrive with an eco ticket and where the gate attendant directly exchanges your Eco boarding pass with a Business boarding pass.

 

It's a fully free upgrade, made by decision of the company, for their most valuable customers (or under certain particular circumstances eg when some accepted not to board to let another overnooked customer to board and delay his departure to the next flight IF he's in Busines ... it works quite well).

SG is quite gridy as it's not frequent from Eco to Business and totally prohibited by their internal policy from Business to FIrst / Suites.

 

When I was Air France Platinum, I get that very frequently on Air France flights (not on code share flights) from CDG to Chicago (ORD)  & Los Angeles (LAX) (strangely never on the return flight) and quite every week when I was flying from CDG to Dusseldorf every sunday and back every friday to CDG (this has quite disappeared when AF was replaced by HOP! on the same route) 

 

Usually, you can purchase (pay in euros) a last minute upgrade which now is something airlines are offering few time before electronic check-in on Internet or during the check-in on Internet (or at the airport). It's cheaper that purchasing the same flight ticket in Business far in advance but you must know the standard ticket difference to really know whether it's a super deal or just a bit cheaper. 

 

Regarding the upgrade with miles, it depends on 2 main drivers: 

  • Does this class (Premium Eco, Business, First) is opened to upgrade in that particular flight (for example, I'm travelling to Canada with my family from France, none of the flights are open to upgrade with miles despite I've got something that 1 million miles, 
  • Does you Frequent Flyer Program level allows you to bypass the first rule (eg: when you're Air France Platinum, despite the flight is 'no upgrade in Business with miles', you are allowed to do it)

 

Another driver is also very interresting for FFP high grades : the upgrade or the purchasing with miles is opened far in advance of any other lower grades (eg Platinum was 11 months, gold 9 months, Silver/Explorer only 6 months), thus at the time the flight is just opened for purchasing. So that, as there are always a limited number of seats offered for upgrade OR offered for 'purchasing' with miles, FFP high rated customer have the opportunity to do so whereas low rated (eg Air France Explorer, Air France Silver) don't. Of course, in holidays periods, seats are awfully rare ... so that if you're not Platinum or Gold, it's difficult to use your miles to have tickets on thoseroutes where lots of tourists are booking (USA / Canada / etc ...)

 

Meanwhile, it's probably a combination of all of that which prevents me from upgrading via miles with my family as I'm now only 'Explorer', the lowest grade

 

JM

Edited by JR East
typos, add infos
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railsquid

Well, it's less than two weeks to go until my first aluminium-tube-full-of-kerosene adventure for almost half-a-decade. Due to an administrative error (I presume) a Japanese financial institution has consented to provide me with an actual Credit Card, the second one I've managed to acquire in 15 years of living here, and which follows three prior rejections (including from the company associated with my main bank, and let's not even go into the fun adventures involved with non-Japanese names and the Japanese banking system). I'm half-betting it's because the issuer in question is the same one Mrs. Railsquid has a verifiable history with. I wouldn't have bothered normally, but I'm a little concerned about potentially being trapped with a negative Covid test in the kind of country where cash is looked upon as something obscure from the 20th century, so the more options the better.

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railsquid

The Squidlet is really getting into the spirit of things...

 

seat-diagram.thumb.jpg.fcc0c4843dd4253f2a0f9e7e33994602.jpg

 

I have been spending a bit of quality time instructing him in the fine art of air travel, with particular emphasis on the fact that it will involve a surprising amount of queuing and waiting for Things To Happen, at the best of times... I might take him along to Haneda at the weekend as a sort of dry run, the little blighter is of the type who demands an explanation for everything so the more he knows in advance ("this is where we line up so the big suitcase can go in the bottom of the aircraft and we get the ticket so we can go and line up in all these other queues") the better.

 

TBH I'd rather call the whole thing off at this point given the way cases are jumping up, but there's a grandparent he hasn't seen since pre-Covid who should be visited sooner rather than later.

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Tony Galiani

On our recent flights to and from Europe, a lot of people were still wearing masks, which we did for some of our flights.  My biggest worry was not the flight so much but the queues for security, customs and passport control.  We used masks in those situations as well.  In Greece, we were required to wear masks in the Athens Metro and there were security guards at some stations turning people away if they did not have masks.  So hopefully you won't run into any problems in your travels.

Tony

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railsquid

Fortunately the itenary is arranged to maximise distance from Other People, we will still spend a merry 24 hours or so all masked-up which will be annoying but hopefully better than the alternative. My main concern is not being able to get a negative PCR test before return, which will mess things up not inconsiderably.

 

As the Squidlet is all curious about what will become of the Big Suitcase, just spent some quality Youtube time demonstrating the baggage handling process, with a follow-up course on turbulence and how it is alarming but not dangerous (as long as you put the seatbelt on).

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