ANA’s spectacular Star Wars C3PO Jet joins the ANA Star Wars Fleet

Last Friday, at an event in London, Japan’s ANA launched their latest Star Wars themed jet: C3PO. In a deal signed with Disney, one of their 777s will carry the bright gold C3PO colours for five years. This video was launched with the announcement. Even if you are not a Star Wars fan, it is amazing to watch. The The airline has three other Star Wars themed planes: An R2D2 decorated 787 which started flying October, 2015 on ANA’s international routes A 777 decorated with the newest Star Wars Robot BB-8 which began its international service in April,…

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Inching to Qantas Platinum

One of my travel goals this year was to re-obtain my Qantas Airways Platinum status. I have until July 31 to achieve 1400 status credits which is the threshold. With two weeks to go, the goal is achievable: For my non-flying friends, they are somewhat bemused by this obsession. For those who fly a lot, they understand what is going on! I even did one mileage run to reach this goal. Qantas Platinum is the equivalent of oneworld Emerald status giving First Class Check in, First Class lounge access, dedicated phone support, extra luggage and double…

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Ethiopian’s 350 takes flight.

On June 29, Ethiopian Airlines collected its first A350XWB becoming the seventh operator of the type after Cathay Pacific Airways, Finnair, LATAM Airlines, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines and Vietnam Airlines. They are the first African Airline to take delivery of the A50. It’s first 350 is named Simien Mountains, after the world heritage site Ethiopian mountain range. To celebrate, the airlines achieved the world record of creating the largest ever human image of an aircraft with 350 members of staff standing in formation wearing bright yellow uniforms.  The Guinness World Records adjudicators verified the record! Ethiopian’s first…

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The World’s Best Airlines -My experience vs Skytrax

The annual Skytrax awards reveal last year’s best airlines as voted by passengers. The 2016 results were announced at the Farnborough Airshow this week. (One day I will get to the show!). Looking at the results, their awards are closely aligned to what I have experienced – with some minor exceptions. The Skytrax Top Ten does not dramatically change each year. It just seems to slightly rearrange! The same names have dominated the top 20 airlines continually. Of the Top ten ranked airlines, Skytrax nominated, I have flown eight. The 2016 winners are: Emirates (EK), United Arab…

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Booked my first A350 flight with Thai Airways Royal Silk

I am very excited to have booked a seat on Thai’s new Airbus A350-900 Royal Silk Business Class product from Bangkok, Thailand to Melbourne, Australia later this year! Thanks to the last Avianca deal which gave me a 125% bonus on purchased miles! I was able to use these miles to get a seat at a very good price with Thai Airways  –for under one third of the usual cost! In fact I am paying not much  more than Qantas was selling an Economy seat for! This will be my first A350, the newest member of the Airbus family. Like the…

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Special Meals Decoded- Descriptions and Ticketing Codes

Last week, I covered airline “Special Meals”. If you are ordering a special meal, you may want to know what the code is for one or be ready to read your ticket information for what the airline has scheduled as a meal for you. Just as the International Air Transport Association (IATA) allocates two letter codes for airlines (AA= American Airlines) and  three letter codes for airports (JFK = John F Kennedy, NY), they have created four letter standardised codes for meals which should cover every combination you will ever encounter! AVML – Asian Vegetarian Meal…

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Seven things I have learnt from flying 2.5 million KM

Two and a half million kilometres is a long way! Just over 1.5 million miles, it represents 62 laps around the earth. 6000 times between NYC and Los Angeles! I have spent exactly 21 weeks sitting in aeroplane seats!! I hit this milestone, I believe, 35,000 ft over New Zealand, en route between Auckland and Wellington. Probably somewhere near Mt Taranki.  There was no award and unlike in Up in the Air, no one came in with champagne and congratulations. (George Cloony’s character had hit 10 million miles, though). I am in an extremely privileged position.…

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My First 787: Latam Business Sydney-Auckland

Finding a way of booking a Business Class ticket for not much more than a regular coach ticket is one of the Holy Grails of Travel! LATAMs flight between Sydney and Auckland offers a very affordable Business Class fare. It often costs not a lot more than Qantas charges for an Economy fare on the same route and is half of the fare Emirates, Air New Zealand and Qantas charge for the sector. There are some downsides of the LATAM option, which will become clear but it is a nice way to cross the Tasman.…

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