Posted at 2:52 pm , on July 26, 2017
Author : CHC
We were early for our flight SQ479 outbound JNB for SIN as our airport transfer insisted we be at the airport 3hours before departure. As we did not have anything planned further in JNB, we agreed to the arrangement. We need not however have worried as both traffic and check in were smooth. OR Tambo is a huge airport with the bulk of international flights in and out of South Africa, but at 1045am, it was fairly quiet.
The lounge is airside after immigrations towards the A side gates, which suited us fine as we would be departing from gate A16/17. A point to note is in OR Tambo, premium and economy class passengers do not board the plane at the same gate but at adjoining gates.
The lounge is a shared lounge for all Star Alliance carriers and is located up a flight of stairs (although there is an elevator as well for those with lots of duty free purchases).
The lounge is located to the right of the stairs and there are a few lounges on that level as well. At least one lounge accepted Priority Pass cards.
Posted at 3:21 pm , on July 20, 2017
Author : CHC
There are 3 or 4 lounges located in the domestic terminal of Cape Town. The terminal itself is a shared terminal with international departures but passengers are segregated at security after check in.
The lounge is located airside on the 4th floor, and hence requires the use of an elevator to access. The route is well signaged but be sure to enter the right lounge as there are a few lounges next to it. The lounge used by Star Alliance premier passengers is next door.
Posted at 3:07 pm , on July 20, 2017
Author : CHC
This domestic flight was taken as part of my South African adventure after the completion of my visit to Cape Town and its surroundings. Slated as a 2 hour 30 min flight, I was told (and read) that domestic flights are notorious for cancelled and delayed flights but I was pleasantly surprised by a good traveling experience.
Posted at 1:12 pm , on July 20, 2017
Not long after lifting of electronics ban imposed on some airlines, USA is now introducing enhanced security screening for transborder flights from Canada. Although I have only taken 2 transborder flights so far (AC791 from YYZ to LAX and AC578 from YYC to LAX), I was given the special SSSS treatment on my second flight.
Posted at 4:36 pm , on July 18, 2017
With the conclusion of TTOTY Part 1, it is time to plan for TTOTY Part 2. This will be the following route:
Posted at 2:31 pm , on July 18, 2017
This hotel is operated under the same chain as Royal Park Hotel The Shiodome. The hotel is conveniently connected to Haneda International Airport (but on the extreme end) hence there is no need to wait for a shuttle bus (unlike that in LAX).
The hotel is situated at the departure level but one must walk about 5 to 10 minutes from the subway station. Given the hotel layout, expect more walking as the hotel has a very long corridor (try getting a room nearer to elevator). The corridor however is wide enough to accommodate the luggage trolley, hence there is no worry about lugging your luggage.
Posted at 12:30 pm , on July 17, 2017
This hotel / ryokan was booked as part of my 2D/1N Mount Fuji and Hakone tour. I had initially wanted to book another ryokan which is only 3 minute walk from Yumoto station but alas, I was too late. Yoshino is about 10 minute from Yumoto station which is alright if you are traveling light. Put in 2 -3 luggage coupled with narrow roads and rain, getting there can be a challenge. Fortunately, there is a regular shuttle to the hotel that cost 100 Yen per person. However, it only operate 2 trips per hour. Getting all your luggage onto the crowded bus can be a challenge as well!
Posted at 4:35 pm , on July 16, 2017
Tokyo hotels are famous for their minute sized room (unless you pay good dollar for top rated hotels) and Royal Park Shiodome is of no exception. I made this booking via Expedia (and shopback) as the Citibank Expedia promotion has ended. I got the room during the promotion period, hence it cost about SGD $305 per night (excluding cash back, but including tax and breakfast).
Posted at 3:55 pm , on July 16, 2017
After the highlight which was Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, it was time to leave Canada. Our next stop was Tokyo but unfortunately the flight out of LAX is pretty early at 10am. Hence, a night’s stay in LAX cannot be avoided. One thing I dislike about airports in USA is that there are no hotels connected to the airport. This make transit in USA rather tedious as one has to take another transport from the airport to the hotel.
Posted at 1:14 pm , on July 16, 2017
This is probably the highlight of our 2017 trip. As the travel period was in peak season, I paid CAD $999 (before tax) per night for my Fairmont Gold room! If I were to travel a month before, the room is as low as CAD $599 (before tax). How big difference a month made! I was deciding if I should go for the Fairmont Gold room, in the end I decided to take the plunge. What benefits will Fairmont Gold get u with the additional CAD $200?
- Private check in area in the lounge (and avoid the long queue at the front desk)
- Club Lounge with all day snacks, breakfast and evening canapes
- Daily turndown service with Fairmont chocolates
- Complimentary 1 hour evening kayak rental in Lake Louise (worth CAD $65)
- Complimentary portable battery rental
- Complimentary usage of board games available in club lounge
For those planning to stay here, do book in advance. Your chances of getting a room via 3rd party booking website (e.g. Expedia) for bonus miles earning may be low.