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Month: February 2016

With record profits, Qantas gives back to passengers with new lounge and free domestic wifi

Profits up, and buyback offer Qantas has been through a few years of horror, even going cap-in-hand to government for a loan guarantee.  After a program of rather drastic cost cutting and staff retrenchments which even saw them remove the little sprig of flowers from the toilet vases on domestic flights, Qantas has returned to profit. Partly helped by the plunge in international fuel prices, Qantas recorded a 234% profit climb this half year to $688 million., The company’s share price has roughly tripled since a low in 2014 and the present day, (Damn! I wish I had invested...

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I was a 787 virgin. And now I’ve taken the whole 9. Is it a dream – liner?

Northern Hemisphere Christmas Trip Planning Skyteam Lounge – Sydney Sydney to Saigon Airport to Hotel Transfer Intercontinental Asiana, Saigon Vietnam Airlines Business Class Lounge – Tan Son Nhat International Airport Saigon to London in 787-9 Our trip: Sydney to London via Saigon, return. Side trips to Newquay and Tromsø via Oslo Vietnam Airlines VN51  Ho Chi Minh City/Saigon (SGN) – London Heathrow (LHR) Monday, December 07, 2015  Depart: 01:05  Arrive: 07:40 – adjusted to 10:41 Duration: 13h 35m  Aircraft: Boeing 787-9  Seat: 3D (Business Class) Vietnam Airlines 787-9 Dreamliner test flight. Image courtesy designeir.net Introduction This was a trip of firsts – or the deflowering of a virgin – whichever way you would like to think of it. Boarding and Departure Boarding was through the forward door, just forward of the business class cabin, economy boarded through the door at the back of the business class cabin.  It meant that we didn’t get hordes of economy passengers traversing the cabin to board. This time I was prepared for Vietnamese efficiency, and the lack of pre-emptive service – but actually, the crew on this flight – as would be demonstrated later – had the patience of saints. Our plan for this flight was – get on, quick drink, change into our old Virgin Australia PJ’s (Vietnam Airlines doesn’t offer them – pity, I would have liked a little áo dài to relax in), go to...

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I didn’t think I was a secret amenity pack hoarder with a problem until I opened my Amenity Pack Storage Facility.

One of the nice parts of flying towards the front of the plane is the amenity packs the airlines give you. It’s like a gift-with-purchase – you think you are getting something for free, but in fact you have paid a very high price for not very much. Still its always nice to receive them, with the strange expectation that there will be some surprise, when in fact the contents are invariably the same: socks, eyeshades, moisturiser, earplugs, a comb/brush you will never use, a toothbrush and paste, which you will, and lip balm. Ok, I think that just...

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What should an airport lounge be all about? Vietnam Airlines Lounge – Saigon

Northern Hemisphere Christmas Trip Planning Skyteam Lounge – Sydney Sydney to Saigon Airport to Hotel Transfer Intercontinental Asiana, Saigon Vietnam Airlines Business Class Lounge – Tan Son Nhat International Airport Saigon to London in 787-9   What should an airport lounge be all about? The best airport lounges are havens from reality. Little cocoons that allow you to work, or relax, or chill, or just cope with your own anxiety about travel. For me, they act like the curtain raiser for the trip. A kind of non-space before you are transported to a holiday, or a meeting, or to rejoin...

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Intercontinental Asiana – Staff attention make it a little gem in Saigon

Northern Hemisphere Christmas Trip Planning Skyteam Lounge – Sydney Sydney to Saigon Airport to Hotel Transfer Intercontinental Asiana, Saigon Vietnam Airlines Business Class Lounge – Tan Son Nhat International Airport Saigon to London in 787-9 We stayed at the Intercontinental Asiana Saigon for one night on our way to London. This is just a teaser. We had a longer 5 night stay on our return. I’ll post a full review later. Club room – towards the window, showing easy chair. A layover of 9 hours is not something I look forward to – especially in a not great airport lounge – but...

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