Hot off the press Air France fares to Dubai!

WOW — Just in from Air France, 24 hour sale on fares to Dubai today only, October 22,2014 for Travel between November 1 through December 12, 2014

Flash Fare to Dubai! 24 Hours Only
Of course all kinds of restrictions apply but take a look at these fares…

  • Houston – From $849
  • New York – From $899
  • Boston – From $949
  • Los Angeles- From $999
  • San Francisco – From $1049

 Visit the Air France website for other destinations with equally great fares.


Great fares to Europe and beyond.

Review of Holiday Inn Express, Santiago

The Holiday Inn Express Hotel is located in the upscale Vitacura/Las Condes area of Santiago, Chile; a city of 7 million people. This large business district is filled with many upscale condominiums, restaurants, stores, pharmacies, corporations and even the American Embassy! “Oh, say can you see?”..It was a 20 minute walk from the hotel to one of Santiago’s major sights, Cerro San Cristobal; a hill that features a zoo, beautiful walking paths and a golf course. In addition, Santiago’s cultural scene and downtown is nearby.

Santiago Arturo Merino Benitez Airport is 38 kilometers/24 miles away from the hotel. Taxis charge approximately $17 US for the 20 minute ride. We had an early morning flight to Calama after our first Santiago stay and opted for the hotel’s livery service back to the airport rather than trying to hail a taxi. Their service charge us double a metered taxi, 18,000 Chilean pesos/$32 US but worth the peace of mind.

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Singapore Airlines A380-800 – World’s Largest Passenger Aircraft

I’m a “glass is half full” person and the upshot of having our United Airlines flight from Singapore to Tokyo cancelled (after rising at 3:00a for a 6:00a flight to Narita Airport) was a chance to fly on Singapore Airlines A380-800, the largest passenger plane in the world. Not only is it the largest passenger aircraft but also the most fuel-efficient. Singapore Airlines is proud to be the first to fly the super jumbo.

Stats: Length 7.27 meters; wingspan 79.8 meters; cruising speed 0.85 Mach (Mach 1 is the speed of sound).

We haven’t flown Singapore Airlines in eons and never on this behemoth so it became a good thing and gave us, and you a chance to see what flying on this monster is like. Can you even get your mind around 800 passengers when the A380 flies with Economy only? Read more »

Santiago, Chile Information

Santiago’s one airport for domestic and international flights is Arturo Merino Benitez just referred to as Santiago International Airport and located approximately 17 kilometers/10.5 miles northwest of downtown.  Public transportation to and from the airport is either by taxi, minibus or airport bus.

Arriving at Santiago International Airport. After landing in Santiago at 12:05a (yes, that’s am), we got in line to pay not a “Visa Fee” but a “Reciprocal Fee” – a whopping $160 US per person. That was a $320 US fast dollars on the credit card and, “Thank you, Uncle Sam.” If we didn’t impose a hefty Visa fee on Chileans, their government wouldn’t have imposed a reciprocal fee on Americans. (See previous comment that Chile no longer requires a Reciprocal Fee from U.S. Citizens.)

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Flying Copa Air Business Class Chicago to Santiago, Chile

All International visitors to the United States who’s first Port of Entry is Chicago, will land at Terminal 5 at O’Hare International Airport. However, departing internationally from Chicago is a different matter depending on your carrier; American Airlines, Delta Airlines, United Airlines and many Star Alliance carriers leave from Terminals 1, 2 or 3.

Today was completely different for Marine Steve and myself. The first time in a gazillion years that we left out of International Terminal 5; a brand new experience. The only Star Alliance carrier available to Santiago, Chile is Copa Airlines, a Panamanian Airline, so Welcome to International Terminal 5 along with us…

 

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What to Know about Planning Travel to Chile

International Air? There are no nonstop flights from Chicago to Santiago on United Airlines, our carrier of choice. The best we could do, factoring in flying time and cost on a Star Alliance Partner was… Are you ready for this? COPA Airlines Chicago-Panama City, Panama City-Santiago in both directions and in Economy Class. A United Airlines itinerary partially using United equipment would have flown: Chicago-Houston-Panama City-Santiago. COPA it will have to be.

No airline flies to Santiago nonstop from the United States. Check out Flight Network, Orbitz, Vayama, Priceline and others before booking to see what works best from your country…

 

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It’s Time to Revisit Chile

There are so many places to travel, explore and revisit that every year I turn to spouse Marine Steve and say, “You know, we’ve never really explored (fill in the blanks).” It’s not necessary to tune-up the world’s smallest violin but winter is a particularly difficult time to arrange a reasonably priced escape from Chicago’s winter, to “somewhere”; preferably, a semi-unfamiliar “somewhere.” Dubai? Nope, primarily beaches. A small ship cruise to New Guinea? With a least expensive cabin rate of $12,470 a person, we would have to sell the house and move into the car.

Thinking South America, I contacted several different tour operators. My initial planning was unrealistic, and too ambitious; fly to Buenos Aires, fly up to Mendoza, spend time in Salta, cross mountains into Bolivia, work our way down to Atacama Desert, throw in Easter Island and finish in Santiago. Piece by piece, that itinerary fell apart.

 

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Best of The Best Airline Lounges in the World: EVA Air, Taipei

Some of my most popular videos on YouTube are taken in Airline Clubs or Lounges around the world. Below is one shot in what I have personally visited and consider to be “One of the Best of the Best” – EVA Air Business Class Lounge in Taipei. A recent flight from Taipei to Narita Airport (Tokyo) was on ANA Airlines who was using the EVA Business Class Lounge.

EVA Air is part of Star Alliance and since we both have Gold status with United Airlines, all member airlines allow entry into their premium lounges when flying with them. EVA Air has four lounges scattered around the Departure Area at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport. In The Garden Lounge, passengers can order freshly prepared traditional noodles or choose from Western and Chinese buffet offerings.

 

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Best of The Best Airline Lounges in the World: Thai Airways

Some of my most popular videos on YouTube are taken in Airline Clubs or Lounges around the world. Below is one shot in what I have personally visited and consider to be “One of the Best of the Best” – any Thai Airways Lounge at Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok.

Thai Airways is part of Star Alliance and since we both have Gold status with United Airlines, all member airlines allow entry into their premium lounges when flying with them. There are Royal Silk Lounges in Concourse C and E and a Royal First Class Lounge.

 

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Best of The Best Airline Lounges in the World: Turkish Airlines, Istanbul

Some of my most popular videos on YouTube are taken in Airline Clubs or Lounges around the world. Below is one shot in what I have personally visited and consider to be “One of the Best of the Best” or arguably the best – the fabulous Turkish Airlines Lounge in Istanbul, Turkey.

Turkish Airlines is part of Star Alliance and since we both have Gold status with United Airlines, all member airlines allow entry into their premium lounges when flying with them. Only Turkish Airlines’ Business Class passengers, Miles&Smiles Elite, Elite Plus card holders and Star Alliance Gold membership card holders are allowed to use their lounges.

 

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