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Mr. Ham

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25 minutes ago, Angry Beavers said:

I have precheck. Thinking of adding Clear.  Worth it?  Fwiw, I fly just about every week but the TSA lines dont ever seem to be very long. 

I always thought it wasn’t, then I got Clear and love it, it’s nice to have the option. And the Clear people are always SO friendly!

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28 minutes ago, kutta said:

I always thought it wasn’t, then I got Clear and love it, it’s nice to have the option. And the Clear people are always SO friendly!

Anyone link Clear with Hertz? Been getting emails from Hertz and I've half signed up (it's free and don't need to be a Clear member), but you need to complete the process at a Clear kiosk in the airport which I haven't yet.

Once you complete the process you pick your car up and roll out without waiting in the "check my id" line to leave the lot.

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Clear is great. But it is owned by Delta so if there are muliple terminals like DFW, Clear may only be in the Delta terminal. If you fly mostly Delta, no problem. 

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2 hours ago, Phil Elliott said:

Clear is great. But it is owned by Delta so if there are muliple terminals like DFW, Clear may only be in the Delta terminal. If you fly mostly Delta, no problem. 

Delta is crushing AA these days as far as I'm concerned.  So I try my best to fly Delta when I can.

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7 hours ago, kutta said:

I always thought it wasn’t, then I got Clear and love it, it’s nice to have the option. And the Clear people are always SO friendly!

Agree with kutta.  I wasn't sure before I got it, but now I'm glad I have it.  I'm paying, what, like 10 or 15 bucks a month for it?  That's a regular Tuesday bar tab around here.  Easily worth it.

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1 hour ago, Otis said:

Delta is crushing AA these days as far as I'm concerned.  So I try my best to fly Delta when I can.

Truth. It’s not even close. 

I can fly effectively free (taxes and fees only, standby) on American and I will usually still opt to pay to fly Delta. :lol: 

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I get CLEAR for free as a Delta Diamond.  It is helpful at times.  I live in ATL so the CLEAR line at times is longer than precheck, but it is helpful.  Gives you options as stated above

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7 hours ago, Otis said:

Delta is crushing AA these days as far as I'm concerned.  So I try my best to fly Delta when I can.

Yes, I don't disagree with you.  Due to some issues several years ago, I vowed I would not fly Delta/NWA again if I could avoid.  I know many people have the same thought about AA.  Just like United bringing down service of Continental, USAirways has brought down service of AA. Delta seems to be the leader in implementing changes (including devalueing elite status, seat comfort, etc.) in the industry.  I can always do a status match with Delta and may consider in the future but you are generally only allowed one status match with an airline. Always hopefull I will be invited to be part of the AA Concierge Key level (invite only) but I don't think I will ever spend the $50k in EQD/year. :excited:

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Any of you fine folks know when ORD starts serving booze? Morning layover in upcoming trip and was curious. Couldn’t find an answer via Google.

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10 minutes ago, Trey said:

Any of you fine folks know when ORD starts serving booze? Morning layover in upcoming trip and was curious. Couldn’t find an answer via Google.

I've seen people drinking as soon the places open in the AM....think 10ish?

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7 hours ago, Trey said:

Any of you fine folks know when ORD starts serving booze? Morning layover in upcoming trip and was curious. Couldn’t find an answer via Google.

There has to be a breakfast place that has a bar in there. There is some Cubs themed bar and grill place that I :think: would serve breakfast and would make you a Bloody Mary.

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On a run where I left my house March 31 and im in Marriott hotels through April 18.  Looks like ill have no problem getting their ambassador service this year.  For those of you who get close but havent had it, I dont book with my ambassador (they will book for you if you want to call or email them) but they are very helpful when I want an upgrade or if my wife is traveling with me and I want them to put free wine/fruit or whatever in the room.

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5 minutes ago, ditka...mike ditka said:

On a run where I left my house March 31 and im in Marriott hotels through April 18.  Looks like ill have no problem getting their ambassador service this year.  For those of you who get close but havent had it, I dont book with my ambassador (they will book for you if you want to call or email them) but they are very helpful when I want an upgrade or if my wife is traveling with me and I want them to put free wine/fruit or whatever in the room.

I have it this year. I have used the person to get nights credited and any issues I had with points. She gets on it right away.

Will book some personal travel and was going to ask her to pull the strings for upgrades using those Suite Certificate things that I have never really had luck using, we'll see if that does anything.

I'm sure you are signed up already but they have this Double Points thing going on for the next couple months (think it's open to everyone right now). You will crush it with all that travel and the status point bump. Those 18 days should net you about a week in Hawaii.

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I got a "two stays gets you 2 free nights" promo on the app last Friday and signed up. By chance (actually, not on purpose) I have stayed at 3 different hotels in 3 different places the last 3 nights, with one more new one tonight. LOL. So I instantly earned the 2 free nights.

 

Part of why I hotel hopped is the hotel we wanted as a team MTW was booked full MT nights. My platinum status was not enough to get me in, but my teammate used his ambassador to override someone or something and get a room. Kinda cool. So that's a value at least.

 

Also the double points thing starts with your 2nd or 3rd stay, so it is critical to sign up asap. 

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This may be the most important travel advice I've ever given.  If you're going to gamble on Chipotle, its probably best that it not be an airport Chipotle. WTF was I thinking?🤮

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Heading to Amman and Petra Jordan next week. Has anyone ever been? Haven't been to that area of the world before so I'm looking forward to taking in the food and the culture of the area. 

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One downside I’m learning about Delta vs. American is no automatic business class upgrade requests. You have to spend miles. Says the guy who just spent 14 hours in coach on a flight that didn’t have any class I could upgrade into with status. 

Still prefer Delta though. 

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Curious to hear mileage counts for the year...?

I’m sitting at 47,446 on Delta, plus a 1,500 or so on Alaska. I’m taxiing now and will go over 50k on my return leg Thursday. Separate trips to London, Berlin and Cannes already booked for the quarter. Will definitely have well north of 100k for first half, and no sign of slowing. Last year was my record for a year at 185k.

Who puts that to shame?

Edited by Mr. Ham

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On 3/22/2019 at 8:30 PM, Mr. Ham said:

Anyone been to Malta? (Going in May).

I was there 20-25 years ago. Schedule time for a leisurely walk in old town Valetta. Pretty awesome IIRC

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41 minutes ago, Mr. Ham said:

Curious to hear mileage counts for the year...?

I’m sitting at 47,446 on Delta, plus a 1,500 or so on Alaska. I’m taxiing now and will go over 50k on my return leg Thursday. Separate trips to London, Berlin and Cannes already booked for the quarter. Will definitely have well north of 100k for first half, and no sign of slowing. Last year was my record for a year at 185k.

Who puts that to shame?

That's pretty good!

I have no international trips yet this year, but will have Alaska and South Africa later in the year.

Right now I'm at 33,667 and 23 segments on American for the year. I'll hit Executive Platinum pretty easily - probably end up around 130K or so. I need a few international trips to boost that mileage up...

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1 hour ago, msommer said:

I was there 20-25 years ago. Schedule time for a leisurely walk in old town Valetta. Pretty awesome IIRC

Cancelled Malta. Conflicted with Berlin. Doing Berlin instead.

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29 minutes ago, Mr. Ham said:

Cancelled Malta. Conflicted with Berlin. Doing Berlin instead.

Well, checkpoint charlie is a big let down, but there is a bit of wall not too far from there if i'm not mistaken. Lotsa good beer

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44k on AA, not gonna check United and SW, which probably have a couple k each.

 

Surprisingly a lot. But that's what happens SFO to BOS a few times I guess.

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2 hours ago, msommer said:

Well, checkpoint charlie is a big let down, but there is a bit of wall not too far from there if i'm not mistaken. Lotsa good beer

Was in Berlin last October for first time. Loved it! Like that it has distinct neighborhoods with charm. Looking forward to going back, but won’t have much downtime this time. Shedule is action packed. In fact, I land Wednesday after a red eye and think I have to fly to Switzerland for a day trip meeting Thursday, then back for meetings and an event on Friday. 6am flight out Friday to meet family on short vacation. 

I had never been to Germany before last year, come to think of it, and had three separate trips unrelated to each other...  Munich, Cologne and Berlin. Itching to go back to Germany. Very much like it there.

 

Edited by Mr. Ham

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35k on AA.  No international travel.  My EQD is low ($3,500) and always what holds me back only flying in the US with a nice corporate discount on airfare.  For the 3rd year in a row will probably finish in the ballpark of high Platinum/low Platinum Pro depending on the EQDs.

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6 minutes ago, SouthJersey said:

35k on AA.  No international travel.  My EQD is low ($3,500) and always what holds me back only flying in the US with a nice corporate discount on airfare.  For the 3rd year in a row will probably finish in the ballpark of high Platinum/low Platinum Pro depending on the EQDs.

My company gets similarly crazy low fares. So far, it’s costs just about .10 per mile. Really insanely low, figuring each 1,000 miles only costs about $100. Driving 1,000 miles by the time you factor gas, insurance and wear and tear would cost as much. 

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It's bogus that airlines don't count change fees as EQDs.  AA banked about $2k from me in the past year due to meetings being cancelled or scheduled last minute requiring me to change my flight at the last minute.

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Just cashed in some points for 2 weeks in Maui and flights. As much as I hate sitting on the plane and dealing with the bull#### of travel it is worth it.

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1 hour ago, The General said:

Just cashed in some points for 2 weeks in Maui and flights. As much as I hate sitting on the plane and dealing with the bull#### of travel it is worth it.

I swear the best part of my Maui trip might have been the South Maui Fish Company's taco truck at 1975 S Kihei Road. Chatted up one of the owners. They fish all night and catch the bounty for the day. Best fish tacos I've ever had, and it isn't even close.

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Just now, Mr. Ham said:

I swear the best part of my Maui trip might have been the South Maui Fish Company's taco truck at 1975 S Kihei Road. Chatted up one of the owners. They fish all night and catch the bounty for the day. Best fish tacos I've ever had, and it isn't even close.

I'll be down in Wailea so will check this out.

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Let's make air travel fun again!

Dining booths, shopping, sports bars, oh my!

 

Quote

Plane cabins resembling a cross between a restaurant, sports bar, living room and a shop could be coming to a flight path near you in the near future.

That's if a certain British aircraft interior designer and his team get their way.   

Ross Burns is the lead designer of cabin interiors at Bournemouth-based Aim Altitude, the company behind the bar areas on Emirates and Virgin Atlantic. Now they've created a social space concept called 'Ultraflex', reminiscent of Virgin's sofa-clad 'loft' area for the A350 - but even more radical. 

 

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So I might be dipping my toe into international waters with a trip to Incheon, Korea in late June. Passport should be in by mid May so good there, any tips for the trip? There won't be any time outside of travel and meeting so not looking for sight seeing tips. Thinking about just taking a carry on to avoid the whole luggage potential problems. This is the trip right now leave Monday, arrive Tuesday afternoon, unpack, then have dinner.  Wednesday, meet/ tour all day, evening together.  Depart Thursday afternoon. Flying out of Charlotte.

Personally I'd add another day but I'm just tagging along so not my call. Seems a waste to travel that far and not make it a full week. Any social things I should be aware of being a big dumb redneck so I don't start an international incident?

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1 hour ago, beer 30 said:

So I might be dipping my toe into international waters with a trip to Incheon, Korea in late June. Passport should be in by mid May so good there, any tips for the trip? There won't be any time outside of travel and meeting so not looking for sight seeing tips. Thinking about just taking a carry on to avoid the whole luggage potential problems. This is the trip right now leave Monday, arrive Tuesday afternoon, unpack, then have dinner.  Wednesday, meet/ tour all day, evening together.  Depart Thursday afternoon. Flying out of Charlotte.

Personally I'd add another day but I'm just tagging along so not my call. Seems a waste to travel that far and not make it a full week. Any social things I should be aware of being a big dumb redneck so I don't start an international incident?

That’s going to be absolutely miserable. Have the people who planned the trip done this before? You guys are going to be insanely tired and wiped out. I assume you’re flying coach so sleeping on the plane will be very difficult. You should push hard to leave a day or two earlier and stay an extra day or two at least.

I’ve never been to Korea so I can’t speak to customs and such. But make sure to check the visa requirements. Most places require you to have a passport and a visa. It’s usually a simple process, but it probably has to be done.

Since the trip is so short, a carryon may work, but I usually use my carryon for stuff I need on the plane and for the trip - my pillow, a change of clothes, all bathroom items, a book or two, maybe a blanket, whatever. From Charlotte, that’s just a long freaking trip.

Good luck!

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2 hours ago, beer 30 said:

So I might be dipping my toe into international waters with a trip to Incheon, Korea in late June. Passport should be in by mid May so good there, any tips for the trip? There won't be any time outside of travel and meeting so not looking for sight seeing tips. Thinking about just taking a carry on to avoid the whole luggage potential problems. This is the trip right now leave Monday, arrive Tuesday afternoon, unpack, then have dinner.  Wednesday, meet/ tour all day, evening together.  Depart Thursday afternoon. Flying out of Charlotte.

Personally I'd add another day but I'm just tagging along so not my call. Seems a waste to travel that far and not make it a full week. Any social things I should be aware of being a big dumb redneck so I don't start an international incident?

I agree with Kutta, that seems miserable.  Speaking as a guy who has been doing a lot of short turn miserable trips lately I'd advise the same, try and extend it at least a day or two. I don't know the dynamics of the work relationship you have with the Koreans but it is possible you will be expected to do a lot of after-hours socializing which can make it even worse. My first trip to Italy was about the same as your schedule and the supplier insisted on long dinners, etc. that are culturally impossible to say no to.  I fell asleep standing up in the Rome Airport security line leaving Italy. The Carabinieri were not amused.

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3 hours ago, kutta said:

That’s going to be absolutely miserable. Have the people who planned the trip done this before?

Agree 100%. The guys who are planning did it last year and I thought they were nuts. I just don't see the point of going all that way for pretty much a day. The guy putting it together outranks me so I don't have any say in the plans and he's cheap as #### so even if I did bring it up it would fall on deaf ears. Think I have to grin and bear it, make the best of it. Be nice to add an additional though.

2 hours ago, Ron Swanson said:

I don't know the dynamics of the work relationship you have with the Koreans but it is possible you will be expected to do a lot of after-hours socializing which can make it even worse. My first trip to Italy was about the same as your schedule and the supplier insisted on long dinners, etc. that are culturally impossible to say no to.  I fell asleep standing up in the Rome Airport security line leaving Italy. The Carabinieri were not amused.

The guys we deal with are cool and not party guys. The owner of the company doesn't drink and the company is very religious. Makes for an interesting dynamic. I'm hoping they drag us to a karaoke bar until 4 am but on their home turf I'm a little nervous.

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2 hours ago, beer 30 said:

The guys we deal with are cool and not party guys. The owner of the company doesn't drink 

How cool can the guys be if they don't party or drink?

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Sitting at the Flagship Lounge in ORD after a 13-hour flight back from Amman. Waiting to connect for my 3-hour flight back to Miami. My body clock is going to be totally screwed for the next couple of days. To the points above, I added two extra days in Amman to meet with some friends and it was well worth it. Travelling all that way for "only" 5 days would have been okay, but not ideal. 

BTW, Jordan is a fantastic country and the people are great. The majority of people I spoke to in Amman and Petra spoke very good English. I was slightly surprised by that. Everyone I know back home was telling me to "stay safe" while travelling there but I never felt uncomfortable, threatened, or politically uncomfortable while I was there. It was an awesome trip and I am looking forward to going back with my wife and son to get to some of the places I wasn't able to hit on this trip (Dead Sea, Jerash, Madaba, Umm Qais).

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On 4/8/2019 at 11:38 AM, Mr. Ham said:

Curious to hear mileage counts for the year...?

I’m sitting at 47,446 on Delta, plus a 1,500 or so on Alaska. I’m taxiing now and will go over 50k on my return leg Thursday. Separate trips to London, Berlin and Cannes already booked for the quarter. Will definitely have well north of 100k for first half, and no sign of slowing. Last year was my record for a year at 185k.

Who puts that to shame?

Thankfully not me. Body aching from another day of travel 

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On 4/17/2019 at 3:36 PM, Senor Schmutzig said:

Sitting at the Flagship Lounge in ORD after a 13-hour flight back from Amman. Waiting to connect for my 3-hour flight back to Miami. My body clock is going to be totally screwed for the next couple of days. To the points above, I added two extra days in Amman to meet with some friends and it was well worth it. Travelling all that way for "only" 5 days would have been okay, but not ideal. 

BTW, Jordan is a fantastic country and the people are great. The majority of people I spoke to in Amman and Petra spoke very good English. I was slightly surprised by that. Everyone I know back home was telling me to "stay safe" while travelling there but I never felt uncomfortable, threatened, or politically uncomfortable while I was there. It was an awesome trip and I am looking forward to going back with my wife and son to get to some of the places I wasn't able to hit on this trip (Dead Sea, Jerash, Madaba, Umm Qais).

I enjoyed Jordan, but definitely did not feel safe at times.  Was definitely stared at, and they weren't the kind flavor of stares.  I was actually chased by a guy in front of a mosque.  I think it's because I was wearing shorts, but they definitely were not overly friendly to me.  

I loved Petra but was there in July...it was 110 I think.  The Roman ruins outside of Amman were pretty cool too.  

Edited by TripItUp

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I head to Salt Lake City for three days and New York for a week in June.

Geneva Switzerland for a week in June as well.

 

If anybody has suggestions for Geneva or Salt Lake I'm all ears.

=

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On 4/17/2019 at 5:12 PM, beer 30 said:

So I might be dipping my toe into international waters with a trip to Incheon, Korea in late June. Passport should be in by mid May so good there, any tips for the trip? There won't be any time outside of travel and meeting so not looking for sight seeing tips. Thinking about just taking a carry on to avoid the whole luggage potential problems. This is the trip right now leave Monday, arrive Tuesday afternoon, unpack, then have dinner.  Wednesday, meet/ tour all day, evening together.  Depart Thursday afternoon. Flying out of Charlotte.

Personally I'd add another day but I'm just tagging along so not my call. Seems a waste to travel that far and not make it a full week. Any social things I should be aware of being a big dumb redneck so I don't start an international incident?

Try the local food, beer etc whenever you have the chance. Push your boundaries, you'll have a much better experience that way and likely bond more with the people you meet

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On 4/17/2019 at 10:23 PM, beer 30 said:

Agree 100%. The guys who are planning did it last year and I thought they were nuts. I just don't see the point of going all that way for pretty much a day. The guy putting it together outranks me so I don't have any say in the plans and he's cheap as #### so even if I did bring it up it would fall on deaf ears. Think I have to grin and bear it, make the best of it. Be nice to add an additional though.

The guys we deal with are cool and not party guys. The owner of the company doesn't drink and the company is very religious. Makes for an interesting dynamic. I'm hoping they drag us to a karaoke bar until 4 am but on their home turf I'm a little nervous.

I believe the airport has like a "rest lounge" where you can get a shower and a nap ig you arrive at a time where you can't go to your hotel before meetings. It's totally worth it (I used it coming in on the red eye from Thailand, spent the day in meetings then flew out at night to Japan not worse for wear a few years back)

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Wish i saw this post before, somehow I missed it.  Posting from Charles De Gaul in the Aor France lounge.  Did 2 days in Munich, flew to Paris and took the Chunnel over to London for the day, and spent 10 nights in Paris.  I did international business travel once before 4 years ago to Milan but this experiance was something else.

going to have some big points with Hilton and am now silver.

business class on planes have now spoiled me. Can’t fly coach ever again.

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7 hours ago, TripItUp said:

I enjoyed Jordan, but definitely did not feel safe at times.  Was definitely stared at, and they weren't the kind flavor of stares.  I was actually chased by a guy in front of a mosque.  I think it's because I was wearing shorts, but they definitely were not overly friendly to me.  

I loved Petra but was there in July...it was 110 I think.  The Roman ruins outside of Amman were pretty cool too.  

Huh, didn't notice that at all. Were you just in Petra and Amman or did you venture further out? How long ago were you there?

There was plenty of Western tourists in both cities so it's not like they are not accustomed to seeing "us". I'm far from Middle Eastern looking (lighter brown hair and green eyes) so it's not like I exactly fit in with the locals and just blended in. Spent one day walking all over the city, not just in the tourist spots, and never felt that I was being stared at. While I was aware of my surroundings at all times as I usually am when travelling, I didn't notice anything out of the ordinary. 

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4 hours ago, The Ref said:

Wish i saw this post before, somehow I missed it.  Posting from Charles De Gaul in the Aor France lounge.  Did 2 days in Munich, flew to Paris and took the Chunnel over to London for the day, and spent 10 nights in Paris.  I did international business travel once before 4 years ago to Milan but this experiance was something else.

going to have some big points with Hilton and am now silver.

business class on planes have now spoiled me. Can’t fly coach ever again.

I find that as long as I can be excited every time I'm in business or first for how cool and how much easier it makes the experience, I can still do coach (exit row) just fine. Domestically. I pretty strongly try to avoid non-biz/first internationally, but there are ways to do it better too, like fly in the upper deck and, again, find exit rows.

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7 hours ago, TripItUp said:

I head to Salt Lake City for three days and New York for a week in June.

Geneva Switzerland for a week in June as well.

 

If anybody has suggestions for Geneva or Salt Lake I'm all ears.

=

Park City is only about a 30 minute drive. No skiing but nice little town in the mountains.

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