Around the World

Miles flown for stories
2015: 201,296
2014: 363,407
Total: 1,122,897





Flight Review: Kenya Airways – Flying “The Pride of Africa” to Nairobi

On the way to Nairobi, on a clear day you can se Mt Kilimanjaro, sadly not today Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

En route to Nairobi, on a clear day, you can see Mt. Kilimanjaro; sadly, not today – Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

As part of a recent trip to Africa, I had to take a commercial flight from Dar Es Salaam (Tanzania) to Nairobi (Kenya). There are essentially two options for this route; either the direct flight with Kenya Airways or via Zanzibar with Precision Air. Normally, I would take the more adventurous option, but as my trip was time-critical, I chose the direct Kenya Airways flight.

As Kenya Airways is part of the SkyTeam alliance, I was able to take advantage of my elite status on the flight. This not only included an additional baggage allowance, but also access to the local lounge (Tanzanite Lounge) in Dar Es Salaam. The lounge access was well worth it, as it was the only room in the whole terminal to be air-conditioned.

Boarding the pride of Africa to Nairobi Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

Boarding “The Pride of Africa” to Nairobi – Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

Boarding was on-time and, as expected in true African fashion, was chaotic with no priority boarding enforced. Upon boarding the Embraer E190, I was surprised to find an actual business class cabin in a 1-2 layout. My second surprise came in the form of individual in-seat IFE at every seat, including economy. Whilst the size of the screen was relatively small, the selection of TV programs and movies was more than sufficient for the 90-minute flight.

Continue reading Flight Review: Kenya Airways – Flying “The Pride of Africa” to Nairobi

Flying with Kids — When They Aren’t Your Kids

Our Boeing 757 from Philly to San Juan

Our Boeing 757 from Philly to San Juan

I do not have kids. I am an only child. I have a very small family where I haven’t really been around a lot of kids. By no means do I dislike strangers’ kids, but I am also not one to go out of my way to interact with them. But I do have to say that I love my friend’s kids. But how much?

I was recently invited to head down to San Juan, Puerto Rico from Seattle (with a short layover in Philly) with one of my best friends and his family: his amazing wife, three kids (ranging from 4-11), and his mother. Most of my traveling is done solo or in a small group of adults. How would flying with kids go?

I have seen others do it, I have even read a few stories on it, but I figured that the hands-on experience would be a bit different. I ended up with quite a few (good and bad) surprises.

Continue reading Flying with Kids — When They Aren’t Your Kids

airberlin/Etihad Regional Inaugural – On a Saab 2000

Stunning Livery - airberlin Saab 200 operated by Darwin Airline/Etihad Regional  Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

Stunning livery – airberlin Saab 2000 operated by Darwin Airline/Etihad Regional – Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

Recently, airberlin commenced flights between Prague and Berlin-Tegel, and I was fortunate enough to be on-board the inaugural service.

The flights are operated by Darwin Airline/Etihad Regional using a 50-seat Saab 2000 aircraft.  It  was a new type for me having only previously flown on the Saab 340. The Saab 2000 is one of the fastest turboprop aircraft in commercial service, with a maximum cruising speed of 413mph.

I was curious to see what the Etihad Regional product would be like, and if it would live up to the Etihad mainline economy class experience.

airberlin has scheduled three daily return flights on the route. If we look at the route from a P2P (point-to-point) perspective, three flights is a lot, given the numerous train and bus connections linking Berlin and Prague, in about five hours.  The justification from airberlin for the three flights per day is that Prague-Berlin will act primarily as a feeder service for their mainline European and long-haul international networks. All the flights are time strategically to connect, in particular with long-haul flights New York and Moscow.

Continue reading airberlin/Etihad Regional Inaugural – On a Saab 2000

Flight Review: Cathay Pacific Business Class Flying Across North America

Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER at JFK - Photo: David Montiverdi | Flickr CC

Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER at JFK – Photo: David Montiverdi | Flickr CC

Recently, I needed to get from New York (JFK) to Vancouver (YVR) and, surprisingly, it was not easy to find a flight that didn’t include a crazy set of layovers and several hours of travel time. I was not expecting to find a non-stop Cathay Pacific 777-300ER option — done!

- Photo: Katka Lapelosová

Preparing for the flight out of New York in Cathay business class – Photo: Katka Lapelosová

The flight is special, since it is a transcontinental, but is operated as an international flight, since the stop in Vancouver is part of a longer hop to Hong Kong. Because of this, the flight lands in YVR at 1am, which means you should do some planning on getting to your final destination, since options will be limited.

It’s not a long flight – only about five-and-a-half hours – but it doesn’t mean one can’t enjoy the premium experience.

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Avianca Ecuador: If You Haven’t Flown Them – Do It!

HC-CJM a 2010-built A320-214 still in the Aerogal livery on the ramp at SEQM. Photo - Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

HC-CJM, a 2010-built A320-214, still in the Aerogal livery on the ramp at SEQM – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

Recently, I found myself in Ecuador to go experience endemism in person. If you are not biologically inclined, I am referring to going to the Galapagos archipelago in the Galapagos Province of Ecuador.

I flew into Quito on American Airlines, but because I was part of a group, I was given no choice, or information, on how we were getting to Puerto Baquero Moreno (SCY). If it had been up to me, I’d have flown LAN Ecuador. After all, I am Oneworld Emerald and would’ve loved priority baggage, boarding, lounge access, and whatever else LAN offers Emeralds. Thing is, it wasn’t up to me. We were to fly Avianca Ecuador, operated by Aerogal, not even with seat selection.

Having done my research and spoken to as many frequent-flying locals as I could, I had heard that LAN was head-and-shoulders above both (quasi government owned) TAMÉ and Avianca. Downcast, but excited to visit islands that cause tons of theological contention, I made my way to Mariscal Sucre Airport in Quito with a quiet sense of sadness.

Continue reading Avianca Ecuador: If You Haven’t Flown Them – Do It!