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Across the Globe in 5 Continents

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Kiwi Flyer

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Sep 24, 2004
Messages
5,453
IN THE BEGINNING

Yes it's time again. Every Easter the last several years I have travelled, and going further back, I have travelled most Easters. Past trips include northern Europe, Scandanavia, and Iceland. Last year was a RTW including parts of eastern Europe.

With the dates fitting well for work, Easter and public holidays, I decided on another RTW. This is the story of that trip, plus some travel in the days immediately beforehand.
 

Kiwi Flyer

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2004
Messages
5,453
AN ISLAND IN THE SUN

After a particularly busy period at work I finally had some free time, and so with a sale underway I decided to do a quick trip to one of the south pacific islands I had yet to visit - Tonga. Tonga is just a few hours flying from Auckland and with regular flights is easily reached. My original plan was to spend a couple of days there and get off the main island to one of the more beautiful islands. However, the airline schedule and my work conspired against me. I almost cancelled but decided to stick with a turnaround and save a proper visit for another time. At the very least I could collect some useful info for a later visit.

I left early for the airport, mindful of the announced major delays due to the roadworks on Mangere Bridge between city and airport. However, despite reports on a previous weekend of multi-hour snarl ups, the traffic was reasonably light and so arrived at the airport in plenty of time.

I headed straight to the separate premium check in area that Air New Zealand has for its premium and elite pax, where I had a 15 minute wait to be checked in. Only a couple of check in staff for a modest volume of pax at this hour, but the ones at the counters both seemed to have issues needing sorting out. Later some more check in staff arrived, but my luck there was no better than with supermarket roulette - the other lines moved faster. Never mind, while 15 minutes is the longest I have ever waited in the AKL premium check in area it still is nothing compared with other airport queues. The check in staff, as with all front line Air New Zealand staff, have the new Zambezi uniforms. There has been mixed reviews and comments in the media, and my first impressions were hardly overwhelming.

After receiving the boarding pass I paid the departure tax (yes New Zealand really is in the stone age in requiring departure tax to be paid at the airport, but at least premium pax can pay at check-in - see AKL airport thread for more info).

Then quickly through immigration and up the escalator bypassing the main immigration queues to security. It doesn't take long and I'm arriving at the very nice Air New Zealand lounge. Since the last time I was here the reception area has been changed with the big desk removed and replaced by a couple of maitre'd stations. While it may look snazzier, I dont think it is very practical as staff and pax alike have no space to put things down. I made a mental note for when I leave the lounge, that the peppermints have been moved from the front desk to the inside desk.

I still was disappointed to reconfirm that the international lounge, with 8 different beers and 5 different wines, had much less beer varieties than the main domestic Koru Clubs (see mini tour of NZ or the summer series - AKL WLG CHC and DUD), and still no Macs Gold. Regulars of the NZ and QF forum (what is it with antipodeans and obsession with beer?) will know it's a bugbear of mine - despite the odd report from other FTers finding Macs Gold in the international lounges it has been a long time between (these) drinks for me.

Enough of this wittering. For those interested in the lounge there is plenty of information on other threads in FT. It really is a nice lounge and today isnt too full.
 

Kiwi Flyer

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Joined
Sep 24, 2004
Messages
5,453
AN ISLAND IN THE SUN continued

Today's flight is on an Air New Zealand 767. Unusually for me, I notice the aircraft registration as the last 2 letters remind me of someone's initials. We push back roughly on time despite a very late boarding - the flight is so lightly loaded that boarding takes very little time and there is almost no time between the announcements for pax with families or needing assistance to board, business class and *gold pax, and the general boarding call.

The service onboard is excellant (as I've come to expect). It's a very relaxing flight of a few hours which I while away catching up on some papers and watching. I'll post a menu when I have a chance. The food is quite good and the wines are excellent. Sorry mad_atta but once I found the Wither Hills Sauvignon Blanc there was no further sampling, other than to try out the desert wine which had changed to Canterbury House (I think???) - somewhat less overpowering and not quite as sweet as the De Bortoli that used to be stocked.

The view on final approach to Nuku'Alofa (TBU) was stunning. Coming in initially over startling clear water, then right over the length of the main island with other smaller islands in the distance, past the plantations to land seemingly in the middle of one. As with other pacific island airports, and other quiet airports elsewhere, there is no taxiway with just a large turning circle at the end of the runway. There are no aircraft on the tarmac at either the international or domestic terminals. We deplane by steps of course and make our way through the warm embrace of the tropical sun.

Despite a sign over the departure gate for transits, all pax must go to immigration. This caused some confusion with many questions on the forms not relevant for transits but soon enough I was through baggage claim and customs and made it landside where a large crowd was milling. In this short time a flight arrived from Nadi, Fiji, and so there were families meeting 2 flight arrivals and dropping off 2 flight departures.

I had enough time to collect some info that will help for a later trip, and then proceeded to the door to immigration. Here I was told my boarding pass (issued in Auckland) was no good - it will need to be reissued :rolleyes: It was perhaps due to the different paper/cardboard being used? Anyway, reissue took no time at all with a small detour to get a departure tax exemption stamped on the boarding pass and quickly through immigration (strangely no forms for leaving the country).

Airside the terminal is fairly basic with 1 duty free shop selling booze and cigarettes, one selling a very limited range of souvenirs, and a small cafe. There is no aircon, a full room of pax and a hot steamy day and so immediately I regretted not staying landside as long as possible.

Boarding is quite orderly and takes somewhat longer as the flight is much fuller going back. The aircraft seems positively freezing compared with outside and in the terminal and I wonder if I should ask for a blanket!

We take off a little late but make good time en route. Another nice meal and fantastic service and we arrive back at Auckland. I was stunned to find immigration and agriculture check totally empty other than the officers.

The trip back from the airport to city required the detour through Manukau due to the roadworks. It took maybe 10 minutes longer than normal and I'd be interested to know how it compares in peak hour as a viable alternative route (though I suspect will be worse then judging by how clogged the Southern Motorway becomes after 3pm weekdays).

So ends a nice day out - a refreshing break, some miles, and a chance to work through some papers in comfort.
 

Kiwi Flyer

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2004
Messages
5,453
Menu AKL-TBU

LUNCH

Starter

Peppered tuna with pickled vegetable salad, king prawn on saffron aioli and salmon pate with wasabi caviar.

Main course

Spicy lamb wrap with capsicum, rocket, hummus and caponata in a soft flour tortilla.

Crispy skinned snapper with soft herb couscous, cream tarragon sauce, orange and pink grapefruit citrus salsa.

Basil and fate filled chicken thigh, kumara and thyme mash, broccolini and spiced black Doris plum sauce.

Dessert

Gourmet double chocolate and golden kiwifruit ice cream.

Cheese

A selection of fine New Zealand cheese.

Beverages

Freshly brewed or decaffeinated coffee, tea, herbal tea or hot chocolate.


Menu TBU-AKL

LUNCH

Starter

Pan seared miso prawns on frisee with ginger, daikon and sweet pepper salad and miso wasabi dressing.

Main course

Karengo crusted snapper with New Zealand olive oil potato mash, vine ripened tomato, wilted spinach, rocket, and verjuice and lime sauce.

Beef fillet steak with speck and horseradish butter, mushrooms, roasted parsnips, courgette and potato.

Smoked chicken and cranberry wrap with rocket and brie, served with potato, cranberry and horopito salad.

Dessert

Wild berry meringue tart.

Cheese

A selection of fine New Zealand cheese.

Beverages

Freshly brewed or decaffeinated coffee, tea, herbal tea or hot chocolate.


BEVERAGES

Spirits

Glenfiddich Malt Whisky
Chivas Regal Blended Whisky
Jack Daniel's Black Label
Gordons Gin
42 Below Vodka
Courvoisier VSOP
Captain Morgan Rum
Ron Bacardi Superior

Port and Liqueurs

Portuguese Port
Grand Marnier
Baileys Irish Cream

Beer

A selection of beer featuring Steinlager, Export Gold, Heineken and low alcohol lager.

Soft Drinks

Mineral water, orange juice, apple juice, tomato juice, cola, lemonade, tonic water, ginger ale and a choice of diabetic drinks are available.
 

Kiwi Flyer

Senior Member
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Sep 24, 2004
Messages
5,453
Menu AKL-PER

MAIN MEAL

Starter

Peppered tuna with pickled vegetable salad, king prawn on saffron aioli and salmon pate with wasabi caviar.

Main course

Lemon and oregano rubbed loin of lamb on kawakawa gratin potatoes, leek and spinach with honey, oregano olive oil dressing and macadamia nuts.

Crispy skinned snapper with soft herb couscous, cream tarragon sauce, orange and pink grapefruit citrus salsa.

Basil and fate filled chicken thigh, kumara and thyme mash, broccolini and spiced black Doris plum sauce.

Dessert

Wild berry meringue tart.

Gourmet ice cream dessert of double chocolate and golden kiwifruit ice cream.

Cheese

A selection of fine New Zealand cheese.

Beverages

Freshly brewed or decaffeinated Gravity coffee, tea, herbal tea or hot chocolate.


LIGHT MEAL

Starter

Fresh fruit salad of melon, kiwifruit and tropical papaya.

Main course

Smoked chicken and cranberry wrap with rocket and brie, served with potato, cranberry and horopito salad.

Toasted salmon, basil pesto and tomato baguette with fennel, salted capers, capsicum and piri piri sauce.

Dessert

Freshly baked blueberry friand and orange syrup tea cakes.

Beverages

Freshly brewed or decaffeinated Gravity coffee, tea, herbal tea or hot chocolate.


BEVERAGES

Spirits

Glenfiddich Malt Whisky
Chivas Regal Blended Whisky
Jack Daniel's Black Label
Gordons Gin
42 Below Vodka
Courvoisier VSOP
Captain Morgan Rum
Ron Bacardi Superior

Port and Liqueurs

Portuguese Port
Grand Marnier
Baileys Irish Cream

Beer

A selection of beer featuring Steinlager, Export Gold, Heineken and low alcohol lager.

Soft Drinks

Mineral water, orange juice, apple juice, tomato juice, cola, lemonade, tonic water, ginger ale and a choice of diabetic drinks are available.[/QUOTE]

42 Below Cocktails

Falling Water
A cool delicious re-hydrating combination of lemonade, sliced cucumber and 42 Below Feijoa Vodka served over ice.

Backyard Bellini
A crisp refreshing aperitif of apple juice and 42 Below Feijoa Vodka topped with Champagne and a dash of elderflower cordial.
 

Kiwi Flyer

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2004
Messages
5,453
THE HEAT IS ON

A few days later and it was time to head back to the airport for the flight to Perth, Western Australia. Ironically there are no places in WA mentioned in the song I've Been Everywhere. While I have seen quite a bit of Australia over the years, I have only visited Western Australia a few times so a great chance to see "the Real Australia" as the tourism board promotes the state.

On the way to the check in area at AKL airport I noticed that there is a new way to pay the annoying NZ departure tax - namely machines outside the downstairs BNZ branches accepting mastercard, visa and NZ issued ATM cards. However I dont bother since I can pay at premium check in which is just as convenient for me.

For the second time in succession there is a queue with pax at check in having some issues being sorted out. The one in front of me has transferred from another flight but for some reason wasn't checked through and now isnt allowed to check in since the US flights check in only opens 3 hours prior to departure (as written on a sign by the premium check in entrance). Its currently a few hours more than that before their flight. I think they wanted to check in and then do some sightseeing.

This takes a few minutes to sort out and then I am quickly checked in and through to the lounge again.
 

Kiwi Flyer

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Sep 24, 2004
Messages
5,453
THE HEAT IS ON continued

Boarding is called and I head out to the gate. I notice we have the same aircraft from the other day. The flight is quite full but we leave on time. The taxi is slow due to the maintenance on the main runway - the secondary runway (which normally serves as taxiway) is being used instead. Flying time is longer than usual owing to very strong headwinds (ground speed not much over 700 km/h much of the way), and we have enough time for both movie cycles and a complete repeat of the first cycle also. The flight path took us south of Hobart and then northwest across the Great Australian Bight.

As posted above, there is a strong similarity in the menu from the previous two flights. We arrive late, but as Perth doesnt see too many international flights immigration, customs and agriculture screening don't take long.

Parmelia Hilton had a great special rate which I couldn't pass up - and this will help my requalification effort too. For the first time I can recall there is no complimentary wine, however there is a nice room upgrade to a suite.

The next day I take the train to the port of Freemantle, like Auckland a former home to the America's Cup. I while away the warm morning wandering around looking at the old town and the markets, before heading to the jazz & blues festival which coincidentally is on today. The afternoon is hot and sunny - a reminder that summer isn't quite ready to give way to autumn. Later, on the way back to the airport I decided I had just enough time for some shopping and even a haircut.

Back at the international terminal and there are lots of passengers milling around. Oh dear the monitors show a significantly delayed flight with expected departure pushed back 9 1/2 hours. It turns out there was a mechanical issue, and since Air New Zealand's fleet is very well utilised that means delay. In all my hundreds of flights I have been fortunate to rarely have major flight delays, with the worst cases weather related.

I have some more flights the next day, scheduled a few hours after the red eye was supposed to arrive. So when I reach the counter I ask my options. The expected arrival time is late enough that I cannot be shifted to later flights that day. The nice agent puts some notes into my record and advises someone will call when I get back to Auckland.

They aren't checking in anyone, but instead issuing hotel and taxi vouchers to spend the night at the Sheraton. I've stayed there before so I know its a nice enough hotel. So an hour after leaving the city for the airport and I'm on my way back to the city. I'm sure it must have taken considerably longer for those without status flying economy.

Even though dinner is included I decide to flag it, prefering instead to take a walk and get to bed early. The wake up call is due at OMG o'clock and I'm not looking forward to it. The shrill of the wake up call does its job. Bleary eyed I check the clock - grrr its early. A note slid under the door explains Air NZ set a group wake up call (makes sense) and booked a bus and cancelled the taxi vouchers. There was a lame excuse about traffic concerns - come on there's hardly going to be any at 3:30 am. After freshening up and checking out, it turns out the bus isnt big enough for everyone so a lucky few stragglers get to go by taxi after all.

Back at the airport, check in is quick but immigration hasn't yet opened. There's a stampede when immigration opens and so a long queue forms. This isnt helped by one of the two officers having problems with her computer. Once through security I browse the duty free and reconfirm prices are better in New Zealand (at least for booze). Air NZ uses the Qantas lounge for *Gold, Koru Club and business class passengers (the Qantas agent who did the checking in forgot to mention this but I know from past experience); however it hasn't yet opened. When it opens 20 minutes later I enter and grab a much needed coffee or three.

The inbound flight arrives even later than expected, probably due to the strong headwinds again, and so boarding is late. Shortly after announcing boarding in the lounge, I'm paged :eek: for late boarding. While I appreciate they want a fast turnaround, there was no need for this call as there was still a huge queue in the airbridge when I arrived at the gate.

I notice once again I'm in the same aircraft(!) and of course the same crew who flew over. With the strong tailwinds the flight is very quick - a little over 5 hours compared with close to 8 hours on the way over. The flight path took us south of Adelaide and over Melbourne.

A breakfast is served not long after take off. Sorry no menus handed out due to catering being completely different. I missed the usual fruit selection and plain yoghurt for example.

From memory there was a strawberry smoothie; some fruit (pineapple, melon, watermelon); fruit yoghurt, croissant or blueberry muffin; choice of omlette, mixed grill or fish; tea, coffee, juice or water. There was no snack offered later in the flight.

So I arrived back at Auckland about the time I expected, but without the 2 extra flights elsewhere. Immigration, customs and agriculture check went fairly quick and I was landside within 10 minutes.
 

Kiwi Flyer

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2004
Messages
5,453
Summary to date

Map

4 flights
9,133 flown miles
1 continent - Australia
3 countries - Tonga, NZ, Australia
1 aircraft type - 767 (actually just 1 aircraft!)
 

Kiwi Flyer

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2004
Messages
5,453
RTW PLANNING

The planning for this trip started a year ago. As usual, I wanted to visit some new places and get a lot of bang for my buck. I expected I'd comfortably requalify my main FFPs and so slightly less focus on maximising that aspect compared with last easter's RTW.

I decided on a CRWSTAR3 (39,000 mile *A round the world) since this allowed me to visit some further afield places. However, unlike previous round the world trips, I didnt have enough mileage to do lots of short hops for minimum mileage earning purposes (if you read the link in the first post you'll know what I mean). I ticketed rather early to beat significant fare increases and increases in the phoney taxes that are fuel surcharges.

Originally I intended to include Bhutan (as a side trip since the only airline, Druk Air, is not a member of any alliance); however I had difficulty fitting it into my schedule, and also difficulty in having long enough without passport to get the visa done, that I gave up on Bhutan for this trip. So a late change to my routing was required.

As usual, I have some side quick trips planned also.
 

Kiwi Flyer

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2004
Messages
5,453
I forgot to mention that on the PER-AKL flight we got business amenity kits, which was a surprise. These must have been just about the last of the old stock as for the past several months (at least) Air New Zealand has not been using amenity kits but rather passes around a basket of items for business class passengers to select the items they want.

A few days later I noticed the AKL-PER and PER-AKL flights hadn't automatically posted so I made an online mileage claim. This was processed instantly which makes me wonder if they have all the data to verify the claim why couldn't the points have been automatically credited?


AT LONG LAST NEW NZ LONGHAUL

Anyway, it's again time to head back to the airport straight from work. This time premium check in is fairly empty and so it doesn't take long until I have a fistful of boarding passes and processed for immigration. I half expected the immigration officer to comment on all my trips but she doesn't say anything out of the ordinary. Back in the lounge I check some email and take a refreshing shower.

I'm looking forward to the flight. Since the new longhaul product was launched nearly a year ago I've had a series of flights on non-refitted 747s, 767s and even a couple of aircraft substitutions from brand new 777s to the old 767 :( Today at least I'd get to see for myself if the experience lives up to the hype.

There are plenty of reports on the new longhaul both in Trip Reports forum and Air New Zealand forum. In business class the old seats have been replaced with the Virgin Upper Class suites, and the IFE now has avod which is a great benefit on the long flights across the pacific. There are a few other changes as well (such as pre-ordering breakfast early in the flight so you can get some extra sleep).

We had a slow taxi again, and I saw several executive jets - I'm not sure what was on but this is more than the odd one or two usually seen at Auckland.

I found the suite great - in my experience easily the best business class seat, although of course I haven't flown all airlines. Rather more enclosed than the Singapore Airlines first suite for example, but still ample room to stretch out and plenty of places to put things (reading material, water bottle, etc).

As usual, the service was great as was the food. Dinner service started quickly, which is good for the overnight flight, and breakfast started about 2 hours out of San Francisco.

The Sauvignon Blanc was again Wither Hills, and I sampled the reds - Villa Maria Pinot Noir, Villa Maria Cabernet Sauvignon and Vidal Shiraz. I felt the reds were a bit too young.

The IFE was easy to use, although unlike some other airlines the handset was not marked with symbols for pause, stop, fast forward and rewind. It took about an hour into the flight before the system was working as they took several system reboots :( The ife was switched to the arrival video about an hour out from San Francisco - unlike some airlines' systems there is no way to ignore the arrival video and continue watching your movie/tv show/game.

I watched a couple of New Zealand feature movies, and some other shows, had plenty to eat and drink, and also had a good shortish sleep for a few hours. In short - a great flight.

San Francisco was clagged in with rain and low cloud, so we didn't see anything until just above the runway. Unlike my previous visits to San Francisco, the Air New Zealand flight arrived before several other international flights and thus immigration queues were short and I was through domestic security within 10 minutes.
 

Kiwi Flyer

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2004
Messages
5,453
Menu AKL-SFO

DINNER

Starter

Peppered tuna with pickled vegetable salad, king prawn on saffron aioli and salmon pate with wasabi caviar

Main course

Lemon and oregano rubbed loin of lamb on kawakawa gratin potatoes, leek and spinach with honey, oregano olive oil dressing and macadamia nuts.

Crispy skinned snapper with soft herb couscous, cream tarragon sauce, orange and pink grapefruit citrus salsa.

Basil and feta filled chicken thigh, kumara and thyme mash, broccolini and spiced black Doris plum sauce.

Light choice of warmed quinoa salad with lime and herbs, roasted vegetables with hummus and yoghurt dressing.

Fast dine

Ask your flight attendant if you would prefer a light meal consisting of a selection of breads, the starter of the day, cheese and chocolates.

Dessert

New Zealand titoki liqueur tiramisu with poached pineapple.

Gourmet ice cream dessert of double chocolate and golden kiwifruit ice cream.

Cheese

A selection of fine New Zealand cheese.

Beverages

Freshly brewed or decaffeinated coffee, tea, herbal tea or hot chocolate.

Snacks

Help yourself from our wide range of snacks, available for you to enjoy during your flight.


BREAKFAST

To order breakfast, complete the enclosed card and return to your flight attendant before going to sleep.

Beverages

Start your day with a fruit smoothie, your choice of juice, freshly brewed or decaffeinated Gravity coffee, tea, herbal tea or hot chocolate

Continental selection

Fruit selection with assorted cereals and yoghurts.

Croissants, friands, white and wholemeal toast with fruit conserve.

Hot options

Potato, tomato, red onion and cheese omelette with chicken sausage and roasted tomato relish.

Blueberry ricotta pancakes with streaky bacon and manuka honey and apple syrup.


BEVERAGES

See earlier post.
 

Kiwi Flyer

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2004
Messages
5,453
Update on the 2 missed flights. They've been rebooked for a new date, although it was hard to fit into my schedule.
 

Kiwi Flyer

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Sep 24, 2004
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NORTHWEST SFO-PDX-SEA-ANC

With the quick processing through immigration, I had enough time to visit the United domestic Red Carpet Club (RCC). My previous transits through San Francisco didn't have enough time for a visit. The lounge was okay but hardly up to the standard of most domestic lounges in NZ or Australia for example.

The large windows afforded views of the water pooling on the tarmac and pouring off the wings of aircraft taking off right in front of us. So it was no surprise to see the monitors showing lots of delayed flights. My next flight to Portland was showing as on time so I headed to the gate, where we were told the inbound aircraft is only just now leaving Eugene for SFO - ie despite the monitors there really is a significant delay.

So, worried that I'd be stuck in Portland for the night I headed back to the RCC, where the lovely ladies on the desk were helpful and eventually managed to get me on the overbooked non-stop flight to Seattle. Sadly I had to give up my first seat, but on a short domestic flight not really missing much. I grabbed at the exit row seat offered (not sure why they bothered offering a choice of a middle seat right at the back?).
 

Kiwi Flyer

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Sep 24, 2004
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5,453
SFO-SEA-ANC

Now rebooked I didnt have to wait long to boarding of the new flight on a United 757. There was the usual scrum at the gate with both passengers and gate agents alike ignoring the priority boarding calls. The flight was full and those that boarded towards the end had to check all bags since all the overhead and under seat space was full. Offered mini-pretzel snack and non-alcoholic drink. No real food.

In Seattle I have enough time to stretch my legs by walking a few circuits of the satellite terminal used by United before heading downstairs to the RCC for a coffee. I think the Seattle RCC is nicer than the San Francisco one.

The next leg was on a United A319. Back in first (on a CRWSTARx business class books into first on 2-class domestic USA flights) for this night time leg. There is no meal, but a selection of cheeses and crackers, plus a suprisingly large amount of fruit. The movie showing on the small bulkhead screen is Narnia.

When we arrive at Anchorage a ghostly full moon is shining weakly through a veil of high cloud. Not having any checked bags, it isn't long before I'm rushing off to the Hilton Anchorage to check in. As a Diamond HHonors member, I get a nice room upgrade to the exec floor (and with a great view of the inlet and surrounding mountains) - the room keycard is needed to access the floor, the lounge as well as the room. The lounge is nice - food selection for breakfast and evening canapes (with alcohol available for a couple of hours) is a bit limited, but non-alcoholic drinks and cookies are available all day. There is also one computer terminal.

I notice the contrast of the military jets maneouvering at low level after take-off and preparing for landing at the base, with the mountains reverberating to their roar, while the slow single engine props whine and the distant muffle of the commercial passenger and freighter jets landing and taking off at Ted Stevens airport several miles away.

I do quite a bit of walking, albeit gingerly in places as not used to walking on ice (daytime snowmelt freezing overnight). Around the coast to Earthquake Park, along some "valleys" such as Chester Creek, etc. The scenery is stunning. With slightly dodgy weather forecast, and a limited schedule, I decide to abandon my thoughts of a day trip to Denali (sorry Seat 2A) - I don't want to get stranded! At least that is one reason for a repeat visit.
 

Kiwi Flyer

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Sep 24, 2004
Messages
5,453
Summary to date

Map

7 flights
17,776 flown miles
2 continents - Australia, North America
4 countries - Tonga, NZ, Australia, USA
4 aircraft types - 767, 777, 757, A319
 

Kiwi Flyer

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Joined
Sep 24, 2004
Messages
5,453
SOUTHEAST HALFWAY AROUND THE GLOBE

All too quickly it was time to leave Alaska, USA and head halfway around the globe to the next stop. Check in at the airport and get a fistful of boarding passes.

The next flight was on a United A319 back to Seattle. We had the same crew, and of the first class passengers 1 was apparently a turnaround and 3 more of us had come up to Anchorage just a day or 2 earlier with this crew. Again a cheese selection and fruit. Movie was "Rumor Has It". However I slept most of this redeye flight.

We arrived in a wet Seattle (what a surprise :rolleyes: ) a bit early. Given I'd be flying the next couple of days I made the most of my transit by putting in just over a couple of dozen laps of the terminal. I could see some fellow travellers and airport staff wondering what this bozo was doing just walking, but who cares?

The next flight was to Washington Dulles, on a 3-class 767 in first again ^ The seat was the best I'd had within the USA but still only comparable with most international business class seats. We had a choice of 4 movies playing on the PTVs or a video from a selection of about half a dozen titles. Channel 9 wasn't working properly with bad feedback. The meal was breakfast with choice of fruit and cornflakes, or mushroom fritatta. There was also a cookie offered before landing. I slept most of the flight. We arrived early into a cloudy IAD, but ground crew weren't ready for us - by the time the airbridge was engaged it was an on-time arrival.
 

Kiwi Flyer

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Sep 24, 2004
Messages
5,453
I had a couple of hours to kill in IAD so after a bit of a walk headed to (one of) the RCC. It was very full and busy. The coffee machine wasn't working. Since it was my first time at Dulles airport I wasn't sure how much time to allow to get the bus to the G concourse for the next flight. I ended up being a little early and wished I had waited some more as it was jammed packed - barely enough room to stand. Many of the boarding announcements included comments about onboard toilets being out of order, so the terminal toilets were well used with lengthy queues.

Across the tarmac to the Mesa Airlines CRJ bound for JFK. Not unexpectedly I had to gate check my carry-on. The all economy aircraft was full. We had a late pushback due to an aircraft behind blocking us in. The short flight (comparable flight time to most domestic flights in NZ) had no service at all. There were no views and indeed it was raining in New York. I was beginning to wonder if the whole northern part of the lower 48 was clouded/rained in today - it sure seemed that way. We were able to collect gate checked bags at the aircraft (the same system I'd experienced in europe), so it was straight to the airtrain for the change of terminals.

The JFK Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse is a very nice lounge - certainly in the top 5 that I have visited. Not only the usual nice showers, computers and a wide selection at the bar, but it also has sit down dinner service which is great for the overnight trans-atlantic flights. In case you're wondering what Virgin Atlantic has to do with a Star Alliance around the world, this is the designated lounge for Singapore Airlines (at least for PPS and first/business class passengers) with whom I'm flying to Frankfurt tonight.

While in the lounge I catch up on email but skip the meal and drinks on offer. After an hour or so it is time to head through security and board from the far end gate. The flight is moderately full - in contrast to the other time I flew this leg when it was almost empty. Nevertheless we push back on time, but have a very slow taxi due to a runway change (grrr that happened last time too). It took us more than 30 minutes from push back to reach the start of the active runway. This is where Singapore Airlines IFE comes to the fore - unlike some other airlines (eg Air New Zealand, Qantas, etc); the avod Wisemen 3000 is up and running from before pushback and so I make the most of the ground delay by watching a movie.

As we pass the northeast of Canada we get a spectacle which I've rarely experienced - the northern lights are on display out the left hand side. We have strong tailwind and so arrive on time, but again delayed slightly - this time due to the prior aircraft still being at our gate.
 

Kiwi Flyer

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2004
Messages
5,453
Menu JFK-FRA

DINNER

A Savoury Note

Salad of asparagys with olive and tomato, marinated prawns and garden greens. Honey mustard dressing. Balsamic and extra virgin olive oil dressing.

The Main Event

Seared beef fillet in cabernet butter, baby carrots, sauteed fingerling potato with onion, crispy pork and sage.

Braised cod fillet in XO sauce with seasonal vegetables and fried rice.

Stir fried chicken with dried chillies and rice wine, Oriental mixed vegetables and steamed rice.

Seared lamb loin in rosemary jus with roasted vegetables and leek-mashed potatoes.

The Cheese Board

Gourmet cheese with garnishes.

A Sweet Note

A selection of fresh fruit.

Ice cream

A Connoisseur's Choice

Gourmet coffee

Selection of tea

Pralines


CONTINENTAL BREAKFAST

A Fresh Start

A choice of apple, tomato or freshly squeezed orange

A selection of fresh fruit

From The Bakery

Assorted breakfast rolls

Butter - fruit preserve

A Connoisseur's Choice

Gourmet coffee

Selection of tea


BEVERAGES

Special Cocktail

Citrus Royale

Cocktails

Singapore Sling
Silver Kris Sling
Gin Fizz
Cloud Nine
Screwdriver
Bloody Mary
Daiquiri
Red or White Wine Cooler

Aperitifs

Campari
Dry Vermouth

Non-alcoholic Cocktails

Tropical Sparkle
Orange Cooler
Golden Spice
Fruit Spritzer
Sunrise Surprise

Spirits

Cognac XO Otard
Chivas Regal Scotch Whisky
Johnnie Walker Black Label
Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey
Gordon's Dry Gin
Smirnoff Red Label Vodka
Bacardi Carta Blanca

Liqueurs

Cointreau
Tia Maria
Baileys Original Irish Cream

Beer

International selection

Stout

Guinness Stout

Champagne

Piper Heidsieck 1999

White Wines

Kloster Eberbach Riesling Kabinett 2003 Rheingau
Montagny 1er Cru 2002

Red Wines

Chateau Cissac 1998 Cru Bourgeois Haut Medoc
Serrata Belguardo 2003 igt Maremma Toscanna
Pommard 1999 Bouchard Pere Et Fils

Port

Taylor 2000 Late Bottled Vintage Port

Tea Selection

Pure Ceylon Tea
Earl Grey
Darjeeling
Camomile
Decaffeinated Tea
Japanese Green Tea

Chinese Tea Selection

Oolong

Gourmet Coffees

Brazil Santos Bourbon
Colombian Supremo
Kenyan AA Kilimanjaro

Specialty Coffees

Brewed Coffee
Cafe Royal
Espresso
Cappuccino
Decaffeinated Coffee
Mocha

Other Beverages

Chocolate
Milo

Mineral Water

Carbonated Mineral Water
Non-carbonated Mineral Water

Fruit Juices

Apple
Orange
Pineapple
Tomato
Cranberry

Soft Drinks

A range of regular or low-calorie drinks is available

Iced Drinks

Iced Tea
Iced Coffee
Iced Mocha
Iced Chocolate
Iced Milo
 

Kiwi Flyer

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2004
Messages
5,453
After clearing immigration - the usual 10 second check and stamp (grrr another blank page gone) - I change some money and check email. Then over to the lufthansa first class terminal (FCT). Since the forecast rain hasn't yet arrived I walk across instead of waiting for complimentary car ride.

First up a shower after long day travelling, then a sleep since I watched movies and talked most of the transatlantic flight. Later I grab a nice meal. The FCT is almost empty - with between 1 and 10 of us at varying times.
 

Kiwi Flyer

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2004
Messages
5,453
FRA first class terminal menu

BUFFET

Antipasti

Calamari con salsa
Veal with truffel sauce
Grilled vegetables
Feta cheese with olive oil
White eggplant puree
Arugula with cherry tomatoes
Shallots with aged balsamic vinegar
Buffalo mozzarella
Parmesan
Manchego
Jamon iberico / pata negra
Grilled green asparagus
Minced beef salad
Stuffed eggplant

Tapas

Fried baby calamari
Fried artichokes
Meatballs in tomato sauce
Fried prawns

Smoked Salmon

Scottish smoked salmon - Loch Fyne
Horseradish cream / toast or cream cheese / bagel

Desserts

Do & Co's Mousse au chocolat
Creme brulee
Tiramisu
Pannacotta
Do & Co's French kiss
Fresh fruit salad
Viennese apple strudel
Selection of sorbets
Austrian style chocolate souffle
Vanilla ice cream with warm chocolate sauce


BUFFET AND SPECIALS

Soups

Consomme with vegetables
Cappucino di rucola with tomatocrostini
Tom ka gai - Thai chicken soup with coconut milk / fresh cilantro and chili

Local Special

Bavarian leberkase - creamy potato salad / brezel / mustard
Oktopus grost'l - caramelized shallots / tomatoes

Steak and Salad

Seared fillet of beef - eggplant salad / crispy rosemary chips

Wok

Stir fried chilli beef - fillet of beef marinated with chilli and Thai basil / sweet soy sauce / steamed rice
Chicken koy soy - slices of chicken breast in chili coconut cream / soy bean sprouts / egg noodles / coriander

Pasta

Handmade tagliatelle - sauteed scallops / creamy lemongrass sauce / rosemary pesto


BAR

Before Dinner Drinks

Bellini cocktail
Veneziano
Kir royale
Cosmopolitan
Martini cocktail
Manhattan

After Dinner Drinks

White russian
Alexander
Godfather

Water

Voslauer still
Voslauer sparkling
Evian still
Perrier sparkling
Apollinaris still
Apollinaris sparkling
San Pellegrino sparkling
Ramlosa sparkling
Blue Keld still

Beer

Draft beer
Beck's
Radeberger
Konig Pilsener

Bottled beer
Foster's
Ottakringer
Budweiser
Carlsberg
Kronebourg 1664
Warsteiner
Jever Pilsener
Franziskaner Hefe
Diebels Altbier
Maisel Diat
Corona
Heineken
Anheuser Busch
Miller Genuine Draft

Non alcoholic beer
Clausthaler

Cider
Strongbow

Cocktails

Mojito
Ciapirinha
Daiquiri
Strawberry Margarita
Sex on the Beach
Cuba Libre
Pina Colada
Mai Tai

Red Wines

2001 Spatburgunder
2001 Chianti Classico Riserva
2002 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOC
1999 Rioja Rserva
2004 Blaufrankisch Barrique Chevalier
2003 Pinotage Laibach Vignery
2002 Cabernet Sauvignon Brown Brothers
2000 Chateau Fonpiquery

White Wines

2004 Riesling Smaragd Steinertal
2003 Chardonnay Selection
2005 Gelber Muskateller
2005 Riesling Robert Weil
2004 Sancerre
2004 Chablis 1er Cru Domaine William Fevre
2004 Pinot Grigio Collio DOC
2005 Sauvignon Blanc Hawkes Bay Babich Winert

Dessert Wine

2003 Beerenauslese Cuvee

Whisky

Blended scotch
Ballantine's finest
Ballantine's gold seal 12 years
Chivas Regal 12 years
Clan Campbell 12 years
Cutty Sark emerald 12 years
Dewar's
Dimple original
The Famous Grouse finest
The Famous Grouse gold reserve 12 years
Glob Kitty
J & B rare
Johnnie Walker red label
Johnnie Walker black label 12 years
Johnnie Walker gold label 18 years
Johnnie Walker blue label
Vat 68 finest

Bourbon
Four Roses kentucky
Jim Beam kentucky
Jim Beam black label 8 years 43% vol
Maker's Mark 45% vol
Wild Turkey 8 years 50.5% vol
Woodford Reserve distiller's select

Tennessee
Jack Daniel's old no 7 brand
Jack Daniel's gentleman jack
Jack Daniel's single barrel 45% vol

Canadian
Canadian Club barrel blended
Crown Royal fine de luxe
Mc Guiness old canada

Irish
Jameson 12 years
Kilbeggan finest
Paddy
Tullamore Dew

Irish Malt
Bushmills 10 years
Connemara peated
Locke's 8 years
Tyrconnell pure pot still

Single Malt

Highlands
Aberlour 10 years 43% vol
Balvenie founder's reserve 10 years
Balvenie double wood 12 years
Cragganmore 12 years
Criagnure 10 years
Dalwhinne 15 years 43% vol
Ferintosh 10 years
Glenfarclas 10 years
Glenfarclas 21 years 43% vol
Glenfiddich havana reserve 21 years
Glenfiddich solera reserve 15 years
Glenlivet 12 years
Glenlivet 15 years 43% vol
Glenluig 10 years
Glenmorangie 10 years
Glenmorangie 18 years 43% vol
Glenmorangie sherry wood finish 43% vol
Glenmorangie madiera wood finish 43% vol
Glenmorangie port wood finish 43% vol
Highland Park isle of orkney 12 years
Knockando 12 years 43% vol
Macallan 12 years
Macallan fine oak 18 years
Mortlach 15 years
Talisker isle of skye 10 years 45.8% vol

Lowlands
Glenkinchie 10 years 43% vol

Isle of Islay
Ardbeg 10 years 46% vol
Ardbeg uigedail 54.2% vol
Druichan 10 years 43% vol
Lagavulin 16 years 43% vol
Laphroaig 10 years
Laphroaig 15 years 43% vol

Vatted Malt
Glen Grant
Johnnie Walker 15 years

Aperitif and Bitters

Aperol
Averna
Campari
Cynar
Fernet - branca
Martini Bitter
Nonino Amaro
Ouzo no 12
Pernod
Ramazzotti
Ricard

Calvados

Daron XO 18 years
Papidoux 15 years

Cognac

Camus grand VSOP
Hennessy fine de cognac
Hennessy XO
Martell cognac cordon bleu
Otard XO gold
Otard VSOP

Brandy

Carlos I
Conde De Osborne
Osborne Veterano

Grappa

Antinori
Altesino
Nonino grappa di moscato
Nonino vuisinar

Schnaps

Apple
Raspberry
Elderflower
Apricot
Yellow Plum
Quince
Rowanberry
Pear
Plum

Rum

Bacardi carta blanca
Bacardi carta d'oro
Bacardi carta negra
Bacardi 8 anos
Bacardi lemon
Havana Club anejo 3 anos
Havana Club anejo 7 anos
Havana Club anejo reserva
Myers's original dark
Pitu cachaca
Pyrat XO planters gold
Zacapa centenario 23 years

Vodka

Absolut
Absolut citron
Absolut mandarin
Finlandia
Grey Goose
Stolichnaya

Gin

Beefeater
Bombay Sapphire
Gordon's
Tanqueray

Tequila

Jose Cuervo classico
Jose Cuervo especial gold

Liqueur

Amaretto
Baileys
Batida de coco
Benedictine
Cointreau
Creme de cacao
Creme de cassis
Drambuie
Kahlua
Malibu
Pepino peach
Sambuca
Southern Comfort
Tia Maria

Sherry

Sandeman don fino
Sandeman dry seco
Sandeman medium dry
Sandeman rich golden

Vermouth

Martini extra dry
Martini bianco
Martini d'oro
Martini rosso
Noilly Prat extra dry

Prosecco and Champagner

Prosecco Brusole
Champagner Taittinger
Champagner Taittinger Rose
Ruinart

Port Wine

Delaforce

Fruit Juices

Pineapple
Apple
Pear
Strawberry
Blackcurrant
Cherry
Mango-passionfruit
Tropical fruit
Peach
Tomato

Soft Drinks

Coca Cola
Coca Cola light
Fanta
Sprite
Bitter lemon
Tonic water
Ginger ale
Kombucha
Red Bull
Red Bull sugar free

Tea

Assam Bukhial second flush
Ceylon orange pekoe
China Yunnan golden downy pekoe
Darjeeling Lingia first flush
Earl Grey imperior
English breakfast
Uva Blairlomond highgrown
Formose oolong II
China Lung Ching green tea
China Wujuan jasmine
Fruchtemischung / tropical fruit
Camomile
Peppermint
Rotbusch Sahne Karamell
 
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