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RTW: *A And CO In C, Including Island Hopper

Thu Jan 20, 2005 2:15 pm

This is a complex RTW which involves a few tickets:
1) RTW that began in CPH a few months ago
2) CO/ Air Mike HNL-GUM via Micronesia
3) SFO-LAX-SFO sidetrip to stay within RTW rules
4) LHR-JFK-LAX (return of my original ticket that got me to CPH)

Here's the full itinerary:

HNL-GUM (CO, C Island Hopper)


I began my day in LA with ticket #3 to get me to SFO, which was supposed to catch up with my RTW ticket/ flight to HNL.

Well, that's what was supposed to happen!

I got a text message that the UA 1:30 departure to SFO went mechanical. I am now rebooked on the 12:45. There goes my morning meeting in LA!

I get to the airport. Check in is smooth, and they process my onward ticket to HNL. While sitting in the RCC, I get another text message that the 12:45 has gone mechanical! Good grief! There are no more flights that can get me to SFO in time for my connection. There goes my afternoon meeting in SFO.

This is where two tickets gets tricky. My RTW is on BD stock, so UA was at first reluctant to touch anything. It took long lines and a few agents to finally get me on the nonstop LAX-HNL. (Boy, do I miss the 1K room!).

I asked about a refund for the LAX-SFO flight. "No can do." They basically used both tickets (LAX-SFO and SFO-HNL) and stapled them to my LAX-HNL boarding pass. A call to customer service produced a $125 voucher that they will mail me! Next is a call to MP to make sure I get all the miles that are coming to me!

The flight itself was uneventful. Very nice service. I did not win (didn't even come close) on the "halfwayto HA" game.

Dinner choices were Salmon or Chicken. I chose chicken, but was dissapointed to find bits of bacon in the stufifng. I looked at the menu description again, and it did not mention bacon. Oh well! Ice cream for dessert.

Landing was beuatiful and ahead of schedule. As I am meeting my father here for our trip to GUM, our plan was for him to meet my flight. But because of the change, I got in ahead of him. I went to the RCC, which was closed. I then tried to find the President's Club, but couldn't. I figured it must be on the street side of security.

I was wrong!

So I went to the NW counter and bought a $750 refundable ticket just to get through security. Of course I had a SSSS on my boarding card, and I was selected for secondary. The TSA was very polite, and I was not in a hurry.

So now I am sititng in the PC, waiting for my father's flight from EWR.

Next will be the Island Hopper report.

[Edited 2005-01-20 06:24:41]
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RE: RTW: *A And CO In C, Including Island Hopper

Thu Jan 20, 2005 5:57 pm

Hey, that is an interesting trip you're taking there! Eight days is pretty ambitious for that, aren't you gonna stop over anywhere?
Bacon in chicken, that sounds yucky.
Well, are you gonna take pics of the CO-Island hopper? If you do it would be neat if you could post those here once you get back.
All right, keep us updated and have a great onward trip.

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RE: RTW: *A And CO In C, Including Island Hopper

Thu Jan 20, 2005 6:38 pm

Would the "island-hopper" as you call it be a Cape Air Cessna 402, which is doing side work for Continental Connection?

I think it just may be Big grin
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RE: RTW: *A And CO In C, Including Island Hopper

Fri Jan 21, 2005 1:26 am

The Island Hopper is a 737-800. I am spending two nights in HNL, two in GUM, one in INC, one in LHR, and one in AMS.
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Island Hopper First Leg

Sat Jan 22, 2005 6:41 pm

Leg one of the Island Hopper, HNL-MAJ.

We got up at 4:00am for our 7am departure out of HNL Traffic was light, we had no problem returning out rental car, and we were at check in by 5:45. I put my CO card into the e-ticket machine, and it came up with my father’s itinerary. (I suppose this was because I booked it, and it was using my miles). Still, his passport was required to authorize the transaction. A quick swipe was all that was needed. Pulling up my record was harder. As the machine did not recognize my itinerary, I was able to use my passport to pull it up. Still, the machine told me I needed an agent. This is probably because I booked the flight as four connecting segments rather than one direct flight. The lady at check in was terrific. She got us squared away, (questioned why we weren’t taking the nonstop to GUM) stamped our boarding cards for gold line access, and sent us to the President’s Club.

Security took about 15 minutes. My computer was chosen to be inspected, as was my father’s carry on. But soon we were in the PC, enjoying some coffee. I stocked up on some granola bars for the long journey. Soon our flight was called, and we headed to board our 737-800 for the trip.

On our way to the gate, I took out my camera for a photo op of my dad in front of our plane. The same lady who checked us in saw us and offered to take our photo. She ended up taking three pictures between both our cameras, and then she walked us to the place. Turns out she has been with CO in HNL for 18 years!

We boarded right away and tucked into the seat 2EF, our homes for the next many hours. Push back was 5 minutes early, and soon we were racing down the runway. My father and I always make a bet as to how long the take-off roll would be. Dad being a private pilot, he usually has the advantage. Takeoff took 37 seconds, about 10 seconds longer than my guess.

Once we hit cruise, breakfast orders were taken. Either pancakes with Canadian bacon and pork sausage or an omelet with mushrooms and sausage. I chose the omelet (without any meat), and it was a great choice! Hot croissants, yoghurt, and fruit accompanied the meal. All was quite tasty.

Two movies were shown, neither of which I watched. Unfortunately, it was overcast, and there were clouds the entire way down. Partly defeats the purpose of this trip. According to the weather this morning, all of Micronesia has clouds and rain today L.

Warm cookies were served before landing, and soon we were on the ground. Transit passenger at this and all stops were required to take all belongings off the plane. This was a bit of a schlep, but nothing could dampen the beauty of our journey. As we deplaned, we took lots of photos and videos. The Majuro airport is a small, dingy terminal with no facilities at all for those in transit. The waiting area was filled with local color, and people waiting to board the flight wore flowers in their hair and around their necks. There was a large group of Japanese people. It turned out that they had all come to the island to pay their respect on the anniversary of the death of an ancestor. My father spent a lot of time talking with them, and one of them gave my father the flowers he was wearing! After 1/2 hour on the ground, we boarded the short hop up to Kwajalein.
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RE: RTW: *A And CO In C, Including Island Hopper

Sun Jan 23, 2005 5:43 pm

Ok, next five CO #957 legs….

I should have said from the start that our crew on 957 was OUTSANDING. I don’t know how they have the wherewithal to offer such great service on all those legs. But they did.

Our short hop up to Kwajalein was, well, short! Still, they had time to offer predeparture beverages, three refills in flights, unlimited bags of nuts, and endless smiles. Dad and I were taking turns at the window. The clouds had broken, and we got great views with lots of nice photos. (IF/ when I can figure out how to post links, I will). Landing in KWA was spectacular. The field seems to cover most of the tiny island. Transit pax were not allowed to deplane in KWA, as it is strictly military there. But there were a fair amount of people getting off and on. This caused a slight problem for me, as my ticket was booked as four distinct segments, and I needed to give my boarding pass to an agent in GUM. Patty, the head FA on my flight, made sure that my BP got into the right hands. Forty minutes after touchdown, we powered up and headed to Kosrae.

Even though the Kosrae flight was only about 1 hour and 10 minutes, we were served a nice snack, consisting of a turkey sandwich, potato salad, and fruit. Again, a beautiful flight. Landing was spectacular, and we got off to stretch our legs. The open air terminal was dingy but quaint. The transit passengers were in a corded off area where the CO check in counter was. You really get the feeling that this flights is a lifeline to the world. There were a couple of booths set up selling tangerines, coconut oils, and handicrafts. We could not go out of the terminal, as we were in a secure area. It was hot, hot, hot, and no AC! Within 1/2 hour, we were on our way again.

Remember, each time we got off and on, we had to take ALL our personal belongings off the plane. We could leave them in a cart, but it was stil la schlep.

But this time, the takeoffs and landings and flights were beginning to feel the same. Nevertheless, it was all so wonderful.

Next stop was Pohnpei. Another few rounds of beverages on the flight. More mixed nuts. More smiles! Soon we were on approach. Another small terminal. Off the plane, transit, on the plane, off to Chuuk. More drinks. More nuts. More smiles!

Chuuk is a larger island, and the airport has 25% more flights. What this means is that CO has eights flights a week rather than six!

Back on the plane. For the last leg, which was 1.25 hours, we got another snack. This time it was a ham and turkey sandwhich. One of our FA’s remembered that I don’t eat pork, and he offered me a crew meal, which was only turkey. I told him I didn’t want to take a meal away from them, but he assured me that there were plenty to go around. That was a very nice touch! The sandwich again came with fruit and potato salad.

I should mention that duty free was available on each leg. I was sort of hoping that I could buy an Air Mike something, but no such luck.

I should also say that there was a mechanic who flew the entire journey, as one does on every Island Hopper flight.

Soon we were over Guam, and landing was much like landing at any international Airport. We pulled up to the air conditioned jetway and left our plane. We thanks our crew profusely, and headed off toward customs.

What a journey! A real trip of a lifetime.

And as yoffiela posted, the real treasure was spending this flight was dad.

Tomorrow he and I part ways, and I will be off to SPN, and then around the world back to LA.
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RE: RTW: *A And CO In C, Including Island Hopper

Mon Jan 24, 2005 1:19 pm

Here is a link to photos from the trip!

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RE: RTW: *A And CO In C, Including Island Hopper

Mon Jan 24, 2005 1:44 pm

Great report so far. look forwared to the remaining parts.

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RE: RTW: *A And CO In C, Including Island Hopper

Wed Jan 26, 2005 2:28 pm

Ok, next three legs...

[B]GUM-SPN CO 737-800, C Class[/B]
GUM to SPN was again on Air Mike. I said goob-bye to my father, who was leaving GUM the days day back to BOS. Guam has a large, spacious terminal. There was no line at check in, and within seconds, I had my boarding pass in hand. Security was fast, and it let out into a modern Duty Free shopping area. I browsed for a bit, but after a while it all starts looking the same! So I went to the President's Club to relax.

The club is similar in decor to domestic ones. People there were pleasent. About an hour before my flight, I decided to stretch my legs. As soon as I got near the Duty Free area, I hear someone say, "Hello," in a sing-song way.

It was my father!

He had decided to fly "Freedom Air" from Guam to Rota to Saipan to Rota to Guam that afternoon. We are two peas in a pod!

The 28 minute 737-800 flight to SPN was short and sweet. Drinks on the ground, drinks in the air. Full C and Y cabins. Great FA's. We landed in SPN and pulled up to our jetway. I was throuhg immigration within one minute, and there was a guy with my name on a sign from the Hyatt.

He zipped me off. I had gotten a room for the 7 hours there.

Saipan is a beautiful place, though a bit grimy in town. Just about every shop has women standing outside selling massages. I went to my room, took advantage of the Health Club, had a nice buffet dinner, and got a few hours rest.

At 12:45am, it was back to the airport for my 2:40am departure.

[B]SPN-ICN OZ 767 C Class[/B]
The SPN airport has a fairly new facilty. Check in at Asiana was quick, and I was delighted to get an invitation to their VIP lounge. Once again security poured out directly into the Duty Free area. I browsed for a bit, but it was more of the same. I went straight for the lounge. I couldn't believe what I saw. The facility was nothing more than an extension of a cafe. My invitation got me a free diet coke. But the room itself was really not a lounge at all. Here is a link to the room:


Anyway, it was not long before our flight boarded. Very full in both cabins. We pulled back on time and blasted off into the night sky. Hot towels (the first of three) were large, not dripping wet, and very welcome. On the menu's that were handed out was breakfast. Either pancakes with sausage or eggs benedict. I chose the eggs, which were perfect. Hot bread came by three times. I wanted to save the menu, but the FA was too quick to pull it out of my seat and tuck it away. I slept a few hours and before lon, our 4 hour flight came to an end with a beautiful landing at the modern and huge ICN airport.

[B]ICN-LHR OZ 747-400 F Class[/B]
As I had seven hours on the ground, and I knew I would be tired, I arranged a room at the Transit Hotel. Now, you might ask, "Why did you fly to SPN for a few hours and then ICN for just a few hours when you could have had a more direct flight?" It comes down to being owned by my alliance! *A only has a couple of daily flights to the area. NH flies GUM-KIX at 6am each day. But there is no C class on those flights (though there is a C-cabin). The other flight is the OZ flight I opted for. I especially wanted to try OZ in F from ICN to LHR, as it is one of the few *A carriers I had not flown in F. (I had transfered miles into that account for the upgrade from C).

Anyway, I slept in the transit hotel and forwent any Duty Free. (yes, I looked, but no bargains). I was able to get into both the SQ F as well as the OZ F lounges. There have been reports in the past about this, but I had no probles. Both were very nice. Great food, wireless internet, showers and days rooms. I knew I would be eating a lot on the plane, but I overate in both clubs anyway. Hot eggss, noodles, cheeses.... it was all very nice.

I got to my gate about 40 minutes early, and boarding started soon. I was one of two people in the F cabin, and service was outstanding. The cabin itself, as reported, needs an update. The seats are perfectly comfortable, but they are outdated. No Empower, no AVOD, no "suite." These are all addressed in the new 777, to my understanding. Nuts and champagne before take-off. Menus handed out (I made sure to stow mine in a safe place this time!). Here is the tanscript:

Selection of Canape:
Snow Nori-Fish Maki
Salmon Tartar Roll
Rubi Salami

Mushroom Pancake, King Prawn and Chicken Brioche
Served with Lemon and Ginger Dressing

Pumpkin Soup

Tossed Salad
Saffron Dressing and Paprika Dressing

Poached Lobster
Served with American Sauce
Beef Rossini
Beef Tenderloin Steak Topped with Goose Liver Truffle Served with Morel Mushroom
Grill Marked Salmon
Served with Bearnaise Sauce

To compliment your meal choice
Chinese Fried Rice, Baked Potato, Steamed Rice, Broccolo, Carrot Flower, Stir Fried Vegetable

Assorted Cheese
Fresh Fruit

Sweet Potato Cake

Petit Fours

Coffee tea, etc.

It was a LOT of food. And the FA's came by with a cart for each course. I barely ate, and I actually felt bad that all this food was going to waste. It was all quite good, especially the salmon. I passed on desert.

Over the next 6 hours, I watched movies on the individual screen, watched a couple of DVD's (until my computer needed more juice), and slept.

Snacks were available throughout the flight, inlcuding.

About 2 hours prior to landing, the second mail meal was served, which included many choices once again. I opted for a salad, beef brochette, and boiled rice. Again, no desert.

About one hour before landing, some guy came up and plooped himself down in the row next to me. I wasn't sure where he came from, but 10 minutes later he was "busted" by an FA and sent back to Y.

With the flight coming to an end, the FA came by and gave me a glass Versache gift. Nice gesture, something that fewer airlines are doing in F these days.

We landed an hour early, and again immigration took no time at all. I was soon in my cab to my hotel (Sheraton Skyline). The driver got angry at me when I handed him a 50 pound bill for my 10 pound ride. Whatever. It didn't damped my spirit (though it did lower his tip).

Basic thoughts on OZ... I probably would not go out of my way again to fly them in F over other *A carriers in C. It was fine for sleeping and eating, but too light on the entertainment. Still, I'm glad I tried them!

So here I am in the hotel. My back went out a bit last night, and I have yet another two days of flying ahead!
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RE: RTW: *A And CO In C, Including Island Hopper

Wed Jan 26, 2005 11:26 pm

Thanks for posting this, interesting report and enjoy the details. For other users, here is a click-through link:

Asiana lounge:
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Why Wing To Warsaw And Wein In Winter?

Thu Jan 27, 2005 7:09 am

What was I thinking?....

Got to LHR nice and early and did some shopping. I love LHR for the shopping. Great deal on nice shoes!

Sat in the BD lounge for about an hour an responded to all my work e-mails. The BD lounge is well appointed and has a nice stock of packaged foods. Flight was called on time, and I had the row to myself.

[B]LOT LHR-WAW 737-500, C class[/B]
I was flying to WAW to make the most of my *A RTW miles. I hadn't yet flown LO, and I always like to try something new. (Mind you, I had no reason at al to fly back home the long way. I just had time on my hands). The C class on the 737 is a Y seat with extra leg room and no one in the middle. It was comfy for this short 2.5 hour flight. Doors closed on time, but we got off 45 minutes late.

Meal was eggs (with ham and tomato already inside  Sad ), two different yoghurt dishes, and hot bread. What I ate was tasty, but nothing outstanding. We landed 45 minutes late, and we pulled up to a stand.

Note to self: "If you plan on flying via WAW, do it in the summer!"

It took forever to get all the pax off the plane, but finally we were bussed to the terminal.

The airport is named after Chopin, but the facility does not do this artist justice! It is really pretty sad. That said, the city is expanding the terminal, and I'm sure a new state of the art gateway is around the corner. There are three different contract lounges, all within eyeshot of one another. I tried all three, but they all had the same packaged stuff. Still, it was nice to have a place to rest. Duty free was basic (compared to LHR). I thought of catching an earlier flight to VIE, but decided against it. I should have known better.

[B]LOT WAW-VIE 737-500 C Class[/B]
This flight was supposed to be on the E70, but it was changed to the 737-500. Oh well! The gate opened on time, but once again we were bussed to the plane. Bythe time the doors closed, we were 20 minutes late. I wasn't too worried as I had a 1:15 to connect in VIE for AMS. But soon the captain informed us of a wheels up time that cut my connection to :35. Should still be ok....

Dinner/ snack was four bite sized thingies. One was smoked salmon, one turkey, one sushi, and one ham. Side of tomato and cheese. Nic, simple service.

Captain tells us that VIE weather is poor with snow showers. New ETA gives me :10. As we land, I see the snow raging outside. Three things enter my mind:

1) Oh God I hope the don't get ice on the wings
2) Please let us pull up to a jetbridge when we land
3) Please let my departure be delayed.

Well, I got my wish on one out of three. No ice on the wings. I suppose that is the most important one. Still, it was a huge dissapointment when we pulled up to stairs in the middle of the storm. As I descended, I said to the rep that my flight was to leave in 10 minutes. She told me not to worry as everything was delayed.

Made it to the terminal, and had to go through passport control. Ran from the A to the B gates, ran down the stairs, and faced a LONG security line. My gate was just beyonthe line. But it was another remote gate, and I was scared the busses had left. I found an agent, and she assured me that the gate could help me.

5 minutes after scheduled departure, I get to the gate. The OS agent is on the phone for about 1 minutes (which seems like 5 when you are standing there!). When she got off, she told me she had just closed the flight. "Can you open it back." "Nope. You'll have to go to the service center for help.

Service center has a mile long line, so I go to the OS lounge. Agent there says, "Give me a half hour, and I'll riticket you." I figured I wasn't going anywhere tonight, so I may as well wait here for a bit. I told her I really needed to get to LHR by tomorrow AM (as that's where my RTW goes to from AMS).

When she calls me back, she explains that since my ticket is on BD stock, the reticket is not all that easy, and I would most likely have to pay a fee to bypass AMS to get to LHR. OY!!!!

I go to the ticket counter, and they put a sticker on my VIE-AMS ticket, staple it to my AMS-LHR ticket, and confirm me for the nonstop in the morning. There goes my Duty Free extravaganza in AMS! That was the one city I really wanted to spend time in!

Next, I have to deal with a hotel. I had a HHonors award for AMS. But Hilton doesn't have a VIE airport location, and with my early departure and the weather so bad, I didn't want to be so far away. But the NH airport Hotel was sold out. So I called HHonors, and they were able to transfer my confirmation to the Vienna Hilton.

So here I am!

Time for bed,

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RE: RTW: *A And CO In C, Including Island Hopper

Fri Jan 28, 2005 10:35 am

Great report so far, the Island Hopper seems like a great flight and the pictures make it look even better. Now I want to get on the flight one day. Looking forward to the remaining parts of the report.

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RE: RTW: *A And CO In C, Including Island Hopper

Mon Jan 31, 2005 10:55 am

Ok, on to the final stretch....

[B]VIE-LHR, OS C-Class, A321[/B]

I woke up at (sigh) 4am and was in a cab by 4:45 for the airport. I must say that the Hilton I stayed in was perfect and predictable. Very nice service. The weather was pretty bad. Lots of snow and ice. Such a shift from what it was like in Micronesia! Kinda of surreal that it was a few days prior.

Get to VIE and am in the gate area by 5:10. Senator club doesn;t open for til 5:30, so I sit in the gate area. My phone rings, and it is my partner who needs advice on investments. I still think that it is amazing that he can dial my local phone number and find me in VIE!

Senator club opens, and I enter to find my favorite choclates! But there's more. A hot breakfast off eggs, veal saussage, and pototos is there for the taking. That plus wireless internet made for a great start.

My flight left from gate A 46, another bus gate. The flight was not full, and I had an exit row in the C cabin. There was so much legroom, and no one next to me. Only down side was that the exit has a miniscule window. Not a big deal, as I was pretty tired.

Breakfast was served, preceded by hot towels. I was honestly pretty airplane fooded out by this point. OS first served a custard appetizer on a big spoon. Then came a ham and mushroom crepe with potatos. Everything was on time, and landing at LHR was was smooth.

I checked in to my UA flight at the transfer center, then took the bus over to T3.

The place was mobbed as usual, but I didn't mind. I LOVE LHR for the shopping. It's like no airport in the world, for two reasons:

1) In addition to the Duty Free you find everywhere (all airports have the same fancy stuff now), LHR has a lot of local stuff. Harrods, Pink, Boots, Austin Reed, etc.

2) LHR and London are great places for men's clothing.

So I shopped, and shopped, and found great bargains. Bought a nice new shirt!

I then went to the Heathrow Lounge, took a shower, chagned into my new shirt and waited for my flight.

[B]UA LHR-JFK, 777 C-class[/B]

Flight was full, and I asked about an opperational upgrade to F. No luck. Still, I had a seat 9D, which I love. Turned out that seat 8D was soiled with something wet, and the person sitting there and her husband were moved up to F (though they still got a C meal).

There are so many UA C transatlantic reports, I won't go into detail. I had very little of the food, and I course managed to schmutz up the new shirt!

I slept most of the way, missing aftnernoon tea.

Landing was early, and I was through customs and back through security within 5 minutes.

[B]UA JFK-LAX 757 "PS" service, C class[/B]

The only reason I flew via JFK was to try the new P.S. service. I spent time in the RCC. Great people there. Nice food (the usual packaged stuff, but I never complain about the Toblerone Bars! Flight boarded and time.

All I could say upon boarding was "wow." What a cabin layout. The extra room between seats really makes the 757 look like a different aircraft. It actually felt like the upper deck of a 747. Lots of people on board hadn't heard of the new service and bombarded the flight crew with questions.

Everything about the flight was wonderful. Menus, amenities (socks, eyemasks, ear-plugs). DVD kits were distributed. I really enjoyed this. Many of the movies were art films, and some fairly racy. I chose the filet for my meal, which was delicious. I passed on the ice cream, but opted for a wonderful cheese plate and port wine. Later in the flight, chocolates were handed out.

The crew was excellent. The passengers were pretty stuck up. Two in particular were talking so loudly across the aisle most of the flight. I kept to myself. When they started swearing in their conversation (loudly), I was about to get up and say something (but didn't). Then, one of them decided to sit in the aisle so he could look at the other guys computer. The FA's had to climp over and around them. It was pretty rude. I suppose some just feel entitled.

I had seat 9D, which had sumptuous (gluttonous) legroom. Highly recommend it.

Landing was on time.

Thus my adventure came to an end. What will I do next?

Got to my car and was home by 11pm. It was nice to be back with my partner again.

What was hard to believe was that it was that very same morning in VIE that he had called me about investment advice. Amazing how many hours can fit into a day when traveling across 9 time zones!

Over and out!
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RE: RTW: *A And CO In C, Including Island Hopper

Mon Jan 31, 2005 1:37 pm

Thanks for an unbelievable report! Sorry to hear about your ordeal at VIE and it is good that Hilton is so flexible with their hotel changing arrangement.

The Island Hopper trip fascinates me and the Asiana segment sounds okay. Yes their F cabin is a bit tired-looking but they never lack food. The menu looks great and sounds like a big meal.

Intra-European flights sound good as well and I am glad to hear that food is still served on most of those flights. LOT sounds actually quite fine and it is my second time hearing something positive about LOT. Sorry that you miss the EMB-170 flight.

Anyway, thanks,

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