Posts Tagged ‘cathay pacific’

Leaving On A Jet Plane

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

Leaving On A Jet Plane

Kelsterbach, Frankfurt Airport, Hong Kong

Wednesday 15 June 2011

Today marks the end of our 2011 holiday to Europe.  6 countries, several thousand kilometers of road travel, trains, boats, planes, a lot of wining and dining and thousands of photographs and hours of video  What a wonderful trip!

We both enjoyed a very comfortable sleep last night at the Mercure and we woke refreshed after our long day of driving yesterday.  It was a stunning morning in Frankfurt – sunny with clear, crisp air.

We enjoyed our final European breakfast – the remainder of the food we bought yesterday in Baden-Baden before finalising our packing then we headed down to the lobby and checked out.

The shuttle bus for the airport left at 10.35am and we had a short walk to the shuttle bus stop so we made our way down the short road with a luggage trolley – a little strange but it worked out.

The shuttle bus arrived on time and the friendly staff helped us to load the rather full (and heavy) suitcases into the luggage area before we boarded the bus.  The short trip across to the airport took around 10 minutes.

We arrived at Terminal 1 with plenty of time to spare (around 3 hours before the flight departed) so we found the Starbucks outlet and sat down to our second Starbucks experience for the trip.

Cathay Pacific’s check in counters and departure area are located in Terminal 2 and this meant a lengthy walk to the Sky Line (small unmanned train) station then a 5 minute ride to Terminal 2.  We were happy to walk some more (given the food we had eaten on the trip) and enjoyed negotiating some of the foot traffic and “learning” more about Frankfurt airport.

We found our way to the Cathay check-in desk and we were served by one of the lovely Frankfurt staff.  The loads back to Hong Kong were looking rather full for business class so we were issued a couple of economy tickets to get us on our way through customs.  However, we both enjoyed two very comfortable business class seats back to Hong Kong because when we arrived at the gate Iris, the duty supervisor, had two business class tickets waiting for us.  Excellent service from the Frankfurt staff!

We boarded around 1.30pm and settled into our seats for the 10 hour 30 minute trip back to Hong Kong.  The flight departed on time and it wasn’t long before we were enjoying an excellent lunch, some Australian red wine and a couple of great movies.

The very smooth trip back to Hong Kong allowed us both to get some sleep on the lie flat beds – about 4 hours for me and around 2 hours for The Princess.

The Boeing 747 touched down in Hong Kong a little ahead of schedule (around 6.30am) and we parked at a “inner gate” at the Hong Kong terminal.  The short walk and efficient customs process meant we were at the baggage carousel before the bags arrived from the plane.

After recovering our baggage we proceeded to the Starbucks outlet in the arrival hall and had an early morning (very early for our European body clocks) “brew” before making our way to the Discovery Bay bus stop.

Walking out of the air conditioned airport and into the Hong Kong summer humidity got our attention and it wasn’t long before we were both sweating and feeling rather warm.

We arrived home around 8.00am and after turning the air conditioning on and cooling the apartment we climbed into bed and slept for around 4 hours – a nice way to ease back into Hong Kong’s heat!

Now it is time for blog updates, uploading of photos and videos and preparation for our next trip!!  Keep tuned for the updates to the European adventure in the coming weeks and standby for the African adventure in September!

Ciao, Gut Morgen, Gut Nacht and Arrivederci!!

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Good-bye city of churches. Hello and goodbye city of football. Hello again city of residence.

Saturday, September 12th, 2009

We rose at a reasonable hour this morning because we were flying back to Hong Kong via Melbourne today.  We enjoyed a casual breakfast with Rowena, Glenis and KP then showered and packed.

KP had to go into work this morning so we bid him farewell before he left then packed the car.  Rowena and Glenis were planning to do a walking tour of Adelaide today so they were happy to drop us at the airport on their way into the city.

I drove to the airport then handed the keys to Rowena.  We said goodbye to the Rowena and Glenis and proceeded to the check-in.  We had listed for the flight to Hong Kong online and knew that we would not have a problem getting a seat to Melbourne.  When flying staff travel you have to “go with the flow”.  The check-in staff were very helpful and we secured a business class seat to Melbourne but had to re-check on arrival in Melbourne.  I ask the ladies if we had to collect our baggage in Melbourne and re-check for the flight but they said no – “just proceed to the transit lounge”.  Well, this caused a whole heap of problems on arrival in Melbourne!

The flight departed on time and we continued to enjoy excellent service once we were onboard.  Indeed, the ground staff in Adelaide “arranged” for us to have certain seats on the flight from Melbourne to Hong Kong.  We were very happy that we were going to be flying back business class the whole way.

We arrived in Melbourne after the short flight from Adelaide and proceeded to the transit lounge (as advised in Adelaide) and we were waiting to be called up for re-listing to Hong Kong.  We were called but only to be told that our bags were outside in the baggage area.  We were asked why we had not proceeded to the check-in.  We were in the middle of explaining the situation when Laura (the ground supervisor for Cathay – Melbourne) arrived and managed the problem.  Laura did an outstanding job and sorted everything from baggage to seating in business class and paid a whole lot of attention to us.  We were impressed.  Laura was an absolute professional and confirmed the reason for Cathay Pacific winning Airline of the Year for 2009.  Laura and her supervisors will be receiving a very big thank you and “job well done” from us.  I hope you have the pleasure of meeting her one day.

After our short but eventful stopover in Melbourne we re-boarded the flight and took up our  seats for the 9 hour flight back to Hong Kong.

The flight was very smooth and we enjoyed watching a couple of inflight movies and a nice sleep on the way home.

We arrived back into Hong Kong around 10.00pm proceeding through immigration and collecting our baggage we were on the 11.00pm bus to Discovery Bay.  We arrived home around 11.30pm and spent little time getting ourselves ready for bed.

After a long day of travel from Adelaide we reunited with our very comfortable bed and fell to sleep rather quickly.  Home again!!

We hope you have enjoyed the daily updates of our trip to Australia.  We enjoyed our short visit to family and friends and we aim to return again next year for another “Adventure Downunder”.

We are planning to visit Cambodia next month so stay tuned for the next update on www.wegotwotravel.com

Roey and The Princess

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Distributing the weight. Hottest day on record. Goodbye Canada. Sorry – no inflight movies. Home to Hong Kong

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

We woke around 8.30am this morning and started into re-packing the suitcases.  The Princess had managed to accumulate quite a lot of “stuff” in her time in Canada and it needed to be reorganised before the flight back to Hong Kong.

Gary was kind enough to give us a couple of boxes and some packing tape so I redistributed some of the weight and made life a little easier for my back.  This took a little bit of time but we were able to sort it all out and get ourselves showered in time for an 11.00am departure from the hotel.

Today’s flight was not scheduled to depart until 3.10pm and this meant that we didn’t need to arrive at the airport until 1.30pm.

We took the opportunity to pay Gary one more visit before we departed for Hong Kong – arriving at his place around 11.30am.
It was another very hot day in Vancouver (I believe the hottest recorded temperature for July and we felt it when we were sitting inside Gary’s condo’.  Needless to say we were looking forward to getting to the airport and sitting inside the air-conditioning!

We left Gary’s place around 12.30pm and drove to Vancouver International Airport - around 30 mins from Gary’s.  The drive was pleasant and we stopped near the airport and filled the truck for the last time.

After handing the truck back we made our way to the terminal and approached the Cathay Pacific check-in.  We were flying standby so we were ready for the “come back at xxxx” – exactly how it panned out.  We were ready for some lunch so we were able to get a nice sandwich before returning to the counter and being told that we may not get on to the flight.

However, a couple of travelers did not show up for the flight and we were able to secure two business class seats for the return to Hong Kong – happy days!!

After checking our baggage we proceeded through immigration and headed for the gate.  We arrived with plenty of time to spare so we relaxed in the knowledge that we were going home.

We did board we were told that the inflight entertainment system was broken in our seats – no video or music.  This didn’t worry us too much because we aimed to sleep, catch up on the blogging and generally relax for the 13 hour flight back to Hong Kong – exactly what we did.

The flight was smooth and time seemed to pass quickly.  Before we knew it we were disembarking in Hong Kong around 8.00pm local time.  We felt rested and relaxed but that didn’t stop us sleeping all night after we got to bed around 11.00pm.

And so another journey comes to an end.  We are happy to be home and we look forward to “stopping” for a while.   We aim to make a trip to Australia in about 5 weeks but until then we are going to honour our minds and bodies and enjoy being back together without any specific agenda.

We hope you are all aiming to do the same – honour your minds and bodies.

Until our next blog adventure, take care and enjoy life.

Roey and The Princess

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Typhoon and heat. Standby to SFO. 3 hour delay. Would you like to sit in First Class?

Sunday, July 19th, 2009

I am sitting in San Francisco airport waiting for my United Airlines flight to Calgary.   I have been “on the go” for the past 30 hours and I am looking forward to arriving in Calgary at midnight tonight.  Fortunately I was able to sleep well on the flight from HK to the US.

Yesterday morning started at 4.15am because I had an early morning training session in the simulator.  The training went well and I was able to get home around 1.00pm and take a shower before doing the final packing and catching the bus to the airport.

A typhoon had been “brewing” in the seas to the East of Hong Kong and the pre-typhoon heat was oppressive.  I am glad that I took a shower and some time to get organised before I returned to the airport.

I was listed on flights to Vancouver and San Francisco and when I arrived at the staff check-in they informed me that the flight to SFO had more seats available – I took the option of SFO.  The flight was still “open” so I had to wait for a short while before returning to the check-in.  It was nice to get confirmed in a Business Class seat when I returned.

The flight was due to depart at 4.35pm so I made my way to the gate and arrived with a little time to spare.  However, due to maintenance problems with the aircraft we boarded around 5.00pm.  It was nice to get onboard and settle into my seat however, the maintenance problems and weather added up to departing three hours late.  Thankfully I was able to recline the seat into a lie flat bed and get nearly two hours sleep at the gate!

After getting underway I enjoyed a very nice supper and watched a movie (Duplicity – Julia Roberts) before being asked if I would mind moving to First Class.  Apparently one of passengers in Business Class had a faulty TV in his seat and they wanted to give him my seat.  For the privilege of giving up my seat they upgraded me to First Class.  Now that is the way to fly!!  No complaints for the late arrival into SFO and missing my earlier connections to Calgary.  The comfortable seat (bed), warm blankets, Shanghai Tang sleepwear and the space was worth it.

I am about to head to the gate for the flight to Calgary so I will log off, pick up some water and get back to reality by checking into an economy seat for the flight to my Princess.

More to follow tomorrow morning when I wake up!

Well, it was not tomorrow morning when I woke up – it was tomorrow afternoon.  Indeed, this afternoon around 1.30pm!

I arrived in Calgary on US6414 from San Francisco.  I managed to “squeeze” into my little seat at the back of a CRJ700 and enjoyed the sunset flight to Calgary.  The inflight service was great (two cabin crew who did a fabulous job) and the flight arrived on time (11.30pm) in Calgary.

My Princess was waiting for me when I came into the arrivals hall – a lovely welcome kiss and cuddle and a few tears too!!  It is so nice to be back with my Princess.

After hiring a car we returned to Jill’s house (Princess’ Mom) then drove to the Delta Hotel and checked in.  We arrived in our room around 1.30am – a long, long day.  Needless to say we were both exhausted and “collapsed” into bed after getting our things organised.  I didn’t stir all night and, as mentioned above, we finally “surfaced” around 1.30pm.  Just perfect.

We had a light “brunch” before getting ready for supper.  We drove around to Jill’s house, picked her up then drove to Earls for a lovely outdoor dining experience.

We enjoyed the wonderful evening sun, some lovely Australian red wine and great service.  A nice way to get back into the Canadian way of life for a few days.

After a short stop off at the local grocery store we dropped Jill off at home then returned to the Delta for an “early” night – earlier than last night!

We hope this finds you all well, happy, healthy and living in the moment.

Roey and The Princess

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Smoothie and peanut butter, VOR lesson on the fly, Thule gifts and a goodbye Canada

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009
I am seated in Starbucks at Vancouver airport passing some time before returning to check-in.  The flight back to Hong Kong has plenty of seats however the aircraft will encounter strong winds on the way back and there may be a requirement to trade “bums on seats” for fuel.  I am confident that I will get on however, there is another Cathay flight early tomorrow morning (around 2.30am) at it is “wide open”.  Either way I will get back to HK in time for work on Wednesday.

I rose around 9.30am Vancouver time this morning – rested and feeling refreshed after a good night of sleep.  Gary and Leah insisted that I sleep in the main bedroom on a nice comfortable mattress – gotta love the hospitality!

Gary made me a wonderful smoothie for breakfast along with some very fresh English muffins and hot coffee.  Perfect.  He is such a great guy and The Princess and I are lucky to be able to call him (and Leah) our friend(s).

Gary is a keen MS Flight Simulator player and he is always keen to learn more about the technical aspects of flying.  He grilled me this morning on the use of VOR and navigation.  I filled him full of as much info’ as I could to totally confuse him and I am sure he will be “tracking aids” like a professional in no time!!

Leah rose quite early this morning and she spent a couple of hours re-potting the new plants that they purchased yesterday.  The townhouse will be complete with beautiful colour for summer!!  I look forward to seeing some pictures.

We sorted ourselves out with showers and re-packing (me) before making the short (30 mins) drive to the airport.  Gary and Leah dropped me off outside departures around 1.00pm and I went straight to check-in.  As mentioned above – I am now waiting to see if I get on the first flight (departing at 3.30pm – around 1.5 hours from now). I will return to check-in around 2.30pm .

In the meantime I will enjoy the time I have to update the blog and drink the hot cup of Latte that I have beside me.

Well, I didn’t get on the flight to Hong Kong.  Apparently there has been a volcanic eruption over the wastelands of Russia and this means that the flight has to track via a more southerly route.  This results in a longer distance travelled and more fuel needs to be carried to cater for the extra flying time.

So, I will be spending a lazy day at Vancouver airport and trying for the next Cathay flight (tomorrow morning).  I think I should be OK for this one because it is a different aircraft.  It has more capacity for fuel and it is a bit more efficient than the one flying the earlier service – no wonder Cathay bought more of them!!  The aircraft flying the next service has a nicer business class too.  A lie flat bed vs a 3/4 recline.  Much nicer for the 14 hour flight back to Hong Kong.  Fingers crossed for a successful listing on the next flight.

Well, it has just gone 11.00pm and I am still around three hours away from hopefully flying to Hong Kong.  The flight looks quite open but with the current flight restrictions across the Pacific I won’t get too excited.  I have kept myself entertained during the day by “chatting” to friends in Australian and Asia (on SKYPE).  I have also covered a lot of the very small Vancouver airport.  I have also taken it VERY easy.  I will hopefully update this blog from onboard a Cathay 777 over the Pacific!!

Well, I made it!!  I am just waiting to board the aircraft.  It was late getting in from New York so we won’t be leaving Vancouver until 3.30am.  I will be well and truly ready for a sleep by the time we get airborne.  My body clock is still on Calgary time so that means I will have been awake for around 19 hours or more by the time I get to sleep.

Anyway, no complaints.  I am in business class in a lie flat bed so I should return to HK refreshed.

Goodnight and G’day wherever you are in the world.

Roey

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Gooda Bya Roma – Time For Some Dim Sum

Saturday, February 9th, 2008

We rose a bit earlier this morning because we needed to leave the hotel around 9.15am.  This meant getting up at around 7am in order to finish packing the bags and getting down to breakfast with enough time to enjoy the wonderful “spread” that was put before us each morning in our hotel.

With our stomachs full we returned to the room and confirmed that we had all of our belongings before commencing the “bag drag” to reception.  Whilst the fourth floor was serviced by a lift our room was up a flight of stairs above the fourth floor.  This meant that we had to get the bags back down a steepish flight of stairs before getting to the lift – not a real challenge after the thigh and calf workout of the previous days!!

We opted to avoid the challenge of the bus/train option to the airport this morning.  Instead we arranged for a “shuttle” to pick us up.  We thought it was going to be a van with driver but it turned out that the “shuttle” was in fact a lovely Mercedes complete with chauffeur!!  The cost of this was not substantially more than the bus/train option – LESSON LEARNT!!.  The return trip to the airport was wonderful.  Ah……. what a difference a chauffeur makes.  The Princess was very impressed – as was I.

With the bags unloaded in front of the departure terminal (by the chauffeur of course) we loaded the bags on to a trolley and proceeded to the Cathay check-in desk.

We had not listed (not through a lack of trying) for the flight however, the
flight was “wide open” so we were checked in and given seat allocation at the check-in desk.  Indeed, we were allocated exit row seats.

So………..  here I am at 5pm Rome time (dark outside as we head East) sitting in seat 54C next to my beautiful Princess on an Airbus A340 heading direct to Hong Kong.  We have been “fed and watered” and I am enjoying my third glass of French Merlot and listening to Mary Black on my iPod and finishing the last of the Roe’s Winter Tour series.

It is hard to believe that we have been on the road for three weeks (four weeks for The Princess).  We have literally travelled around the world.  We have visited 5 countries (6 if you included Hong Kong) and 2 continents (3 if you included Hong Kong).  We have attended 2 conferences, met and associated with wonderful people.  We have experienced below -21 degrees in temperature, snow, sun and little bit of rain.  We have completed the whole journey on standby (staff) travel without any hassle and the who adventure has been without incident or argument.

We have learnt that we live in an incredible world in which the people are all motivated by the same thing – something to eat, something to eat, some love and a place to sleep.

We have also learnt that we are truly blessed to be able to experience the wonder of some of our earth and we can’t wait for our next trip.

We hope you have enjoyed the summary of our trip.  In the coming days we will publish some of our photo’s to our gallery.

You can visit the gallery at:http://gallery.mac.com/princessandroey

We look forward to catching up with whoever takes the time to read our travel blog.

Until our next trip.  Roey and The Princess

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