Maldives Travel Guide – How to Travel to the Maldives

Maldives Travel Guide – How to Travel to the Maldives

We were a little, well, lazy, when it came to figuring out how to travel to the Maldives. We obviously where able to figure out how to travel from Bangkok to the Maldives. But, we didn’t really look much beyond that. We trusted the luxury resorts in the Maldives would take care of things. And, for the most part, they did. In the end, though, we needed a little more than that to handle Maldives travel. Here are our Maldives travel tips. What Airlines Travel to the Maldives There are plenty of full service and budget airlines that fly to the Maldives. We flew Air Asia through Kuala Lumpur, which was the cheapest option with the fewest layovers. It did mean, however, an overnight flight back to Kuala Lumpur. The best way, however, to fly to the Maldives is to fly on one of the Middle East airlines, like Emirates Airlines, Qatar Airways, or Etihad. From Europe this means it is possible to arrive in the Maldives after only one stop. That’s even possible from the US from some of the Middle Eastern gateways, like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and other major cities. This actually means that if you are in one of these main gateway cities, Maldives travel is a lot closer than you think. That’s a good thing. All international flights arrive and depart from Malé, the capital of the Maldives. It is necessary to  transfer to your resort in one of three ways. Some resorts, like the Four Seasons, are within a quick boat ride from Malé. Other resorts are close enough to Malé that their...
How To Fly Nok Air Thailand

How To Fly Nok Air Thailand

We’ve flown a lot of the low cost carriers, or budget airlines, while living in Southeast Asia. For us, it doesn’t make sense to splurge on a more traditional airline, or use our miles, for a quick one or two hour flight within the region. One of the benefits of spending time living and traveling in this region, is that there are so many great budget airlines in Southeast Asia. During a beach break from Bangkok we finally had a chance to experience flying Nok Air Thailand. How to Fly Nok Air From “DMK” On the surface, Bangkok’s Don Mueang International Airport, or DMK, isn’t much to look at. Built in the 1930s, the terminals are concrete and drab,. They are far from the modern glass and steel aviation palaces found around the world. Look outside the dirty and streaked windows and you’ll see something worth looking at. And, Nok Air Thailand has a lot to do with this. Nok Air operates a fleet of Boeing 737-800s, Bombardier Q400s, and ATR-72 500s, for the #AvGeeks out there. Nok means bird in Thai and the airline carries the bird theme through just about everything. Nok Air Thailand is known for its bold, and certainly eye-catching livery. A signature bird beak nose is painted onto the nose of every plane. And, the main scheme of each plane is interesting and unique, some painted purple, and others looking like Nemo. Because DMK airport is such an unpleasant airport, the best way to fly any airline from DMK is to keep your focus on the fun Nok Air planes outside, rather than the drab...
Flying Tigerair to Singapore

Flying Tigerair to Singapore

We can’t always fly business class around the world. We would love to, but it is not always feasible. And for short haul trips around Southeast Asia, we are more likely to fly one of the well known low cost carriers. After all, I would rather save my money and miles to make a 12 hour flight to Europe in business class. That means more budget flights around Southeast Asia. This is how we ended up testing out Tigerair to to Singapore. Flying From Bangkok on Tigerair to Singapore There are several low cost carriers, or budget airlines, that fly throughout Southeast Asia. We’ve flown AirAsia, a lot. And, we’ve tested out Thai Smile on a domestic flight within Thailand. But, recently we had the opportunity to fly Tigerair to Singapore for the first time. We flew Tigerair within Australia a few times back in 2009. This was our first time flying Tigerair within Asia. We flew from Bangkok Suvarnabhumi to Tigerair’s hub at Singapore Changi Airport. Our two hour flight was everything you’d want from a flight: quick, comfortable, and with friendly service. And, because we are luxury travelers, we opted for an “upgrade” to the first row on our flight on Tigerair to Singapore and to exit row on the way back. There is always a way to fly with a little bit of luxury, even on a budget airline. Upgrading on a Budget Airline Most of the low cost carriers who fly within Southeast offer customers this kind of “upgrade.” This can include purchasing meals on board or roomier seats in exit row or at the front of...
Flying Emirates Business Class on the A380

Flying Emirates Business Class on the A380

Until this year, we had yet to experience flying Emirates business class, one of the “Middle East Three.” We’ve experienced Etihad business class, and Qatar business class, but for an AvGeek like me there was a constant nagging reminder that we had yet to fly Emirates. Suddenly, we found ourselves not only flying them twice within a few months, but experiencing Emirates A380 business class. Flying Emirates Business Class From Europe One of the best things about the Middle East airlines is that they are a perfect gateway between Asia and Europe. Normally, it means a layover in Doha or Dubai, but it also means being able to land in Europe in some second tier airports, which are often more convenient for us. On both of our recent trips from Europe back home to Bangkok, we ended our trips in the smaller cities of Bologna, Italy, and Lyon, France. Hardly major international hubs. But, Bologna in particular is a city where we are finding ourselves more and more as we eat our way through Emilia Romagna. Emirates likes to tout their unofficial goal of connecting every city on Earth to Dubai. Lucky for us, Emirates started to serve Bologna’s Guglielmo Marconi Airport. The airport is just 6 kilometers from the center of Bologna. Bologna is in the heart of Emilia Romagna. Getting to our favorite foodie destination in the world from our home base in Bangkok is now that much easier. It means two six hour flights and we are home. How to Book Emirates Business Class All of our first and business class travel has been booked on miles....
Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge – The Pier

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge – The Pier

The battle between international airlines to win over premium passengers isn’t just reserved for the inflight experience. On our recent trip from Hong Kong to Frankfurt, we had the pleasure of experiencing a revolutionary new design and passenger experience at the Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge at their home in Hong Kong International Airport. Dubbed “The Pier,” this one of a kind airport lounge provides first class passengers with a wide range of services all set in a simple yet contemporary setting. Cathay maintains over a half dozen lounges at Hong Kong Airport, spread throughout Terminal 1. With names like “The Wing,” “The Bridge,” and “The Pier,” each lounge offers premium passengers a space to unwind before their flight. For me, it’s another time to make the most of our business class or first class flights. Unfortunately, our Cathay Pacific First Class flight to Frankfurt was scheduled to leave Hong Kong just after midnight. Fortunately, because we came from Macau by ferry, we had about 7 hours to fill before our flight. The Design of the Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge First opened in 2001, The Pier experienced a complete makeover in 2014. For the #AvGeeks out there, Studioilse, a London firm, designed the lounge. They aimed to capture the look and feel of a contemporary apartment. Or, an apartment that happens to seat 231 passengers. Flying out on a Sunday night, The Pier was nowhere near capacity. I’d love to return to The Pier at a peak travel time to see if the design maintains a sense of being at home. As soon as we walked inside, The...
Cathay Pacific First Class Review – 777-300ER

Cathay Pacific First Class Review – 777-300ER

Cathay Pacific consistently ranks as one of the best airlines in the world. A young modern fleet of mainly Boeing 777-300ERs and Airbus A330-300s. A focused dedication to the passenger experience both on the ground and in the air. They are known for exceptional inflight service. We previously experienced Cathay Pacific Business Class flying from Chicago to Hong Kong. Amber and I were eager to experience Cathay Pacific First Class as we set off to Germany to attend the ITB Travel Expo. Booking Cathay Pacific First Class   We wanted to use our American Airlines miles for our flight to Europe. Our initial goal was to fly from Hong Kong to Frankfurt, in Cathay Pacific Business Class. Because it’s hard to book Asia routings using miles on American’s website, we called American Airlines Reservations. We knew it would cost each of us approximately 52,000 American miles for a one way Business Class ticket. We were pleasantly surprised that for an additional 18,000 miles each, we would be able to experience Cathay Pacific First Class. This was music to our ears. With the average price for this ticket at $17,000 a person, what’s an additional 18,000 miles? Tickets booked, my inner #AvGeek, couldn’t wait to this flight. By the way, American Airlines recently devalued it’s miles, so it costs a lot more to book Cathay Pacific with American Miles. I’m glad we booked our flight when we did. Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge Cathay Pacific has coined #LifeWellTravelled as their company hashtag. To paraphrase from their marketing materials, when you travel well, your trip becomes memorable. From the moment we arrived at Hong Kong International...
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