My experience on ETIHAD Airways Business Class JFK/AUH/BKK rt |Abu Dhabi, UAE | Photo gallery of my last flight with ETIHAD Airways to/from Bangkok, Thailand. For the last three years, I have chosen ETIHAD – the national airline or the United Araba Emirates, as my official airline, when flying from the United States, to any point in the Middle East or Asia. And I cannot wait for the upcoming arrival of their brand new Airbus 380, starting next November 23rd, 2015 fron JFK to Abu Dhabi and connections, featuring their new Business Class configuration and the First Class Studio, First Class Apartments and the Residence, the best product on the air today, after a private jet experience. For more insight on my Abu Dhabi experience check out my Instagram Photo Gallery on my recent visit. Continue reading My experience on ETIHAD Airways Business Class JFK/AUH/BKK rt
La Compagnie Boutique Airline | Airlines | Last week I was invited by the brand new La Conpagnie All-Business-Class Boutique Airline, to be among the first travel bloggers to experience and review their services, for their flights connecting non-stop New York (EWR Newark) to/from Paris (CDG Charles de Gaulle). La Compagnie operates with several flights a week on a full 74 Business-Class-Seats configured Boeing 757-200 known for its reliability, comfort, and fuel efficiency. The aircraft was previously operated by Icelandair. At the moment this boutique airline only counts with one aircraft, but they are planning to receive their second one next November, and they are even planning adding other destinations to their service. La Compagnie enters to the competitive market of the NYC to Paris route, with very strong players and some similar concepts like OpenSkies by British Airways. Flights depart from New York at 09.50PM, arriving to Paris at 11.30AM. On the way back, departing Paris at 5.45PM arriving to New York at 08.30PM. The story of La Compagnie officially began in October 2013, when DreamJet, their parent company was founded. Thanks to the association between air transport professionnals and bold entrepreneurs, La Compagnie was born on June the 16th of 2014. Watch the video of the cabin. Continue reading La Compagnie Boutique Airline
Cathay Pacific Business Class to/from Asia | I just got back to New York after two amazing weeks in Asia, producing fashion shows and events for my partner, RUBINSINGER, in Singapore and Thailand. We flew from/to New York to/from Hong Kong, connecting to Singapore, on Cathay Pacific Business Class. It was such a great, relaxing and enjoyable experience. Their attentive flight attendants are always nearby to make sure your journey is a pleasant one. New Business Class experience for a total flight time was 16 hours to Hong Kong, with a brief connection of less than two hours, and then onwards 3 hours and a half to Singapore. Continue reading Cathay Pacific Business Class to/from Asia
OpenSkies BEST Non-Stop New York / Paris | Paris, France | Hi there everyone. !!! I am back. I took a few weeks break from work and the blog, and ran to Paris to assist, my partner Rubin Singer during Paris Fashion Week 2014. Lots to share, kiss and tell. Fabulous hotels, restaurants and tips, so we need to catch up indeed. But on this trip I got to experience for the first time OpenSkies by British Airways. I have used this airline in the past for clients and they all raved about it, so I decided to give it a try, and I must say I AM OBSESSED with it. Continue reading OpenSkies BEST Non-Stop New York / Paris
GermanWings my own tragic experience | Airline | So this is what happens when you decide to go cheap trying to save some money when traveling within Europe. I had to fly from Venice, Italy to Edinburgh, Scotland, my next destination. Those of you who have been to Venice, and Marco Polo Airport, know very well that it is not the most friendly nor efficient airport in the world. To top that, the airport is too small for the 23 million tourist this lovely city receives every year. For that you must always keep in mind two three things: (1) arrive to the airport way in advance, knowing that the boat ride from Venice to the Airport or the boat + shuttle, will take at least 40 minutes. Once you get there the lines for check in are endless and same with the security check points. (2) If your flight is delayed, know that most airlines use local handlers. This handlers represent at least 10 airlines each, so trying to talk to one of the agents will be a daunting, and almost impossible experience. (3) If your flight gets cancelled, ACT FAST or you will be stranded for days, or paying ridiculous prices for your flights, and if you get stranded, most airlines will make your life impossible to compensate your hotel stay, and trust me last minute hotel bookings at busy Venice, can get extremely expensive.
Being all these said, for my flight from Venice to Edinburgh, I researched into the many available low cost airlines, and found that the best option price-route-connection wise was GermanWings, well so I thought.
Always when I travel within Europe I have two huge concerns, first Baggage Weight, and second Flight Cancellations, specially when flying low cost airlines. But since I read some reviews online, and the fact that GermanWings belongs to the Lufthansa Group, one of my favorite airlines, I felt very comfortable to choose them over EasyJet, Vueling and many others in the market.
I must say I was quite excited to try a new airline, so this morning I got ready for a great experience… well silly me. The flight was scheduled for 8.40AM. So at 5.30AM I was picked up by a private riva at my hotel in central Venice. All was perfect, checked in and proceeded to the gate.
The nightmare began, and I will make it very short, not to bore you and to get the exact message straight. First announcement was that the flight was delayed. Therefore being that I had a connection, I was not making my second flight. Then I found out that Cologne to Edinburgh only flies once a day, meaning I would be stranded in Cologne. Asked the agent at the gate and she, in a very polite way told me F..K OFF that she was just a handler and that Germwings had no representatives in Venice, that I would have to wait till arriving to Cologne to have more information. PERFECT Customer Service, way to go AVIAPARTNER. Handing me next a lousy voucher for a crapy breakfast at a filthy cafeteria. But I decided to remain positive, and thought… Well if worst comes worst, I will have to sleep over in Cologne, city I do like and been there before, hoping they would take care of my transfers and accommodation. So sat close to the agents to check on them.
Almost two hours passed and they could not careless about the complaints and needs of my fellow passengers, specially those like me missing their connections, being stranded in Cologne, since the network of connections by GermanWings is very limited. I overheard, the flight is CANCELLED. Public announcement they did almost 30 minutes later, playing with the time, lives and opportunities of their clients.
I stopped for a minute, took a deep breath and said.!!! I need to get out of here now. GermanWings will not help me or any other grounded passengers, and I will be on waiting-list for the following day with only one already sold out flight and connection and many angry passengers trying to fly out. Ran to the first Internet machine at the airport. Logged into my Travel Agent booking engine, and searched for the first flight out of Venice to Edinburgh, either with optimal connections or even heading to London, Manchester or Glasgow. I would rather take a train next, than having to trust any other low cost European Airline.
I found a flight to Lufthansa Venice / Frankfurt / Edinburgh. It seems my fate today was tied to Lufthansa Group, the one I have always love and trusted blinded, but no so much anymore. Ran to the ticketing counter, hoping there would be seats available yet, and that my poor other fellow victims of GermanWings, wouldn’t have done the same.
INSIDER Travel Agent TIP: when this happens, if you can, get hold of your travel agent, he/she will know exactly what to do. If that is not an option, buy a round trip ticket. Round trips are usually cheaper than One Ways when booking last minute. This was the case with mine, saving over USD 200.
Thank God and the travel agent angels, there were still a few seats available. So I explained to the Lufthansa agent the situation, trying to see, being both airlines part of the same group, if they will extend any courtesy, special fare…. anything. Her answer was …” GermanWings is Lufthansa Group but it is not Lufthansa…” Hmmmmm still trying to understand what she meant with that? If you do, please let me know.
To end the story, EUR 275 and over 7 hours delayed from my original flight schedule, I made it to Edinburgh. The great news is, by Lufthansa being part of Star Alliance, I got miles with UNITED Airlines…. Fabulous worst US carrier. Really can it get any worst? Now I have more miles to fly United.
The whole point of this post is to make you aware that not usually LOW Cost ends up being HIGH Cost, read my other experience a year ago when flying AirBaltic from Paris to Stockholm. Most times cheaper is not the best option.
I am not complaining nor furious about the fact that the flight was first delayed and them cancelled, that happens everyday, even to the best airlines in the world. The important part is how the airline, their employees and handlers deal with it, and help travelers with their disrupted itineraries, hopes and needs. What I AM complaining about is the lack of professionalism, empathy, communication, and customer service by GermanWings. It was despicable, rude and inoperative. I am beyond surprised and disappointed, to learn that a group like Lufthansa Group is behind this negligent airline and partner.
That’s why I always choose, when in Europe to travel by speed trains.
Of course my flight with Lufthansa was perfect as usual, departing sharply on time and arriving way before schedule.
Stay away from GermanWings, Advise by experience, or better said lack of it. Today travel is all about experiences and GermanWings is not fitted to be part of any. GermanWings Flight 0815 – Venice / Cologne / Edinburgh. CM @ Carlos Melia Recommends
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This is WHY I choose not to fly UNITED | United States | And there are the reasons, based on my own experiences, why I choose not to fly United, at least when I have the choice not to do so. Yesterday I was confirmed in Business Class from Los Angeles to New York City – UA 233. This was the case from beginning to end. And now, apparently, I will have extra 3000 Bonus Mileage Plus Miles on my account, which will be credited in 14 days. Really 14 days to credit miles to an account ? Well trust me I will do my follow up on this and keep you all posted. Continue reading This is WHY I choose not to fly UNITED
British Airways World Traveler Plus | London to New York | Very comfortable seats, fabulous entertainment system, fairly good gourmet options… but the most unfriendly and rude service I have experienced in the last few years, shocked specially coming from an European carrier. World Traveler Plus (aka. Premium Economy) Continue reading British Airways World Traveler Plus
Brand new Business Class by Lufthansa on Boeings 747-8 | Lufthansa | I had the pleasure to experience the brand new Business Class configuration on Lufthansa flights from the United States to Germany, and I have truly enjoyed it. I was the only member of the LGBT Media out of Europe to be invited, and I am more than happy to share my experience with all of you. Also it is fair to mention the efforts of Lufthansa to promote and sponsor the CSD Pride Parade,(aka. local version of the Pride Parade). The state-of-the-art Boeing 747-8 featuring the new Business Class configuration is at the moment only flying from/to Washington DC, but soon it will be rolled to all other main routes, including New York City. Continue reading Brand new Business Class by Lufthansa on Boeings 747-8
Lufthansa’s brand-new Business Class | Lufthansa’s brand-new Business Class comes to the U.S. market along with the new Boeing 747-8 and Carlos Melia and Carlos Melia Recommends have been invited to be among the first to try it. I will be flying to Berlin next Thursday and I will be reporting from onboard the new state of the art aircraft . Stay tuned. CM @ Carlos Melia Recommends
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American Airlines First Class Non-Stop BUE/JFK | New York, United States | Back in New York City after and amazing month an a half in Brazil and Argentina. The way back, well on board First Class non-stop American Airlines flight from Buenos Aires to New York City (approx. 10 hours and 30 minutes ). Yes everyone, after an exhausting week planning a Gay Wedding in Buenos Aires, I got on my almost flat bed seat, jump into my AA pijamas, enjoyed a few glasses of White Wine and Champagne, caught up with movies and slept the whole way through to wake up over a great breakfast at JFK. Continue reading American Airlines First Class Non-Stop BUE/JFK