Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The New Seatrate

It's been a while since I updated this blog (16 months to be exact) and even I thought it was dead. I have two successful blogs which I've been focussing all my energy on. Still, I love travelling, so this blog is going to shift from travel news, to details of the loaded year I have ahead of me. In the interim, I've become a much better writer, so hopefully this run at Seatrate will be more pleasing to all.

2013 is by far looking to be the best year for my travel. In 2014, my goal is to break my personal record for the most countries visited in one year (5).

What's Planned This Year So Far:

  • Guyana in April. Where? It's a small country in South America, and once again I'll be posting a variety of cool photos from the trip, as well as...
  • Caribbean Airlines Trip Report. I'm flying 8 hours on an airline even I'd never heard of until a few months ago. That's what it takes to get to Guyana. I'll have a full trip report (with pictures) of my experience on one of the most obscure international airlines around.
  • Summer Trip to China, complete with lots of different air travel, and some local sites. Lots of photos, and trip reports to come.
  • Hawaii.
  • Much, much more.
I'll keep you updated. Look for the first post soon.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

What if U.S Air and American merged?

Many of you may think it impossible. I understand that AMR and US are very different companies. They have different structures and are in competing alliances. They are more similar than meets the eye though. They are the two remaining legacy carriers that haven't merged.

If you look at history you will see that Pan Am, Eastern, TWA, United, Continental, Delta, and Northwest have all participated in major mergers and aquisitions. A few years ago American was the nation's largest airline. With the UA, CO, DL, and NW mergers they will soon fall to #3.

They have complimentary fleets and routes. Without this merger American will lose it's edge because of less routes and smalle aging fleet. US has already fallen due to those issues. A merger would allow US and American to better compete on the global scale. I wouldn't doubt it.
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Friday, August 19, 2011

Continental Flatbed: Review part 1

I recently flew on the Continental flatbed seats from CDG to Newark and noticed a few things. First of all, the seats felt squished in. They were angled to fit in but still very nice.

Boarding: We boarded early and upon boarding were offered drinks and menus and the International service manager, basically a pursor, gave us a tour of the seat. Blankets, pillows, headsets, and amenities kits were already on the seat.

The Seat: The Continental Businessfirst seat on their 757 is a flatbed seat. The seats recline to a full 180 degrees. The seat cusion moves forward as it goes flat and connects with the footrest to make a fully flat "bed". The seat controls offer a button to make a bed, a button to sit up, two buttons for lumbar support, the footrest, and for the seat. When reclined you can also adjust using a separate seat control built into the shell behind your seat. Also on the shell is a reading light with three settings. Unfortunately it was too bright for normal use.

I was doubtful that the privacy screen would be effective but it
Was when reclined.

The most important discovery was one I made midway through the flight. The seat is very narrow compared to most First class seats. The solution I found was that with the push of a button I could put the armrest down. This adds inches to seat width. This is very valuable.
To be continued

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Paris: city of the weird

A few interesting pics i snapped capturing part of one very interesting city:

Locks for love

Young Napolean's armour

In the subway

Continental Amenities Kit: Review

Here's a quick review of Continental's Businessfirst Ammenitys kit:

The new bag More stylish than the old classic blue, durable, reusable, Rating:8/10

The inside

Not as nice as most airline combsRating:5/10

Earplugs: good at blocking engine noiseRating:9/10
Eyeshades: work well, not very comfortableRating:7/10
Health products: decent but not high qualityRating:6/10

Socks: very comfortableRating:9/10

Mints: tasty but lacks a sealable container. I miss tic tacs Rating:6/10

A nice little plastic pen +2

Wipes are a nice addition: +3 points
Toothbrush and toothpaste are name brand and high quality Rating:9/10

Overall rating:65/80 or 7/10
Very good for an American Airline

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

TGV Review Part 2

This is the second part of my TGV review.

The trip: the trains are very quiet and quite comfortable. The bathrooms are reasonably nice for a train. There was a bar car that seemed to have a reasonable selection

To sum things up:
Overall this was a very cfprtable train and I would definetly reccomend it.

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Monday, August 15, 2011

TGV: reviewed part 1

Normally we don't Review trains but on this occasion we will make an exception.

What it is: The TGV is a high speed train service operating throughout France

the seat:The size of a coach seat but possibly more padding. The seats had more space and armrest room than coach on an airline. The seats are arranged in rows of two with tables seating four intermixed.

For legroom and a larger table area book a table seat

The seats recline slightly and in the same manner as an American Airlines 737 coach seat( seat moves forward as it goes back so it doesnt imped on space in row behind)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Best Prop plane ride I have ever had

The other day I flew from Reagan National to HPN on US Air. The plane was a small fifty seater and yet when we had gotten on the bus a GA came aboard and told us we had to get off to resolve a weight issue. Ten of those 50 people were eventually booted or volunteered. When we got on the plane I was miserable. The engines were loud as prop planes usually are. We were delayed. I was stuck in the seat over from the window seat in the back of the plane. I had no window. I had no aisle. I wouldn’t even say I had a middle. It was five abreast. Luckily the FA let anyone go where ever due to the 10 open seats. I had a row to myself, a really good breakfast, and a few minutes to nap. There were a few kinks but in the end it was relaxing.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Where to find the best airport soup

Not so hidden in the United terminal of SFO is the best and most consistent soup I have ever had in an airport. San Fransisco Soup kitchen provides delicious soups including my personal favorite which is their flavorful tortilla soup.

To use less descriptive words: this place provides good soups for an airport place. My only gripe is that the bread isn't always great. Check it out and stay tuned for more airport food tips.

Monday, August 8, 2011

FLL to ATL on Delta

Lounge: The Ft. Lauderdale sky club was fine though slightly worn. It obviously isn’t as nice and large as the NY sky club. The staff were very kind and courteous. 
Plane: The plane was an outdated domestic 757. The seats were old and canvas I believe. The pitch and recline were pretty low. There was no real IFE so I spent most of my flight looking out the window.
Flight: Overall the flight was fine. It was on time. Drinks were offered early on in the flight and peanuts and pretzels were offered. The airplane was clean enough.