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More Chances For British Airways New First Class Into Bangkok

Have you had a chance to see the wonderful new British Airways First Class?

Based on simple luxury, British Airways had not updated their first class since 2000 so this update is very welcome.

 

Currently only 60-70% of the British Airways planes have been updated to the new First Class product so it’s great to see that they are slowing increasing their capacity into Asia.

A press release in the Bangkok Post today notes:

“As BA completes the rollout of its new first class across its entire long-haul aircraft fleet, there is a greater chance a BA flight from Bangkok will be outfitted with a new First cabin,” said Sriram Narayan, the manager for Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.

BA’s new First, which was first offered in February 2010 and involved a 100 million investment, represents the latest in a series of first-class cabin upgrades.

The move enables it to better compete with global airlines, especially those from the Middle East investing heavily in premium cabins in an effort to capture more of the lucrative high-end market.

I have always liked the British Airways style. It’s not flashy like Virgin however it’s simple elegance is able to be appreciated on many levels.

Perhaps one word of note. BA like their premium customers to “look like” premium customers. When flying in the past I have had to politely remind desk staff that indeed I was flying first class after they have ever so politely suggested to me Economy check in was on the other side of the terminal. Was it me or just the British ways?

Hiccups aside I still highly recommend the product with BA.

Dr George

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Singapore Airlines & Virgin Australia Launch Round The World Fares

Exciting news with Singapore Airlines and Virgin Australia launching code share arrangement that will enable full round the world and circle pacific fares.

These fares represent significant discounts on standard business class and economy fares enabling full enjoyment of the luxury of Singapore Airlines Business.

 

While Virgin Australia Business is also a great product it’s not quite as luxurious as the Singapore Airlines product.  That said the main sticking point is the Australia to USA leg of any of thee fares.

Currently Singapore Airlines does not have rights to fly between the USA and Australia. This leaves Virgin Australia, Qantas, United and Delta as the sole airlines that fly between these destinations.

While the Qantas business class is nice, it lacks the level of “fun” that Virgin Australia promotes with no inflight bar and the service a little more subdued.

I love the circle pacific and round the world fares. The fact that you can use them to get great value flying Singapore Airlines is wonderful. Virgin Australia is proving to be a strong contender in the market so the alliance between the two companies is welcomed with open arms.

I’m all for enjoying the luxury available and the lowest possible cost. This Singapore Airlines / Virgin Australia deal looks very sweet indeed.

Dr George

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Congratulations To Malaysian On Their New A380

Wonderful news with Malaysian Airlines receiving delivery of their first Airbus A380.

Joining Singapore Airlines, Qantas, Emirates and Lufthansa, the Malaysia Airlines A380 is pushing luxury to an exciting new standard.

 

Malaysia Airlines has made a few interesting statements with the introduction of their new A380.

First Class seats are wider then found on the Singapore Airlines A380. With only 8 First Class seats, 4 less then Singapore Airlines Suites, premium passengers have access to high levels of service and attention.

The First Class seats transform into a full bed and there are 2 central double seats that can create a side by side sleeping arrangement.

Of course Malaysia Airlines attention to detail are seamless with curb side check-in at KL International Airport.
Having enjoyed the wonderful First Class lounge I can highly recommend arriving a little bit earlier to be able to relax, unwind and enjoy the Malaysian hospitality.

To be among the first to enjoy the Malaysia Airlines A380 experience you will need to be traveling from KL to London. Over time it is expected that this will be extended to other markets including Australia, and the USA.

I’ve always admired the wonderful kind service of Malaysia Airlines and look forward to trying their A380 First Class soon.

Dr George

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Sir Richard Branson ‘s Necker Island. The Ultimate Get Away

Can you imagine what it would be like to have your own private island to enjoy?

Sir Richard Branson, king pin of the Virgin brand is living the life having bought Necker Island for a song!

When  Richard Branson bought the 74-acre (300,000 m2) island, it was uninhabited. He purchased the island for 180,000 GBP at the age of 28, just six years after starting Virgin Group. It took 3 years and approximately US$10 million to turn it into a private island retreat that Sir Richard Branson has available for the (paying) public to enjoy.

The island is available for weddings, relaxation breaks, sports vacations, and even complete rentals for any purpose. One of the high profile recent guests is Larry Page, Google’s billionaire co-founder, who married his girlfriend, Lucy Southworth, on the island in early December 2007.

Using local stone, Brazilian hardwoods, antiques, art pieces and fabrics and bamboo furniture from Bali the architects and designers created a 10 bedroom Balinese-style villa crowning a hill above the beach. Each of the 10 bedrooms has open walls giving a 360-degree view and cooling winds from any direction in the house. The island has accommodation for 28 people and rents out at US$53,000 to $54,000 a day. All that includes two “private” beaches, private pools, tennis courts, breathtaking views, a personal chef, a team of about 60 staff  and a wide array of water sports equipment.

While I can’t imagine ever owning a Richard Branson style island, I am very open to hiring this lifestyle for special occasions.

Now my question is, if you were to live the life of Richard Branson for just one week, who would you have join you?

 

Dr George

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Singapore Airlines Suites. A Class Beyond First.

Singapore Airlines made history on the 25th of October 2007 being the first commercial flight of the much anticipated Airbus A380.

Along an upgraded business class, Singapore airlines introuduced “Suites, a class beyond First”.

Suites sent much excitement through the travel industry introducing beautiful individual cabins, full size beds which could convert to full double beds for passengers in the center row. Each cabin featured a full screen television, comfortable leather recliner chair and when required the room is converted to a bedroom to allow passengers the best opportunity to sleep.

Of course this privilege did come at a premium on top of the standard first class fares. Just this year however this premium has been dropped and first class prices  and suites are now the same.

Suites is still not available as part of discounted “round the world” inventory however it is hoped that over time this may change as well.

I’ve been fortunate to fly suites twice now. The recliner is very comfortable and easy to sleep in. I found the bed comfortable however the matress is rather firm if you are used to a softer style.

Food of couse was exquisite. Over all I highly recommend the whole Singapore Airlines Suites experience.

Please enjoy this video produced by Singapore Airlines to introduce it’s excited premium passengers to the new “Suites, A Class Beyond”.

 

Dr George

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The Clubhouse by Virgin Atlantic Heathrow Terminal 3

Considered the leader of fun and lifestyle lounges. Virgin Atlantic leads the pack with their Clubhouse at London Heathrow Terminal 3.

Unlike many of the other premium lounges Virgin Atlantic has specifically targeted the  younger affluent market. Enjoy a game of pool, the latest movies and even an retro space invader machine. Looking to spruce up before your flight? Be sure to check out the fully decked out spa.

As reviewed at AirlineEquality:

First time user of LHR Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse and very impressed. Shown the various areas by a staff member and looked around ourselves before deciding on a seat viewing the runway. Firstly deposited bag and given a ticket to collect it prior to boarding. There were many different types of seating areas: cafe style; by Tv; in library; lounge style; child area; IT area – lots of choice. Chose a wicker hanging chair and sofa behind bar and ordered chicken curry and burger and champagne and espresso martini. The food came first with drinks shortly after. Had another drink and then went for our pre-booked shave and manicure in the cowshed. Found a seat in the same area following our treatments and had another couple of drinks and a dessert.

While the older more sophisticated traveller is sure to feel welcome they may feel a little more comfortable at the British Airways lounges over at Terminal 5 😉 .

With wonderful food, and plenty of space to relax your holiday certainly starts well even before you place a single foot in onto a plane.

 

What a wonderful way to start your holiday. Flying Virgin Atlantic? I highly recommend checking out the Clubhouse at Heathrow Terminal 3.

Dr George

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