Thursday, September 1, 2016



The highlight of the trip is meeting 15 billionaires and multi-millionaires eating breakfast at a cheap dive. See Sunday morning below. 

Planned route takes us right over Anchorage.  Last time I went to HKG a few months ago, we flew right over Anchorage and it was a great view.  I always have binoculars with me and there is a lot to see down there.

It is a day flight so I won't be able to see any auroras.  It looks like the auroras are mostly over the Atlantic this time
There is a geomagnetic storm and the  solar wind stream is buffeting Earth's magnetic field on Sept. 2nd, causing G2-class geomagnetic storms. Bright auroras have been reported

Right after crossing the international date line, the winds will shift and it will get bumpy


Woke at 4:00 AM CST and drove from Dallas to Tyler, TX, 100 miles.  I live in Dallas but if I departed from this other city, the fare was $1,000 cheaper.

Note to self: next time drive to DFW airport and check in 24 hours in advance. Get your boarding passes in your hands. It took exactly 1.5 hrs to go 100 miles and got to Tyler at 6:30 AM as they announced boarding. Took 2 agents 20 min to check me in, computer kept rejecting me. I can never check in on-line for int'l flights. No one knows why.  Doesn't matter if I go to NRT or PEK or HKG or KUL or LHR or EZE, anywhere int'l. No one at AA can figure it out.

Parking at TYR is $6 per day. GGG Longviiew 30 miles to the east is free parking. 

Boarded flight TYR - DFW  7:00 AM - 7:54 AM. I was in seat 12A exit row but they changed planes and now 12A is not exit row. 11A is exit row and someone else got it. 

Backed out and taxiing to runway. Stopped. Announcement: traffic into DFW has us at 7:25 wheels up so it is 7:00 right now and we will sit here at the edge of the runway and shut down the engines and wait. You can get up and use the restroom and cell phones. 

The AA app is saying flight departed at 6:49AM. It is 7:10AM and we are sitting with the engines off. 

Finally took off at 7:25 and VR (velocity at rotation (front wheel up)) was 136 mph at elevation of 514 feet. Quick 20 min flight, no drinks or service. Landed at 7:50, taxied for 15 min to B. Had to wait for red tagged bags.

Went to Admiral's Club in Terminal D and into FlagShip Lounge.
Ahh, the perks of being an Executive Platinum 

Met up with Katlin & boyfriend Michael who just flew in from MIA to connect to AA263, 787 to PEK. They come back Monday. 

Met up with Marty & girlfriend Tyce also from MIA also heading to PEK. 

Met up with James heading to OKC. 

We all had a great chat. 

And here is the silver bird tail N733AR a 777-300ER (Extended Range)

I got my upgrade T - 60 hours, looks like the upgrade list is pretty long right now. I am so lucky to have my status. Looks like a few cleared. 

Boarded flight. Big engine

I asked if I could take a picture, she said wait, let me make it prettier. OJ, champagne and water.

I have a seat with 3 windows and I have my binoculars with me

12:20 PM Boarded AA 137 DFW - HKG  777-300ER

Something must have happened. They just addressed me by my name and confirmed my pre-selected seafood selection. They usually (90% of the time) don't say my name anymore

Wait wait wait

What just happened?

The cart came down the aisle with newspapers and the shelf below were pajamas and they asked if I would like a pajama. How did that happen?  When did that happen?  What is going on?

Ok, backing up now. Signing off for now. Thanks for reading my blog. You can click the menu and see my other trips 

In flight
Wait. Another surprise. I opened the pillow and comforter and there was a third item in there that has never been there. A mattress. Thin. 

Started out with hot towel and nuts and drinks, then appetizer

The dressing under the duck was way too spicy for me

I had pre-ordered the shrimp, it was eatable. 

I had both desserts

After 1,000 miles it was time to make my bed and get some sleep. 

Slept for 1,500 miles (3 hr) and woke over Barrow, everything has melted since my last trip back in April

If you look past the clouds, you can see white roofs. People are actually living here. This is the western part of AK facing the ocean 

Went over this island, I have been over it several times. It had no ice on it now. You can see a boat in the harbor

Approached the northern coast of Russia

 had a snack. Then fell asleep for 6 hrs

Woke. Almost time to eat again and land soon 


6:00 PM Arrived Hong Kong

Took free shuttle bus to hotel. Two weddings going on



Ate dinner



5:00 AM woke
Was going to take 6:30 shuttle to airport but decided to take 8:00 shuttle since counter doesn't open till 4 hrs prior to 2:30 PM flight

Went across the lobby driveway to what turns out to be a dive that is part of the hotel. I was eating a dive breakfast to tide me over till I got to The Pier first class lounge. 

I hear varoom varoom noises and look in the lobby driveway and see a yello lamborghini

A guy and a young woman get out. A black Ferrari pulls up next to it

Then more Lamborghinis come in

Father and son get out

Two more with very exotic paint jobs

Then more Ferraris and Porsches show up

I chatted with them, they like to get together and chew the fat, east at a dive. It is a father child event. Looking at them you would never tell how rich they are. 

6:00 AM took free shuttle bus back to Hong Kong Airport

Waited for counter to open

Went to lounge

2:40 PM Boarded AA 138 HKG - DFW  777-300ER

Last meal is usually served 2 or 1.5 hours prior to landeding. I wonder what happened since it didn't start until 1 hour prior to landing and everything was rushed. Choice of continental or American. A nice touch was the baby croissant was chocolate and it was warmed to the perfect temperature, I wonder how they accomplished that. Wish they did to my dinner earlier, the duck was not warmed properly. They charge $5,000 - $8,000 for this seat, a simple expectation would be properly heated food.

The smoothie was very good

4:00 PM arrived DFW early due to 100+ mph tailwinds

Scheduled trip is 8,111 miles but you can see actual miles is longer. We only get credit for the 8,111 miles for elite qualifying miles (EQM).  For redeemable miles (RDM) (miles that can be used for free trips) per the new rules as of Aug 1st, it is only 1,335 base miles. A stab in the back to us frequent flyers. Not a way to keep us loyal. 

Woke in my own bed

Didn't have my car (since it is parked in Tyler airport, 100 miles away), called Uber to airport

8am arrived airport and invited back to FlagShip Dining in Terminal D Admirals Club. Cecelia is very helpful and knows me since I come here so much. Note to self: it doesn't open until 8:30AM

One stamp means one person. Two people?  Get two stamps. They are very strict. And don't try to put the tables together if you have more than two people at a table. Don't try to save tables. Tables turn quite quickly, some just come in and out for 5-15 minutes. 

And drink coupon

There are no eggs. There are boiled eggs outside the door. Three different kinds of smoothies

Croissants, scones and muffins


Sliced meat and cheeses

Salmon but no cream cheese and no bagels. Have to go outside to get bagels and cream cheese. 

9:45 AM a very flight to Tyler, 100 miles away

Tiny tiny EMB140, at least it has two jet engines and I am in the first seat, 23 min flight at 11,000 ft

Final call for JAL 787 two-class to NRT. We took 3-class 777-300ER to HND over xmas and had 4 of the 8 first-class seats

Landed and got in car and drive 100 miles west to home

End of trip
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