Category Archives: blog
5 Frightening Places Germs Thrive on a Commercial Flight
A blog reader sent me the link of an article regarding germy places on a commercial flight. I found it very interesting, and thought I should share it with my other readers as well.
After clicking the “Book Now” button for a flight, there is a whisper of possibility in the air. The possibility of a new adventure, the possibility of making new memories, and the possibility of … catching the flu on your way to a once in a lifetime vacation. Many of the basic cleaning duties of commercial flights slip through the cracks between hectic schedules and delayed flights, leaving behind a breeding ground for bacteria looking to attack the bodies of unsuspecting travelers. Microbiologist and Director of Global Service Care at Reckitt Benckiser Inc., Joe Rubino, has lent some expertise and suggestions within our list of the top 5 “dirtiest” parts of a commercial flight!
To my readers, please take precautions when traveling. I always keep a bottle of antibac in my purse, and also in my carry-on when I travel by plane. There is no excuse for bad hygiene, even when traveling, as you can get most antibacs in 3oz travel size as well.
Stay healthy, and keep exploring the world 🙂
I had almost forgot about my blog, for the entire summer. But now I will try and keep you guys updated on a more regular basis, especially since this fall will include a lot of stress related to the start of CPL in February. I will write about the application process, the visa process +++. More on that later.
This summer I got to travel A LOT. I traveled all over Norway with a friend for 5 days. I flew 24 flights in 5 days. On the Dash 8 Q100/Q200/Q400. So much fun! I even got to ride jumpseat on some of the flights. If you want to check out some cool photos from my trip, visit my Instagram profile http://instagram.com/cecebg# (from the seatbelt and onward)
My favorite shot is of the Q100 propeller in the sunset, flying from Bodø (ENBO) to Mo i Rana (ENRA)
For more photos, make sure you check out my Photobucket library
So far, 2013 has brought me to the US 3 times, and a few trips around Europe as well. In May, I also went on a day trip to Barcelona with some friends. I went to Stockholm for the first time in June to shoot a video for Disney’s new Pixar project “Planes” and on my day off I flew off to Helsinki, Finland for the day, just for fun 🙂 I got to sit in the jumpseat on the B737-800 from Kristiansand to Oslo, and I rode the B717 (Airline: Blue1) for the first time in my life! Awesome airplane!
In August I haven’t traveled anywhere but in September, me and some friends at the Scandinavian avgeek forum Flyprat (www.flyprat.no) have chartered a SAS MD-80 that will take us on a SAS MD80-farewell tour across Scandinavia. SAS is retiring the MD80 this October. In November I’m going on a long weekend trip to Dublin!
Thanks for still following my blog (those of you who still are)
I will not wait 3 months until the next blog, that’s for sure 🙂
I haven’t forgotten about you, but right now is probably the busiest time of the year in the store where I work. Working Monday-Saturday, throw in a couple of meetings at night, and you pretty much have my schedule every week for the past month or so. After I came home from Portland, it has been busy. But busy in a retail store is usually a good thing. I have sold a lot of bikes lately, which will pay off eventually (pay day is the 10th every month)
So, to keep you updated on what’s coming up:
– May 25 is my next trip. This time with a friend to someplace warm 🙂
– June 11-13: Sweden working on an exciting aviation/commercial related project.
– June 24: My cousin Molly from New Jersey is coming to visit me for 2 weeks
Since I didn’t win the Green Card lottery this year (don’t worry, I’ll try again next year) I’m in the process of trying to find an American husband. If you know someone, or might be “the one” – please contact me 🙂
Thank you, and have a great week!
Sometimes frequent flyers are a few miles short of re-qualifying for their elite status. This was the case for me this time, but with a trip to Frankfurt, I secured my EBG (SAS Eurobonus Gold) status for another year, until December 2015 🙂
“A mileage run is a trip for the sole purpose of earning frequent-flier miles; a trip to absolutely anywhere at all assuming that the fare is cheap enough so that the miles balance out the cost”
So I decided to purchase a youth fare with SAS to Frankfurt. My routing was like this, Sunday, February 17, 2013:
The big bonus; I got to ride the MD82 CPH-FRA-CPH which is an aircraft type SAS is getting rid of within the year and replacing it with the newer and more fuel efficient A320NEOs and 737-800s. I will sure miss the quietness in the first few rows of that aircraft.
SE-DIK (MD-82) parked in FRA, ready for the flight back to CPH.
The flight attendants thought I was nuts when they saw me board the same plane back to Copenhagen after barely 50 minutes on the ground in Frankfurt. They recognized me as I boarded and greeted me by name and said they wondered who Ms Larsen was, who was on SK675 and would also be on SK676 back to CPH. When I sat down in my seat, 07A (same seat I had on the way down) two of the flight attendants came over to me and asked questions about mileage running. Apparently, they had never heard of such a thing before.
During the inflight service, the purser apologized to me that she couldn’t remember if I wanted milk and sugar with my tea. 😉
Thank you SAS, good flight, good service, and a renewed EBG-status 🙂
A comfortable ride across the Atlantic
So, as I have mentioned earlier, I was supposed to go back to Norway January 20, but due to bad weather and maintenance issues with the aircraft, my flying got delayed so I had to postpone my return flight to Norway.
I first called United to see if I could change the return date to January 23, but that wasn’t possible due to my fare being non-refundable (bought off a sale in October) I then tried to look up one-way tickets to Europe, which are not cheap. Not at all. United wanted over $2000 for a one-way ticket MCO-KRS – in ECONOMY!!! A definite no-no. So after being on the phone with United for 30 minutes, I hung up and called my lovely airline Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) who could give me an award ticket, booked with my miles. The agent was very friendly and found a route that suited me perfectly, with short layovers (at this point I just wanted to get home as quick and efficient as possible) At first he thought I needed a round trip (I didn’t specify I would only need a one-way ticket this time) so he gave me an offer, 40000 miles for a round trip in economy. I then said I only need the one-way, and he figured out I had enough points for a one-way in business. I wasn’t hard to convince, and soon I was booked in business all the way from Orlando, via Frankfurt and Oslo, to Kristiansand. 66000 miles and 256 NOK later, I got my ticket by e-mail. A smooth experience, and actually the first time I have redeeemed any of my frequent flyer points.
I returned my rental car at Sixt, was expedited quickly and took the shuttle to the terminal. I checked in using the First Class / Star Alliance Gold check in counter which had no line what so ever. Checked my two bags and headed for security where Lufthansa apparently doesn’t have a priority lane, which I found kind of weird. I got through it with about 10 minutes of waiting, and took the train over to the concourse where my plane would depart in about 2 hours.
Lufthansa doesn’t have their own lounge in MCO, but uses Delta’s Sky Club. Not a very big selection of snacks, but I guess it was late in the afternoon and not many flights departing. Plenty of seating areas, I had no trouble finding a place to relax before my flight. The bathrooms were very nicely decorated and furnished. I had some snacks, changed into my “I’m crossing the Atlantic at night”-attire (sports bra and a sweat shirt. On board the plane I changed into sweat pants) before the Lounge Dragons announced Lufthansa flight 465 to Frankfurt was ready for boarding, and that a Lufthansa representative would meet us in the lounge and escort us to the gate.
WARNING: Text is below the picture!!!
We were then escorted over to the gate where boarding was about to start, but we were the first ones on board the Airbus 340-600 (registration D-AIHH) bound for Frankfurt. They used 2L for boarding and after I entered the cabin I took an immidiate left and found my seat, 8D.
When boarding was announced completed, no one had claimed 08A/C so I moved over to the window seat and got the two-seater all by my self. I like to have direct aisle access on long haul flights, especially at night, but with no one in the C seat I was good to go with my window seat 🙂
A photo I snapped of the leg room in 08D before I switched seats
Once in 08A, I was greeted by the purser with my last name (at first she thought Ms Larsen didn’t board since it was stated in her manifest that I would be sitting in 08D) but I gave her a hint that I just moved seats. She was very polite, and sort of apologetic. She hoped I had a good ground experience in MCO, which I confirmed, but my only complain would be no priority security. I was served a glass of champagne before take off.
Once in 08A, this was my view of the forward business cabin,
On our way to lining up on 35L, ready for take off!
MLB VOR was in our flight plan, but I thought we’d be cleared more direct. But no, we headed south to Melbourne after departure, then started our oceanic crossing from there.
I was handed the menu for tonight’s flight.
I went with the seafood salad as a starter, cod filet as main course and the chocolate for dessert.
But first, time for some beer and nuts. Warsteiner glass bottled beer is a classic onboard Lufthansa in business and first class. Back in economy they serve it on a can.
Seafood salad, probably the best dish in the entire meal. Crisp salad, hot roll and the prawns tasted fresh and delicious.
Nothing left of the seafood salad 😀
The cod tasted OK but the presentation lacked some I thought. Kind of sloppy.
“Would you care for some chocolate, Ms Larsen?” How awesome, they said Ms Larsen to me throughout the meal service. Nice touch! The chocolate was heavenly!
Time to get some rest! The old business class seats on board Lufthansa doesn’t recline 180 degrees. My biggest complaint with the seat, however, is the area around your feet when the seat is fully reclined. It reclines under the seat in front of you, and the space around your feet is very limited.
Never the less, I got 4 hours of sleep and woke up feeling pretty fresh and awake as we crossed in to European airspace. Breakfast service started 1,5 hours before landing.
The breakfast platter consisted of some fresh cold cuts as well as an egg omelet and some potatoes. Fresh fruit, tea and OJ complimented the meal.
Being greeted the best way possible by Europe: With an amazing sunrise
Short final for 07L (new runway) in Frankfurt where we landed 30 minutes ahead of schedule.
D-AIHH parked by the gate after the flight. I disembarked through door 1L and headed straight for the lounge.
Since I had some time until my flight to Oslo, I decided to go to the Welcome Lounge (outside of security) knowing that lounge has more showers than the business/senator lounges airside. Even thought it was kind of a long stroll from Terminal A, it was well worth it. Sophie the Frequent Flyer Bear liked it a lot too 🙂
Feeling refreshed after the shower, I headed to Terminal B where a bus gate awaited my next flight, SK4756 to Oslo. The flight was operated by LN-TUF, a Boeing 737-700.
On board we were served sea bass. The chocolate for dessert was very sweet, but rounded the meal off nicely.
Flying next to Denmark.
North Jylland, Denmark.
I hate transferring international-domestic in Oslo, because I have to go through customs, recheck my bags and go through security again. But it was the only option available on award tickets that day so I just had to suck it up. My bags actually appeared early on the baggage belt with their priority tags, so I headed through customs, up to the departure level and got through security.
Now, remember the girl I met when I departed Oslo 1,5 weeks earlier? Well, guess who I met in the domestic terminal this Thursday afternoon? The same girl! What are the odds?!? We just accidentally bumped in to each other. She was headed to Bergen for the weekend. Our flights departed from the same area of the terminal so we found a place to sit until boarding started.
This is the gate for my flight, SK221 to Kristiansand. You’d think it was the last helicopter out of Vietnam.
I was one of the last to board and found my seat, 11F. Full flight, and all the overhead bins were full. I ended up with my carry on Rimowa under the seat in front of me, with my backpack on my lap and feet on the Rimowa (Sorry, my dear little suitcase)
We took of late, but at that point I didn’t care. To be honest, I fell asleep before pushback and didn’t wake up until we had started our descent into Kristiansand.
It was a very comfortable trip, though it cost me some miles, it was definitely worth it.
The service I received with Lufthansa was very good. They are upgrading their business class seats to something similar to what Swiss offers. I’m eager to try that product out, but for now it’s hit-or-miss if you get an aircraft with the new business class seats.
The meals were consistenly very good.
My only complaint is, as mentioned before, the lack of priority security in MCO for business class/ Star Gold passengers.
That’s all I have for now 🙂 Hope you enjoyed following along my trip home from Florida!