Tuesday, July 1, 2014

My Trip To Vancouver Part #1

Vancouver Trip Report 
Air Travel
Cathay Pacific First Class
(Thanks to British Airways Avois Program)

Tossed the Cost – Thanks to British Airways (BA) Avois Program, we were given the opportunity to enjoy Cathay Pacific first class, a major short cut to a rich product. «For those who have never had the opportunity to enjoy the awe-inspiring experience of Cathay Pacific first class, please take the time to read their July 25, 2013 Press Release, which is sure to entice your senses.  Cathay Pacific unveils rejuvenated First Class  product- Press Release. Cathay first class award availability is in a league of its own!

Already thrilled with the opportunity of enjoyingCathay first class, we were also offered a significant savings bringing aboard our infant(keeping in mind that infant fares only apply when traveling internationally). Once again, BA Avois Programto the rescue. «With the BA Avois Plan, infant fares are only charged at the rate of 10% of your Avois points - opposed to most airlines that require 10% of the full cost of an adult fare, even when the adults are flying on award seats. «While I’m not a mathematician, it is a head scratching concept that an infant’s ticket would cost much more than an adult fare – which, without BA Avois, is actually the case. If you’re a traveler, and haven’t yet signed up for BA Avois, I highly suggest that you do.
Check out the Check-inBAcheck-in went extremely smooth, with staff offering a welcoming and positive attitude – and a manager who was exceedingly helpful with regard to our needs for a bassinet. The first class/business class check-in counter was surrounded with a plethora of lounge style chairs and couches, a shower area «and a large variety of food (I must admit that I hadn't checked to see if there were any kosher foods, other than fruits and drinks; however, when you fly BA first class/business class, with advance reservations and upon request, you receive a free kosher meal in the lounge). «Another delightful addition was a children’s play area filled with toys, a spa, as well as restaurant services, although those additions came with a small fee.
All Aboard - First class/business class boarding was very pleasant and uniquely fast. «When I originally made the reservations, there was only one seat available in first class – so, of course (as a foolish husband I am not), I booked my wife in the first class seat, with my infant and I booked in business class (as mentioned earlier, infant fare is only 10% of the cost of an adult fare when flying business class *Avois Program*). Upon settling in, my wife found her way back to business class, as that’s where our infant was (maybe I was a foolish husband after all), so we swapped seats during takeoff with plans to take turns in first class. Uh-oh, no room for the promised bassinet – what to do? In need of a bassinet for my child, with business class seats not having the room to accommodate for one, the flight attendants immediately changed the seat to bulkhead. Unfortunately, upon takeoff they advised my wife that they didn't have a bassinet available for business class. Uh-oh or High-five? (High-five) … In lieu of the bassinet f aux pas, the flight attendants offered to change the business class seat to a first class seat adjacent tour existing first class seat, where they were then able to provide a bassinet. «The flight attendants were extremely helpful and seemingly devoted to our needs. In fact, without request, they took a photo of us eating together and continued to offer help throughout our flight. You’ll love the attentiveness.

                                                                   First Class

Consummate ComfortUpon nestling into our first class seats, we were presented with “First Class” Shanghai Tang cashmere pajamas (top and bottom), packaged in lovely holders, as well as slippers and an eye mask.« To our gracious and already comfy surprise, we were then presented with a very nice amenity kit, with quite a few “toys” to enjoy. Not to take away from business class, which in my opinion was more than enough – offering full flat lie back beds, an awesome product, and the kosher meals in both first and business class are the same, first class was by far incredibly cool. It’s definitely much more private, mirroring a private suite of sorts, with wider seats, more space, and a closet to hang and store your belongings. Service in first class is a particularly special experience. «The flight attendants will make your seat into a full bed with sheets, comforter, and a great pillow, in business class there’s a thinner blanket and lower quality pillow.We were served a candelabra style dinner – seated across from each other, with a fine cloth tablecloth spread out on the table between us. The food was “okay” – catered from Weiss, and as always there was a small juice and water to fill up the kosher tray. The high point of the meal was the Matzav around the food itself.«  Don’t miss this experience.
One Con in a World of Cons = Eh, not too bad- They only have one flight in the Western Hemisphere from New York (JFK) to Vancouver, which departs JFK at 10:40 pm and arrives in Vancouver at 1:30 am.

All in all – Flying Cathay Pacific first class, thanks to the help of the BA Avois Program
was a unique experience all in its own – shrouded in comfort, elegance,
assistance and many comforts you might not even find at home.


Onto Day 1 of our Trip

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