End of an Era
After much speculation and buzz among aviation enthusiasts and rumours within the Airbus community, Airbus has confirmed that it will deliver its last A380s to Emirates by 2021.
Emirates and Airbus have reached an agreement in which Emirates will reduce the demand for A380s from 162 to 123; Emirates would instead order more of the A330-900 Neo & A350-900 models. The deal for the 70 new aircrafts is estimated to be worth 21.4 billion dollars.
Emirates was the last lifesaver for the A380 programme during a time when most international airlines were investing in other aircrafts. With the support plugged from Emirates, the announcement for the end of the super-jumbo aircraft programme comes as no surprise.
Within the Airbus company, I think there is a mixture of both sadness and relief. Building one of these aircrafts, from the design to its engineering, is a colossal feat; reaching the decision to stop its production is a mournful moment for aviation enthusiasts everywhere. On the other hand, there is also relief that comes from ending the quest for more airlines to support the programme as well as the huge costs of producing these jumbos.
Ample space like no other
A380 offers space unlike any other. When it was first launched in 2007, airlines were blown by the vast room it provides and what they could do with it. Airlines were able to provide Suites, a higher tier than the conventional First Class offerings. It also allowed Emirates to provide showers and a bar on board, heightening the experience they can offer to its guests.
I am personally saddened by the end of these superjumbo jets, given the experience I enjoyed travelling onboard such a majestic aircraft. As much as I will continue enjoying different airlines that offer an experience to remember, none holds a candle against the sheer size of the A380 that provide comfort and versatility. It is truly unfortunate that we are to see the end of the A380s in this lifetime. It was truly an aircraft ahead of its time
3rd Property in Japan
Luxury hotel group Aman sets to unveil their 3rd property Aman Kyoto in Japan. Nestled in the verdant foothills of the symbolic mountain of Hidari Daimonji, Aman Kyoto is a place of untold beauty, where small jizo statues sit contented among the yamamomiji maples. The resort perfectly tempers privacy, relaxation, and rejuvenation with the vibrancy of Japan’s ancient imperial capital, home to 17 Unesco World Heritage Sites. Aman Kyoto is an architectural masterclass in eschewing the obvious while embracing the subtle – a picture frame of a location that is as peaceful as it is otherworldly.
Ryokan Inn, perfect simplicity
Aman Kyoto’s latticed pavilions are a contemporary homage to the traditional Japanese ryokan inn – known for their strikingly minimalist geometry, each serving as a window that sprawls into their spectacular natural surroundings. The interiors are spacious and brightly lit, ingeniously crafted to foster peace, relaxation, and contemplation at every turn. The intricacy of the pavilions and their considered placement within the garden respects the simplicity and appropriateness of traditional Japanese architecture while allowing these contemporary buildings to exist and breathe with the landscape.
Japan authentic onsen experience
The fresh spring water that flows near Aman Kyoto is central to the philosophy at the resort’s Aman Spa. Traditional onsen bathing facilities deliver relaxation and healing in their purest forms while dovetailing with a range of treatments that tap into Japan’s plentiful natural apothecary including Kyoto’s popular green tea, Tanba Kuromame black beans, local sake, cold-pressed Camellia oil, and Kyoto silk cocoon.
I am thrilled to be experiencing this new Aman property for myself when I travel to Japan next year for the 2020 Olympics. I have unfortunately only been to one out of the many Aman properties so far, however, my Amanoi experience transcended beyond expectations. Aman Kyoto is a combination of the brand’s philosophy and Japanese hospitality with a touch of Kyoto serenity. Its signature restaurant in the Dining Pavilion will showcase Japanese haute cuisine, with multi-course dining experiences that make use of the local produce. Home-cooked Kyoto obanzai-style cuisine will be served throughout the day, and guests can also enjoy afternoon tea and reserve bamboo picnic hampers to be enjoyed al-fresco in the garden or forest glades. The garden itself is ideal for outdoor events, from small private dinners and function to weddings, yoga and mindfulness sessions. I look forward to experiencing more of what Aman has to offer, as well as becoming an Aman Junkie. Would you be experiencing any Aman properties soon?
To start off 2019, Singapore Airlines loyalty programme, Krisflyer, has partnered with Mileslife to have 5X miles promotion. Mileslife is a lifestyle and retail application that allows you to earn miles through the app and from your credit card. There is so much you can do, from retail shopping, spa and dining.
Up to 20 Miles per dollar
Given that you dine at a 3 miles per dollar restaurant, for examples like Wheeler’s yard or Kan Sushi. You will be able to enjoy up to 15 miles based on this Krisflyer promotion. In addition to the miles given by Mileslife, you can enjoy an additional 4 miles per dollar if you use your UOB Preferred Platinum Visa Card.
If you have participated in Mileslife Christmas giveaway or check-in promotion. You would be able to use the promo codes together with this promotion. I have an unused 100 promo code from the Christmas giveaway, by spending 72 dollars, I would be getting 1105 miles in my Krisflyer account. Not to mention all the miles you get from your credit card. Not a bad deal yeah?
This is an awesome campaign from the Krisflyer and Mileslife Team. Make use of this campaign if you need some miles boosting before the devaluation of the Krisflyer miles on 24 January. Do note that there is a capped of 1,000 bonus miles per user and the pool of 5 million miles shared among 3 markets ( China, Singapore, Hong Kong). This promotion runs from 22 January 2019 to 28 February 2019 or when the miles have been completely given out
NEW TO MILESLIFE?
If you do not already have a Mileslife account, signing-up for one using my Mileslife referral link will get you 1,000 bonus miles after making your first eligible transaction.
FLY HERE to create a free Mileslife account today!
Resort World Sentosa
Mileslife is a lifestyle payment application that allows you to earn frequent flyer miles when you shop and dine. Since December 2018, Mileslife has partnered with Luxury Fashion Galleria Resorts World Sentosa to bring you more miles when you shop for your luxury items.
Luxury Fashion Galleria Resorts World Sentosa includes brand such as Tiffany & Co, Tumi, Rolex, Versace, Bvlgari, Omega, Salvatore Ferragamo. A wide variety of luxury brands & goods are also available besides the mentioned brands. It’s like a paradise if you like luxury items.
Mileslife is running an awesome campaign that rewards you up to 3000 miles for your purchases at Resort World Sentosa. You will get 1000 miles for every single transaction with a minimum purchase of 29sgd. In order to get the full 3000 miles, you will need to purchase 3 items using 3 different transactions. Note: I have contacted the Mileslife team, you are not allowed to split a single item transaction into 3 different transactions. So please take note of it.
As a mileschaser, I want to collect the most miles with the least amount of money spent. I shopped around and decided on Victoria Secret. What is awesome is that mileslife promotion can be used in conjunction with other promotion. I picked a makeup bag for the wife that is worth SGD 99 but after having a crazy sales discount of 60%, it amounted to only SGD 44.5. She was delighted by the present I gave her.
This is quite a good promotion and a great boost for miles. The lowest spending needed is only sgd90 for 3000 miles, which is a great value for the items you purchase. If you have any items on the luxury wishlist, this could be a time where you make use of this promotion and get those items. If you are new to mileslife, be sure to use my promo code: JOEL3112. You will get 1000 miles with a qualifying spend of SGD49 on your first transaction. Be sure to live the mileslife.
Recent drunk pilots
A Singapore Airlines (SIA) pilot who failed an alcohol test in Australia last year before he was to operate a flight has been fired. The incident in Melbourne on Sept 15 had forced the airline to cancel a Melbourne-Wellington (New Zealand) service.
A previous case allegedly involving two pilots of ANA wings, which is a subsidiary of ANA, caused a flight to be delayed significantly last week. The two pilots were scheduled to fly a domestic route from Osaka to Miyazaki. The airline has a ban on pilots drinking within 12 hours of departure. The pilots went to a restaurant together where they consumed alcoholic drinks. One of the pilots failed the breathalyzer test given and found that he was above the legal limit.
Two cases involving Japan Airlines in which has found a drunk pilot and cabin crew on separate occasions. The president subsequently took a temporary pay cut of 20% in an apologetic move.
I applaud Singapore Airlines firm decision on the pilot. There should be no excuse given to pilots who jeopardise other lives. I am proud of this firm decision in which the airlines take. Therefore, Singapore Airlines will consistently be one of my top choices when travelling
MUSIC IN THE AIR
Indonesian national flag carrier Garuda is bringing music to the skies with a series of live acoustic concerts on domestic flights, the airline said.
Passengers will be serenaded at 35,000 feet in a scheme aimed at wooing millennials “who want a different flight experience”, airline spokesman M. Ikhsan Rosan told AFP.
The carrier held its first in-flight concert on Wednesday (Jan 9), when two musicians performed for a captive audience aboard a flight between the capital, Jakarta, and the holiday island of Bali.
Garuda said sets would last 10 to 15 minutes on select flights, and there would be a focus on promoting upcoming talent.
Musicians performing aboard a Garuda Indonesia flight from Jakarta to Bali, a new entertainment service introduced by the airline.
While it may prove an unforgettable flying experience for some, it may not be everyone’s idea of a good time.
In 2017, US airline Southwest introduced live shows on some flights to a mixed reaction from passengers.
Some travellers said they preferred minimum human interaction while flying and said music would distract them from sleeping or reading.
Indonesia is one of the world’s fastest-growing aviation markets, but it has come under fresh scrutiny since a fatal Lion Air crash in October last year that killed all 189 people on board.
Garuda said it had embarked on extensive consultation to ensure the concerts posed no threat to safety or security.
“If there is the potential of turbulence, the singer will be directed back to sit in his chair,” Rosan said.
I think it is an interesting way for local music to reach travellers. Manage the time well for the performance and when to perform is key to adding value to this service.
Garuda should have this service for the short international route in the future. This adds some excitement to foreign travellers who are about to visit Indonesia.
Introduction and upcoming trip reviews
I am Joel. This is my very first post after joining this family. Hopefully, I can keep this community alive and going. I would love to share more about my personal experiences, trip journeys and some insider tips.
I am glad that Troy gave me the chance to be a guest writer on this amazing platform. I will do my best to contribute and I gladly welcome anyone to participate in a conversation with me. I am from the tiny country of Singapore with the renowned Changi Airport. I just got married this year to the woman of my dreams.
Just a silly photo of me staring into blank space on the A350 Business Class
I will be sharing my experience on my upcoming trip to Brisbane in Emirates business and Qantas economy. It will be my first time on Emirates new business class on the 777. Looking forward to sharing this upcoming experience with you guys. Readers who read in Chinese, please let me know should I blog in Chinese as well? Look forward to your comments
Singapore Airlines (SIA) has launched a new service enabling customers travelling in Suites, First Class and Business Class from anywhere in the Airline’s global network to pre-order main courses from their flight’s menus. Becoming the world’s first airline to roll out this bespoke service on all flights across its network with the possibility of extending it to premium economy passengers in the future.
Lamb loin, a dish available for pre-order through SIA’s new meal pre-ordering service. (Photo: SIA)
The rollout comes after a soft launch in August for flights to and from North Asia, which SIA said was “well received”.
Customers travelling in Suites, First Class and Business Class on any SIA flight can choose their meals from three weeks before travel, up to 24 hours before flight departure. The new service complements the existing Book the Cook programme, which enables customers in Suites, First Class, Business Class and Premium Economy Class on selected flights to pre-order main courses from a separate menu of up to 68 choices.
Shi Quan Wan Mei, a dish available for pre-order through SIA’s new meal pre-ordering service. (Photo: SIA)
Mr Yeoh Phee Teik, Singapore Airlines’ senior vice-president for customer experience said that “The introduction of this new service is another of our industry firsts, and demonstrates our commitment to the constant enhancement of our product and service offerings, and our increased focus on personalisation for customers, both on the ground and in the air.”
This has to be seen as an extension of the book the cook service which has been available to premium clients around their selected network. Hopefully, it means I can skip some of the Indonesian dishes served from the Jakarta route. Will review the service once it’s available and let you know my further thoughts about it.
I would like to engage you as much as possible. However, due to the rapid expansion of my core business across different countries, my time to commit as a regular blogger has become a thing of a past.
During my course of travelling, I have gained many meaningful insights of the world and many friends alike who enjoy maximizing their travel dollar. I would like to hence introduce a few guest writers who have volunteered to share their time and experience travelling around the world.
First up, I would like to introduce a new travel geek on the block. His name is Joel, his relatively new being a geek but has done a few trips this year. He is learning the ropes of creating meaningful and insightful travel content and travel tips so that people can have more options available to them. He’s eagerly pushing for his small island nation to adopt a more miles friendly environment. His current motto is “ don’t spend a dime unless I get some miles in return” from the famous loyalty and advertorial movie, up in the air.
With these guest writers maintaining and updating latest information, I hope that my loyal readers would be engaged. I would try to join in and give the perspective. The guest writers would be coming in with their reviews and takeaways. So do welcome them with a round of applause !!! Goodbye 2018.
天下无不散筵席，虽然有着千万的不舍，我还是要告别 boarding area 的舞台。本人因为忙于发展业务, 会和广大的读者少了时间交流。
俊荣来自新加坡，他会尽力的用双语与大家交流。若有表达不好的地方，请大家多多包涵。他旅行的意义是由电影” Up in the air” 启发的，这使他迷上了追求旅程的道路。他会与大家分享旅行经历和一些小秘决。
If you’re based in Hong Kong, you may be wondering which frequent flyer programs offer the best value for your miles. The truth is, there is no the”best” program, only the best program for you
In this post I want to lay out some of the best value options for Hong Kong based travelers (and how to earn them)
British Airways Avios for flights within 1,151 miles
Avios is well-known for offering great value on short haul awards. In particular, it is possible to redeem an economy flight for destinations 650 miles and below for 4,500 miles one-way, and 1,151 miles and below for 7,500 miles one-way.
Here is a sample of destinations that are close to Hong Kong- you could easily hop to Taipei or Hanoi for only 4,500 miles, with Manila, Shanghai and Changsha just 7,500 miles away.
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer to Micronesia and Guam
KrisFlyer classifies Hong Kong under the North Asia 1 zone, whereas Guam and Micronesia are part of North Asia 2. One-way tickets are 12,500 and 22,500 miles respectively for Economy and Business, which can be very good value considering the flight can be upwards of 5 hours.
If you’re looking to get to Micronesia from Hong Kong, United Airlines operates a flight from Guam that stops in TKK and PNI, however you’ll have a long connection in Guam which you can spend exploring the island.
As for PNI, well, I would say, enjoy your silence time there. On the than hand, TKK is a great place for wreck diving
United MileagePlus to Australia/New Zealand
Although the United program underwent a change late last year, there is still good value to be had flying from Hong Kong to Australia/New Zealand.
That’s because United classifies Hong Kong as part of “South Asia”, along with Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Myanmar (Burma), Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam.
As the example below shows, a flight from Hong Kong to Auckland via Thai Airways would only cost 25K miles in economy and 50K miles in business. Considering the flight time is close to 14 hours, this is a very good deal. As a business class passenger, you will also be able to enjoy a 30-minute spa treatment in the Thai Airways spa in Bangkok.
Make sure to include your excursionist award for a free segment
Lufthansa Miles & More to Hawaii
One-way awards between Hong Kong and Hawaii cost 20k/35k miles for economy/business class. This flight is about 11.5 hours of flying with a transit in Japan or South Korea, so it represents very good value once again. If you go with the Japan option, you will be able to fly on ANA’s 767-300 and 787-9 aircraft. The 787-9 will have full flat seats.
Emirates Skywards to Bangkok
Emirates operates a fifth freedom route between Hong Kong and Bangkok that uses their A380 aircraft. If you’ve always wanted to experience the over-the-top bling of Emirates cabins, here is one of the cheapest ways of doing so.
You can get a full flat seat with an inflight bar- not bad for a 3 hour flight!
Emirates Skywards charges 40,000 miles for a round trip business class flight between these two cities.
ANA Mileage Club to Europe and USA and Canada
ANA Mileage Club offers very good value redemptions out of Hong Kong to Europe and North America at just 93,000 and 95,000 miles for round trip business class (58,000 and 60,000 miles for round trip economy).
Remember that ANA Mileage Club does not allow one-way redemptions for partner flights.
How to earn these miles?
You can earn some of these miles through your bank credit cards, but for the widest selection of frequent flyer programs, you should use Mileslife. Mileslife has 16 different frequent flyer partners, all of which have direct credit agreements. You can use Mileslife and earn miles at over 20,000 selections around the world, from high end dining and retail, to luxury hotels and spas, to activities and attraction tickets, even from your daily walking and health activities.
Download Mileslife here and start earning miles for your next vacation!