Author Archive: DEVGRU

SURPRISE! Delta SkyMile Increases in Value Overnight!

No matter who your favorite airline is, one thing is for sure: Delta SkyMile kinda sucks. For years bloggers have been bashing Delta for (1) removing award chart, (2) inflating their redemption rate without notice, (3) charging a leg and an arm to redeem Delta’s long-haul business product, and most recently (4) putting restrictions on ticketing within 72 hours of departure….
Read more

My AA Executive Platinum Status Expired, and I’m Happy

Since American Airlines decided go revenue-based and introduced Elite Qualifying Miles last year, many AA loyalists feel betrayed and don’t bother re-qualifying anymore (well, unless your corporate contract forces you to fly AA). As an half academic flyer/half leisure traveler, I don’t necessarily feel betrayed. Nonetheless, AA no longer appears appealing to me. In addition to changes in Elite Qualification,…
Read more

Hotel Review: Senior Suite at Tambo del Inka, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Valle Sagrado

Upon finishing up our stay on Easter Island, we flew to Lima via Santiago de Chile. The next morning we flew to Cusco on LATAM (previously known as LAN Peru) for our upcoming trip to Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley. Since LIM-CUZ is wholly in Peru, I used only 4,500 Avios(per person) for a one-way redemption. Since the one-way…
Read more

SWISS Canceled All First Class Award Tickets and Aeroplan Can Do Nothing

So by now you’ve probably heard that SWISS opened the floodgates of First Class award space last Thursday. SWISS does not USUALLY release its F space to partners, so this is a truly rare occurrence. However, I underscore “usually” because things like this happened in the past. When in June 2016 SWISS temporarily allowed such partner redemptions, all ticketed reservations…
Read more

(Arguably) the best transcon first class in North America: Cathay Pacific CX888 YVR-JFK Review

Cathay Pacific has a daily Fifth-Freedom Flight between Vancouver, Canada (YVR) and New York (JFK). Operated by a Boeing 777-300ER in four-cabin configuration, this flight brings a true first class product to the North America transcon market. The only other airline consistently offering first class on this market is American Airlines, with its unique 321T transcon aircraft. The AA 321T…
Read more

Which Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge at HKG should you visit: The Pier or The Wing?

Forewords Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific Airways (rightfully) prides herself on an industry-leading first class product both in the air and on the ground. There are many well-written Cathay’s First Class reports out there on the web, so in this post I will focus on one important aspect of ground experiences: airport lounges. The last thing HKG—Cathay’s home airport—is devoid of is lounges….
Read more

(Arguably) the best business class product between Asia and North America: EVA Air Royal Laurel Class, BR30 TPE-JFK

Recently awarded 5-Star by SKYTRAX, EVA Air has a very prestigious reputation among frequent fliers. During a recent trip to China I finally got the opportunity to get some first-hand experience on EVA Air’s business class (Royal Laurel class), which turned out to be above and beyond. Compared with other airlines flying across the Pacific, EVA Air in my opinion has the…
Read more

Dancing with fugu: dinner at Usuki Fugu Yamadaya, a Michelin 3-Star restaurant

Japanese culture is renowned for its fine craftsmanship and the pursuit of perfection. The same spirit extends to food, too. Even a non-connoisseur of food would recognize Japan as one of the best places in the world to enjoy delicacies. Indeed, as of 2017 Tokyo alone has 12 Michelin 3-Star restaurant, surpassing even Paris. In Japan, there are 296 1-star restaurants, 98 2-stars, and 25 3-stars. Most…
Read more