Tag Archives: priority pass

Berlin Part 1: Getting There

We flew United business class from Washington D.C. to Dublin, and then economy Aer Lingus from Dublin to Berlin. There are no direct flights from D.C. to Berlin, and while there are better business class options – flying United cost 57,500 miles versus the pricier 70,000 mils required for United partners.

First, the United lounge in Dulles airport. Dulles is not slated to get a new Polaris lounge until 2018 or 2019. The current version is not the best lounge, but also not the worst. Comfortable, free wifi, plentiful snacks… it’s hard to complain.

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United’s Boeing 757-200 doesn’t have the fancy new Polaris hard product that some planes do, but at least we didn’t get stuck with United’s terrible 2-4-2 business class configuration. With a 2-2  configuration, the seats were perfect for traveling couples like us, with lie-flat seats and plenty of space to get comfy.

The service was friendly and accommodating. The new Saks Fifth Avenue blankets and pillows worked great (though I’m not exactly picky), and we managed to sleep for a couple of hours.

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Once in Dublin, we settled into the Dublin Airport Executive Lounge thanks to our Priority Pass card. I was exhausted so I curled up into a ball and fell asleep. But first, I took some pictures.

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Review: Priority Pass in Dulles Airport

The Priority Pass lounge card gives you membership in a network of 900-plus lounges all across the country. It now comes free with several credit cards, including the Chase Sapphire Reserve and the Citi Prestige card.

In the past, I have primarily used Priority Pass in Europe, where the lounges are more plentiful, but I was excited to try out Priority Pass in Dulles since we flew economy to Iceland.

Here’s the catch: Due to the influx of new members, many priority club lounges have placed limits on when you can enter. For example, the KLM lounge in Dulles’s Terminal 1 (closest to Iceland Air) is only open to Priority Pass members from 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m to 8:30 p.m. The British Airways lounge is only open to Priority Pass members from 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. We arrived at the airport  at 5:00 p.m. during peak travel time. So we headed off to the Turkish Airlines lounge – the newest Priority Pass lounge.

It was great! While on the small side, there is a fantastic spread of food and drinks, comfortable seating, outlets, showers, and even a nap area. While Priority Pass is not a perk I use everyday, it is the perfect perk to alleviate the pain of flying economy on an international trip.

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IMG_9627As Priority Pass becomes increasingly popular, it may become increasingly useless for members, but for now, we were able to make it work.

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Vietnam #1: It’s a Long Ass Flight To Vietnam

Well, we made it to Vietnam. And it only took us 22-plus hours! In case you didn’t already know, it’s a long ass flight from New York to Vietnam. There are no direct flights. We flew from New York City to Seoul (14 hours) and from Seoul to Ho Chi Minh City (5.5 hours). Throw in a two-hour stopover, and that’s over 20 hours in transit.

Not that I’m complaining. I started out in the Korean Air Lounge in JFK. It’s nothing to write home about, but the seats were comfortable and the wifi worked well as I attempted to get some last-minute work done.

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Korean Air was a nice surprise – though it helped that no one was sitting next to me. The seats were spacious, with plenty of storage space and a large selection of movies. Seriously, I watched five movies throughout the trip.

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They even had USB ports!

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Fourteen hours later, I landed at Incheon Airport in Seoul.

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Once I went through security, I made my way to the Sky Hub lounge which I accessed with my Priority Pass membership (thanks Citi Prestige!). The lounge was great: Plenty of chairs, food, drinks, and great wifi. The only thing it needs is more outlets.

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Yes – that is a frozen yogurt machine!

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My flight from Seoul to Ho Chi Minh City was, unfortunately, in economy. But I survived. Five and half hours later, Lisa and I landed in Vietnam and stepped out into HCMC’s stifling humidity.

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