Upgrade Bidding……

Let’s face it, we all would rather fly business class. I’m not sure when upgrade bidding was introduced but it appeared on all of my flights this summer. For those of you unfamiliar, it works like this; a few weeks before the flight, even up to a few days you are sent an email that indicates that bidding upgrades are available for your flights. This means that you can bid a certain amount of money to try and win an upgrade.

Most airlines have a little meter telling you how strong your bid is and then you go from there. After you have made your bid you have to enter your credit card info as a guarantee that if your bid is accepted you can be charged. You can withdraw your bid before the closing of the auction but not after it has been accepted.

I bid on all of my flights this summer. I won one. It wasn’t the best experience. I’ll explain how it worked on my Etihad flight from Bangkok to Abu Dhabi to Rome. Other carriers do it as well, Cathay Pacific and TAP were airlines I also tried. This post may answer questions as well.

Summer Travels

I’ve been all over the place so far this summer. Its been a mix of countries and cultures, cuisines, cities and airplanes. We started out the day after my school year ended. I actually had to leave a few days early because I had booked our tickets prior to snow days. Oh well. We took Amtrak to Newark as our flight was at 1:50 in the morning. I recommend this option if you have a flight later in the day. The train takes you right to the airports air train. Our terminal was packed with Cathay Pacific passengers and a Norwegian Air flight that had been delayed. Tensions were high with those passengers and I was feeling fortunate that wasn’t our circumstance. Never fun starting a flight off on the wrong foot with on-board anger. Here are a few shots from our flight.

We flew an A350 from Newark to Hong Kong and then to Bangkok. Loved the plane. Very quiet as well. Cathay Pacific has done a nice job integrating these aircraft into operation. We flew a Cathay 777 last year and the heat from the window was unbearable. The inflight technology is crisp, easy to use, fast, and an effective way to kill several hours.

Noodles in Hong Kong. No roaches seen!

2 hours in Hong Kong was enough for a quick bite to eat, walk around a little bit and then board our flight to Bangkok.

We arrived in Bangkok around 10am. Checked in early to the Shangri-La on the Chao Phrya River. We have stayed here many times and the price, location and staff can’t be beat. I truly love it here. The river is magical and the pool is an oasis to return to after a long hot day looking around Bangkok.

Check in at Shangri-La Bangkok
Streamline interactive devices for signatures and billing.
Shangri – La lobby.
Fantastic guest room!

We ate lunch at MK, a Thai chain that does suki, dim sum, and duck. This is my daughters go to and I love it as well. I enjoy the duck especially here while she eats a boiling pot of shrimp, squid, and glass noodles. No vegetables.

The evening is for som tam and kao mon guy.

Som tam with 3 chillies
Kao mon guy. Chicken over rice. Across from Robinson on Charoen Krung

Sorry about the repeat! Its been a long month. Bear with me. Headed to Rome from Bangkok on Etihad Airlines .


I’ve been craving dumplings and I figured Bangkok was a perfect place to find some. I ventured out into Chinatown yesterday but nothing really caught my eye or nose. It is a pretty hectic environment overall.

So I went with some reviews and headed over to CentralWorld. This is a huge mall in Bangkok. You can access it directly with the sky train at Siam station.

Din Tai Fung is on the 7th floor. This place was awesome. Easy menu, attentive staff and a very pleasant atmosphere. They make everything right there. I got soup dumplings, best I’ve eaten, a pork bun and Dandan noodles.

The menu is outside so you can see if it’s something you’d be ingested in.

Great people watching here as well and the mall has everything you could ever imagine. Can’t wait to bring my family back!

Back in Hong Kong

If only for 4 hours…..

I’m coming off an incredible flight operated by Cathay Pacific on one of its A350 aircraft. We left from Newark at 1:50am and arrived in Hong Kong at 4:30am the next day. I noted that the staff from Cathay did an amazing job forming lines to board. In the past this has frustrated me due to people pushing and being really aggressive. The staff did a nice job planning this out.

It’s a long flight and I think it’s safe to say the A350 on this route provides a great service. The seat was really comfortable, built well and no flat spots I’ve encountered from worn out seats. My back has been bothering me for the past week and I feel better than I did before I got on the plane.

The in flight entertainment was fantastic as well and the options and screen quality are the best I’ve ever seen. As a Social Studies teacher and lover of geography I could spend hours looking at them. Basically google earth at your fingertips and not limited to the route you’re flying.

Food was decent on the flight but not great. We had a great breakfast in HK at one of the only places open.

It always helps sitting next to a polite young man who was very nice and we had a brief conversation. My aft neighbor wasn’t my favorite with a lot of seat kicking, burping, slurping, attendant calls, etc… you know the type.

Really happy to get to our next flight and find it’s another A350 to Bangkok!