ANDAZ by HYATT, MUNICH, GERMANY

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Andaz by Hyatt is an upscale lifestyle boutique-style hotel chain intended for cosmopolitan travellers. The Andaz Munich Schwabinger Tor is strongly connected to the heart and soul of Munich.

The hotel features the city’s highest rooftop bar, a full-service spa with swimming pool, event and meeting areas, and four food/beverage outlets. The M’Uniqo is the hotel’s trendy rooftop bar which offers a stunning view over Munich and the nearby Alps. The Lonely Broccoli restaurant is the hotel’s main dining restaurant where breakfast, lunch and steak-house style dinner is served. The Andaz Lounge Bar is more than a classic hotel lobby bar. There is a classic bar, a lounge type seating area which invites guest to sit down, unwind, have a drink, charge their mobile devices  or use the golden brezel for Instagram photo shots. (I found the lower lobby restroom to be the most popular Instagram hotspot). Bicicletta is a coffee bar where healthy smoothies, bowls and other savory snacks and coffees are served. The is a small outside terrace available for smokers or people who prefer to get some fresh air.

My check-in at the Andaz Munich was smooth and efficient. My 9th floor room was large, bright with a fantastic view over Munich and the nearby Alps. The decoration was contemporary and stylish. There was an openly designed bathroom with an oversized shower sporting a rainforest showerhead. The toilet was separate and a small walk in closet was provided. Flat screen TV and a complementary minibar with local drinks and snacks were also offered.

I found my stay at the Andaz Munich Schwabinger Tor very pleasant. This new lifestyle hotel concept, when combined with the hotel’s super-friendly staff, made me immediately feel at ease and at home.

https://www.hyatt.com/en-US/hotel/germany/andaz-munich-schwabinger-tor/mucaz

AIR DOLOMITI, ITALY

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Air Dolomiti is a 100% owned subsidiary of Lufthansa with its base in Munich, Germany. The airline’s name derives from a section of the Alps known as the Dolomites. It started operations in January 1991 and mostly operates flights between Munich and Italy as well as some other destinations which allow operations with Embraer aircrafts.

I flew from Zurich to Munich and I found the aircraft appearance to be clean and comfortable. However the seating was on the narrower side. The configuration is 2-2 where in Business Class always 1 seat per seat-pair will be kept unoccupied for privacy reasons. This procedure is well known by carriers such as Lufthansa, Swiss and Austrian.

Service consisted of a pre-departure bottle of water, a refreshing towel and a pack of sweets. During the flight a cold tray was served with a full range of beverages including coffee and tea. The flight was half empty and I expected a friendly service, but the crew seemed to be annoyed working and made a rather depressed impression. What I really liked is that there was free wifi available on board. This is a nice feature, even though most of their flights are an hour or less flight time.

The Flight operated on time and arrived in Munich at an outside tarmac position. There was no separate bus for Business Class passengers available. I took Air Dolomiti on the same route back to Zurich, it was a similar experience.

https://www.airdolomiti.eu/

ALASKA AIRLINES

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ALASKA AIRLINES, FIRST CLASS, LAX-LAS, LAS-SFO

LOUNGE AT LOS ANGELES AIRPORT:

 

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AIRCRAFT A320 CONFIGURATION 8 – 138

 

I flew Alaska Airlines First Class from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and Las Vegas to San Francisco. Both flights were on aircraft of the former Virgin America Airlines which was taken over by Alaska last year (2018).

Check-in at Terminal 6 was a breeze and Alaska sports a nice small premium-lounge which offers a bar, a few breakfast items (including their own branded pancake making machine). The lounge was very busy this early morning but offered plenty of seating, a nice tarmac view and super-clean rest rooms.

Both flights were very short so the food and beverage offering was limited. The was a pre-departure drink, a drink inflight and a snack basket. Flight Attendants were professional and charming and made it a pleasant experience. Early booking rates for First Class are very competitive, and were only US$ 40 more than tickets in the main cabin. (Bear in mind that you have to pay extra for each check-in bag on US-domestic flights). The flights departed on time and Alaska Airlines has a 20min baggage delivery promise.

I really liked the fact that First Class had only 2 rows and really comfortable recliner seats which makes even a short flight very comfy.

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https://www.alaskaair.com

EDELWEISS AIR, SWITZERLAND

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HAVANA – ZURICH

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I flew on an Edelweiss Airbus 330 with a configuration of 27 Business Class and  298 Economy Class seats.

There was a long check-in queue line for Economy Class passengers at Havana Airport but the Business Class counter was free and check-in was a breeze (There were only 11 Pax booked in C-class)

The Edelweiss Airbus 330 features the same Business Class seats as offered by  SWISS/Austrian with a full flat sleeping option and the same layout as well.

I found the Edelweiss in-flight service very pleasant. There was a pre-dinner drink service followed by a first course, a main course and cheese and dessert. All return flight food items were catered in Zurich so the quality and taste was very good. After a good sleep a nice breakfast was served and the famous swiss Biberli (Biber cake) were handed out before landing.

I enjoyed the service from the Edelweiss crew a lot. They were attentive and charming and, of course, the flight being half empty made it a very comfortable experience.

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http://www.flyedelweiss.com

 

CONDOR GERMAN AIRLINES

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FRANKFURT – HAVANA

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Condor is a German airline with a long history. The airline used to be part of the Lufthansa Group but is now owned by Thomas Cook International. While the Condor aircraft tails carry the Thomas Cook heart  on them, the airplanes show the Condor name on them and many things reminded me of the Lufthansa times. The crew uniforms are still LH-style, the menu cards and the service still show the signature of Lufthansa.  Condor is also part of the Miles-and-More program. This makes it easy for collecting and spending miles and getting good connecting flights as well as a check-through bag arrangement.

My flight to Havana boarded from a bus gate at Terminal B in Frankfurt and when boarding the airplane through the aircraft steps a true holiday feeling came up because many passengers were taking pictures and everything was very relaxed.

The aircraft was a 21-year old Boeing 767-300. The Business Class seating was 18 seats in a 2-2-2 configuration. The seats were angle-flat but reclinable to 170 degrees. Economy seating was: 237 in 2-3-2 configuration.

After a welcome drink, menu cards and immigration forms were handed out. The purser took the menu choice and after take-off they served the first course right away. After the first course, the entire tray was cleared and the hot dish, cheese and dessert were served separately. Then duty free sales was done, followed by ice-cream and a rest period before another meal was served. The landing in Havana was on-time and after walking from the aircraft to the terminal building immigration was done in a matter of minutes.

I enjoyed my flight with Condor very much despite the lack of wifi and the rather “vintage” seating. The  crew was very pleasant and I felt well being taken care of. Condor offers a solid product at very competitive fares.

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http://www.condor.com

ETIHAD AIRWAYS BUSINESS CLASS LOUNGE, ABU DHABI, UAE

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The new and XL-lounge from Etihad Airlines has been open for about a year now. It is located in Terminal 3 which is dedicated to Etihad flights. The lounge has a very modern design, with a large cocktail/wine bar, a small coffee bar and 3 buffets with hot and cold food items. There is a nice dessert and fruit section as well.

Coffee/tea making facilities are to be found in about 5 different locations so you never have to walk far to get a drink.

The lounge is kept very tidy and clean at all times and staff are is ready to help at any time.

Seating area is divided into a dining section, a sofa/rest area, and a Business Centre. A Six Senses Spa is available for guests who have longer transit stops.

 

I found the new Etihad lounge very pleasant and if you are lucky to catch a not-so-busy time this is certainly a good place to relax and unwind for a while.

Etihad Business Class guests get a separate bus transfer to the aircraft if parked on remote bay:

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Free Etihad Bus Service from Dubai to Abu Dhabi: