Pullman Riga Old Town

After arriving at Riga international airport (RIX) with airBaltic this December I made my way down into the old town of Riga to check-in at the Pullman Riga Old Town. I booked the hotel with my LeClub points as a short pre-xmas vacation, since I have never been to Eastern Europe I thought it could be nice to check it out.

Prior to arrival I requested the hotel via email to quote airport pickup for me, I never received a reply from them which turned out to be the start into a stay with one of the most terrible experience I ever had at any hotel, let alone a 5* accor property.

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airBaltic Munich to Riga CS300 Y+

After my rather disappointing stay at the ibis Munich airport (MUC) I took a early morning flight with airBaltics newest plane, a Bombardier CS300, which according to the captain had its second day of service on this flight BT222 to Riga international airport (RIX).

The flight was roughly 70 minutes delayed on arrival due to very dense fog at MUC, ground crew gave unfortunately little information about that so I just had to wait at the gate until the plane made its way down through the clouds.

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Ibis Hallbergmoos Munich airport

After arriving at Munich international airport (MUC) from Kuala Lumpur (KUL) via Muscat (MCT) on Oman Air I unfortunately was not picked up by the complementary Oman Air chauffeur service as advertised due to some very unfortunate issues with their website and support. So I had to take a taxi from the airport terminal to my hotel.

Given that I arrived in the evening and had to fly out to Riga on airBaltic early the next morning I settled with – as I thought – a more budget friendly solution and made a reservation for the ibis Hallbergmoos, which is advertised as an airport hotel.

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Plaza Premium lounge Hong Kong international airport

Earlier this year I visited Hong Kong for a few days and managed to get a good business class price with Malindo Air from Kuala Lumpur (this was also my last every flight with them, but that story is for an other day).

I found HKG to be extremely confusing for Asian airports, since those are mostly well planned and have lots of signage to point you the right way, it took me almost 30 minutes and help from several different people to find the exit. Apparently no one in Hong Kong expected that arriving pax would not either take a taxi or the train (I use uber and there seems to be no pick-up/drop off at arrivals).

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Plaza Premium lounge Penang international airport

In May 2016 I went to Penang, one of the most developed islands of Malaysia and a frequent destination for me. Besides its cultural heritage around the city of Georgetown I love Penang because it provides you with the convenience of a developed and somewhat big city while being way more clean and laid back than Malaysias capital Kuala Lumpur.

As well Penang island (there is also a a big area on the mainland that is part of Penang state) has some very nice resorts and beaches around Batu Ferringhi and Tanjung Bungah, even though I wouldn’t swim in the ocean since it is a major ship route.

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New Apricot lounge Ho Chi Minh City Terminal 2

As a frequent visitor for business in Vietnam and specifically Ho Chi Minh City I have tried all lounges in SGN airport. The Apricot lounge is one of the newest offered in the airport and opened together with the new Vietnam Airlines lounge in level 3, Apricot is located in level 1 though and it is a bit hard to find (using the small elevator inside the duty free shop behind immigration).

Since Tan Son Nhat is a rather unpleasant airport with mostly unhelpful, borderline rude staff, big crowds and long queues at security and immigration (which shuffle around every few days, sometimes they built security before immigration, than the other way around, then change again… completely insane) to me lounge access here is crucial in order to relax and calm down after the chaos of checking-in.

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Lisbon Portela Airport LIS Blue lounge

For one of my last flights from Portugal to Germany with Tap Portugal I decided to stop by the Blue lounge in Lisbon Portela Airport (LIS) where I was admitted for free with my Visa infinite card (I honestly think it was a mistake by the lounge attendant but oh well…).

Lisbon airport is alright for Europe, but the check-in area is quite chaotic (especially the TAP Portugal counters) and despite its decent size I find LIS to be more crowded than I would enjoy. Hence being able to wait in a lounge instead of the crowded remote gate area was exactly the right thing for me.

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Vietnam Airlines lounge Da Nang international airport

After getting several recommendations to check out Vietnam from friends and colleagues I decided to spend a long weekend there in April 2016. While the city itself is not specifically beautiful but a lot more laid back than Ho Chi Minh city and features some amazing beach resorts I also had the chance to sample Vietnam Airlines lounge in DAD airport.

Da Nang airport has very few international flights and is served only by asian carriers like Vietnam Airlines, Air Asia and NokAir Thailand. Keeping that in mind and having been to Vietnam Airlines lounge in HCMC before I expected to find a rather basic domestic lounge, which was right.

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New Vietnam Airlines lounge Ho Chi Minh City Terminal 2

Vietnam Airlines recently opened its new business class lounge in Tan Son Nhat airport (SGN) which serves Vietnams biggest city Ho Chi Minh City.

Having been flown in and out SGN countless times I had the pleasure of visiting the old Vietnam Airlines lounges located in level 1 (same as arrivals and gates, next to gate 17) many times. While it wasn’t the worst lounge I have been at it certainly also wasn’t anyhow outstanding as the food was more or less cafeteria style and facilities were pretty run down while having the style of the late 80s.

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