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Thinking about it

I have done quite a bit of flying in recent years, including work in support of a number of National Science Foundation grants and so I've accumulated a respectable stash of frequent flyer miles on Delta. A couple of years ago while browsing on FlyerTalk I ran across the Sky Team Round The World Planner site.

I tried for about a year to link my planned travel to my grant work in nanotechnology education, thinking about visiting countries with nascent nanotech programs and talking about workforce development and curriculum, but it was an uphill battle - both from a logistical and from a political point of view. The NSF does not support efforts aimed at directly benefiting foreign entities unless there is a reciprocal benefit to US citizens; not unreasonable I suppose but it made it harder to figure out a way to establish lasting connections even if I were able to meet with the right people on a relatively tight schedule. So, I decided to just go as a vacation and if any scholarly opportunities came my way, I'd take advantage of them.

Delta charges 180,000 miles for economy and 280,000 for business/first. (Note - today I tried to find a link to these numbers on the Delta site and was unsuccessful. I called Delta and they said the program was still active. I also called the online help desk who confirmed that the relevant page was now blank - they had 'no idea' why this was the case.)

Yes, it takes a LOT of miles, but I had them and have always enjoyed travel, so, why not? Also, when you work it out it's a pretty good deal compared to international business class fares. Yes, I'm doing the Big Enchilada; RTW in Business/First!

Some of the ground rules are: You are allowed 1 year to use your ticket, you can stop in 6 places (I'm doing 7 by arranging my own travel between two destinations - your trip does not have to be continuous around the world but it does need to be all E to W or W to E; no backtracking. Changes are relatively inexpensive as well. Check the planner link above for more details. You have to call your airline and ask for the "SkyTeam Round the world desk" to actually execute any plan that you create using the world planner. They are specialists who know it will take at least a couple of hours to turn a plan into actual seats, and they are very good at what they do.

Posted by tdeits 19:05 Archived in USA Tagged rtw planning delta skyteam Comments (0)

On to Japan! - arrival

I'm in Japan, it's 5 AM and I'm wide awake. Staying at the Hilton in Narita tonight and planning to meet up with Robin and Michele in the morning. The flight was fine - had a nap and watched Godzilla (naturally!). Took a few photos of Business class on Delta. Here's a typical seat (on a 777). Nice seats with a million controls, including back massage mmmmm.... massage!


Fall colors were just about at their peak in Michigan when I left - one of the best displays in years probably because of the series of light frosts and very little wind. Anyway, here's a picture from the plane as we were climbing out of Detroit.

Here are some pictures of our main meal - shrimp cocktail and drinkies to start.

followed by corn chowder and apple salad

Then scallops in prosciutto

And a dessert cart

We had a snack later (I slept through it) and breakfast before arrival but I'm not going to go all instagrammy over food!

Arrived around 7 pm local time and wandered over to the hotel for the night. The only picture I have taken of Japan so far is this one -

I have always found UAC's interesting since I did a couple of rubbings of them in England back in the'60's. They are frequently ignored but often carefully crafted beyond the utilitarian minimum. By the way, UAC is my neologism for the iron things that cover holes in the street - Utility Access Cover; obviously calling them 'manhole' is inappropriate and the world hasn't yet decided on a more appropriate term. 'Personhole?' I don't think so!

Posted by tdeits 13:44 Archived in Japan Tagged tokyo food on board delta Comments (0)

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