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The Higher Flyer

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Paul Colins

Navigating Madrid-Barajas’s Terminal 4

How far is too far to walk?

It feels weird to be writing a review — even if it is just a mini-review — of walking through an airport.  There’s hardly anything noteworthy (let alone higher flyer) about these experiences, but Madrid-Barajas is a special case.  Its Terminal 4, which serves as the home base for the Spanish flag carrier Iberia, is big, beautiful, and kinda controversial.  The aesthetic of the building is top-notch, but the sprawl of it can be overwhelming.  If you’re going to be flying out of Madrid, well, you’re going to want to prepare for it more than you otherwise would… hence the reason for The Higher Flyer to publish a guide!

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Stillness in Washington

Photo of the Week!

F 4; 1/160; ISO 100; 18mm.

Shot at the Tidal Bason in Washington, DC.

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Coronavirus claimed FlyBe. Who’s next? What’s next? That remains to be seen…

The Daily Flyer

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  Welcome to the eighth edition of “The Daily Flyer,” The Higher Flyer‘s daily newsletter gathering up and summarizing some of the day’s most important happenings in the world of airlines, hotels, award points, and other travel-related things.  Today’s feature — for March 18, 2020 — covers the fall of FlyBe, the role of coronavirus in the collapse, and the future that this outbreak could bring.  In addition, read on for coverage of a a political thought piece (of sorts), a follow-up to United’s repeatedly revised refund policy, and an amusing play on negative Yelp reviews.

Continue reading “Coronavirus claimed FlyBe. Who’s next? What’s next? That remains to be seen…”

Cathay Pacific Premium Economy Review

For better and for worse, an embodiment of both “premium” and “economy.”

Most passengers on Cathay Pacific’s long and ultra-long haul flights have to cram in to too-tight seats in the backs of the planes for hours upon hours.  What miserable fates they have!  Fortunately there’s premium economy, which serves as a pain-easing option for some.  You’ll pay more for such relief, sure, but at least the increased comfort comes in the form of a generously-pitched and padded recliner, and what the airline claims to be improved meals, and better, more-attentive service.  Cathay’s offering is no bargain though; it costs more cash than a modestly-priced upsell, and so the return on investment should be abundantly apparent all the time.  That’s regrettably not always the case.

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Looking ahead to spring

Photo of the Week!

F 8; 1/320; ISO 100; 18mm.

Shot near Moab, Utah, at Canyonlands National Park.

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Would a recession be good for higher flyers?

The Daily Flyer

Welcome to the seventh edition of “The Daily Flyer,” The Higher Flyer‘s daily newsletter gathering up and summarizing some of the day’s most important happenings in the world of airlines, hotels, award points, and other travel-related things.  Today’s feature — for March 9, 2020 — covers the implications of the current state of affairs (vis-a-vis the coronavirus outbreak, the reduced demand for airfares, and the ongoing stock market volatility), as well as United’s frustratingly customer-unfriendly response, an extraordinarily hot (if not insanely irresponsible) take from Live and Let’s Fly, and an official warning for potential “cruisers.”

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A black and white blizzard

Photo of the Week!

F 8; 1/400; ISO 100; 38mm.

Shot near Jackson, Wyoming, at the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort

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Unpacking the state of the U.S. airline industry and how it affects higher flyers (Part 2)

The Daily Flyer

Welcome to the sixth edition of “The Daily Flyer,” The Higher Flyer‘s daily newsletter gathering up and summarizing some of the day’s most important happenings in the world of airlines, hotels, award points, and other travel-related things.  Today’s feature — for March 5, 2020 — builds on the most recent’s, as it further describes how current trends in the U.S. airline industry (as named by Skift) affect passengers.  Other topics include Ellen on the seat recline debate, more remarkable news about the effects the coronavirus outbreak is having on the travel industry, and a fun challenge for you bargain hunters out there.

Continue reading “Unpacking the state of the U.S. airline industry and how it affects higher flyers (Part 2)”

A Canyon’s Sunrise

Photo of the Week!

F 10; 1/125; ISO 100; 18mm.

Shot near Moab, Utah, at Deadhorse State Park.

Continue reading “A Canyon’s Sunrise”

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