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The Higher Flyer

Airline Guide: International Low Cost Carriers

Introduction

Low cost carriers (LCCs) have been hugely important in mobilizing the world, particularly in Europe and Southeast Asia. Thanks to efficiency-boosting technological advances (i.e. cheap planes!) within an industry that’s normalizing cost-cutting corporate business models (i.e. more fees!), running an airline is becoming increasingly less expensive (and far more profitable). New companies have since emerged in wake of these trends, such as Ryanair and AirAsia, and committed themselves to passing savings on to consumers.

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Airline Guide: Singapore Airlines

Introduction

Singapore is a modern day city-state, and despite being no more than a tiny island at the tip of Malaysia, it is home to one of the world’s premiere airlines. With help from its centrally located hub, Singapore Airlines connects passengers to and from every inhabited continent. It is efficient in its operations, and is considered to be the second largest carrier in the world, as measured by market capitalization. Continue reading “Airline Guide: Singapore Airlines”

Airline Guide: Air Canada

Introduction

Despite enduring significant financial troubles throughout the 2000s — it entered bankruptcy once and had another close call later on — Air Canada has since rebounded and is currently in the middle of a renaissance. With brand new planes, kind service, and a decent loyalty program, Canada’s flag carrier is far and away the best North American legacy carrier. Continue reading “Airline Guide: Air Canada”

Air Asia Hot Seats mini-Review

“Should I pay for that?”

This shouldn’t be a surprise given the headline, but this post won’t be a full-blown review. It primarily seeks to answer some questions that I get a lot: are a few extra inches of space/baggage/food worth the extra cost? If you’re flying on a low cost carrier like AirAsia, there’s a good chance you’re budget conscious and you want to balance your comfort with your expenses. Perhaps this post will give you a better sense of what to expect. Continue reading “Air Asia Hot Seats mini-Review”

On Hyatt’s Globalist Fast Track Promotion: Is It Fair?

If you own Hyatt’s cobranded credit card, you may have heard about an exciting, albeit controversial, promotion valid from September through to the end of 2017: you now only need 20 nights to qualify for the program’s highest elite status, Globalist level. You previously needed 60! Continue reading “On Hyatt’s Globalist Fast Track Promotion: Is It Fair?”

Higher Flying to the Edge of the Earth?

I kinda want to go to Saipan

Don’t ask me why, but I’ve long been fascinated by obscure travel destinations. Saipan, the largest island in the Northern Mariana chain, is a new intrigue for me. I realize that it may not be the best place to be right now, given North Korea’s threats to that region, but this is more of a speculative post. One day I want to go there, and here are some of the considerations I would take when planning this trip.  Continue reading “Higher Flying to the Edge of the Earth?”

On the inclusion of photo tours

While The Higher Flyer would be considered by many to be a travel blog, it focuses primarily on the journey instead of the destination. There are many talented writers who’ll prominently feature their experiences on the ground, closely documenting the sights they see and the foods they taste, while largely ignoring how they actually got there. I prefer to write about airlines and hotels and the like — and that’s fine, everyone has different interests and styles — but I also like to fancy myself as an “iPhone photographer.” I think one of the best ways to experience a place is to explore it and take pictures of what you find; it forces you to not only seek out interesting spots… Continue reading “On the inclusion of photo tours”

Exploring Bangkok

As I quote in the introductory post to the trip report, Bangkok is described as a “town of juxtapositions.” The sprawling metropolis, also affectionately referred to as “The Big Mango,” is well deserving of its characterization. It sits at the crossroads of the jungle and the sea, and between ancient traditions rooted in Buddhism and recent efforts to globalize. These four key influences all blend together in the city, and both visitors and residents alike are all in for a dynamic treat. Some might find it all to be a bit too stimulating and overwhelming, and don’t get me wrong, being on your feet in Bangkok can soon become exhausting, but it truly is a spectacle in a nearly otherworldly way.

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Top 10: Questions about alliances

Alliances play huge roles in higher flying, and in order to really elevate your travels, it’s best to understand how they operate and shape the industry. The strategic partnerships formed between airlines all over the world create unique opportunities and easily allow passengers to go to places in ways that would otherwise be much more difficult and/or expensive. Despite how useful alliances can be, they’re not particularly easy to understand, and I often get a number of questions about their basic functions. To help clear up some confusion, here’s a list of FAQs!

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