Leo’s travel journal

Leo’s travel journal and other juicy bits…

Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

And so begins, the journey…

with 4 comments

So begins the year with a mind-blowing 19-day European winter escapade; an epic journey of 26,968km with the following routing:

KUL-BKK: Thai Airways (B777-200)
BKK-CPH: Thai Airways (B747-400)
CPH-TXL: Scandinavian Airlines (B737-800)
TXL-FRA: Lufthansa (A321)
FRA-RIX: Lufthansa (B737-300)
RIX-CPH: AirBaltic (B737-300)
CPH-ARN: Scandinavian Airlines (B737-800)
ARN-HEL: Blue1 (Avro RJ85 Jumbolino 😀 – YAY!)
HEL-LHR: Blue1 (B717 – 1st time)
LHR-BKK: Thai Airways (B747-400)
BKK-KUL: Thai Airways (A330-300)

TXL: 3-room apartment at Brandenburg Gate
RIX: Monika Centrum (on the super cheap €58 a night)
CPH: Hotel Guldsmelden
ARN: The all time favourite Sheraton
HEL: Hotel Kamp
LHR: Undecided still… Knightsbridge, Bayswater or Sloane Square?

Cost of flights and accommodation – circa €3,500

Let’s see how this pans out.


First Europe trip of the year…

with 6 comments


Thai Airways
Scandinavian Airlines


Written by Leo

2 March 2010 at 23:25

Best news from Starwood so far…

with one comment

Free in-room internet access for Platinum members!

Read all about it here!

Now, to sort out that freaking Russian visa issue.

I’m still stuck at home by the way…

Written by Leo

25 February 2010 at 22:49

And it’s a wrap!

with 2 comments

Image courtesy of Singapore Airlines

So here’s the wrap of 2009 (travel wise).

A little premature seeing that there is a little over 2 weeks of 2009 to go, but I don’t have any foreseeable flights in these weeks – so here goes.

Actual distance flown

2008: 57,948 miles (93,249km, 2.33 times around the earth along the equator)

2009: 84,976 miles (136,755km, 3.41 times around the earth along the equator)

Variance: +46.64%

Time spent on-board flights

2008: 127hrs, 19 mins

2009: 201hrs, 50mins

Variance: +59%

Number of flights

2008: 47

2009: 64

Variance: +36.17%

Countries visited

2008: 12

2009: 16

Variance: +33.33%

Airlines flown

2008: 6

LOT Polish Airlines (LO), Lufthansa (LH), Malaysia Airlines (MH), SAS Scandinavian Airlines (SK), SilkAir (MI), Singapore Airlines (SQ)

2009: 13

Air Asia (AK), Berjaya Air (J8), British Midlands (BD)Croatia Airlines (OU), Firefly (FY), Indonesia Air Asia (QZ), Lufthansa (LH), Malaysia Airlines (MH), SAS Scandinavian Airlines (SK), Silk Air (MI), Singapore Airlines (SQ), Swiss International Airlines (LX), Thai Airways (TG), Turkish Airlines (TK)

Variance: +116.67%

Longest Flight (distance)

2008: 6,394 miles, 11hrs 56mins, Singapore (SIN) – Frankfurt (FRA)

2009: 6,539 miles, 13hrs 45mins, Singapore (SIN) – Amsterdam (AMS)

Variance: +2.27%

Longest Flight (duration)

2008: 11hrs 56mins, 6,394 miles, Singapore (SIN) – Frankfurt (FRA)

2009: 13hrs 45mins, 6,539 miles, Singapore (SIN) – Amsterdam (AMS)

Variance: +13.83%

Shortest Flight (distance)

2008: 139 miles, 45mins, Kota Kinabalu (BKI) – Sandakan (SDK)

2009: 142 miles, 45mins, Copenhagen (CPH) – Gothenburg (GOT)

Variance: +2.16%

Shortest Flight (duration)

2008: 45mins, 139 miles, Kota Kinabalu (BKI) – Sandakan (SDK)

2009: 45mins, 142 miles, Copenhagen (CPH) – Gothenburg (GOT)

Variance: 0%

Fastest Flight

2008: 536 mph, 6,394 miles, 11hrs 56mins, Singapore (SIN) – Frankfurt (FRA)

2009: 551 mph, 5,597 miles, 10hrs 10mins, Frankfurt (FRA) – Bangkok (BKK)

Variance: +2.80%

Slowest Flight

2008: 185 mph, 139 miles, 45mins, Kota Kinabalu (BKI) – Sandakan (SDK)

2009: 162 mph, 162 miles, 1hr, Munich (MUC) – Zurich (ZRH)

Variance: -12.43%

Average Flight (distance & duration)

2008: 1,233 miles, 2hrs 43mins

2009: 1,328 miles, 3hrs 9mins

Airlines frequent flier membership

2008: MH Enrich Blue, KL Flying Blue, SQ Krisflyer Elite Silver (Star Alliance Gold)

2009: MH Enrich Blue, KL Flying Blue, OZ Asiana Diamond (Star Alliance Gold), SQ Krisflyer Elite Gold (Star Alliance Gold)

The best ramen shop outside of Japan…

with 2 comments

Na Ni Wa in Dusseldorf…

And a little photo taken in my recent trip to Bali…

Oh yeah… I seem to have misplaced my passport holder 😦

Written by Leo

13 November 2009 at 18:35

Leo is in London…

with one comment

Written by Leo

11 November 2009 at 2:25

Posted in Europe, Travel

Tagged with

A letter… (part 2 – finale)

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So, after that letter was sent out, the Assistant General Manager of the hotel called and did his usual thing of apologizing, empathizing, etc…

His letter post-telephone call goes like this…

Dear Mr Lee,

Thank you for taking my call this morning and for allowing me the time to follow up on our recent email correspondence. As agreed I have summarized the details of our conversation in writing.

Firstly, I wanted to take the opportunity to respond by phone myself to offer both a thank you for the feedback and also a personal apology for the service you received.

It is very rare that we receive such a real and precise description from our guests and we have to admit that your complaint has made a big impression on us. We are strong believers that we have to put ourselves in the shoes of our guests in order to understand how we can improve our service levels. It is clear from your comments that you experienced several service failures during your stay.

We have shared your feed back and your disappointment both in the morning meeting with all departments as well discussing the comments in more detail with our operational department heads. I spent time highlighting the simple measures that could have been taken to ensure your stay was a pleasurable one. In addition I have also asked our training manager to incorporate your feedback letter into future service trainings to highlight how simple service exchanges can make or break a guests experience in the hotel.

As discussed we were surprised by the comments regarding check in and out as our Front Office department regularly scores high on friendliness although I can admit that on occasions there has been comments made regarding the friendliness of our concierge.

Thank you for the kind words regarding the service and personnel in the Club Lounge and also your experiences in Sheraton Amsterdam Airport and Sheraton Stockholm, after these interactions I hope Starwood can continue to count on your custom in the years to come.

Regarding the hotel, I know there is little I can say in this email that will prove to you that we have listened and acted upon your comments. The proof will be in the service you receive the next time you opt to stay with us and I hope that will be soon.

In the meantime if there is anything further I can help you with please do not hesitate to contact me.

Warm regards

And my reply to this one was…

Dear Mr. X,

Thank you for your call and subsequent mail.

Your response has been most prompt and it addresses the underlying issue of service that I had the unfortunate chance to experience, to a certain extend.

As mentioned, not everyone who writes in are looking for compensation (in this case, points) unlike the multitude of cases that you encounter.

Subsequently, I was dismayed and rather insulted with such letter by your property’s first correspondence that evidently came across as a “copy and paste” job. This added salt to the wound, the fact that no one in the hotel took my remarks seriously; hence my detailed reply.

Some just state their points and do not return – I believe I am one of those.

As far as I am concerned, I have voiced my experience and dissatisfaction and have received a satisfactory response from the hotel representative (you, to be exact).

I therefore consider this matter to be done and over with. Time will tell whether I will choose to return to the your hotel.  For the moment at least, the company’s and my personal selection of hotels in Brussels will exclude your property.

Mr. X, thank you once again for your personal intervention in this matter.

I wish you a pleasant day ahead.


Thanks for reading!


Written by Leo

23 October 2009 at 23:39