Jun 052013

So, got to Sarajevo airport in plenty of time.  Check-in was absolutely painless, no line, and security and passport control were also painless.  Less than 10 minutes after arriving, we were inside security and passport control and ready to see the lounge.  It’s a common use lounge where they check your boarding pass, but it had free internet and drinks, so was more than adequate to pass the time.  Nothing special, but good enough!

We didn’t spend any time in duty free, and soon it was time to board right on time.

Turkish flight 1024
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina (SJJ) to Istanbul, Turkey (IST)
Depart 14:10, Arrive 17:05, Flight Time 1:55
Boeing 737-900 Registration TC-JYI, Manufactured 2012, Seat 3F

First shocker…unlike the flight to Sarajevo, this plane actually featured something close to international business class!  Well, it was more like US domestic first with an extra foot or more of legroom, but still…very comfortable compared to what I expected, I was super impressed…and this was off to a good start!



I know…still nothing to be super excited about, but it held promise for the next segment to Bishkek.  I was sure we wouldn’t be so lucky again, but in my experience flying Turkish has been a complete crapshoot, so who’s to say what was in store.   Pre-departure drinks were a variety of fruit juices and lemonades:

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May 312013

I’d been watching this flight for a few weeks leading up to it, and was incredibly disappointed it would be an old 747-400 on the day I needed to fly.  Not only that, but when I booked the only seats left in business were middle seats.  Mildly disappointing…I know….#firstworldproblems but still.  Since the flight was F6 and I didn’t see needing all my United systemwide upgrades, I decided to take the chance and have one printed for use on this flight.  Then, 48 hours before the flight, it was changed…to the new 747-800 and I had an aisle seat in the middle.  Score!  I began to question if I really wanted to upgrade, but of course, the chance to be spoilt won out!

When I got to Dulles, it was still F6, and upon checkin at the first class counter about 3 hours before flight time the upgrade was instantly confirmed.  Score!


First stop was the United First lounge for some snacks.  For once, I didn’t get trouble getting in being on Lufthansa and they let me in…only questioning why I’d want to use their lounge instead.  That said, it was time for a couple glasses of champers, and some of the delicious United First lounge shrimp cocktail!



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Apr 262013

No sooner had I gotten back from Johannesburg than I found out that the new job I took starting the day I returned had a trip planned for me.  I expected it would maybe be one new country, but as planning has evolved it’s now planned for nearly three weeks and four new countries!  Score!  The downside is not getting to really play tourist too much, but you can’t complain about getting to go to four relatively out of the way countries  without it costing any vacation time or out of pocket expense!  Things are pretty much lined up now, and the the route looks like:



Plan is to visit four new countries:  Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan.  Assuming the visas show up in time, all systems should be go for this trip!  Lots of long segments on Lufthansa…perhaps in First if upgrades clear, along with a couple long segments on dreaded Turkish 737s from Sarajevo to Istanbul to Bishkek.  Also, two new airlines:  Uzbekistan Airlines and Air Astana, one on an A320 and the other on an ERJ-190.  This assumes, again, that everything happens as planned…

Not sure how many sights I’ll get a chance to see, but I’ll definitely make an attempt to review the flights, check out the local restaurants, and use my evenings wisely to at least try and see some sights around town!  Plus, I should have a full weekend day in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, so that should be a chance to see a fair bit!

More to come soon!