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Virgin America First Class: San Francisco to New York Roundtrip

Virgin America First Class Cabin San Francisco to New York

Last month, I flew Virgin America First Class from San Francisco to New York and back. I’ve flown Virgin America economy class (or main cabin) dozens of times before and it’s the best domestic economy class product, in my opinion.… Continue Reading

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Review: Conrad Makkah Executive Lounge and Al Mearaj Restaurant

Conrad Makkah Club Lounge Seating Area

While our three rooms at the Conrad Makkah were booked under two Hilton HHonors Diamond and one Gold account, all of us received executive club lounge access. In addition, we were offered breakfast at the Al Mearaj restaurant, which I think beat the… Continue Reading

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Review: Etihad Business Class San Francisco to Abu Dhabi

Etihad Airways Business Class Seat 1K on the 777-200 San Francisco to Abu Dhabi

In December, a ton of Etihad business class seats became available from San Francisco to Jeddah, just in time for my Umrah trip. Etihad has a great business class product, but I was really just relieved to be able to… Continue Reading

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How to Book Umrah Travel With Points and Miles

Kaaba Masjid al-Haram and Clock Tower in Mecca

Back in December, I booked a trip to Mecca and Medina to perform Umrah with my family. For those who are unfamiliar with the concept, Umrah is the “lesser” pilgrimage Muslims make to Mecca. It’s much less rigorous and there are… Continue Reading

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Calais Diaries: New Kabul Restaurant, The Kid, The Welcome Wagon, and A Momento

Beef Qorma, salad, and bread at the New Kabul Restaurant in the Calais Jungle

While I enjoyed working at the Help Refugees warehouse, my goal was to get on the distribution team. Hettie had deemed my language skills “invaluable,” yet she couldn’t find room for me on the distribution team. It may have had… Continue Reading

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Hyatt Place Chicago The Loop: The Best Value Hotel in Downtown Chicago

Hotel lobby of Hyatt Place Chicago Downtown The Loop

The Hyatt Place Chicago Downtown The Loop is probably the best value hotel you can book on points in Chicago. Last October, I visited Chicago for a few days while attending the annual Chicago Seminars. My younger sister was with… Continue Reading