The Flying Life: Jumbo Doesn’t Land Here Anymore

The Most Spectacular Landings At This Tropical Airport

There is a certain airport in the Caribbean on the island of St. Maarten where you can get so up close to landing aircraft, you can wave to the pilot and passengers and see them wave back. Well, maybe it’s possible, as the planes landing at Princess Juliana Airport(SXM) pass over the beach at a mere 50 feet above the earth. It is the greatest show on earth for airplane lovers and those people who like sand in their eyes and every other open port of their body. However, sadness will soon overcome the beach goers and aviation enthusiasts at Maho Beach. And why? Dutch airline company KLM will cease flying the 747 jumbo jet and will begin service with an Airbus A330 on October 30. If you can’t make it to Maho Beach, you can watch the live video cam here. Maho Beach Cam

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Published on Oct 28, 2016
As seen live on Maho Beach Cam
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The Flying Life: Airport TV Edition

Television Locations at Chicago Area Airports

Tuscany T1/Gate B18
Chili’s T1/Gate B14, T2/Gate F8, T3/Gate H2, T3/Gate G10
Wolfgang Puck Express T1/Gate B7, T1/Gate B1, T3/Gate K12
La Tapenade T1/Gate B4
Summer House Santa Monica, T2/Main Hall
Stanley’s Blackhawks Kitchen & Tap, T2/Gate E5
Ice Dishes and Drinks T3/Gate L1
Publican Tavern T3/Gate K1
Goose Island T3/Gate L10A
Tortas Frontera T1/Gate B10, T3/Gate K4
Macaroni Grill T3/Gate K2



Harry Caray’s Seventh Inning Stretch / MDW BLVD
Let Them Eat Cake / Gate B5
Oak Street Beach Cafe / Gate B19
Halsted Street Tap / Gate A5
Tuscany Cafe / Gate A7
E@t& / Gate A15

The Flying Life: A Round-Up of Airline News

Some Recent Interesting Airline and Travel News

Frontier Airlines and Wilber The White Tail- N301FR

Frontier has operated its first revenue flight with the new Airbus A320neo(new engine option) in its trip from Tampa to Denver. Frontier became the fourth airline in North America to take delivery of Airbus’ re-engined narrowbody aircraft. Budget carriers Volaris and VivaAerobus(Mexico) along with ultra-low-cost Spirit Airlines (USA) are the other carriers.  Read more and see photos here. Via Airwaysmag

Via: Airbus

Via: Airbus

American Airlines has invested billions of dollars in recent years in new planes, upgraded lounges and improved in-flight entertainment offerings.
But for its latest advertising campaign debuting this week, the company is choosing to highlight its people — both employees and customers — whom it’s calling the “World’s Greatest Flyers.” Via Dallas Morning News




Behind the Scenes At LAX- A Photo Essay. Via USAToday

The Flying Life: IPads In The Cockpit Edition

Most people you see in the airport are carrying some kind of briefcase, luggage or purse. But when was the last time you saw a pilot carrying what looked like a bag full of encyclopedias? That large bag contained operating manuals for the aircraft and operations manuals for the flight crew. Aeronautical and Navigational chartsa Route Manual, flight checklists, logbooks, and weather information. Also, pilot’s documentation and licenses (such as their passport, pilot’s license, Aviation English license, class-specific medical certificate), and equipment or accessories (such as a calculator, pens, sunglasses, radio headphones or binoculars). Whew, what a lot of stuff. According to United Airlines, a traditional paper-based flight bag contains an average of 12,000 sheets of paper per pilot. Deploying an EFB system (electronic flight bag) running on Apple Ipads saves United Airlines nearly 16 million sheets of paper a year. Due to the reduction of the weight of the paper filled briefcase the airline saves  326,000 gallons of jet fuel.


The Flying Life: Airline Points Edition

Delta Airlines Aircraft
Delta Airlines Aircraft

It has only been a month (August) since the major airlines have changed their method(not for better) how you earn reward miles for flights. Legacy carriers United, Delta, and American Airlines have begun to award miles not based on the distance flown but on how much you spend for a ticket. But what is your best method for maximizing your miles and earning more miles going forward? For insightful information read more here: Reward Miles

Amazon fire 7 Tablet
Amazon fire 7 Tablet $49.99



The Travel Life: Cameras Edition

Traveling Camera Gear and Accessories
American Airlines
American Airlines


FASTFIRE Cross-body Sling-style Camera Strap
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Product Description
A simple, modern improvement in design that makes you wonder why camera straps weren’t made this way long before now! The FASTFIRE was designed and put on the market in 2010 because we wanted a cross-body, sling-style strap that had certain features not available on the market. Specifically, we wanted a strap that connected to the “camera strap lug” at the top of the camera, where camera makers designed the strap to go. The other major difference we were looking for was wider strap material for better comfort and stability. This strap distributes the weight of the camera evenly across the center of your body instead of having it concentrated on your neck, making it naturally more comfortable and efficient! Features include: Contoured shoulder pad with utility loops on top and slip resistant “Enduratex (carbon fiber design)” on the bottom, a heavy duty “Stealth V” quick release buckle, “Camera Link” hardware with dual mechanisms for superior safety, and adjustable strap length to accommodate different body shapes and shooting styles.

BlackRapid Tripod Plate 50 Quick-Release Plate (50mm)
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Product Description

Replace an existing Arca-compatible plate with the Tripod Plate 50. The BlackRapid Tripod Plate 50 Quick-Release Plate (50mm) allows you to switch from your tripod to your R-strap effortlessly, without having to unscrew the plate. Comes with our FastenR Tripod screw and fits all 1⁄4-20 sockets.

FastenR Tripod Screw IncludedArca-Type CompatibleQuickly Switch from Tripod to R-Strap

Lexar Professional 633x 32GB SDHC UHS-I/U3 Card with Image Rescue 5 Software - LSD32GCB1NL633 (Read Reviews)
Nikon D810 FX-format Digital SLR Camera Body (Read Reviews)

* A discount will be applied to at least one of these products. The manufacturer has decided the discounted price is too low to display here, but it will be shown after you click to buy

Price Last Updated: 12:01am, 13th March 2016 More Info
Was $3,315.94
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36.3 MP FX-format CMOS sensor without an Optical Low Pass Filter (OLPF)
30% faster EXPEED 4 image processing engine
51-point AF system and 3D Color Matrix metering III with a 91,000-pixel RGB sensor
ISO 64-12,800 expandable to 51,200
Featuring a new RAW Small Size option, which produces 16MP images with much smaller file sizes
Professional video and audio capabilities

Product Description
Style: Body Only | Configuration: Base
Product Description
Harness the power of extreme resolution, jaw-dropping image quality and huge dynamic range in both stills and Full HD 1080p video applications. A newly designed 36.3-megapixel FX-format full-frame image sensor with no optical low-pass filter is paired with the thrilling performance of EXPEED 4 for staggering detail retention, noise-free images from ISO 64 to ISO 12,800, fast frame rates, cinematic video capabilities, in-camera editing features and outstanding energy efficiency. For still and multimedia photographers, The D810 will ignite your creativity and help you capture images that astound. For cinematographers and camera operators, the D810 will become one of the most versatile tools in your arsenal. The D810 will expand your vision and make you rethink what’s possible.
From the Manufacturer
Harness the power of extreme resolution, jaw-dropping image quality and huge dynamic range in both stills and Full HD 1080p video applications. A newly designed 36.3-megapixel FX-format full-frame image sensor with no optical low-pass filter is paired with the thrilling performance of EXPEED 4 for staggering detail retention, noise-free images from ISO 64 to ISO 12,800, fast frame rates, cinematic video capabilities, in-camera editing features and outstanding energy efficiency. For still and multimedia photographers, the D810 will ignite your creativity and help you capture images that astound. For cinematographers and camera operators, the D810 will become one of the most versatile tools in your arsenal. The D810 will expand your vision and make you rethink what’s possible.

Nikon Deluxe Digital SLR Camera Case - Gadget Bag for D4s, D800, D610, D7100, D7000, D5500, D5300, D5200, D5100, D3300, D3200, D3100
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24.3MP full-frame CMOS sensor
39-point AF system (9 cross-type)
ISO 100-6400 expandable up to 25,600
3.2 inch LCD with 921,000 dots
1080/30p, 25p or 24p or 720/60p, 50p or 30p HD video (MPEG-4 AVC/H.264)
Six frames per second continuous shooting
100% viewfinder coverage
2,016-pixel RGB TTL metering sensor
Single-axis level in viewfinder, dual-axis level in live view
10.5MP DX-format crop mode
Uncompressed video recording via HDMI
Dual SD card slots

Product Description
The Nikon D610 Digital SLR Camera has the power of a 24.3 MP Nikon FX-format CMOS sensor in a compact, streamlined HD-SLR body. Create brilliant full-frame images and 1080p videos. Capture every detail in stunning clarity with Nikon’s superior 39 points AF system with Scene Recognition. Additional features include 6 FPS burst shooting, 3.2-inch LCD, ISO expandable to 25,600, plus much more.
From the Manufacturer

Feel the power of a 24.3 MP Nikon FX-format CMOS sensor in a compact, HD-SLR body. Create dazzling full-frame images rivaled only by Nikon’s D800 series D-SLR and 1080p Full HD videos. Nikon’s superior 39-point AF system and Scene Recognition System means details will be clear and crisp—for static or moving subjects. HD video quality rivals more expensive dedicated video cameras. Nikon FX-format quality has never been more attainable.

Product photo of the Nikon D610 D-SLR
Experience the passion of Nikon full-frame photography.

The power of a pro-level Nikon FX-format camera—dazzling full-frame images, broadcast-quality 1080p video at your fingertips, superior low-light performance, faster frame rate up to 6 frames-per-second (fps), tack sharp autofocus with 39 focus points, Built-in Flash with Commander Mode, wireless photo sharing and much more—is attainable in a compact, lightweight full-frame HD-SLR body. A new continuous quiet mode lets you capture a sequence of shots without the noise associated with the raising and lowering of the D-SLR’s mirror. Optimized for full-frame shooting, streamlined for compactness and value, the D610 will fuel your photographic passion like never before.

Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G Lens with Auto Focus for Nikon DSLR Cameras
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Product Description
Style: Lens Only
What’s in the box: Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G Lens, 58mm Snap-On Lens Cap, LF-4 Rear Lens Cap, HB-47 Bayonet Lens Hood for AF-S 50mm f/1.4G, CL-1013 Soft Lens Case, 5-Year Warranty (1-Year International + 4-Year USA Extension).

Fast, upgraded f/1.8, compact FX-format prime lens
Focal Length-50 mm, Minimum Focus Distance-1.48 ft.(0.45 m)
Newly developed optical system with Aspherical lens element, Exclusive Nikon Silent Wave Motor (SWM)
M/A Focus Mode Switch, Filter Thread 58 mm, Autofocus: Yes
Optimized for edge to edge sharpness on both FX and DX-format D-SLRs
Lens not zoomable

Lens Compatibility Information: FX and DX lenses can be mounted on all Nikon DSLR cameras. However, using a DX lens on an FX camera or an FX lens on a DX camera will result in a 1.5x crop factor.

Camera Tripod, KetDirect Aluminium Compact Portable Lightweight Professional Camera Tripods For Cameras monopod With 360 Degree Ball Head and Carry Case For Canon Nikon Sony Olympus DSLR Cameras
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FLEXIBLE: This 2-in-1 tripod could be converted into a full-size monopod by screwing together the removable center column and tripod leg. The tripod legs can be inverted and folded back 180 degrees, to give it a compact size of 18″, save your space and make it small enough to be carried everywhere
STABLE: There is Column Hook located in the bottom of the center-column, which enables you to hang additional weight from the tripod’s center of gravity for increased stability. Separate Head and Pan Lock: Individual head tension and lock knob as well as pan lock, help make the right adjustment
LIGHT WEIGHT: Anodic oxidation processed&anti-corrosion Magnesium and aluminum alloy tube. It’s ideal for indoor and outdoor photography; you can take it anywhere making it perfect for all events, such as sports activities, camping, family gatherings and much more.
EASY SET UP: Screw the quick-release mounting plate onto your camera and with the push of a button you can remove your camera from the tripod for mobility. Three leg-angle positions provide flexibility and enable shooting in cramped quarters or on uneven surface areas. Rotating leg locks control four adjustable leg sections that glide in and out with ease, offers you a height range of 18″ to 65.”
QUALITY WARRANTY: We promise a total refund or a replacement if any issues, at no cost without questions asked. We just want your 100% satisfaction.

The Flying Life: Air Fare Deals Edition

Grab These Airfare Deals Before They’re Gone

Via The Washington Post Travel

Southwest has a sale on nonstop flights to U.S. cities , the Caribbean and Mexico. For example, the round-trip fare from BWI Marshall to Providence, R.I., starts at $128, with taxes; other airlines charge from $191. Restrictions vary by destination. For most domestic destinations, travel through March 18, except for Fridays and Sundays. Holiday blackout dates apply; 14-day advance purchase required. Book by Sept. 19 at

Southwest airliner landing in Las Vegas
Southwest airliner landing in Las Vegas

For a limited time, you can save on travel with United from September 20, 2016, through March 8, 2017, within the U.S. Discounted fares displayed below are available until September 19, 2016, and are based on roundtrip purchase. Book on

Chicago, IL (ORD)

Boston, MA (BOS)
Book now
Chicago, IL (ORD)
Detroit, MI (DTW)
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Chicago, IL (ORD)
Jacksonville, FL (JAX)
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Chicago, IL (ORD)
Kansas City, MO (MCI)
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Chicago, IL (ORD)
Louisville, KY (SDF)
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Chicago, IL (ORD)
Memphis, TN (MEM)
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Chicago, IL (ORD)
Minneapolis, MN (MSP)
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Chicago, IL (ORD)
New Orleans, LA (MSY)
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Chicago, IL (ORD)
New York, NY (LGA)
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Chicago, IL (ORD)
New York/Newark, NJ (EWR)
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Chicago, IL (ORD)
Raleigh/Durham, NC (RDU)
Book now
Chicago, IL (ORD)
Salt Lake City, UT (SLC)

The Flying Life: Air Turbulence Edition

Air Turbulence: Delta Airlines has an App for That!

Hoping to save on fuel costs, Delta Airlines along with Basic Commerce and Industries(BCI), a defense contractor that has developed technology for the FAA has developed an app to help Delta pilots find and avoid air turbulence. In addition to help find turbulence the contractor is also working on an app to allow pilots to detect lightning, hale,

Delta Airlines Aircraft
Delta Airlines Aircraft
and volcanic ash. The app is unique in that the data is customized by aircraft type, according to the Delta news blog. Read more: Delta Blog

The Flying Life: Airport Hotels Edition

On-airport hotels USA edition
Westin Denver International Airport

Conveniently located just steps from airport security screening is this 519 room Westin hotel. Spectacular architecture greets weary travelers in the lobby and continues to impress when you reach your room with floor-to-ceiling glass walls. The expansive views of the Rocky Mountains and the city of Denver are quite impressive. Dining options include Grill & Vine Restaurant.

Westin WORKOUT® Fitness Studio
New Balance Gear Lending
Indoor Heated Pool and Hot Tub
On-property Dining
Concierge Service
Pets welcome
Self and valet parking $24-33/day
Complimentary WiFi for SPG members
Check-in time 3 PM- Check-out time 12 PM

Hilton Chicago at O’Hare International Airport
airliner landing
airliner landing

You can walk to this hotel from the domestic terminals via an underground walkway. The unparalleled view from the runway view rooms is spectacular with floor to ceiling sound proof windows.
If you have business downtown, the hotel is convenient to the Blue line train. The Hilton offers amenities such as an indoor pool, access to public transportation. A barber shop and in-room dining. Other dining options include The Gaslight Club serving steaks, seafood, and drinks. At Caffe Mercato, you can order Starbucks and a breakfast pastry. And finally for casual dining Andiamo serves American cuisine for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Ready to book some travel? BlueOcean Travel

Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport

Check-in 4 PM/Check-out Noon
An impressive hotel located between the “A” and “B” side terminals in the lobby of the airport. Only a short walk from the ticket counters and security, an elevator ride, takes you to the lobby of the hotel. Located in this Hyatt Regency are two restaurants. Premium services include baggage retrieval and delivery, airline check-in counters and car rental counters. A unique feature of the Hyatt Regency Orlando Airport is valet service to your vehicle in the airport garages.
WiFi is complimentary in the common areas and in the rooms with the option to upgrade to faster WiFi. A shopping mall is located on the 3rd floor with duty-free gifts, jewelry, theme park souvenirs, currency exchange and ATM and much more.
The Hemisphere Steak & Seafood Restaurant(Currently closed for renovations until October 2016) and McCoy’s Bar & Grill. If you’re not in the mood for an elegant dining experience, the airport food court is a short walk away.

The Grand Hyatt at Dallas-Fort Worth

Recipient of TripAdvisor’s 2015 Certificate of Excellence.
This hotel is located off of Concourse D with transportation via Skyline or Terminal Link. The hotel offers 298 rooms and has a restaurant, lounge and sushi bar. Sleep on plush Hyatt Grand Beds in a soundproof room with deluxe granite baths. Delicious meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner are available at the Grand Met restaurant. Also, Grand Met Lounge offers cocktails, beer, and casual cuisine, Moka- a coffee cafe, featuring Illy coffee and Sushi bar and specialty rolls. Some exciting features in all rooms of the Grand Hyatt DFW include A 40” flat panel television with interactive entertainment system, wired and wireless internet access and room service ordering capabilities. Two phones: one cordless, one speaker and an in-room safe. Individual climate control, Bedside touchscreen panel controls room’s window shades, temperature, and lighting.
Also, The Grand Hyatt offers a full-service spa, a fitness center, and a roof-top pool. Don’t confuse The Grand Hyatt with the other nearby Hyatt Regency it is not connected to the airport and requires a shuttle from/to the terminal.

Houston Airport Marriott at George Bush Intercontinental
American Airlines
American Airlines

With 567 rooms and six suites
This Marriott hotel connected to the airport by an underground train. In addition to an outdoor saltwater swimming pool and indoor fitness center the hotel has a full-service restaurant and lounge. Rooms at the Houston Airport Marriott feature low-profile platform beds, walk-in showers and wide-open closets. A 24 business center is on the property. Complimentary WiFi access in the common areas, but in room WiFi is $12.95 a day for high speed; $15.95 a day for enhanced high-speed WiFi. Other amenities include ATM, coffee/tea in-room, grab-n-go breakfast $8.00.

Book your trip at BlueOcean Travel

The Westin Hotel At Detroit Airport

This 404-room property has a private security entrance to the main McNamara terminal used by Delta, Air France, and Virgin Atlantic. The Westin also operates a free shuttle to the North Terminal used by other airlines. An interesting feature of this Westin hotel is the private security entrance inside the hotel lobby. Registered hotel guests are allowed access to the shops and restaurants in the McNamara Terminal. Internet access is available in all guest rooms for $9.95 a day. Complimentary internet access is available in the lobby and Executive Club Lounge. This Westin hotel also offers an executive club lounge, an indoor pool, and fitness center and in-room spa services. Open for lunch and dinner is the Reflections restaurant and lounge.

The Philadelphia Airport Marriott

This 414 room and five suites Marriott hotel is connected via a skywalk to the Philadelphia airport terminal “B”. The rooms at this Marriott all feature plush bedding, a flat-screen television, an ergonomic desk, in-room dining and premium bathroom products. If you enjoy watching planes take off, and land (who doesn’t?) ask for a room overlooking the runways. All guest rooms have high-speed internet for $13.95 a day or enhanced high speed for $17.95 a day. Complimentary internet is available in the lobby and public areas. This hotel has express check-in/ check-out.
The Marriott offers a full-service restaurant, The Aviation Grill and an on-site fitness center.

The Hilton at Boston Logan Airport
Airliner over city
Airliner over city

This 559 room hotel connects to terminals A and E by an enclosed walkway and Terminals B, C, and D by shuttle bus. Downtown Boston is only a short ride away by water taxi. The Hilton has a fitness center with whirlpool, 40 ft indoor heated lap pool, and outdoor walking/running path. Also, this Hilton hotel offers Baggage storage, a concierge desk, foreign currency exchange, room service (until 12 AM) and valet parking. A variety of restaurant is available
The Berkshires features breakfast, Connolly’s Publik House gastro-pub offers beer, wine, and spirits as well as a diverse menu of traditional classics like fish & chips and international fare. The Cafe Presto coffee house offers pastries in the morning and beer, wine and a selection of sandwiches, salads, and grab-n-go lunches in the afternoon. Pick-up a perfect, light meal to take on the plane.



The Travel Essentials

RFID Block ID Credit Card Passport Secure Protector... (Read Reviews)
Baiji Bottle Collapsible Water Bottle (Set of... (Read Reviews)
Cabin Max Metz Backpack Flight Approved Carry... (Read Reviews)
Master Lock 4688D TSA Accepted Cable Luggage... (Read Reviews)
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The Flying Life: Webcam at LAX

Web Cam LAX

I saw this link at Johnny which shows a webcam  looking runway 25. The camera shows planes landing and taking off . Check it out here.

Webcam 1  at LAX

Webcam 2 at LAX

Logitech Broadcaster Wifi Webcam 960-000857 for Mac, iPad and iPhone, Australian version with English manual and US adapter
Price Last Updated 1:43pm, 6th May 2017 (More Info)

The Flying Life: Color in The Air Edition Braniff Airways

I saw a post on Facebook about WOW Airlines. The plane was very colorful and reminded me of Braniff Airlines. The Braniff planes were the most colorful in the air during the 1960’s until the carrier stopped operations in the 1990’s. Here is some brief information from Wikipedia.

Braniff Airways, Inc., doing business as Braniff International Airways, was an American airline that operated from 1928 until 1982. Its routes were primarily in the midwestern and southwestern United States, Mexico, Central America, and South America. In the late 1970s, it expanded to Asia and Europe. The airline ceased operations in May 1982 because of high fuel prices, and the Airline Deregulation Act of December 1978 rendered it uncompetitive. Two following airlines used the Braniff name: the Hyatt Hotels-backed Braniff, Inc. in 1984-89, and Braniff International Airlines, Inc. in 1991-92.
New equipment and facilities
Beard led Braniff into the jet age. The first jets were four Boeing 707-227s; a fifth crashed on a test flight when still owned by Boeing. Braniff was the only airline to order the 707-227; in 1971 it sold them to British West Indies Airways (BWIA), an airline based in the Caribbean. Boeing 720s were added in the early 1960s. In 1965 Braniff’s fleet was about half jet, comprising 707s, 720s and British Aircraft Corporation BAC One-Eleven jetliners. The long range Boeing 707-320C intercontinental model was then introduced. However, the 707, 720 and One-Eleven would all subsequently be removed from the fleet. Braniff’s last piston schedule was operated with a Convair aircraft in September 1967 and the last Lockheed L-188 Electra turboprop service was flown about May 1969.

In February 1958 Braniff opened a new headquarters building at Exchange Park, a high-rise office development within sight of Dallas Love Field. The airline began a Maintenance and Operations Base with over 433,000 square feet on the east side of Dallas Love Field at 7701 Lemmon Avenue in late 1958. The airline would occupy the facility until the end of the 1980s, with the Braniff, Inc. (Braniff II) holding company, Dalfort, remaining there until 2001.320px-Douglas_DC-8-62_N1804_BN_MIA_07.02.71_edited-3
To overhaul the Braniff image, Lawrence hired Jack Tinker and Partners, who assigned advertising executive Mary Wells – later Mary Wells Lawrence after her November 1967 marriage to Harding Lawrence in Paris – as account leader. First on the agenda was to overhaul Braniff’s public image — including the red, white, and blue “El Dorado Super Jet” livery which Wells saw as “staid”. New Mexico architect Alexander Girard, Italian fashion designer Emilio Pucci, and shoe designer Beth Levine were hired, and with this new talent Braniff began the “End of the Plain Plane”campaign.

At Girard’s recommendation, the old livery was dropped in favor of a single color on each plane, selected from a palette of bright hues like “Chocolate Brown” and “Metallic Purple.” He preferred a small “BI” logo and small titles. Braniff engineering and Braniff’s advertising department modified Girard’s colors, enlarged the “BI” logo, and added white wings and tails. This, ironically, was based on the 1930s Braniff “Vega” Schemes, which also carried colorful paint with white wings and tails. The new “jelly bean” fleet took such colors as beige, ochre, orange, turquoise, baby blue, medium blue, lemon yellow, and lavender. Lavender was dropped after a month, due to the similarity in coloration to the Witch Moth (Ascalapha odorata), a sign of bad luck in Mexican mythology.

Fifteen colors were used during the 1960s (Harper & George modified Girard’s original seven colors in 1967), in combination with 57 variations of Herman Miller fabrics. Many of the color schemes were applied to aircraft interiors, gate lounges, ticket offices, and even the corporate headquarters. Art to complement the color schemes was flown in from Mexico, Latin America, and South America. Girard designed an extensive line of furniture for Braniff’s ticket offices and customer lounges. This furniture was made available to the public by Herman Miller, for a year in 1967.

Pucci used a series of nautical themes for crew uniforms. For the hostesses, Pucci used “space age” ideas, including plastic Space Helmets and Bolas (as dubbed by Pucci). These clear plastic bubbles, which resembled Captain Video helmets and which Braniff termed “RainDome”, were to be worn between the terminal and the plane to prevent hairstyles from being disturbed by outside elements. “RainDomes” were dropped after about a month because the helmets cracked quickly, there was no place to store them on the aircraft, and jetways at many airports made them unnecessary. For the footwear, Beth Levine created plastic boots and designed two-tone calfskin boots and shoes. Later uniforms and accessories were composed of interchangeable parts, which could be removed and added as needed.

Emilio Pucci designed the Pucci Pant Dress Collection for the intro of Braniff’s first new Boeing 747 dubbed “747 Braniff Place” (1971). The collection was debuted at the Dallas Hilton by Pucci himself, in 1970. Today, all of the vintage Pucci attire designed for Braniff is valuable. Besides the 1965 and 1971 Collections, Pucci designed new Braniff uniform Collections in 1966, 1968, 1972, and 1974.



Douglas_DC-8-62_N1805_BN_MIA_02.08.75_edited-2Alexander Calder

The Travel Life: Nutritious Quick Meals On The Go Edition

toast-TD6.3.16_640Eating Well On A Busy Schedule


Question: It’s hard to get a consistent pipeline of awesome/nutritious meals when you’ve got a busy schedule. What are some quick-to-prep meals you eat on the go? from Fitness

Total Gym 1900
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Now $237.88
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Travel Fitness
Travel Fitness
Compact Travel Pack
Compact Travel Pack

The Travel Life: Massive Gator Edition

Well, it just wanted to get to the next hole!


At this particular golf course (The Club at Savannah Harbor) in Georgia, a massive Gator takes a stroll probably looking for stray golf balls or a plump bird to eat while sharp-eyed videographer Austin Swanger films him or her as the case may be. I usually try to avoid such close encounters. But living here in Florida(Just like Georgia) an encounter with one of these creatures is almost inevitable. So to celebrate the Alligator I have found some interesting videos for you.


The Flying Life: Personal Airplane Edition

A Plane You Can Park in The Garage

Forget the lines at the airport and get yourself a personal plane you can store at home. This particular flying device (The Icon A5) can land on water or solid surface. It can maneuver on water something like a personal watercraft or make a smooth touchdown at the airport. Take a look at the video below.

The Travel Life: Airport Delays Edition- Worst U.S. Airports for Delays

Stay Away From These Airports If You Want To Arrive On-Time


Eight U.S. Airports with the worst on-time record

8. Orlando, Fl MCO
78.35% On-Time

7. Los Angeles, CA LAX
77.40% On-Time


6. New York, N.Y. LGA
77.38% On-Time

5. Denver, CO DEN
77.21% On-Time

4. Dallas/Ft. Worth DFW
76.64% On-Time

3. Fort Lauderdale, FL FLL
76.60% On-Time

2. Miami,Fl MIA
76.03% On-Time

1. San Francisco,CA SFO
71.82% On-Time

This list first appeared on

The Travel Life: Foreign Language Translation Edition

Waverly Labs has done something great for communication. A small device will fit in your ear and translate foreign language (French, Italian, Spanish and English) to your native language. A small app controlled on your smart phone will allow you to select the language you want to translate. The excellent idea of all this is that it is an instant translation. As the person speaks in his native tongue you hear the translation in your ear. What a great way to break down the language barrier. Watch the video below for a demonstration.

Overseas Power Converter


Charging Your Life to the Best

• BESTEK 200W travel adapter & power converter is your ideal companion for your international travel.
• Converts overseas voltage from 90-220V to 110-120V and powers up your US electronic device safely.
• Boasts 3 AC outlets and 4 USB charging ports and charges at least 6 devices simultaneously.
• 3 plug adapters included support outlets in North America, United Kingdom, Continental Europe, Australia, Japan, China etc., covering more than 150 countries over the world.

The Flying Life: Big, Big, Big Plane Edition

WoW that is a big Plane
Boeing 747 LCF Dreamlifter N780BA Landing at Nagoya

Until a short time ago I had no idea that this plane existed. It is used to transport airplane parts for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. At 65,000 cubic feet (1,840 cubic meters) the cargo hold is the largest in the world, and it can hold three times the volume of a 747-400F freighter. Watch one land in the video below from Hakuto0505


The Boeing Dreamlifter is a 747-400 specially modified to transport the major assemblies of the all-new Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Created from Boeing-approved drawings, this high-quality 1:200-scale display model is made of molded plastic that has been weighted. Wooden stand included. Some assembly required. Length: 15″. Wingspan: 12.5″. Imported.

The Flying Life: First Class Edition

British Airways London to Abu Dhabi

What is it like to fly in ultra luxury  aboard a British Airways Dreamliner B787-9?

This Youtube video will give you the experience without the cost of the trip from  London(LHR) to Abu Dhabi (AUH). Make sure you zoom over to The Luxury Travel Expert on Youtube for more fabulous videos.

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The Flying Life: Airport Edition at CDG Paris

Time-Lapse video at CDG Airport Paris

Not much to say about this really engaging time-lapse video of planes  at the airport. Really well done. however if you want to slow the video down just a bit and enjoy it just a little longer, try half-speed.


Complete - GT Deluxe Pet Airline Travel Kit with Pad
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The Flying Life: The Long Delay Flying Edition

The Long Flying Delay, Makes a long day

Interesting Youtube video about One Man’s (MKE Aviation and Elevators) experience flying from Milwaukee to Newark to Fort Lauderdale on United Airlines. What a trip it was. After many delays and a missed flight with a long layover in Newark Airport he finally lands in Florida. He seems upbeat but tired after an 18 hour plus day. So here are ten things that could delay your next flight.

1) Mechanical Delay at MKE for over one hour and was forced to sit on a small ERJ for over 4 hours
2) Bad weather at EWR
3) Had to turn around in my first flight roughly three times
4) Missed Connection to my 2:00 flight
5) Standby flight (5:00) was cancelled

Watch for more!

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The Flying Life: Birthday Edition. What Airline celebrates 90 Years of Service?

Happy Birthday United Airlines

United Airlines traces its roots to Varney Air Lines air mail service of Walter Varney, who also founded Varney Speed Lines, from which Continental Airlines had originated. Based in Boise, Idaho in 1926, the carrier flew the first Contract Air Mail flight in the U.S. on April 6, 1926, marking the first scheduled airline service in the country’s history with flights between Pasco, WA, and Elko, NV via Boise. In 1927, aviation pioneer William Boeing founded his airline, Boeing Air Transport to operate the San Francisco to Chicago air mail route, and began buying other airmail carriers including Varney Airlines. In 1929, Boeing merged his company with Pratt & Whitney to form the United Aircraft and Transport Corporation (UATC).


After World War II, United gained from a boom in customer demand for air travel, with its revenue per passenger-miles jumping five-fold in the 1950s, and continued growth occurring through the next two decades.

In 1954, United Airlines became the first airline to purchase modern flight simulators which had visual, sound and motion cues for training pilots. Purchased for US$3 million (1954) from Curtiss-Wright, these were the first of today’s modern flight simulators for training of commercial passenger aircraft pilots.

United merged with Capital Airlines in 1961 and regained its position as the United States’ largest airline. In 1968, the company reorganized, creating UAL Corporation, with United Airlines as a wholly owned subsidiary. In 1970, the UAL Corporation acquired Western International Hotels and changed its name to Westin Hotel Company. The 1970s also saw economic turmoil, resulting in “stagflation” and labor unrest. The 1978 Airline Deregulation Act, resulting in industry shakeups, further added to the carrier’s difficulties in a loss-making period.

File:United Airlines Boeing 737-222 Marmet.jpg

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Click on a date/time to view the file as it appeared at that time.

In 1982, United became the first carrier to operate the Boeing 767, taking its first delivery of 767-200s on August 19. In May 1985, the airline underwent a 29-day pilot strike over management’s proposed “B-scale” pilot pay rates. Then-company CEO Richard Ferris changed United’s parent company’s name from UAL Corporation to Allegis in February 1987, but following his termination, the company reverted to the name UAL Corp. in May 1988 and divested non-airline properties.

United Boeing 747SP in the 1974–1993 Rainbow Scheme

In 1985, United expanded dramatically by purchasing Pan Am’s entire Pacific Division, giving it a prime Asian hub at Tokyo’s Narita International Airport. In 1991 acquired routes to Heathrow Airport from ailing Pan Am, making it one of two US carriers permitted exclusive access to Heathrow under Bermuda II until “open skies” took effect in 2008 (American Airlines being the other after it purchased TWA’s Heathrow landing slots). The aftermath of the Gulf War and increased competition from low-cost carriers led to losses in 1991 and 1992. In 1994, United’s pilots, machinists, bag handlers and non-contract employees agreed to an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), acquiring 55% of company stock in exchange for 15–25% salary concessions, making the carrier the largest employee-owned corporation in the world. The airline also launched a low-cost subsidiary in 1994, Shuttle by United a high frequency, west coast-based operation, in an attempt to compete with low-cost carriers; the branch remained in service until 2001.

The “Tulip” was the United Airlines logo from 1973 to 2010

In 1995, United became the first airline to introduce the Boeing 777 in commercial service. In 1997, United co-founded the Star Alliance airline partnership. In May 2000, United announced a controversial plan to acquire US Airways for US$11.6 billion but withdrew the offer in July 2001 before the United States Department of Justice barred the merger on antitrust grounds due to widespread objection from employee unions, customers, and political leaders.


Via Wikipedia

The Flying Life: Airline Bag Edition

Hey, [insert Airline] Where’s my bag?

Delta Airlines has a video showing just how your luggage travels from the ticket agent to the airplane and back to you. Delta handles more than 350,000 checked bags a day onboard more than 5,000 domestic and international flights. Behind the scenes, their team of thousands is working hard to make it happen as part of their commitment to providing on-time, reliable service every time you fly. Here’s a throwback offering a bag’s eye view of the trip from the ticket counter to the final destination for just one of those bags.

Via the Delta blog at 

The Flying Life: Book a $24,000 Airline Suite For $104? Yes, You Can!

Travel in Luxurious Comfort and Excellent Airline Service

Want to travel in luxurious comfort and excellent airline service? Traveler extraordinaire Sam Huang has som useful tips and advice. Read his blog Topmiles here. Watch the video below. Then get traveling.
World-class globetrotting is within reach when you know a few simple strategies for maximizing frequent flyer points and credit card points and upgrades. Here is a world traveler who was able to book a first class flight on Etihad airlines in their gorgeous Residence and Apartment suites which typically sell for $24,000. He didn’t pay $24,000, oh no he got the first class treatment for $104! This type of trip requires a degree of pre-planning and bucketful of frequent flyer miles.
The suites include a convertible sofa and a reclining chair; a personal to attend to all your needs; meals personally served by the onboard chef; cotton pajamas and much more.

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29 Reasons We Love Belgium

Set on the banks of the Meuse River, Dinant, Belgium, is fairytale-like, backed by an imposing high cliff where the Citadel rests. (VanderWolf Images/Dreamstime)

From classic Belgian waffles to fanciful delights like Mini-Europe amusement park, this little country is big on culture, cuisine, and creativity.

Belgium pops off the map, alive with modern, artistic lodgings, unconventional museums, and beloved regional food and beer. During a 10-day trip through Brussels and Wallonia, I made sure to hit the most popular travel sites, including Waterloo, Bastogne, and Brussels, but I also made a point to stray from the traditional spots…and I was glad I did. Ready for a grand tour? Here are 29-plus reasons you’ll love Belgium as much as I did.

Brussels: Chocolate, waffles, and…beer!

Brussels is the home of the European Union and a truly international city. The beautiful Grand-Place and infamous Manneken Pis are must-sees, but for a different perspective, take a bike tour with Pro Velo; it’s a unique way to admire the city’s diverse architecture and chat up a local ( My guide, Riet Naessens, gave me a tour focused on the city’s art deco and art nouveau architecture through burgeoning and luxurious neighborhoods I might not have reached on my own. We passed by designs by some of art nouveau’s most famous architects, Victor Horta and Paul Hankar. Stunning glasswork by artist Ernest Delune at Rue du Lac 6, often seen in art history textbooks, was a highlight, as was the Horta Museum, a World Heritage Site. Pro Velo also offers a popular Beer and Breweries tour, which I’d warn beginning bikers against for obvious reasons.

Ingesting and investing in some chocolate while touring Brussels is crucial for any visit. Laurent Gerbaud has some outstanding chocolates, many mixed with tart and sweet dried and candied fruits ( Gerbaud’s interactive workshops offer students the opportunity to make and taste their own concoctions. His shop also has a café, so take a seat and enjoy the full chocolate experience. It’s close enough to do some oh-so-convenient chocolate shop–hopping at Place du Grand Sablon, where many of Belgium’s top chocolatiers have stores. 

For another sweet Brussels fix, walk a few feet from the popular naked Manneken Pis statue to feast on a Brussels-style waffle with chocolate, whipped cream, and strawberries at the Waffle Factory ( When in Brussels…

Next up: a trip to the Atomium, a bizarre remnant of the 1958 World’s Fair, which might be the very definition of interesting and offbeat. This structure symbolizes an iron crystal expanded 165 billion times and houses an exhibition space. Nearby is another weird find, Mini-Europe, where you can walk among famous European monuments in miniature, including Big Ben and the Eiffel Tower ( Kids are the perfect audience for Mini-Europe—as are adults on the hunt for funny Instagram photos.  

Dinant: Paddle through town and discover a new way to make music.

The fairytale-like setting that makes up Dinant is marked by a grand 13th-century church on the banks of the Meuse River, backed by an imposing high cliff where the Citadel rests. To take in nature, go kayaking on the nearby Lesse River with Olivier Pitance of Dinant Adventures ( Small rapids turn to quiet currents and revert back again as you paddle and float by rock outcroppings, lush forests, and medieval castles. 

In town, don’t miss the House of Pataphony, where you can expand your mind making music with everyday objects you wouldn’t normally think to “play,” from a chandelier made of cutlery to antique keys ( The wildly inventive museum was dreamed up by instrument maker Max Vandervorst. It makes sense that it’s located in Dinant, the home of Adolphe Sax, the inventor of the saxophone. You can visit his home, now a small interactive museum ( Stay nearby in a castle at La Saisonneraie (from about $168 per night,, a former château in Falaën that tempts guests with exceptional croissants for breakfast.

Liège: Forward-thinking art and cuisine, plus Belgium’s biggest market.

If you’re looking to do all of this and still take a breath, you’ll want to stay in Brussels for few days. The chic Hilton Brussels Grand Place is well situated for guests to comfortably take on the city by foot (from about $245 per night,

Start your morning trying Liège waffles at the best place in town, Maison Massin (Rue Puits-en-sock, 6-8- 4020 Liège). It’s where the locals get their waffles. Choose from traditional Liège waffles, sugary, chewy waffles that are ovular and unevenly shaped, or more embellished versions such as grilled strawberry or rhubarb. Sunday is market day in Liège, and whatever you’re craving or coveting, you’ll find it at La Batte, the oldest and largest market in Belgium. Local produce, cheese, fish, clothing, and books are all ripe for the picking at this riverside shopping mecca ( 

From the market, walk to Curtius Brasserie to sample Belgian craft beers ( En route, you’ll want to snap a photo of the Mount Bueren stairs, an epic 374-step staircase located just beside “Brasserie C.” Once inside the beer hall, there’s an exciting energy. Started by young entrepreneurs, this Belgian brewery is housed in a former monastery. You can take a tour of the production area and pair cheese or meatballs with beer on the lovely outdoor terrace.

Avant-garde art lovers, your new haunt is the Cité Miroir, an unusual cultural venue ( Exhibitions are held in a 1930s building once home to public baths and a swimming pool: The remnants of still remain—works of art in themselves. Locals may tell you they learned to swim there.

For dinner in Liège, you have to try boulet, a traditional beef-and-pork meatball that’s highly popular in the region. One of the best places to feast on boulet is Amon Nanesse, where large meatballs are served up in sweet sauce consisting of a mixture of pears and apple syrup, wine, onions, and peket, a local spirit ( Naturally, boulet is best complemented with a heaping helping of crispy fries. I had a boulet connoisseur introduce me to this filling dish: Sebastien Laviolette, from la Confrérie du Gay Boulet, is part of a guild of folks who make it their mission to secretly taste test meatballs at restaurants throughout the region and rate the best. 

Many of these Liège attractions are reachable on foot from both the historical center and boutique Hotel Neuvice, where 10 contemporary rooms surround an open-air patio (from about $109 per night,

Mons: This culture capital invites.

Mons is a university town with cool street art, museums, restaurants, and European charm—so much of it, in fact, that it was named the 2015 European Culture Capital. In the lively Grand-Place, pet the somewhat-freaky brass monkey statue for good luck before entering the Town Hall, Hôtel de Ville. Ascend the stairs of the 15th-century structure to take in the views of the striking square with its myriad architectural styles, ranging from Gothic to neoclassical. Inside Town Hall, admire gilded carvings and ornate tapestries, a gift to the town from France’s Louis XIV.

Climb up higher, past the city’s historic brick homes, to Parc du Château, Mons’s highest point, where the magnificent belfry is located. The only baroque-style belfry in Belgium, the belfry is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an exceptional place for photos. Next, walk down to the Saint Waudru Collegiate Church to see its exquisite stained glass windows and 18th-century golden carriage used in the annual celebration of the saint ( 

Mons has several museums worth seeing, including BAM, the Museum of Fine Arts, and the fascinatingly bizarre, recently renovated Mundaneum, which contains a massive collection of photos, newspapers, posters, and books from Belgian philanthropist Paul Otlet, who spent nearly 50 years compiling every noteworthy piece of human thought ever published or recorded ( Talk about a huge undertaking. Called a printed precursor to the internet and social networking, the museum has a partnership with Google. 

After all that cerebral reflection, grab a drink at La Cervoise, where there’s a dizzying array of more than 150 beers to choose from (32/65-35-15-25). Carnivores may stay to cook a steak on a stone, the most notable entrée at this Belgian beer hall. Others may wish to snag a table outside at Ces Belges et Vous, in Grand-Place, to take in the ambience of this historic square while feasting on traditional Belgian cuisine (

One of my favorite hotels from my Belgium travels is Hotel Dream, in Mons. Nestled in the historic center, the hotel is in easy walking distance of Grand-Place—key since parking can be a hot commodity. The building is a former convent and chapel, so stained-glass windows and high ceilings are sprinkled in amid modern design and graffiti art (from about $103 per night,

Durbuy: Europe’s coolest small city? You decide.

One of Durbuy’s claims to fame is its title of “smallest city in the world”—or at least it used to be. The exact wording might be lost in translation, because they also had “smallest town” emblazoned in several spots. How it’s defined, I’m not so sure, but I’m chalking it up to another of the city’s endearing idiosyncrasies.

Durbuy is a charming combination of cobblestoned medieval streets, historic sights, and lovely shops. There’s a local count here who still lives in a castle overlooking the town and the Durbuy Topiary Park ( Billing itself as the “largest park in the world devoted to topiary that is accessible for the public” (that’s quite the moniker), there are more than 250 plants, some more than a century old. Stroll through these green sculptures, and you may recognize some of the shapelier box trees, including a larger-than-life topiary of Pamela Anderson on the beach, Manneken Pis from Brussels, jumping jockeys, ducklings, elephants, and several other creatures great and small. 

Shop in La Vraie Confiture du Durbuy for local artisanal jams and sweets for your friends (and yourself), then grab a traditional unfiltered amber brew at Marckloff Brewery, where beer is produced in small batches on site ( Stay one or more nights right in town at Le Sanglier des Ardennes, a modern hotel overlooking the Ourthe River that serves a fabulous breakfast (from about $90 per night,

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The Flying Life: What you do and Don’t want to know about Airplane Bathrooms

Ugh! The Airplane Lavatory

Via Thrillist

Don’t say it because we all know that we would rather cut our arm off with a dull piece of broken glass then use the airplane bathroom. Disgusting, revolting and dirty come to mind. And phew! The nostril clearing odor of the previous occupant might knock you flat. So it is interesting to learn that the FAA (which has rules for almost everything) has no rule that airplanes have a working bathroom. Before bathrooms were standard on airplanes a bucket was used, a bucket with a lid, of course. So I avoid the airplane bathroom and try to take care of business before boarding the plane. For those of you who don’t and must use the lavatory here is an interesting article from Thrillist. So live and learn what is “The Whistling shithouse,” Why you should never drink the water from the lavatory faucet, What’s “blue ice poop,” And even tho you can’t smoke in the bathroom why airplanes have ash trays in the bathroom.

By the way did you ever wonder how powerful the vacuum is on an airplane toilet? Watch this video and learn.


The Flying Life: Which small computer to travel with?

Best Laptop Computers for the traveler

What is your favorite computer when you travel? Something light and small but with a good screen size. If you are thinking of replacing an old computer here are a few things you might consider when shopping for a compatible travel laptop.

Thin and light is what you want, it’s a no-brainer, but why not find an HD touch screen? I was not keen on a touch screen of any sort until I got an Android tablet. I love the easy way to navigate with my finger. It is a joy to use. Consider an auto-illuminated keyboard allows you to type in dim light. Enhanced illumination is very handy in the dim light of an airplane cabin. Fan noise may not be noticeable in most situations but may sound like a 777 taking off when you are in a quiet area. I believe battery life is second only to screen size regarding must-haves in a small, portable computer. One of the reasons you have a computer is to keep up with email, social media, tracking your travel itinerary, etc. I want to make sure any computer or tablet has an SD card slot. I want to download my photos and video, and the SD card makes this task simple.




Acer Aspire S7

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Hong Kong's Most Stylish Steal: A Custom Tuxedo

Each bespoke suit from Sam’s Tailor in Hong Kong comes with a one-of-a-kind label with your name inside.

Celebs from Kate Moss to Kevin Spacey frequent this unassuming shop for incredible deals on high-fashion custom suits. A BT writer shares her experience—now you’re in the know too!

Tucked behind an arcade of busy stores, Sam’s Tailor in Hong Kong’s Tsim Sha Tsui doesn’t look like much from the outside—a small shop crammed with customers—but photographs lining the walls belie its reputation.

As I waited for my appointment, I perused photos of the shop’s most notable clients, spanning royalty (Prince Charles) to politics (the Clintons and the Bushes) to fashion (Kate Moss) to movies (Kevin Spacey) to music (David Bowie). 

Hong Kong is renowned for the 24-hour suit—a marvel of British-style tailoring and Asian efficiency. Luckily, I had a few days in Hong Kong and could schedule more than one fitting. I came to Sam’s armed with ripped-out magazine pages of my ultimate fashion fantasy: a slim-cut, Le Smoking tuxedo made famous by Yves Saint Laurent in 1966.  Roshan Melwani, the original Sam’s grandson and fellow tailor, immediately knew what I was gunning for, and pulled down books of fabrics for me page through. After viewing and touching every iteration, I selected an all-weather, wrinkle-resistant black fabric and a rich burgundy paisley lining. I also ordered a tuxedo shirt with a pleated front and French cuffs. The price? $450, a steal compared to an off-the-rack designer suit, which average about $2,000. In the middle of the shop, Melwani took my measurements and told me to come back the next day for a fitting.

On my second visit, I tried on pants with an unfinished waistband and a jacket with only one full sleeve. Chalk lines indicated where darts, a silk lapel or pockets would go. Already, the fit was better and more flattering than anything I’d ever worn. As I changed back into my slouchy sundress in the dressing room, a signed photograph of Hillary Clinton seemed to be looking down at me approvingly.  

The next day, I picked up the finished product. The shirt was crisp; the jacket and pants were sharp but comfortable. To my surprise and delight, the shirt had my initials discreetly embroidered using white thread at the cuff, and a tag inside the jacket stated my full name and the date the suit was made. Melwani kept my measurements so I could order other items when I returned home. But I know I’ll be back in person for more.

Where to go:

Sam’s Tailor, K1 Burlington Arcade, 90-94C Nathan Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong (

Where to stay:

Bishop Lei International House in the swanky Mid-Levels neighborhood is a short walk to the SoHo escalators and overlooks the Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens (from $133 per night, It operates a free shuttle to and from Central, Admiralty and the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center. Ask for a room with views of Victoria Harbor.

See More From Budget Travel:
Where to Go in 2016
Cool Travel Accessories Every Woman Needs
New ‘Mini Fashion Bar’ Lets You Buy High-Style Clothes in Your Hotel Room—Affordably!
Flight Attendant Fashion Gets an Upgrade
5 “Boomtowns” You MUST Visit ASAP

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The Travel Life: The Smart Way to Use Your Camera

Video Instruction Focus Your DSLR Camera A New Way

When I bought my first 35mm camera a century ago,  that is last century, manual focus lenses were the only type available. While you had to keep one hand on the lens and continue to focus, it was pretty simple to use and understand. With DSLR camera and the many different types of choices you have to set-up your method of focus you may wonder if there is an easy way to set up your focus method. Here is a video I came across which explains a better way to focus. You may need some time to get used to this but the advantages are worth it. Have a look.

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The Flying Life: Video from Orlando Airport TSA pre-check

Orlando International Airport

Spring Break is here and now is the time to plan ahead. Getting through the airport can be a challenge. Watch the video and see how to cut your time waiting in line and get to your gate quickly.


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The Travel Life: Smart Ideas to Save Money on Travel

The Travel Life: Travel like a pro and save Money
Exotic Travel
Exotic Travel

Have a luxurious travel experience by planning ahead. Depending on your preferred airline, where you’re going and how flexible you are you could visit for a longer stay, see multiple cities by just using a few smart strategies.
Traveling overseas means currency exchange and by knowing the rate of exchange before you leave is to your advantage.
Planning for a layover in your travel schedule means you can see two cities for the price of one. If you have excellent credit and can pay off your credit card each month then sign-up for loyalty cards tied to your favorite airline or several airlines.
For the full story on Jetsetter

Shacke Pak - 4 Set Packing Cubes - Travel Organizers with Laundry Bag (Aqua Teal) (Read Reviews)
ButterFox Universal Electronics Accessories Travel Organizer / Hard Drive Case / Cable organizer - Large (Read Reviews)
Vaultz Mesh Storage Bags, Assorted Colors and Sizes, 4 Bags (VZ01211) (Read Reviews)
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The Flying Life: Cuba Opens Up To Airlines

 Airlines Announce routes to Cuba

Jet Airliner

March 3rd, 2016 was the last day U.S. airlines could place a bid for flying to Cuba. American Airlines, Delta, JetBlue, United, and Southwest all submitted requests, bids far out numbered flights available. Here is information and a map of proposed routes. U.S. cities as wide spread as Newark, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Los Angeles, Chicago and Miami among others are on the wish list of the major U. S. airlines.

Read more here from T&L

Cuban Coffee

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The Travel Life – Private Jets

Booking a private shuttle just got JetSmarter

For the traveler who looks forward to last minute, spontaneous travel decisions a service called JetSmarter may be your ticket to paradise. JetSmarter, a mobile marketplace allows members to book travel using its App on your smartphone, IOS, and Android. There is no need to hassle with middlemen or brokers which typically charge high fees for little extra service. With the other commission, brokers charge the price to book a seat can be high.
Read more here at

JetBlue Airliner MCO
Jet Blue landing at Orlando International Airport credit:Timothy Taaffe







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The Flying Life Travel insights, Travel Gear


American Airlines Twitter

Travel Tips from Master Lock

Whether you’re traveling within the United States or abroad, follow these simple steps to protect you and your belongings:

  1. When checking your baggage, use a Master Lock TSA-accepted locking device–the one device the airport screeners won’t cut! These locks allow TSA screeners to inspect and relock your baggage without damaging your lock.
  2. Secure your carry-on bags with a Master Lock TSA-accepted locking closure as an additional safeguard.
  3. Place your contact information inside and outside your baggage. This provides the fastest way to be reunited with your baggage if it is lost or mishandled.
  4. Use a TSA-accepted lock on all bags throughout your trip–even in your hotel room and at the bell desk–as an additional theft deterrent. Available locks include: set your own combination, keyed, or locking luggage straps.
  5. Carry an ATM card, credit cards, or traveler’s checks instead of cash. Keep your traveler’s checks in a money belt under your clothing for extra protection.
  6. As recommend by the U.S. State Department, register your trip in case of emergency with the free online service:
  7. Sign your passport, include emergency contact information, and give copies of it and other important documents to a family member or  a trusted friend in case of an emergency.
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  • BESTEK Advantages: convert all countries voltage to US voltage (110V), enables you to charge your devices safely when traveling worldwide
  • 4 USB charging ports (6A Max) are isolated from AC outlets for the safety of your devices, two 2.4A ports for faster charging your iPads and Tablets, two 1A ports for iPhones, Samsung, other mobile phones and USB devices
  • 3 international adapters (UK/US/AU/EU Plug) support outlets in North America, United Kingdom, Europe, Australia, Japan, China, etc. More than 150 countries worldwide
  • Portable and Universal: Compact size (6x3x1.57 inches) with 5 feet detachable power cable, slim and sleek design, makes it easy to pack and take anywhere you go
  • Over-current, high-temperature, short-circuit and surge protections. Dual cooling fans on both sides reduce heat. On/Off power button with LED indicator
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  • PROTECT YOUR VALUABLES AND PREVENT IDENTITY THEFT: The RFID-blocking material will prevent thieves and scammers from scanning your personal items like passports and credit cards.
  • PREVENT PICKPOCKETING: The neck wallet allows you to keep your cash, credit cards, passports, & other important items right on your body, making it almost impossible for pickpockets to go unnoticed.
  • LIGHTWEIGHT & COMFORTABLE TO WEAR: The light material makes it easy to carry, and the well-designed strap and breathable mesh back will be comfortable on top of clothes or against your skin.
  • STAY ORGANIZED: 6 pockets w/ room for all your important items. HOLD MULTIPLE PASSPORTS. Two zippered pockets: one for holding money w/o folding it, the other is perfect for coins and keys.
  • ONE-YEAR WARRANTY: It’s durable and made to last, and if you have any problems in the first year we’ll replace it for free!

Airline travel plans busted? Know your rights

You do have rights when your airline travel is interrupted, something goes awry or you want to make a change to your itinerary. So the difference between sleeping on the floor at the airport or sleeping in a comfortable bed in a hotel IMG_4477-610x458may hinge on knowing what to ask for.
Get refunded for bumping
Opt out of a tarmac delay
Ask for cash not vouchers


Read more here:

Travel Tip of the Day: Not All Planes Are Created or Configured Equal

American's new B777-300ER landing in Los Angeles

Not All Planes Are Created or Configured Equal
Yesterday’s tip was about choosing a wide-body plane over a narrow-body one to improve your chances of an upgrade. Passengers can also take things one step further and find the best wide-body to fly on. For example, American Airlines currently has three wide-bodies on their LAX-Miami route: a 767, a 777-200 and a 777-300. Savvy passengers know that American’s business class on the 777-300 is by far its best product with its lie-flat seats.

In the AA example, one way to tell what your options are is to log on to and put in your city pairs. Then, look at each type of aircraft and click ”View seats” to see its configuration. On American’s 777-200, business class is configured 2-3-2, which is way too many seats and would be almost a waste of upgrade certificates (or money) if you get stuck in a middle seat. However, on the 777-300, there are only four seats across with a 1-2-1 configuration, which is obviously far superior.

Another way to find out your aircraft seating is by checking out In any case, make sure to do your research!



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The post Travel Tip of the Day: Not All Planes Are Created or Configured Equal appeared first on Johnny Jet.

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The Flying Life: Stress-Free Travel Packing

Genius Solutions for packing a suitcase

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Hotel Review: Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort

Entry corridor at the Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort

Entry corridor at the Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort

In serious need of a vacation, my wife and I ventured off to Maui in search of some pampering and relaxation time and ended up choosing the Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort as the first stop on our trip. This particular Hyatt family property opened in September 2013, bringing a new and modern luxury option to an area dominated by the likes of the Four Seasons and the Grand Wailea. Though it’s a smaller property by comparison, we’d read that the Andaz’s intimacy and unique style make it an intriguing choice over these other two giants. And having stayed at the Four Seasons before, my wife and I were eager to check this place out and see for ourselves.


View from the lobby

View from the lobby

The scene
As you step into the sleek entry corridor at the Andaz Wailea, you can’t help but feel you’re leaving every care behind and entering a world designed for pure relaxation. By the time you find yourself in the open-air lobby, which arguably boasts some of best ocean views in Wailea, you’re liberating mental tension you didn’t even know you had.

Lobby at sunset

Lobby at sunset

At 290 rooms and suites, this resort feels intimate. You don’t have to walk too far to get anywhere. And while it feels like it’s very adult-friendly, I wouldn’t hesitate to bring my kids here either—though it doesn’t scream “family-friendly!” the way the Four Seasons down the road does. And being here on our fifth wedding anniversary, that was A-OK with my wife and me.


Standard sized room with sheer curtain lowered

Standard sized room with sheer curtain lowered

The rooms
We had the opportunity to stay in both a partial ocean view room and an ocean view suite during our three-night stay. While standard rooms here tend to run on the small side (around 300 square feet), they do make up for it in appearance. The rooms just look…cool.

Bathrooms are stylishly designed and feature a shower that faces out over the rest of the room—presumably to take in the views while you bathe. The bedding is luxurious, and while our mattress ran slightly firm and we had to request foam instead of feather pillows, we ended up sleeping great here. It was nice to see two USB charging ports and an outlet on one side of the bed, but we were surprised to find the other side lacking in any charge capabilities whatsoever. Outdoor balconies come standard with two aluminum chairs and a small table, and we found these were just fine for relaxing a bit in the morning and evening.

Suite living area

Suite living area

Suites here are a bit more spacious, featuring a separate living room area complete with a dining table, second flat-screen tv (bedroom TVs come standard, of course) and wet bar. On the third night of our stay, the hotel cleared out a bit and an ocean view suite became available for us. The biggest joy to us was the much bigger bathroom, and yes, dual sinks. Why those aren’t in the standard rooms is beyond me! We also gained a soaking tub here, and (ahem) a Japanese-branded bidet seat in the commode, which was kind of amazing.

Suite bathroom

Suite bathroom

Extremely cool are the controls at every guestroom’s entry: a set of “Privacy” and “Service the room” buttons linked to the tech brains of the hotel, instantly letting housekeeping know your status wherever they may be lying in wait. Also, there’s a single button to turn all the room lights on/off as you enter/exit, conserving a great deal of electricity I’m sure, because who turns lights off when they leave a hotel room otherwise?

Rooms also come standard with smart shades too; one button closes a sheer curtain, and another releases a blackout shade from the ceiling to keep that famous Hawaiian sun at bay. The strange thing about these controls for us was that although they were bedside, they were just too far away to reach comfortably from the bed. A minor oversight, but it’s really nice when you can turn those lights off or raise those curtains in the morning without turning into Stretch Armstrong.

Suite bedroom

Suite bedroom

While we enjoyed the standard sized room at this hotel, we really enjoyed the extra space and bathroom amenities the suite offered, and wouldn’t hesitate to book it again if/when we return. If you can grab a suite (or at least be in line to be upgraded into one), it’s totally worth it.


Infinity pools and lower lagoon pool, as seen from our suite

Infinity pools and lower lagoon pool, as seen from our suite

The pools
The Andaz is unique in that it has three vastly different pool areas. The first group is a series of tiered infinity pools that all feature magnificent ocean views. The great thing about this setup is that no matter which pool you pick (and there are three), you’ll always get a great view, and you won’t be staring at a neighbor across the way. And since each pool/lounge area is decently sized but not huge, it won’t feel overcrowded.

Swimming in one of the infinity pools

Swimming in one of the infinity pools

Below the three infinity pools is a large shallow pool featuring a sloped beach-style entry that’s (presumably) great for the little ones to play in safely. Finally, in a secluded area away from these two pools, you’ll find a gorgeous adults-only pool, which we always found to be extremely quiet and relaxing.

Adults-only pool at sunset

Adults-only pool at sunset

Now, we should mention that the service around the infinity pools was a bit slow at times as far as ordering drinks and snacks go. And unfortunately, spotting a server at the adults-only pool was like spotting Halley’s Comet, which seemed odd. A couple of times we put in a drink request with the towel personnel, simply because they were the easiest to spot and seemed willing to help find a server. But as this is a criticism easily fixed, we’re hoping it’s something the hotel can improve upon as it becomes more seasoned. Right now, the Four Seasons has them beat here.


The beach

The beach

The beach
The beach at the Andaz is simply gorgeous. It’s an intimate slice of sand without the crowds you’ll find at the beach the Four Seasons and Grand Wailea share. We found the sand and aqua water color to be so gorgeous (the darker sand at the Four Seasons makes the water not quite as appealing to gaze at). The Andaz attendants were always at the ready with chairs and umbrellas to get us set up with the moment we stepped onto the beach, which was nice, and fins and snorkels are also complimentary for all guests of the hotel. They’re easily checked out at the beachside cabana.



Beautifully manicured bluffs

Beautifully manicured bluffs

The bluffs
If you need a break from the pools and beach, the Andaz features a huge, gorgeous bluff-side lawn where you can kick back and enjoy serene ocean and beach vistas, especially at sunset. With plenty of chaise lounges to go around, we always found an abundance of space to relax here—and swaying palms overhead kept the sunlight dappled enough for us to stay cool midday.

We found ourselves relaxing here quite a bit. The one caveat to chilling out at the bluffs was that the lounges lacked cushions for some reason—almost like the hotel ran out of them and decided the pool and beach chairs were a higher priority. Not a big deal, as the chairs were pretty comfy to begin with, but it felt like a missed opportunity to create another truly relaxing space.

Great staff
The first thing you notice when checking into the Andaz Wailea is not necessarily how young and energetic the staff is (which they are), but how happy they all seem to be. To give you an idea of the staff’s efficiency, check-in is done not at a front desk, but on a greeter’s iPad while you relax on a couch with a cool tropical drink in hand. We found the concierge staff in the lobby (working on beautiful new Macs no less) to be very helpful and knowledgable with restaurant and snorkeling recommendations. And down at the pools, staff patiently followed us around while we picked out the perfect lounge, with water and towels at the ready. We consistently found everyone from the servers in the restaurants to the maid staff in the hallways ready with an “Aloha” and a smile.


Our buffet bounty with French toast still to come

Our buffet bounty with French toast still to come

The breakfast
Breakfast is served in the beautiful Ka’ana Kitchen restaurant, which features sweeping views of the pools and ocean. While they offer an a la carte menu, we always opted for the buffet, which we found consistently delicious.

Ka’ana Kitchen juice bar (left), more buffet options (center) and hot grill stations (right)

Ka’ana Kitchen juice bar (left), more buffet options (center) and hot grill stations (right)

Along with the usual fruit, various meats, breads, and cereals, the buffet features a made-to-order omelet station with all the trimmings you’d expect, and a hot food station where you can request pancakes, French toast, waffles, and surely anything else you can think of. They also have a great juice bar, where a chef is continually making fresh fruit drinks and green juices. And did I mention the entire outdoor seating area is discreetly mesh-draped to keep flies out? Yep, it is.


Courtesy car
Right from the get-go, not only are the smiling valets lightning-fast and efficient, but they’ll also arrange a hotel courtesy car to take you wherever you need to go in the nearby area. We used this service twice to head out to nearby restaurants, and always found it incredibly easy and quick. Once you’re done, just call the hotel and they’ll send the car back out to get you.


Lower lagoon pool, and Morimoto restaurant in foreground (left)

Lower lagoon pool, and Morimoto restaurant in foreground (left)

Signature restaurant: Morimoto
The hotel’s signature restaurant is Morimoto, touted as “a blend of Japanese and western fare using fresh, locally sourced ingredients.” Sushi here was very tasty, and we especially loved the signature ishi yaki buri bop dish, featuring yellowtail cooked in a hot stone bowl right at the table. But be sure to make a reservation as the place is quite popular!


Colorful guests roaming the grounds

Colorful guests roaming the grounds

The spa
With spa credits to burn, I only had time to use a day pass for about an hour, but it gave me a chance to browse the facilities on the men’s side. For $45, you can have access to the (clothing-optional) space boasting a steam room, sauna, hot plunge pool (why not cold?), standard shower, sink, and locker areas. Not quite worth the $45 cost in my opinion, though if you do a treatment, these facilities are complimentary. My wife got a pedicure at the salon but was able to quickly browse the space on the women’s side and confirm that it was about the same as the men’s.


The beach from above

The beach from above

Along with a large fitness center, included in your stay at the Andaz is unlimited use of a GoPro camera, snorkel/fin/bodyboard rental, stand-up paddleboard lessons, guided kayak tours, hula and ukulele lessons, pilates and fitness classes, and single and tandem bike rentals, among others. You’ll never be short of things to do here. And of course if you wanted to rent a kayak or paddleboard and go out on your own, you can do that as well. It’s just not complimentary outside of the class format. Having brought our own snorkels and masks, we found the complimentary fin rental to be absolutely indispensable during our stay.


Sunset from the bluffs

Sunset from the bluffs

Book with Virtuoso
During the period of our stay between Thanksgiving and Christmas, the rate for a partial ocean view room was $499, and suites started at $799. We’ve seen rates as low as $329 at this property depending on date and the room category choosen. If you have Hyatt points, those can give you options, as well. Note that the hotel does charge a $40 resort fee per day, so keep that in mind if you go the points route.

Because we booked through a Virtuoso travel agent, the resort fee was waived. I always recommend making hotel bookings through a travel agent because of the extra perks you get; in our case, the ladies over at Zō’etic Travel helped us secure free breakfast for two each morning in Ka’ana Kitchen, get a $100 spa credit, waive the $40 resort fee, and receive an upgrade at check-in, based on availability. Because the hotel was running pretty full during our stay, we didn’t get the free upgrade to a suite until our third and final night there. So going during low season would increase your odds for sure.


Lobby view at dusk

Lobby view at dusk

The bottom line
The Hyatt Andaz at Wailea is a great new addition to the Maui luxury scene, and while it already has the foundation in place to compete with its area rivals, it has some easy improvements to make to ensure that will really shine. Its intimate feel is its strongest asset, and with its modern, unique touches and relatively reasonable cost, I think it will gain a loyal following of luxury travelers returning year after year.

For more on the Hyatt Andaz at Wailea, check out

Beautifully manicured bluffs
Swimming in one of the infinity pools
Looking back at the Andaz from the shore
The beach from above
Lower lagoon pool, and Morimoto restaurant in foreground (left)
Infinity pools and lower lagoon pool, as seen from our suite
Ka’ana Kitchen juice bar (left), more buffet options (center) and hot grill stations (right)
Ka’ana Kitchen buffet spread
Lobby view at dusk
Adults-only pool at sunset
Colorful guests roaming the grounds
Suite bedroom
Suite bathroom
Suite living area
Our buffet bounty with French toast still to come
Entry corridor at the Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort
The beach
View from the lobby
Sunset from the bluffs
Lobby at sunset
Standard sized room with sheer curtain lowered
Standard sized room

The post Hotel Review: Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort appeared first on Johnny Jet.

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Travel Tip of the Day: Choose a Wide-Body Plane

American Airlines 777Choose a Wide-Body Plane
If you hold elite status and are looking to get upgraded, your best chance is to choose a wide-body plane, which will have a much larger first or business class section than narrow-body planes.

For example, my dad and I flew LAX to Miami on American Airlines (AA) two weeks ago. Most of AA’s planes on this route are narrow bodies, like 737s, 757s or A321s, but when I booked our tickets, I looked at all the planes and noticed that they also fly a few wide bodies. There was a 777-200, which has 37 business class seats—many more than a 737, which has 16. They even had a 777-300 with 44 business class seats and much nicer premium seats, but unfortunately the flight time was too early in the morning for my dad.

Bottom line: Because I booked us on a wide-body plane, we both got upgraded. I got upgraded for free (thanks to my Executive Platinum Status) and my dad got upgraded for $150 using my status and my upgrade certificates.



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The Flying Life

Ear Pain Agony
JetBlue Airliner MCO
Jet Blue landing at Orlando International Airport credit:Timothy Taaffe

If you have experienced the agony of ear pain while flying after a change in cabin pressure, you have probably tried different methods of relief. Chewing gum, blowing your nose, cupping your ears as you descend, maybe one of them will work or not. For me, nothing seemed to work. The result might be just a mild case of feeling my ears were stuffed with cotton and hearing muffled sounds for the next three days, to a gut- wrenching- splitting headache for several days. I would just have to endure the pain of changes in cabin pressure and hope for the best. But several years ago I found something that has worked for me and has never failed to eliminate the ear pain of air pressure change. There are several different brands of pressure relief ear plugs. I can’t tell you exactly how they work. The brand I’ve used called Earplanes has never let me down. The best news is that they come in sizes for adults and children.


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Giant Televisions and Accessories

Samsung 65- inch Ultra 4K HD 3D Smart LED TV (2015 model)


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Samsung S-UHD TV 4K


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