Posts Tagged ‘plane’

Exploring the Sólheimasandur Plane Crash Site in Southern Iceland


Wreckage from the 1973 DC-3 on Sólheimasandur Beach plus a red coat and a rainbow

The Sólheimasandur plane wreck in Southern Iceland is a must-see destination for aviation geeks and photographers alike.

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Moody clouds and rainbows add Icelandic atmosphere to the U.S. Navy Douglas Super DC-3

Located on the black sand of Sólheimasandur Beach, on the coast of Southern Iceland, the wreckage of the US Navy DC-3 plane is worth exploring.


The DC-3 fuselage adds an unexpected element to Iceland’s already dramatic landscape

The Sólheimasandur plane crash site is not morbid — all the crew members survived the crash landing which was caused due to extreme icing that forced an emergency landing on the black sand of Sólheimasandur beach.

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Left: You can still faintly read the United States Navy on the fuselage Right: wires dangling from the cockpit

Rarely can you get this close to plane wreckage. You can even climb inside.

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The Sólheimasandur plane wreck has been hit by graffiti artists. I don’t think the pink works.

According to Jórunn Sjöfn Guðlaugsdóttir, our photo guide in Iceland, the plane wreck site is much easier to reach since markers have been placed on the beach to guide tourists to the site. But you definitely need to be driving a 4×4 since the sand is soft in some parts.


It’s amazing that you can actually walk up to (and into) the DC-3 wreckage

the Sólheimasandur plane wreck site can be reached off the ring road. Between the Skógafoss waterfall and Vik. The GPS coordinates are 63.459523,-19.364618.

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Sólheimasandur is a popular stop for aviation geeks and photographers visiting Iceland

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Dramatic clouds, rainbows, and black sand at Sólheimasandur wreck site

Visiting the wreckage on Sólheimasandur Beach is a bit surreal. The plane feels like a leftover prop from a movie shoot.


Anastasia’s red coat adds a nice pop of color against the black sand of Sólheimasandur beach




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The Global Entry Trusted Traveler Program Rocks: Why You Should Get It

Big Ben Drive By

The Global Entry Trusted Traveler Program Rocks. You should apply for it (assuming you don’t have a criminal record).

I’ve been a big fan the Global Entry Trusted Traveler program (known as GOES) since I first joined a few years ago, and am convinced that the application fee is the best $100 I’ve ever spent on travel (and it’s good for 5 years).

While the original appeal of the Global Entry was that it allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States, now the benefits of TSA Precheck are good enough on their own to justify applying for it. Global Entry Trusted Travelers get to use the TSA Precheck lane and seriously cuts down on the time spent going through airport security.

TSA Precheck is one US program that just keeps getting better and better. Sure– it’s not a guarantee that you’ll precheck every time you fly, but as a frequent traveler, I’ve seen this program improve by leaps and bounds.

On my last two international flights leaving from LAX, I’ve gotten to use TSA Precheck… and it is AWESOME. I didn’t have to take my computer out of my bag, or remove my shoes and jacket. I got through security in less than one minute. When I arrived at Newark from Heathrow, I got off the plane and headed to the bank of Global Entry kiosks and got through customs in less than 2 minutes. Again… AWESOME.

The Global Entry program now allows children to be members, so there are fewer reasons not to apply. I think it’s worth joining even if you don’t travel abroad two or more times a year. If ever travel by plane and value your time, take the time to apply. It seriously cuts down on the hassle involved with airplane travel. You have to schedule an interview to determine if you’re qualified but it’s so worth it.

The bottom line is if cutting down on the hassles associated with airport security is worth $20 a year to you, you should apply.

Learn more about Global Entry (and if you can qualify for it) by checking out the Global Entry website.

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Jet Set Pets: Interview with Miles Kelly, aka the Points Puppy

Just winding down from another beautiful, but somewhat chilly Miami day

Editor’s Note: I love to travel and I love dogs… as part of my series on Pet-friendly travel,  I thought I’d do an interview with one of my favorite jet set pets, Miles Kelly aka The Points Puppy (his person is The Points Guy). Miles is so cute that he’s had Donna Karan stop in her tracks and comment- Cruella DeVille style- on the beauty of his coloring. You can follow Miles on Instagram where he’s known as @BlueFrenchieMiles. – Jen

Vital stats: 26.5 pounds

Name: Miles Kelly

Breed: French Bulldog

Astrological sign: Libra

How many miles have you flown: About 25,000 and many more to come!

Left: Another day, another mile flown Right: Ugh, I ordered champagne- not this nasty sparkling wine nonsense! Take it away

Favorite way to travel: First class of course.

Favorite airline: American Airlines because my first time flying with my dad the flight attendants gave me wings and a junior aviator log book with lots of compliments about how well behaved I was.

Window or aisle?: I prefer an aisle seat, but my dad always makes me sit by the window boxed in so I can’t escape!

Favorite hotel (or hotel chain) and why?: The W Westwood LA is my favorite hotel because it has a great outdoor restaurant that I can grab lunch with my dad at and there’s great green space out front that I can run around on during our early morning walks to Starbucks.

Quick trip to LA for the Grammys, but having anxiety about leaving this little nugget for the first time!

Left: Yes, hi I’d like the bone-in ribeye (hold the ribeye) and one bowl of Fiji with 6 ice cubes. Gracias  Right: I can haz suite upgrade

Favorite pet friendly place you’ve visited?: The dog beach in Bonita Springs, I got to make so many new friends and rode on a boat with my dad to get there.

Biggest travel pet peeve(no pun intended)? When I get off a long flight and really need to pee and everyone mobs me trying to show me love. Don’t get me wrong – I love giving kisses but please just let me do my business!

Left: Busy day in the life of a puppy blogger Right: Are you tracking all of your miles and points on Awardwallet?

Do you have any tips for pet owners traveling with their dogs?:

Don’t stress out, if your owner is stressed then it will translate to you. It’s much easier than it seems, just make sure you plan extra time because a lot of airlines will make you check in extra early and security takes longer. Some flight attendants can be rude, but my advice is to just kill them with kindness and good behavior and everything will be fine!

What’s your dream destination?: I’d like to visit my homeland of France and do some major shopping with my dad.

I missed my Dad so much… Never go on a business trip again

All images used in this post are courtesy of Brian Kelly (aka The Points Guy) who is worth following
for great tips on how to maximize your loyalty points for travel.

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My Emirates First Experience Aboard an A380

Getting comfortable in Suite 1E with a glass of Dom Perignon

In March I flew in Emirates First Class from Dubai to London, aboard an A380. The experience was highly enjoyable. Emirates has fantastic crew from many different countries, which reflects the international appeal of the airline.

The First Class Suites, which can even be closed if you want additional privacy, come complete with your own private mini-bar featuring 2 kinds of water. I was a little shocked it was not refrigerated, but I wasn’t complaining.

There are is also an Onboard Lounge behind business class where you can socialize and get something to nibble on or a drink, as well as an additional First Class Social Area with a bar, but with no bartender.

I shot some video during this flight and hope you enjoy it.

The seat controls for the Emirates First Suites. There are onboard power outlets too.

Left: Truth: the tea tasted like Arabic coffee. Right: My personal mini-bar

I love the I Dream of Jeannie-inspired hats and scarves worn by female members of the Emirates crew

My only issue with this flight was that I was not offered a sleep suit (perhaps because it was day time flight). I’m pretty sure if I would have asked for one, a sleep suit would have been magically delivered to my seat/suite.  The flight had wifi, and I was a bit surprised that First Class passengers had to pay to use it. Fortunately it was a Saturday so it was a non-issue.

Paulo, my Italian-born Flight Attendant, made sure my Champagne glass stayed full.

Left: The caviar course Right: The Thai chicken curry

Then there is the food. It’s fine dining in the sky. From the Arabic coffee and dates prior to take off, to the extensive menu with selections ranging from miso marinated salmon to beef. The caviar portion was generous and traditional local Arabic mezze platter that were straight up good (not just “good for airplane food.”). The Thai chicken curry which absolutely the best in-flight meal I’ve ever had. It was followed by delicious Arabic sweets, including katayef and cashew nut baklava.

The Emirates Mezze Platter paired nicely with the Dom Perignon

The shower suites are off the hook– you can book a time to take your shower and are allowed 15 minutes in the suite (you get 5 minutes of shower water time, and an additional 10 minutes for using the rest of the facilities.) The water pressure is strong and the shower suites– painted with the architecture of the Dubai skyline- are jammed with amenities including a hairdryer.

The shower suites feature flattering lighting and scenic painting of the Dubai skyline

Left: The First Class Social Area Right: The Onboard Lounge, located behind business class

There is not one bar but two on board, should you not be satisfied with the fabulous service offered by the Emirates flight attendants. I felt the need to try out both the First Class Social Area (located at the front of the cabin, near the shower suites) as well as the more happening Onboard Lounge (located behind Business Class). The Onboard Lounge comes complete with a bartender and benches to sit on. I think the Onboard Lounge is the better in-flight bar option.

The First Class Social Area comes stocked with beverages and snacks

The First Class Suites come complete with Do Not Disturb Signs

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Giveaway! 5 American AIrlines Systemwide Upgrades expiring 2/28

737 at DCA with Capitol in the background (photo courtesy of Taylor Michie of The Racing Winds)

My Life’s a Trip has 5 American Airlines Systemwide Upgrades from Jen’s own personal stash to give away to our blog readers. They expire on Feb 28, 2013.

Upgradable to next class of service from almost any paid fare based upon availabilty. Travel must be used by Feb 28th.  They may not confirm immediately but can be waitlisted.  Must be on AA “metal” not codeshares with BA or Iberia or others.

If you have travel plans on American before February 28th, please:

1) make a note that you’re emailing me in the comments section below.

2) Email me your name (as it appears on your American reservation) and record locator number to DO NOT POST THIS INFO IN THE COMMENTS SECTION. The Systemwides will designated to the first flyers who complete these directions completely.

The systemwides will be given away on a first come, first served basis (please allow up to 24 hours for us to respond to your email). These Systemwides have no cash value and can’t be sold.

We will do our best to get you upgraded but not responsible for something not working out.

Good luck!!!

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