The captain came on the intercom to inform us that our flight time would be 16.5 hours long. Then he invited us to relax, lie-flat, as Etihad proudly presented - my first class dream service. I half expected Lumière to serenade me when I boarded the Etihad first class flight from Abu Dhabi to Los Angeles.
Abu Dhabi airport allows American citizens to clear Immigration before they get to the United States. In theory, it's a convenient way for American travelers to deal with security before arriving in the US. In reality, it has a couple drawbacks. First, the Eithad Premium Lounge is located before Pre-Clearance, a factor that must be taken into account before having too many glasses of champagne at the lounge.
If you're a points person, chances are you will find yourself in Abu Dhabi, my 76th 'country', for one night while to catch your flight to somewhere else. I've never had a desire to visit Abu Dhabi and opted to spend a month in Dubai instead. From what I saw in my short time there, Abu Dhabi is beautiful and may require a more extended visit.
It is ironic to say that the relaxing start to my vacation was en route back to the US. The journey to Los Angeles began in Cairo aboard Etihad, stopped in Abu Dhabi for a night, and resumed the next day on the same carrier but different plane.
Hyatt Regency Sharm el-Sheikh Review: The original plan was to run the Athens Marathon then go straight to Sharm for R&R. Then the plan changed to go to Cairo and Luxor and end the trip in Sharm.
If you're going to the Sheraton Luxor Resort I hope you stay in room 408 which is the best room in the hotel. The club level is the only way to go as the service is absolutely terrible everywhere else. I'm going to go in reverse order and start with the ugly, proceed to the bad, and end up with the good.
"I come to see Bheramids, "I said in my Iraqi accent hoping to get a good deal on the tour. That's the most fitting way to begin my Cairo Travel Guide because everything in Cairo is based on your ability to negotiate. In turn, it will be the most laborious part of your Egypt experience. If you fancy yourself a street hustler or if you deem yourself to be a great attorney, please visit Cairo to get a real lesson in contract law.