Monday, December 18, 2006
Sleepy makes the grade
As some of you may know¸ Sleepy is the little bear that travels with me in my briefcase. His history goes back many years; he was a freebie from the Travelodge during a US political convention back in Philadelphia.

During my trip to Singapore, Singapore Airlines presented Sleepy with his frequent flyer card (a non-accrual account, well, we don’t actually pay for his tickets).

Sleepy also got a personal letter from the CEO of S
ingapore Airlines welcoming him to Kris Flyer.

Why did I ask them to enrol him
? Well, a bit of mischief and a lot of “why not?” We can fill the hours in the air thinking of all sorts of things… and as so many of you ask about Sleepy, I thought he should have his own card.

I must admit I was surprised that Singapore Airlines went along with my request; they are, after all, thought of as the more conservative of airlines. It just goes to show that one’s perceptions can turn into prejudices. So, even though he might not always enjoy his own seat at least now he belongs.

I will keep you updated with other airlines and hotels and their response to my request to give Sleepy his own membership in their loyalty schemes.

I am now en route to New York (United Airlines, miles going into Mileage plus.) If I want to earn maximum bonus miles I have to fly via Washington, ever since UA sold the direct route to Delta. I still cannot quite believe that Star Alliance does not have a non-stop route from London to New York. It seems like such a huge hole in the Star network (well, as seen by those of us who cross the Atlantic).

During the course of the week I saw the pictures of United Airline’s upgraded first glass suite. Although I have always thought the existing first class bed is excellent – it’s just very comfy – the new one looks impressive. For those rare times when I can upgrade to the very front it will be most welcome. Now we just have to wait for their business class plans. Please, United Airlines, don’t allow your distractions about buying Continental or anyone else come to that, to put you off what must be done. Flat bed in business!

Just to give you an idea of my week ahead. I am filming in New York, which should keep me out of trouble. But I am also hoping to have a briefing from American Airlines on the year gone and the one ahead. I will report to you anything of interest I learn. AA is a fascinating airline – a Giant, based in Dallas – I will get back to you.

Getting a frequently flyer card for a teddy bear sounds like something I'd do. I've had the same bear since I was six years old, and we've travelled everywhere together. And getting him a frequent flyer account is so cutesy that it just might work (and it did work).
Congratulations, Sleepy ! When are you guys coming to Nigeria?
I am so bored with United's Business Class seats on the 777 LHR - ORD run. But I was surprised when I bumped into a web site recently from a company in England that MAKES these suites. They're up to $100,000 each. No wonder UAL is not investing so quickly. Besides, I'd sooner they invest in "in-flight" Internet access.
Haha this is great! Richard, you have to be the most comical of all the CNN correspondents! Seriously could I get an autographed photo? I just graduated from college and it'd be the best grad gift ever!
Congratulations to sleepy,i guess the next step would be to give Richard his Cabin crew Liscence ,after all this Jetting around he started to look like one of us more than a passenger ,merry christmas
Congratulations Sleepy, Welcome to Singapore Airlines! I hope to see you and Sleepy on board some day.
Well, looks like you are having fun traveling. I'm waiting for your next show, because I'm wondering why you would go to New York without flying first class . Isn't CNN paying ? Just kidding, but I think it would be nice to show us a little more how is first class. And the cameraman would very much like it !
Having moved, I've not had my CNN International for almost 2 months! I'm missing Quest (and BBC for that matter) so much!! So glad to find your blog! Sleepy is so cute; great travel companion. Stay safe in all your travels! Can't wait to get CNNI back. Take care, Alicia In Alaska
Congratulations, Sleepy! (Hehehehehehehe) When are you coming to Pantanal of Mato Grosso do Sul(Brazil)?
I couldn't agree more with your question about the missing London - New York route from United Airlines. I'm not as hard core as you though Richard. I'd rather the 7 hr flt with a non-Star Alliance airline and miss the miles than make such a detour. Vote with your feet and maybe they'll bring the route back...
Congratulations to Sleepy!

I can't wait to show this blog to my mom and grandma. We always have fun watching your interviews.

If the other commenter gets an autographed picture, I'd like one too please haha
Dear Quest !

Lovely to watch your show and also to read your blog. I would suggest you to discover Southeast Europe (SEE), it s a beautiful and full of contradictions. Albania's, Croatia's and Montenegro's coast, Macedonian wine and fish from Ohrid lake, and as u succeded to cook some sushi, I am sure u ll be able to cook some Pleskavica in Serbia. More examples to be mentioned, but not ruining all the surprise ;)

On and on ...

... P.S. Sleepy is also welcome here, and I am sure if you make friends with the check in guys in SEE, they will give some miles to Sleepy.

Cheers
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