January 15, 2013 One week, around the world, 37,000 miles overview and planning
Why do I do things like this? I think I am crazy sometimes. This trip was not to any destination but to enjoy the magic of flight, and boy did I enjoy it.
Sunday January 6th
Phoenix to Chicago, United First
Chicago to Frankfurt, Lufthansa First
Monday January 7th
Frankfurt to Bangkok, Thai First
Tuesday January 8th
Bangkok to Rangoon, Thai Business
Rangoon to Bangkok, Thai Economy
Bangkok to Seoul, Asiana Business
Wednesday January 9th
Seoul to Los Angeles, Korean Air First
HGI LAX Airport
Thursday January 10th
Los Angeles to Seoul, Korean Air First
Friday, January 11th
Seoul to Bangkok, Korean Air First
Saturday, January 11th
Bangkok to Singapore, Singapore Air Business
Singapore to Hong Kong, Singapore Air Suites (First)
Hong Kong to San Francisco, Singapore Air Suites (First)
Sunday January 12th
San Francisco to Phoenix, United First
Planning for this trip began in April 2012 when I was presented with an opportunity. You see Burma had just floated its currency so I was able like a few other to buy premium cabins for a heavily discounted rate, say 90-95% off normal prices. So the first ticket was Rangoon-LAX-Rangoon, starting with the Thai Economy segment on the 8th. As cool as this trip was, I had a serious problem. Do you see it, yeah I had to get my butt to Rangoon.
I basically sat on the ticket until July 2012 when I decided to actually fly the ticket. Well the outbound was easy; I grabbed United Airlines reward ticket on United to Frankfurt and then Thai into Bangkok and Rangoon. I didn’t really want United to Frankfurt, I wanted Lufthansa but Lufthansa generally doesn’t open reward seats until about two weeks out from departure. For the return I booked a business class reward ticket on ANA. However, after I booked the reward ticket home a gift from the gods arrived. Singapore Airlines, the prissiest airline in existence made a mistake. The mistake opened up all premium cabins for reward redemptions except for A380 space. I jumped on that faster than fat kid chasing cake. With the Singapore mistake I was able to lock down most of my ticketing. Lufthansa would have to wait for start of January.
Let’s fast forward to the fall of 2012. Singapore Air decided to give me another present. (I love you too) When I booked my tickets originally, SQ F was not available for redemption on the A380. While that policy has since been changed, it was in effect when I booked in July. However, Singapore decided to adjust their schedule for the winter season. They moved the A380 off of JFK-FRA-SIN and moved it on to SIN-HKG-SFO. That’s right I got subbed on to the A380 in first class, now suites class. For people who live for premium travel, this is the holy grail of redemptions and I have it. #winning. With the substitution of the A380 I declared that I was going, it was a sign that I was meant to go on this trip.
Hotel planning was pretty easy. I generally book the cheapest Hilton available. I have top tier status with Hilton mostly because I stayed a month in Austin Airport Hilton in 2012. My Girlfriend and I are both big fans of the Conrad Brand, so I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to stay a night at the Bangkok Conrad even though I would have to cab it into and out of Bangkok.
Finally, in the two weeks before departure all I needed to do was get a seat on Lufthansa F. I wanted the Lufthansa seat for two reasons, one it’s a better product than United Airlines international First and it grants access to the First Class Lounges in Frankfurt or Munich. Two weeks before departure I grabbed a Lufthansa F seat out of Detroit. While this solved the lounge problem it was still on an inferior product, the Lufthansa F seats on their A330s/A340s out of Frankfurt have an older product. The best seat would be on an updated 744, which actually comes with a bed. Thankfully, the day before departure I was able to grab a seat on Lufthansa’s flight out of Chicago on an updated 744.
So for a trip I started planning in April I didn’t finish planning unit the day before departure. Anyways enough about how it came together, on with the show.
Tags: First Class