I’ve had this trip in the works for a while, and now it is finally here. I booked a few final pieces just recently as availability opened up.
Map courtesy of the excellent gcmap.com
This trip was built around availability for Etihad First Class Apartments on the A380 between Abu Dhabi and Melbourne. I booked that, and eventually the other segments fell into place. I also was able to snag American Airlines First Class between Hong Kong and Dallas. I don’t normally redeem for long haul flights on US carriers, but, the fact that I found availability for 2 on that route is rare enough that some call it a unicorn, so I figured it was worth while. Both of these were booked before the big AA devaluation. I paid 120,000 AA miles plus $72 for 2 of us between Abu Dhabi to Melbourne, and 135,000 AA miles plus $75 for 2 of us from Hong Kong to Milwaukee. Finally burning some of my AA miles after being a Star Alliance flyer for so long.
To get to Abu Dhabi, we are taking Virgin Atlantic Upper Class to Dubai from Chicago via London. Virgin doesn’t have the most modern or luxurious in flight product anymore, but it has been something I’ve wanted to experience for a long time, especially after I flew on Virgin Australia several years ago. The Virgin Clubhouse at Heathrow is supposed to be an excellent lounge, so I’m looking forward to that as well. I’ve had Delta miles for a long time (no expiration!), so I’m glad to finally use some of them for this redemption. There generally aren’t a lot of great options using Skymiles, so I was happy to only spend 70,000 Skypesos plus $52 per ticket for this leg of the trip.
As for hotels, we are booked at the Al Maha Resort in Dubai, a very expensive (70k SPG points or over $1000 per night!) but unique all-inclusive resort in the desert near Dubai. We’re also spending a few nights at the Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi where we upgraded with a Diamond Suite Upgrade. One the long way home, we are also booked at the Park Hyatt Sydney where I’ve long wanted to visit and then night at an old favorite, the W in Hong Kong.
It is an exciting trip, with some unique experiences and I’m really looking forward to it. I don’t really maintain a bucket list, but this trip definitely has a few things I’ve been hoping to experience.
I always appreciate social media follows and interactions, and I’ll do my best to keep up to date with this trip in real time. Please join me along the way!