- Trip Report: UAE in the Summer
- Review: Star Alliance First Class Lounge LAX
- Etihad First Class Review LAX-AUH (Los Angeles to Abu Dhabi)
- Review: Ajman Saray, A Luxury Collection Resort
- Review: Le Meridien Fairway Dubai
- Review: Sheraton Deira
- Review: Le Royal Meridien Abu Dhabi
- Review: Hilton Al Ain
- Review: Crown Plaza Sohar
- Review: Le Meridien Al Aqah Beach Resort
- Emirates First Class Lounge DXB Review
- Qantas First Class Review DXB-LHR
- Review: British Airways Concorde Room (First Class Lounge) LHR
- British Airways 747-400 First Class Review LHR-DFW
A couple of months ago I took a trip with Jamison Ng, a friend of mine that many in the points world might also know. He writes the blog Points Summary (don’t worry, I gave him hell for picking a blog name so similar to mine) and was the one who set up this trip. We were also joined by Jonathan Khoo, who writes the Wanderlusty blog, plus another non-blogger.
Jamison and I flew out from LAX where both of us are based, and were on Etihad First Class. We booked by using 90K AA miles each, which is a ton of miles but hurts a little less given that it’s a 16.5+ hour flight and includes a chauffeur on both ends. I earned my miles from the now expired 100K Citi AA Executive credit card bonus and a lot of MS.
While in the UAE Jamison put together a really awesome itinerary for us. We started in the Emirate of Ajman, and then did a circle trip through Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Sohar (in Oman), Al Aqah, and back to Dubai. We had a rental car throughout in this car-friendly country so it was easy to get around, and we were able to visit almost all of the Emirates.
We made sure to have two rooms between the four of us in every city, and since Jamison and I are both have SPG Platinum status we were the ones that made the reservations. We were both upgraded to suites in almost every hotel we stayed at due to our status, and some of these hotels had very nice rooms. Late summer is low season due to the extreme heat (I’m talking about 110-120 F every day), so the hotels were cheap to book using cash rates, and even cheaper when considering we were sharing a room with another person. Our stay at the Le Meridien Al Aqah Beach Resort actually became quite comical – here’s a teaser of what our room included:
To make it an even sweeter deal, Jamison let me know of several best rate guarantee opportunities at these hotels. Not only did we get cheap rates of only $60-$80 at most of these hotels, but we also scored an extra 2,000 SPG points for the BRG. You can read more about BRG strategy in this post I wrote earlier.
We all split up once we eventually returned to Dubai. I wanted to try something different on my return, so I decided to use another 90K AA miles (from MS) to fly from Dubai to London on Qantas First Class since I loved it so much the first time. I then tried British Airways First Class on their 747-400 from London to Dallas, a flight I’d come to seriously regret. Let’s just say I have no plans to fly British Airways again anytime soon.
I know some of my pictures on previous reviews have been pretty poor, but all the ones you see from this report should be MUCH better since I upgraded my camera. This is a long trip report so it might take a while to finish, but I’ll at least get the first few out while I’m still a “featured” BoardingArea blogger.