trip reports

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Review: Qatar Airways Airbus A380 First Class, Bangkok – Doha

Jul 07 2016

I was super excited for this flight because it’s an aircraft and a first class I hadn’t ever flown before. This would be the second of three Gulf carrier Airbus A380s I’d get to sample on this trip, which was exciting in itself for me. It wasn’t just one airline, it was all three of the Gulf carriers and sampling literally the best of what each had to offer over the course of about a week.

This would be the shortest of the flights, costing 45,000 miles and $22.35 in taxes apiece. Bangkok – Doha is less than seven hours. Qatar Airways only offers first class on their A380, and has only regularly scheduled the plane on medium-haul routes like London and Paris in the past. (There’s an A380 scheduled to Sydney starting in mid-September, but Melbourne and Auckland remain on Boeing 777s and US routes are either on 777s or Airbus A350s.)

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Review: The Other Thai Airways First Class Lounge in Bangkok

Jul 04 2016

The Thai Airways first class lounge that most people are familiar with is on the airport’s D concourse and it’s right across the corridor from the airline’s spa.

Qatar Airways arranges lounge access through Thai, but their flight departs from the E concourse. As a result they arrange first class lounge access in the E concourse first class lounge — which is basically a big deserted room inside the Royal Orchid (business class) lounge.

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Review: Emirates A380 First Class, Dubai – Bangkok and Premium Arrival Service Bangkok

Jun 26 2016

The flight was sort of a ‘freebie’ since I was already booking Houston – Dubai anyway under Alaska Airlines’ pre-devaluation pricing it was only 10,000 miles more to go to Bangkok. And I was getting that in first class. On an A380.

I decided to test booking planeside meet-and-greet through Bangkok Flight Services with a golf cart from the plane to immigration. Here’s what they offer:

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Review: Emirates First Class A380, Houston – Dubai

Jun 19 2016

I’ve been remiss in writing the details of my trip to the Mideast and Asia redeeming miles for first class on the Airbus A380s of all 3 of the big Gulf carriers: Emirates, Etihad, and Qatar.

It’s was a great quick trip to eat in Bangkok and see the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, and I’m determined to return to sharing it with you.

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New Etihad First Class Lounge Finally Open!

May 30 2016

Etihad has opened its new first class lounge at their Abu Dhabi airport home. First class passengers no longer need to use the ‘roped off section’ of the business class lounge, that’s no really different than the rest of the lounge except that a staff member will bring you drinks (and your spa treatment is free).

There’s there’s cooked to order food including a tasting menu. There’s a cigar lounge (unclear whether cigars are complimentary or paid) with recommendations on pairing each cigar with whiskey or cognac. There’s both a Six Senses Spa and Style & Shave as well as a fitness room.

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A Quick Jaunt to Southern India: Etihad First Class Lounge, and Etihad First Class Abu Dhabi – Washington Dulles

Previous Installments: Introduction and Trip Planning Etihad Lounge, Washington Dulles Etihad First Class, Washington Dulles – Abu Dhabi Etihad Business Class Lounge, Abu Dhabi Terminal 1, and Abu Dhabi – Chennai Business Class Park Hyatt Chennai Eating South Indian Food in Chennai Chennai – Abu Dhabi, Etihad Business Class Transit security entering terminal 3, just like the regular security queue after passport control for Abu Dhabi-originating passengers, drops you off right in front of Etihad’s business and first class lounges (which share a common entrance). The lounges are upstairs, so you can either take an elevator up or a stairway where you’re greeted by Etihad agents ready to check your credentials, guide you to the appropriate lounge, and encourage you to make a spa booking. I visited this Etihad First Class lounge earlier in the…

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A Quick Jaunt to Southern India: Etihad First Class, Washington Dulles – Abu Dhabi

Previous Installments: Introduction and Trip Planning Etihad Lounge, Washington Dulles I flew Etihad first class earlier this year both New York JFK – Abu Dhabi and also Abu Dhabi – Dusseldorf. In some ways this Etihad first class flight was better than either of those, though my return flight to DC would be better still. Etihad’s premium cabin award availability, certainly booking far in advance, is amazing. At times they’ve seemed to go through cycles where their entire first class cabin or at least the majority of it on both the New York and Washington DC routes has been open for awards. Most of the time there are 2 first class award seats. And from the US they partner only with American, which means the bulk of demand for the seats comes from American’s frequent…

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A Quick Jaunt to Southern India: Etihad First Class and a Park Hyatt Chennai Suite (Introduction)

I recently spent four nights in Chennai, India flying Eithad first class (business for the regional flight) and staying in a suite at the Park Hyatt there. On the surface it may seem strange to fly to India for just four nights on leisure, as well as to choose to travel to Chennai as a tourist. But it made sense to me for several reasons. I have way too many miles. With large balances in both US Airways Dividend Miles and American AAdvantage, my points stash will become even more concentrated. Despite three international first class award trips in 2013, I end the year with more points than I began. So my willingness – and even eagerness – to spend points is high. Though I’ve been to India, I’ve never visited Southern India. Chennai is…

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Abu Dhabi – Dusseldorf – London, Etihad First Class and British Airways Club Europe

Trip Report Index: Introducing and Strategy New York JFK – Abu Dhabi, Etihad First Class Park Hyatt Dubai Touring the Burj al Arab Tea at the Burj al Arab Abu Dhabi – Male, Etihad Business Class Male – Kaadedhdhoo, Maldivian and Transfer to the Park Hyatt Park Hyatt Hadahaa Maldives Kooddoo-Male-Abu Dhabi, Maldivian and Etihad Business Class Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Abu Dhabi – Dusseldorf – London, Etihad First Class and British Airways Club Europe London Heathrow – San Francisco, British Airways New First Class When I originally booked the trip we were scheduled to fly Etihad First Class Abu Dhabi – New York JFK – Washington National. But a friend was getting married in San Francisco the day after I was scheduled to make it back to the US and had to find a…

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