There is excellent award space availability from London-LHR to Abu Dhabi-AUH on Etihad’s A380 First Apartment in 2016. The award space shows hundreds of seats available from April – October 2016, with many flights showing space for 3, 4, 5 or even 6 award tickets in the First Class cabin. These seats are bookable using 40,000 American Airlines AAdvantage miles each way.
As a quick recap, here is a list of the routes that Etihad currently operates using their A380 to/from Abu Dhabi:London-LHR – 3,432 miles New York-JFK – 6,867 miles Melbourne-MEL (beginning June 1, 2016) – 7,235 miles Sydney-SYD – 7,492 miles Best Values
With the American Airlines devaluation occurring on March 22, 2016, I’ve been itching to burn my AAdvantage miles. I’ve had my eye on the be-all and end-all First Class award with American Airlines miles: The Etihad First Apartment.
Etihad currently operates the following routes using their A380 to/from Abu Dhabi:London-LHR – 3,432 miles New York-JFK – 6,867 miles Melbourne-MEL (beginning June 1, 2016) – 7,235 miles Sydney-SYD – 7,492 miles Best Values
The number of miles required for each will vary, along with the flying times:
40,000 miles (goes up to 62,500 miles on Mach 22, 2016)
London-LHR → Abu [...]
Our experience with the Thai Royal First Ground Service was short and speedy — just like it’s supposed to be. After touching down from our Frankfurt, Germany to Bangkok, Thailand journey (read more about our flight here: Thai Airways A380 Royal First Class – TG 921 Frankfurt-FRA to Bangkok-BKK) at 6:01am, we were welcomed at the gate by a Thai Airways staff member. Once she gathered us together with one other First Class passenger, she led us to a golf cart and promptly whisked us away through connecting security and masses of other passengers to the First Class lounge. We were inside the lounge (clear [...]
Fresh out of the Lufthansa First Class lounge at Frankfurt’s Terminal B, we headed around the corner to board the flight we’d been looking forward to the most: Thai Airways Royal First on their new Airbus A380-800.
We took the train in from Frankfurt after having spent the night in the city for a ~24 hour layover (read: Bratwursts Galore! Sightseeing around Frankfurt, Germany and Westin Grand Frankfurt Hotel Review – Frankfurt, Germany). The good news is that Frankurt’s airport is a short and very easy 15-20 minute subway ride from the center of town.
Thai Airways [...]
I took my first train trip on Amtrak’s Acela a few weeks ago from Washington, DC Union Station (WAS) to New York Penn Station (NYP). Because I had a First class ticket (Acela only has either Business Class & First Class), I was able to check out the ClubAcela lounge in Washington while I was waiting for my train.
You’ll need to present some credentials to make it past the doors to the luxury that lies beyond. Here are the ways to get into the Lounge:Access included with First Class tickets on the “high-speed” Acela train or those traveling in sleeper cars Those with Select Plus/Executive status (top level Amtrak Guest Rewards [...]
Just a few short days until our honeymoon! Here’s a brief overview of where we’re headed and how we’re getting there:
Our 24,606 mile trip will take us to 10 countries (including connections) over 16 days:
Part 1 -New York
We’ll fly from Charleston-JFK to New York-JFK on Delta…
…and spend 1 night in the city to get our fill of the Christmas spirit.
Part 2 – Bali, Indonesia
Our award ticket starts in New York as we fly out of New York-LGA and, appx 33 hours later, land in Denpasar, Indonesia-DPS, better know as [...]
Delta announced some pretty bad news last week–they’ve upped their Business Elite/First Class awards to Europe, Asia, Africa, South America and the Middle East by as much as 25%. The new prices go into effect June 1, 2014. Here are the changes:OldNewIncrease% Inc US/Canada45,00045,00000.0% To Hawaii75,00075,00000.0% To Caribbean60,00060,00000.0% To Mexico60,00060,00000.0% To Central America60,00060,00000.0% To Northern South America90,00090,00000.0% To Southern South America100,000125,00025,00025% To Europe100,000125,00025,00025% To Africa¹120,000140,00020,00016.7% To Middle East120,000140,00020,00016.7% To South Asian [...]
First stop on our whirlwind, nostalgia-inspired tour of France & Italy (index here) was our flight from New York-JFK to Paris-CDG. I was able to find low-level award space using Delta SkyMiles for the flight (which is a feat in and of itself), but throw in the fact that I found Air France Business Class low-level award space using SkyMiles and it was downright impossible.Nearly missing the flight
The trip really started for me about 2 or 3 days before takeoff as a winter storm was pummeling the Northeast. You see, because of Delta’s horrible award space availabilty, I booked the JFK-CDG, CDG-FLR and then VCE-JFK [...]
In an interesting conflict of interest, I received an upgrade for which I had mixed feelings of “this is awesome, finally!” and “damnit Delta, why are you trying screw me?!” Delta (generally) has a policy of either upgrading all parties in a reservation or none. For example, if you’re a Gold Medallion traveling with a no-status “civilian,” the weakest link in the reservation will decide your position on the upgrade list. Examples:Diamond + Silver = All considered Silver Silver + no-status = Very last in line Diamond + Gold + Silver = All considered Silver
Easy enough, right? Rule of thumb: Delta uses a [...]
So I recently discovered a loophole when flying Delta a few weeks ago and exploited the hell out of it.
The end result? Not only did I get a more desirable schedule, I was upgraded to First class on all 3 of my flights.
How to Get It / What I Did:Wait for a change/delay in your flight schedule. This part is really just getting lucky. When Delta has a delay in excess of 15 mins (I know there is a threshold), a warning message pops up on its website/iPhone/Android app informing you of the change and asking you if you’d like to find alternate flights. a Select “View Alternates.” You should notice that it shows very clearly that the options include [...]