The making of a FT legend:
73 79 fliers, a little bit of crazy and a whole lot of Seoul
This Trip Report will contain extraordinary feats of rationale manipulation. The people are all real although their mental stability has been called into question at times. Some names may be changed to protect the (not especially) innocent. Pictures may be enhanced to make us look as beautiful as we feel on the inside. Any reference to self importance whether real or imagined is purely coincidental. No animals have been harmed in the making of this tale, but a certain bear will never be the same.
One Thursday evening in November. The clocks have not long gone back in Blighty to Greenwich Dark (all the) Time. The natives are feeling restless at the prospect of long nights and 47 days of atrocious Christmas advertising ahead.
The BAEC forum were partaking in polite chatter about bags, tags and mileage-run brags, when in strolled the charming BApilotinsider
with a piece of news that was to send shivers and quivers throughout the fora that have only ever before been witnessed at the prospect of Ms Pucci Galore
brandishing her gleaming hairbrush...
BApilotinsider: “British Airways is using the Korean love for the number seven to promote its new route [from the UK] to South Korea’s capital Seoul. It is offering business class fares for £777 return – some 70 per cent off the normal price – for seven days between November 9 and 16 for outbound travel between December 2 and December 13.”
All went quiet except for the whirring of fingers as they hit the BA flight calculator to tot up the Tier Points that could be earned from such a flight.
Diary obligations were checked, rechecked and then ignored.
OH’s were consulted, cajoled, beguiled and begged for day release passes. Some won, some lost. Some are now single.
The famous British “stiff upper lip” was engaged to prevent evidence of widespread smug-dom.
Heartbeats quickened. Brows moistened. Fingers trembled over keyboards.
AND THEN.... The booking began.
We wouldn’t like to presume that we warranted the need for the recent BA.com system upgrade, but you never know...
Over the coming hours and days - it became a meme with momentum. New heights of FT geekdom were scaled. Avios were earned and burned in a blaze of glory as reward redemption was snapped up. Much air guitar was performed when it was confirmed that it would be New First on the route. The forum buzzed with research on lounge options and access.
stepped up to corral the eager troops and start organising meet ups and lounge ‘Do’s’ of epic proportions. If you have a spare hour you can experience the event unfolding in his thread Special Seoul launch offer | BA Board excursion
THE PLOT (no, we haven't lost it):
And so we stand today with
73 FT’ers 79 FT’ers
flying to Seoul throughout the month of December. On December 7th there will be
21 FT’ers 23 FT’ers
on the same flight. December 9th will see
28 FT’ers 32 FT’ers
return together, with flights on 6 dates having 10+ FT’ers onboard…
Here, let BotB
do the maths for you - On 9 days we make up over 50% and up to 100% of the seats booked in premium cabins.
Together, we will clock up nearly 1,700 flying hours, achieve heroic lounge lounging... and the Champagne consumption? Well, we are FT’ers after all. We shall go forth and partake - all in the name of research, naturally.
If you are travelling through LHR or ICN throughout December, come and say Hello. Just follow the sound of Champagne corks popping and the dulcet tones of delirious delight in the lounges.
If you are crew working those flights... our sincerest apologies in advance.
We are lucky. We know we are lucky. We know that not many people in the world have the time or means to pop half way across the globe on a whim. Although he can’t join us, to help the amazing work that T8191
does for Holidays4Heroes
, I will be taking the very curious bear Cpl Arnhem with me on my journey to raise funds to help injured British servicemen and women. You may see his ursine little face pop up in pictures - especially as he will be experiencing his very first ‘first’. Who knows how T8191
will get him to settle for ‘only’ Club on his future forays?
Without whom, none of this would be possible. We honour you and we shall bestow many, many drinks upon you if ever our paths do cross.
This man is an organisational genius. Please do check his rate for weddings, conferences and negotiating world peace.
Assistant Directors: nh1980
Arranging meet ups with a skill to rival Cilla Black.
Location Scouts: itsmeitisss
Tips, trip ideas and inspiring pics have been handed out by our selfless experts.
SO many (
! Did I mention that already?), too many to name-check individually. Some you will meet throughout this group Trip Report. Some you will hear about from a friend of a friend, or whispered about in a premium lounge. Suffice to say, these are the people that put the pulse in impulsive.
In the words of our esteemed co-forumite...
: "Is there going to be a volunteer to consolidate all the potential TRs into the MegaTR of the Decade? Or do we have to suffer a dozen or more individual 'huzzah - I got the deal'?"
I don’t say a lot around here, but I will be humbly compiling the thoughts and pictures on behalf of this intrepid bunch. Clearly I had been drinking when I volunteered, or hadn’t drunk enough.
and more will all be contributing for your reading pleasure.
THE TRIP REPORT:
Think of this as your one-stop “living vicariously through the follies of others” production.
Anyway, let the journey commence!
Follow the links below, to wend your way around the marvellous city of Seoul...
THE CONFESSION BOOTH: How I convinced myself this was a good idea...
BA lounges (under the duress of a FT'er (Champagne swilling) party of 10++)
SCENE 1: ACT 1: Food, Flounge and the (Champagne) resuscitation trolley by nh1980
SCENE 1: ACT 2: Meeting the FT’ers and other animals, by CreativeBill
SCENE 1: ACT 3: LHR and CCR Photo essay by nickyjames
The premium cabin experience (see above, including reactions from innocent bystanders)
SCENE 2: ACT 1: The First cabin experience by nh1980
SCENE 2: ACT 2: A photo tour of BA17 and Incheon by nickyjames
Seoul through the eyes of the jet-lagged (and potentially hungover)
SCENE 3: ACT 1: 5 FT’ers see Seoul in a day... by PETER01 and nh1980
SCENE 3: ACT 2: What DO 20+ FT’ers get up to at a Korean ‘Do’?, by CreativeBill
Hotel inspections / reflections
SCENE 4: ACT 1: Grand Intercontinental Parnas hotel by PETER01, nh1980 and BotB
SCENE 4: ACT 2: The Conrad Seoul by CreativeBill
SCENE 4: ACT 3: Cheap and chintzy at an ICN airport hotel by Stez
Epicurean adventures (culinary masterpieces and weapons of liver destruction)
SCENE 5: ACT1: Scenes of Seoul food by nickyjames
SCENE 5: ACT2: An O’ngo food tour and Jungsikdang by CreativeBill
My trip to the DMZ (because life is serious)
Spectacular images from our fantastic photographers, papabear and nickyjames
SCENE 7:The Seoul adventures of a very curious bear, Cpl Arnhem
Photographs / videos / tattoos / and other visual souvenirs
SCENE 8: ACT 1: The one you’ve been waiting for ...The Gangnam FT Style video!
SCENE 8: ACT 2: Seeing the Seoul sights by papabear
SCENE 8: ACT 2: Scenes of Seoul by nickyjames
The return journey (from those who make it back in relative consciousness)
What's this? No links here yet? Could it be that CreativeBill has been broken by this mammoth report task? Or could it be that there are 79 FT'ers, still missing somewhere in action... hmmm.
The Director’s cut (lasting impressions, interviews, memoirs and why we would do it all again)