Mini RTW Questions

Old Apr 13, 2012, 7:39 am
  #226  
 
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Originally Posted by yammly
Hi,

Thanks for the great comments.

I actually planned this mini-RTW almost a year ago (120K miles) and was scheduled to fly LH (F) YYC - FRA until that route was cancelled. AC came to the rescue with their J flight without any additional fees. Oddly enough, they also replaced my original NH (J) NRT - SFO & UA (F) SFO - YVR flights with AC (J) at the same time, which was fine with me as I like the AC pods - FA service notwithstanding.

The total fees came to $234 last year, although I imagine they would be a lot higher if I were to book the same itinerary today. For a fun comparison, the total cost would be upwards of $28K if I were paying cash (not likely) for these same seats.

I hadn't realized it until today, but I have a 3 hour layover in Zurich so I'll be sure to take advantage of the free lounge meal. Unfortunately, I'm flying out of BKK at 07:35 so I'll likely have to pass on the massage.

We just came back from a similar redemption in the same situation (Booked with 120K before the fee increase) we had 0 AC Flights so I suspect our fee increase would have been more; when I called AP they told me it would cost $750 + $90 per person if I made any changes BEFORE departure to :
YVR-FRA-ICN-NRT-BKK-SGN-BKK-HKG-FRA-YVR
After departure, it would only cost any extra landing fees or taxes. (We didn't make any changes after-all).


According to this site:
The Royal Orchid Spa opens at 6AM
http://www.thaiairways.com.au/thai_a...sses.asp?id=27

and the Royal First Lounge opens at 5AM
http://www.thaiairways.com.au/thai_a...sses.asp?id=25

If your flight is at 7h35 you will get picked up at about 7AM and escorted to the gate. I suspect you will have time for a 30 min massage + a nice breakfast.


And don't forget to pre-order your meals on Thai Airways
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Old Apr 13, 2012, 12:54 pm
  #227  
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Originally Posted by wwtsang
my guess is the ZRH-BKK and BKK-NRT legs are still in F as it is an F award
yammly could probably have routed through YYZ for F flight to DUS, but guess a direct path on AC was offered and taken

the NRT-SFO-YYZ replaced with NRT-YYZ in AC J is also a nice touch imo

probably could have argued to have a portion of the miles refunded, maybe a max of 10k since the J/F difference was only 20k, really no point being that greedy
Hmm. Rather than that, should have insisted on an itin with full-on F - AC J pods were fun in 2006 when they were brand new, but they are really showing their age now. I flew them on YYZ-NRT last year and I'm not setting foot on AC anymore - I'm staying on other airlines.

Btw, replacing NRT-SFO-YYZ is not necesaariy a nice touch - NRT-SFO is served by the Inspiration of Japan config... then again, it's certainly a shorter route.
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Old Apr 17, 2012, 1:01 am
  #228  
 
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Well, I was finally able to replace my AC(J) YVR-YYC-FRA flights with a LH(F) YVR-FRA flight. This flight showed up on the AE booking site last week but the system would return an "invalid itinerary" error when I tried to select it through a trial booking. The AE reps had the same problem, blamed it on a system glitch, and advised me to call again at a later date. This went on for a few days, but eventually they were able to book it. Then my LH(J) FRA-CDG leg was mysteriously dropped from my itinerary and I had to call in again except the original flight was no longer available in their system and the rep had to book me into a later flight. So it took 4 calls to AE, but I was finally able to secure an F flight to Europe and ended up with an extra hour or so at FRA (not a bad thing).

As wwtsang surmised, my ZRH-BKK and BKK-NRT legs are also in F.

I stayed with the AC(J) NRT-YVR leg as it reduced my travel time by 4.5 hours over the original NRT-SFO-YVR and I wasn't exactly looking forward to traveling on domestic UA anyway.

By the way, I really enjoyed reading InsaneTravel's trip report ^. It certainly gave me a few new ideas for my upcoming trip.
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Old Apr 17, 2012, 8:38 am
  #229  
 
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Originally Posted by yammly
As wwtsang surmised, my ZRH-BKK and BKK-NRT legs are also in F.

I stayed with the AC(J) NRT-YVR leg as it reduced my travel time by 4.5 hours over the original NRT-SFO-YVR and I wasn't exactly looking forward to traveling on domestic UA anyway.

By the way, I really enjoyed reading InsaneTravel's trip report ^. It certainly gave me a few new ideas for my upcoming trip.
Thanks Yammly, I wouldn't have been able to do it without my Flyertalk friends.

For your return, I guess you really want to make it a RTW and that's why you are not coming back via the Atlantic. Instead of AC NRT-YVR have you looked at maybe Beijing to SFO (China Airlines has First on this leg)

Personally (having flown the AC pods from YVR-YYZ-YUL on our last trip and UA from ICN-NRT on this trip) I would go with the American Carriers.

NRT-SEA-YVR (UA)
NRT-SFO-YVR (UA) The fuel savings alone could pay for the $90 change fee
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Old Apr 17, 2012, 8:41 am
  #230  
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Originally Posted by InsaneTravel
Thanks Yammly, I wouldn't have been able to do it without my Flyertalk friends.

For your return, I guess you really want to make it a RTW and that's why you are not coming back via the Atlantic. Instead of AC NRT-YVR have you looked at maybe Beijing to SFO (China Airlines has First on this leg)

Personally (having flown the AC pods from YVR-YYZ-YUL on our last trip and UA from ICN-NRT on this trip) I would go with the American Carriers.

NRT-SEA-YVR (UA)
NRT-SFO-YVR (UA) The fuel savings alone could pay for the $90 change fee
I second that - find a UA flight powered by a 747 and it will be as good as the pods. Or throw away the idea of flying RTW - who cares - and fly NRT-FRA on the 380 in F, it will be a FAR better experience - and so long as you make the change AFTER the first leg is flown, you shouldn't even need to pay fuel surcharges/etc.
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Old Apr 17, 2012, 1:02 pm
  #231  
 
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Originally Posted by Pseudo Nim
I second that - find a UA flight powered by a 747 and it will be as good as the pods.
United has by far one of the best Lie Flat seats in StarAlliance; and if you are flying with a partner, on AC's "Fish Bone" seats it's hard to chat or trade food with your partner.
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Old Apr 17, 2012, 1:30 pm
  #232  
 
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Originally Posted by InsaneTravel
Thanks Yammly, I wouldn't have been able to do it without my Flyertalk friends.

For your return, I guess you really want to make it a RTW and that's why you are not coming back via the Atlantic. Instead of AC NRT-YVR have you looked at maybe Beijing to SFO (China Airlines has First on this leg)

Personally (having flown the AC pods from YVR-YYZ-YUL on our last trip and UA from ICN-NRT on this trip) I would go with the American Carriers.

NRT-SEA-YVR (UA)
NRT-SFO-YVR (UA) The fuel savings alone could pay for the $90 change fee
think AE had waived the fuel surcharges on the AC leg on NRT-YVR since it was an involuntary change
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Old Apr 17, 2012, 1:30 pm
  #233  
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Originally Posted by InsaneTravel
United has by far one of the best Lie Flat seats in StarAlliance; and if you are flying with a partner, on AC's "Fish Bone" seats it's hard to chat or trade food with your partner.
Actually, one of the few BENEFITS of the fishbone is NOT being close to your partner. Sometimes it can be a nice thing.

Despite UA's seats being very good, service is substandard, to be diplomatic. Also, I still think the LH beds on the 747 are probably the best in the sky - not to mention on the upper deck, which is a HUGE plus (hell, I almost considered switching to J on Thai to be on the UD). There is just something..... special about being on the UD.

[edit] and of course, if you fly NRT-FRA-MUC-YUL-xxx, or KIX-FRA...etc, you can experience the First Class Terminal in FRA, the First Class Lounge in MUC, a limo ride to the plane, and wonderful service. And ducks. Whereas if you fly UA, you will get strip-searched, humiliated, and get a kick in the ... on the way out of the US. :P
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Old Apr 17, 2012, 3:13 pm
  #234  
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Originally Posted by Pseudo Nim
Despite UA's seats being very good, service is substandard, to be diplomatic.
And you really think that AC service justifies $300 surcharge. Air Canada service is also substandard, just less so.
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Old Apr 17, 2012, 3:20 pm
  #235  
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Originally Posted by rankourabu
And you really think that AC service justifies $300 surcharge. Air Canada service is also substandard, just less so.
oh boy, I sure hope my message wasn't read that way, as it's most certainly wasn't written to mean that I chose to fly over Europe because I couldn't get the NH flight I wanted and I refused to fly AC much as AC J used to kick ... in 2006, it's tired and frustrating now.
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Old Apr 17, 2012, 3:36 pm
  #236  
 
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Originally Posted by ulyparis
I searched the forum and could not find an example of mini RTW using a Europe - Asia award via the Atlantic (or a Europe - Mexico award with return via Asia).

Would the following itinerary be valid?

VLC - MEX (stopover)
MEX - NRT (final destination)
NRT - BKK (stopover)
BKK - VLC (return to starting point)

Plenty of flight possibilities on *A (with several connexions though due to VLC not being a *A hub)
I have also been looking without finding anything. Is it possible to fly Europe-USA(stopover)-Asia 1/2 final destination-Asia 1/2 2nd stop-Europe
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Old Apr 17, 2012, 8:22 pm
  #237  
 
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StarAlliance First Class + AC Executive First PICS

Originally Posted by Pseudo Nim

Despite UA's seats being very good, service is substandard, to be diplomatic. Also, I still think the LH beds on the 747 are probably the best in the sky - not to mention on the upper deck, which is a HUGE plus (hell, I almost considered switching to J on Thai to be on the UD).

Agreed UA service (Even overseas) is not as good and nothing compared to the new LH bed (We experienced it on LH HKG-FRA 11 hour flight.... it was too short)

Let's put the Food, Service, First Class Lounge, Golf Cart Ride, Pyjamas, Drinks, Free Massage, Rubber Ducky and Amenities aside for a bit and compare the "Hard Service".

Here are some recent pics:

AC EXECUTIVE FIRST(From a YVR-YYZ flight we took in Nov 2011):




UNITED FIRST (From ICN-NRT in April 2012)





LUFTHANSA FIRST- New Config (From HKG-FRA in April 2012)





SWISS FIRST (From ZRH-YUL in Nov 2011)





THAI FIRST (Jet Airways Plane 773) (From CDG-BKK in Nov 2011)





LUFTHANSA FIRST- Older Config Boeing 747 (From BKK-SGN in April 2012)





LUFTHANSA FIRST- Older Config Airbus 340-600 (From YVR-FRA in April 2012)





My Favorites in order (Favorite First - Again just for the Seating)

LUFTHANSA FIRST- New Config
SWISS FIRST
THAI FIRST (Jet Airways Plane 773)
LUFTHANSA FIRST- Older Config Boeing or Airbus
UNITED FIRST
AC EXECUTIVE FIRST


I love a good debate ;-)

Last edited by InsaneTravel; Apr 17, 2012 at 8:54 pm
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Old Apr 17, 2012, 8:39 pm
  #238  
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Couple of comments on the above.

- I wouldn't even put AC in that list. It's as much "first" as it's "hospitality".
- I would put TG old F (on their 747s) above LH old F, although I realise some may disagree. I guess I just had such an awesome experience (one of the best flight crews I ever had) + with all the recent tendencies towards private, private, private, I actually enjoyed the wide open space in the nose.

I tend to agree with the rest, although LX F needs to be experienced on true long-haul - I think I haven't had a worse flight than YUL-ZRH simply due to early departure, too much food and insufficient sleep (at least YUL-MUC leaves later, giving a chance to sleep) - LX87 lands at midnight EST, and since you have a day following that, you're bound to suffer! I do realise these are first-world problems though. Hehe.
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Old Apr 17, 2012, 9:13 pm
  #239  
 
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Originally Posted by Pseudo Nim
- I would put TG old F (on their 747s) above LH old F, although I realise some may disagree. I guess I just had such an awesome experience (one of the best flight crews I ever had) + with all the recent tendencies towards private, private, private, I actually enjoyed the wide open space in the nose.

I agree Thai service (And food and drink) can be AMAZING and can make the trip !

If we put the ("Jet Airways Rental") aside, it really only leaves us with 2 types of Thai planes.

Very Old 747 (2 X 2 X 4 Rows) these planes were very dated
From BKK-FCO 747 - Nov 2011

(Sorry for the unflattering pajama, I promise they were very comfortable)
Even though we flew in First, these seats are "Business Class" grade.

And Old 747 (Rows of 1 on each side and 2 Pairs near the back)
From BKK-HKG 747 - Apr 2012



Here's a better pic:
From MUC-BKK 747 - Dec 2010 (I took a Pic of First; we were flying in Business Class)


These are really nice but do you really want to play "Thai Lotto"?

IT
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Old Apr 17, 2012, 9:17 pm
  #240  
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Originally Posted by InsaneTravel
My Favorites in order (Favorite First - Again just for the Seating)

LUFTHANSA FIRST- New Config
SWISS FIRST
THAI FIRST (Jet Airways Plane 773)
LUFTHANSA FIRST- Older Config Boeing or Airbus
UNITED FIRST
AC EXECUTIVE FIRST


I love a good debate ;-)
Since when is AC EXECUTIVE FIRST a FIRST class product.

It shouldnt even be included in the list.
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