Mini RTW Questions

Old Aug 29, 2014, 8:55 pm
  #3106  
 
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Help with SIN HKG and ICN stops on Mini RTW with F

Mrs. Allbrosca and I are going on a cruise from Singapore to Hong Kong and she would like to stop in Seoul on the way home. I thought we would try to turn this into a mini RTW and maximize travel in F along the way. I have always appreciated the help and suggestions I have received in the past from the FT experts and thought I would set out what I planned here and ask for help once again. I believe that I can only do one stop with an open jaw, so I would propose to look for the following:

YYZ-FRA-BKK-SIN (open jaw)
HKG-ICN (stop)
ICN-JFK-YYZ

I would book YYZ-FRA on AC or LH in J initially and look for it to open up in F in the 10 days or so leading up to the trip. FRA-BKK would be on TG in F , which I would start looking for 330 days out or so and BKK-SIN in J on TG or SQ. I was thinking TG would be better so we could avail ourselves of the TG first class lounge and spa in BKK if we had time.

HKG-ICN has lots of non stop alternatives in J including OZ, TG, AI and BR.

ICN-JFK in F on OZ returning to YYZ on AC in J. Alternatives are ICN-LAX in F on OZ or ICN-NRT-ORD on NH.

I think this routing works, but if you think I am wrong, please let me know. Open to suggestions on better routing or better F experiences. Also suggestions on how many days out to look for availability. I know I am going to get hammered on YQ, but I think it will be worth it for the convenience and the F.

Thanks! ^
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Old Aug 29, 2014, 9:05 pm
  #3107  
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That's a very ho-hum routing in terms of bending the rules (not destinations, of course ). There's nothing in it to cause any heart attacks to Aeroplan staff.

As far as maximising F experience - absolutely make sure you fly BKK-HKG on TG to use the F lounge - the only problem is that you either connect immediately (1.5 hour layover) or you wait for about 10 hours. We did the 10 hour layover, and although it was good because my wife disagreed with the fish served on CDG-BKK, it was a LONG layover.

As far as LH goes, make absolutely certain you fly the 744. I think YYZ-FRA is served by it so you should be fine; I find it to be one of the best F products in the sky (plus, I'm super partial to the 744 in general).

YQ will be murder (expect easily $1,200pp all in), but hey, it'll be an awesome trip. On the return, grab NH if you can as it has a better F product than OZ, but OZ might be easier (and I'm not sure, but they might not be charging YQ at the moment?)
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Old Aug 29, 2014, 9:15 pm
  #3108  
 
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Originally Posted by Pseudo Nim
That's a very ho-hum routing in terms of bending the rules (not destinations, of course ). There's nothing in it to cause any heart attacks to Aeroplan staff.

As far as maximising F experience - absolutely make sure you fly BKK-HKG on TG to use the F lounge - the only problem is that you either connect immediately (1.5 hour layover) or you wait for about 10 hours. We did the 10 hour layover, and although it was good because my wife disagreed with the fish served on CDG-BKK, it was a LONG layover.

As far as LH goes, make absolutely certain you fly the 744. I think YYZ-FRA is served by it so you should be fine; I find it to be one of the best F products in the sky (plus, I'm super partial to the 744 in general).

YQ will be murder (expect easily $1,200pp all in), but hey, it'll be an awesome trip. On the return, grab NH if you can as it has a better F product than OZ, but OZ might be easier (and I'm not sure, but they might not be charging YQ at the moment?)
albrosca wants the open-jaw from SIN to HKG because of the cruise, so no BKK-HKG in F.

Beware that for YYZ-FRA, judging from his post, the trip is going to be more than a year away. By then LH will likely have scrapped F from the YYZ route (F is going dodo pretty soon), and they are also removing F from the 744 planes. That said, I would still book YYZ-FRA as a placeholder and then in the T-14 window switch to one of YYZ-IAD/ORD/JFK/BOS-FRA which will still have F. What would be even sweeter, is if you can find FRA-SIN space (though that means a >12h layover in FRA when connecting from NA, and FRA-SIN is incredibly difficult to find/typically only available within like 2 days of departure.)

On the return, I would take NH over OZ no question. The problem is that he would be limited to the afternoon NH flights for JFK/ORD, and the even bigger problem is getting 2 NH F seats that far in advance. I've seen >1 ORD seats open up closer to departure, but I've never seen >1 NH F award seat available in advance. OZ F releases 2 F seats very frequently though.

It's worth mentioning that one problem with ICN-JFK is that it gets into JFK at around 10 in the morning, but the connecting flight at JFK to YYZ is around 5pm. One of the rare situations I would take ICN-LAX and the connecting LAX-YYZ which is typically a long-haul configured 763.

EDIT: A cool routing I would switch to at T-14 is say, YYZ-XXX-FRA/MUC-DEL-SIN. FRA/MUC-DEL in LH F, and DEL-SIN in SQ F (Suites) (both of which consistently have T-14 availability.) Long, full day layover in DEL though.

Last edited by tng11; Aug 29, 2014 at 9:22 pm
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Old Aug 29, 2014, 9:25 pm
  #3109  
 
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Originally Posted by Pseudo Nim
As far as maximising F experience - absolutely make sure you fly BKK-HKG on TG to use the F lounge - the only problem is that you either connect immediately (1.5 hour layover) or you wait for about 10 hours. We did the 10 hour layover, and although it was good because my wife disagreed with the fish served on CDG-BKK, it was a LONG layover.
You made a typo, and meant BKK-SIN (not BKK-HKG), as per albrosca's posted routing. In any event, you're right. I found out the hard way, that you need a J/F departure boarding pass on TG metal, to get into the Royal Orchid Spa at BKK. Cannot be incoming on TG, has to be outgoing on TG. J gets you a 30 min neck massage. F gets you the 1 hour full-body slippery squeeze.

However, TG has YQ, and SQ does not...I'd opt for SQ over TG, to save the $$ and forego the soothing hands treatment. Not to mention I think SQ has the better overall product.

Which carrier was the CDG-BKK segment on, that had the bad fish?
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Old Aug 29, 2014, 9:40 pm
  #3110  
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Originally Posted by JJonahJ
You made a typo, and meant BKK-SIN (not BKK-HKG), as per albrosca's posted routing. In any event, you're right. I found out the hard way, that you need a J/F departure boarding pass on TG metal, to get into the Royal Orchid Spa at BKK. Cannot be incoming on TG, has to be outgoing on TG. J gets you a 30 min neck massage. F gets you the 1 hour full-body slippery squeeze.

However, TG has YQ, and SQ does not...I'd opt for SQ over TG, to save the $$ and forego the soothing hands treatment. Not to mention I think SQ has the better overall product.

Which carrier was the CDG-BKK segment on, that had the bad fish?
Ahem - TG. But it was still a great flight and they remain one of my favourite F products. I look forward to my December trip with a few of them.

You and tng are obviously completelty right, doh. BKK-SIN it is - and there isn't any F service on that route. I'd still take TG for the better ground experience intra-Asia, the YQ is minimal/nonexistent. But it's going to probably be more about availability and timing convenience than choice of carrier.
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Old Aug 29, 2014, 9:55 pm
  #3111  
 
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Thanks for the suggestions tng11, JJonahJ and Pseudo Nim. Lots to think about. I was worried about LH dropping F out of YYZ, but I guess I could always do another routing. SQ F seems very hard to come by but it is intriguing. I wonder if a day layover in DEL is long enough to go see the Taj Mahal? Last time I did a mini RTW I changed my itinerary about 5 times! I did not realize NH was superior to OZ, so I'll look for that one. We will see what is available!

^
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Old Aug 29, 2014, 10:04 pm
  #3112  
 
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Originally Posted by allbrosca
Thanks for the suggestions tng11, JJonahJ and Pseudo Nim. Lots to think about. I was worried about LH dropping F out of YYZ, but I guess I could always do another routing. SQ F seems very hard to come by but it is intriguing. I wonder if a day layover in DEL is long enough to go see the Taj Mahal? Last time I did a mini RTW I changed my itinerary about 5 times! I did not realize NH was superior to OZ, so I'll look for that one. We will see what is available!

^
Good luck! My first mini-RTW I made 5 changes and paid $1,100 in YQ, but that was truly an epic trip. Got to experience NH F, OZ F, TG F, SQ F and LH F all one ticket. Now that I've learned the ropes, I've been a bit more methodical (now I often mix programs on a single trip and book one-ways)

NH F > OZ F is totally my own opinion though. Plenty of people think the reverse. OZ F on the A380 should be very nice. I found the hard product on the 77W OZ F to be relatively uncomfortable and the soft product just "meh". Both are lacking in ground services, but the NH F soft product is just mindblowingly good (IMO, up there with the likes of SQ.)
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Old Aug 29, 2014, 10:12 pm
  #3113  
 
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Originally Posted by allbrosca
Thanks for the suggestions tng11, JJonahJ and Pseudo Nim. Lots to think about. I was worried about LH dropping F out of YYZ, but I guess I could always do another routing. SQ F seems very hard to come by but it is intriguing. I wonder if a day layover in DEL is long enough to go see the Taj Mahal? Last time I did a mini RTW I changed my itinerary about 5 times! I did not realize NH was superior to OZ, so I'll look for that one. We will see what is available!
I did something very similar last year (Taj Mahal) from Delhi to Agra and back and caught a flight in early evening. It's 3 hours there, 3 hours back, plus time for touring.

I hired a driver who picked me up at my hotel at 6AM, connected me with a tour guide at the Taj Mahal, then sped me back for my flight. Was tight to do it all in less than 12 hours, but definitely possible.
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Old Aug 29, 2014, 10:20 pm
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Originally Posted by Prewrappedbacon
I did something very similar last year (Taj Mahal) from Delhi to Agra and back and caught a flight in early evening. It's 3 hours there, 3 hours back, plus time for touring.

I hired a driver who picked me up at my hotel at 6AM, connected me with a tour guide at the Taj Mahal, then sped me back for my flight. Was tight to do it all in less than 12 hours, but definitely possible.
See if we can work that one out! Strike one off the bucket list if I can. I may be back to you for tips on hiring a driver and a guide.
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Old Aug 30, 2014, 1:08 am
  #3115  
 
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Originally Posted by allbrosca
Thanks for the suggestions tng11, JJonahJ and Pseudo Nim. Lots to think about. I was worried about LH dropping F out of YYZ, but I guess I could always do another routing. SQ F seems very hard to come by but it is intriguing. I wonder if a day layover in DEL is long enough to go see the Taj Mahal? Last time I did a mini RTW I changed my itinerary about 5 times! I did not realize NH was superior to OZ, so I'll look for that one. We will see what is available!

^
The only F that SQ makes available to partners is SIN- DEL (and perhaps BOM, MNL, and CGK, if they have F those routes - i don't recall exactly). Longhaul tatl/tpac europe-asia f isn't available with aeroplan. I think oz f and nhf are pretty much par - but oz usually has lower yq, so that might be a choice to take oz over nh.
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Old Aug 30, 2014, 4:20 am
  #3116  
 
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Originally Posted by 1Newflyer
So what is RQ again?
If you see that on the ANA tool, normally just a transient error/glitch, refresh the search again to see the real availability.
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Old Aug 30, 2014, 11:51 am
  #3117  
 
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Originally Posted by allbrosca
Thanks for the suggestions tng11, JJonahJ and Pseudo Nim. Lots to think about. I was worried about LH dropping F out of YYZ, but I guess I could always do another routing. SQ F seems very hard to come by but it is intriguing. I wonder if a day layover in DEL is long enough to go see the Taj Mahal? Last time I did a mini RTW I changed my itinerary about 5 times! I did not realize NH was superior to OZ, so I'll look for that one. We will see what is available!

^
I'd definitely agree that a connection in a US city is likely required to get LH F. You may want to consider booking it originally as YYZ-ORD/NYC/IAD-FRA, with the flight to the US early in the day. That way if you find availability at T-14 (all 3 cities have multiple LH flights), you've already got the connecting flights held. Nothing worse than finding F space just to find out you can't get to it. If you're booking at opening, you've also got a good chance of finding UA F on the overseas leg, saving you the YQ in the short-term (or long-term, if the LH space never opens).

We recently booked a pretty similar itinerary and there is a lot of F that can be fit in. We're presently UA F, TG 380 F, OZ 380 F, and will be aiming to switch the UA to LH at T-14.
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Old Aug 30, 2014, 6:25 pm
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Originally Posted by rehoult
That way if you find availability at T-14 (all 3 cities have multiple LH flights), you've already got the connecting flights held. Nothing worse than finding F space just to find out you can't get to it. If you're booking at opening, you've also got a good chance of finding UA F on the overseas leg, saving you the YQ in the short-term (or long-term, if the LH space never opens)..
OP is SE.... thus not necessary. International IKK might be dead but transborder is not.... yet
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Old Aug 30, 2014, 11:32 pm
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Originally Posted by rehoult
I'd definitely agree that a connection in a US city is likely required to get LH F. You may want to consider booking it originally as YYZ-ORD/NYC/IAD-FRA, with the flight to the US early in the day. That way if you find availability at T-14 (all 3 cities have multiple LH flights), you've already got the connecting flights held. Nothing worse than finding F space just to find out you can't get to it. If you're booking at opening, you've also got a good chance of finding UA F on the overseas leg, saving you the YQ in the short-term (or long-term, if the LH space never opens).

We recently booked a pretty similar itinerary and there is a lot of F that can be fit in. We're presently UA F, TG 380 F, OZ 380 F, and will be aiming to switch the UA to LH at T-14.
Originally Posted by hearna
OP is SE.... thus not necessary. International IKK might be dead but transborder is not.... yet
Yeah. I would like to avoid transiting through the US, but it might be necessary if LH F disappears from Canada. Right now liking YYZ/YUL-FRA/MUC (LH F)-DEL(LH F)-SIN (SQ F)-on way out if I can get it with 20+ hour layover in DEL and ICN-JFK/LAX-YYZ on the way home. Probably need to book YYZ-FRA (AC J) -BKK (TG F)-SIN (TG J) and then look for the change. I've transited through FRA a lot (much easier if you're travelling LH F!). All things being equal I might try MUC this time. Any thoughts? Is the service as good as in FRA for F?

^
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Old Aug 31, 2014, 7:48 pm
  #3120  
 
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Planning a F trip with Mrs Mac and was originally thinking YVR to Australia but the options were not great. I am now thinking to do Japan and Europe and try to experience the A380, the 788 and the FCT in Frankfurt. Would a routing like this work?

YVR-LAX UA
LAX-NRT UA 788 Stop
NRT-SIN SQ 380
SIN-LHR SQ 380 Turnaround
LHR-FRA LH Stop
FRA-SFO LH 380
SFO-YVR UA

I know the YQ will be high with LH and LHR but that is down on my priority list. Is this a valid routing and worth redeeming the F points for?

Thanks
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