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Going for Gold - Live Trip Report FCO - SGN - FLR

Going for Gold - Live Trip Report FCO - SGN - FLR

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Old Sep 28, 18, 6:09 am
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Going for Gold - Live Trip Report FCO - SGN - FLR

Thought I would share my first ever long haul TP run with the rest of the FT community.

Been silver for years, this year I am 595TP's away from gold, year end is 8th October. Started considering a TP run a couple of weeks ago but my work schedule would not allow it. Then..... yesterday morning (whilst in South of France) my Friday meeting cancelled which gave me a 3 day window to do my run. Got to Nice airport yesterday afternoon and decided 'bugger it' I'm going to go for it. So this is the ultimate lastminute.com run to nowhere to achieve gold (I still think I am possibly insane, only time will tell).

Had my eye on a fare which was Italy to SGN return but ticketed through BA with all long haul sectors on QR, this meant the routing was via LON on both the outbound and inbound, the ticket allowed me to split out the last leg from Lon to Italy with no major cost difference, I may use it or just drop it.... Essentially with this routing I could get to Saigon and back to London by 10pm on Sunday evening! It would have been much more tricky heading West and double the cost.

Did a quick ITA Matrix search to discover the fare worked from virtually all BA destination airports in Italy, however another search showed I only had one direct flight option which was a EZY NCE-FCO. Booked the flight sitting in Nice airport T1 at 1700 for a 1930 departure then booked the MR from FCO the next day. Jumped on the bus round to T2, cleared security, quick beer to settle the 'what have a just done' nerves and onto the Easy Jet flight to FCO.

Made a schoolboy error in booking a hotel based on price without checking Uber fares. Used Hotel Tonight to book the Sheraton which was £40 cheaper than the on airport Hilton. Got to FCO opened the App only to be shown Uber Blacks only and €38 each way (the airport taxis were no cheaper). Would have been a hell of a lot easier to go onsite hotel, especially as the EZY flight went tech for an hour whilst some engineers tired to reboot the comms system..

The Sheraton was better than expected, Rome was very busy last night so hotel options were limited. I have never been a fan of Italian hotels, more often than not they over price and under deliver. There were some horror stories of the Sheraton on Trip Adviser, but apart from my 10min €38 Uber dropping me at the wrong hotel (the hotel has three completely separate wings) the check in was quick, room was fine and the Chianti quite quaffable.

Headed out from the hotel at 0600 this morning for another €38 8 min ride back to FCO T3 (hotel shuttle does not start until 0730..). Check in was pretty quick, for some reason I could not download the boarding pass to my phone, so had to resort to using the check-in desk. The BA desks at FCO need a serious make over, the dated 'bashed up' signage looks like an outpost not an international hub airport, O'leary's lot next door put the flag carrier to shame. Have to say there was a 'wow' when my flight schedule came up on the check-in agents screen, followed by 'sir, is this for real'.... The agent managed to print boarding passes for all my sectors bar the last one (LON - FLR), he seemed to take great delight in presenting each boarding pass with a wry smile and a slight look of bewilderment... As he gave me the last pass he said ' i assume this is not a holiday' I just said I fancied dinner in Saigon and strolled away to fast track security and up to the lounge.


Ooh baby its dark outside, early AM arrival at Rome FCO


A rather lackluster departure hall



Come on BA surely you can do better than this! I reckon they blue-tack their logo to the walls for every check-in....



A fist full of tickets!



BA lounge entrance at FCO



I have not transited through FCO for a few years, have to say it looks like they a recently spent some Euro's, security and passport control were very quick, no more than 4 mins from check in to lounge. The lounge dragon was still coming to terms with the new day, a very meek buongiorno was followed by 'scan here' and a barley audible grazie before returning to the nail preening I had obviously interrupted. A passport control style automatic barrier could easily perform the same role and probably with more personality... The lounge is a good size and in keeping

with the rest of the terminal, standard selection of continental breakfast items, nothing outstanding but fine for a quick cup of pretty poor coffee and a pastry. In no time it was off to gate E20 for boarding, the screen in the lounge advised a 4 min walk, this might be true for Hussain Bolt but not your average Joe with carry on bags and carrying a few extra pounds... Boarding was quick and efficient



FCO lounge



Lounge breakfast offering


I chose the isle seat in the last row of the Club World cabin, it was that or row 1 which I am not a fan of as I find the bulkhead can restrict how far you can stretch you legs, in hindsight row 1 was the right option as I have a family sat behind me who's son is just loving playing with the big flappy thing on the back of the seat (yes, that's my seat grrrrr). So, here's a question to all you air warriors, is there a foolproof way to open a yogurt pot on a plane at +10,000 feet without getting showered in Yeo Valley's finest? As soon as you pick up the pot you can see the lid bulging with the pressure inside just waiting to explode its contents down your finest frock. There's the old school option of tuck and go, in other wors tuck your napkin into the front of your shirt and hope for the best or my preferred option which is the reverse pull, turning the pot away from you, aiming it at the seat back and then clean up the resulting mess once the grenade has detonated. In this modern day and age, how hard would it be to package airline products at the same atmospheric pressure the product will be served at (if anyone takes this idea and makes a billion you know where to send the royalty cheque). Apart from tDOhe yoghurt bomb the flight was uneventful, touching down in LHR T3 10 mins ahead of schedule.... Will report back when I get to DOH this evening, however on the A380 with the proper bar so might be a little worse for ware once I hit the Al Mourange Lounge in DOH....


May I present your yogurt bomb sir!
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Old Sep 28, 18, 6:17 am
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Think I am gonna like this thread...
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Old Sep 28, 18, 9:43 am
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Originally Posted by sunshinebob View Post
Think I am gonna like this thread...
yes me too
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Old Sep 28, 18, 10:10 am
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Great story so far. Looking forward to hearing the rest!
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Old Sep 28, 18, 11:35 am
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You always open the yogurt pot pointing away from you
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Old Sep 28, 18, 12:15 pm
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How much did you pay for this last minute trip?
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Old Sep 28, 18, 12:20 pm
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This is brilliant!!! Hope everything goes well
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Old Sep 28, 18, 12:21 pm
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Originally Posted by rapidex View Post
You always open the yogurt pot pointing away from you
Pierce it with the fork first. That remove the pressure and stops it from squirting.
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Old Sep 28, 18, 7:43 pm
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Dinner in SGN is a good excuse for a late TP-run reservation. Great thread start, looking forward to the rest.
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Old Sep 28, 18, 9:48 pm
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Enjoying this already!
I’ll see your exploding yogurt pot and raise you a bag of crisps which make a very loud bang when opened at altitude, causing a nervous flyer nearby to scream loudly, and thereby causing ripples of unease throughout! 😱
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Old Sep 28, 18, 9:57 pm
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Originally Posted by rapidex View Post
You always open the yogurt pot pointing away from you
Finally an innocent explanation for all those splatter patterns on the seat backs.
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Old Sep 29, 18, 12:24 am
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Yoghurt is an easy one, take your napkin and hold it very close to the point where you open it, you’ll end up with a modest amount on the napkin
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Old Sep 29, 18, 8:05 am
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When should we expect the next episode? Ive a feeling this is going to be a good one
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Old Sep 29, 18, 8:23 am
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Originally Posted by Jamier45 View Post
How much did you pay for this last minute trip?
This was my thought too. Something similar for next weekend appears to be £2872, so I assume booking one day out would take it north of £3k...

£3k for 640TPs is a pricey £4.69 per tier point - not exactly an efficient price by anyone's standards...
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Old Sep 29, 18, 8:31 am
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Great read
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