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A Whirlwind World Tour: 42,339 miles in nine days (SQ, EK, TG F & LH C)

A Whirlwind World Tour: 42,339 miles in nine days (SQ, EK, TG F & LH C)

Old Jan 26, 17, 12:44 pm
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A Whirlwind World Tour: 42,339 miles in nine days (SQ, EK, TG F & LH C)

October 7th, 2016 was the day I got a crazy idea. Molly (my wife) and I were planning another December trip to South East Asia and had gotten as far as booking the flights when we decided not to go. Life, family, and work just weren't lining up for us this time around so in early September I pulled the plug. There I was chock-full of miles with no place to fly resigned to the fact that I'd be on the ground for a while when I headed to lunch one day in Newport Beach.

FADE IN


INT. RESTAURANT - DAY
TWO MEN talk over lunch in a quite, empty restaurant. They are smiling and laughing like they know each other but it is clear they have never met.

A waiter (male medium build) interrupts the two men to refill their water glasses and check on their meals.
WAITER
[SIZE="2"]Gentlemen, is there anything I can get you?


Silence. The waiter reaches across the table to refill the second water glass.

SFO777
No, thank you.

The waiter nods and walks away.[/SIZE]


SFO777 (CONT'D)
Yes. Aspirational....you fly [it] just to fly it. That is this whole Garuda trip I have coming up. I have wanted to try their new F product since it came out - can't wait!

MADONE59
Aspirational? I never thought of it that way. I mean yea I want to fly specific airlines or routes when I take trips but I've never considered taking a trip where the flight was the trip.

SFO777
(Thoughtfully)
I don't have many aspirational flights left. Garuda's going to be great but at this point I just want to keep flying La Première.


The two men continue to pick at their food, MADONE59 looks up from his plate at SFO777.

SFO777 (CONT'D)
(Smiling)
It's that good!


The two men continue their lunch...

FADE OUT

It didn't hit me right away, and it really wasn't until later that month when the idea grew roots but when it did there was no going back. Singapore Airlines got its hooks into me on my honeymoon but was always the girl I wanted another chance to take on a date. I was young and naive when Molly and I flew SQ 15 in first class. It was like getting my drivers licence and stepping into a Ferrari; I didn't know what to do with it. I didn't appreciate it. Emirates is Emirates, need I say more? I have wanted to shower on the A380 for a while now, so one of those would definitely be in order and the rest fell into place thanks to United's flexibility and my fleeting 1K status.

This is what I came up with


• January 14, 2017
o 10:50 - 11:57 Flight: UA5543 From San Diego (SAN) to Los Angeles (LAX)
o 16:05 - 22:35+1 Flight: SQ7 From Los Angeles (LAX) to Seoul (ICN)
• January 16, 2017
o 00:25 – 06:00 Flight: SQ7 From Seoul (ICN) to Singapore (SIN)
o 08:25 – 12:25 Flight: SQ860 From Singapore (ICN) to Hong Kong (HKG)

Hotel: Courtyard Marriott Hong Kong

• January 17, 2017
o 16:20 – 21:05 Flight: CX542 From Hong Kong (HKG) to Tokyo Haneda (HND)

Hotel: Courtyard Marriott Tokyo Station

• January 18, 2017
o 17:30 – 22:30 Flight: TG667 From Tokyo Narita (NRT) to Bangkok (BKK)
• January 19, 2017
o 00:05 – 06:50 Flight: TG930 From Bangkok (BKK) to Paris (CDG)
o 08:40 – 09:55 Flight: LH1027 From Paris (CDG) to Frankfurt (FRA)
o 13:30 – 22:45 Flight: LH630 From Frankfurt (FRA) to Dubai (DXB)

Hotel: JW Marriott Dubai

• January 21, 2017
o 10:50 - 18:25 Flight: EK778 From Dubai (DXB) to Cape Town (CPT)

Hotel: Protea Fire & Ice Cape Town

• January 22, 2017
o 13:25 – 01:10+1 Flight: EK773 From Cape Town (CPT) to Dubai (DXB)
• January 23, 2017
o 08:30 – 12:45 Flight: EK215 From Dubai (DXB) to Los Angeles (LAX)
o 16:00 – 16:53 Flight: UA5944 From Los Angeles (LAX) to San Diego (SAN

I'm still not completely sure why I did it, but I am really glad I did. The trip was 13 flights on six different airlines covering 42,339 miles AND I even found time to squeeze in a round of golf . This trip put the starch back in my sails, and I look forward to sharing it with you.

Cheers

Last edited by Madone59; Jan 20, 19 at 12:32 pm
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Old Jan 26, 17, 1:10 pm
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Subscribed,

Will be interesting to read this one.
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Old Jan 26, 17, 1:17 pm
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Holy cow, you had lunch with SFO777?!
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Old Jan 26, 17, 1:34 pm
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Originally Posted by Another user name to remember View Post
Holy cow, you had lunch with SFO777?!
LOL, my first thought also! This looks like a good one, subscribed ^
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Old Jan 26, 17, 1:35 pm
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Flying somewhere to have lunch with SFO777 (or DanielW or Seat2a or ironmanjt) would be an inspirational trip for me.
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Old Jan 26, 17, 1:53 pm
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My body is ready

Marquis or standard JW in Dubai?
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Old Jan 26, 17, 2:06 pm
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I also subscribed! I've wanted to do LAX-ICN for awhile now!
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Old Jan 26, 17, 6:52 pm
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Epic. Looking forward to it Madone59!
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Old Jan 26, 17, 9:03 pm
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Smart to take advice from SFO777. A wise man he is. Looking forward to this report Madone59. We need to come up with a term for a trip in which the flights are indeed the trip. Any ideas?
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Old Jan 27, 17, 1:11 am
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sounds epic Madone59, something right up my alley

Bring it on!
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Old Jan 27, 17, 7:27 am
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Originally Posted by Another user name to remember View Post
Holy cow, you had lunch with SFO777?!
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Old Jan 27, 17, 11:09 am
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Los Angeles and the Star Alliance Lounge

Having spent the week prior to this trip avoiding half of my office, and anyone else with the slightest sniffle or cough nervous I would have to drag a cold around along with my luggage I was relieved when the day of finally came. Aside from not wanting to get sick I was nervous about this trip up until the very last minute. I still can't really put my finger on what my trepidation was but it was palpable. I need a lot of flights to go right, I needed to sleep (well) when it was required and most of all I needed to navigate three major cities I had never been to (Tokyo, Dubai and Cape Town). Maybe it was because I had spent weeks googleing and FTing every inch of this trip and the details were driving me nuts - either way it was a relief to to walk through security at San Diego and start this trip.

There wasn't much time to be wasted before my flight to LA but there was enough time for a stop in the San Diego United Club which ended up being more of an ordeal than it should have been. It turned out that holding a separate Singapore Airlines ticket was not going to be my problem - convincing the lounge attendants that SQ was part of the Star Alliance was . You can't make this stuff up guys. I am not going to use the word "argue" because it would imply voices were raised or feeling were hurt but I did have to turn around the Star Alliance sign - you know the tall ones on every reception desk - and use it as a visual aid to finally gain access to the lounge. After enjoying the finest cheerios and banana United Airlines had to offer I headed for the gate.

A journey of 42,000 miles begins here!


What a beautiful day to fly!


There nothing to write about United's service to Los Angeles, literally nothing, but I was able to grab a picture of the future home of the San Diego err' Los Angeles Chargers on the way in . Go Bolts?!


We parked about as far as you can get from TBIT near the South end of Terminal 8 so I had a long walk ahead of me. Could it be, had I really arrived or was this another mirage? I had been walking for nearly a mile.


I arrived and was warmly welcomed into a completely empty lounge. The attendant let me know that the Singapore Airlines representative would be alerted to my presence and would be over shortly to check my passport and bring me boarding passes. Great! No need to exit security.





Warm and cold snacks


The dining area


The bar


Glass of champagne number 1




The lounge menu


Nothing on the menu struck me so I headed over to the business class section and hit up the noodle bar. No shame in slurping....there is no one here to hear


Somewhere between bowl of noodles one and two the Singapore Airlines agent come over to introduce himself and collect my passport. After a few minutes he returned looking forlorned.
"Sir" oh god, what was he going to tell me?
"Sir, I sincerely apologize (dramatic beat) the call button and reading light on seat 1A are broken."
"Oh, OK. I am not much of a reader and was planning on sleeping anyway. Don't worry about it" I replied but it was not good enough for Singapore Airlines.
"No sir do not worry (another dramatic beat) we have blocked seat 1C for you [too] if you do not find seat 1A satisfactory."
Say what?! "I appreciate that but isn't today's load four of four?
"Not any more" he replied "We have made arrangements for you to have seat 1C as 1A is not working properly. Here are your boarding passes, when you get on board the crew will show you to your seats."

My tickets have arrived! It is wonderful to see that maroon again.


Did Singapore Airlines just give me half the F cabin? Did they just bump someone to Business or another flight because the call button on seat 1A was broken? Wow. My new and false sense of importance needed a walk, so I headed to the outdoor terrace.


BA A380 arriving. Little did I know that one floor below me favorite driver Lewis Hamilton was waiting to board this plane home to London. Why oh why didn't I fly One World on this leg of the trip.....I could have run into him!


In need of more plane spotting than the terrace had to offer I headed back through the lounge and out into the terminal for a walk

EK A380 being loaded. Would this be my ride home?


Peekaboo I see you Lufthansa!


Diplomats arriving for Inauguration. What? Too soon??


A Dutch queen. Not Máxima but close!


I headed back to the lounge to collect my things where I literally bumped into Quentin Tarantino...actually he bumped into me. I was reorganizing a few things in my back pack and he looks at me and says "And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy My brothers. And you will know I am the Lord when I lay My vengeance upon you." Just kidding, he said he was sorry, but seriously nice guy. With all of my luggage in tow I headed back out into the terminal and towards the buses.

Walking



...and walking


and walking...


I arrived just as First Class was being called and walked right to the first bus


Let the luxury travel begin



Bye Bye TBIT


A little more plane spotting on our way to SQ 7



Following the crowd into the remote gate


Well hello


The passengers go marching three by three the last one stops to photograph the scene


Annnnd freeze. Because the remote gates only have one jet bridge we were all asked to wait while those who needed more time boarded and the wheel chairs were wheeled back up the walkway.


Being last in line gave me one final chance to breath in the LAX remote gate ambiance.




Finally after two long walks a bit of a wait and a bus ride it was my turn to cross the threshold into Singapore Airline heaven. With a smile and a flash of my maroon boarding pass I was escorted left and into one of the finest first class cabins available.

Coming up next, SQ7

Last edited by Madone59; Jan 10, 18 at 3:45 pm Reason: tpyo
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Old Jan 27, 17, 11:49 am
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Great start to your report Madone59 - can't wait to read about the rest of this amazing trip!
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Old Jan 27, 17, 12:18 pm
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Madone59

Sounds like an amazing trip! Looking forward to reading the rest of your trip report.

Aspirational trips are a lot of fun, but hard to explain to others. Back in 2010 I flew SQ's RTW F fare FEZSQ. JFK-FRA//MUC-MAN-LHR-SIN-NRT-LAX for something like $7,000. It was a blast. SFO777 posted a couple of trip reports on the trips he took with his father and Mrs. SFO777.

Last edited by 2919scott; Jan 27, 17 at 2:18 pm
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Old Jan 27, 17, 1:29 pm
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What a great start! I look forward to reading the rest.

You got to meet SFO777? What a treat too. Maybe one of these days I'll meet him or other FT legends.

A quick question though: you were able to leave bags at the lounge while you walked around? That would be very convenient for plane spotting/picture taking.
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