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A380 First Class Marathon... 48 hours of Qatar, Emirates and Etihad

A380 First Class Marathon... 48 hours of Qatar, Emirates and Etihad

Old Aug 21, 17, 9:50 am
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A380 First Class Marathon... 48 hours of Qatar, Emirates and Etihad

After last year's memorable 72 hour RTW First Class trip on Lufthansa, Garuda, Korean and Cathay Pacific, fellow Flyertalker batmandds and I are off today for another round of wine, food and First Class decadence. Or as Mrs. SFO777 calls it "more flying to nowhere". While I've flown QR, EY and EK First Class, I've never flown the QR A380 or Etihad's A380 Apartments. Our goal on this trip was to package together some more aspirational First Class flights.

So we booked CDG-DOH-AUH in QR First and then back on AUH-JFK in Etihad Apartments, both using AAdvantage miles. Nice and easy. Or so we thought. Enter the current Gulf States dispute with Qatar which cancelled our DOH-AUH flight. We tried a number of intermediate DOH-AUH options including KWI and MCT, but connections were ugly, unavailable or just too tight. After looking at the limited number of routes where QR flies First Class east of Qatar (SYD, MEL, CAN or seasonally BKK) we decided on Guangzhou (CAN) which both QR and EK serve with their A380s.

Once we get to Paris, here is the lineup over the next 48 hours.
- Paris-Doha • Qatar A380 First Class
- Doha-Guangzhou • Qatar A380 First Class
- Guangzhou-Dubai • Emirates A380 First Class
- Abu Dhabi-JFK • Etihad A380 First Class Apartments
- JFK-LAX • American First Class

Now to get to Paris. Decisions, decisions. Air France La Premiere or United Polaris Business Class. LOL, no contest. So I'm on my way to SFO and United. Ha. I know, I know. But it was only 52,500 miles vs. 200,000 miles and I wanted to try it out as it's an option for Mrs. SFO777 and me to Tel Aviv in January. Indeed, I was double booked on AF or UA and it wasn't until this morning that I decided after AF posted a delay on the LAX-CDG flight. So I'm off to LAX for my DL flight to SFO. And now only a 40 minute drive to LAX this morning from our new place in Newport Beach.





Since I'm coming home via AA, I parking in the T4 garage and then walk over to the third world dump that is Terminal 3.



Yeah, the barbed wire seems totally appropriate here.









Delta took over the old Virgin America lounge and brought in new furniture while the new SkyClub is supposedly under construction... Not sure it was really an improvement though.





















Before I left home, my 10:00am DL flight was delayed until 10:42am due to low ceiling at SFO. While at the lounge, there was a further delay until 11am and then a gate change... to another terminal... Terminal 3. Seriously?





Fortunately, there is shuttle bus between terminals.

















Terminal 2 was recently renovated and is nice than Terminal 3, but it's still crap, suffering from overcrowding and poor design.













Los Angeles LAX-San Francisco SFO
Delta DL 5743
E75
10:00am-11:32a (sked)
11:07am push back
11:52a-12:55a (actual)
Seat 3A


Low ceiling at SFO means ATC delays and we sat on the tarmac for 45 minutes before our release.







A blanket, pillow and bottled water. ^











Even though the doors have closed and we started our push, we're not going anywhere fast this morning.







And so we wait. Captain kept us informed with an 11:35a departure, then 12:05p. At around 10:45am we got in line for take-off.



And we wheels up just before noon.



Once we finally took off, excellent service by our pleasant LAX-based FA Pamela.





Browsing the DL inflight magazine, I found one of the most dishonest, shameful and disgraceful perpetuation of lies by this POS airline. What a crock. Total hypocracy from one of the biggest recipients of corporate subsidies. Gag me with a spoon.





Where do I throw up?



And finally, our approach to SFO.










For more pics and an HD version of this report, please visit SFO777.com where I've posted additional installment.

Lounge hopping at SFO
United 787-9 Polaris Business Class SFO-Paris CDG

Will post to FT as soon as possible.

Last edited by SFO777; Aug 22, 17 at 5:51 pm
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Old Aug 21, 17, 10:04 am
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United and SFO777 in the same sentence just doesn't sound right...subscribed for the good stuff!

Last edited by chongl; Aug 21, 17 at 10:57 am
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Old Aug 21, 17, 10:48 am
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Unusual Sure you wonna fly United on long haul with your wife

The following program is hardcore and (even if I throw myself out of this forum with it) have to agree with MRS SFO777. Nevertheless I look Forward for more
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Old Aug 21, 17, 10:49 am
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Alright, showtime! Looking forward to this TR.
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Old Aug 21, 17, 3:29 pm
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Soooo funny story ... I was having a shower the other day and I realized that I had not seen SFO777 write a TR in a LOOOOONG time. And out of the blue, here you are with a fantastic TR. Let the good times roll.
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Old Aug 21, 17, 4:50 pm
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Originally Posted by chongl View Post
United and SFO777 in the same sentence just doesn't sound right...
Yeah, some people fly economy around Africa or the Stans which can be pretty hardcore in my eyes. SFO777 is testing his limits onboard United in business.
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Old Aug 21, 17, 5:10 pm
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Delta operates from Gates 40-49 of Terminal 1 at SFO. Sure, let's encourage even more phony service animals. Also, pretty sexist of supposedly progressive of San Francisco to put the animal crapper in the men's room.





I decided not to exit with the masses and tried to new T1-T2 airside connector which was pretty cool.























No T2-T3 connector, yet... so I headed streetside for the short walk to Terminal 3.















My first stop was the Amex Centurion Lounge.





















And lunch... pork in coconut cream sauce with a glass of lovely Seghesio Zinfandel.







After lunch, the short walk from T3 to the International Terminal.









Off to try the SQ and BR lounges.





Or so I thought... as they were both closed.





So I head to settle for the United Club.



Which was exaclty what I had expected.







Mediocre.









And the inevitable evil eye that I seem to get once every TR.









Nothing says United better than this...











Nice wine bottles although I doubt these are complimentary.



At around T-40 I headed down to nearby Gate 92.



mdtakamine, MrGroover and nequine like this.

Last edited by SFO777; Aug 22, 17 at 10:55 pm
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Old Aug 21, 17, 7:02 pm
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Thanks for the report!

That UA club...is that the new one they built say a year or so ago that upon opening it was immediately determined it was way too small?

When I was with UA I would frequent the club that is across the way from the San Francisco Soup Company but your pics don't resemble that club.
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Old Aug 21, 17, 9:05 pm
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Great report so far, SFO777! Been looking forward to seeing your newest reports and so am looking forward to this very much!

Wow, what a difference the lounge in Paris is to the United Club in SFO. United Polaris looks okay, but not as amazing as the pictures make it out to look

All best,

Matthew
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Old Aug 21, 17, 9:07 pm
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Off to another great start. It seems like it's been awhile.

I see that the Amex Cent Lounge at SFO was packed as always. I have to give props for United as they have come along way in the last 10 years in the lounge world compared to their old Red Carpet Clubs- missing bananas aside LOL!!
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Old Aug 22, 17, 4:08 am
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Yayoi Kusama

Great start of an epic journey. Was the red dot picture part if Yayoi Kusama's work?
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Old Aug 22, 17, 4:32 am
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Originally Posted by offerendum View Post
Unusual Sure you wonna fly United on long haul with your wife
But ice cream sundae with chocolate sauce and M&M's though.
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Old Aug 22, 17, 6:06 am
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Originally Posted by DanielW View Post
But ice cream sundae with chocolate sauce and M&M's though.
Ah, OK! That changes everything
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Old Aug 22, 17, 7:17 am
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And the inevitable evil eye that I seem to get once every TR.


Yup, she did not look happy with you........

Looking forward to immersing myself in the rest of your TR.
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Old Aug 22, 17, 10:27 am
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Originally Posted by enviroian View Post
Thanks for the report!

That UA club...is that the new one they built say a year or so ago that upon opening it was immediately determined it was way too small?

When I was with UA I would frequent the club that is across the way from the San Francisco Soup Company but your pics don't resemble that club.
The SF soup Co is in T3, and that's the UAL domestic lounge.
This lounge is in Intl Terminal, and is just a larger version as they're upstairs from the major airline action of the terminal. Loads of space but less great soft services.

Great TR but honestly it feels brutal to endure DL and UAL in order to get to fly 48 hours in F.
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