I’m having a bit of a crisis at the moment. For the past few weeks, I’ve been attempting to piece together flights on the frontside (and backside) of my ANA First Class flights.
1st world problems, right!? 😜
I managed to arrange a Singapore Airlines First Class flight but that still doesn’t get me home OR to my destination.
Three days ago, I set out with the mission to book some of my flights and began researching various airlines and destinations. For example, my first flight is from New York (JFK) – Tokyo (HND) and I need to determine how I am going to return to the US.
Do I continue flying west and complete a trip around the world? For example, Tokyo – Singapore – Abu Dhabi – London – Miami…
Do I continue south to Australia, perhaps on Qantas, and then return to the US, and limit my trip to a Trans-pacific adventure?
Should I redeem miles and review economy class because it would be beneficial for the subscribers or should I review all business class products for inspiration?
What about airlines? Do I review Japan airlines? China Airlines? LATAM? Air India? Cathay Pacific? Garuda Airlines? Aeroflot? I mean…I’ve never been to Russia.
Or should I focus on US-based airlines? How does American, Delta, and United compare to other international airlines?
Ohhh…what about that Hello Kitty flight that I wrote about a few days ago? Should I add that to the list?
Should I fly the LONGEST FLIGHT IN THE WORLD from Singapore (SIN) to Newark (EWR) on Singapore Airlines for the novelty of it?
Should I connect in Dubai? Bangkok? Manila? Abu Dhabi? Cairo? Athens?
A380? A350? 777? An outdated 767? Vantage XL seats? Herringbone configuration? Reverse herringbone configuration? Is the review of (insert airline name) going to be beneficial to you – the subscriber?
Suffice to say, not one single flight was booked. There are simply so many airlines I want to try that it leads to indecision, and then I end up not booking anything.
While roaming around Muscat Airport, I saw a lot of beautiful widebody planes but one plane really caught my attention…Oman Air’s 787 Dreamliner.
It got me thinking…do I want to review the “best” airlines like this Air France flight or this Qatar flight over and over or should I set a goal to try ALL AIRLINES so the subscribers are informed about all the options?
THE GOOD, BAD, AND UGLY
I decided that I am going to fly everyone…good, bad, and ugly. I recognize that THIS EXPERIENCE and THIS LOUNGE will not be the reality at every airport but my goal this year is to review 15 airlines. I’ve chosen 7 to get us jumpstarted. In no particular order here are a few airlines that intrigue me…
SOUTH AFRICAN AIRWAYS BUSINESS CLASS
South African Airways (SAA) recently launched their new A350 between Johannesburg and New York. At the moment, the airline has been restricting availability for business class. It’s a long way to fly in economy but with THIS DEAL I could do it (…I think).
ETIHAD BUSINESS CLASS
In the early 2000’s, Etihad was all the rage and considered a premier airline as they have an excellent business product. However, the carrier has also been going through a “renaissance” of sorts. Hopefully, I can complete a review before they change too much about their product and routes.
Perhaps, I should just go all out and redeem points for Etihad’s First Class Apartment…
VIETNAM AIRLINES BUSINESS CLASS
I traveled to Vietnam last year for the first time. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed my experience in the country. I have never flown on Vietnam Airlines (economy or business) but have been intrigued by the airline. The carrier does not fly to the US but a reader pointed out that they have decent business class fares between Southeast Asia and Europe.
DELTA AIRLINES BUSINESS CLASS
Ever since I saw Delta’s new A350 in person at Detroit Airport, I’ve had this product on my radar. Delta features the Delta One Suite on all their current A350 routes:
- Atlanta (ATL) – Amsterdam (AMS)
- Atlanta (ATL) – Seoul (ICN)
- Detroit (DTW) – Tokyo Narita (NRT)
- Detroit (DTW) – Seoul (ICN)
- Detroit (DTW) – Beijing (PEK)
- Detroit (DTW) – Amsterdam (AMS)
- Detroit (DTW) – Shanghai (PVG)
I also wouldn’t mind flying the retrofitted 777’s or A330neo but I prefer the A350. For a one-way redemption, I would book those routes for 60,000 Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles.
Best of all, we’ve seen 30% transfer bonuses to Virgin Atlantic from Amex which means the ticket would only cost 47,000 Amex points. Now that’s tough to beat!
TAP PORTUGAL BUSINESS CLASS
Portugal is one of the most underrated destinations in the world and tourists have only recently “discovered” it. TAP flies their A330-900neo to, both, Boston and Miami. I’d like to redeem my Avianca LifeMiles for a flight in this product but you can often find paid business class rates between $500-600 one-way from Europe to the USA so that’s an option too.
AER LINGUS BUSINESS CLASS
Aer Lingus has a relatively new business class, an arrivals lounge in Dublin, onboard wifi, and pre-flight dining in Boston and New York. I’d love to fly them and review the experience. I’ve done a bit of research on them and it appears the best redemption is using British Airways Avios for the journey.
OMAN AIR BUSINESS CLASS
…and obviously Oman Air is near the top of my list. They have an excellent business class product! An added bonus is exploring Oman again.
TRYING NEW AIRLINES IS FUN
When I started this blog, my goal was to show you how to redeem points for luxury travel. But I’ve been listening to your feedback and have adjusted my goal to review more airlines. This blog has grown like crazy over the last year, and I want to provide the fresh and interesting content.
You guys have no clue how many hours a week I spend planning out theoretical itineraries to try new airlines. It’s sort of an obsession.
Even if the airline is not luxurious, it’s so much fun to temporarily experience a completely different culture, and to see how different areas of the world approach aviation.
The 7 airlines above are likely candidates for to be booked immediately. However, I’m interested to know if there are any other airlines you guys find especially interesting or would like to read about, let me know.
Don’t be shy, I need to fill these last 8 spots.
What airlines do you suggest? Should I fly economy on any of them or stick with business?
All I can say is WOW!!!! Your research is AMAZING! Your dilemma as to which airline to take and whether to go economy or business………………..wish I could help but i don’t know enough to about it to recommend anything. Flip a coin. The airlines themselves are AWESOME! They all look so comfortable and relaxing. Hard choice for me to make…….if I had that pleasure to go. Best of luck in your decision. ENJOY whichever you choose.
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Correction…you don’t know enough about it YET! Mark my words, although it seems like a long time, one year from now you’ll be saying “have you reviewed the 777X? I’m flying to Dubai and am interested in your thoughts.” 😉
Do the trip around the world. It is a bucket list item for me and many others I would imagine. Review the experience. 🙂
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Challenge accepted. 😜