- Starting Out & American Airlines’ Flagship Lounge – Chicago
- Review: Japan Airlines First Class 777-300ER Chicago-Narita
- Review: Japan Airlines First Class Lounge – Haneda
- Review: Japan Airlines Business Class 777-200 Haneda to Bangkok
- Review: Thai Airways Orchard Spa and Royal Orchard Lounge
- Review: Thai Airways 787-8 Business Class – Bangkok to Denpasar-Bali
- Review: Grand Hyatt Bali
- Review: Denpasar-Bali Airport and Premier Lounge
- Review: Singapore A330 Business Class Denpasar-Bali to Singapore
- Review: Grand Hyatt Singapore
- Review: Singapore Airlines Private Room
- Review: Singapore Airlines A380 Suites Class Singapore to Hong Kong
- Review: Emirates Lounge – Hong Kong
- Review: Emirates A380 First Class Hong Kong to Dubai
- Review: Emirates First Class Terminal – Dubai
- Review: Emirates A380 First Class Dubai to Washington, DC (Dulles)
When we started planning this trip, our goals were completely different than when we actually started flying on the trip. Let me give you the back story. Back in October, my wife and I had Japan Airlines (JAL) first class tickets to Narita and onward to Osaka. We ultimately decided against the trip due to cost and job constraints (these things happen after all). We hadn’t previously flown JAL, so, this was a bit of a let down for me, especially when we learned about American’s Devaluation. So, when Dan, who writes Points With a Crew, shared with me that JAL First seats were available in February, I jumped.
At that time, we were hoping to make it to Vietnam, to visit Saigon, and hopefully Danang, then finishing the trip off with a night or two in Siem Reap to see Angkor Wat. Well, we sent our visa requests in via Allied Passport, and figured we were all set. Except one thing: We had gotten “placeholder” reservations to justify a multi-entry Vietnam visa, sine we knew we wanted to return in March. The problem came about, when I realized that the first trip didn’t start until March. The Vietnam Embassy smartly realized that we wouldn’t be going to Vietnam until March (based on the accompanying itineraries), and so gave us a starting date for our visas in—you guessed it—March. So here we were, ready to go to Vietnam following Lunar New Year, and our hopes were thwarted. But I wasn’t about to give up on JAL First. So I convinced my wife, that based on the past few months, we really needed a break. A beach vacation, if you will. A beach vacation that would allow me to fly JAL First, and her to relax and de-stress. So what wonderful beach destination could I find that would meet both requirements? Well, Bali of course! So we decided that we would return to the Grand Hyatt Bali, which makes it our fourth visit.
Flying home, we were faced with not the best availability. Originally, I wanted to fly back on Emirates, but, not just any Emirates flight, I wanted back to back A380’s (or even three A380 flights!), but the Bangkok-Hong Kong-Dubai-Washington DC itinerary didn’t have First Class available on all. Alas, not giving up, I found Hong Kong-Dubai-Washington DC, all in First. But, wait, I had to get to Hong Kong. I thought perhaps flying Cathay Pacific direct from Bali, but, that didn’t work for our dates. So I turned to my new favorite Star Alliance program, Singapore Airlines’ KrisFlyer, and found business class seats on an A330 from Bali to Singapore, an overnight in Singapore (never a bad thing), and then a few options to fly from Singapore to Hong Kong. It just so happened that the flight operated by an A380 was the perfect timing for us. Rather than flying Business Class up to Hong Kong, I figured that we could splurge and fly Suites. We previously flew Singapore Suites from Narita to LAX, however due to a hard drive failure, back when the Thai military declared a coup (and we were there!), we don’t have any photos from it, so this was a good chance to fix that.
Unlike my normal modus operandi, my wife convinced me to skip the overnight in Dubai, rather just connecting with a few hours in the lounge—enough for a massage, and dinner—before flying into Washington Dulles, which only received the first Emirates A380 flight in the beginning of February. So, with that somewhat exhaustive background to the trip, sit back, relax, and I promise to post updates frequently!