Introduction: The 25,000 Mile Journey To Greece

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Welcome to my latest trip report, with which I’m going to be trying something a bit different.

What’s different about this trip report

I’ve been writing trip reports for well over a decade, and I’ve been doing them more or less the same way for as long as I can remember.

Usually I write a post with my initial thoughts on a flight within a couple of days, and then later on I publish a full review. Here’s the problem — I fully acknowledge that “later on” has become later and later lately.

The reality is that these trip reports take a long time to write, and life gets in the way. I’ve had technology meltdowns, and I’ve largely been prioritizing family at the moment. But this is also my job, and I know you guys enjoy them, and I certainly don’t want to take you for granted.

I’m not here to make excuses, which is to say that I’m currently in the middle of taking a review trip, and I’m going to be writing the full trip report “live,” or at least within a couple of days of my travels. Forget the “initial impressions” post, you’re just going to get the whole thing right away. After all, I have two other trip reports I still need to catch up on.

Since I’m taking a different approach to this trip report, I might as well have a bit more fun with it, and not even tell you guys where I’m going.

Usually the introduction installment of my trip report has all the details about how I booked, where I’m going, and why. In this case I’ll save those details for each individual flight and hotel review. Why?

  • Because I figure that’s more fun
  • I’m not sure I’m actually keeping the routing I currently have; you should see how many iterations I’ve been through

As you can see above, the table of contents looks pretty sad as of now, but that will be changing.

The very basics of this trip

I’ll just leave you guys with a bit of context about the trip. For months I’ve had a trip planned to Greece that starts over the weekend, and initially I was just going to fly straight there from the US.

However, timing-wise this also worked out to be a week where I had some free time to travel. That’s to say that I had no “commitments” on the ground, and I work just as efficiently when I travel as when I don’t, so this seemed like a great time to do an epic review trip.

Ford was already gone, so the timing worked out in that sense. I wish I didn’t have to leave my mom behind, but I spent a few days with her before I started the trip, so that worked out. The only one who isn’t onboard with this trip is Winston. Oh, sweet Winston. On the plus side, he’s keeping my mom company.

The only hint I’ll share as of now regarding my itinerary is that my focus is heavily on new products and planes on airlines I’ve already flown, rather than new airlines altogether. Make of that what you will.

So stay tuned, you guys have a lot of trip reports coming your way. If anyone wants to guess my itinerary in the comments section, go for it.

Thanks so much for reading and making this possible. I know many of you love the trip reports, so this is the least I can do for you guys. Hopefully this is like the OMAAT equivalent of “Shark Week.”

Bottom line

Thanks so much for reading, and hopefully you guys enjoy this content. As much as I love being home nowadays, I also do enjoy these review trips, and I know many of you enjoy them as well.

So sit back, relax, and enjoy the trip reports you’re about to be hit with.

  1. Well, United has a seasonal flight Newark-Athens and American flies Chicago-Athens. But you might also go through Spain (since you are presumably starting in Florida) or even Morocco.

  2. Enjoy the trip Lucky – I cant wait to see and read about the itinerary. With two rescue dogs at home, I’ve gone from 7 years as a Untied 1K, to a year of Platinum, and 2 years as Gold, to next year, when I’ll have no status at all. I love flying, and really enjoyed the places I’ve been to, but I wouldn’t trade the extra time with my “boys” for anything, so now I live vicariously through your reports.

    Safe travels, and looking forward to reading of your exploits!

  3. Guesses as to some of the flights you’re taking on this trip based on your description:

    Air China’s A330 Business Class ATH-PEK or their A350 Business Class out of LHR/FRA
    Gulf Air A320 (ATH – BAH) and 787 Business Class
    Delta’s A330 Business Class JFK-ATH
    United’s 767 Business Class EWR-ATH
    American’s 787 or A330 Business Class PHL/ORD-ATH
    Brussels Airlines New Business Class
    One of Thai’s Newer Business Class Products
    Philippine Airlines A350
    TAP’s A330neo Business Class
    British Airways’ A350 Club Suite LHR – MAD
    Singapore Airlines’ 787-10 Business Class
    South African’s A330-300 Business Class

    Are any of these correct?

  4. I do not understand why you do not have time to write trip reports. The part of this site that is good is the trip reports. I might be speaking only for myself here, but I say you blow off everything else on the site to give yourself time to focus on the trip reports. This is where your insights are truly appreciated. Let some other site focus on anything that does not contribute to the bottom line. Problem solved.

    Also, I am not sure what your process is for capturing the details as you travel. You should be able to optimize the process to make the writing easier as well.

  5. Well done Ben. Can’t wait and it’s great to read a surprise trip to Athens ( via Angola…..??) 🙂

  6. This is great! The suspense is awesome 😀

    Maybe you can do a post at the end of the report about the iterations you went thru for the flights? Or maybe at the beginning of a particular flight review?

  7. Very exciting. My partner and I are also flying to Greece this weekend, Saturday: PHL-ATH. Assuming, AA doesn’t pull an AA. Maybe we’ll see you, but maybe not if you changed your flight.

  8. @Ben
    I think that’s awesome.
    First and foremost because it enables you to stick to your priorities. Family does come first.
    Secondly, I acknowledge many people love your trip reports the way they are, but others are getting a bit tired.
    A new format, a new pattern, maybe a few new directions (seriously Ben. A bit more on the quality of wines on the flight) is great.
    Also – all the best to your mom.

  9. I think this routing should be close to 25k miles…..give or take a few thousand 🙂

    MIA to LAX – AA First class (B777)
    LAX to SIN – SA Biz class (A350)
    SIN to PER – Qantas Biz class (A330)
    PER to LHR – Qantas Biz class (B787)
    LHR to MAD – BA Biz class (new A350 training flight)
    MAD to DXB – EM First class (A380)
    DXB to ATH – EM First class (B777)

  10. Am I the only one who’s just thrilled to hear that Winston is with Ben’s mom? I was really worried the little guy was going to be in a kennel or something… but I suspect both he and Ben’s mom will be very happy together.

    (Incidentally, I’ve been feeling the same difficulty detaching from my cat when I go away.)

  11. Been reading your blog for about 4 years now but never have posted a comment. Just wanted to say thanks, Ben. I sincerely enjoy reading your blog and appreciate your time in putting it together for all of us to read. Safe travels.

  12. Hi Lucky, I also have a 17-day Greece trip planned one Sept. it includes FLL-JFK-ATH-HER with my wife and 1 year old baby. The trip will be Crete, Santorini, and Mykonos before we finish in Athens for a positioning flight back to JFK. I eagerly await your report !

  13. Have a great trip. We’re currently on a six week Greece-UK trip. Visited Santorini for a few days and now on Mykonos. Flights with BA, Aegean/Olympic, Thomas Cook, Ryanair, Alaska. 6 flights out of 12 completed so far.

  14. @Mike

    I like your approach. I was thinking of something quite similar (posted below)

    @ Lucky

    25000 miles is…a lot of miles. Here’s my route:

    MIA to LAX – AA First class
    LAX to NRT – JAL First class
    NRT to SIN – JAL Business class
    SIN to SYD – Qantas Business class
    SYD to DOH – Qatar Business class (QSuites)
    DOH to LHR – Qatar Business class (QSuites)
    LHR to DXB – EK First class (the Residence?)
    DXB to ATH – EK First class

    Alternatively, you could be getting some sort of Oneworld Global Explorer pass. 🙂

    Looking forward to reading about what you actually do.

  15. I’m guessing Delta A330-300 from JFK direct to Athens considering you haven’t flown on their A330 in business yet. United from Newark would not make sense given that I think you’ve flown their 767 in business, and Norwegian you’ve also flown in their 787 in premium economy. However, I don’t think you have reviewed Emirates’ 777 business class. Maybe that’s what you’re taking to Athens. Nowadays there are a range of options to get to Athens directly from the States, especially JFK. Also, are you staying in Athens or are you visiting other parts of Greece? Most people flock to the islands but the central and northern parts of Greece are much more interesting, and still there are beautiful beaches along the coast (mostly on the Ionian) where the temperatures are hot but tourism hasn’t quite exploded yet.

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