- Beaches and Mountains: Introduction
- Beaches and Mountains: Tampa to Charlotte to New York in US Airways First Class, US Airways Club Charlotte
- Beaches and Mountains: Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse New York, Swiss Business Lounge New York
- Beaches and Mountains: Singapore Airlines First Class New York to Frankfurt
- Beaches and Mountains: Lufthansa First Class Lounge Frankfurt, Hotel Kempinski Gravenbruch
- Beaches and Mountains: Lufthansa First Class Terminal Frankfurt
- Beaches and Mountains: Lufthansa First Class Frankfurt to Bangkok
- Beaches and Mountains: Le Meridien Bangkok
- Beaches and Mountains: Thai Airways Business Class Lounge Bangkok, Thai Airways Business Class Bangkok to Phuket
- Beaches and Mountains: Westin Siray Bay Phuket
- Beaches and Mountains: Le Meridien Khao Lak
- Beaches and Mountains: Thai Airways Business Class Lounge Phuket, Thai Airways Business Class Phuket to Bangkok
- Beaches and Mountains: Thai Airways First Class Lounge Bangkok, Thai Airways First Class Bangkok to Paris
- Beaches and Mountains: Lufthansa Senator Lounge Paris, Star Alliance Lounge Paris, Lufthansa Business Class Paris to Munich
- Beaches and Mountains: InterContinental Berchtesgaden
- Beaches and Mountains: Exploring Berchtesgaden and surroundings
- Beaches and Mountains: Schloss Fuschl Hotel Salzburg
- Beaches and Mountains: Sheraton Arabellapark Munich
- Beaches and Mountains: Exploring Munich
- Beaches and Mountains: Lufthansa First Class Lounge Munich, Lufthansa Business Class Munich to Frankfurt
- Beaches and Mountains: Lufthansa First Class Terminal Frankfurt, Lufthansa First Class Frankfurt to Chicago
- Beaches and Mountains: Conclusion
What a trip. First of all, my apologies for taking forever to post this trip report. It takes forever to write them between uploading (to my computer), selecting, resizing, and uploading (to my blog) the pictures, not to mention writing the actual reports and formatting them. I do my best to get them out as quickly as possible, but sometimes it’s tough due to other commitments, and the past month has been one of those times.
Anyway, what did I learn? As usual, Lufthansa is one of my favorite airlines out there. They’re the perfect mix between being professional and personable, which, as I’ve said, is a tough balance for even the best airlines in the world. While I’m not a huge fan of their onboard meal service, their lounges and flight attendants more than make up for any shortage in the quality of food.
Then there’s Singapore. In this instance they were disappointing. While the food was good, the seat and service were lacking.
While I had a great time in Thailand, the real eye opener on this trip was Bavaria, which is hands down the most beautiful place I’ve ever been. Berchtesgaden is definitely my new vacation destination of choice when looking to return somewhere, and the InterContinental is the perfect place to stay.
As I take each of these trips I can’t help but think how lucky I am to be able to take these “once in a lifetime” vacations several times a year, and all in first class. While I can appreciate people that hoard miles, I pinch myself every day thinking that international first class award availability will just entirely disappear from one day to the next as airlines realize just how good we have it. That’s the beauty of this hobby – I spent less on the entire trip (hotels, flights, etc.), than I would have just spent for a coach ticket to Thailand. So it’s not just about seeing the world at prices we can all afford (as Rick says), but rather about seeing the world in true luxury at prices we can all afford.
And now I have a bit of a dilemma. I have two “big” trip reports I need to write – American business class to India with stays at some truly spectacular hotels (mostly Aman and Oberoi hotels) and visits to some amazing sites, and Etihad Airways first class to Abu Dhabi, with stays at the Park Hyatt Dubai and InterContinental Abu Dhabi. I’ll get around to writing both, though I’m trying to decide which one to go with first.
Generally I go in chronological order, though the India trip report will be really, really long. On one hand I can’t wait to share my experiences in India, because it was probably the most fascinating trip I’ve ever taken, but on the other hand I know I can get the Etihad first class trip report written in a shorter amount of time, since it was a quicker trip.
With that in mind, what say you, dear readers? Let me know which one I should write first, and I’ll go with that one first. Your wish is my command, and I’ll decide tomorrow night based on the comments section!
Thanks for reading, as always. While I love traveling, part of what I love about it is being able to write about my experiences and reliving the experiences all over again that way. There’s nothing I like more than getting an email after a trip from an ecstatic reader that stayed at a hotel or visited a destination because of a review I wrote, and hearing they loved it.
So, let me know which review y’all want first, and thanks again for reading!
I agree with A.S. Should we redeem AA miles with Etihad or not?
SWA trip report, obviously.
What tool do you use to post the blog posts? Something like Windows Live Writer (what I use) will let you paste in the images and then it will let you resize and upload them on the fly while writing.
India please. The only please I am ambivalent after hearing so many pros and cons.
Hehe. Our 2013 trip is to MLE/BOM/DEL/KTM... but I'm most concerned about transportation options, so I'd prefer to see your EY F report first. You've dropped teasers -- I'd like to see the whole thing.
Dubai, its shorter anyway
Etihad, of course! Everyone already knows about AA premium classes, though, yes, the India land portion will be refreshing. However, many people (myself included) have cashed in miles for Etihad First class and are on the fence, waiting for your report to know whether to take the trip or refund the miles! :) It's a public service at this point... ;)
Etihad. Seems much shorter, so get it done and out of the way.
lol, are you looking for an excuse to write India first :) Go for it.
I'm leaving for India this Thursday morning... Please write India next! :)
India please!!! Looking forward to it.
Stick to chronological order...
Your upcoming Southwest Airlines domestic aspirational experience. Don't forget to include all the nuances :-).
India please. Maybe do the first half of India now, then the Etihad review, then finish up India later on?
Bite the bullet and crank out India
India. The pics you posted already were stunning so I bet a lot of u's are eager to see more!
Definately India hands down.
@ GoAmtrak -- Hah, it was a boring American flight down to Tampa. Nothing fun to write about, trust me!
India!!! Really looking forward to reading about your hotel experiences there
Where did you go from ORD? I was hoping for one last installment. ;-)
No, go UAE first so you don't feel pressured to hurry the India one. Plus the build-up will make the payoff all the more sweet
India please. With a trip there planned for 2012 it would be great to read your views on the country.
India as well!