How Should I Fly Home From Europe?

Filed Under: Awards, Travel
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I’ve been in Europe for what feels like forever now, but it’s finally almost time to get out of here. I’m kind of sad about that, not just because I love everything about Europe (other than the prices), but because I love being in a timezone several hours ahead of the US. It makes being productive so much easier, since I’m “ahead of the game” rather than spending all day catching up.

But I’ve got places to go, and in the next three weeks will be passing through Orlando, Seoul, Dubai, Oslo, New York, and Hong Kong.

Anyway, I’m trying to plan my routing home for this week, and am making an effort to try new products. Nowadays the excitement I get out of the premium cabin travel experience isn’t the experience itself, but how much I enjoy interacting with you guys and sharing the experience. That’s why I enjoy a China Southern first class flight as much as a Lufthansa first class flight.

With that in mind, I think I’ve narrowed my travel home down to a few different options:


Avianca’s new business class from London to Bogota

Avianca has a new reverse herringbone business class product, which is my favorite type of business class hard product. As far as I know they only have one A330 featuring this product so far, but it’s scheduled to fly from London Heathrow to Bogota on a date that could work for me.


Now, getting from Reykjavik to Tampa via Bogota would require several awards and five segments, but it would certainly be one of the more unique reports I’ve written, right?

The other thing that makes this interesting is that it’s what I like to call a “reverse redeye.” We’re used to eastbound transatlantic flights being redeyes, but in this case we have a westbound transatlantic flight that’s a redeye, as it leaves London at around 11PM and gets to Bogota at 4AM. Since I’ve been dreaming of reverse redeyes for a long time, it would be fun to finally try one out.

Besides, I’d like to prove to myself once and for all that Avianca is actually an airline and not just a frequent flyer program. 😉

Singapore A380 business class from Frankfurt to New York

I’ve flown Singapore Airlines A380 Suites Class from San Francisco to Hong Kong and Hong Kong to Singapore, though I haven’t actually flown their A380 business class.


It’s a fantastic use of Singapore KrisFlyer miles at just 48,875 KrisFlyer miles one-way, and now that KrisFlyer is transfer partners with American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Starwood Preferred Guest, and ThankYou Points, it’s a readily available use of miles. By the time you earn the full sign-up bonus on the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card, Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card, or Citi Premier℠ Card, you’d have just about enough miles already for a one-way ticket.

At the same time, it kills me to redeem 48,875 KrisFlyer miles for business class, when Suites Class would cost 57,375 miles (though there’s no availability).

US Airways A330 business class

Last October I flew US Airways business class from Charlotte to Paris. The hard product was good, while the service was amusing. Miss Peggy was the most prolific flight attendant aboard. She went above and beyond the call of duty, and wanted to make sure we were maximizing every aspect of our travel experience… by telling us exactly when to sleep.


So while it’s not really a new experience, I wouldn’t mind giving them another shot and seeing how the experience compares.

US Airways 757 business class

So hear me out. On one hand I have a hard time voluntarily choosing the less good US Airways plane when both are available, but at the same time reviewing US Airways’ 757 product would be something new. The hard product looks pretty terrible based on what I’ve seen, and after that flight I might just be raving about how great La Compagnie was by comparison. 😉

Bottom line

Which of the above would you most like to read about?

I need to book in the next day or so, so let me know ASAP!

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  1. I say Singapore business class. Reviews of it have ranged from very bad to very good so it’ll be nice to see you give it a try! Plus its not very often we see you taking business class on airlines with a good first class.

  2. SQ J. There are not a lot of trip reports on this route, would be interested to see how good their transatlantic J product is.

  3. Kuwait Air via LHR-JFK – or La Compagnie via CDG-EWR (we haven’t read about them in a while…).

  4. To LHR on Icelandair, then to PVG on China Eastern (separate Skypass ticket), to HKG on Dragonair (love to see what you think of them), then HKG – JFK in CX biz (please try them out longhaul in J). You could do HKG – SFO J as you haven’t done that product yet, either way just jump over to TPA.

  5. @ David – Give B0 a few months to correct on the experience (Lucky just rolled out the report).

  6. While I know it would kill you not to be in Suites Class, I’d vote for the SQ Business…have fun regardless of the routing; we’ll be waiting to hear about it…

  7. Singapore business class.would be great to hear about, because we are considering that for a return from Europe next year. Some have said their business class is equivalent to first class on some airlines?

    I want to transfer more Chase UR points to somewhere. However, I am hesitant to transfer too many points speculatively to KrisFlyer, because the miles expire after 3 years.

  8. And also, you coming to Hong Kong? Remember the restaurant I recommended last time? It’s worth a try, but I figured most other hot pot restaurants are the same, so just disregard what I said.

  9. ROFL, I don’t know how I work in the same blog as you without raging, Alvin. Lucky, disregard Alvin and just so BA J from Heathrow or Saudia F via Jeddah.

  10. Out of all those choices, I’d pick Avianca just because it’s the most unique and creative. Although any reason why to not choose Air Europa?

  11. I’d go with Avianca. Isn’t the SQ biz product on the A380 the same as the 77W which you’ve already flown?

  12. Singapore. I know you want to share new products etc, but personally I love seeing products that I might fly in the future. I think that you miss certain things every now and then (I know, we all have our flaws ;)), thus I think your reviewing a single product multiple times is not a bad thing.

  13. You should route through Australia, EK J to Dubai, QF J – which is generally easier to get on points then First and pretty unique (if it isn’t raining in the cabin) Then do the Sydney (Which has a great first class lounge open to Emerald One World) – JFK service which you can start on the A380 and then gets you transcon USA on a refurbed QF 747 which is a pretty neat way of getting from LAX to JFK. And Australia isn’t THAT far away. We’re pretty much next door neighbours.

  14. I’d also like to hear about Singapore biz class… it’s something i might actually consider sometime (even tho I’d prefer not to).

  15. You should fly Avianca to Bogata but instead of flying from LHR-BOG-MIA-TPA you should fly from Bocata to Fort Lauderale on Avianca and then try Silver Airways from Fort Lauderale to Tampa

  16. I think people would have a better use for the SQ review, but your chances to fly them are bigger than Avianca. I’d vote for Avianca, as the experience should be much more entertaining.

  17. I would go to the road less traveled… US Air 757, so everyone will no what a travel blogger goes through to inform his readers. Safe travels!

    The Smart Traveler

  18. Lucky I vote for Avianca!

    How are you doing your internal Europe flights in and out of KEF out of curiousity?

  19. I like the idea of Avianca too. The FLL connect would be preferable with the Silver to TPA. Not sure I’ve seen a review of them yet. When you’re chilling in TPA feel free to pop over to the Aloft (thru 22) or Le Meridian (thru 28) and I’ll buy you a couple of adult beverages. Rates at LM are only $100 that week so on a great business mattress run.

  20. Avianca for sure. It will finally determine if they are an airline or if they just have great Star Aliiance redemptions. 😉

  21. SQ Business Class or USA Airways A330 Business Class as those are flights that I might be taking soon. Thank you!

  22. You’ll be passing through Oslo in the next 3 weeks? I’ll be there Sep. 3-5.

    Anyway, I vote for Avianca. Better to review a new airline than a new (to you) product on a familiar one.

    Who knows, maybe they will even offer fax service like Aerolineas Argentinas!

  23. How about Air Canada 787 via TLV. A reverse herringbone on an airline you haven’t tried in a while. You could also try Air France to get to TLV.

  24. I’ve flown SQ business class on the A380 SYD-SIN-LHR and it was excellent. Unless you are really tall, I find their business class to be among the best out there. Even though you have to turn the seat over to use the bed, and the seat doesn’t recline as far as you would like in non-bed mode, it’s a great experience.

    Anything but US’ A330 seats are awful by comparison. I did fly their international 757 once from PHX-MCO which was an unexpected positive, but that seat is not one I would want to fly in international business class. I’ve also flown their 767 FRA-PHL, and that’s also not a great seat.

    I think avianca and the reverse herringbone is more of the same, so I would go with SQ so you can compare their fairly unique A380 J offering. I actually prefer it over the cirrus seats, though I’m relatively short (5’8″).

  25. SQ biz as it is more likely something I would do. Also maintaining the mystery on Avianca a little longer….

  26. Avianca definitely! As you point out, we’d have to be nuts to fly SQ business class instead of suites class. We already know that, so go for the path less traveled!

  27. Like to think your blog gives the less than world class carriers the nudge they need to step up their game. Why fly SQ and heap more praise on a solid product when you can try out US Airways 757 Envoy and help them understand the error of their ways?

  28. Since you are in Scandinavia, i would go for the inaugural flight of the “Oil Express”, the new SAS All-C direct flight from Stavanger/Norway to Houston, maiden flight is August 20, so perfect fit!

  29. Bogota for sure!!! I would love to read your review and compare it with BOG-MAD. When would you be flying? Maybe we could meetup in BOG.

  30. When you’re in Seoul, try to check out the night life, as Seoul is far more interesting at night than day, especially the Hongdae area.

  31. It just has to be Avianca. Anything else would just be too mainstream and predictable. Besides, there’s already plenty of TRs out there for the others anyway!!!

  32. I too love it when you’re in Europe, especially on weekends. Most of your content is there in the morning, which I can enjoy with my weekend morning coffee!!

  33. I’d love to read the Singapore review. I’m thinking of booking the same route/class for next spring as my first ever non-economy/economy+ flight, so it would be really helpful to me.

  34. While I really want to say avianca, I think your should do Singapore. It’s a flight that many of us want to experience.

  35. When are you flying back? I’m flying SQ Suites back from FRA in a little less than a week and you could come visit me and have a little Krug before going back to biz lol.

  36. Count this as a vote for one of the PHL flights, have you ever watched takeoffs from Ft. Mifflin right beyond the runway here? Shoot me an email if you do end up here and need any cheesesteaks or pretzels!

  37. aim low… US 757. look, we all know what an SQ J review is going to read like. there aren’t going to be any surprises from a world-class airline whose biz product rivals others’ F cabin.

    but i think there are still a lot of travelers — americans especially — who misuse their miles and ended up getting screwed out of what should otherwise be a superlative experience. people who choose US Airways, for example. i think you should show them exactly why choosing a US carrier is a bad move. also, the more you publicly call out domestic carriers for their J and F products, the more incentive they have to change. (at least, I would hope.)

    so take one for the team, lucky! there will always be another SQ flight in your future.

  38. SQ J on A380
    Most helpful to most people, I think that’s the guideline you bloggers decide whether to publish a mistake/trick anyway = does it do the greater good?


  39. What does this mean? “By the time you earn the full sign-up bonus on the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Ink Plus® Business Credit Card, Ink Bold® Business Charge Card, and Citi ThankYou® Premier Card, you’d have just about enough miles already for a one-way ticket.” By the time you earn the bonuses on all those you’ll have a helluva lot more than 48,875 miles.

    I vote for SQ J. It’s by far the product most of us are most likely to consider using.

  40. Avianca please! There’s too many reviews on SQ A380 out there. Would be good to have a comparison of the reverse herringbone with the other carriers that have installed (which are fast multiplying) but also what the soft product is like!

  41. Avianca! You’ve done LAN to EZE before and soon LATAM will only have Premium Business on their fleet. Why not try Avianca’s newest product (not so many know about it yet) and be able to compare it to LAN’s?

  42. @ Josh — Chase Sapphire Preferred bonus is 45,000 points plus a minimum of 3,000 points for completing minimum spend. Technically it’s possible to earn the sign-up bonus without getting to the number of miles needed for a one-way business class ticket.

  43. I think the Avianca flight would be the most informative. The Singapore flight would be 2nd as that is a flight, more people would possibly take.

  44. Bogota, but spend a couple days there. Colombia is the darling of the east coast hipster jet set these days.

  45. Avianca. Or anything but SQ. I’ve read so many SQ reviews from various sources that I feel like I’ve already flown them.

  46. Have you considered economy class in the US Airways 757? At Seat 31B, this is a review we’d definitely like to read!

  47. Do Avianca and stay in Bogotá for a couple of days! It’s an amazing city! (Let me know if you need tip about it)

  48. An air india flight for one part of the trip and a avanica flight for the other segment would make a good trip report.

  49. Avianca for sure. SQ is a better airline, of course. But what new information is really going to come from yet another TATL SQ flight? Avianca allows a new airline, new city and new experience (i love the reverse redeye from TLV->JFK

  50. I agree with the posters above that some of your most entertaining reviews — think China Southern — come when you try one of the many less-than-perfect airlines. It’s tough on you but fun for us! So, yes, reading an Avianca review would be interesting even though, realistically, I’ll likely never fly them.

  51. @ Lucky – I don’t mean to be a Grammar Queen — and maybe it’s because I don’t speak American English?! (though presumably you want to be readable by all English speakers) — you’ve got an “and” where it should be an “or.”

    “By the time you earn the full sign-up bonus on the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Ink Plus® Business Credit Card, Ink Bold® Business Charge Card, AND Citi ThankYou® Premier Card, you’d have just about enough miles already for a one-way ticket.”

    I took that to mean that if you sign up for all 4 cards, then you’ll have almost 48,875 miles. That’s the literal meaning of the sentence. I now understand that what you mean is that you could either sign up for this OR that OR that OR that.

    Not a big deal, but it’d be misleading for a novice.

  52. Avianca! Not only for the flight review but also to read of your impressions of Bogota.

    Any hope of the Air India vs. Jet showdown happening anytime soon?

  53. Avianca. Considering how many Lifemiles you’ve used (a lot) and how many times you’ve flown the airline (ever?). It would restore some balance to the universe.

  54. How about Air Canada 787 via TLV. A reverse herringbone on an airline you haven’t tried in a while. You could also try Air France to get to TLV.

  55. Singapore J! Not many of us would ever fly avianca and it would be nice to read about a product that most of us would consider in Singapore J

  56. I’m torn! Would love to hear about Avianca and Bogota but am far more likely to fly SQ business so would like to read that trip report too. Do both!!

  57. A bit biased here to vote USAirways to PHL – those of us in PHL have been pretty much USAirways locked forever unless we go to JFK/EWR/IAD for the foreign airlines. I was pleasantly surprised by the A330 J product on my CDG-PHL flight except their bottled water choice –
    If you stop in Philly let me know – we have great soft pretzels, bubble tea and many other fun foods that you like – plus a renovated Radisson Blu (nicer than the Iceland properties I think), a few Kimpton properties that are wonderful (the Monaco has a rooftop bar, Palomar near good foods) and a Sofitel you could review.

  58. Avianca, por favor!

    You could also check out the new international terminal at BOG. And perhaps even an overnight in Bogota itself.

    Another return routing would be UA BOG-IAH-TPA, with BOG-IAH on the int’l 752 with lie-flats. Or BOG-PTY-TPA on CM.

  59. I second Kacee’s idea of a BOG-PTY-TPA routing. A review of Copa has the potential of being very interesting.

  60. Couldn’t you also fly FRA-MEX or LHR-MEX with Aeromexico? They’re partners with Alaska right?
    Don’t know their product I’m just curious.

  61. US Airways. Avianca and Singapore will be around for awhile longer, take advantage of an experience that won’t exist in a few years!

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