I’m Taking My Dad On A Surprise Review Trip…

I’m Taking My Dad On A Surprise Review Trip…

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I’m going to be dragging my dad along on a trip shortly. He has no clue where we’re going, and for that matter, I don’t even know exactly where we’re going…

I haven’t traveled much with my dad lately

I love traveling with my parents, and over the years I’ve made an effort to do so as much as possible. It’s the least I can do for them for all they’ve done for me, and for that matter, I really enjoy it.

I’ve gone on some amazing trips with my dad over the years — a couple are most memorable. Back in 2014, I took him on a surprise round the world trip for his “round” birthday (below is a short video from his first Emirates first class flight). Then in 2019, I took him on a surprise safari for his next “milestone” birthday (a quarter century milestone, but we won’t say how old he is). 😉

Unfortunately in the past few years, I just haven’t had much of a chance to travel with him. That’s because four years ago on Mother’s Day, my mom was diagnosed with cancer. I’m so grateful she has fought and is still with us, and frankly I’ve prioritized traveling with her as much as possible, and we’ve been on some amazing trips, from Big Sur, to Hawaii, to Greece.

Anyway, it’s about time I take another major trip with my dad, and that’s exactly what’s about to happen. Fortunately he’s always down for a surprise…

My dad wants to go to Germany, but…

My dad would like to go to Germany, to go back to his hometown, and also to fly Lufthansa first class and visit the First Class Terminal in Frankfurt. 😉 We were going to tie this in with visiting a couple of other countries in the region that I haven’t yet visited, including Luxembourg and Slovakia.

However, since he wants to fly Lufthansa first class, I’ve asked him to be patient with me. Specifically, I want to go to Germany with him once Lufthansa brings back the Airbus A380 this summer, since that would be a new product to review (I’ve recently reviewed Lufthansa’s 747-8 first class and A340-600 first class).

Lufthansa A380 first class cabin

He has agreed to that, but I figured I might as well take my dad on another trip in the meantime.

The trip I’m instead taking my dad on

Here’s where it gets a bit tricky. Up until several years ago, my dad didn’t even have a smartphone or cell phone, so I could blog about my trips with him here in advance, without worrying about him learning the details. Well, nowadays he has a cell phone and reads the blog, so I can’t quite get away with that anymore.

All I’ll do for now is drop some hints. First of all, I’ve warned my dad repeatedly that he’s going on a review trip with me, and while it will be very comfortable, we won’t actually be on the ground for very long. Why am I subjecting him to this?

  • Like I said, this is a review trip, so I think OMAAT readers will enjoy this
  • Given that we have an infant, I’m trying to minimize my time away from home, so want to make the most of this trip in terms of review material
  • I’m pretty sure my dad will still have a great time

So, where are we going? To be honest, there are still a couple of parts of the trip that I’m trying to figure out based on some moving parts.

First I’ll share the hint that I shared with my dad (pardon the part about dinner, it’s part of my dad’s nightly update on what he’s eating, which I always enjoy)…

My dad wants to know where we’re going…

He likes a surprise, so I wasn’t going to reveal any more. But that didn’t stop him from asking again…

My dad still wants to know where we’re going…

And again…

Yep, he still wants to know…

I’ll give you guys some more clues about what I’m planning to check out this trip, without giving away too much. Some clues are abstract, while others aren’t:

  • This trip includes what I’d consider to be a “unicorn” award, which is among the hardest in the world to snag
  • I’m hoping to visit the single points hotel that most intrigues me at the moment
  • There’s a specific airline lounge I’m particularly keen to visit on this trip
  • I’m hoping to incorporate something a little Russian into this trip

One additional clue is that I’m trying to limit the total number of segments we fly, so that this isn’t too exhausting for my dad (even though we’ll cover a lot of miles). So no, we won’t be flying from Chicago to Hanoi via Vienna, Rome, Bahrain, Singapore, and Ho Chi Minh City. 😉

This won’t be as wild as my Bamboo Airways adventure!

Bottom line

While there are still a couple of details I’m trying to iron out, I’m planning on taking my dad on a review trip shortly. I love how he’s always up for a surprise trip, though this one will be a bit different than usual, as we’ll be covering a lot of airline and hotel products in a short period of time.

Since my dad reads the blog nowadays, I can’t share all the details here anymore while hiding it from him, but y’all are free to guess based on the above clues. And if anyone has any specific requests that they’d possibly like me to incorporate into this trip, I’d welcome it!

Conversations (39)
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  1. Klaus H. Schilling Guest

    Hello Ben,
    YESSSS...take him as often as it is possible.
    We only have ONE Mother and ONE Father...they have cared for us and guided us and invested their love and time into us.....the children.
    It's pay-back time....I wish you both happy moments.

  2. N1120A Guest

    I'm just reading those texts in a German accent. My dad sends me the same kind of texts, but with a different accent lol. Enjoy it - I'm going on my first long haul trip with my dad in almost 30 years this summer and really looking forward.

  3. walter Guest

    Out of step with current world boycott of anything Russian. Doesn't this sound like a bad idea?

  4. Rick Guest

    Hi Ben. I'd say you're seeking fun and adventure in South America. Possibly Argentina or Chile. The Southern hemisphere would be pleasant with fall/winter climes. Have fun wherever you take your Dad.

  5. Morgan Diamond

    Broome in WA? QF PER - LHR?

  6. iamhere Guest

    What's the point? Why not just wait to send an article when you announce you're going on the trip.

    1. Malc Diamond

      One reason is it's something to look forward to for those of us who have followed this type of trip over the years.

  7. Malc Diamond

    @Lucky--I'm looking forward to this. The other trips with your dad were fun to read about.

  8. SBS Guest

    The lounge is most likely the new one in Qatar, this is also where you have 105 degrees. Russian is likely the TK A350 in Aeroflot configuration. But unicorn? Qatar Pacific F to HKG? Q-Suites to AKL? AKL would give you 50F this time of year too.

  9. glenn t Diamond

    hmm.... unicorn you say? As @Alvin thinks, must be a Qantas F flight! Nothing more unicorny than that in the miles stratosphere.

  10. Clem Diamond

    Unicorn award + 105 temperatures + some recent posts - all point to Australia including some Qantas First :) .

  11. tom Guest

    Russian is not TK A350 as its impossible to predict where they are with any certainty. New QR lounge for sure, maybe SQ, NH or QF F as the unicorn

  12. Tod Guest

    Quite selfish.. your dad wants to see XYZ.. BUT.. you want to see other places .. so you fit your plans in as well… wow…what a great gift.. TO YOURSELF!

  13. Vancouver - Char Diamond

    will try to Luxair?

  14. DENDAVE Member

    Hopefully, you wanted all of us to guess...

    Before reading the other comments, I was imagining perhaps a stop through Hong Kong (lounge) maybe via a Cathay Pacific flight that included Russian airspace, and then onward travel in Qantas First.

  15. JB Guest

    I remember a post about you taking Ford on a pure review trip around the world, where he was miserable. That was an interesting post. I took my family on a long routing once to the other side of the world. We could have flown there with one stop, but I booked 3 stops and 4 flights, with 4-6 hour layovers at each airport. Let's just say they were miserable. On the way back, I did a similar routing, but it took 50 hours and one layover was 14 hours during daytime.

  16. DC Guest

    I think the air France people are off track

    I think I know where you're headed. Enjoy Uluru. It's quite the sight

  17. Bill n DC Diamond

    Have fun with your Dad!

    This is a great opportunity to share with you my love of that surprise trip with your dad and his attitude! I just did a quick get away as you saw on FaceBorg. Often I would be like your dad and just sit in Lufthansa First and ‘Enjoy the Ambience “. Love it!

  18. Anna Guest

    Youre a millionaire.
    Just buy your dad what he wants!

  19. Gringo Guest

    Fly to London (low of 50s), then get the TK flight (Russian) to IST. Check out the Turkish lounge in IST (and maybe the iGA lounge). Continue to Dubai (highs of 105). Check out Atlantis the Palm. Return in the Residence.

  20. Eskimo Guest

    @Lucky

    "And if anyone has any specific requests that they’d possibly like me to incorporate into this trip, I’d welcome it!"

    As in how to troll you or your dad?
    How about wearing a Sam Chui and Brian Kelly mask on your unicorn redemption?

    1. D3kingg Guest

      @Eskimo

      I came to this story to seek refuge from the other one this morning with the whole white people are bad racial undertones.

    2. UA-NYC Diamond

      Come on just follow your boy Resting Dumb Face Tucker to Twitter and you will be a lot happier

  21. Ryan W Member

    I guess ATL/ORD-IST on TK A350, SYD-LAX in QF first, Al Mourjan Business Lounge – The Garden, possibly St Regis Hong Kong as you've hinted at going to HK before. Maybe even ANA first/business.

  22. Andy Diamond

    I’m so glad you take your dad on a (surprise) trip. My dad unfortunately has increasingly problems with high altitude. Already the pressure level of an airliner cabin affects him. So we are limited to roadtrips nearby, which I really enjoy, but I would have loved to show him some places.

  23. Matthew Guest

    My guess is SQ A380 all the way to SIN in Suites Class before the A380 is pulled on Monday.

    I just took my dad on a very special trip too. So worthwhile. Good for you, Ben.

  24. D3kingg Guest

    How come you’re not taking your dad to Germany ?

    My elderly father and I are both history buffs. Hoping to book AA or BA J late next year to MUC or BER.

  25. Alvin | YTHK Diamond

    Let me guess. Or maybe I shouldn't, in case it's the right answer. Maybe you've got a DO&CO meal set from the U.S. to somewhere where the temperature is in the 70s. My guess is that you'll oryx down to a 105° climate, where you'll lounge in a synthetic forest. Not sure what the points hotel is, but I guess you'll catch a flight down to the cold 50s, where a roo-shaped unicorn will fly you back to the U.S.?

    1. JB Guest

      I agree! The first flight would involve something Russian. The new lounge is one I really want to check out as well. And the roo-shaped unicorn would make sense given Ben's post a few days ago.

      @Ben - How about taking your dad to India and flying Vistara. Or maybe a trip on NH's new 777 cabins.

    2. Alvin | YTHK Diamond

      Ooh, you could try out one of the ex-Virgin Australia 777s flying from [105°F climate] to Manchester, Bali or Bangkok? There aren't reviews of that product out there, to the point where I wonder whether I'm missing an opportunity by not trying it out!

  26. Sonofdad Member

    Could the unicorn be 2 seats on Air France first class?

    1. Luke Guest

      Ben and his Dad have flown AF first before, so I don’t think it will be something he hasn’t flown before…

  27. Sonofdad Member

    2 seats on Air France first class?

    1. Sonofdad Member

      Sorry for the duplicate post in error!

  28. Tim Guest

    „A little Russian“ is definitely a hint at TK’s A350s that we’re originally destined for Aeroflot! These fly quite a few routes and there are more to be delivered.

  29. AnishReddi Gold

    Maybe an Ex-Aeroflot Turkish Airlines A350 for something Russian?

    1. AnishReddi Gold

      Is the unicorn ANA first/business class as Air France first class award tickets can't be booked by lower-tiered Flying blue members and only one award seat per flight.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

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Alvin | YTHK Diamond

Let me guess. Or maybe I shouldn't, in case it's the right answer. Maybe you've got a DO&CO meal set from the U.S. to somewhere where the temperature is in the 70s. My guess is that you'll oryx down to a 105° climate, where you'll lounge in a synthetic forest. Not sure what the points hotel is, but I guess you'll catch a flight down to the cold 50s, where a roo-shaped unicorn will fly you back to the U.S.?

5
Malc Diamond

One reason is it's something to look forward to for those of us who have followed this type of trip over the years.

4
D3kingg Guest

@Eskimo I came to this story to seek refuge from the other one this morning with the whole white people are bad racial undertones.

2
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