I just booked my latest review trip, which I’m looking forward to taking in the near future. Actually, I’ve only booked one direction of travel, so I’m open to feedback as to what y’all would most like to read about in the other direction.
In this post:
My Etihad & British Airways first class award
I managed to redeem 115,000 American AAdvantage miles for a first class award from Abu Dhabi to Chicago via London, all in A380 first class (yes, some Etihad partner awards are still possible). I’ll be flying Etihad’s A380 first class from Abu Dhabi to London, and British Airways’ A380 first class from London to Chicago.
Here’s my logic for booking this:
- My primary motive for this trip is to check out Abu Dhabi Airport’s new Terminal A, which is a major milestone for Etihad
- I’d like to review the new Etihad First Class Lounge, Etihad Business Class Lounge, Pearl Lounge (the Priority Pass lounge), and of course the terminal itself
- Since I’m flying out of Abu Dhabi and have recently reviewed Etihad’s 787 first class and Etihad’s A350 business class, this time around I’m excited to review Etihad’s A380 first class, given that the jet has returned to the skies
Since I was flying the Abu Dhabi to London sector, I figured I might as well include a transatlantic segment in British Airways’ A380 first class:
- I haven’t reviewed the Concorde Room, the Galleries First Lounge, and the Galleries Club Lounge, in a very long time
- Since an Abu Dhabi to London award would have cost 62,500 AAdvantage miles, I’m only paying an incremental 52,500 AAdvantage miles for the transatlantic first class segment
- This was actually pretty economical, since I don’t have to pay the UK APD (as I’m spending less than 24 hours in the UK), and the total surcharges are only $300 or so
- I haven’t reviewed British Airways’ A380 first class in around a decade
I am trying to decide on two things when it comes to hotels:
- If I’m spending a night at Heathrow and arriving at T4 and departing T5, where should I stay? Should I stay at the Hilton T4, the Sofitel T5, or is there another interesting option?
- If I do spend a night in Abu Dhabi (probably just a quick transit), what review would you most like to read? I’m not usually a fan of W properties, but I’m oddly intrigued by the W Abu Dhabi Yas Island, and it’s also nice and close to the airport, so…
Deciding on an outbound itinerary
What I haven’t decided on is how exactly I should get to Abu Dhabi (or Dubai). I’m trying to keep this trip as short as possible, to minimize time away from home. Nonetheless, I want to have a bit of an adventure on the way out.
For whatever reason, I’m leaning toward flying Ethiopian Airlines to Dubai via Addis Ababa, to review two of the carrier’s long haul aircraft types. However, I’m actually planning to travel to Africa anyway in February, so I guess I could save the experience for then, even though Ethiopian doesn’t yet have availability for my dates.
I also haven’t reviewed Emirates’ A380 business class in about a decade, so I guess I could check that out. However, if I do this, I’d like to check out Emirates’ refreshed A380s, and those are only available on select routes, and I don’t see much award availability as of now for my dates.
As an alternative, I’d kind of love to fly Air India, though best I can tell, the airline doesn’t release much business class award space on its flights between the United States and India? I assume there’s nothing I’m missing there?
I guess I could also travel via the Far East, perhaps flying EVA Air to Taiwan, and comparing it to my recent Starlux experience. But I also feel like I’m getting a bit carried away. I’m open to ideas, so let me know what y’all would enjoy most!
I’m excited for my upcoming review trip, where I’ll definitely be flying on Etihad and British Airways in A380 first class, allowing me to check out the new Terminal A in Abu Dhabi, plus a variety of lounges. What I’m undecided on is what I should fly in the other direction, as I’m all over the place…
Any thoughts on what I should fly on the outbound?