For 2024, I’m hoping to publish more review trips than ever before. My intention is to get that off to a good start, and I just booked my first review trip of the year for travel within the next couple of weeks. I wanted to share the basic details — there’s one segment I’m particularly excited about.
In this post:
Background on my upcoming review trip
For those who aren’t longtime readers, let me just explain that I take review trips with the sole intention of reviewing as many airline and hotel experiences as possible while being away from home for as little time as possible (since we have an infant son). I also take more leisurely vacations with family where I spend more time in destinations, but these trips aren’t those. 😉
My goal is typically to review products that readers may enjoy redeeming their points for, and/or products that I just generally find interesting, including flights, airport lounges, and hotels. In the case of this upcoming trip, I managed to secure a quick 72-hour hall pass, which I’ll basically be spending entirely on planes and in airports.
Let me just share the general inspiration for this trip. For a long time, Air Canada Aeroplan didn’t have access to Oman Air awards, but that recently changed, and these awards are back. A small portion of Oman Air’s fleet has first class. I’ve reviewed the carrier’s Boeing 787 first class, which is the more modern product.
However, Oman Air’s Airbus A330 first class is what intrigues me most. Oman Air has some uber-retro A330 cabins, but in the coolest way imaginable. Oman Air’s A330 first class cabin has six seats and a couch. No, not a bar, but rather just a couch in the middle of the cabin. I guess that’s there in case you decide you absoultely need a change of scenery.
I’ve checked a lot of things off my aviation bucket list over the years. However, sitting on that Oman Air couch has been on my list for a long time, and it’s something I haven’t yet done. So it’s time to do that. It’s time to try this classic beauty of a product before it’s too late. And with Oman Air joining oneworld in 2024, I figure there’s no better time to fly with the airline again. Let’s see if Oman Air delivers a “commanding performance!”
The itinerary that I’ve booked…
With the above out of the way, let me share the details of the itinerary that I’ll be flying. I booked this entire award using Air Canada Aeroplan points, and I’ll of course share the exact flights, dates, points requirements, taxes, etc., when I publish the trip report series. Below is what Ill be flying, in chronological order.
Air Canada A220 business class
I’ll be kicking off my trip modestly enough, flying Air Canada’s Airbus A220 business class from Miami to Montreal, to position for my first long haul flight. I haven’t flown an Air Canada narrow body aircraft in a few years, so I’m looking forward to seeing how one of the carrier’s newer planes is.
SWISS A330 business class
From Montreal, I’ll be connecting to Zurich on SWISS. Now, I haven’t reviewed SWISS’ A330 business class since 2014, so I figure that’s useful. However, what I’m really hoping is that I’m offered a paid upgrade to SWISS first class, as that seems to be frequently be available within 24 hours of departure, even on partner award tickets. I’ve heard that Montreal is the best North American gateway for that in terms of pricing and availability.
If I’m not offered a paid upgrade, that’s totally fine, as the business class review will be useful too. However, if I do get a paid upgrade, I’m also excited to publish an updated review of the SWISS First Class Lounge Zurich, which I’ve been meaning to do for a long time. I intentionally planned a very long layover in Zurich in case that all works out as I hope. I’ll also hopefully be reviewing the SWISS Arrivals Lounge Zurich.
Oman Air 787 business class
For the next portion of the trip, I’ll be flying to Muscat in Oman Air’s Boeing 787 business class. I last reviewed this in 2016, so I think it’s time for an updated review, to see how the carrier’s business class product is holding up. How’s the service, food, amenities, etc.? I’ve ranked Oman Air as having among the best business class products, and it’s time I make sure that’s still the case.
Oman Air A330 first class
In Muscat, I’ll of course be writing updated reviews of the Oman Air First Class Lounge and Oman Air Business Class Lounge, since I visited them only when they first opened, before the spa even opened. Then it’s time for the segment I’m most excited about. Oman Air currently flies its old but cool A330s primarily to Frankfurt and Kuala Lumpur, so I’ll be heading west back to Frankfurt. This product looks like such a fun throwback, and I can’t wait to experience it.
Singapore Airlines 777 business class
Last but not least, I’ll be flying from Frankfurt to New York in Singapore Airlines’ Boeing 777 business class. While I’ve recently reviewed Singapore’s A380 Suites Class, Singapore’s 777 first class, and Singapore’s 787 business class, it’s time to give the carrier’s long haul business class another try.
I should be taking two review trips in January 2024, and the above are the details of the first one. I’ll be flying Air Canada’s A220 business class, SWISS’ A330 business class (or maybe first class?), Oman Air’s 787 business class, Oman Air’s A330 first class, and Singapore Airlines’ 777 business class. It’s a very quick trip, but every segment is for something I haven’t reviewed in a long time, so I’m looking forward to checking all of these out.
Wait until you hear what I have planned for later in January, because that’s a lot more exotic…
Any thoughts or predictions on my itinerary? Stay tuned!