Off to India!

Before I depart for India tomorrow, just a couple of quick notes.

First, my friend and I are both still waitlisted for our upgrades from Chicago to Delhi. I’m fairly confident we’ll both clear, though the prospect of flying coach on a 15 hour flight isn’t fun.

Second, I’m incredibly excited about this trip. We’ve finalized our itinerary and will be visiting Delhi, Agra, Ranthambore National Park, Jaipur, the Maldives, and the Himalayas (more details to follow on that). I’ll save all the details for the trip report, though it should be a great trip.

Next, for the tickets from India to the Maldives we’re flying Jet Airways and Sri Lankan. I’m really excited to try Jet Airways and also to fly Sri Lankan again, as I loved them from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore earlier in the year. While business class on them wasn’t cheap, it seemed well worth the premium.

Lastly I want to mention upfront that the friend I’m traveling with is a (luxury) travel agent. I had intended to stay at Starwood hotels when I originally planned the trip, though without any involvement on my part my friend has us booked at some pretty amazing luxury brands I’ve never stayed at (Aman, Oberoi, etc.). We’re even going tenting (luxury tenting, but still). 😉

I had no part in this, as his contacts at the respective hotels all offered to host him, and I’m just along for the ride. I’ll be reviewing the hotels as I usually would with full disclosure at the beginning of the trip report posts when stays are comped (which is only the case for a few of the hotels).

As far as the Maldives goes, the main reason we’re tagging that on to this itinerary is because my friend was recently proactively offered four free nights at a very nice resort in the Maldives with room and board included. So that was something he sure couldn’t say no to, and I certainly wasn’t going to either! Damn, I need to become a travel agent.

Anyway, I’m thrilled and I’ll be posting pictures and thoughts every day, in addition to a trip report when I get back. In the meantime I’ll start posting the trip report from my most recent award redemption to Asia and Europe.

Filed Under: Travel
  1. Oberoi has some really nice hotels. If you find yourself staying in Gurgaon (unlikely, it’s more of a work area), I highly recommend the Leela.

  2. @ Gene +1
    Nothing usually excites me. This trip does. Godspeed Lucky.

    P.S. What are you two going to Jew if only one of the upgrades clear?…

  3. Please don’t stop posting installments of the TR like you did last time. During the school year, when I can’t travel on my own, I need my vicarious pleasure!

    All joking aside, it’s very nice seeing a new One Mile at a Time update in my Google Reader, so keep up the good work.

  4. Ben, what a fantastic trip! Fingers crossed for your all important upgrade… thought it was nearly booked full?

  5. I look forward to your review of AA Y if your upgrade doesn’t clear. Take lots of pics of the economy meals 😛

  6. Thanks, folks!

    @ Darren — It was, though over time space has opened up. I assume there were some people on full fare tickets that changed their plans, so as of now it’s looking pretty good.

    @ Will — Mhm, I’ll be sure to take lots of pictures of American’s “Flagship dinner service” in economy.

  7. I had to catch a flight in ORD on Sunday and right next to us was the AA 292 (Delhi) and it was sold out.

    Hope you clear and get those seatz. Flying in coach is not going to be pretty ….

    Anyway, please take lots of pictures !!

  8. The Aman-i-Khas will blow you away.

    With all these comps, however, I’m afraid your trip report will read like a glossy review from Conde Nast Traveler rather than the typically scrappy “tips, tricks, and travel with Lucky”, which is eminently more entertaining.

  9. Have a great trip Ben, I look forward to reading about it. Hope those upgrades clear before you head to the airport tomorrow.

  10. It looks like your upgrades went through as EF shows C2 on ORD-DEL tomorrow. If not you better call fast and try to jump anyone who might be ahead of you on the upgrade list, though I’m sure you had an alert set up and already dealt with it!

  11. Post an update tomorrow to let us know about the upgrades….and don’t do any of that “I’m going to keep you guessing” crap. 🙂

    Enjoy the trip!

  12. dont worry, Ben will get his flagship service in economy!!

    Ice cream sundaes made to order served in Economy!

    have a good trip ben! don’t forget, pics of diet coke w/ lime (NOT LEMON!)

  13. Lucky,

    Welcome to my part of the world. The Oberoi is a fabulous chain. And the Aman, I presume in Delhi, is where you stay. Its marvelous. I never needed to live in a hotel in Delhi but I sure envy you for that! And on Jet Airways, you’ll be on the 737 service, while you should have been able to try the 330/777 business class also! Another time!

    All the best!

  14. I hope you’re staying at the Oberoi in Ranthambore, it’s the best! (the pastry chef also makes the most delicious croissants!) Also the Oberoi one in Agra, can’t get closer or better views of the Taj from a hotel. Every room is great.

  15. I would love to hear and see photo’s of ben back with the “gatelice” in coach just once in my life…. just once…

  16. You are going to have a wonderful trip & will love India. Although I will warn you traffic is a bit of a nightmare….it makes LA traffic seem very Zen like. Chasgoose is correct though….you are in for a lot of decorative pillows….but at least you will be staying at hotels where they have a proper turn down service. Make sure you experience the pampering that is “turn down service”. (I stayed in Taj Palaces when I was in India & every night after they delt with the decorative pillows they would draw a bath for me……heaven!!)

  17. @ Andy Bluebear — I suspect you’re not alone.

    @ Andrew — Visa? Huh? You need a visa for India? 😉

    We’ll see what happens, I’m expecting they’ll let me re-enter (based on my contact in India), though if not…

  18. @Ace
    Wasn’t’ a racist or ignorant comment. Trust me on this one. Take what I write with a grain of Kosher salt. I’m a tribe member, so you can Jewlax.

  19. @ace
    From the all the comments, it’s clear there’s only one visible ‘fucking ignorant cocksucker’ and it aint JRL.

  20. Enjoy your trip! The non-chain hotels (Oberoi, Taj, and Aman) are miles ahead of any of the chains and you’re going to have a great time.

    Hope you get to see a tiger at Ranthambore!

  21. Hey Ace, calling a dude a “cocksucker”, using it in a derogatory manner, is totally homophobic. Just figured that somebody so sensitive to perceived racism would know that.

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