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Milestone Birthday Extravaganza
I’ll jump in.
Last year I had a milestone birthday, you know, one of those that ends in a zero. I’d started reading blogs about 2 years prior and set last year’s birthday as a redemption target.
I had signed up for several cards and then BA had the 100K offer. My dad had also offered up his AA miles and armed with that, I was able to book the following:
Qantas First DFW-SYD – used BA miles (transferred MRs to top it off)
Qantas Business SYD-MEL-ASP-AYQ (Ayers Rock) and AYQ-ASP-MEL
Fiji Air Economy (I know!) MEL-NAN
Fiji Air Business NAN-LAX
AA domestic First MEM-DFW and LAX-DFW-MEM
I went ahead and paid the fuel surcharges for the BA flight. When the AA booking window opened up I did think about trying to drop the seat and then grab it with AA miles but I was too chicken. Also, I had two friends working on their own tickets/routing and didn’t want to risk losing the seat and screwing up everyone’s timetable.
I would have been fine flying economy for the intra-Australia flights but there weren’t any economy seats flying to Ayers Rock/Uluru. There were only 2 seats on the leg from SYD (which I let my friends use) and I took the long way around. There were only 2 seats period on the flight back to Melbourne so one of my friends bought an economy seat.
Likewise there were only 3 award seats flying to Nadi, Fiji so we were just glad to have them. It’s a 5 hour redeye from MEL so it wasn’t a huge deal.
For hotels I transferred UR points to Hyatt and used my 2 free nights from the Hyatt credit card to get the three of us a room for 4 nights at the Park Hyatt Sydney. There are no chain hotels at Uluru so I used Arrival Plus points for that and the car, mostly from manufactured spending. More UR/Hyatt points for the Park Hyatt Melbourne for 2 nights and then Hilton points for a 2 BR condo in Fiji for 3 nights. The Fiji Air flight lands in LA too late for me to get back to MEM the same night so I spent a few more UR/Hyatt points at the Hyatt Regency on the DFW airport property before catching my final flight the following morning.
I also used Arrival Plus points for shuttles to & from the airports in SYD, MEL and Fiji.
Two weeks in Australia and Fiji that would not have been possible without points & miles. Huge thanks to Ben and other bloggers who take time to answer questions from newbies and post all the valuable info that they do. Though I don’t get to do but one big trip a year, this hobby has opened up the world to me.
[USER=184]@MidSouth Skier[/USER] Nicely done! Sounds like an amazing trip. Also, Happy Belated!
I think [USER=7]@Tiffany[/USER]’s intention was for readers to start a new “question” using the “Trips & Tips” question/thread type instead of just posting here.
[QUOTE=”MidSouth Skier, post: 17736, member: 184″]I’ll jump in.[/QUOTE]
Also, I meant to say more last night, but was just stunned by the redemption — this is a really impressive trip, even if you weren’t using miles!
Do you have any pictures for us to drool over?
It took forever to get written & posted but you can see my photos at [URL=’https://2btraveling.net/’]2btraveling.net[/URL]
I suppose if this were my job I could get the trip reports done more quickly but it amazes me how fast y’all get things posted. It always takes me months to get it done!
Whoa… you have your own blog? Cool!
It’s just a baby of a blog compared to this one and it’s mostly for my friends. Other than trip reports all the info comes from other blogs but, yeah, it’s mine.
I’m not picky, I just wanted to see non-marketing pics of Fiji Airways 🙂
Ben is a machine, but trip reports are very very very hard. Each segment typically takes me at least 10 hours, once you factor in all the photo editing and captioning and writing.
As you’ll read in the Fiji Airways segment, I got selected for extra screening so my photos of their business class were quite hurried so they’re a little blurry since I was trying to get settled in my seat.
This is great. A new discovery that [USER=184]@MidSouth Skier[/USER] has a blog.
Yup, and thanks to the mention here yesterday it received its most views ever. Of course that means 30+ views! :p