The Long Way From Abu Dhabi To Doha: Introduction

The Long Way From Abu Dhabi To Doha: Introduction

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38
The Long Way From Abu Dhabi To Doha
More from this series:


I’ve lived in hotels full time for close to a year now. When I started this experiment the plan was to always spend a couple of weeks in one place before moving onto the next. Unfortunately that’s not how it has worked out in practice. Instead I’ve been horrible at planning, thanks largely to the fact that I’ve had commitments all over the place which have prevented me from spending extended periods of time outside the US.

Not only have I not spent extended periods of time in one place, but I’ve also planned super last minute. Like, I’ve literally checked out of hotels without anything else booked, and then sat in the lobby connected to Wi-Fi until I figured out where I was going next. Not so glam, sometimes!

As I start to write this trip report, I have no clue how to even begin to tackle this, given that it basically covers a month of my life which was full of nonstop travel.

When I started planning this “trip,” there were three things I was centering it around:

Qatar-Airways-A350-06
Qatar Airways A350 delivery ceremony

I booked paid tickets on both of those flights by strategically positioning in Colombo, Sri Lanka, and Cairo, Egypt. And then from there I had to figure out how to structure the rest of my trip.

After I got those flights confirmed, I left the trip alone for a while, figuring I’d eventually decide how to position myself. Then a couple of other things came up:

Radisson-Blu-Copenhagen
Copenhagen, Denmark over New Years

And everything else was just kind of “filling in” the gaps as much as possible.

In the end, my itinerary looked as follows:

Crazy-Trip

And here are the flight details and cost of each itinerary:

12/22 BA379 Toulouse to London departing 7:10PM arriving 8:05PM [Business]
12/22 GF2 London to Bahrain departing 9:30AM arriving 7:00PM [Business]

Cost: 30,000 American AAdvantage miles

Gulf-Air-Business-Class-A330-02
Gulf Air business class A330

12/25 EY376 Bahrain to Abu Dhabi departing 6:05PM arriving 8:15PM [Business]
12/25 EY266 Abu Dhabi to Colombo departing 9:35PM arriving 3:35AM (+1 day) [Business]

Cost: 30,000 American AAdvantage miles

Etihad-Business-Class-A320-01
Etihad Airways business class A320

12/26 EY267 Colombo to Abu Dhabi departing 4:35AM arriving 7:55AM [Business]
12/27 EY11 Abu Dhabi to London departing 2:35AM arriving 6:35AM [First]

Cost: ~$2,500 paid ticket

Etihad-A380-First-Apartment-01
Etihad Airways first class A380

12/27 AA57 London to Miami departing 9:45AM arriving 2:40PM [First]
12/27 AA56 Miami to London departing 7:10PM arriving 8:40AM (+1 day) [First]

Cost: ~$1,500 paid ticket

American-777
American 777-300ER London Heathrow

12/29 BA822 London to Copenhagen departing 6:30PM arriving 9:25PM [Business]
01/02 BA819 Copenhagen to London departing 6:05PM arriving 7:15PM [Business]

Cost: 18,000 British Airways Avios

BA-Club-Europe
British Airways business class A320

01/03 AA107 London to New York departing 5:05PM arriving 8:20PM [First]
01/04 AA255 New York to Los Angeles departing 10:00AM arriving 1:20PM [First]
01/04 AA297 Los Angeles to Honolulu departing 4:25PM arriving 8:25PM [First]
01/07 AA162 Honolulu to Los Angeles departing 1:38PM arriving 9:03PM [First]
01/08 AA136 Los Angeles to London departing 6:40PM arriving 1:15PM (+1 day) [First]

Cost: ~$1,500 paid ticket

American-Flagship-First-Class-01
American first class 777-300ER

01/12 EY20 London to Abu Dhabi departing 2:05PM arriving 12:55AM [First]
01/14 EY651 Abu Dhabi to Cairo departing 12:50AM arriving 3:05AM [Business]

Cost: 40,000 American AAdvantage miles

Etihad-First
Etihad Airways first class 777-300ER

01/14 QR1302 Cairo to Doha departing 6:40PM arriving 10:40PM [Business]
01/15 QR67 Doha to Frankfurt departing 7:40AM arriving 12:30PM [Business]

Cost: ~$700 paid ticket

Qatar-Airways-A350-Business-Class-06
Qatar Airways business class A350

01/16 US701 Frankfurt to Philadelphia departing 1:00PM arriving 4:05PM [Business]
01/16 US1883 Philadelphia to Tampa departing 6:05PM arriving 8:58PM [Business]

Cost: 50,000 American AAdvantage miles

US-Airways-Business-Class-A330-05
US Airways business class A330

As you can see based on the index above, I won’t be covering every single hotel and every single flight. Instead I’ll focus on the ones that I think are most relevant and interesting, since that’s still 25+ installments.

For the hotel reviews, I’ll be explaining why I chose each individual hotel along with the cost in the individual post.

Bottom line

All things considered, this was one of the most exhausting but fun journeys I’ve ever taken. Though suffice to say by MLK weekend I was ready to hibernate for weeks on end.

As always, any questions/comments are welcome! Thanks for reading, and thanks for your patience! I should be rolling out these installments pretty quickly now.

Conversations (38)
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  1. Rick Guest

    Lucky, can you show the process you use to find the best price for your flights because the cost/miles used are surprisingly low.

  2. Joe Guest

    Hi Lucky,
    Really enjoy your trip reports. Do you use any particular search engine to find these discounted/promotional fares?
    Thanks for the advice.

  3. John Guest

    Lucky, I enjoy your trip reports as much as anyone. What I would love to see is a little more diversity. I feel like you have covered every possible Emirates, Qatar, Dubai/ME3 related airline/route there is, as well as Cathay Pacific to death. Would love to see some more stuff to South America, maybe Africa, Oceana, etc. I know you've done them, but they are just more rare. Thanks!

  4. Daniel Guest

    Wow! How did you get from London to Honolulu round-trip in first for 1500$?

    1. lucky OMAAT

      @ Daniel -- There was a fare sale at the time:
      https://onemileatatime.com/first-trip-2015-international-first-class-1500/

  5. tara Guest

    I hope you continue on with your travel-based life and can tweak it so that it approaches your desired ideal. You are a fantastic writer and your posts are not only informative they're inspiring! I enjoy your daily entries but also find that when I search for travel-related information you almost always have some older entry that has just what I'm looking for and it provides more detail than any others. I also appreciate that...

    I hope you continue on with your travel-based life and can tweak it so that it approaches your desired ideal. You are a fantastic writer and your posts are not only informative they're inspiring! I enjoy your daily entries but also find that when I search for travel-related information you almost always have some older entry that has just what I'm looking for and it provides more detail than any others. I also appreciate that you are honest about the things that don't work out so well.

  6. Lively Guest

    "Not so glam, sometimes!" When I read that I thought, uh yeah, it is glamorous. Then I read the list/dates of the flights. I don't think I could have done the LHR>MIA turn MIA>LHR...doesn't sound glam. Thanks for the miles/prices info and thanks for taking all of us along for the ride.

  7. MSPpete Guest

    I can't wait for your report about Cairo Airport VIP Service, since I reserved their services to transfer from an incoming international flight to a domestic flight last July. They never showed up to meet me! Glad I didn't prepay.

  8. RS Guest

    12/26 EY267 Colombo to Abu Dhabi departing 4:35AM arriving 7:55AM [Business]
    12/27 EY11 Abu Dhabi to London departing 2:35AM arriving 6:35AM [First]
    Cost: ~$2,500 paid ticket

    How did you get it so cheap?

    1. lucky OMAAT

      @ RS -- Some markets just have cheaper fares than others:
      https://onemileatatime.com/cheap-first-class-fares-colombo-sri-lanka/

  9. Joe P New Member

    I am super pumped to read this! I'm hoping you got a couple of photos of the new Etihad business class when you flew in the First Apartment. Would love to see how they turned out

  10. Ken Guest

    Lucky, can you include other fees like the departing London fee next to the mileage cost? It helps to see the total cost of the segments you're taking. (And there are TONS of them here)

    1. lucky OMAAT

      @ Ken -- I wasn't originating in the UK so there was no UK APD. In all cases taxes were under $100 per ticket.

    2. Ken Guest

      Ok, I'm confused. It looks like about half your flights are departing London on different paid tickets. Why don't those trigger the departure fee?

    3. lucky OMAAT

      @ Ken -- The intra-Europe awards are Reward Flight Savers, so the UK APD isn't charged. The paid tickets already have the APD factored in.

  11. Amit Guest

    Hi lucky,

    I was wondering if the prices are right? 1500 dollars london to miami return? How do you get these fares? Thanks

    Amit

    1. lucky OMAAT

      @ Amit -- Yep, see this post:
      https://onemileatatime.com/first-trip-2015-international-first-class-1500/

  12. Farhan Guest

    hey Lucky. I was curious when did you book the first class ticket from MIA-LON? That seems a great price. Was their a special?

    1. lucky OMAAT

      @ Farhan -- See this post for all the details:
      https://onemileatatime.com/first-trip-2015-international-first-class-1500/

  13. No Name Guest

    @Kurt

    Going out on a limb her, but could it have something to do with express security access?

  14. J Guest

    Oops, your HNL-LAX and LAX-LHR segments are both 1/7... :)

    1. lucky OMAAT

      @ J -- Good catch. Fixed, thanks!

  15. Kurt New Member

    12/29 BA822 London to Copenhagen departing 6:30PM arriving 9:25PM [Business]
    01/02 BA819 Copenhagen to London departing 6:05PM arriving 7:15PM [Business]
    Cost: 18,000 British Airways Avios

    I know you often take a lot of crap for only flying biz+first, but wasn't this just "intra-europe" style biz class (middle seat blocked)? Do you really think it's worth paying double the miles on a < 2 hour flight?

    Looking forward to the detailed reports :-)

    1. lucky OMAAT

      @ Kurt -- Personally I do, yes. I value Avios at maybe ~1.2 cents each, so that's like ~$50 each way for an upgrade. For me that's worth it for an empty middle seat, better service, food, drinks, etc. But I realize everyone values miles differently.

  16. Sunil New Member

    This itinerary looks incredible, I'm looking forward to the trip report.

    Btw, did you fly on the 'new' club Europe seats with the reduced pitch?

    1. lucky OMAAT

      @ Sunil -- Sure did! Definitely preferred the old product.

  17. Nemme Member

    Thanks for including the costs, but I hope you know there are a lot of loyal readers who know (because you shared every misstep in real time) who will remember that you didn't actually take all those flights.

    1. lucky OMAAT

      @ Nemme -- Of course, I'd hope so. ;) As I said, just sharing what I booked.

  18. Iolaire McFadden Guest

    Thanks for sharing the cost so clearly. Thats a lot of flying and a lot of points/cash, even if it all might have been a good deal in some way.

  19. Frump Guest

    @lucky You missed the flights to/from Colombo on this trip right?

    1. lucky OMAAT

      @ Frump -- Correct. :)

  20. Mike Guest

    Looking forward to reading this report! Always interested in future destinations!

  21. M Simons Member

    Some of those prices were quite a bit less than what I would expect. I ought to poke around more.

    1. lucky OMAAT

      @ M Simons -- I love Cairo and Colombo so much for a reason. ;)

  22. Carlos Guest

    How did you positioned in London?

    1. lucky OMAAT

      @ Carlos -- You mean Toulouse? I had booked Singapore Airlines from JFK to FRA, and then Lufthansa from FRA to TLS.

  23. Bruno Member

    "12/27 AA57 London to Miami departing 9:45AM arriving 2:40PM [First]
    12/27 AA56 Miami to London departing 7:10PM arriving 8:40AM (+1 day) [First]

    Cost: ~$1,500 paid ticket"

    Why did you do this? Just because it was "cheap"?

    1. lucky OMAAT

      @ Bruno -- Because the miles I earned from taking it were more than the cost of the ticket, and it got me an extra couple of year end systemwide upgrades to use in 2015. :)

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

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Rick Guest

Lucky, can you show the process you use to find the best price for your flights because the cost/miles used are surprisingly low.

0
Joe Guest

Hi Lucky, Really enjoy your trip reports. Do you use any particular search engine to find these discounted/promotional fares? Thanks for the advice.

0
John Guest

Lucky, I enjoy your trip reports as much as anyone. What I would love to see is a little more diversity. I feel like you have covered every possible Emirates, Qatar, Dubai/ME3 related airline/route there is, as well as Cathay Pacific to death. Would love to see some more stuff to South America, maybe Africa, Oceana, etc. I know you've done them, but they are just more rare. Thanks!

0
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