My 4 (Mostly Crazy) Upcoming Review Trips

Filed Under: Travel

The past few weeks have been quiet for me when it comes to longhaul travel, though I have been taking the time to plan several review trips between now and the end of the year, which I’m quite excited about. I’ve shared some of the details of these upcoming trips in previous posts, though wanted to provide a “consolidated” post with my upcoming review trips, just to give you guys an idea of what you can expect.

Trip # 1: Etihad 787 first class & Singapore A350 business class

My first trip starts in under two weeks. I started by booking a cheap business class ticket on Singapore Airlines from Ahmedabad to Singapore to Newark. The Singapore to Newark flight is the world’s new longest flight, operated by the A350-900ULR. Singapore Airlines has really cheap business class fares out of Ahmedabad, so the one-way ticket cost me around $1,300, and I’ll be earning a lot of Alaska Airlines miles for it.

Then to get to Ahmedabad I’ll be flying Etihad Airways, on their 787 in first class. I’ve flown Etihad’s 787 business class, as well as their A380 first class, 777 first class, and A340 first class, so I’m curious to see how their 787 first class compares, and just how much the airline has been cutting costs. I booked this one-way ticket to Ahmedabad using 115,000 AAdvantage miles.

Trip #2: Kenya Airways business class & British Airways 747 business class

Once I get to New York I’ll just be stopping briefly, and then will continue to Nairobi on Kenya Airways’ 787, thanks to their new flight that launches at the end of the month. I booked this using 95,000 Delta SkyMiles, and can’t wait to see what this much anticipated route is like.

From Nairobi I booked a cheap British Airways business class fare to New York. So this particular trip will contain the first half of that ticket.

I’ll be flying from Nairobi to London to New York on the 747’s upper deck. This will be my first time flying British Airways’ 747 business class, so I’m wondering if being on the upper deck will change my impression of the product.

I’ll also be flying shortly after British Airways introduces their modified business class service, so I wonder what that’s like.

Trip #3: British Airways first & business class, RwandAir business class, and Norwegian premium economy

The beginning of the next trip I’ll be flying from New York to London City on British Airways’ all business class Club World London City service, which I haven’t flown in about a decade, so I’m curious how it’s holding up. Then I’ll be flying British Airways 747 first class from London to Nairobi. Those flights will get me all the way to MVP Gold 75K status with Alaska.

The way back should be interesting as well. I booked RwandAir business class from Nairobi to Kigali to Brussels to London, and can’t wait to experience their product.

Then from London Gatwick I booked Norwegian’s premium economy to New York. While Norwegian has had a ton of aircraft swaps, the route still does show that it’s operated by a 787. Furthermore, it looks like it will feature Norwegian’s newest 787 premium economy, which is a bit tighter than the old one, so I wonder what that will be like.

Trip #4: Air Tahiti Nui 787 business class & United 787 business class

This is a combo of a review trip and a fun trip that actually has a destination. While I’ve been to the Maldives several times, I’ve never been to Bora Bora. So Ford and I are flying from Los Angeles to Tahiti on the Air Tahiti Nui 787, which is a new plane for them, and also has a new business class. I booked this for 85,000 AAdvantage miles per person.

On the way back we’ll be flying United’s 787 business class, given that they just launched the route, and I also look forward to reviewing the Polaris Lounge San Francisco, which is the only Polaris Lounge I haven’t yet reviewed.

In Bora Bora we’ll be staying at both the St. Regis and Conrad using points.

What about the outstanding trip reports?

I’ve been way behind on my existing trip reports, I know. However, my intent is to get significantly caught up this week:

  • I’ll finish the Estonia and Latvia trip report early this week
  • Then I’ll be doing a quick review of where I stayed in Ecuador, as well my 737 MAX flights to/from Ecuador towards the end of the week
  • Then I’ll be writing the trip report about my travels to Minsk and Whitehorse next week

I got married a couple of weeks ago, and that sure was more time consuming than I was expecting. 😉

Bottom line

As you guys know, I love taking these review trips, and I’m excited that I’ll have several fast-paced trips over the coming weeks, which will hopefully make for interesting reviews. I’m especially excited by some of the more “exotic” airlines I have booked, like Kenya Airways and RwandAir.

Stay tuned!

  1. Experienced BA’s new business service a couple of weeks ago. Best business meal I’ve had in a long time. Was very surprised – huge improvement! If only Etihad was as good as it once was…

  2. Cool, Lucky.

    The upper deck on BA 747 is night and day — it is so much better than standard BA business class. Let’s see if you think that too.

  3. p.s.

    I hope you got a window seat on the upper deck of BA 747. That is the real upgrade due to storage. It’s all about the hard product!

  4. Lucky, you def chose the best way to get to AMD. I’m here now waiting for my flight to SIN-EWR and I went with flying AI to DEL-AMD. I needed to get a visa to transit to a domestic flight, and the transit process is a pain when you clear customs then have to get stamped out on the same day. Everyone seems genuinely confused by it.

  5. Congrats Lucky. I must have missed that. Wish both you all the best. I got one of the 90k biz lax to Perth on SQ coming up. Look forward to the report.

  6. Maybe Philippine Airlines’ new business class on the A350/A330 in the near future? The airline has been rising up in the ranks lately.

  7. Congratulations on getting married. May you have many happy years with lots of wonderful travel and reviews 🙂

  8. You got married! A big massive congratulations to you and Ford!!!! Wishing you two a very happy marriage!!! Für euch nur das Allerbeste!

  9. BA upper deck window is as good as their first class, sometimes better (except for their food and wine) in my opinion. I travel between JFK and FRA most weeks in LH first, but recently I took Norwegian premium from LGW-JFK (787). I thought it was great value, and besides their check in process, I think you’ll be impressed. It was a distance better than American Airlines domestic first, not quite as good as Delta. Empty seat beside always helps. Great to see EWR-SIN back, used to take that quite regularly on the A340.

  10. Congratulations on your marriage Lucky and Ford. I’ve been reading your blog since 2010 and it feels like I’ve watched you grow up! Wishing the both of you a long marriage of joy and love.

  11. Congratulations Lucky! Awesome! Looking forward to these new reviews as well as the LH 747 FRA-BOS and JetBlue Mint flight from BOS-LAX. Was looking forward to those reviews!

  12. I also booked AMD-SIN-EWR in Jan. Looking at positioning flights I saw an airline named VISTARA (IATA code UK). It’s a JV between TATA and Singapore Airlines. They fly only India domestic. I booked a business class fare from DEL to AMD. Looking forward to that!

  13. Congrats for the both of you. After you wrote about the amd-sin-ewr flight I booked it as well. I’m planning on a three days tour around Amd and then flying on November 6 from sin. When is your flight? Maybe we can meet.

  14. Congratulations on your recent nuptials!
    Ben, how do you deal with jet lag given the round the world travel almost non-stop? Do you actually get to sight see much?

  15. Sounds great though Lucky when are you reviewing Qantas 787 Business or Premium Economy and the PER – LHR route.

  16. I’m having a review-gasm reading this post! Well looking forward and congrats on wedding Lucky & Ford!

  17. Congratulation on your wedding and (both of) your never-ending thirst for travel! But I really wish you’d fly ANA because I’d love to have seen another round of Japanese masterclass. ‘Our flight will be delayed by two minutes.’

  18. To me personally, your reviews are what makes your blog quite unique – nobody does such detailed comprehensive informational reviews like you do…usually (in my humble opinion) blogs lose something once they become too big and too mainstream…I mean – do people still read TPG?…I pretty much started with that blog (and grateful for what is used to be), but long lost any interest…yours, on the other hand, despite getting bigger and well known, still retains something unique…and I think your reviews are that special “something”…
    anyway…looking forward to read about AirKenya…I actually was trying to find a comprehensive review of it online, but couldn’t…not that it’s an aspirational airline to fly, but it provides the only direct flight from the US to Nairobi, and for someone like me, who goes on safaris now and then, it makes long transit to East Africa shorter….and very much looking forward to AirTahiti and St Regis Bora-Bora reviews!

  19. Upstairs on BA 747 Club World is, as others note, a different world, night and day, versus downstairs main cabin, as experienced (downstairs) LHR-DFW and (upstairs) Phoenix to LHR upstairs early this year.

    Relatively small number of seats, your own galley and toilets, two dedicated FAs.

    Window seats are way more private, with storage bin(s) but are only rear facing.

    And only one or two, if memory serves, right at the back, have aisle access without the need to clamber over a sleeping aisle seat neighbor’s legs.

    Choose thy throne carefully, and happy travels.

  20. T. – Great comment. I got started in the game by reading TPG but it has since become a mass market media site. So glad I switched over to here, just wish I did it earlier. Agree 110% with your thoughts, thanks for keeping things on-topic and interesting, Lucky!

  21. Eurowings launched their BizClass on the long haul network and I can’t find full reviews out their, when will you try it?

  22. Youll be going to Bora Bora in the rainy season, filled with mosquitoes and bad weather. Are you sure you dont want to wait and go there next summer??

  23. Yikes! Do take care of yourself – I hope this is spread out over more time than it seems in this article. I really value your reviews, and some of these overlap my future plans. And, of course, congrats to you both and many, many happy years together.

  24. Hey lucky! I flew out of ahmedabad just two days back and I saw Etihad A321 i believe. Didnt see any 787! Also their “plaza lounge” is pretty decent at the airport in AMD. I used my priority pass.

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