Here’s What My Upcoming Travel Looks Like

Filed Under: Travel

I started off 2016 with the goal of reviewing 16 new airline products this year, though I’m on track to greatly exceed that. For years I was flying many of the same products over and over, so I’m excited to finally try some new products. While Aeromexico business class is perhaps not quite as glamorous as Cathay Pacific first class, there’s something so fun for me in trying new airlines, and being able to report back to you guys.

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Cathay Pacific first class

Purely in terms of completely new products, so far this year I’ve reviewed Finnair business class, Air India first class, Hainan business classIberia business class, LAN business classOman Air business classAir France business class, Avianca business class, Aeromexico business classAir Canada business classSouth African Airways business class, China Airlines business class, Japan Airlines business class, SAS business class, China Eastern business class, Royal Air Maroc business class, Saudia business class, Pakistan business class, and JetBlue Mint.

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Royal Air Maroc 787

The actual trip report for that last trip will be published out very shortly, so stay tuned for that.

In the meantime, I figured I’d recap what’s coming up, since I’ve received a lot of questions about when some other trips that I’ve referenced will be taking place.

Trips I have booked

In terms of confirmed trips, here’s what I have coming up:

Then I also have a bunch of pre-devaluation American AAdvantage awards booked, including in Cathay Pacific first class, Etihad first class, etc. However, those wouldn’t make especially interesting reviews, so I might reconsider them, as they’re just placeholder itineraries as of now.

Air Tahiti Nui A340

Trips I’m considering

With how many new airlines I’ve tried lately, I figured the list of airlines I want to try would eventually get shorter, but unfortunately it hasn’t. As a matter of fact, the more new airlines I try, the bigger my list of other airlines I want to try gets.

The two airlines left on my list from the beginning of the year are Kuwait Airways and EgyptAir, so I’m going to figure out a way to try them. But otherwise I’m really intrigued by:

I hope to finalize at least a couple of these in the coming weeks. If anyone has any other products they’d love to read a review of, please let me know, because maybe I can work it into one of these trips.

AZAL Azerbaijan 787

Bottom line

I’ve really enjoyed getting to try a bunch of new airlines. As much as I love the world’s best first class products, I get a lot more enjoyment out of trying new airlines, especially if the experience is different than I was expecting.

I’m excited about my next trip on Fiji Airways and Air Tahiti Nui, though with all four flights having angled seats, I doubt it’ll be a very relaxing one!

  1. Welcome to your new life Lucky, with better blog traffic and users because some of us will faint if we see another review of AA/BA/CX or SQ/LH or QR/EY/EK!!! 🙂

    I just wish that you start branching out into the hotel world, too. No more Hyatts!!!

  2. Have you ever flown Egyptair? Totally random but seems rather interesting and could probably be paired with Aegean, which is a great regional European airline.

  3. I’d still be curious to see an Aeroflot review after you had to cancel the flight with them before. Perhaps could be combined with the flight to Riga.

  4. You might want to add 9W to your list of airlines. They do YTZ-AMS. They have an amazing business class product I feel.

    I agree with keitherson, you should branch out to explore hotels. SPG property could be good ones maybe?

  5. Ben, you should try China Airlines (CI73) new non-stop to Europe, from Taipei to Amsterdam on their new A350-900 starting end of Jan 2017

  6. I want some glamour back, so Garuda F would be my first choice (you are also going to fly Swiss F, aren´t you?). And even though they may not be the best use of miles, I´d prefer some reviews of business class on the major carriers, like Etihad, Emirates, Air France, ANA…

  7. Air Ethiopia business class, JNB to CDG. Where else can you get Ethiopian food served on a flight? (I’m flying that route in June)

  8. How about finally giving LY a try? While far from the best F or J products out there, it’s a lot better than PIA.

  9. you should try Aerolineas Argentinas Business class.

    Also, go to Nantucket. No chain hotels (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) but the nicest place you’ll ever go.

  10. Hi Ben,
    I would love to see you review EL AL international business class or first class, it’s a product that doesn’t really have many reviews and should be an interesting experience to say the least.

    In addition perhaps you could also review United BuisnessFirst. To my knowledge, you have yet to review it and it would be very interesting to see your thoughts on the product and how it stacks up as compared to the likes of Delta and American.

  11. I have flows SQ’s 350 business and still not sure whether I find the seat not too good or whether I love it! Would really like to read about that.

  12. do a comparison – EK J A380 vs EY J A380. that would be a fun report!!! on the JFK route. Or the SYD route.

  13. Do you have a flightdiary or flightmemory? I’d be intrigued to see all your “lines” over the years.

  14. What about checking out CX business class in A350? They’re starting service to DUS and LGW with them. Also LOT Polish has apparently improved. Like, a lot. Would like to see something about El Al.

  15. Why haven’t you ever reviewed El Al? There are hardly any trip reports on them in the internet, I would love to find out how the experience looks like. Hope you’ll give them a try as your trip reports are one-of-a-kind. Cheers 😉

  16. Business class on Vietnam Airlines has been rarely reviewed… same with Kenya Airways and to echo Jason, Aerolineas Argentinas.

  17. Aeroflot, please. I was so disappointed that you & Ford weren’t able to give good ole SU a go during the Russia trip.

    I am tickled that you are considering the Uzbekistan Airways flight to Riga, which is a delightful city in any season.

    I hope you have the ability to experience Garuda’s first class. I agree with @Carlos…it would be nice to inject a dose of “glamour” into this wonderful orgy of business class reviews.

  18. Forget about Meridiana or wait for Qatar Airways to get its hands full on them.
    Instead, you should try AZ’s new Etihad-style J class…

  19. PLEASE fly Meridiana to Naples! You could visit the city and the Amalfy coast, then hop on an high speed train to SUF (2 1/2 hours) and fly to YYZ on Air Transat’s weekly service

  20. Definitely second the request for El Al as well as a more varied hotel mix. Particularly with the Starwood/Marriott merger and the recent big sign-up bonus for Marriott cards, would really like to see more from the Marriott portfolio.

  21. Ben, maybe a suggestion of a “this or that”.
    A lot of us I’ve noticed have trouble deciding between biz on a better plane 380 vs F on 777 or 789.
    I know I’ve been tossing back and forth with etihad.. And some other airlines. Thanks

  22. Please make sure you and Ford have a post on Sardinia. I am considering Porto Cervo for my next vacation and I am relly interested to see your view of the place.

  23. It’s soooo good to read new airlines being reviewed by you! I’d love a Transat and Edelweiss Air review. Keep up the good work!

  24. Hey Ben, I know this is a few but I figured you might want to try a few:
    -Iran Air Business Class, have heard about wonderful service on them and you get you fly old aircraft not flown in the US anymore.
    -while it wouldn’t be business class maybe Buffalo Airways in a DC-3
    -TAAG Angola as you mentioned in a previous trip report.
    -Gulf Air
    -Aeroflot Business Class
    -Brussels Airways
    -IcelandAir Saga Class
    -El Al
    -Qantas F
    -Air New Zealand

  25. Enjoy Uzbekistan Airlines, having flown with them (LHR-TAS), you’re in for a REAL treat. Maximum 6 movies (all in Russian but with subtitles, newest one was from the early 90s, I think), Russian only newspapers, fairly rude flight attendants. Did a regional flight (UGC-TAS) with them too, on an IL-114 (the only active airline who fly it!), my seat reclined both forwards and backwards!

  26. How abut some intra-Canada airlines? Really small ones that go to Nunavit or the Yukon, for example. Bearskin Airlines is one, though not sure where it goes.

  27. @Jason

    I am sure Ben can better address this but my understanding is that he is just banned from MileagePlus, if we wanted to pay for UA he could just not collect miles.

  28. Great to see that you’re trying out more new airlines!

    Personally, I would love a review of Meridiana and Virgin Australia.

    However, you mentioned above that you probably won’t report on some Cathay and Etihad trips you’re taking shortly. If I was you, Ben, I would still report on these as, although reporting on different airlines can be fun, hearing about some trips or more “normal” airlines is always fun to read. Anyway, what have you got to lose?

  29. I also wouldn’t mind if you report on some of your domestic travel, as most people will be flying those more often than S7 Business. You could do one or two a month or compile many of the reports into one a month per airline or something like that.

  30. What’s the best way to search award availability on Virgin Australia? Does Delta show it online?

  31. Absolutely amazed that a prominent Gay travel blogger such as yourself has never flown El Al to TLV

    Pretty good award availability these days too!

  32. Fly Biman Bangladesh Airlines Executive Class onboard B777-300ER. But only after flying the ones that you really want to review…..

  33. You should try El Al first class. There are six seats per row on the 777. Will be very interesting.

  34. Ben,
    I just relocated to Auckland for the year (via C seats on AAs new LAX-AKL flight). Ping me if you have time/interest in meeting up while you’re in Auckland. Cheers…

  35. Hong Kong Airlines HKG-OOL or AKL. Try getting a cheap J fare, there are literally zero reviews of this up on the internet…

  36. Would love to see Air China first class. I’ve got a ton of virgin Atlantic miles and AC presents the best value for redemptions and would like to know if it’s worth it.

  37. I, too, would love Ben to review El Al’s premium cabins. However, I don’t know how he would redeem miles for a LY long-haul flight. Isn’t redemption limited to those with the appropriate number of miles in El Al’s Matmid program? And I don’t think Ben would be interested in shelling out several thousands of dollars for the sole purpose of writing an El Al review.

    But it would be worth the $$$ just for the purpose of visiting Tel Aviv, the most dynamic and fun and sexy city I have ever experienced.

  38. Oh…almost forgot to mention that a Baku trip report featuring Azal and Ukraine International would be fascinating; though, I would through in a stopover in Kiev or Lvov.

  39. would love to see the garuda first combined with the china eastern and korean 747-8i first. that would be an amazing trip report considering all of those have very little reviews and many people would be intrested in the service aspect of garuda.

  40. @lucky lady

    Before making a long list try checking what Ben has flown already!

    Asiana F A380

    He has also flown Finnair J. Link is in article above!

    Sadly the picture was lost in computer crash so no full review on IcelandAir

    And he has flown Air New Zealand back in the mist of times

  41. Is there a personal political reason why El Al is excluded from this list and, while spending a great deal of time in the Middle East, you have avoided travelling to Israel? That is particularly surprising as many people I’ve worked with of German heritage, particularly those of your age carrying a German passport, are eager to go to Israel, a country that arguably would not exist were it not for the holocaust.

  42. Malaysia Airlines’ new A330 business class from KUL to Australia/Japan, possibly on the way back from your SQ SFO-SIN flight.

  43. Way to go Lucky! I like your new list really.

    Just add Vietnam Air to your list. VN has new planes of 350 and 787 for their long haul fleet. They might surprise.

    And if there is a chance, Brunei Air as well. They actually have a fifth freedom from LHR to DXB. It’s a 787.

  44. Go to Ukraine while it still exists, and seconded on the Iran Air suggestion – are they still flying their 747-200?

  45. Ben,

    SQ is already flying their A350 to AMS for a couple of months now. You might wanna fly either from or to SIN via Amsterdam. Also the flight time itself is about 12 to 13 hrs depending on the weather conditions, and several meal services 😉

  46. If Uou’re going to do VA’s new business clas you should try QF’s A330 business class by way of comparisons.

    If also vote for seeing you branch out from your usual a hotel chains, Accor, oberoi, Taj, Nikko and many other chains are calling.

    I’m currently staying in a US$50 a night suite at the orange hotel select in Leshan and my verdict is – not bad.

  47. Still waiting for trip reports to see what sort of amuse bouche is served on: Allegiant, Spirit, EasyJet, and RyanAir!!!

    Sadly, I think all 4 of the aforementioned airlines might actually offer better service than some of the US legacy carriers.

  48. Definitely Garuda F or J long haul products. Also the new MH J class product. I am sure you have lots of SE Asian based readers too who would love to read other SE Asian carriers reviews. Thanks

  49. Qantas A330
    Vietnam Airlines
    Bangkok Airways
    Sichuan Air
    Royal Brunei
    Cebu Pacific
    Aerolineas Argentinas
    TAME Ecuador

  50. Lucky–
    I would love to see you review El Al! They have a really interesting product, as they are known for a lacking hard product but excellent catering. You would also LOVE Tel Aviv — it’s an amazing city!!
    You could fly them from New York one way, then connect on a more mainstream airline back to Europe.

  51. Sometime ago a Flyertalk folk got cheap one way business class on GA out of CDG, with CDG-AMS part codeshared with AF/KL. Best thing was, it classed to (D) so he was eligible to bidupgrade to first. And he snatched it perfectly. I think it was around €800+1100 ish, first class all the way to CGK. CGK is also open a new terminal that GA will use. Apparently in coming week it would be only for its domestic services, but international services would be served from new terminal not long afterwards, I suppose.

  52. How about a review on CX’s new A350 J Class vs SQ’s A350 J Class? Guess it would be something we’ll love to see…

    I know u’ve said said u probably won’t be reviewing them again (eg CX’s First Class), but would be nice to review & see if they’re still stellar, especially with the newer products 😉

  53. Ben-
    I would love for you to review some Russian and Belarusian airlines! I have flow Aeroflot, Rossija, and Belavia myself (I fly them often to visit family back there) but I’d be curious on your take not only on those, but on a variety of other (East) Russian airlines – Ural Airlines, S7, many others…

  54. Funny everyone is throwing random airlines. Let me also add to this.

    Since you’re well travelled in First Class, would love to see as many First Class products covered – some airlines you haven’t flown I suppose would be:

    1) Garuda Indonesia
    2) Jet Airways
    3) Air France’s new La Premier on B777-300ER

  55. KLM’s new business class on the 787-9 with the new seating is not reviewed much. Maybe an option?

  56. KLM new reverse herrignbone seats on the Dreamliner between SFO and AMS, from AMS to NBO Kenya Airways (Dreamliner again), then Air Seychelles. If it’s possible 🙂

  57. A great idea would be to compare the transcontinental products on Virgina Australia’s and Qantas A330’s which you could do in the same trip as VA 777 Business. You could also try out Etihad’s new business class on their A380 which flies to Melbourne and Sydney or 787 which flies to Perth and Brisbane. Thai Airways is also meant to start double daily A350 flights to Melbourne by September which would be another nice option.

  58. Vietnam Airlines might be interesting, and it’s a SkyTeam member. They are now a 4-star airline thanks to their new A350 and 787 with new products. Their A350 has two versions: first A350 has Sogerma Solstys business class seats and extra-legroom Deluxe Economy. The second A350 has Zodiac Cirrus business class seats and ‘true’ Premium Economy. Their A350 is commonly deployed on HAN-CDG, SGN-CDG, HAN-ICN and domestic HAN-SGN. Their 787 is commonly deployed on HAN-LHR, SGN-LHR, SGN-FRA and domestic HAN-SGN. Best to avoid their A330-200s because they are just former Kingfisher Airlines A330s, as well as their old 777s.

    I agree with JessL. Why not compare CX and SQ A350 business class seats? CX has an updated Zodiac Cirrus business class seat on their A350. As of now CX commonly deploys them on HKG-MNL, HKG-TPE, HKG-BKK and HKG-SGN, with HKG-LGW to start in September. SQ A350 is deployed on SIN-HKG, SIN-KUL, SIN-CGK and now SIN-AMS and SIN-DUS.

    And if you’re more adventurous and willing to take an angled-flat seat on a transpacific flight, I suggest Philippine Airlines 777 business class SFO-MNL, LAX-MNL or JFK-YVR-MNL. But best to avoid their A340 business class on LHR-MNL.

  59. Wat about this Phillipine Airlines YVR-JFK > Air India EWR-LHR > Jet Airways LHR-BOM-SIN > Singapore Airlines SIN-SFO

  60. Hey Ben! I was really happy to see you fly Iberia, though less happy that you didn’t enjoy it that much. I’d love to see you try Aegean Airlines and Vueling. Not particularly exciting as they’re both short flights but I’ve flown Aegean quite a bit between Madrid to Athens and the hard product isn’t exciting at all, but the soft product is excellent! Vueling, on the other hand, I’ve never flown but I might in the near future and have heard only the worst so again it won’t be fun for you but probably fun to read about 😉 Let me know if you decide to do any of these 🙂

  61. Air Greenland. I will be flying GL’s strikingly red A330 in 2 weeks SFJ-KEF on a special charter in J class. Otherwise regular service operates SFJ-CPH. It’s a beauty of a jet.

  62. @Jason According to the rolling stone article, United shut down Ben’s account until he pays them back close to 5K, didn’t sound like, from the article, a lifetime ban.

    @Stuart Falk A few years back Ben actually had a trip planned to Israel ( but had to cancel it at the last minute unfortunately. Also in March Ben listed Israel as one of the 6 places he wanted to go this year (

  63. It’s great, and also pleasently suprising, to see that so may people are also interested in seeing Ben fly El Al! I hope he’ll consider it one of these days

  64. You might wanna re-review Turkish Airlines business since your last & only review is in 2013. You might pick a rare random destination, maybe an African destination, and combine the return with an african carrier. TK starts SEZ (Seychelles) at 31Oct, on the way back Kenyan or Ethiopian can be options. ET flies on stop LFW on its way to US.

  65. Lucky,
    One might humbly suggest DrukAir from BKK to PBH. They do code share with Thai air but unfortunately they have their own FF program. That stated, the landing in Paro is worth every penny. I travel annually from TPA via JFK & BKK to PBH and am stunned every time. Bhutan has several SPG hotels along with Como & Amman.

  66. Another suggestion – what about Lufthansa business on the A380? I’m curious what a window seat would be like — whether you have to step over your neighbor — and also what the V configuration entails for the center seats, ie, whether your feet or knees touch your neighbor’s.

  67. Hi Ben,

    I would love to read a review of your experience flying Vietnam Airlines (VN) on their new B787 and A350 in Business class.

    Also China Southern’s A380 Platinum Private Suites First class product and their business class.

    If I were you I would reconsider Egypt Air, because of their unlucky incidences in the not too distant past.

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