Around the World in a Week, Part Sixteen: Conclusion

Part One: The Planning Process
Part Two: TPA-IAD on United in First Class, Lufthansa Senator Lounge IAD
Part Three: IAD-NRT on ANA in First Class
Part Four: ANA First Class Lounge NRT and NRT-SIN on Singapore Airlines in First Class
Part Five: The Crowne Plaza Changi
Part Six: The Grand Hyatt Singapore
Part Seven: Singapore
Part Eight: Singapore Business Class SIN-BKK, Thai First Class Lounge BKK
Part Nine: BKK-NRT on Thai in First Class, NRT-ICN on United in First Class
Part Ten: The Hyatt Regency Incheon Airport
Part Eleven: The Park Hyatt Seoul
Part Twelve: Seoul
Part Thirteen: ICN-FRA on Asiana in First Class
Part Fourteen: The InterContinental Frankfurt
Part Fifteen: Lufthansa First Class Terminal and FRA-SEA on Lufthansa in First Class
Part Sixteen: Conclusion

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In my day-to-day life I rarely have a second to just stop and breathe, so while this trip might seem exhausting to some, I found it supremely relaxing. There’s no therapy quite like being able to turn off one’s phone for 14 hours and disconnect with a good meal, a movie, and most importantly, a good nap, while traveling to some of the world’s coolest destinations.

Part of the fun of traveling long distances, for me at least, is the complete blur that the trip becomes.  There’s something exciting about not being tired at 4AM, yet being dead tired at 2PM. And that tingle I get in my head when I wake up and I’m not quite sure where I am or what time it is.

The highlight of my trip, no doubt, was being able to spend a couple of days with my brother, which I don’t do often enough. While I’ve traveled all over the world with him, we’ve never just met up on continents other than North America or Europe. So it was kind of funny to be waiting for him in the arrivals hall at Incheon. It just comes to show you how small the world we live in can be.

As far as the flights go, I was really happy to be able to sample ANA and Asiana for the first time in first class. ANA was all that I expected it to be; they didn’t let me down. They have a great hard product and solid soft product. The flight attendants were great, and the food was quite good. The real pleasant surprise, though, was Asiana. The hard product was fine, but the soft product really blew me away. I’m thinking they have the best western meals of virtually any airline. If there’s an airline with better western meals out there, I’ve yet to try it.

Singapore Airlines was Singapore Airlines. What else needs to be said?

I once again remembered why I refuse to fly United internationally — the product is just incredibly sub-par (mostly stuff not within the crew’s control), but I guess that shouldn’t be surprising.

And most importantly, Aeroplan first class awards from North America to Asia with two stopovers remain one of the best values out there. Being able to travel “around the world” for 120,000 miles is a bargain that never gets old.

I guess this might be as good of a time as any to mention my award consulting business. Till recently I’ve operated mostly by word of mouth, since that has kept me just about as busy as I can handle. But since I get emails all the time from readers asking about award help, I might as well bring it up here. I just added a link to the sidebar which describes my award consulting business, through which I can help you build a similar trip (or any type of award trip you’d like to book). Trips like this aren’t out of reach for anyone that puts a bit of effort into the hobby…

Anyway, more fun travels are on the way in the next few weeks, including some international travel.

Thanks to all that read my report, regardless of whether you enjoyed my report for what it’s worth or decided to pick apart every sentence and read selectively. I welcome your comments either way. 😉

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Comments

  1. LUCKY,

    (mostly stuff not within the crew’s control) what do you mean?

    I can’t wait to read your next F trip report! I like it.

    JOSH

  2. Sad to see the final post of another great trip report. Thanks for bringing us along on another epic journey.

  3. Not within the crew’s control?
    * No menus
    * Embarassing meal offerings
    * No PJs
    * Subpar amenity kit
    * Inferior wines

    The old F on the 777s is an embarassing hard product as well. Tape system for AVOD. But seats that are falling apart. You still have to test the seat first thig upon boarding, so that if your seat doesn’t work you can still switch with a nonrev while on the ground (once in the air it’s too late).

    Now, the new F product is a decent seat (not world class, but not bad). It’s a bit of a cheap feel though, without the nice touches either like nice products in an oversized lavatory… the AVOD is also much improved of course.

    United of course doesn’t do the little things, they don’t have the extensive snack menu or the gift on deplaning, they don’t offer the dinner rose (with built in place to keep it at your seat for the flight).

    And all of that doesn’t even begin to touch on also service from the flight attendants. Which we’ll leave for another day, but United offers one of the most variable flight attendant experiences in the industry — really good or really really bad.

  4. How did you get home from SEA? I thought this final installment was going to be notes on SEA-IAD-TPA. I feel a bit cheated. =P Or was that covered in a previous standalone report?

    On the bright side, congrats on the consulting business! I might be interested in advice on transferring MP miles to a FFP with more favorable rates, but I thought it couldn’t be done? Perhaps you’ll tell me otherwise, for a fee. 😉

  5. @Lucky, thank you for such a detailed and thorough trip report. The valuable information which you provide your readers is informative and excellent.

  6. Okay – I’m depressed now! No more waiting for the next section of the trip report!

    What we all want to know is when the next trip report is coming up!

  7. I loved reading this report. I am doing an around the world trip for business later this year that will take me IAD – CDG – BKK – ICN – JFK – IAD and am really hoping that through my united miles I’ll be able to upgrade to First from Business. I’m going to try Asiana from ICN – JFK and Thai Airways from CDG – BKK. I can then compare the soft service of TK vs TG (since I’m flying F to IST in August with miles).

  8. Dear Lucky,

    I really enjoy your report and really need to say thank you for what you share with everyone.
    Thank you again.

  9. Wow, fantastic reading! I’m a UA “economy-plus and always hoping for upgrades to biz” kind of traveller, and you’ve given me a whole new idea on how to spend some of my miles. 😀

    Thanks for the report and all the great pictures!

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