My 10 most memorable flights of 2012

2012 has been an awesome year for me, especially on the travel front. As you’ll see on my Trip Report Index page, I’ve been on the road quite a bit, and logged over 300,000 butt-in-seat miles. I figured I’d share 10 flights of 2012 that stood out to me as especially memorable.

March: Asiana First Class Seoul to Frankfurt

Asiana doesn’t have the world’s most modern first class product, though they do probably have the best food and service of any airline. They’re now flying their brand new first class suite to Chicago, so I can hardly wait to try it.

April: Lufthansa First Class New York to Frankfurt

In April I had the opportunity to fly from New York to Frankfurt on one of Lufthansa’s reconfigured 747s. Lufthansa is slowly refreshing the first class cabins on their entire longhaul fleet, though there are a couple of different versions of the new product. One version is the product found on the 747-400, which features both a seat and a separate bed. I’m still not sure whether I prefer this or the other version of the new first class product, though you can’t beat the novelty of having a seat and a bed.

April: Singapore Airlines First Class Singapore to Tokyo

Later in the same trip from Singapore to Tokyo I had what was probably my most memorable flight. Not only was I the only passenger in first class, but this is also the flight where I met Janesis, who must be the most amazing flight attendant (and person) ever. After napping for a few hours on the short redeye I woke up to the below display, which has stuck with me to this day (and I’ve been fortunate enough to fly with her and meet her a couple of times since then).

June: Aer Lingus Business Class Dublin to Boston

Okay, admittedly Aer Lingus business class isn’t the world’s most aspirational product, though I really enjoyed flying with them. There was just something really whimsical about flying Aer Lingus, after seeing their bright green planes at airports all over the place. The fact that a business class ticket cost just 25,000 Avios each way made it even more enjoyable.

July: Singapore Airlines First Class Moscow to Singapore

I had the opportunity to fly with Janesis once again from Moscow to Singapore in July, and the flight was just as awesome (if not awesomer) than the first. Among leading products the difference between a good flight and an amazing flight is the crew, and Janesis and the rest of the crew certainly made this an amazing flight.

August: Lufthansa First Class Frankfurt to Washington

As much as I love the Airbus 380 from a passenger comfort perspective, the 747 remains the queen of the skies, in my book. Sadly 747s are a dying breed, as many airlines are retiring them in favor of planes like the 777-300ER. That’s why I was thrilled to fly on one of Lufthansa’s brand new 747-8 aircraft. Not only did I get to fly the newest version of my favorite plane, but I also got to fly one of my favorite airlines in their brand new first class product.

November: Thai Airways First Class Frankfurt to Bangkok

Sometimes flights are memorable not because they’re experiences you’re dying to repeat, but because they’re experiences you’re happy to have had. I lucked out with flying Thai’s single 747 configured with their new first class from Frankfurt to Bangkok. The new product is definitely a step up over the old one, even if the quality of the seat materials make me feel like they were constructed by the three little pigs.

November: Cathay Pacific First Class Hong Kong to San Francisco

I consider Cathay Pacific to probably be the most well rounded airline in the world. I don’t think they’re the best in any single category, but they’re a solid airline in just about every way. Other airlines have major shortcomings in certain categories, while Cathay Pacific has good food, service, entertainment, and seating. They’re simply so reliable and predictable (in a good way) that it’s always a pleasure to fly with them. And while they may not have fully enclosed first class suites, I do find their seats to be among the most comfortable in the sky for sleeping.

December: British Airways First Class Seattle to London

British Airways first class might not be the best first class product out there (I’d actually argue their first class is the best business class product out there), but it sure as heck is stylish. After years of being deterred from trying them due to the fuel surcharges, I finally had the opportunity to fly with them. While the food and seat weren’t the most impressive I’ve experienced, I did enjoy the service and found the cabin to be stylish.

December: Emirates First Class London to Dubai

This flight was more or less the highlight of my life. I showered. On a plane. The end.

What were your most memorable flights of 2012?

About lucky

Ben Schlappig (aka Lucky) is a travel consultant, blogger, and avid points collector. He travels about 400,000 miles a year, primarily using miles and points to fund his first class experiences. He chronicles his adventures, along with industry news, here at One Mile At A Time.

More articles by lucky »

Comments

  1. Awesome year, Lucky! I wonder how you will top it. For me, I gotta go with the Emirates showers as well on EK 384/385, though I enjoyed my first visit to the FCT and landing on a practically deserted Easter Island in the middle of the night.

  2. January 2012 – my first time on an A380. AF Affaires (business) class IAD-CDG-DXB-CDG. Sadly the final leg, CDG-IAD was on an old 777. Disappointing way to end the journey. But ticket was only 120,000 Skymiles! Not a bad way to get to/from MBA study abroad in UAE.

  3. Got to experience international F for the first time back in August w/ LH and Thai, along with the FCT in Frankfurt and the Thai F lounge in BKK. That trip was also my first ever flights on an A380 and the 747-8.

    I logged just under 99k BIS miles for 2012, virtually all award travel, which more than doubled my previous single yr total. This also included biz class on SWISS, Turkish, Singapore, United, SAS and Virgin Australia in addition to the F flights mentioned above.

    I only wish I could replicate that in 2013.

  4. Best flight was probably MUC-SFO in F. Had a great crew, new seat and capped off a great trip. Really enjoyed SQ F but did not care too much for the seat. It was awesome as a bed but just for sitting around watching a movie or eating it doesn’t really function very well vs the competition. SQ could also use some car service from TPR to the gates to really complete the experience. I could have swore I had walked all the way to Malaysia by the time I finally got to the gate.

    Also best hotel experience of the year was BKK Pen. Just top notch and for the price it is hard to imagine there is much to compete.

    Also have to throw a shout out to my AS flight thanks to the whole Iceland Air redemptions that were going on for a bit. That turned out to be a very pleasant F experience to/from the islands and another really fun trip.

  5. @Troy/Jake E: if either of you are from duke, hit me up at bhl8(at)duke.edu. We should grab drinks/meetup whenever you’re on campus! ;)

  6. Lucky:
    I realize that you mostly only fly First and BIz class, but I still think your statement about CX is going too far:
    “Other airlines have major shortcomings in certain categories, while Cathay Pacific has good food, service, entertainment, and seating.”
    CX simply has the worst long-haul Y seats in the business. Do a quick Google search and you’ll know what I’m talking about. The seats don’t recline at all and people’s back injuries are legendary. Since you didn’t say your analysis was only for 1st and Biz class, I have to strongly disagree with your statement. You couldn’t pay me to fly CX economy long-haul again.

  7. 1. LH F FRA-NRT 388 – WOW! (and the 6 hour layover in FCT – Heaven!)

    2. SQ F HKG-SFO 773 – outstanding soft product

    3. CX F: HND-HGK 744 – outstanding hard/soft product

    4. QF F: SYD-LAX 744 – terrible/tired hard product. Qantas First Class Lounge in SYD, service, food, booze was wonderful though.

    This will surprise most people, but I flew UA F SFO-SYD in April and found the seat extremely comfortable!

    All were award tickets.

  8. Hey Ben, can you also do a post of your top 10 hotel stays in 2012? Would love to see which hotel top your list and Hyatt vs. Starwood etc..

  9. @ AJK — That’s also a great idea, thanks. Maybe I can do a series of posts on the top 10 of various aspects of the travel experience.

  10. Timely post as I was just reviewing my 2012 trips. Not quite impressive as lucky, but I did manage to fly over 180k (https://twitter.com/dbuszko/status/286671900090978304/photo/1).

    As far as memorable flights of 2012:
    1. LH F FRA-NRT A380 (the trip also included MIA-FRA with reconfigured F)
    2. SQ F SFO-HKG 777
    3. QR J DOH-IAH 777

    I’ve done the OZ F ICN-FRA before as well. It was a great flight made even better by the fact that I was the only passenger in F.

  11. LH FRA-ATL in F….and the lounge. Old product yes, but we were the only 2 customers in F. The limo ride….being escorted onto the plane. The service onboard. It was all just wonderful.

  12. 1. Asiana F in 744 FRA-ICN (had whole F for myself

    2. SQ F in 773 SIN-HKG (nice but short – loved the Private Room in SIN)

    3. TG F in A388 HKG-BKK (felt good to test the brand new product – even on that short hop)

  13. 1) LH F LAX-NRT the long-way, getting to experience the 748, A380, and new F 744
    2) CX F DPS-HKG-YYZ
    3) Easter Island and LAN J
    4) SQ J JFK-FRA-SIN – first time in SQ J

  14. JFK – LHR- CPT, could have done the non stop but chose to go BA in F as a redemption. Great seats, service & lounge. High Tea complimented high times

  15. This flight was more or less the highlight of my life. I showered. On a plane. The end.

    Don’t forget the heated floors!

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