Author Topic: Oz Trip Report (w/ a splash of Abu Dhabi)  (Read 53316 times)

Offline moish

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Oz Trip Report (w/ a splash of Abu Dhabi)
« on: April 30, 2012, 07:08:26 AM »
Part 1 : The Boring Stuff

I wont bore you with all the details of my various flight itineraries in all the various stages, only the last few.
I'ts worthwhile to point out that if you want to snag award space to/from Australia, especially in premium cabins, you gotta start planning waaay in advance. 

As I was originating in TLV, the best way to structure my titnerary (I had AA miles to burn, so Star Alliance wasnít an option for me) was to make a one way partner award to Australia, and then make a oneworld award originating in Australia and ending in TLV (that would be my one and only open jaw allowed on a oneworld award)

After months of playing around with my itinerary, to include New Zealand or not, I was finally set. A one way all partner award TLV-HKG El Al J, 6 hr layover, and then HKG-MEL on Qantas J. Two long hauls with only a 6hr layover, but I would be arriving on Thursday morning, so I figured I would relax Thursday, check out the penguins  in the evening at Phillips Island, explore a bit of Melbourne on Friday, and be fully recuperated by Sunday. 

Did I mention I was flying with my wife and 2 kids? (Ages 4 and 1)

Anyways, about 6 weeks before the flight, El Al contacts me that they will not operate the TLV-HKG flight on my date, and put me on the flight a day earlier. For whatever reason that couldnít work for me and at this point Qantas didnít have any award availability to leave the day later.

In the end, I found 3 first class seats on Etihad, an AA partner, from AUH to MEL, and RJ had availability TLV-AMM and AMM-AUH so I figured Iíd splurge for the extra 15k miles and experience the Etihad first class suites. I would also have 10 hours to explore Abu Dhabi which I wanted to do, after having a great time in Dubai this past summer. 

AA has a weird rule that they cant issue a reward unless the carrier has a published fare between the 2 cities. So in my situation, since Etihad doesnít publish a fare between TLV and MEL, I couldnít book it with miles. The AA rep wanted me to make a one way TLV-AMM-AUH with RJ for 25k (Middle East-Middle East in J) and then a one way AUH-MEL for 60k (Middle East-South Pacific in F) for a total of 85k, but I opted to do a one way AMM-AUH-MEL for 60k, and use Avios for the 20 minute TLV-AMM. (NOTE: you know that whole thing where the infant costs 10% avios? that only works if you book the infant at the same time as the adult. So it doesn't work online. I learned the hard way)

Finally, I was all set to go!

My final iitinerary looked like this:
TLV-AMM RJ
AMM-AUH RJ J
AUH-MEL EY F
MEL-ADL QF J
ADL-SYD QF J
SYD-AYQ QF J
AYQ-CNS QF J
CNS-SYD QF J
SYD-DFW QF J
DFW-LAX AA J
LAX-YYZ AA J
YYZ-JFK AA J
JFK-MAD IB J
MAD-TLV IB J
« Last Edit: April 30, 2012, 09:02:18 AM by moish »

Offline aussiebochur

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Re: Oz Trip Report (w/ a splash of Abu Dhabi)
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2012, 08:00:28 AM »
Wow, you're brave!
Did you need a vacation after that?

Offline myb821

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Re: Oz Trip Report (w/ a splash of Abu Dhabi)
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2012, 08:54:34 AM »
what was the total miles used for this itinerary

Offline moish

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Re: Oz Trip Report (w/ a splash of Abu Dhabi)
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2012, 08:55:41 AM »
Wow, you're brave!
Did you need a vacation after that?
well, i was able to relax over yuntif

Offline moish

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Re: Oz Trip Report (w/ a splash of Abu Dhabi)
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2012, 08:59:37 AM »
what was the total miles used for this itinerary
tlv-amm: 9k avios
amm-mel: 60k aa
mel-tlv: 150k aa


Offline aussiebochur

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Re: Oz Trip Report (w/ a splash of Abu Dhabi)
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2012, 09:02:28 AM »
mel-tlv: 150k aa
Distance based award?

Offline moish

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Re: Oz Trip Report (w/ a splash of Abu Dhabi)
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2012, 09:15:38 AM »
Distance based award?
yup, like i said, a 'oneworld award'

i just made a cheshbon, that at 13 months, my baby has flown 90,311 miles in 42 segments. that must be a ddf record. paging damaxer
« Last Edit: April 30, 2012, 09:18:42 AM by moish »

Offline damaxer91

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Re: Oz Trip Report (w/ a splash of Abu Dhabi)
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2012, 10:49:04 AM »
yup, like i said, a 'oneworld award'

i just made a cheshbon, that at 13 months, my baby has flown 90,311 miles in 42 segments. that must be a ddf record. paging damaxer

My 15 month old has more miles but less segments. And def more F Segments :)

Offline Dan

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Re: Oz Trip Report (w/ a splash of Abu Dhabi)
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2012, 11:07:07 AM »
Nice start, keep it going!
I wish more people would post TRs!
Save your time, I don't answer PM. Post it in the forum and a dedicated DDF'er will get back to you as soon as possible.

Offline sky121

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Re: Re: Oz Trip Report (w/ a splash of Abu Dhabi)
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2012, 11:09:05 AM »
Nice start, keep it going!
I wish more people would post TRs!

+100

Big or small...any sort of trip ...I think it's great when its shared!
"Not all who wander are lost"

Offline moish

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Re: Oz Trip Report (w/ a splash of Abu Dhabi)
« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2012, 12:01:15 PM »
My 15 month old has more miles but less segments. And def more F Segments :)
so i still have 2 months to catch up!

regardless, mine is prob more interesting. (not tlv-jfk-tlv-jfk-tlv-jfk-tlv-jfk-tlv-jfk-tlv-jfk-tlv-jfk-tlv-jfk-tlv-jfk  :) )

Offline AJK

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Re: Oz Trip Report (w/ a splash of Abu Dhabi)
« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2012, 04:07:07 PM »
How were the EY suites?

What about KSML on EY? Edible?
2015: 116K bkd | 1.6M brnd | F: OZ,NH,AA,EK | J: UA,CA,TK,DL,TN,AF,VA | LIH,NRT,ROR,PEK,CNS,BOB,MEL,TLV & Pacific Hopper

Offline moish

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Re: Oz Trip Report (w/ a splash of Abu Dhabi)
« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2012, 04:12:42 PM »
stay tuned...

Offline Dan

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Re: Oz Trip Report (w/ a splash of Abu Dhabi)
« Reply #13 on: August 23, 2012, 10:40:46 PM »
Save your time, I don't answer PM. Post it in the forum and a dedicated DDF'er will get back to you as soon as possible.

Offline moish

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Re: Oz Trip Report (w/ a splash of Abu Dhabi)
« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2012, 04:14:52 AM »
now that so much time has elapsed, i dont remember all the details, would a general overview be of any help?

Offline moish

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Re: Oz Trip Report (w/ a splash of Abu Dhabi)
« Reply #15 on: August 24, 2012, 09:58:29 AM »
Part 2 : Preparation
An American citizen needs an ETA (Electronic Visa) to enter Australia which can be purchased online, but as has been discussed, thereís a member of Flyer Talk who offers this service for free. I would recommend double checking the ETA after itís finished to make sure all the details are correct. (I caught a mistake in the passport expiration date of my infant that couldíve posed a problem.)
It was a bit tricky to figure out what to pack since the second half of this trip would be pesach in America. But it mostly worked out as I was able to send a suitcase to the states about 2 weeks before our trip which included all our yomtov clothing, jewelry etc.

We wrote out a list of our entire trip and made a cheshbon of where we would have access to kosher food and restaurants, and had a detailed list of how many breakfasts, lunch and dinners we needed. For breakfast we brought along breakfast cereal bars, as well as cheerios and instant oatmeal, for lunch we brought tuna cans/packs, salmon cans, cod liver, mayo packets, chips, wraps etc. and for dinner we schlepped an assortment of shelf stable meals. We usually have other dinner options on our travels which include bringing a freezer bag with schnitzel (tastes great cold with mayo) and cold cuts (to be eaten with chips and mayo inside a wrap). We then deposit the bag into the hotel freezer upon arrival, and remove items as needed. However, Australia has very strict customs regulations which prohibit these types of items. So instead, I stocked up on various shelf stable Meal Mart and Kiryat Joel meals, hoping we would be able to use the hotel microwave (double wrapped of course). Iíve never had an issue with a hotel not letting me use their microwave, especially after informing them of the religious issues involved. However, this was a bit of a problem in Australia since they apparently have extremely strict rules about guests entering the kitchen even if escorted. Suffice it to say that if I would do it again, I would bring La Briute self heating meals, even though they leave a lot to be desired taste wise. 
We thankfully got a very nice customs agent, who after inspecting the meals, decided that they didnít quite fit the regulations of whatís allowed in to the letter, but said that common sense would prevail and he allowed it in. So I guess YMMV. For the kids it's important to have all types of snack bags available at all times, such as bamba, nish nosh, pretzels etc, as well as 'treats' (taffys and the like). My baby was still nursing, so we didn't have to bring shelf stable milk.

Our plan was to spend 3 shabbosim there. One in Melbourne, one in Sydney and one in Port Douglas. For the Port Douglas Shabbos, we had to bring shelf stable food, and we found Meal Mart whitefish, gefilte fish, chicken soup, kugel, chicken, liver and cholent. We also brought along a cheap Ďplataí. Itís always a good idea to have some masking tape with you to tape up the light switches. And donít forget besamim. Itís also wise to bring along a Shabbos clock to control the light/lamp situation.
In case you havenít figured it out by now, we travel quite heavy.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2012, 11:01:35 AM by moish »

Offline BrooklynCPA

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Re: Oz Trip Report (w/ a splash of Abu Dhabi)
« Reply #16 on: August 24, 2012, 10:46:05 AM »
You are extremely brave for doing such a trip with 2 little kids!!!

It's been 5 months and you didn't even get past your flights and meals!!! You are keeping us all in suspense! :)

Offline Dan

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Re: Oz Trip Report (w/ a splash of Abu Dhabi)
« Reply #17 on: August 24, 2012, 10:49:28 AM »
Very cool, keep on going please!

Why did you need shelf stable food for PD? Did you go there before MEL/SYD?
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Offline moish

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Re: Oz Trip Report (w/ a splash of Abu Dhabi)
« Reply #18 on: August 24, 2012, 10:57:27 AM »
Why did you need shelf stable food for PD? Did you go there before MEL/SYD?
no, but i had a few days in ayers rock plus some day trips in between

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Re: Oz Trip Report (w/ a splash of Abu Dhabi)
« Reply #19 on: August 24, 2012, 11:17:37 AM »
no, but i had a few days in ayers rock plus some day trips in between
Gotcha, hope you finish your TR :)
I often find that looking at pictures is a great way to jog your memory about an old trip.
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