Author Topic: MP and Co's Trip Around the World in Thirteen Days  (Read 17598 times)

Offline Marco Polo

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MP and Co's Trip Around the World in Thirteen Days
« on: July 29, 2015, 04:14:23 PM »
 
    The planning for this trip started during our winter trip to Japan. While we were having a great time in Tokyo, we were looking forward to a warmer, beachier type vacation. We did throw around Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and potentially another Thailand and surrounding area trip, though as it has come to be, we wanted to follow in the footsteps of the AJK’s and decided to go with Singapore and Bali. Although they have not posted their TR on that trip yet (as of 7/27/15), we would be able to find out what they did and get some firsthand tips from them.
Below is a breakdown of our flights/hotels and what we paid/mileage used for them. I find it is very helpful when trying to plan trips when you can see the costs outright of what others did.

Flights: JFK-ICN-SIN (KE F), SIN-DPS-SIN (GA Y) and SIN-DXB-JFK (EK F)


Korean Air First Class Mileage: 95,000 per person and 9,500 for the infant.
Taxes: $249.36 per passenger and $1.80 for the infant.

Emirates First Class Mileage: 100,000 per passenger and $780.20 for the infant.
Taxes: $142.80

Garuda Indonesia Economy: $412.16 for two passengers and infant.

Hotels: Conrad Bali (5 nights), Grand Hyatt Singapore (4 nights) and Four Points by Sheraton Downtown Dubai (1 night).
Conrad Bali: $1039.94 (was cheaper to pay than use HH for this).

Grand Hyatt Singapore: 80,000 Hyatt.
Sheraton Dubai: $70.73 booking a SPG Hot Escapes night.Conrad Dubai booked for ~$200

Food: I purchased some frozen items and repackaged those along with some meals from Noah's Ark/Shelly's.
The store bought food was around $40 and the food from Noah's Ark/Shelly's was $250.

Booking the Flights

      Deciding on which airlines to book for this trip ended up being a lot easier than I had initially imagined. Since my son is still "free", I knew I wanted to use KE for at least one direction. For the way home, I was going to go for Singapore suites or Emirates suites.

     As it turned out, KE flights home from this trip hit their Peak Award Chart and would cost a considerable amount more in terms of miles. Knowing this, I knew I had to fly KE on the outbound and one of the others inbound. Korean Air is known to have incredible award availability, so finding flights were not too difficult and I put a few different routes and days on hold. While we were going to Bali first, I ended up booking us to Singapore on the KE ticket as KE does not fly a real First class to DPS. I placed my flights on hold (they allow for an incredibly long hold time, which makes booking them even better) and then I went to try and find SQ space. 

      After quite a few days of searching and nothing opening up, I decided to waitlist a route I was interested in and went on to check Emirates. With Emirates, I had a little help from D93 in finding the award space available on the two flights I needed, but I needed to call Alaska (AS) to book the flights. This was around the time where there was major speculation on the whole AS/EK partnership and there was no sure thing when it came to booking EK flights. After four failed attempts at getting an Alaska agent to book the flights for me (they “couldn’t” see the space), I gave up on EK and decided I will look into a more create return the next day. After posting about my unsuccessful attempts on DDF, I was encouraged to give it another shot and got out of bed for one last go around. This next rep I got may have been an angel and knew exactly what I was trying to do and how to find the space. Ten minutes later I had confirmations for my tickets and a way home with two showers to boot.

      I had initially booked a 16 hour stopover in ICN to take advantage of their free transit tours, but for some reason KE cancelled that flight and decided to put me on a flight 5 hours later. There were a couple of issues with that. First off, there were no real F class seats on the later flight and the extra 5 hours with an infant would likely be a bit much. I ended up switching to a flight leaving 4 hours earlier with a real F seat and missing out on one of the transit tours. If I wasn’t flying on a Thursday, I would have stayed overnight (KE offered me a hotel) and taken a different flight out.

      With all my “big” flights booked, I just needed to fill in SIN-DPS-SIN to complete my trip. I heard from AJK that he and the Misses were able to get flights on Garuda for ~$100 one-way and I decided to try that route. After weeks of finding nothing in that price range and no decent flight times on SQ, I thought I may take a LCC. I was able to find some flights that would work, but for some reason I pushed off booking it and ended up finding the cheaper GA flights the next week.

Booking the Hotels

   We stayed at the Conrad Koh Samui last year and the Conrad Tokyo in January and had an amazing time at both locations; we decided to book the Conrad Bali (not just because the AJK’s were there). Mrs. MP had recently gotten the Surpass card and I wanted to MS the points for our stay and get Hilton Diamond along the way. As we were nearing the last few thousand dollars to get the points and status, I found a deal going on from Hilton which made the paid rate cheaper than using points and we would earn a nice chunk of points from combining other promotions. (This worked out well for us as we were able to book EY F to MLE soon after and had the points to book the Conrad there).
      
    For some reason I was booked into the Grand Hyatt in Singapore (suddenly rethinking spending all our nights there...) as a Guest of Honor. This GoH would give me all the benefits of being diamond, without actually being Diamond. The Sheraton in Dubai was just something cheap I found for the one night we would be there.
Quaerite et Invenietis.

Offline Marco Polo

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Re: MP and Co's Trip Around the World in Thirteen Days
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2015, 04:16:54 PM »
Leg One:

   We arrived at JFK around three hours before our departure time in hopes of lounge hopping a little. We decided to try and cut back on some luggage on this trip, so we only had two large suitcases, our Polar Bear bag with our food and a car seat to check. Walking up to the check-in counter, we were the only ones and were assisted right away. I did inquire as to how many other First Class passengers would be with us and delightfully found out we would be all alone.

Check-in:

   
      After getting our boarding passes, we went through security and walked on over to the Air France lounge. We were advised as only French people can that we could not use the lounge unless we had Skyteam elite status. Armed with this news, we went over to the KE lounge and spent our time there. The lounge is very bare bones with self serve drinks and snacks. After drinking and eating some snacks and some TV, we were ready to head to the gate for boarding.
   
    As the only First Class passengers, we were the first ones on the plane and seated very quickly. Though shortly after, we had the entire Economy class walk through the First Class cabin to their seats. This was a different experience and one that made us feel a bit weird. Once we were airborne, we were served our meals, watched a movie and went to sleep for a bit. The rest of the flight was spent trying out different seats, drinking at the on-board bar along with more eating and sleeping. Before we knew it, we were landing in South Korea and on our way to the lounge.

First Class Seat:


Economy Boarding:


Seat Options:

   
    The plan for today is to take a couple of the free transit tours, which are offered at the airport, and experience a bit of South Korea. Once we are done that, it will be back to our gate for our next flight to Singapore.
Until later, enjoy.
Quaerite et Invenietis.

Offline Yaalili

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Re: MP and Co's Trip Around the World in Thirteen Days
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2015, 04:23:12 PM »
And the live TRs are back awesome!

Online BrooklynCPA

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Re: MP and Co's Trip Around the World in Thirteen Days
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2015, 04:24:58 PM »
WOW!!! Amazing start. This is what happens when you have neighbors like AJK!!! Looking forward to the rest!!

@ AJK: In case you haven't seen:" Although they have not posted their TR on that trip yet (as of 7/27/15)" :P

Offline benjie1305

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Re: MP and Co's Trip Around the World in Thirteen Days
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2015, 04:26:55 PM »
Very nice. Hope you have fun. Looking forward to the rest.

Mind me asking, how'd you get the guest of honor promotion? Sounds like you were not expecting it.
Work hard, Play harder!

Offline yoruel

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Re: MP and Co's Trip Around the World in Thirteen Days
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2015, 04:33:17 PM »
"I thought I may take a LCC."??

How is flying without wifi for such a long flight? How do these airlines not give wifi?

Offline DMYD

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Re: MP and Co's Trip Around the World in Thirteen Days
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2015, 04:33:25 PM »
EK F is 100K? isn't it 90k?

Offline Marco Polo

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Re: MP and Co's Trip Around the World in Thirteen Days
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2015, 04:41:41 PM »
Very nice. Hope you have fun. Looking forward to the rest.

Mind me asking, how'd you get the guest of honor promotion? Sounds like you were not expecting it.
No trickery involved, you just need a Diamond member to book you.
"I thought I may take a LCC."??

How is flying without wifi for such a long flight? How do these airlines not give wifi?
I haven't had the wi-fi on board yet, so can't compare. It was not bad at all.
Quaerite et Invenietis.

Offline Marco Polo

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Re: MP and Co's Trip Around the World in Thirteen Days
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2015, 04:42:18 PM »
EK F is 100K? isn't it 90k?
90K to/from DXB. An extra 10k gets you another long-haul and shower :)
Quaerite et Invenietis.

Offline DMYD

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Re: MP and Co's Trip Around the World in Thirteen Days
« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2015, 04:45:54 PM »
90K to/from DXB. An extra 10k gets you another long-haul and shower :)
Ah didn't see SIN-DXB also.

Offline rediplus

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Re: MP and Co's Trip Around the World in Thirteen Days
« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2015, 05:27:41 PM »
Excellent !!! Enjoy and keep it coming. TR hall of fame candidate 😁

Offline nobiggy

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Re: MP and Co's Trip Around the World in Thirteen Days
« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2015, 06:24:29 PM »
Nice! Keep it coming!

Offline Einstein

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Re: MP and Co's Trip Around the World in Thirteen Days
« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2015, 06:38:13 PM »
Wow cant wait to see the rest!
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Offline lunatic

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Re: MP and Co's Trip Around the World in Thirteen Days
« Reply #13 on: July 29, 2015, 08:03:04 PM »
These are awesome,  thank you mp

Online Chapshnell

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Re: MP and Co's Trip Around the World in Thirteen Days
« Reply #14 on: July 29, 2015, 10:02:49 PM »
love the cost breakdowns. good job