Around the world and then some but not five continents!

Discussion in 'Trip Reports and Trip Photos' started by simongr, Oct 29, 2006.

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  1. simongr

    simongr Enthusiast

    Jul 10, 2006
    14,229
    1,742
    OK - I thought I would do my first trip report as the upcoming trip for me is a bit unusual (by my terms) with a lot of flights and complications. Its a combination of vacation and business (in two segments really). For me there are a lot of new experiences on this trip - WT+, CX, AA Int'l, potentially first class - so all in all a lot to report.

    the itinerary is

    27/10 - SYD-BKK BA10 WT+
    1/11 - Bangkok-Pattaya - limousine - going for someone's wedding
    3/11 - Pattaya-Bangkok - limousine again
    3/11 - BKK-SYD BA09 WT+
    4/11 - SYD-AKL J in a 763 QFXXX
    4/11 - AKL-LAX J in a 743 QFXXX
    4/11 - LAX-JFK J in a 74x AAXXX
    8/11 - JFK-LHR J in a 74x AA100
    9/11 - LHR-LCA j in a 763 BA662
    12/11 - LCA-LHR J in a 763 BA663
    12/11 - LHR-HKG J in a xxx CX11X
    13/11 - HKG-SYD J in a xxx CXxxx

    just need to confirm a few flight details and will update.
     

  2. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
    4
    looking forward to your report simongr :)
     
  3. aus_flyer

    aus_flyer Established Member

    Feb 15, 2005
    1,361
    25
    Brisbane
    That is probably the shortest (timewise) RTW itinerary I have ever seen!
     
  4. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
    4
    My RTWs are usually about 2 weeks. My most recent trip report covered a month because it included travel before and after the RTW.
     
  5. Tiki

    Tiki Member

    Jul 21, 2004
    449
    32
    BNE
    Kiwi Flyer, does your company have a Brisbane office and a job vacancy for me doing what you're doing?
     
  6. stryker

    stryker Member

    Sep 28, 2006
    449
    0
    Did one last year in 12 days.

    On return to SYD, the Customs person asked where I'd been and I told him.

    He then marched me off to be given the 3rd degree and to be searched in some detail, as no-one could possibly go "Round-the-World" in 12 days if on legitimate business.

    Not much you can do do about that, but succumb gracefully. The Customs officer (and friends) went through everything I had in minute detail, including tipping the contents of my wallet on the table. Didn't find anything remotely incriminating (I am very careful).

    That was his fun. As a senior executive in the Australian Public Service, I knew how the system works, made an appropriate complaint to his Regional Director, and have never seen him again at KSA.

    Just coincidence, I guess.

    Want to know his name, just PM me.

    :)
     
  7. aus_flyer

    aus_flyer Established Member

    Feb 15, 2005
    1,361
    25
    Brisbane
    The OP wins - just 10 days!!!!
     
  8. simongr

    simongr Enthusiast

    Jul 10, 2006
    14,229
    1,742
    Yep - it sure is a short itinerary - especially when I have to fit in two days of down time in towards the end to visit family - but that's still to come.

    Ok - phase 1 - SYD-BKK and Bangkok Hilton (not the jail :))

    I will start at the beginning of the day as the trip to the airport and the build up was as interesting as the journey itself. I planned to work from home in the morning, and collect mrsimongr from work at 1:30PM and go straight to the airport. Thinking that I would be at home I thought I migth as well get my car serviced by LubeMobile - $1600 later we were working out how the guy could finish the work and leave the keys somewhere safe as he was going to be at the house after we left.... try thinking of an obvious place to leave the keys that other people wont think of... i have never had a mechanic phone me in an airport lounge to confirm the charge to my credit card and confirm that all the work was done - always interesting at sim house.

    Anyway having packed and managed to get under the weight limit for WT+ the car came to pick us up, we collected mrssim on the way and were off to the airport. The checkin chick was great - friendly and helpful and managed to change my FF number so that the points would accrue to AA rather than QF and was amused that I had used my QFF number to get a better seat - was even complimentary about it.

    Mrssim was getting increasingly nervous as she hates flying - but I managed to negotiate her to immigration - and warned her of the massive delay would now face. Much to my astonishment there was no queue at all!!!!!! I must fly at that time every week ;)

    Through immigration and security and mrsim was much happier looking at the Moet stand in duty free. After a little mooching I suggested the lounge - which surprised mrssim as she thought we didnt have lounge access (I had confused her about the lounge access at BKK on the return).

    The lounge was nice - as I made my way through the beer, wine and bubbles. What was interesting was that the Wallabies appeared as they began their trip to the Northern Hemisphere for their autumn test series - no autographs requested - although it was tempting :)

    Finally boarding commenced - an interesting side bar was the chap at final security who had a lighter and claimed to have brought it up from Melbourne and was pleading with the gate staff to let him take it on board as he had had it for 25 years - a little sad really and a little cruel of security who sai they could "fax it to you"...

    Next phase was teh flight and with mrssim normally experiencing sever ear pain it was alittle daunting...
     
  9. simongr

    simongr Enthusiast

    Jul 10, 2006
    14,229
    1,742
    BA10 - SYD-BKK

    Being english - flying BA is a little like going home for me. I had no idea what to expect of WT+ - I mean I had seen the flash presentations on British Airways but that isnt like the real thing. As we sat down I was absolutely stunned at the amount of space we had.

    the seats were ok - we were in 21JK - which meant we had our own little segment but we were at the back. Before dinner they provided drinks (I had already predicted that the wine would be french - a burden I would have to live with). The cabin crew were very friendly - providing a beer first and ensuring I had a couple of little bottles of wine :)

    The meal was a nice chicken curry (national dish of Britain that is) - and I settled down to watch some stuff on my laptop. I was horrified at this pont though that "in-seat power" meant buying a 60GBP (A$150) adaptor - so too much stuff on laptop was out of the question.

    The IFE didnt work too well - the familiar " we need to reboot" comments overhead. It wasnt AVOD - just the repeating loop which was disappointing but IFE for me is not of great interest.

    After a while the wine kicked in and I was off to sleep.

    A while later I was wide awake and we were readying for landing. Fantastically due to a combination of pills, potions and earplanes - there was no pain on desacent.

    After landing 5 mins early we then pent 10 mins waiting for someone to free up our spot!

    Walking through the new BKK airport was an experience - my first impression after "oh its nice and new" was "have we landed in a jail?"

    As ever priority baggage meant nothing as we were the last bags out and the only ones with priority baggage tags :(

    Next - the Millenium Hilton...
     
  10. simongr

    simongr Enthusiast

    Jul 10, 2006
    14,229
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    The Bangkok Millenium Hilton

    I was a little apprehensive about this hotel. Mrs Simongr had seen the Peninsula on line and wass very keen. I suggested that we check out the Hilton - just in case. the deal with the Peninsula wass US$230/night for a River View room. The Hilton had a deal for US$210/night for a river View suite. With some trepidation we decided to book the Hilton.

    As we pulled in at just after midnight we were very impressed with the hotel itself - it was just the room that was unnerving now. Up to level 18 for our suite and we were both blown away. Fantastic views of the city, beautifu and simple furnishings, lovely bathroom and overall quite amazing - better than anywhere else I have stayed really - so glad we changed hotel choices :)

    Bangkok is interesting for me - I wouldnt come back out of choice. Sure there is some great shopping (better than Sydney really - although a distinct lack of Xbox games on sale). Not sure what it is but I am just not impressed.

    Only a brief stay here for 4 days/5 nights and today its Pattaya for two days then home! Well home and then the next adventure begins again!
     
  11. simongr

    simongr Enthusiast

    Jul 10, 2006
    14,229
    1,742
    Pattaya

    Let us never mention Pattaya again
     
  12. JohnK

    JohnK Veteran Member

    Mar 22, 2005
    40,007
    8,548
    BNE, SYD and CNX
    Is it the heat? The smell? The congestion? The traffic?

    Gorgeous place and the perfect gateway into LOS (Land of Smiles).

    Short trip report on Pattaya. :eek: Problems at the wedding? Anyway hope nothing bad happened....

    Looking forward to the rest of your trip report especially Cyprus.
     
  13. simongr

    simongr Enthusiast

    Jul 10, 2006
    14,229
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    BA9 BKK-SYD

    Ok this was the tricky flight. We had to get from Pattaya to the airport, have no lounge access and hope that the flight won’t be delayed so that I can get home in time to get back to the airport for my flight to AKL and on to the rest of the world. My first challenge was tickets. Due to the stupidity of the TA I wasn’t able to have an e-ticket so the TA had couriered my tickets to the house – or so I thought. A quick sms to the house-sitter on the way from Pattaya to the airport confirmed my worst fears – the tix hadn’t been delivered! So a call in the cab to the TA and a new arrangement for tix to be couriered to the airport for collection when we landed. It was going to be a nervous flight.

    As with BA10 on the way to BKK the flight was pleasant. I managed to get a fair amount of sleep although I was again plagued by recliners… The IFE was again disappointing and the service was a little slow. The staff weren’t as friendly as the outbound flight but overall not a bad experience.

    I am not convinced by WT+ overall. I am spoiled by flying so much international J that WT+ seems a little cramped and not necessarily worth extra $800 per person. I think that I will make the call that future international flights are going to be either reward flights in J or paid economy flights upgraded using points.

    On landing a quick sprint to the QF service desk confirmed my fears that the tickets hadn’t been delivered to the service desk (or they couldn’t find them). So a nervous trip home and confirmation that they would reissue the tickets at the service desk when I went back to the airport. So back to the airport on schedule and thankfully after more nervousness it was time to check in.
     
  14. simongr

    simongr Enthusiast

    Jul 10, 2006
    14,229
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    AA7377 SYD-AKL

    Only a short but tired flight and not one I was looking forward to as I knew this was the start of a few long flights all in less than best aircraft and given everyone’s opinion of QF staff I was a little concerned what experience I was in for…

    I was however blown away by the staff. Very helpful, friendly, attentive and overall just great. I am not sure what the seat was but at least I had no-one next to me. Three hours later and we arrive into AKL. My bags are checked through to JFK (yes I know I have to get the bags at LAX) so its straight to lounge. At this point I am so exhausted I actually checked with the lounge staff to see if they will wake me up in case I was late. First mistake was leaving my tickets at the computer desk – but fortunately they found me.

    The flight out is going to be a little late so its just time for another glass of bubbles before take off…
     
  15. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
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    How long did it take them to reissue the ticket at the airport?
     
  16. simongr

    simongr Enthusiast

    Jul 10, 2006
    14,229
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    Hmm just have to work this out - I called the TA at about 7:15AM when I didnt have tickets. I left home at 9:00AM to go back to the airport for take off. Got to the airport at about 9:30AM and the actual process fr reissue at that point took about 10-15mins as the back office hadnt completely finished the reissue.

    It was about 8AM when I got confirmation that they were going to have to reissue the tickets.
     
  17. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
    4
    That's pretty good. I've had normal ticket reissue at airport take longer than that.
     
  18. simongr

    simongr Enthusiast

    Jul 10, 2006
    14,229
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    Apologies for the lack of updates. I will do them off line at the airport and on the plane this weekend and update sunday or monday - only been home for a few days so catching up at home.
     
  19. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
    4
    I know the feeling :D
     
  20. serfty

    Moderator

    Nov 16, 2004
    39,092
    7,710
    MEL
    Flight Map:
    View my flight map
    So do I; one day I'll relate what happened after DXB! :p
     
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