Around the World in Under 60 Hours

Discussion in 'Trip Reports and Trip Photos' started by Kiwi Flyer, May 11, 2007.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
Welcome to Australia's leading independent Frequent Flyer and Travel Resource!
Our site contains tons of information that will improve your travel experience.
Joining AFF is fast, simple & ABSOLUTELY FREE -  join now by clicking on the JOIN NOW button, and take immediate advantage of these great BENEFITS.
Once registered, this box will disappear. And you will see fewer advertisements :)
  1. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
    4
    #1 Kiwi Flyer, May 11, 2007
    Last edited: May 11, 2007
    Here are the links to my previous trip reports.



    Index to this trip report

    1. Intro
     

  2. dragonman

    dragonman Active Member

    Apr 3, 2007
    516
    37
    Flight Map:
    View my flight map
    Can't seem to get the intro link to work. Is it just me?
     
  3. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
    4
    Sorry - it is me being lazy. I haven't posted the intro yet.
     
  4. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
    4
    Intro

    A short report on my fastest trip around the world.

    A few weeks ago Air NZ had a one day 2-for-1 "Mothers Day" sale for all international economy travel on Air NZ in May, limit one per person (I guess they had FTers in mind with this clause!)

    This is a great deal as it was valid on all economy fares, unlike the usual sales. So naturally, even though I had a full schedule in May I looked for an opportunity to use the sale for an interesting trip and/or mileage run.

    So it was that after some hurried phone calls, tht and I booked a quick weekend trip to London and constructed as a RTW in order to maximise time in London. This allows me to take a side trip, and tht to have a suprise visit for mother for her birthday. We made sure to choose mileage earning fare classes and were set.

    I put my NZ FFP# in the booking so as to get best access to the good seating with my higher status, and called Air NZ to select from those available.

    I know of other FTers who are also doing an under 60 hour RTW on this sale ^
     
  5. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
    4
    tht's report

    Thanks for sharing the discount tht ^

    I'll add a bit more below.
     
  6. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
    4
    Kiwi Flyer's report on AKL-LHR-AKL

    I didn't mention this to tht, but I volunteered to switch seats moving forward two rows (rather than the couple going forward) for 2 reasons
    1) slightly closer to the front for faster deplaning at LAX
    2) I understand the seat pitch in the row we were allocated is 1" less than in the row we moved to - every little bit helps (and to be honest I found the seat to be fine - may have been different if I'd sat in the middle, thanks tht)

    The flight to LAX was chockers - maybe 2 free seats in economy (both way to the back). A couple more empty seats between LAX and LHR, but still pretty full.

    My queue curse struck again at LAX - being quick off the a/c we were directed to a certain section of immigration which only had 2 officers. Later pax where directed to a separate section with 3 officers, and later still (after all US pax were processed) the US lines took more people queued behind us. Just as we reached the front of the queue a 3rd officer started doing our section. Customs was quick. No pre-queue at boarding pass check. Upstairs security queues weren't too long but slow processing. We had a choice of two sides - the other side went faster. Just as reached the x-ray machine a third was opened up. Arrived at LAX lounge about 10 minutes or so before boarding. Just time enough for very fast shower (lucky there were 3 free - 1 other economy pax also did the lounge run). I jumped on computer to OLCI for my side trip. No printers so I needed to pick up boarding pass later.
     
  7. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
    4
    Over much over western/mid-west US the skies were clear. So we had great views of the unfolding many varied landscapes. Routing was more easterly than normal - so even got to see Grand Canyon! We also didn't track as far north as normal, just not quite reaching the southern tip of Greenland. Gaps in the cloud over Scotland to see eg part of Hadrian's Wall, but England blanketed in dense cloud.

    We circled over central London with great views below the cloud. I commented on how I'd rarely had this approach flying in to London but tht said it was common.

    Next up a quick side trip.
     
  8. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
    4
    LHR transfer

    As I raced along the long walk (yes again NZ got the farthest possible gate in T3) I pondered whether to transfer via immigration or via FCC. Last time I arrived on this flight the FCC queues weren't too bad (an hour from gate to lounge is good for LHR) so I decided to head there. Bad move.

    Someone else on our flight was connecting to the same onward flight. She would not have been walking as fast as me, had to clear immigration to pick up her checked luggage (I had none), change terminals, check in (with no status) and clear security. Yet she got through far faster than I did.

    I had no wait for the bus transfer from T3 to FCC - it left moments after I hopped aboard - and I was first off. First sign of trouble was the pre-queue downstairs where the bus arrives. Eventually we are let upstairs to another pre-queue (where get yelled out - only 1 bag, liquids rules apply, blah). Finally get in the main queue. Yup only 2 screening stations manned. There are more BAA folk on queue control than there are on screening :mad:

    It took more than an hour from getting off the transfer bus to the other side of FCC security. I did need to pick up boarding passes at FCC but as already checked in and no queue this was fast. A short wait at immigration. Nice to see the agent on the UK/EU line helping others when no UK/EU people waiting. My itinerary and answers had him baffled but let through. Then a fast walk to T1 domestic. In total it took 100 minutes from arrival to reaching the BD domestic lounge entrance.
     
  9. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
    4
    Yup. On entering the lounge I was invited upstairs. First I had a look around downstairs for FT tags as I knew from ba97.com/calendar.asp that some FTers would be around on their way to EDI do.

    VC10 Boy was already in the lounge and the others arrived soon after. Unfortunately I only had a few minutes before it was time to go for my onward flight :(
     
  10. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
    4
    Side trip

    Since I had several hours to kill I'd decided on a side trip, preferably somewhere I havent flown to before and with a convenient schedule that wasn't going to be too stressful.

    Mindful of the upcoming *A 10th anniversary and the 5th anniversary promo for flying 5 *A airlines get 55555 miles I wanted to fly *A.

    So I ended up choosing bmi (BD) to Belfast City (BHD). The fare structure seemed odd to me. The cheapest fare category (tiny fares) were sometimes more than double the cost of the next highest category (on same route and day but different flight number).

    We boarded on time and pushed back a metre - no doubt to make on time stats look okay. Then a wait at the gate due to delays on the active departure runway due to nearby light showers (good grief :rolleyes: ). Some time later we pushed back the rest of the way and taxiied to a holding pen for further delays for the described heavy showers not at LHR. Hmm as far as I can see the showers would be described as light or even drizzle in most other places. Finally we reach the runway more than an hour after scheduled departure time. Am I glad I had a reasonable connection time for the flight back to NZ - I'd hate to have to pay a walk up fare, especially after getting such a great deal in the first place.

    There is no view until close to Belfast. The weather there is much better but still cloudy and surprisingly cool for late spring. By sheer luck during OLCI I managed to grab a "business seat" - ie a seat in a row where the middle seat was collapsed. The load was fairly light. Business class got complimentary food and drink. Everyone else had to pay - even for water (and hardly cheap at one pound fifty pence) :td: - unless had bmi status (even the blue plus at 3000 miles), sorry *G status isnt good enough :td:

    On arrival the rear half of a/c deplaned by stairs and the front half used the silly airbridge, which promptly leads to stairs down to ground level. ID check before entering the terminal (landside). The officer started thumbing through my passport but quickly got bored and let me through.

    Since I took the turnaround (to minimise my chance of misconnecting) I had a quick look around landside then through security and up to the lounge. There I changed my FFP # for the return flight - thinking if the *A 10th anniversary promo is anything like the 5th anniversary one I may as well credit the short flights to 2 different FFPs :D

    The lounge very similar to the LHR domestic one, except less food and drink options. There is a door directly from the lounge to the airbridge.

    The flight in reverse was much the same, and with the usual circling over southern England before being able to land we lost some more time. If I'd taken the next flight back and it had the same delay I'd have misconnected, so lucky I didn't.
     
  11. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
    4
    LHR-AKL

    The FCC shuffle in reverse was painless. T1 dom bypasses FCC security. There was a minor delay while the BP checker tried to deny me on grounds I don't fly out until tomorrow. He just looked sheepish when I pointed out he was looking at the arrival date of my next (overnight) flight on the itinerary.

    Bus to T3 and check in at transfer desk there. This went quickly and easily - got a row by myself and made sure tht also did ^ The pax at the counter next to me wasn't having such a good time - yelling that he was sure he'd booked business, after all he is tall and wide and wouldn't be comfortable in economy :rolleyes: I didn't hang around to see the result but I bet he wasn't happy.

    I ignored the RCC invite and headed instead to SQ F lounge, and left tht's name at the entrance while I hopped in a shower to freshen up. Since an SQ flight had not long left the lounge was quiet and so I hopped on the computer while waiting for tht, and then had some nice drinks. We dallied 10 minutes or so too long, but fortunately this time NZ had a close gate. We were the last ones on, about 10 minutes before departure. Oops.

    Economy class was very lightly loaded. The elites section (at front of economy) had enough room so that everyone had 2-4 seats to themselves. Business and premium economy were full (or nearly full).

    Managed to get some sleep before waking north of Tibet. Some great views of the desert and endless mountain ranges, peeked out of the lower portion of the window to try not to disturb others still sleeping. Our flight path tracked around the edge of the plateau. No view of Hong Kong on arrival, not only the flight path taken but dense haze/humidity kept visibility down to a mile or so. Thanks to strong tail winds we arrived quite early.

    Through transit and to the SQ F lounge again, which as expected much less crowded than the RCC - although further to walk (which isnt a bad thing after all this flying). Grabbed a shower (there is only one so a bit of a wait). Kept an eye on the flight monitor since no boarding call and we'd need to head back to the other end of the terminal.

    Priority boarding for business, premium economy, *G and koru club ^

    For the 4th longhaul leg in a row I got some sleep, but not as much as I'd like. We arrived very early, so much so that the title could have been around the world in 59 hours. We had a wait at the gate which was announced as an APU problem, but I suspect it was that immigration/customs wasn't ready for us (there being no recent earlier flights arriving).

    On the way to immigration we picked up our pre-order duty free. Thanks tht for spotting the Havana Club for $12.90, which we further reduced thanks to the nice discounts and optimising our generous NZ allowances between us. The store threw in for free a sampler pack of vodka.

    I got secondary, again. This gave tht enough time to drop off and pick up gear for onward trip. I headed over to the domestic terminal (again the walk felt nice) for a quick shower in the lounge - yeah managed to get in even though strictly neither of us had access - before heading into work.

    So ends the fastest round the world I've ever done, or ever likely to do I suppose. Thanks NZ for the sale and great service (on the ground and in the air) ^
     
  12. trooper

    trooper Established Member

    Apr 16, 2007
    1,452
    283
    Canberra
    Excellent read..... Thanks!:D
     
  13. simongr

    simongr Enthusiast

    Jul 10, 2006
    14,229
    1,742
    Great work KiwiFlyer - at least I now know that my flying patterns do not make me crazy!
     
  14. BlacKnox

    BlacKnox Active Member

    Jan 29, 2005
    732
    13
    Not the only odd thing about BHD. Shame you didn't get out and about; it really is a fascinating city, albeit a little sad (with a scent of danger). Whenever I went to BHD (late 80s/ early 90s) I stayed at the Europa hotel, the finest hotel in the city with the dubious reputation as the most bombed hotel in the world. Not sure if that's still the case or indeed if the hotel is still there...
     
  15. NM

    NM
    Moderator

    Aug 27, 2004
    15,760
    1,211
    Flight Map:
    View my flight map
    I guess we could describe this as an Irish pricing policy :p
     
  16. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
    4
    I have been there before (by land travel). I was worried about making the return flight - didn't fancy a walk up fare to NZ!
     
  17. BlacKnox

    BlacKnox Active Member

    Jan 29, 2005
    732
    13
    Ok, now I understand the italics on flown to. I wonder where you haven't been :?:
     
  18. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
    4
    Hmmm less subtlety next time :p

    There are lots of places I haven't been to, including well over 100 countries.
     
  19. JohnK

    JohnK Veteran Member

    Mar 22, 2005
    39,994
    8,543
    BNE, SYD and CNX
    Hmmm. I don't mean to be critical but if you were really worried about making the return flight perhaps you would not even have considered the side trip in the first place. That type of adrenalin I can do without....
     
  20. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
    4
    The fare on the side trip was low enough that had there been major delays I would have just ditched side trip and do something else. Being a turnaround (same a/c both ways) once we left the risk was low. What I hadn't counted on was boarding on time and then being delayed on the ground (more than normal for LHR). But I had quite a large buffer, so I wasn't worried. If I had taken a later return flight (next flight over an hour later) then I would have worried about the connection.
     
Loading...

Share This Page