CNS-LHR in First

2infinity

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I was contacted by some friends recently saying they were going to UK in February and they had already booked their tickets using FF points in business class. I was asked if I wanted to come. Let me think about that for a second....ummm...yes. So straight on to Qantas website to see if I too could get business class on their flight. :( not available. They had obviously gotten the only 2 seats on EK435 out of Brisbane. I did note there were seats available on the Emirates 777 departing Brisbane a couple of hours later....777 or A380? I had a quick look at reviews for Emirates 777 and it was a decisive NO for me on the 777, if I could at all help it and luckily I could. There was a first class seat available on their A380. Oh ok, if I have to. So I get to fly on the same flight as my friends and get to socialise with them in the bar, but I get to enjoy a nicer experience. Yay me. Can't wait for my Dom.

Unfortunately, I was unable to get the same flight as them from Dubai to London Heathrow, unless I wanted to fly economy. I think not. So I discovered another flight just two and half hours later on an A380 to London. Oh and look at that, economy, business and first award seats available. I sneak a peak at the points cost for first, because you know....it would be nice. Total so far 192000 being Cairns (business) to Brisbane, Brisbane to Dubai (First) and Dubai to London (First). Hmmm.....that seems a lot of points, better check how much the Dubai to London in business is..........Oh! 192000. That seems a bit weird, same cost as First...…Hmmm.....I'll check economy just to make sure its calculating as I click on seat. **click** Yes it it…Economy 190500 FF points tally......Well this just seems crazy, but who am I to question these very similar costs. Of course I pick First :). Who wouldn't? haha. So here comes Brisbane to London in first. Can't wait to experience it all and the First Lounge in Dubai.

Question: I have a 7 hour layover in Dubai. 1) will I be able to access the First lounge straight away. Emirates website says lounge access for 4 hours prior to flight? 2) Will I be able to guest my 2 friends? They'll have access to the Business Lounge, but it would be nicer to come to the first. Emirates website says can guest 1 person 'if' flying on same flight. So I'm not too hopeful. If I can't guest them, will I be able to access the business lounge with them until their departure? Again that 4 hours max or if I was their guest, the same flight issue?

I told my friends I'm coming too and they were ecstatic, until I told them I was forced to fly First or not at all......eeeek economy. They were a tad jealous, hell I would be too. I had a look for them for 2 First class seats, but none left. They will just have to suffer in business, the poor dears.

I managed to get the exact same flights as them coming back though, all in business. Sucks to be flying out of London Stansted on the dreaded 777, but back to A380 for homeward leg. All up 320000 FF points. I was even contemplating turning it into a round the world trip instead, but that won't happen this trip.
 

Happy Dude

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I can't help with the q's re lounge access but it's good to hear that pointy end redemptions were available and the co-payments were acceptable to you. Do you all have status?
 

2infinity

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I can't help with the q's re lounge access but it's good to hear that pointy end redemptions were available and the co-payments were acceptable to you. Do you all have status?

Well the co-payments are not so good. Cheaper to buy an economy ticket, but that would be economy. The way I figure it, I'm going first class for a bit more than an I would normally pay to fly in cattle. So that's a good outcome. I have Silver QFF status and friends are Bronze...…..so, no, no status. :)
 
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MEL_Traveller

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I was contacted by some friends recently saying they were going to UK in February and they had already booked their tickets using FF points in business class. I was asked if I wanted to come. Let me think about that for a second....ummm...yes. So straight on to Qantas website to see if I too could get business class on their flight. :( not available. They had obviously gotten the only 2 seats on EK435 out of Brisbane. I did note there were seats available on the Emirates 777 departing Brisbane a couple of hours later....777 or A380? I had a quick look at reviews for Emirates 777 and it was a decisive NO for me on the 777, if I could at all help it and luckily I could. There was a first class seat available on their A380. Oh ok, if I have to. So I get to fly on the same flight as my friends and get to socialise with them in the bar, but I get to enjoy a nicer experience. Yay me. Can't wait for my Dom.

Unfortunately, I was unable to get the same flight as them from Dubai to London Heathrow, unless I wanted to fly economy. I think not. So I discovered another flight just two and half hours later on an A380 to London. Oh and look at that, economy, business and first award seats available. I sneak a peak at the points cost for first, because you know....it would be nice. Total so far 192000 being Cairns (business) to Brisbane, Brisbane to Dubai (First) and Dubai to London (First). Hmmm.....that seems a lot of points, better check how much the Dubai to London in business is..........Oh! 192000. That seems a bit weird, same cost as First...…Hmmm.....I'll check economy just to make sure its calculating as I click on seat. **click** Yes it it…Economy 190500 FF points tally......Well this just seems crazy, but who am I to question these very similar costs. Of course I pick First :). Who wouldn't? haha. So here comes Brisbane to London in first. Can't wait to experience it all and the First Lounge in Dubai.

Question: I have a 7 hour layover in Dubai. 1) will I be able to access the First lounge straight away. Emirates website says lounge access for 4 hours prior to flight? 2) Will I be able to guest my 2 friends? They'll have access to the Business Lounge, but it would be nicer to come to the first. Emirates website says can guest 1 person 'if' flying on same flight. So I'm not too hopeful. If I can't guest them, will I be able to access the business lounge with them until their departure? Again that 4 hours max or if I was their guest, the same flight issue?

I told my friends I'm coming too and they were ecstatic, until I told them I was forced to fly First or not at all......eeeek economy. They were a tad jealous, hell I would be too. I had a look for them for 2 First class seats, but none left. They will just have to suffer in business, the poor dears.

I managed to get the exact same flights as them coming back though, all in business. Sucks to be flying out of London Stansted on the dreaded 777, but back to A380 for homeward leg. All up 320000 FF points. I was even contemplating turning it into a round the world trip instead, but that won't happen this trip.

The reason why the points values are similar is because the Qantas award chart is mileage based. The total of your itinerary will be either the total mileage CNS-LHR or the sum of the individual segments, whichever is cheaper. Beacuse CNS-LHR is in the highest zone there's going top be little difference by the time you break the journey in Dubai and then add a full-priced business or economy class leg Dubai-London.

Your flight from Stanstead could be the new 'super' 777 with the de luxe new F suites (1-1-1 configuration) and the brand new business class (should be in a 2-2-2 configuration rather than 2-3-2, but you'll be able to see by the seat map for your flight). Stanstead was one of the first routes to get the new plane, but they might have shifted it elsewhere.

You can use the lounge in Dubai as soon as you arrive. You will NOT be able to guest your friends, but you can of course join them in the business class lounge.

You have the option to pay for your friends to join you in the F lounge. As thy are already business class passengers, the 'surcharge' for them is USD100 per person (and that's where the four hours comes in - that's the max time limit if you pay for entry. After that, in therory, they'd have to go back to the business lounge).
 

Andz

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I wasted my points doing 1st EK to South Africa and economy back :)). I ate so much on the first leg and in the 1st class lounge in Dubai, I couldn't eat for the next 8 hours to South Africa. Dom champs was awesome.

I would learn by my mistake and do business both ways.
 

2infinity

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I wasted my points doing 1st EK to South Africa and economy back :)). I ate so much on the first leg and in the 1st class lounge in Dubai, I couldn't eat for the next 8 hours to South Africa. Dom champs was awesome.

I would learn by my mistake and do business both ways.

I wanted to fly business both ways, but no award seats on the flights I wanted. My friends stole them. I was forced to go first. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.

Slight side track. I was just reading on another post, that Emirates has canned chauffeur drive for award bookings. I am not impressed to say the least. I was looking forward to that too. And to those that can afford a first class cash ticket that say "and rightly so....why should you get something like that for nothing!" (I read comments like this). Frequent flyer points are a reward for loyalty. They aren't free. Treating 'loyal' customers with contempt is not a great way to run a business. And you get points for a cash first class fare, which at some point you'll want to use those points too you know.
 

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I wanted to fly business both ways, but no award seats on the flights I wanted. My friends stole them. I was forced to go first. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.

Slight side track. I was just reading on another post, that Emirates has canned chauffeur drive for award bookings. I am not impressed to say the least. I was looking forward to that too. And to those that can afford a first class cash ticket that say "and rightly so....why should you get something like that for nothing!" (I read comments like this). Frequent flyer points are a reward for loyalty. They aren't free. Treating 'loyal' customers with contempt is not a great way to run a business. And you get points for a cash first class fare, which at some point you'll want to use those points too you know.

Unfortuantely these days there is often little correlation between points and loyalty. Tens of thousands of points (hundreds of thousands) are earned simply by signing up to a credit card or two. And even for those flying, add double points promotions.

Status isn't much harder with all the double status credit promotions going on.

Don't worry too much about going first rather than business. It's a huge difference. And on Emirates, quite fun.
 

2infinity

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Well I made it back and it seems just in time. I didn’t catch COVID-19, unless I’m still incubating. I’m not sure what is spreading faster, the coronavirus or the toilet paper epidemic.

My trip review

I arrived at Cairns Airport about 10:30am and obtained my boarding passes all the way through to London, then made my way to the Qantas Club - there is no business lounge in Cairns. I waited for my flight to be called, then took up residence in 1A. Today we were flying a Boeing 717 to Brisbane. I was served a delicious lamb curry accompanied by a couple of Grant Burge sparkling wines. The orange cake was to die for too.
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As my bags were checked all the way through, once I arrived in Brisbane, I made my way over to the International terminal to the Qantas International Business Lounge. I am flying Emirates, but their lounge doesn't open until 3 hours prior to departure and I have 5 hour layover. I see my bird parked up prior to being moved to gate 75. I help myself to some beef and accompany that with some champagne as I await the opening of the Emirates Lounge. As soon as the Emirates Lounge opens, I make my way down to gate 75. The Emirates Lounge is a combined business/first lounge and has direct access to the top deck of the A380. As soon as I see the offerings, I wish I didn't have anything in the Qantas Lounge as the Qantas offerings pale in comparison to the Emirates Lounge. Its a self-serve bar in the Emirates lounge, but I was a bit disappointed about there being no Irish whisky available.
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2infinity

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Hmmm......only 10 photos per post. Will have to do this in stages :)

…...Part2
I was hoping to watch the A380 be moved into position, but it appears I got distracted and all of a sudden she was there. Dammit. So come boarding time, we get direct boarding from the lounge, which I think is pretty cool. I know its available at Dubai A Terminal also, but it isn't the same, as the whole floor is the lounge. It feels like you are boarding any old plane as you would normally. I understand Brisbane was the first direct from lounge boarding outside of Dubai, at least for Emirates and maybe for A380's. As I enter the plane, I say goodbye to my friends as they are turning right and I'm turning left towards first class. The first class seat is the best seat I've ever had on a plane, it has a large screen, plenty of room, a mini-bar (which I think is pointless as it's not chilled), snacks, a vanity pack, pen and diary. Waiting there for me also, was my tote bag full of pyjamas, slippers, toiletries, socks and mask. I was asked what I would like as a pre-flight drink. I read somewhere they don't provide Dom Perignon till after take-off, but I thought I would try it on anyway. My hostess pulled an unsure grimace when I asked, but said she'll try and a few minutes later, I was sipping my Dom.
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Come take off, I met my friends in the bar. Being first class, I could have anytime dining, but my friends were told their meals were being served back at their seats. My hostess offered me to eat my meal in the bar and arranged for my friends meal to also be served in the bar. Not only that, she arranged for my friends to have the caviar also. I thought this was pretty good. This leg was kind of wasted being in first as I spent the majority of it in the bar with my friends. The good side of this was there was a dreaded baby across the aisle from my seat. Not the baby's fault I know, but not conducive to a good flight whichever cabin they are in. I did however, ensure I made use of the shower, which is pretty cool being able to shower in a plane.

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When we landed in Dubai, we had direct airbridge access in A Terminal. Those that have flown to Dubai before may have experienced the 30min bus ride around the entire airport to get to a terminal. So this was good. My friends were on an earlier flight than me to London, so I spent 1-2 hours in the business lounge in A Terminal. I have to say I was a bit disappointed. Being an international hub, I was hoping for food other than breakfast, but it was what it was, so made the best of it. I found the drink offerings a bit limited also.
After my friends departed, I made my way to the First Lounge. It was deserted. Like 5 people (passengers) on the whole floor. I think staff outnumbered us by about 20:1. I got my complimentary massage, which I thought was pretty ordinary, and made my way to the a la carte dining. Again mainly breakfast, but there was some lunch offerings, so I ordered the steak. It was pretty good.

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After my brunch, I partook in a few drinks while waiting for boarding. At least they had better drink options in the First Lounge. The terminal has huge glass windows, which would be great for watching planes take off and land, except they are mostly frosted, so you can't see anything. So I used the wifi to entertain myself till boarding, which didn't take too long.
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I wrestle whether first was also wasted on me for this leg. I didn't hit the bar, I had a sleep. I was pretty tired not having slept the night before. I'd like to comment on whether it was comfortable or not, but I think I dropped off pretty quick after my meal and the hostess woke me for my shower (had to have another one lol). One thing I noticed being on the top deck of the A380 is that you don't have a great view out the window due to the curvature of the fuselage. This was probably worst at the front of the plane, but managed to get a shot of some alps.
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Landed at Heathrow without any issues. I was on an award booking, so wasn't eligible for chauffer drive, but I tried it on anyway - got told no, so pauper me took the bus to my airport hotel and met up with my friends.
The next morning we were back at Heathrow for a BA flight to Edinburgh. I can't believe it took 45min to board everyone on the A321. It is also ridiculous how much cabin baggage people bring. I'm guessing this is to get out of paying for checked luggage. I believe this is an issue in the USA too. Apparently airlines make a small fortune on baggage charges, but I think they are missing the big picture. The plane makes no money sitting at a gate, they are better off including checked baggage as part of the fare and reducing boarding times, enabling the plane to be in the air more, thus making more money.
 

2infinity

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…...Part 3

I arranged an Airbnb on the Royal Mile, so we were in the heart of the Edinburgh. We grabbed a car to explore on our own and enjoyed some local pub fare, six nations rugby game (Scotland v England). England won - boo. And while Storm Ciara (massive storm affecting the entire UK) raged, we did our best to visit Corbridge (Hadrians wall) and Sterling Castle. We attempted to visit Edinburgh Castle, but it was closed due to the weather. Talking about the weather, Storm Ciara made it freezing cold with it blowing a gale and wet with rain, hail and snow.
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After a few days, I said goodbye to my friends. They were doing the Scottish highlands and I was jetting off to Iceland. Luckily the weather had abated sufficiently for my flight to go ahead. It was on Easyjet (the only flight I could get to Iceland that suited), so they cancel at a moments notice like Jetstar.
I arrived at Edinburgh Airport a few hours before my flights and bought entry into the Aspire Lounge (it was £28 entry for 3 hours). I was there for about 3:30, but they didn't kick me out. I assume they go by your flight as they asked for this information on entry. My flight was late is all. Well the food was, shall we say, edible, but it wasn't anything to write home about. There was a stew, soup, salad, bread rolls, anti pasto, fruit and crisps, but they did have Irish whiskey so that was good. Note there are 2 Aspire Lounge's at Edinburgh airport. I suggest you use the one closest to your boarding gate. Before I knew it I was off to Iceland. Easyjet made us board from the tarmac despite the rain. Cheap mongrels. They have terrible leg room and you have to pay for anything you want. I forgot to fill my water bottle up at the airport, so was forced to pay £2 for a water. Grrrr.
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I arrived in Iceland about 8pm, so just went straight to my hotel (at the airport) for the night. The airport is 45min bus trip from Reykjavik. I booked a non-refundable room. In hindsight, I should have just taken the bus into Reykjavik and stayed there the night. Not doing that basically made the following day a right-off as I couldn't check into my accommodation till 3pm. My first impressions of Iceland, apart from it being cold, is frozen wasteland. The land is basically just lava flow with very little vegetation. The population of Iceland Reykjavik is about 125,000 and is the largest city in Iceland (total population about 335,000). So Reykjavik is not a huge metropolis.
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2infinity

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…….Part 4

I went for a tour of the western peninsula, known as the Snaefellsness Peninsula. This kind of cemented my first impressions of Iceland. It was freezing cold and blowing a gale. Our tour driver advised us that Storm Denis was barrelling down on Iceland and that everything would be closed tomorrow. So we were feeling the initial effects during the tour. Personally I would recommend NOT going to the Snaefellsness Peninsula. It was a super long day (about 12:30hrs) and the scenery didn't change too much. I did get to drink some glacial melt water direct from a stream and the water tastes nice. It is the same water in the cold water taps. I was told several times by several tour guides NOT to buy bottled water in Iceland as the bottlers just get it straight from the tap. I totally agree and use the same philosophy back home. Cairns water is quite nice also. Can't say the same for a lot of Australian city's water. Yes perfectly fine to drink, and I do so, but it tastes dusty.
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Just like our tour guide said, Iceland came to a standstill the next day. Flights cancelled, tours cancelled, not fun to be out in Storm Denis. So I hunkered down and drank my duty free, cranky that my tour of the geothermal park (Golden Circle) and my snorkelling of the Silfra Rift were cancelled. I thought to myself, at least I still get to do snowmobiling, until I get an email like 5pm telling me that snowmobiling has also been cancelled the next day. OMG, the 2 things I wanted to do most get cancelled on me. :mad:. I called the tour company and tried to cancel my 2 day tour to Jokusarlson glacier and reschedule the rift snorkel and snowmobiling, but they wouldn't refund me, so I was forced to continue with the tour. I was however able to grab the last seat on the afternoon snorkelling tour, so reluctantly grabbed that.

I was really looking forward to the snorkel. Its the only place on the planet where you can be on both sides of 2 tectonic plates (American and European). Everywhere else on the plant is at the bottom of the ocean. Unfortunately, Storm Denis was still having an impact and it made the tour miserable. It was -7C and howling. We had to change from our clothes into dry suits, exposed to the weather. My hands and head were unbelievably cold. What should have been a 45min drift through the Rift ended up only taking 15-20mins due to the 100 mile/hour tail wind as we got pushed through. The dry suits are so buoyant I couldn't effectively get my fins in the water to use for propulsion. My dry suit sprang a leak too, so my right arm was exposed to the water and went numb. I was so glad to get ashore and into my own clothes.

So with terrible weather and tour cancellations, I was in a grumpy mood and not looking forward to my 2 day tour to Jokusarlon. But OMG, sunshine. The day was actually going to be ok. The first day of the tour consisted of stopping at 2 waterfalls and at Black Sand Beach. The tour guide laughed about that as all beaches in Iceland are black. It's just been named that for the tourists as no-one can pronounce Icelandic words. The water falls were fine but they didn't make up for my grumpiness. At Black Sand Beach, there is a cliff of hexagonal columns. Now these were cool. The only problem being that tourists were crawling all over them, making it near on impossible to get a good photo.

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2infinity

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…...Part 5

Last night was the closest I had to seeing the northern lights due to cloud cover every other night. Best time to see was going to be about 2am. Set my alarm, but somehow managed to turn it off in my sleep. I was cranky with myself, but looking at the radar's, it seemed cloud rolled in about midnight anyway and was raining all night, so wouldn't have gotten to see anyway.

After breakfast we head off to Jokulsarlon. I haven't been particularly impressed of Iceland so far. Stupidly cold and stupidly expensive. But the rain cleared as we got to Jokulsarlon and it made it all worth it. This was spectacular. We trekked out to the glacier, I would say more the side rather than the terminal (front). The glacier is retreating at an enormous rate and caves form in the ice and we got to go inside and around this area. Once we came back, we got to see all the chunks of ice that have calved from (broken off) the glacier and start drifting down a river out to sea. Then they get washed up on the beach. This beach is called Diamond Beach (tourist name again). This was so awesome and made the tour worth it. The tour guide advised we were really lucky to see so much ice in the river as there normally isn't anywhere near as much. I guess a good thing to come out of Storm Denis was the amount of ice washed up on the beach also. I'd say its normally way less than what I saw.
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jastel

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Iceland is a big change from CNS isn't it...the weather can be a PITA but changes quickly, if it is good it is well worth it. I had my snowmobiling cancelled too but later saw the lights so you win some you lose some.
 

2infinity

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…...Part 6

The next morning sore me on a Iceland Air Boeing 757 to Dublin. It was a 7am flight so didn't go for a lounge. Flight wasn't too bad. Free IFE and water/tea/coffee. Food was at a cost, but sufficient leg room. Was hoping to see the northern lights out the window as it was dark when we left, but wasn't to be.
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Once in Dublin, I took a bus to Belfast. lol. Would have just flown there from Iceland, but no flights. I was meeting back up with my friends this evening, so had a few hours before that to have a look around. Guess what!? Titanic was built in Belfast, so I had to pop by for some paraphernalia and a photo.
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Once I met up with my friends, we went out for dinner. No riots going on but we did see some police riot trucks. We had a huge laugh...... A taxi driver we had was a Northern Irelander (Protestant) and we asked him about the riots etc. He mentioned that you could tell the difference between the Protestants and the Catholics, because the Catholics have beady little eyes.
We hired a car the next day and went north to the Giant's Causeway. Similar hexagonal basalt columns to Iceland, but Iceland's were better.
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After staying the night in the northern part of North Ireland, we headed south west, crossed the border into Ireland and headed to Galway. Ireland use kph and Northern Ireland use mph. Galway is a big university town also known for its folk music. Massive traffic jam. urrgh. Folk music is lost on me, so didn't really appreciate the town. Main reason for being there was the Cliffs of Mohir. Enter Storm #3 for our trip. I thought it was Ellen, but apparently the Spanish got in first and named it Jorge (pronounced hor-hay). So it rained cats and dogs and was blowing a gale.....again, but we drove to the cliffs anyway. Wasted our time as we couldn't see anything. lol.

While driving through Ireland, we noticed lots of castles and ruins. We drove to some of them to get some history, but there is nothing indicating what they are, when they were built or the history behind them. I thought it was really disappointing that the Irish don't have a plaque or something telling the history. These buildings will disappear one day and nobody will remember them.
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Talking about castles, our next stop was Blarney Castle. This is a castle well worth going to. It actually looks and feels like a true medieval castle. I recommend going in the off season though, because expect huge line ups to kiss the blarney stone when its busy, 90min+. For us though, it was straight through, no delays at all.
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After Blarney Castle, we headed back to Belfast to catch our flight to London. We flew on Flybe (they went bust only days after we flew - wasn't our fault honest). We were on a Bombardier Q400, just like the Qantaslink ones. The service was fine and the plane was full, so I'm not sure what their financial problems were. I didn't realise they were in trouble before booking. Less Irish whiskey and more research before booking. lol.
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jastel

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They are still kissing the Blarney Stone with the virus around? Thought that would be stopped.

My first though of those Iceland cliffs at Black beach was "this is like the Giant's Causeway in Ireland" which I had already seen.
 

2infinity

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…...Part 7

I arranged accommodation in Greenwich, it turns out on the same street that has the GMT line going through it. That was pretty cool.

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Saw the usual London sights. Tower London, Tower Bridge, Houses Parliament and Big Ben (covered in scaffolding - boo). Apparently the clock and tower are not called big ben, its the bell inside.
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I also captured this gorgeous double rainbow at the Royal Maritime College in Greenwich. Has to be some benefit to terrible weather.
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We also took a day trip to Stonehenge and Bath. Well worth it.
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Bath is made almost exclusively from Bath Limestone. A bit of trivia. Buckingham Palace is also made of Bath Limestone. When the limestone is quarried it is nearly white, but as its iron content oxidises over the years, it becomes golden coloured. This picture below is the most famous part of Bath, known as the Royal Crescent. Not that it has any royal connection, its just you can charge more to buyers because of the royal connotations. This stretch of apartments has featured in many period movies, such as the Duchess and Pride and Prejudice. Apparently John Cleese also owns one.
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I read somewhere they don't provide Dom Perignon till after take-off, but I thought I would try it on anyway. My hostess pulled an unsure grimace when I asked, but said she'll try and a few minutes later, I was sipping my Dom.

Never flown First - so a very basic novice question - do they leave the bottle for yourself Or was it just for photo sake ?
 

2infinity

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…...Part 8

Well holiday is over, well at least the ground portion. Just need to make our way to Stansted now, and what a pain that was, especially with luggage. 2 trains, 1 tube and a bus. Only took 5 hours. Bus was only meant to be 2hours, but there was a crash, so an hour extra. So glad we left at midday for a 8pm flight. Only had like 1 hour in the lounge at Stansted. Emirates does not have a lounge at Stansted they have made arrangements with Escape Lounge as an alternative. I had low expectations going in and they were met. Granted Emirates has a sectioned off area and champagne available, but that's where it stops. There are no toilets in the lounge, so you have to use the public ones. There is a really limited range of drinks available and the food was very ordinary. I asked the server if they had Irish whiskey. She didn't know what I was talking about. I asked for bourbon, still didn't know what I was talking about. Bacardi, nope. I settled for vodka. I suspect they watered it down considerably. I had about 8 drinks in that hour and I didn't feel the slightest bit even tipsy. I had to keep asking for ice. Once she accidently dropped 3 cubes in my glass and she quickly fished out the 3rd. I said I didn't mind, but she said they get told off if they use too much ice. What the? My verdict - avoid Stansted Airport like the plague.
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I have to say I wasn't particularly looking forward to the Emirates 777, due to the lack of aisle access for the window seat and worse still for the middle centre row seat. I had booked an aisle seat window side, running the risk of someone to my side needing to get over me if I was sleeping. But it ended up not being an issue. There was like 11 total first/business pax on the plane, so I had the run of the place. Started in my allocated seat, moved across and up 1 to eat dinner opposite my friends, then moved back and took window seat for a snooze. The TV is further away from you than the A380 too. With hardly anyone in the cabin it felt really spacious and I was pleasantly surprised about it. I was a bit surprised there was only 1 meal service for the 6:30hr flight.
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Boeing 777's have massive engines.
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Remember that 30min bus ride around Dubai airport I mentioned in Part 2. That was the experience on arrival. I was sitting backwards in the bus, so was a bit disorientated about where we were, but it seems we were dropped off in Terminal C. So the pros and cons of this. Pro - our onward flight was leaving from Terminal C - What the? I thought all A380's use Terminal A. Apparently not. So we didn't have to make our way to a different terminal. Con - Terminal C sucks. The business lounge is a pokey little thing stuck on the side. There are only 2 showers, with a 45min wait. Breakfast again. sigh. Wasn't really enough time to go to the Terminal A lounge.

The flight back to Brisbane was ok. It was a 10am departure, but as soon as the meal was done, everyone went to sleep. Tried spending some time with my friends in the bar, but the staff kept telling us to be quiet as the other passengers were sleeping. Went back to my seat and watched a couple movies. I ordered a pie which was quite nice, but I was refused another one in case other passengers wanted one. I told the hostess to look around, everyone was asleep. Was on deaf ears though. Told her to bring me one for breakfast then if there was any left, which she did.

After landing, we transferred to the domestic terminal for a short layover before our flight home. I was now regretting not sleeping. I was a zombie for the next 2 days.

The meals were a bit annoying. We had breakfast in Dubai lounge, breakfast on A380, breakfast at Qantas lounge and breakfast on the flight back to Cairns. I'm breakfasted out.

So final thoughts.
a) Avoid Stansted at all costs
b) First class is nice but not worth it. I could never justify a cash ticket. A points ticket only if business was not an option.
c) Brisbane Emirates lounge is better than Dubai for food and direct plane access.
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Never flown First - so a very basic novice question - do they leave the bottle for yourself Or was it just for photo sake ?
I like how you think, but no, only for photo's sake. hehe. but I wish:)
 

2infinity

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Messages
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Points
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They are still kissing the Blarney Stone with the virus around? Thought that would be stopped.

My first though of those Iceland cliffs at Black beach was "this is like the Giant's Causeway in Ireland" which I had already seen.
Anything for a dollar - or Euro :D

My thoughts too, but I thought the Iceland ones were a better example. I'm sure you could find similar columns at other locations around the world too.
 
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