The BEHEMOTH - 48K DONE4 with more than a few twists | Australian Frequent Flyer
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The BEHEMOTH - 48K DONE4 with more than a few twists

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simongr

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Jul 10, 2006
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14,229
The Journey to a journey

So it begins. Nine months ago I was working for a consulting firm and for various reasons I left. I took a job with some travel. It was meant to be a couple of trips to New York each year and a couple of trips to Asia. Pretty easy and somewhat glamorous. However it transpired that I have a weakness, an addiction almost. I took my first international business class flight in July 2006 and I saw a change in me - I saw an opportunity to get not only something for nothing but also something for something. I became a slave to my addiction – it had to be longer, better and easier – it had to be business or first and I had to be at the head of the queue, top of the heap, A-number 1 – I had to be gold glass – without really understanding what gold class meant. I became over time a slave to the journeys – but that is the middle of my story – not the beginning.

Before I took that first flight I spent a little time working out what was in it for me – I had a plan of what I would like to do. I grabbed some insight as to the better seat, the better service and the better deal for – I didn’t realise what I was getting into. I opened Pandora’s box and found a world of information an opportunity that I never thought existed.

As I learned more and travelled more I explored more complex routings, I took the chance to surprise my family on the other side of the world, I flew in First class, I did some crazy flights (BKK-SYD-AKL-LAX-JFK), I experimented with a relatively complex DONE4 but a couple of things eluded me – top tier status and a flight simply for improving status or miles. To this point I was just someone who flew a lot – I hadn’t taken the step – into the realms of being someone who when you told someone else your flight plans their jaw dropped, their eyes rolled and they had only one expression “You’re not serious are you?”. To make the next step I needed something more – I needed the BEHEMOTH.



So the planning began. I had been asked to help my colleagues in London with a job. I of course booked a DONE4 on the basis that it was a similar cost to a straight SYD-LHR-SYD return. I also suggested to my boss that I might stop off in New York to catch up and do my mid-year review. I had therefore my framework. A simple SYD-LHR-JFK-SYD trip. About 24K miles flown. That though was the beginning.

I had for the first time the opportunity to plan a real trip – I had my chance to create my BEHEMOTH. The construction began, the tools were found – mileage monkey to plan the route, oneworld planner to create the flights and expertflyer to make sure I could get on board. Eventually I had a route and a plan – I just needed a way to book it. I had tried to book through our local corporate TA but they refused to book my DONE4 as I had Oz domestic sectors at the end of the. I made so much trouble with that I was given dispensation to book my flights directly with QF. The also refused to book the domestic sectors – and were quite unpleasant in doing so. Finally I resorted to booking through our US corporate TA. They decided to ticket through CX who also argued frequently about the route. It was only when I emailed copies of the fare rules did they relent and we finally had a ticket – a route of magnificence, a journey of incomprehension – it was in fact a BEHEMOTH.

syd-hkg-fra-hel-lhr-dxb-lhr,lgw-bgi-jfk-dfw-lax-jfk-nrt-hkg-syd-adl-per-syd​

47,883 miles, 18 flights, achievement of EXP status with AA, Diamond status with Hilton and enough miles for two business class return tickets to New York and London next year. Finally the pay off was here. To this point every trip had just been a journey but this journey was going to be an achievement.

Well I certainly talked that up – anyone would think I was crossing the Andes on a goat!

Any for a recap of the actual journey to a journey check out this link:

The next DONE4 planning thread

Many thanks for everyone that contributed to that thread – everything said was used in some way – either to make this BEHEMOTH happen because of the help or in spite of the help ;)

The thing is despite all the meticulous planning, the delicate pruning, the careful and long planned tweaking – I wasn’t done even at the end. One week out I “realised” I was going to get up at 4AM for the first flight and there was a half empty F cabin on QF leaving two hours later. The game was afoot!

A quick email to the US TA created some trepidation “oh you need to get new tickets issued by CX – can you go to the airport?” This was Friday morning. The CX office at the airport is open Monday through Friday and was off the following Wed-Fri before the trip – my window for getting the tix changed was pretty small.

A quick trip to the airport on Monday afternoon and a very, very long exploration of the airport found me finally spending 30 seconds getting the ticket barely amended – but at least we are on track and the BEHEMOTH is impending. The final obstacle is whether the F upgrade will clear and whether I will finally get the chance to experience the new SYD F lounge. We can only wait and hope…
 

simongr

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Jul 10, 2006
Messages
14,229
Journey – SYD-HKG
Flight no. – QF127
Class – First
Seat – 2K

Time ticks slowly by in that three days before the trip. Well in fact it doesn’t – I barely have time to scratch myself getting many things ready before I go away – the last thing I really need to be doing is wasting time on mileage runs. The first speed bump though is that my Parent’s are now going to be in the UK at the same time as me and my Sister is also going to be there and is planning to surprise my Grandmother. At this point I am feeling a little selfish planning to spend the day browsing comic shops rather than visiting my aged Grandmother – so that’s one relaxing weekend out.

I am still though anxious that my upgrade hasn’t come through until I check at about 8PM on the day before the trip that it has come through – I am now in F to HKG. Although I am looking forward to F it no longer has the mystique it used to. I am not saying it’s a bad experience but for me the jewel in this crown is the new QF F lounge at SYD. I have been to HKG and done the Wing and Pier and loved them more than each time I went – the new SYD F lounge will have much to live up to.

I wake on Saturday morning to a beautiful Sydney winter morning. Blue skies above, Kookaburras laughing in the background, Skippy nibbling at the shoots in the garden – oh wait that was a TV show. The weather was great though. As ever the driver was there slightly early but did not knock or disturb knowing that when I said 7:30AM I meant 7:30AM. Into the car and it’s only 10 mins into the journey that I realise I left my new GPS device at home – the GPS that had been bought for this specific trip. Back to the house and we are off again.

At the airport I search for the kerbside check-in that is talked about and find nothing so I troop off to the new F check in – a walled off area away from the proles in Business class. There are people in front of me so the business class chick calls me over. After a minute or tow of explanation that “Yes – I really am flying to London via HKG, FRA and HEL” she prints my BPs and luggage tags. She realises that you only have a max of 3 locations on the tags so will need to print two sets of bar codes. She then proceeds to staple them together at bizarre angles so that it appears there is just one tag. My spider sense starts tingling a little but I have never had problems with my baggage before so this wont be a problem I am sure.

I ask for the express immigration and security clearance and am advised they have run out of the cards so am out of luck. So far I am not blown away by my pre-flight experience – check in was slow, queues can not be jumped and I didn’t have time with the “late” request for F to book a spa treatment.

Thankfully immigration is painless and at security I at least get a laugh. I was a little concerned about my new carry-on bag. I have bought a Tumi 20in rollaboard and this is the first test run. It looks bigger than the gauges but I am not checked thankfully. The amusement starts with a mouthy little DYKWIA at security. I don’t get the whole story but because of a bottle he is trying to get through security which I assume QF haven’t told him wont be able to be transited (supposition on my part) that he is now delayed and might miss his flight. He pipes up with “I have spent $20K on QF flights in the past couple of months and this is how I am treated” followed by “Can I speak to your supervisor?” I am struck on a couple of points – firstly security don’t work for QF so don’t care how much you have spent and as they probably make less than you – you aren’t endearing yourself to them by bragging. Secondly if you are in a hurry why are you getting into a debate with security? Then I realise – there are two ways of spelling DYKWIA – the alternative is IDIOT.

Suppressing my burning desire to get to the F lounge I troop off at that to the Tourist Refund Scheme to get the money back on the Tumi luggage (forgive if I often repeat Tumi – I just love this new bag and it in fact becomes critical to me on this journey as you will see). It is amazingly slow as people seem to not understand some basic concepts – you can’t use TRS if your flight is boarding, refund needs to be paid in certain ways and you need to show the goods. When I finally get to the counter it takes 30 seconds and the staff remark how they wish they had more of these :)

Finally, and I am almost running now it is time for the F lounge. I walk past the staffer and flash my BP and finally I am in and I am stunned from the start. Now if I seem gushing in praise then I apologise – I was obviously predisposed to like this despite the hype but because of the positive reports. The entrance itself is a marvel – the wall of plants is a green Taj Mahal, a temple of flora – one might even stretch to call it a cornucopia of leafy lovelies.

Up the escalators to the entrance and I stunned even further. The gulf between this lounge and the old F lounge and the current J lounge is vast – it is the Grand Canyon to the Wye Valley, Everest to Ben Nevis, Wallmart to 7-11. I love everything from the ticking flight status boards (although they could get a little annoying – and they do), the views of the tarmac (just wish there was a QF A380 sat out there for me to be boarding), the shape and curve and line. I am offered a tour of the lounge but prefer to explore.

I decide on some bacon and eggs (all organic) and a glass of bubbles (Veuve) and settle down to some nosh. The service as reported is not incredibly quick but the faster the service the more bubbles at 9AM I might polish off and I am still to enjoy the F flight. After breakfast I explore a little and then just sit and relax. I note that the bar is almost as long as the long bar in HKG and looks very similar. Not a bad thing though :)

As I sit I realise now that my only conversation for the next 40 hours is going to consist of “Would you like the beef or the chicken?” and “Please could I have another glass of Shiraz?”

Eventually I have to leave my haven and join the little people – as I walk out I look back and it really feels that the lounge captures the spirit of the golden age of air travel. It is simple, elegant and memorable. QF – well done!

Hmm – that was a little longer than planned :)

Onboard the story is the same as normal for QF in F (bwahahahaha how things have changed that I think of QF F as the same as normal). I note that the seats are blue rather than the brown fabric I am used to. I take my seat and find the sleeper suit bag is now stocked with the toiletries – I am not sure whether the staff did this or this is the new way.

The staff are excellent from the get go – (Seftan and Brian) – from the comment not just my shirt is nice but commenting on the particular brand (the logo is subtle so you would actually have to know who it is to comment) of my shirt.

The food is ok (the lamb is a hint overdone) but the cheeses are the best in-flight cheeses I have had in some time. My Shiraz is refilled without asking and after watching a couple of movies and perhaps a glass too many of champagne I wake about a couple of hours out of HKG. I am not offered any more food and I wish I had asked for a steak sandwich. I also think that the Bubbles and Shiraz are blended a little heavily and HKG for 5 hours could be dangerous…

I reflect back on the trip as we land and wonder – was it really worth it? Is 25k points a better use of my $200 Amex membership fee – I guess it is and I am already planning when I can request my next upgrade…

Finally we are landing at HKG and I realise the journey has barely begun…
 

simongr

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Journey – HKG-FRA
Flight no. – CX251
Class – Business
Seat – 12C or in fact 12A

The transit at HKG seems incredibly slow – they don’t seem to understand my itinerary and they say they cant give me my AY BPs but they actually do. Through transit and I am quickly into the Wing. I still only have J lounge access (the journey to AA EXP will be a trip report in it’s own right). I was able to jump online and chat to family to give them a progress report to date.

I have a disappointing G&T in the lounge – only Gordon’s gin. Eventually I mooch over to the Pier and actually crash out on a seat there. I fall asleep in a quiet lounge and wake up in Grand Central Station – thankfully awake in time for the flight.

Onboard I am absolutely exhausted and perhaps I had one beer too many to be completely sober. My seat buddy is anxious to switch seats “as he will be up and about the whole trip as he doesn’t sleep onboard”. I relent and switch to the window sat – I am desperate for sleep anyway.

We are advised that there wont be any head winds so our flight time will be shorter than expected but as that would get us in before the curfew we will have to wait before we can take off – 30 mins on the tarmac. I am starting to get grump at this point as I can’t keep my eyes open and want to lie back and sleep.

Finally we take off and as the seatbelt sign goes out I am lieing back for sleep. I get about 5 hours sleep – only waking to see the dinner service cart pass me by – there wont be food yet for me.

As ever the CX seat is a little too small for me to fully stretch out and I find myself kicking the seat in front of me unfortunately. After I wake I realise that even though I have slept for 5 hours there is still over 5 hours left to fly and I haven’t had a single drink onboard or any food. Breakfast seems a long time away so I request a coke and some ice cream – nutritious and delicious. I watch the end of the movies I slept through on the QF flight and fore down “Blades of Glory” – thankfully short. I try to watch Number 23 but it is a movie that needs more thought than I have the energy for.

Breakfast is ok – but seems to be served randomly around the cabin. I am not blown away by the Frittata as it’s a little cold. Amusingly around breakfast my seat buddy who doesn’t sleep finally wakes – he has been asleep for at least as long as I have been awake ;)

Finally we land at FRA and after a phenomenally long taxi I am disembarking to my first completely alien airport (or flughafen) in a while. This is going to be a daunting five hours.
 

parsonstrish

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Sep 23, 2005
Messages
669
I echo qf009. I was laughing outloud, didn't quite wake up my cat, but enough to make it stir.

Are you a writer or artist in anyway, langage very descriptive.

Are you single by any chance and old, love your humour, ;) :D
trish
 

littl_flier

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Joined
May 1, 2007
Messages
898
parsonstrish said:
Are you single by any chance and old, love your humour, ;) :D
trish
Lol, now he has the Tumi, he might well be single. ;) Unfortunately he's youngish- unless 30ish is old? :p
 

Keith009

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Mar 6, 2005
Messages
4,443
littl_flier said:
Lol, now he has the Tumi, he might well be single. ;) Unfortunately he's youngish- unless 30ish is old? :p
I could deal with up to 35...;) :p :D :D
 

Hawkeye

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Nov 4, 2006
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I've never seen a trip report stir the hormones like this before!!

Simongr, maybe you should keep the language a little less descriptive from here on in.:D
 

simongr

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Jul 10, 2006
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Future installments will have cold showers provided at no extra cost.

Writers/artist - no. Accountant - yes :p
 

garyjohn951

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Jul 21, 2006
Messages
561
I have had that "can I change to aisle because I don't sleep" routine a couple of times and I flatly refuse. I say I don't mind how often you have to climb over. I also say I booked early to get an aisle I don't give it up.
 

Shano

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Aug 17, 2006
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Flights
My Map
Good stuff Simon. That trademark satire is still alive and well.
 

simongr

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Jul 10, 2006
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FRA Airport – a bizarre experience

I have given FRA it’s own section as it was a truly weird experience. On dis-embarkation we are given no direction where to go (maybe I wasn’t listening as I didn’t need to collect baggage) and off the aircraft there were few signs. My documentation said that I arrived into T2 but there was no indication what to do next. Thankfully as I step into the concourse I see a Cathay lounge and am suddenly relieved. I walk in ask if I am allowed in and there is no question asked.

I go into the small side of the lounge for a beer (it is 6AM local) and jump on line to speak to mrssimongr (some of you please note that ;)) and catch up with AFF :) I had been told I would only get access to the AF lounge which had a smoking section so this nice simple CX lounge is a relief.

I am also very happy that one of my favourite snacks – paprika flavoured potato chips – are freely available. A breakfast of champions – chips and beer! The food selection isn’t great and neither is the drink – only JW Red for NM and no wine at all (it is 6AM I note). I ask a couple of times for the gate number but none is available.

After about an hour and a nice shower and awful shave I decide to take a wander. This terminal is completely dead – there are no shops, cafes or anything. It is very obvious that this terminal is in transition awaiting the A380 Hub status. As I find my way back to the lounge I am stunned by the number of Camel sponsored smoking stations – thankfully even though they are open to the concourse the smoke is being sucked up and doesn’t impact me.

I finally find the Skytrain to the other terminal and finally after much searching find the shopping area. It is horrendously busy here and with even more smoking stations a little smokey. There isn’t much to buy in reality so I actually head back to the lounge this time.

Still there is no gate identified. The lounge is starting to fill and as I grab another Becks there are one or two raised eyebrows from the American middle aged mums + dads in the lounge.

As I head out of the lounge for a 10:45AM take off I now know the gate but am still not sure whether I need to go through security. Strangely as I make my way to the gate I have to go through the baggage collection area and through inbound immigration – I afterwards realise I am going into a Schengen region so that is why I need to go through immigration.

Security is painfully slow – people are basically asked to strip down – no shoes, belts, bracelets – I am slightly concerned about the fillings in my teeth at this point… Finally I am through security and on my way to the gate for my first AY experience.

At the gate the GA advises that my QF number is on the BP so I get a new BP issued with my AA number – it looks a little strange but as I am now a little rushed I get onboard anyway. Boarding is a little strange and I get asked questions by the person behind me – I don’t like to interact with strangers (too many viewings of Charley Says…)

Finnally I am onboard and I finnally feel like I am almost there… little did I know what was happening in the background...
 

simongr

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Jul 10, 2006
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Journey – FRA-HEL
Flight no. – AY822
Class – Business
Seat – 2C

I don’t know what I was expecting of AY. What I wasn’t expecting was basically a rehash of Club Europe. I guess that with Finnair being so exotic to me (never been that far north before) I expected something – maybe the drinks cart being pulled by a Reindeer and a jolt fat man in a red suit. What I got was a middle aged dumpy FA but a rather nice scandic lady next to me (who did not interact with me for the entire flight – I think she too has been watching Charley ;)

I have my first experience of nosecam – kind of surreal watching the land fall away from the view from the nose. It get a bit tedious quite quickly though – a definite gimmick for the less frequent traveller. In other gimmicks the little trolley of papers that they pushed down the aisle was amusing – like a little shopping cart.

The meal service is interesting and a little less Nordic than I was expecting – a lovely piece of fish and some nice crackers and cheese. There is in fact n o IFE at all on board so I doze and plough on with my task of rereading all the Potter books before my Deathly Hallows Potter mileage run in a couple of weeks. The crew are a little slow clearing the trays but they are generous with the wine :)

After a few hours we are landing into HEL (I still giggle every time I say/think/write HEL and how I am going to HELl – a little childish but after 30 hours of travelling already I think I have earned a little latitude). Now it gets confusing. After deplaning I have no idea where I am going. Eventually I find what I think is the lounge. It looks small and cramped but there is hot food – I am however redirected to the “other” lounge which is near the gate. I merrily troop off towards it and realise that I am going to have to leave the Schengen zone – I think I am starting to understand this – although why the UK who has free borders with Europe isn’t part of this Schengen is a little strange for me.

The “other” lounge is more spacious and open – but I am directed left into the lounge rather than right – not sure why. There is plenty of beer (pour your own) and wine but no real hot food.

They are at least televising the build up to the Grand Prix that I will miss on the next flight but as soon as race is about to start they switch to a mixed doubles final at Wimbledon :confused:
 

simongr

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Jul 10, 2006
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Journey – HEL-LHR
Flight no. – AY833
Class – Business
Seat – 2D

Boarding is another debacle – we are kept in a holding pen for 20-30 mins and there is no priority boarding as we have a bus ride to the aircraft. Have I ever mentioned how much I hate the bus ride to the aircraft? It looks there has been some middle aged heavy metal convention by the number of middle aged men wearing heavy metal t-shirts around me. On board finally there is rather attractive young Cabin Crew so this journey is at least looking up until she heads back to whY :(

As I begin this journey I realise that I am now close to there. I am slightly nervous as ever going to London – I left for reasons and really don’t have a desire to be there – but at least I will get to see some friends and family (so it’s not all good ;))

The seating arrangement here is slightly different to the inbound flight. I was in 2C then and there was no seat at 2B. Here though there are the full complement of three seats across DEF. Thankfully I have all three seats to myself. Unthankfully for some reason the people travelling behind me have taken three seats together and yap through the entire flight.

The meal service was different to the inbound flight (not sure why I assumed it would be the same) but was not as appetising – and given I had just eaten I wasn’t overly hungry. I dozed and read for the remainder of the flight. As with the other mileage runs on this trip it was pretty uneventful – that was until we got to LHR and the story within the story of the BEHEMOTH began. If I had though the BEHEMOTH was going to be hard work I hadn’t realised exactly how much work it was going to be!
 

simongr

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LHR – The Baggage buffoonery begins

We land at LHR to find a large queue for residents at immigration but I have pre-booked a car from the Airport so I am pretty relaxed. I relieved that I am finally here – it has been a monster trip to get here – quite an achievement in itself. I am sort of proud of myself at having done this. I have read with shock and awe at what people get up to on their trips on FT and AFF and to be doing it myself really – well I am not sure how to describe the feeling – pride? excitement? I am not sure but there is something there lurking in the back of my psyche with a big contented grin on it’s face – I like a squirrel with a bag of nuts or a dog that has just eaten the Christmas turkey – slightly overfull but still with a big grin.

After immigration I make my way down to the baggage hall. What a disgrace. This is first thing that a visitor to England will see and this is an embarrassment. There are piles of bags everywhere, trolleys lying around, no indication of which carousel the bags will be on for 20 mins – I realise that Kiwiflyer would be laughing out loud at me now if he was here as he breezed through with just hand luggage.

I go to the carousel and wait, and wait, and wait and wait until eventually the carousel stops. There are three of us waiting so we all make our way to the baggage services counter. On my left his bags were not connected from NRT so will be on the next flight later that night. On my right his bags were also not connected so will be in later. I however am told that they have no idea where my bags are and I should keep any receipts I get when I start replacing things. I am now somewhat concerned. I am given no info on a daily allowance or what is reasonable to replace. Overall it’s a pretty poor effort.

I finally make my way resignedly out to arrivals and wonder if the driver is still there – thankfully he is (mind you I will be paying for this with additional waiting time). The journey to the hotel is very slow though – but I do get to revisit one old haunt on the way.

I am finally at the hotel at 8PM. Door-to-door SYD-LON in 46 hours – I am struck for the first time with the question – was the BEHEMOTH a terrible mistake?
 

simongr

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The London Hilton Metropole

Oh god what a dive :( Thank god I have changed my plans so that I wont be here for three weeks. Check in takes over 10 mins as people don’t seem to be able to simply say “Hi, I have a reservation in the name of John Visitor, could I have a room key please?” What is so hard about this? After that I then get to my room and I am hideously disappointed. I am lowly blue with HHonors so I realise this is the best I can expect.

I skip dinner and crash out at about 9PM exactly as originally planned. One of my justifications for such extreme journeys is that if I get to my destination “late” at night exhausted I can just sleep the night and wake without jetlag. If I hadn’t woken up at 5AM after a very restless sleep this would have worked perfectly ;)

In the morning I grab breakfast in the Exec lounge – my first experience of this sort of thing. It’s ok but it’s no F lounge! I then duck out to get a clean shirt, trousers (aka pants), pants (aka underwear) and a razor. It’s then back to the hotel to refresh and off to the office – not an auspicious start to my European support. The shirts aren’t great (M&S) but at least I am not wearing the same clothes again. All I arrived with was my chinos, two shirts, 3 pairs of underwear/socks – basically what I got on the plane with. I am just beginning to realise what was in the luggage and what I potentially could have lost.

I get to the office at about 10AM and catch up with tgtwwm – he had a great journey here on QF – even had luggage on arrival. I decide I need to review his performance appraisal a little more closely this July ;)

Back to the hotel and I order room service – a major disappointment. The Fish and chips is almost inedible but I eat and again crash at 9PM.

Tuesday is another crazy day. I have to repack the Tumi which is very full and very heavy as tonight we are off to Paris. Carting the bag across London is a trauma especially given the lack of aircon on the Tube. At this point the whole trip is becoming no so much a chore as a trial by ordeal.
 

simongr

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London – Paris on Eurostar Business Premier

Well this is stage two of my journey of planes, trains and automobiles (and based on the performance to date the John Candy movie is feeling somewhat familiar). We catch a cab to Waterloo and after some initial confusion we make our way to security and the WTMD past the surly staff and into “The Lounge”. I feel like I am in seedy poorly lit bar rather than a business lounge. There is plenty of booze and a little food but overall it is disappointing and overly warm. Don’t the people in this country understand that just because you get 3 days a year where you can take off your overcoat that that doesn’t mean you can’t cool places down when it gets warm?

Interestingly in other news I see Jarvis Cocker carrying a strange wooden sculpture.

We board the train and I really realise something I had been trying not to think about – I am going to France. Now this might seem a little late to realise but those people how know me well know my opinion of the French. This dates back not just to the traditional English/French rivalry but also to my own personal anger that due to the French not being able to mount a reasonable defence of their country in WW2 my grandfather spent 5 years in a POW camp. People I bear grudges - ok :)

To describe the feeling of simongr vs. The French the comparisons would Snape to Potter, Newman to Jerry, Luther to Kal-EL, Nottingham to Loxley, Shere Kahn to Mowgli – well you get the idea!

The reason I bring this up now is that I hadn’t previously realised the Eurostar was a French run operation – this was patently obvious as soon as we boarded and all the staff were French! Bizarrely on board tgtwwm has a pod of four seats to himself and I am sat opposite Aunt Petunia (look you’re right there is a slightly strong overtone of Potter in this story but that is due to the impending 7th book which I am somewhat excited about). As we pull away I switch over to the pod with tgtwwm. At this point I should note that as tgtwwm and I travel a lot together, eat together and spend all our working hours together we always try not to travel in seats next to each other – a small escape from each other is always welcome.

Dinner service on board is a bit slow but is happily offset by the glass of champagne. The food is ok and so is the wine – but strange that the French allow the use of mini bottles – I thought that they had better style than that.

Finally though we are En France (god I hope that means in France)

There is a very long queue for the taxi (similar to Sydney on a Friday night) and tgtwwm clearly tells the taxi driver “Hilton Arc de Triomph” and after a great tour through Paris past the Louvre and Eiffel Tower we arrive at the Hilton Paris. Back in another cab and we make to the actual Hotel Arc de Triomph.
 

garyjohn951

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Joined
Jul 21, 2006
Messages
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I don’t know what I was expecting of AY. What I wasn’t expecting was basically a rehash of Club Europe.
You have to remember that the majority of european airlines when flying in europe only use smaller planes fitted out as regional airlines. It is only there long-haul services that have plush J layouts.

When all said and done the flight was approx the same time as Australian flights and you don't get skybeds on those.
 

simongr

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I comepletely agree. My expectations were a little unreasonablein reality - I just wish Intra-Europe J was a little more spacious - closer to domestic US F.

I actually look fondly on my AA 757 flights now!!!
 
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