Six days of ultimate luxury, involving First class flights and five-star hotels may sound like merely a dream. But this is exactly what one AFF member was recently lucky enough to experience.

After flying from Australia to the UAE in First class on Etihad Airways, our member Moindardt spent three nights at a popular 5-star hotel in Dubai. But perhaps the most remarkable thing about this trip is that our member spent less than $1,200 on the flights and accommodation – for 2 people!

By redeeming American Airlines AAdvantage miles, our member was able to fly from Brisbane to Abu Dhabi in Etihad’s First class for just 60,000 miles each way! For two people, the return flights cost 240,000 points and less than $300 in taxes.

We ended up with BNE-SYD QF J, SYD-AUH EY F A380 Apartments and AUH-BNE EY F 787-9. Chauffeur is included on landing in Abu Dhabi, leaving Abu Dhabi and landing in Brisbane (we were offered a pickup in Sydney but not Brisbane because of the connection). This Chauffeur is free to anywhere in UAE (bonus!). Total cost $294 +240000 AA points.

Etihad has one of the world’s best First class products. On the A380, which operates flights between Sydney and Abu Dhabi, First passengers can enjoy their own private apartment. First passengers also receive access to on-board showers, a personal chef and a chauffeur service on arrival into Abu Dhabi.

Taking advantage of the Starwoord Preferred Guest (SPG) Best Rate Guarantee, our member managed to score a great room at the 5-star Grosvenor House Hotel for a very reasonable price. In addition, as an SPG Platinum member, our member was able to upgrade the room to a Suite, and check-in early on the first day!

I booked 2 nights at Grosvenor House, Dubai on a flexi rate and started the BRG process. For those not aware, SPG has a system where you book a flexible rate room, find a price online which is cheaper than their cheapest rate and apply for a best rate guarantee and, if successful, they match the rate and take a further 20% off it, and it still stays flexible. I managed to get the price down to $355/nt. This is the #3 hotel in Dubai according to TripAdvisor so I was pretty happy. Then it turned out we were going to have to stay another night but SPG wouldn’t extend my BRG stay so I had to put in another request for the 3 nights but this time I got it down to $292/nt including Breakfast.

After checking out the hotel, there was time for some sightseeing around Dubai. One of the popular attractions visited was Skidubai. This indoor ski centre is just a small part of the impressive Mall of the Emirates, one of the world’s largest shopping malls.

One thing I have to recommend to anyone stopping in Dubai is skidubai. The price is pretty good. 300aed for an all day ski pass… We spent 6 hours there and would have done more if we weren’t meeting friends for dinner.

This trip report is living proof of the value of frequent flyer programs. Without them, none of this trip would have been possible!

 If anyone had have told me a year ago when I started this frequent flyer stuff, that this is possible, I would never have believed it.

Follow the trip report HERE.

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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]