My first trip report begins

My first trip report begins

Introduction: Europe Trip

Review: SQ Suites SYD-SIN, our first Suites Flight
Travel: Sightseeing around Singapore
Review: The Private Room Singapore
Review: Singapore Suites SIN-LHR Flight
Travel: Sightseeing in London
Travel: Sightseeing in Athens
Review: Royal Pricense Med Cruise
Travel: Sightseeing in Santorini
Travel: Sightseeing in Kotor, Motenegro
Travel: Sightseeing in Corfu
Travel: Sightseeing in Messina & Elba
Travel: Train to Venice & Sightseeing
Travel: Sightseeing in Florence
Travel: Sightseeing in Rome
Review: Rome Alitalia Alicia Lounge & Frankfurt Senator Lounge
Review: Thai airways A380 First Class FCO-BKK
Review: Thai Airways B747 First Class BKK-SYD
Comparison: Singapore Airlines Suite Class vs. Thai Airways First Class

We fly out in SQ Suites in T-5 days and I can’t wait, we started planning this trip about 18 months ago and every since I have been itching to get into that SQ suite with my glass of Krug in hand

For those that are interested there is a bit of a back story as I have pretty much come full 360 when it comes to points and miles in the last 10 years. When I first started working full time back in 2005 and work were flying me around a fair bit I became quite the point junkee. I remember enthusiastically singing up for the original earth companion card and chasing every QF point I could and racing to SG as quickly as I could (I just missed out on WP), after all a shower (and beer) in the Perth QF lounge made that redeye back to Sydney after a week of long hours in Perth all the more bearable . Then I just kinda dropped out of the game for many years, between stopping travel for work and using all the points I had built up on a few last minute flights for the family it all just seemed too hard.

Then about 18 months ago in the midst of planning our wedding, I stumbled across a promo for the Amex Velocity 110k bonus. I initially dismissed it as I didn’t need a new credit card. But it was somewhat coincidental that I had started doing a little bit of flying for work again and we happen to use VA. The Amex promo was burning in the back of my head, after all 110k points seemed like a crazy amount for nothing. Long story short after doing some research (a large portion on here) and being suckered in with the idea of a trip in SQ suites I signed up and convinced my fiancee to sign up as well. Between the 240k simply from signup bonus plus wedding spend (turns out reception venue was classified as a restaurant 3ppd!!) and a few other tricks we were well on our way to accruing a nice sum of points. All this with the idea of heading to Europe for our 1 year anniversary, a couple of weeks after getting back from our honeymoon last year I found saver availability with SQ and locked it in. The rest is history, ever since then, I am back to being a points junkee, always looking for a way to make a few bonus points I have to say it seems WAY easier to accrue massive amounts of points than it was 10 years ago.

So with the backstory out of the way on to the trip we wanted to head to London first then we decided to take a cruise from Athens to Rome as it works well for us as lazy travellers then the idea was to spend some time in Rome, Florence and Venice, our flights looks like this.

STN-ATH on RyanAir Y (had to pay for this one)
ATH-FCO 7 Day Princess Cruise
FCO-FRA on LH J (yup that crappy intra-eupore J)
FRA-BKK on TG F (A380 - looking forward to trying this one)
BKK-SYD on TG F (747 old config)

flight map

As we were fixated on SQ suites, I locked those flights in pretty much as soon as they became available. We have a 2 days stop over in Singapore which seemed to make finding availability much easier. It also meant that it was easy to secure both flights on the A380. At the time all the direct SYD-SIN-LHR flights had one segment on a 777.

The return leg was a bit of a saga and only got booked a few months ago. The original plan was to try to get EY flights in J or F but I needed to save up some additional points so couldn’t book them 300 days out. By the time we had enough points it seemed that VA could see zero availability (coincidently this was right when VA announced the de-valuation and move of EY to the partner table) for the 2 week period around when we wanted to fly home. After much debate between buying a Y one-way ticket (which as we all know are crazy expensive) and playing the waiting game. I decided to take advantage of the Lifemiles promo back in May and topped up my life miles to redeem TG F flights. It’s not the best use of Lifemiles but at least we get to come home in comfort. I was also taking the gamble that we wouldn’t get TG’d and we would get to try Thai’s A380 which I was keen to have a look at. TG F is the only other time we have flown F and we enjoyed it despite some peoples negative reviews and the lounge in BKK was awesome.

Stay tunned for further updates