With only a few days of holiday to spare (due to already taking a week off for each of these trips: Champlagnes & Excellent Adventure) I knew that my birthday celebration would need to take place somewhere closer to home in 2014.
However with it being my 30th, I really wanted to do something special.
I have long maintained that one of the best value redemptions out there is the 80,000 mile round-trip F from Europe to the Middle East (either on USDM or AA miles).
My previous knowledge of the region had been limited to a single transit through BAH (a flight to BKK on Gulf Air back in 2001 – my first ever opup!); as such I thought it was high time that I explored Dubai. I had a Hyatt suite certificate to use and had read on Lucky’s blog that FHR/ Virtuoso bookings would have an upgrade applied, even on suite bookings, at the Park Hyatt Dubai. The Terrace Suite overlooking the Dubai creek was almost certain to be mine.
Of course, accommodation is half the equation. (I should TM that). I needed to see what F seats I could find to really complete the trip.
Looking for availability two months out I was shocked to find 2 seats in QF F available on a Wednesday night. QF is notoriously stingy when it comes to F availability. I’m a real fan of the Aussie service and am very keen on the wine selection on QF but their J seats (and catering) leave a lot to be desired. An opportunity to fly F would hopefully remove the less desirable elements whilst improving on my favourite ones.
I spotted two QR F seats on the way back. This would involve a lazy Sunday breakfast at the hotel followed by a hop over to the new DOH airport to check out the outrageous looking Al-Mourjan lounge; followed by a relaxing afternoon of Krug and caviar. I would then arrive in LHR at a reasonable hour on Sunday evening, the warm champagne glow preparing me gently for the new week ahead… The perfect long weekend.