With a big birthday coming up, I wanted to celebrate with a bang, in true Jakey style – and oh boy have I smashed that bucket list!
Flying First Class has long been on my list of must do travel experiences, and the beauty of collecting Avios and other airline points is being able to realise an ambition without the hefty price tag.
Our bucket list trip will start with a champagne brunch at the famed British Airways Concorde Room at London Heathrow, before boarding a Boeing 777 for our First Class flight to Doha, Qatar. Using the BA Premium American Express companion voucher, the flight cost just 68,000 Avios plus £785.00 in taxes for both of us.
As I was using the companion voucher, I had to put the connecting flight with Qatar Airways on a separate ticket which meant leaving enough time between flights to collect bags, check in for the next flight and allow a bit of time in case of delays. Fortunately, Qatar has regular flights from Doha to Bangkok with double daily A380, so we’ll be spending 7 hours at the Al Safwa First Class lounge in Doha.
With private rooms, a gym, spa, bar and restaurant, I don’t think we’ll struggle to find ways to make the most of the long layover. We had a similar wait when flying to Japan on a bargain business class ticket and didn’t have access to this next level lounge, so I think we’ll be just fine! It’s a hard life!
After eating, drinking and napping in such luxurious surroundings, we’ll board an A380 for our First Class flight to Bangkok. This will only be my second A380 flight and with an 0800 departure, I intend on having a delicious breakfast with very expensive champagne and a couple of drinks in the onboard bar.
I’m yet to finalise the details of our itinerary in Thailand, but the way home will again be an A380, this time in Business Class, which we experienced on our last trip to Thailand. With a 2030 flight, and dine on demand, I think a pre dinner cocktail in the bar would be a great idea.
Better still, the flight from Doha to Manchester will be a 777 fitted with Qsuite – ranked one of the best Business Class seats in the world. Only a few hours to make the connection on the way home, but we’ve passed through the Al Mourjan lounge a couple of times so I’m happy with the shorter connection.
All together, the Qatar flights cost 250,000 Avios plus £490 in taxes for both of us. Added to the cost of the BA flights, we’re in at 318,000 Avios and £1275. I don’t think that’s a bad deal. Considering the same flights would be over £11,000 in cash and even business class both ways would be over £7000, you can see why I love collecting airline points.
Images by Qatar Airways and Nick Morrish/British Airways.
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