British Airways Business Class London to Chicago 777

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Intro to London 2016: To See a GOAT on Grass
American Airlines Business Class Chicago (ORD) to London (LHR)
Radisson Blu Edwardian Hampshire Leicester Square
The May Fair Hotel
Buckingham Palace and Changing of the Guard
St. Paul’s Cathedral
Westminster Abbey
Tower of London and Tower Bridge
Wimbledon AELTC
London Eye
Dining in London
Brexit, London Street Scenes and Red bus tour
British Airways Business Class London (LHR) to Chicago (ORD)
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British Airways Business Class London (LHR) to Chicago (ORD)

We arrived at the airport a bit late due to the Brexit protests.  We went to checkin and it was taking a bit longer than anticipated.  The young BA worker was having trouble checking us in, something to due with the lap infant I believe. The checkin agent had to call a few people but after about 10 minutes of waiting we were issued our boarding passes.  He mentioned to make sure to visit the business class lounge but then realized we really wouldn’t have time to use it.

We went right to the gate after clearing security and our flight was beginning its boarding procedure. We were seated at the very last row of business class as that is where the bassinet is for the infant seating.  British Airways packs them in, in business class where seating is 8 across. We had seats in the middle. I had an isle seat and my wife had the middle seat directly next to me. Thankfully there was no one seated next to my wife in the middle. Of the four seats in the middle we had control of three of them which was perfect!  It gave us space to put our stuff on that third seat and gave my wife a buffer from people next to her so she could juggle the baby and nurse him privately with ease.

The flight attendants serving us in business class were great!  They were full of smiles, cheery and genuinely helpful.  When we got to our seats the flight attendant started gushing over our new travel stroller and said she wanted to get one and had never seen one in person.  She also offered us an infant seatbelt and mentioned that they would be more than happy to set up the bassinet in case we wanted to put our baby in there.

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My seat

I honestly thought the seat was plenty comfortable but just a bit narrow for business class.  The seat could use more storage so that you could place your items away more conveniently. There was tons of legroom and the seat goes fully flat for sleeping.  I did think it a bit strange that the passenger in the middle seats ahead of me needed to step over my leg to get out into the isle (if I had my legs extended or was laying down).  I did proactively lower my foot when I saw her trying to leave her seat but a strange setup overall in that regard. Believe it or not my wife preferred our flight on BA Club World more than AA business class on the 777-300 due to having two seats to herself and the better service.

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British Airways Club World

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Count me in for London!

 

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British Airways $2015 promotional was good through October 16th 2015 at midnight EDT

Well the travel blogs exploded this past Thursday and Friday!! The big noise was about the British Airways 2015 sale.  Meaning they were selling roundtrip business class airfare for $2015.  That by itself is a good deal but that is still too expensive for me to ever pay for airfare!  Combining an AARP membership (which cost $16) and paying for part of the ticket with British Airways Avios points though really dropped the price drastically.  Many early birds were able to score roundtrip business class tickets for under $400 to Europe!

I already had an AA saver award booked (on hold) for London for 50,000 miles $5.60 per person for me and my wife.  However the date wasn’t perfect and I didn’t book our return flights yet.  I was torn about if I really wanted to spend the cash when the alternative was $5.60 for my flight.  I would be able to book business class flights for the dates and times we wanted if I booked through the 2015 BA sale. On top of that I would save 100,000 AA miles.  I would also earn more AA miles (around 10,000 miles each) by flying on an I fare bucket ticket.

In the end it was too much to pass up and I booked our flights on BA.com on Friday morning for around $850 and 30,000 Avios per ticket for our business class tickets.  I am hoping to fly this on the way over (fingers crossed AA has updated all the Boeing 777-200’s by then):

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American Airlines 777-200 updated business class

and this on the way home:

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British Airlines 777 Club World

Hotels were booked a while ago and are 100% on points so we won’t have any lodging costs which helped me decide to spend a little money on the flight.  Considering a coach ticket to Europe can run $1000-$1500 over the summer season I had to capitalize on this deal!!!

I am curious if others would have preferred the first option that I had on hold for 50,000 AA miles and $5.60 (more likely 100,000 AA miles for roundtrip) or jump on this fare sale? Did we make the right choice?

 

-pointspinnacle


 

 

Trip Report: Australia (part 2) British Airways First Class Lounge O’Hare

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Introduction
British Airways First Class Lounge O’Hare
Cathay Pacific First Class ORD-HKG
Hyatt Regency Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific’sThe Wing First Class Lounge HKG
Cathay Pacific Regional Business Class HKG-KUL
Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur
Around Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge KUL
Malaysia Airlines Business Class KUL-MEL
Radisson on Flagstaff Gardens Melbourne
Australia Open Day One (2nd round of tourney)
Around Melbourne
Great Ocean Road Excursion
Australian Open Day Two (4th round of tourney)
Park Hyatt Sydney
Sydney Opera House Tour
Bondi Beach
Qantas Domestic Business Lounge SYD
Qantas Domestic Business Class SYD-BNE
Qantas Business Class BNE-LAX
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British Airways First Class Lounge O’Hare

We arrived to O’Hare like most other trips-on a CoachUSA bus from Milwaukee.  It drops us off right at the entrance to terminal 5 (O’Hare’s International terminal).  We walked right up to the Cathay Pacific First Class line and were checked in in just a few moments.  We  checked one bag and each had a carryon for this trip. We were given our boarding passes and told we had access to the British Airways First Lounge and we were on our way, partially escorted through security by our Cathay Pacific checkin agent.  After clearing security the British Airways First Lounge is not a far walk.

The agent in the lounge checked us in and we took our first looks at the lounge. I found it on the small side but not overcrowded initially and the furnishings and aesthetics fairly stylish.  The lounge was pretty peaceful for the most part and didn’t even have a TV.

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British Airways First Class Lounge in ORD

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British Airways First Class Lounge checkin desk

I walked over to the beverage selections and figured to get the trip started with a Continue reading

Trip Report: Maui – Back to Hawaii in 2013! Introduction

 

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Index (subject to change)

Introduction
Andaz Maui
Road to Hana
Mt. Haleakala & Snorkeling Molokini
Westin Ka’anapali
Food and Drink of Maui
Conclusion

Introduction

In 2012 we had our first big trip using points and miles-Kauai!!!!  We absolutely loved Kauai and it may still be our favorite vacation.  So I suggested to my wife midway through 2013 we should try to to visit Maui for Thanksgiving!! While her initial reaction was “we just went to Hawaii we should go somewhere else”, it didn’t take her long to remember the great time we had last year. I also had heard that a new Andaz property was being built and would be ready in plenty of time for a November visit.

When you ask most people that have been to all the Hawaiian islands what their favorite is, most of them reply either Maui or Kauai.  So I wanted to be able to form an opinion for myself.  I also hope to visit all the Islands that we haven’t visited yet over the next 3-4 years.

So over the coming months I started earning (turbo charging) Ultimate rewards points so that I could transfer them to Hyatt for the new Andaz Maui.  Every month I had enough points to add another night!

This trip was only going to be over Thanksgiving.  The availability I found on AA was decent so we were set for 6 nights.  The flights were basic coach flights. First flying to LA on Southwest using our companion pass, overnighting at the FourPoints LAX, then flying AA LAX-OGG in economy. I did not take any pictures of the flight because frankly it was just a simple economy seat for both flights. So bottom line I won’t be reviewing the flights at all but will breakdown the costs of the flights.

PointsPinnacle Breakdown

The Southwest flights MKE-LAX were $2.50 per person per segment as all points paid direct flights are on Southwest.  The total rapid rewards points redeemed was 21,960. This amount was for my ticket only then my wife flies for free with me using the companion pass. We only had to pay for the security fee of $2.50 for her so adding it all up we paid $15 out of pocket.

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swaOur points redemption for our mainland flight home.

Once in LA we took a completely separate American Airlines flight to Maui. We redeemed for a one way economy class flight from LAX to OGG. The cost in miles was only 12,500 British Airways Avios miles per person one way! The cost in dollars is even better=$2.50!!! So 25k miles and $5.00 for our way there!!

AAThe itinerary

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Ticketed receipt

The way home from Maui was exactly the same.

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The inbound itinerary

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Ticketed receipt

So 50,000 avios and $10.00 total round trip from LA and back.

This a great redemption and a sweet spot in the British Airways award chart!!!

We also stayed over night in LA due to our early departure time to make sure we would make our flight. I couldn’t find a flight arriving in LAX with enough time to comfortably make the flight to Maui. We ended up staying at the Four Points LAX right at the airport. The rate was $105 plus tax so about $120 total and we chose to have dinner and a drink or two there.

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Four Points receipt

 

-pointspinnacle