Award Trip Report – February, 19 2013

Award Trip Report – February, 19 2013

San Francisco to Bangkok in First

I’m no frequent flyer but I do make decent (and improving) use of mileage credit cards. I am generally still excited about flying, especially internationally, but my 6’4″ frame is snug in economy. So, on a trip to Southeast Asia (Thailand, Burma, Indonesia) wherein I would be flying solo on the trip out, I went for first class.

The reason, I’m guessing, that this Saver Award was still available a month from departure was the transit portion of this trip. I ended up taking a Yen3000 bus from NRT to HND. It took about 100 minutes with traffic. I slept most of the way.

As I rolled up to the Royal First line at the Thai check-in gate with my two backpacks in tow, they eyed me suspiciously, ready to tell me that perhaps I was in the wrong line. Once I presented my passport, it was all Land of Smiles. A slightly nervous young lady escorted me through security and waltzed me up to the ANA Suites Lounge, which was significantly more pimpatronic than the quaint United International First lounge back in SFO. I drank more beer. I ate desserts. I took a shower and my emotional net worth doubled to $2 million.

The Thai Airways plane was the Jet 777-300ER with eight suites. I’d read that the suites were a bit rough around the edges these days but the “situation” was worse than I’d anticipated, especially coming from the United 777 whose fittings were relatively new. The seat was a bit rickety, the dining table (which was huge) got stuck each time it was pulled out, the AVOD device pretty much didn’t work and the suite doors didn’t close flush.

Since I was the only one in first class, the service was attentive to say the least. The food was good not great.

Having a bed, though? Behind closed doors with a big comfortable quilt? While you’re flying through the air like a bird? Priceless.

[fromagie on Milepoint]

FFP miles spent:
62,500 UA MilegePlus miles one-way

Hotel points spent:

Approximate fees:

Airline(s) / Routing:

How booked:

Type of award(s):
First class award flight


Month/year of trip:
September 2012

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