After a minor scare on Sunday night, I have successfully booked most of my flights, save for some regional flights around Asia!
The Round-the-World Series
I did everything as I was supposed to, searching on various American partners (particularly British Airways and Etihad) to make sure that miles bookings were available. Called up the AAdvantage booking line and gave them my dates and specific flight numbers I was looking for (proud of myself, of course). And was promptly told that there were no first class flights on Etihad from LHR-AUH. Even though I could see them plainly on their site as Etihad FirstGuest bookings, two different representatives confirmed that there was no first class availability for any days.
I wasn't alone in this discovery, nobody could book them, starting that very same day. Frustrated that I had put this off for too long, I resigned myself to business class (... I say this having never ridden in anything but coach before) and put the itinerary on hold.
I booked the following:
- MCI-ORY in Business Class on AA/OpenSkies for 50k AA miles (may upgrade to first later)
- LHR-AUH in First Class on Etihad for 40k AA miles
- NRT-MCI in Coach on Japan Airlines/AA for 25k miles (may upgrade to first later)
Just these three flights is over $12k of airfare that I got for under $800 in taxes and fees, plus the $89 US Airways card. I'd call that a deal. You can barely get to Paris from Kansas City in coach for that amount.
That leaves the following for remaining transportation:
- Paris-London Eurorail ticket (may use Barclays Arrival+ card to pay for this). Still have to decide how long to spend in Paris!
- Book Abu Dhabi to Dubai Etihad Chauffeur service (free with Business class or better tickets!)
- DXB-SIN flight. I plan on using 60k UA miles to fly Business on Thai Airlines into Singapore. I feel a little bad about using UA miles without a stopover, but thems the breaks.
- SIN-HKG and HKG-NRT flights on Jetstar in Cargo class (short flights don't need perks!)
I've still also got to book lodging for all but Singapore, where I'll be staying with a friend from elementary school. I plan on using a mix of IHG properties sprinkled with some AirBNB where appropriate. We'll see where it goes!