Welcome to my subsequent journey report sequence, which is able to embody enterprise class evaluations on Copa Airways, LATAM, Fiji Airways, and Air New Zealand, in addition to a number of airport lounge and lodge evaluations.
Why I took this journey
This was a “pure” assessment journey, which is to say that I took this journey completely to assessment as many airways, airport lounges, and inns, as effectively as potential. I do know many OMAAT readers benefit from the evaluations on the weblog, in order a brand new guardian I’m making an attempt to maintain that going whereas being away from residence as little as potential.
I didn’t have any particular “agenda” after I began planning this journey, however reasonably I knew when a great time to journey can be, so I deliberate my journey primarily based round the place I might discover good award availability for attention-grabbing merchandise.
Humorous sufficient the preliminary journey I largely deliberate concerned the Etihad Airways A350-1000, Gulf Air Boeing 787-9, Singapore Airways Boeing 737 MAX 8, and many others., however it simply didn’t fairly pan out in the long run. Fear not, I’ll have a visit alongside these traces quickly. Happily I discovered an alternative choice that I feel was fairly attention-grabbing.
The airways I flew on this journey
For all sensible functions, I kind of took two separate journeys — one roundtrip from Miami to Latin America, and one roundtrip from Los Angeles to the South Pacific. Then I booked an American Airways roundtrip ticket between Miami and Los Angeles to attach the 2 journeys.
Why plan two back-to-back journeys like that? Frankly these days getting out the door is the largest problem (I wrote concerning the emotional facet of that in a separate publish), so as soon as I’ve left, I’d as nicely do as a lot as I can.
Beneath is a map of my whole flying (I lined 23,260 miles), after which after that I’ll cowl the small print of the flights I took and the way I paid for them.
To kick off this journey, I booked Copa enterprise class to Lima through Panama. Initially the primary flight was presupposed to be operated by a Boeing 737 MAX 9 whereas the second flight was presupposed to be operated by a Boeing 737-800, although sadly there was a final minute plane swap, so this a part of the journey was a let-down.
I ended up reserving the next in enterprise class for 50,000 Air Canada Aeroplan factors plus $49.40 in taxes & charges (and I took benefit of a switch bonus from Amex, so I wanted even fewer Amex factors than that):
9/15 CM227 Miami to Panama Metropolis departing 5:59PM arriving 8:10PM
9/16 CM493 Panama Metropolis to Lima departing 3:43PM arriving 7:17PM
From there I wished to return to Miami in LATAM’s new enterprise class, so I booked the next for 45,000 Alaska Mileage Plan miles plus $74.58 in taxes & charges:
9/17 LA2462 Lima to Miami departing 12:15AM arriving 7:05AM
Then after repositioning to Los Angeles, it was time to go to Auckland through Nadi. Fiji Airways has traditionally been actually stingy with award house, however a bunch of enterprise class award house was just lately made obtainable. I managed to e-book the next for 55,000 Alaska Mileage Plan miles plus $60.60 in taxes & charges:
9/18 FJ811 Los Angeles to Nadi departing 11:55PM arriving 5:45AM (+2 days)
9/20 FJ411 Nadi to Auckland departing 8:30AM arriving 11:40AM
Lastly, Air New Zealand (shockingly!) had a enterprise class award seat for a return flight to Los Angeles. So I booked the next for 62,500 Virgin Atlantic Flying Membership factors plus $38.84 in taxes & charges (and I took benefit of a switch bonus from Amex, so I wanted even fewer Amex factors than that):
9/21 NZ4 Auckland to Los Angeles departing 11:15PM arriving 4:20PM
The above is the chronological order wherein I traveled, however for these questioning the order wherein I truly booked this journey:
- I first seen how Fiji Airways had award house from Los Angeles to Auckland, permitting me to assessment the Airbus A350 and Airbus A330, in order that was my place to begin for this journey
- Miraculously, I noticed that Air New Zealand had enterprise class award availability the next day from Auckland to Los Angeles, in order that appeared too good to be true, even when Air New Zealand enterprise class is subpar; I locked that in straight away
- At that time I figured I’d as nicely attempt to add in one other factor to this journey, and I seen LATAM had award availability from Lima to Miami in its new Boeing 767 enterprise class a day earlier than I used to be presupposed to fly to New Zealand
- To get to Lima, I assumed flying Copa can be a great alternative, since I used to be curious to strive Copa’s Boeing 737 MAX 9, and Panama’s new Terminal 2 just lately opened, together with a brand new Copa Membership
Along with flight evaluations, you’ll be able to count on evaluations of the next lounges:
- The Copa Membership Panama Metropolis Airport (PTY)
- The Sumaq Lounge Lima Airport (LIM)
- The Precedence Cross Eating places Lima Airport (LIM)
- The Qantas First Lounge Los Angeles Airport (LAX)
- The oneworld Lounge Los Angeles Airport (LAX)
- The Alaska Lounge Los Angeles Airport (LAX)
- The Centurion Lounge Los Angeles Airport (LAX)
- The Fiji Airways Lounge Nadi Airport (NAN)
- The Air New Zealand Lounge Auckland Airport (AKL)
- The Strata Lounge Auckland Airport (AKL)
The inns I stayed at this journey
Over the course of my journey, I spent three nights in inns, together with in Panama Metropolis, Los Angeles, and Auckland.
Whereas there are some downtown inns in Panama Metropolis that I wished to expertise, I made the choice to only keep close to the airport, since I used to be planning on being on the airport very early. I booked the Crowne Plaza Panama Airport for 18,000 IHG One Rewards factors (the money charge was ~$120, so it was an okay redemption, however not wonderful).
Then for my in a single day in Los Angeles, I made a decision to take a look at the mixed Hyatt Home & Hyatt Place LAX. I used to be curious concerning the dual-branded lodge idea, and I’ve additionally been which means to remain at a Hyatt Home, in order that I can test that model off my Model Explorer listing.
Then there was the lodge keep I used to be most trying ahead to, which was the Park Hyatt Auckland. This lodge opened in the course of the pandemic, and I used to be curious to see what it was like. I paid money for this one night time keep. The speed was $250, and since I booked via Hyatt Privé, I acquired a $100 credit score and extra (along with my typical Globalist perks).
It was tremendous enjoyable to take my first full-on assessment journey because the begin of the pandemic. Whereas I had a good time, I forgot how exhausting these journeys will be, and I feel I’m simply now caught up on my post-trip sleep. Keep tuned for many airline, airport lounge, and lodge evaluations, and thanks for studying!