So believe it or not (or maybe it couldn’t have come soon enough), I’m on my first big miles redemption trip. I’m currently in Sydney, Australia. The trip here involved a number of firsts, some more exciting than others. It was my first time:
- taking the train in SoCal, from San Diego to LA (then the bus to LAX)
- flying out of LAX, as opposed to connecting through it
- flying an A380
- flying in business class, believe it or not (in an A380 no less)
- going to Australia
- staying at a Park Hyatt (Sydney)
The first part of that list isn’t terribly exciting, but mostly observations that I noticed. I spent the previous weekend in San Diego, attending Comic-Con 2012, which is why I had to get up to LA for my flight.
Anyway, when I arrived in LA, I had to run back and forth between the International Terminal and Terminal 4 a couple of times. My originally booked flight was LAX-BNE-SYD on QF (Qantas). I believe I originally did this because LAX-SYD award space is basically impossible to find, whereas alternate routings are readily available. I also remember something about BA trying to tell me this routing was illegal and trying to find something else, before giving up and just letting me have it, but I digress.
Upon arriving at the airport, I went straight to the Tom Bradley International Terminal. This seemed pretty reasonable, since I was flying internationally. However, apparently Qantas’ Brisbane flights are operated out of Terminal 4. So I walked out the terminal and the few hundred feet to terminal 4. I started checking in there, getting my visa for Australia, etc. Then all of a sudden, a different ticketing agent gets off the phone and says they want to move me to the direct to SYD, probably since I’m flying there anyway. While checking in, I’d learned that the BNE flight I was on was very full, and business was oversold by 10 seats (out of 50 or so I’m guessing, which is a pretty big deal). My first thought was actually that I would gladly volunteer my seat in return for compensation, that I could live with delaying my vacation a day. But alas, it was not meant to be. However, instead, I got to fly on the A380 on the direct to SYD, and on the top deck 🙂 Here’s some pictures of the seats:
That was actually my first experience in business class, and it was quite comfortable and pleasant. The flight was about 14 hours, which was actually not as long as I expected it to be. The flight was uneventful, besides a couple of meals (pictures below) and watching a few movies…and sleeping for 6 hours.
Anyway, I made it to Sydney, and to my hotel, the Park Hyatt Sydney. I booked this for the first 3 nights here. The hotel is normally a $700/night hotel, but I booked it on Hyatt points. The rate that way is 22k Hyatt Gold Passport / UR points (can be transferred to Hyatt), which is a great value. And I’ve found the hotel impressive too. I can’t wait to try some others in the future, like the Park Hyatt Tokyo and the Park Hyatt Paris 🙂 Anyway, I’ll hopefully have another post with more details about the hotel, but the picture of the view below says a lot. But so far, things are going well 🙂