First, we would really like to requalify as Alaska Airlines MVP Gold 100K flyers for 2023. The benefits include OneWorld Emerald status, which has some pleasing perks. The trip we’re embarking on will quite possibly get us to that level (we won’t know for sure until we see if we get the bonus miles for business class that we’re estimating). Brian will pass the 75K mark on our second flight of the day.
Second, when some months ago we saw an opportunity to fly from New York to Bangkok on a cheap business class fare, we just couldn’t resist.
We’re flying from Bellingham to Seattle this morning, and then onward to New York’s JFK. Our complimentary upgrades cleared so we’ll be seated together in F SEA-JFK. For us it’s a repositioning flight.
We overnight at a JFK airport Crowne Plaza, and extend our stay one night. Monday at 1:30 AM we fly JFK-DOH (Doha, Qatar), on American Airlines AA 120, landing at 9:55 PM local time after about a 12-hour flight.
After presumably spending a few hours in one of the world’s largest airline lounges, we connect to Qatar Airways QR 836 and fly onward at 2:40 AM local time to Bangkok (BKK).
We ended up with this rather strange and miles-intensive routing through Qatar because of an American Airlines schedule change. We would have lost a day in Bangkok, but the AA agent accommodated Kathy’s request to reroute us. It will be our first time in Qatar, and some time since we’ve traveled to a country new to us. That will be sovereign country number 77 or 78 for us. Before bonuses for business class, our BLI-SEA-JFK-DOH-BKK routing covers 12,870 miles.
We are due to land at BKK at 2:00 PM local time (Bangkok is 15 hours ahead of our PST). We’re spoiling ourselves with a private car transfer (AOT Limo) to our first hotel, the Millennium Hilton, one of our favorite Hilton hotels in the world. Incidentally, that limo will cost us less than $30 for a 40-minute drive.
We’ve left our Bangkok schedule open because we’re frankly still tired after our recent month away. Maybe a food tour?
We had been hoping to make a quick flight to Chiang Mai to visit friends but we had to cancel. Part of traveling at our age is being realistic about our limits and this trip is already pushing us there. Even though we were sailing in the right direction to “gain” hours, we still sometimes feel as if we’re on European time. Maybe this trip will sort that out.
We also had a few issues to deal with during our three days on the ground here, but we’ve managed to sort most things out, and we’re fortunate to have great neighbors on both sides of us in Birch Bay Village to help us out and to keep an eye on our house while we’re away.
Our bags are packed and we’re ready to go (we hope!)...
At BLI (Bellingham Airport), we look at our boarding passes and see we’ve been upgraded to First Class on the E176 for the 30-minute hop. That’s a promising start to our trip.