This crazy journey started on Sunday morning at 6 a.m. with a short flight to Houston, TX (IAH). My next flight didn’t board for 12 hours, so I hung out at a couple different lounges in the Houston airport before boarding my flight for Sao Paulo, Brazil (GRU) around 9 p.m.
Since the three flights I purchased for the mileage run started in Sao Paulo, I had to use miles to fly to Sao Paulo to get myself in position for the mileage run. I ended up using 45,000 United miles for the round trip flight in economy because they had the best award availability that worked with my schedule. So my first flight, IAH to GRU, was one of two economy flights. The flight from Houston to Sao Paulo takes about 10 hours. Miraculously, I was able to sleep sitting up for at least 5 hours, so the flight was relatively painless!
I arrived in Sao Paulo around 8 a.m., and my first business class flight back to Dallas didn’t leave until 9 p.m. that night. So I used my 13 hour layover to catch up on work and explore (and over eat at) three different lounges [Star Alliance Lounge, Executive Lounge, and Admirals Club].
Getting to explore a lot of different lounges has definitely been a highlight of the trip! I have the Priority Pass, which gets me into over 650 lounges around the world. Plus, I’m getting access to airline specific lounges because I’m flying business class!
After hanging out in lounges all day, I boarded my first business class flight from Sao Paulo to Dallas at 9 p.m. My first international business class experience warrants a post of it’s own, but let’s just say it’s going to be really hard flying in economy in the future, knowing the people in the front of the plane are living the good life with lay-flat beds and four course meals.
[Detailed Flight Review of American Airlines Business Class GRU to DFW coming soon…]
We touched down in Dallas at about 4:45 in the morning. Luckily, I’ve found it very easy to get a good nights rest in the lay-flat seats, so I arrived in Dallas ready to start my day. I was actually really excited about my layover because DFW is home to my favorite domestic lounge, the Amex Centurion Lounge. The food there is amazing (full buffet), but the thing that really sets the lounge apart is that you can get a free massage!
I arrived to the lounge around 5:25 (it doesn’t open until 5:30), so I was the first one in the lounge. The first thing I did was take shower! The showers at the Centurion Lounge are just like everything else there, really nice! Plus, they give you a towel and washcloth so you don’t have to worry about putting damp things back in your bag.
After washing off 2 days of airport grim, it was time for breakfast. Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, and I love sweet breakfast foods, so I was pretty pumped about the pancakes!
My next flight from Dallas to Hong Kong didn’t leave until 12:30, so I killed another 5 hours or so working the Centurion Lounge. Because I’m a little weird and love to fly, I was pretty excited about the 16 hour flight from DFW to HKG. Plus, I hadn’t slept for more than 6 hours the past two nights, so I was looking forward to catching up on some rest.
[Again, in the interesting of time I’ll be putting together a separate post with a detailed review of my 16 hr. business class flight from Dallas to Hong Kong.]
I landed in Hong Kong around 6 p.m. and had three hours to kill before boarding my flight to Bangkok. Since I was flying business class on Cathay Pacific, I was given an invitation to visit any of their three business class lounges. I decided to try out the Cabin (this time) because it was closest to my gate.
The Cathay Pacific Cabin lounge was extremely impressive. It was huge, everything was super fancy, and tons of good food options!
After careful deliberation, I decided that my best bet for staying sane on this trip was to try to stick to my normal (CST) sleep schedule. Since I’m spending 2/3 of my time in the U.S. and Brazil, and they’re basically in the same time zone (Brazil is 2 hours ahead), I decided this made the most sense.
My plan was to stay up all night in Hong Kong and Bangkok. That meant that when I landed in Hong Kong at 10 p.m. local time, it was actually 8 a.m. according to my sleep schedule. So I ate noodles for breakfast and ordered a couple cappuccinos from the bar… I don’t know why the espresso maker was behind the bar, but it did somehow make them feel fancier.
I spent my time in the Cathay Pacific lounge trying to figure out what I was going to do during my overnight layover in Bangkok (talk about last minute planning). I was finally able to find some good information on FlyTalk about a lounge that was open 24 hrs. I love Bangkok, and I was really sad I wasn’t going to be able to experience the city, but my layover was from 12 p.m. to 8 a.m., and as my Dad would say, “Nothing good happens after midnight.” Especially in Bangkok.
Next up, I boarded my first business class flight on Cathay Pacific from Hong Kong to Bangkok. The flight was only a little over 2 hrs. long, but they served us a full 4 course meal. The braised lamb steak was by far the best meal I had eaten up to this point.
For dessert they had three different flavors of ice cream. Since I like trying new things, I opted for the milk tea flavor. It was surprisingly good; it basically tasted like black tea and milk in ice cream form!
After having just enough time to stuff my face, we landed in Bangkok around 12 a.m.. Bangkok was technically my final destination for this leg of the trip, so in the next post I will pick back up there!
I hope you’re enjoying following along with this journey! I’m moving really quickly, and there is a ton to write about. I’m trying to find a good balance of how much detail I should go into in my posts. So if you want more information (or less) about anything I’ve mentioned, please post a comment below!