I spent 2 weeks flying 92,000 miles around the world in business class, and I used Instagram to record the journey. Below are all of the Instagram post from my mileage run in chronological order.
Over the next two weeks I'm going to attempt to use Instagram as a journal to document my mileage run (more info about the mileage run can be found at the link in my bio). Mileage Run Day 3: This morning I arrived at DFW at 5 a.m. after flying my first business class flight from São Paulo, Brazil. I'm currently killing time in the Centurion Lounge before boarding my 16 hr. flight to Hong Kong at 12. DFW to HKG is the 8th longest commercial flight in the world! To most people this may sound miserable, but I'm actually looking forward to it. Flying business class is still new and fun at this point, but we'll see how long that takes to wear off…
Mileage Run Day 4: I just landed in Hong Kong after a 16 hr. flight from DFW. My favorite part of flying business so far… the ice cream sunday! As if it wasn't good enough, ice cream somehow taste better at 30,000 feet! It's currently 9 p.m. here, but according to my sleep schedule it's 8 a.m.! Since 2/3 of my flights are in the U.S. and Brazil I'm going to try to stick to a central time zone sleep schedule. This means I'll be attempting to stay up all night while transiting through Bangkok. I'm currently killing a couple hours in the Cathay Pacific Business Class lounge here at HKG before boarding my flight for Bangkok. I'll be arriving in Bangkok at 12 a.m., and I'm told they have an airport lounge that stays open all night. My current plan is to spend the night working in the lounge before boarding my flight at 8 a.m. for Toyko. We'll see if these plans pan out. If I'm forced to leave the airport, wandering the streets of Bangkok in the middle of the night could get interesting…
Mileage Run Day 5: After spending a few hours at the Cathay Pacific Business class lounge in HKG, I board my first Cathay Pacific business class flight for Bangkok. The flight was only 2 hours, but they managed to serve us an entire 4 course meal! The braised lamb shank was amazing, and the milk tea ice cream for dessert was surprisingly good! I landed in Bangkok around 12 a.m.. Luckily there are several lounges that are opened 24 hrs. a day in the BKK airport. I stayed up all night working in several different lounges. Around 8 a.m. I boarded my first business class flight on Japan Airlines for Toyko. The awesome meal that you see featured in the picture is what we were served on the flight! I love trying new foods, so this has been my favorite meal yet! We arrived in Toyko around 4 p.m.. I spent a couple hours eating sushi in the Admirals Lounge before boarding my flight to Dallas. Because I had stuff my face on the last few flights, I opted to skip out on the meal service and slept most of the way back to Dallas. I'm currently having dinner in the Centurion Lounge (again) before boarding my flight back to São Paulo at 10 p.m. Arrive in São Paulo tomorrow morning will mean that I'm 1/3 of the way done with mileage run. WOW! I feel like so much has happened already, and I still have 10 days left!
Mileage Run Day 6: Last night around 10 p.m. I boarded an American Airlines business class flight from DFW to GRU (São Paulo, Brazil). The flight took a little over 9 hours, and I arrived at the GRU airport around 9 a.m. this morning. Today has been one of the most uneventful days of the trip. I spent the day working in few different lounges around the airport. The picture you see was my view for most of the day (my traveling office). I'm boarding my next 9 hr. flight to Miami in about 45 mins. I just took a refreshing shower in the Admirals Club, and I'm looking forward to watching a movie and getting a good nights sleep in my lay-flat bed on the way to Miami 🙂
Mileage Run Day 7: Last night around 9 p.m. I boarded an 8 hr. flight from São Paulo, Brazil to Miami. It sounds kinda crazy, but I actually prefer the longer flights because they give me more time to sleep. We landed in Miami a little before 4 a.m., and I got to spend a couple hours in the Centurion Lounge before boarding a 3ish hour flight for Dallas. I'm currently hanging out the Centurion Lounge (2 in 1 day!), before boarding my 16 hr. flight for Hong Kong around 12:30 p.m. In between now and the time I leave, I have a free massage scheduled here at Centurion Lounge. The massage is much needed after almost 40,000 miles of flying in less than a week. I'll land in Hong Kong around 6 p.m., and my plane doesn't leave until 1 p.m. The best day. I'm planning to put my bags in storage and wander around Hong Kong all night! This will be my first time leaving the airport since starting this crazy journey on Sunday! [the picture is of the sunrise on my flight leaving Miami this morning]
Mileage Run Day 8 & 9: Last night(ish) I touched down in Hong Kong around 7 p.m. after a 16 hr. flight from Dallas. I stored my bag at the airport and bought an unlimited 24 hr. metro pass. My plan was to stay up night exploring the city. This would be my first time outside of an airplane or airport in 7 days! I made it into the city around 9 p.m. My first stop was the Temple Street market, which is a street (Temple Street) lined with vendors selling anything you can imagine. It seemed to be shutting down about the time I showed up, so I pushed on to my next stop, Victoria Harbor (this picture was taken from the main land over looking Hong Kong Island). After taking in the views, I headed back into the city to find some local street food. My snack was I complete fail (more on this in another post), but my second meal of pork dumplings was amazing! At this point it was about 1 a.m. and the city was beginning to shut down. I wandered the streets for another hour or so, but things started feeling a little sketchy, so I camped out in a 24 hr. McDonald's for a couple hours to use their free wifi (I did not eat here because eating at McDonalds in a foreign country is against my personal travel policy). Around 4 a.m. I took to the streets again to find the famous fruit market I had read about online. It was intense! There were shirtless men pushing huge carts of fruit in every direction. I did my best not to to get run over, while staring at tons of new fruits that I never knew existed! In the wee hours of the morning the metro re-opened, and I got in the first train to Lantau island. There I caught a local bus to the top of the mountain in an attempt to visit a monastery and giant buddha statue over looking the bay. I arrived on top of the mountain around 8 a.m. It turns out nothing opened till 10… Lucky for me there was a gate open at the monastery, so I wandered inside and gave myself a private tour! I thought I was going to kicked out the whole time, but everyone I passed just smiled at me. I had originally planned to be back at the airport by 10 a.m. for my flight at 1:30. To be continued… (Because apparently Instagram had a caption limit)
Mileage Run Day 8 & 9 Continued: Even though my flight boarded at 12:50, and I was over an hour away from the airport, I made the poor decision to stay on Lantau island until the stairs to the big buddha opened at 10 a.m.. As soon as it opened, I ran up hundreds of stairs to see the view from the top. To my disappointment, it was really foggy and didn't over look the city – just the bay. I ran back down the stairs and caught the 10:10 bus to the city (45 mins.). From there I had to make several metro connections, pick my bags up from storage, check-in for my flight, and go through customs. At this point, I realized that I had made a very bad decision! To make a long story short (or longer), I made my flight with a few minutes to spare! From there I flew back to DFW. With a nice tail wind, we were able to make it back in 13 hrs! I'm currently hanging out in the Centurion Lounge for the 4th time on this trip. I'll leave for São Paulo at 10 p.m., and once I get there, I'll have a 36 hr. layover (the longest of the trip). I'm planning to stay at a hostel and explore the city by bike! This will be my first and only night not sleeping on an airplane. [This picture is of the first street food I tried in Hong Kong. It was either squid or octopus, I assume. There was a major language barrier so I honestly had no clue. It looked like the most adventurous option, so I tired it… In the past my adventurous eating has paid off, and I've tried some fantastic street food. Unfortunately, that was not the case! This was one of the worst foods I have ever eaten! I would compare the texture to what I would imagine it would be like to chew through the cartilage in a cooked ear… Yea we'll just leave it at that. Out of respect for the women who cooked it for me (and who were staring and laughing at me) I ate two of the tentacles.]
Mileage Run Day 10: EXECUTIVE PLATINUM in 10 days! When I originally booked these flights, I thought I needed to fly from São Paulo to Asia 3 times before I would become Executive Platinum. Turns out, there were business class bonuses that I didn't know about, and I reached my goal much quicker than expected! Besides hitting my goal, the last 24 hours have been pretty non-eventful. Last night I boarded my 9 hr. flight from DFW to GRU. I opted to skip the meal service, and go straight to sleep! My 24 hours in Hong Kong wore me out! I arrived in Sao Paulo this morning around 10 a.m.. This is my longest layover of the entire trip (36 hours). I read a lot of safety concerns online, and I had been going back and forth on whether or not I was going to leave the airport to explore the city. Normally, I wouldn’t be persuaded by a few pessimistic people online, but basically everything I read said something along the lines of “there’s a good chance you’ll get mugged, but don’t worry the muggings are usually nonviolent. They just take everything you have.” Because I’m shooting video and working from the road, I’m carrying at least $5,000 worth of electronics, so I was not too excited about the possibility of getting mugged. However, the adventurous traveler within me had taken over, and I decided to leave the airport, explore the city, and stay in a hostel for the night. When I was exiting the airport through immigration, the immigration offer pulled me aside and asked me where I was going, and how I as planning to get there. When I told him I planned to take the subway to my hostel, he STRONGLY advised against it. He recommended I take a taxi…. So there’s some kind of taxi maffia in Sao Paulo, and the taxi prices are ridiculous. The round trip was going to cost me close to $200. I’m a little ashamed to say that in the end, I cheaped out/chickened out of leaving the airport. $200 seemed like a lot to pay for less than 24 hours in the city, and I preferred not to get mugged. So I’ve been lounge hopping all day. I plan to try to get a little sleep in a 24 hour lounge tonight, and then do some more lounge hopping tomorrow before my flight leaves a 10 p.m.
Mileage Run Day 11: Last night was my first night not sleeping on an airplane in 10 days, and it was by far my most miserable night! I decided to save $100 by not getting a room in the airport hotel, and instead I “slept” in a lounge that was open 24 hrs a day. I pulled two chairs together to make a “bed”. When the chairs were pulled together, the only way I could fit in them was by contorting my body into something resembling the fetal position. Let’s just say this didn’t make for the most comfortable night’s sleep. Around 5:30 people started showing up to the lounge for their flights, and I gave up on sleep. I made my way to the American Airlines lounge to shower, and kill 14 more hours before my next flight which was scheduled to leave at 8 p.m.. As I was researching the perks of newly earned Executive Platinum status, I realized that I could get into any One World airport lounge. I’ve spent well over 48 hours in the GRU airport over the last 11 days, and I’ve explored every lounge EXCEPT for one that was off limits… I realized that with my new status I could get into the exclusive LATAM Lounge [pictured]. This is by far the nicest lounge in the airport, and I’ve spent my day here catching up on work. My 10 hr. flight back to Dallas boards in couple of hours. This flight back to Dallas marks the beginning of the last leg of this mileage run! If you’ve enjoyed these posts, and if you want even more details about the mileage run, I’ve pushed two new posts on the blog about the first two legs of the mileage run [link in bio]
Mileage Run Days 12 & 13: It sounds crazy, but less than 48 hours ago I was in the Sao Paulo airport. Around 10 p.m. I boarded my 10 hr. flight for Dallas. I arrived in Dallas at 5 a.m., and I spent the next 7 hours in the Centurion Lounge where I indulged in french toast and a free massage. At 12 p.m. I boarded my 16 hr. flight for Hong Kong. After an enjoyable flight, I touched down in Hong Kong around 6 p.m. local time. There were several things I missed out on during my last 16 hr. layover, so I set out to make the most of my time. The first thing on my agenda was to catch the laser light show that appears from the tops of the buildings on Hong Kong island every night at 8 p.m.. I knew I was going to be cutting it close, and I think I would have made it… but I got lost on the way there and ended up in some huge construction zone where I was only able to catch short glimpses of the laser show. After being lost for a good hour, I final made way down to the harbor to ride the Star Ferry from the mainland to HK Island (a must in HK). After the picturesque ferry ride, it was time to find some more local food! I toned it down from the squid on a stick, and I tried the tiger prawn wantons in soup at a small restaurant I found on a side street that was packed with locals (a much better choice). My goal was to make it back to the airport by 12 p.m. because that’s when the local transportation stops… I managed to miss the last bus to the airport by about 3 minutes. Luckily, a local girl was stuck in the same position so we shared a cab to the airport. It was more expensive, but worth it to get to connect with a local for a little while. As I’m writing this, it’s about 4 a.m. local time. My flight doesn’t leave until 1 p.m., so I’ll be exploring new lounges for the next few hours 🙂
Milage Run Day 14: Last time we left off it was 4 a.m. in the HKG airport, and I was going to spend the next 7 hrs. lounge hopping. Things don’t always work out as planned. I ended up not being able to check-in for my flight until 9:30 a.m.. That means that for 5 1/2 hours I was stuck still in the airport with the commoners… I’m kidding (at least a little bit). At 9:30 I bolted to the check-in counter because I was eager to make good use of my next 3 hours fully enjoying the Cathay Pacific first class lounges. This was my first time visiting the HKG airport with my new Executive Platinum status, which meant that this would be the first time I had access to the first class lounges. Let me just say WOW! I thought I had been living the good life over the pass two weeks in the business class lounges… The first class lounges are in a category all on their own. These lounges had full sit down restaurants, including a sushi buffet, all for free! Additionally, the Cathay Pacific Wing First Class Lounge had “relaxation cabanas”, which included a private room with a shower, bath tub, and couch. Who knew this kind of stuff existed in airports!! As a frequent flyer nerd, this was definitely a highlight of the trip! My time at the first class lounges came to an end all too soon. After enjoying the relaxation cabana and stuffing myself at the sushi buffet, I boarded my 14 hr. flight back to Dallas. At this point, I had been awake for close to 24 hrs. Upon boarding the plane I immediately passed out and slept for almost 11 hrs! I guess of the travel is starting to catch up with me. I arrived in Dallas around 3 p.m., and I’m enjoying 5 hrs. in the Centurion Lounge before boarding my last business class flight to Sao Paulo 😟 sad day…
Mileage Run Day 15: Wow! I can’t believe this crazy mileage run is finally coming to an end! I have mixed emotions at the moment. I’m a little sad because I don’t know the next time that I’ll be flying in luxury like I have for the last two weeks, but I’m also really excited to get home to see Kara, friends, and family! Last night around 9 p.m. I boarded a 10 hr. flight for Sao Paulo. I arrived in Sao Paulo this morning around 10 a.m., and I’ve been hanging out in lounges all day. My ECONOMY flight leaves tonight around 10 p.m.. It’s going to be rough going back to economy now that I know exactly what’s going on in the front of the plane, but I’m sure I’ll survive… Tonight I’ll fly to Houston, and in the morning I’ll connect to my final flight, arriving back in Nashville at 11 a.m.
Thanks for following along! If you like this style of post, please let me know in the comments, and we’ll make sure to to do it again for one of our future adventures!