Showing posts with label First Class. Show all posts
Showing posts with label First Class. Show all posts

June 18, 2017

Review: Asiana First Class Lounge Seoul (ICN)

Introduction
Planning & Booking
Planning & Booking II
Star Alliance First & Business Class Lounge LAX
Asiana First Class A380 LAX to Seoul (ICN)
Asiana First Class Lounge Seoul (ICN)
Asiana A330 Business Class Seoul (ICN) to Kyoto (KIX)
Kansai-Airport Express Haruka Green Car Kansai Airport to Kyoto Station
The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto
JAL Sakura Business Class Lounge Osaka (KIX)
Cathay Pacific Business Class 777-300 Kyoto (KIX) to Hong Kong
Conrad Hong Kong
The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong
Singapore Airlines First Class Lounge Hong Kong
Singapore Airlines First Class 777-300ER Hong Kong to San Francisco
Hyatt Regency SFO

After a great flight from LAX in Asiana First Class, we headed over to the first class lounge near gate 42.  At this point, it was around 6:15AM local time so we would only have an hour in the lounge before boarding commenced for our flight to Osaka.

We've both visited the lounge before so this visit was very utilitarian - drink water, shower, and catch up on work.  We were welcomed into the lounge which was basically empty at this hour.



June 17, 2017

Review: Asiana First Class A380 LAX to Seoul

Introduction
Planning & Booking
Planning & Booking II
Star Alliance First & Business Class Lounge LAX
Asiana First Class A380 LAX to Seoul (ICN)
Asiana First Class Lounge Seoul (ICN)
Asiana A330 Business Class Seoul (ICN) to Kyoto (KIX)
Kansai-Airport Express Haruka Green Car Kansai Airport to Kyoto Station
The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto
JAL Sakura Business Class Lounge Osaka (KIX)
Cathay Pacific Business Class 777-300 Kyoto (KIX) to Hong Kong
Conrad Hong Kong
The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong
Singapore Airlines First Class Lounge Hong Kong
Singapore Airlines First Class 777-300ER Hong Kong to San Francisco
Hyatt Regency SFO

Asiana Airlines OZ 203
Los Angeles (LAX) to Seoul (ICN)
May 21, 2017
Aircraft:  A380-800
Seats: 2K/3K

This would be my third time flying Asiana first class and the second time flying first on the A380 so I was looking forward to comparing how things had changed.  After a great couple hours in the Star Alliance lounge, we had made our way down to the concourse and to our gate.  Boarding was delayed a few minutes for now apparent reason and passengers had begun to line up.


May 14, 2017

Review: Etihad Airways First Class 777-200LR Abu Dhabi to Los Angeles

Introduction
Planning & Booking
British Airways First Class 747-400 Denver to London
British Airways Concorde Room LHR
British Airways First Class 747-400 London to Dubai
JW Marriott Marquis Dubai
Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa Dubai
Park Hyatt Dubai
Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi
Etihad Airways First Class Lounge & Spa Abu Dhabi
Etihad Airways First Class 777-200LR Abu Dhabi to Los Angeles

Etihad Airways EY 171
Abu Dhabi (AUH) to Los Angeles (LAX)
November 27, 2016
Aircraft:  777-200LR
Seats:  2D/2G

We boarded the 777 for what would be the longest flight of our lives.  Clocking in at #6 on the longest flights in the world, the Abu Dhabi to LAX flight is blocked at 16h 30m and covers nearly 7,300 miles.  The Buffs had just beat Utah and were headed to the Pac 12 Championship so we were ready to celebrate.  We settled in for what would be a fantastic flight.

GO BUFFS!

May 7, 2017

April 30, 2017

A Week in Japan: Planning & Booking II

Introduction
Planning & Booking
Planning & Booking II
Star Alliance First Class Lounge LAX
Asiana First Class A380 LAX to Seoul (ICN)
Asiana First Class Lounge Seoul (ICN)
Asiana A330 Business Class Seoul (ICN) to Kyoto (KIX)
The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto
Cathay Pacific Business Class 777-300ER Kyoto (KIX) to Hong Kong
Conrad Hong Kong
The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong
Singapore Airlines First Class 777-300ER Hong Kong to San Francisco
Hyatt Regency SFO

For a variety of reasons, we shortened our upcoming trip by a few days.  Unfortunately that means no visit to Osaka or Tokyo but we'll still get 3 days in Kyoto and 3 days in Hong Kong.  All hotels remain the same - we just mixed it up a bit with the flights.  If you're interested in reading more about the initial booking process, please read the first planning and booking segment.

We swapped our United Polaris flight for Asiana's A380 first class service from LAX.  Instead of 130,000 United miles, this set us back 110,000 United and 105,000 Aeroplan miles.  Not the greatest use of an additional 75,000 miles but we'll be more comfortable.  In Seoul, we'll visit the Asiana First Class lounge for a shower before boarding an Asiana A330 in business class to Osaka (KIX).

After three nights in Kyoto, we'll take the train back to KIX and fly Cathay Pacific business class direct to Hong Kong.  Not as fancy as Cathay first but should be plenty fine for a 4 hour flight.  I booked this flight with 40,000 (total) British Airways miles - pretty good deal considering the length of the flight and better than Alaska's award chart by 5,000 total miles.

Everything else remains the same.  I should have the first segment up in the next month or so!

April 23, 2017

A Week in Japan: Flight Milenomics

Last week, I published the Planning & Booking segment of the trip report for our upcoming trip to Japan and Hong Kong.  I included the mileage and cash cost of each flight segment and I've receive some questions around how to value the redemptions.  I figured I'd write a post around the flight valuations and can follow-up with hotels if interesting.

Valuing miles is definitely more art than science but I personally value the vast majority of airline miles between 1.5 and 2 cents a piece.  I wouldn't redeem unless I'm getting really close to 2 cents and one of the newest benchmarks is the ability to redeem Amex Membership Rewards points (with Amex Business Platinum) for 2 cents against airfare - which to me is essentially as good as cash.

Here's a recap on the miles redeemed (for 2) for our upcoming trip:
  • United Polaris Business Class DEN - KIX for 130,000 United MileagePlus miles
  • Cathay Pacific First Class HND - HKG for 55,000 Alaska Mileage Plan miles
  • Singapore Airlines First Class HKG - SFO for 140,250 Singapore KrisFlyer miles
And the cash costs when I looked last week:
  • $9,276 for United to Osaka
  • $8,168 for Cathay Pacific to Hong Kong
  • $16,392 for Singapore Airlines to San Francisco
  • $212 for United home to Denver
  • $268 in taxes/fees

In total, that is 325,250 miles redeemed for $34,048 in flights.  Note that is the retail value and if you were going to purchase the flights, you could likely do somewhat better with discounts, credit card bonus categories, and mileage earning.  Let's assume that all in, that would amount to a 20% rebate (would vary wildly based on status and fare class but I think a fair assumption) valued as cash knocking the retail value down to $26,970 (including taxes/fees).

At that rate, the blended rate for each mile redeemed would be 8.3 cents.  Still amazing.  But how much would you actually pay for these flights?  That question is totally subjective but this is our fifth anniversary and I'd consider a splurge.  The best I could do to mimic the flights (combination of United and ANA) in economy priced out at $1,323 each.  No thanks.  

I think premium economy fares would be a fair comparison as I think a lot of you would be willing to pay a premium to be a bit more comfortable for a big trip like this for a special occasion.  How do those flights price out?  $3,238 each on Orbitz.  Since this is not a premium fare, booked from an OTA, and unlikely to earn as many miles, I'll discount the rebate to 15% which brings the fare to $5,505 for 2.  

See what I'm talking about in terms of the art?  That brings the redemption per mile to 1.7 cents - right in the middle of my valuations.  Another factor to consider is that I'm mileage rich and it's not that big of a deal to burn 325,250 miles on a balance of +1,000,000 miles.  It's a different story when considering paying $3,000 - $6,500 for two tickets.  I'd much prefer to spend the miles which require a bit of time and ingenuity to acquire and save the cash for other experiences.  In addition, there are both comfort and enjoyment factors that need to be considered.  We'll arrive rested (on both ends) and enjoy our vacation and make the transition back to work a lot easier.  We also love flying - especially on these carriers and wouldn't be able to do it without miles.

Overall, this is a great set of redemptions regardless of your valuation.  

April 16, 2017

A Week in Japan: Planning & Booking

Introduction
Planning & Booking
United Polaris Business Class 787-8 San Francisco to Osaka (KIX)
Intercontinental Osaka
The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto
Park Hyatt Tokyo
Cathay Pacific First Class 777-300ER Tokyo (HND) to Hong Kong
Conrad Hong Kong
The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong
Singapore Airlines First Class 777-300ER Hong Kong to San Francisco
Hyatt Regency SFO

I'm still working on a couple of segments from our latest trip to Al Maha in November of last year.   I plan to finish those trip reports in April but given that our next trip is coming up next month, I wanted to get the introductory post on the blog.

 Hotels:

At the moment, we have 10 hotel nights planned.  We fly out early to San Francisco, catch the direct United flight to Osaka and land early afternoon.  I booked the Intercontinental Osaka for 40,000 IHG points for the overnight.  We have nearly 150,000 IHG points so seemed like the right thing to do given we'll only be in town for one night and convenience is key.  The hotel is located next to the train station so will be convenient to get from the airport and to Kyoto.

In Kyoto, I booked the Ritz-Carlton for a total of 210,000 Marriott Rewards points using a combination of Marriott Rewards points and SPG points.  This was an incredible redemption given cash rates of $1,700 per night!  The property looks gorgeous and we're really excited about visiting Kyoto.


April 1, 2017

A Week in Japan: Introduction

Introduction
Planning & Booking
United Polaris Business Class 787-8 San Francisco to Osaka (KIX)
Intercontinental Osaka
The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto
Park Hyatt Tokyo
Cathay Pacific First Class 777-300ER Tokyo (HND) to Hong Kong
Conrad Hong Kong
The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong
Singapore Airlines First Class 777-300ER Hong Kong to San Francisco
Hyatt Regency SFO

I'm still working on a couple of segments from our latest trip to Al Maha in November of last year.   I plan to finish those trip reports in April but given that our next trip is coming up next month, I wanted to get the introductory post on the blog.

We were in Tokyo last August and loved it.  We decided to go back on the flight home and started thinking about when and where.  We wanted to spend some additional time in Tokyo along with a visit to Kyoto.  We were able to snag flights on United's direct service from San Francisco to Osaka (closest international airport to Kyoto) and began planning from there.

I do want to give United's Polaris soft (hard product won't be installed on these planes for years) product so leaning towards keeping the direct flight.  For another 40,000 miles a piece we could fly Asiana first class through Seoul which would be more comfortable and more fun but take longer.

16,000+ miles of flying

March 26, 2017

Cathay Pacific First Class Space Opened Up!

A few weeks ago, I wrote about an award ticket downgrade on Cathay Pacific booked with Alaska Mileage Plan miles.  We had been booked in first class from Tokyo's Narita airport to Hong Kong prior to Cathay Pacific downgrading the flight to an aircraft without a first class cabin.  I opted to cancel the ticket and refund the miles - I figured something better would open up later.

I have been checking award space (using BA's website) every few days and last week, two first class seats opened up between Haneda and Hong Kong!  Even better than trekking all the way out to Narita!


I quickly called Alaska, fed the flights to a great agent, and had the award secured in less than 5 minutes.  Taxes and fees came to about $100 but at 27,500 miles/person, this award is an absolutely steal.

The flight is blocked at over 4.5 hours and a similar flight distance (1,800 miles) between Denver and Boston.  Consider that United first class between those two cities would cost 25,000 United MileagePlus miles per person - and that's if you can find the seats (tough to do these days) at the saver level.

Patience definitely payed off here.  We both love flying Cathay first and while this won't be the "full experience" it should still be pretty fun.  Even better that we get to fly out of Haneda which will save us ~90 minutes of travel time.

Stay tuned for the introduction and planning & booking posts!

March 4, 2017

Award Ticket Downgrade - What to Do?

Back in December, I was able to book both of us in Cathay Pacific first class from Tokyo (NRT) to Hong Kong.  I used Alaksa Mileage Plan miles to book each ticket for 27,500 miles.  A great deal considering this is a five hour flight on a premium route on one of my favorite first class products.


Unfortunately, Cathay Pacific isn't doing great financially and they've been cutting first class (frequencies and service on board).  I received an email from Alaska a couple weeks ago letting me know that my first class flight had been downgraded to business class in a regionally configured aircraft.  While that isn't the end of the world, the whole point of flying out of Narita (90 min bus ride) vs. Haneda (20-25 min taxi) was to fly Cathay in first.

I used the British Airways website to check Oneworld availability and on the day we're looking to fly, there really only are a few options.  I called Alaska to see what they could do for me and it was either keep the ticket or refund the miles and taxes and figure it out from there.


I opted for the latter option and am going to wait it out a bit to see if anything opens up.  At this point, my options are direct flights in business class on JAL or Cathay.  Or we could get exotic and book a paid flight on Hong Kong Airlines (haven't flown them but hear the business class product is decent) for around $650 each.  Or we could get really nuts and book Thai Airways first class all the way from Tokyo to Bangkok to Hong Kong with a stop at the first class spa for 60,000 United miles each.  That is a bit of a crazy routing (would take an extra 5-6 hours) but would be a lot of fun.  Emily still needs some convincing to pull the trigger on that one.

Will keep you all posted as we figure it out.

December 31, 2016

Review: British Airways First Class 747-400 London to Dubai

Introduction
Planning & Booking
British Airways First Class 747-400 Denver to London
British Airways Concorde Room LHR
British Airways First Class 747-400 London to Dubai
JW Marriott Marquis Dubai
Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa Dubai
Park Hyatt Dubai
Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi
Etihad Airways First Class Lounge & Spa Abu Dhabi
Etihad Airways First Class 777-200LR Abu Dhabi to Los Angeles

British Airways BA 107
London (LHR) to Dubai
November 21, 2016
Aircraft:  747-400
Seats:  1A/1K

After a shower and breakfast in the Concorde Room, we headed over to the gate where boarding had already commenced.  We headed down the extremely long jetway and met the smiling crew as we stepped onboard the aircraft.  I knew immediately that this was going to be a great flight.  The crew happily showed us to row 1 and offered up the storage closet for our carryon bags so that we would have more room at our seats.  Lead cabin crew member Jenny introduced herself and insisted that she bring over the Champagne to kick our holiday off right.  The crew also offered Arabic Coffee prior to pushback.


Pajamas, amenity kits, and slippers were distributed prior to takeoff which I thought was a nice tough for a 6 hour dayflight.

December 30, 2016

Review: British Airways Concorde Room LHR (2016)

Introduction
Planning & Booking
British Airways First Class 747-400 Denver to London
British Airways Concorde Room LHR
British Airways First Class 747-400 London to Dubai
JW Marriott Marquis Dubai
Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa Dubai
Park Hyatt Dubai
Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi
Etihad Airways First Class Lounge & Spa Abu Dhabi

We made our way from Terminal 3 to Terminal 5, cleared security, and used the "Millionaire's Door" to the Concorde Room.  All of that took about 45 minutes so we only had an hour and change until we needed to leave the lounge for our flight to Dubai.

LHR Millionaire's Door
The "Millionaire's Door" is off to the right after exiting security on the same level.  We missed it during our last visit and consequentially added another 15 minutes of walking/searching to our transit.

Review: British Airways First Class 747-400 Denver to London

Introduction
Planning & Booking
British Airways First Class 747-400 Denver to London
British Airways Concorde Room
British Airways First Class 747-400 London to Dubai
JW Marriott Marquis Dubai
Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa Dubai
Park Hyatt Dubai
Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi
Etihad Airways First Class Lounge & Spa Abu Dhabi
Etihad Airways First Class 777-200LR Abu Dhabi to Los Angeles

British Airways BA 218
Denver to London (LHR)
November 20, 2016
Aircraft:  747-400
Seats:  5E/5F

In the fall/winter, the flight leaves at 5:45PM so we had a great day in Denver packing and getting ready our trip to Dubai.  We had lunch at Denver's Union Station before hopping on the RTD A-line train to the airport.

Train to DEN
We live about a mile from the station and it's such an improvement to be able to take the train vs. drive/park/Uber.  The train is relaxing in the way that a car ride isn't.  

We pulled into the airport station around 3:30PM and headed up to check-in for our flight.  We were carrying on so check-in took <5 minutes and we soon had boarding passes all the way to Dubai.

December 11, 2016

Review: ANA First Class 777-300ER Tokyo (NRT) to San Francisco

Introduction
Introduction Part Two
Planning & Booking
Sheraton JFK Airport
Lufthansa Business Class Lounge JFK
Turkish Airlines Business Class 777-300ER New York (JFK) to Istanbul
Turkish Airlines Istanbul Arrivals Lounge
St. Regis Istanbul
Turkish Airlines CIP Lounge Istanbul
Turkish Airlines Business Class A330-300 Istanbul to Male
Transfer from Male to Conrad Maldives
Conrad Maldives Part One
Conrad Maldives Part Two
Transfer from Conrad Maldives to Male
Singapore Airlines Business Class 777-200ER Male to Singapore
Crowne Plaza Changi Airport Singapore
Singapore Airlines Business Class 777-300ER Singapore to Tokyo (HND)
Andaz Tokyo
ANA Suite Lounge Tokyo (NRT)
ANA First Class 777-300ER Tokyo (NRT) to San Francisco

ANA All Nippon Airways NH 8
Tokyo (NRT) to San Francisco (SFO)
August 27, 2016
Aircraft:  777-300ER
Seats:  2D/2G

We were among the first in line at gate 52 and bounded down the jetway for our first flight on ANA.  We were warmly welcomed aboard by the crew and shown to our seats (2D/2G).  There would be two flight attendants serving the cabin that went out with 4/8 seats occupied.  The other two occupants were business travelers and went to sleep after takeoff.  That left the two flight attendants to give us their full attention.

ANA First Class cabin

October 30, 2016

Return to Al Maha: Planning & Booking

Introduction
Planning & Booking
British Airways First Class 747-400 Denver to London
British Airways Concorde Room
British Airways First Class 747-400 London to Dubai
JW Marriott Marquis Dubai
Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa Dubai
Park Hyatt Dubai
Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi
Etihad Airways First Class Lounge & Spa Abu Dhabi
Etihad Airways First Class 777-200LR Abu Dhabi to Los Angeles

We're headed back to Dubai next month to spend a couple of nights at Al Maha.  While we've had an incredibly warm October here in Denver (it was 80 degrees today!) we wanted to head somewhere a bit warmer in November to relax and outside.  Southern Europe is nice but just not that warm.  We were just in Asia a few months ago so Dubai fit the bill.  Using our BA Travel Together Ticket to fly first class all the way to Dubai made it even more appealing.

Hotels:

As it stands now, we have 6 hotel nights planned.  We land late in Dubai so booked the JW Marriott Marquis for 35,000 Marriott Rewards points.  Dubai's hotel market is insane - we had so many options it was hard to choose.  But we'll be heading to Al Maha around noon the next morning so for 12 hours, we certainly don't need something crazy.  The JW Marriott Marquis is also the tallest hotel in the world so that clinched it for me.

JW Marriott Marquis advance purchase rate

October 23, 2016

Return to Al Maha: Introduction

Introduction
Planning & Booking
British Airways First Class 747-400 Denver to London
British Airways Concorde Room
British Airways First Class 747-400 London to Dubai
JW Marriott Marquis Dubai
Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa Dubai
Park Hyatt Dubai
Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi
Etihad Airways First Class Lounge & Spa Abu Dhabi
Etihad Airways First Class 777-200LR Abu Dhabi to Los Angeles

I'm still in the middle of writing trip reports from our RTW adventure in August, I'm getting excited about our next trip and wanted to get the introductory post out.  We spent a couple of days at Al Maha  last year and vowed to return as soon as possible.  Of all the hotels we've been around the world, Al Maha is the most unique, special, and we've both lusted after returning for a year.

Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa Dubai

September 24, 2016

Using a British Airways Travel Together Ticket One-Way

The British Airways Chase Credit Card offers a 'Travel Together" ticket upon spending $30,000 in a calendar year.  This means you can book two people in any class of service for the price of one.  There are a couple of catches.  First, travel must originate in the US.  Second, the ticket is good for two years.  Third, the cardmember earning the ticket must be one of the passengers.  And the biggest catch is the you must pay the taxes/fuel surcharges on both tickets.

So you're essentially booking an award ticket for two for half the miles.  I earned a travel together ticket back in late 2014 which was slated to expire in early December.  If you do it right and book a first class ticket, the benefit is worth 200,000+ British Airways Avios.  Not a bad deal for putting $30K in spend on one card.


One of the biggest complaints about the ticket is finding roundtrip award availability.  I probably would have had no trouble had I booked further out but just started looking for a November trip a couple of weeks ago.  While I wasn't able to found roundtrip availability that matched dates we could travel, I was able to find a day that worked for us on the outbound.  

I actually had no idea that you could book the travel together ticket as a one-way!  I found availability on the direct BA flight from Denver to London (which is great so we don't have to position anywhere) and from London to Dubai.  I was able to search, book, and ticket everything online!  

The total price for both first class tickets was 153,000 Avios and ~$1,550 in taxes.  Even better, American Express is currently running a transfer bonus for Avios.  With the bonus, I transferred 90,000 Membership Rewards points which became 108,000 Avios.  Combined with my Avios balance, that was enough to book the ticket.  So the actual ticket cost 135,000 Avios/MR points - not a bad deal for 2 in the pointy end of a 747 all the way to Dubai.  


Especially considering the cash cost is running north of $12,000 per ticket!

Obviously we need to find a way home but with more options and less restrictions, that shouldn't be a problem.  Stay tuned as the trip comes together!

August 6, 2016

Planning & Booking: I'm Going Going, Back Back to Maldives, Maldives

Introduction
Introduction Part Two
Planning & Booking
Renaissance Newark Airport Hotel
Turkish Airlines 777-300ER Business Class New York (JFK) to Istanbul
Turkish Airlines Istanbul Arrivals Lounge
St. Regis Istanbul
Turkish Airlines CIP Lounge Istanbul
Turkish Airlines A330-300 Business Class Istanbul to Male
Transfer from Male to Conrad Maldives
Conrad Maldives
Transfer from Conrad Maldives to Male
Singapore Airlines 777-200 Business Class Male to Singapore
Crowne Plaza Changi Airport Singapore
Singapore Airlines SilverKris Business Class Lounge to Singapore
Singapore Airlines 777-300ER Business Class Singapore to Tokyo (HND)
Andaz Tokyo
ANA Suite Lounge Tokyo (NRT)
ANA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo (NRT) to Houston
American Express Centurion Lounge Houston (IAH)

We are just a few weeks away from our RTW adventure to Istanbul, Maldives, Singapore, and Tokyo.  This will be our second RTW trip in the last year and we're really excited about how this trip came together.  If you're interested in reading in previous updates, check out the latest introductory post.

Lots of flying but looks worth it
Hotels:

As it stands now, we have 9 hotel nights planned.  We needed a Newark overnight and I ended up booking the Marriott Renaissance Newark Airport for 25,000 Marriott Rewards points.  This ended up being a phenomenal use of points as the the hotel is selling for $249/night which comes to $288/night with taxes.  Getting more than 1 cent per Marriott point is amazing.

Renaissance Newark Airport Hotel Rates
In Istanbul, we ended up booking the St. Regis through American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts since we really need the ability to check-in early and in theory, we should be able to get in the room at noon or earlier.  The rate came to $251 USD with taxes.  That includes the early check-in, likely room upgrade, and $100 food and beverage credit.  While we could have certainly saved money by staying at the Park Hyatt ($180 USD/night) or a few other options, we wanted to checkout a new property in Istanbul and figured the rooftop Spago would be a nice way to end the day and burn our $100 credit.

St. Regis Istanbul Rooftop Views

July 31, 2016

Introduction Part Two: I'm Going Going, Back Back to Maldives, Maldives

Introduction
Introduction Part Two
Planning & Booking
Renaissance Newark Airport Hotel
Turkish Airlines 777-300ER Business Class New York (JFK) to Istanbul
Turkish Airlines CIP Lounge Istanbul
Turkish Airlines A330-300 Business Class Istanbul to Male
Transfer from Male to Conrad Maldives
Conrad Maldives
Transfer from Conrad Maldives to Male
Singapore Airlines 777-200 Business Class Male to Singapore
Crowne Plaza Changi Airport Singapore
Singapore Airlines SilverKris Business Class Lounge to Singapore
Singapore Airlines 777-300ER Business Class Singapore to Tokyo (HND)
Andaz Tokyo
ANA Suite Lounge Tokyo (NRT)
ANA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo (NRT) to Houston
American Express Centurion Lounge Houston (IAH)

I've updated the post below based on changes made to our itinerary.  I'll post the Planning & Booking section in the next week or so.

I've eluded to our upcoming RTW adventures in posts about the brand new Houston Centurion lounge as well as getting the most out of Hyatt Gold Passport points.  We're leaving next month and the trip is almost complete so figured I'd provide a bit more of a teaser in the form of an introductory post.

We were in the Maldives last year and just loved it.  There is something completely magical about the remoteness of it all.  There's no denying the fact that it's an incredibly challenging to get there.  Especially from the US.  But once you are there, it's the most beautiful place on earth (at least that I've seen).  So we set out to return later this summer.  While we loved the Park Hyattgetting there is more of a challenge than other resorts.
Our 23,000+ mile RTW itinerary (courtesy of the Great Circle Mapper)