On July 8, I received a phone call at 1 a.m. I was hesitant to pick up the phone because when you get a call at 1 am, it’s either terrible news, a pervert, or my points-obsessed daughter with a “deal of a lifetime”.
The deal of a lifetime was a rare release of Singapore Airlines first-class seats that became bookable on United.com. I was not ready for what was about to come next – it started something like this… “YOU HAVE TO BOOK NOW! Quick – Pick a date! You can always cancel within 24 hours!!”
I was totally dazzled at this point. After all, it is 1 a.m, and I was in a deep sleep at that time. Then there was silence for about 10 seconds…and then, the “BOOK NOW!” came barking at me again. To shut her up and to get some sleep, I responded, “Ok, book Sydney, Australia for my birthday week.” I have a tradition to celebrate my birthdays in new countries – it’s my way to ease the pain of getting older, LOL.
The itinerary the “diva” set up was surprisingly good. For 80,000 United miles, we were set to fly Newark to San Francisco in United first class, with a 12 hour layover before heading off to Singapore. San Francisco is my favorite US city.
The “layover” was spent visiting famous local attractions and visiting the Napa Valley wineries with my new Park-Hyatt-loving “jetsetr” friend. The man knows his wines, and was great talking travel and points with him. I’m sure Angelina will be posting a mini-trip report about our San Francisco/Napa Valley excursion shortly. The day concluded with dinner with some of my childhood friends that moved to the Bay Area.
Leg 2 of our itinerary was San Francisco to Singapore, via Hong Kong, in the A380 first class suites with a 10 hour layover on thee ground in Singapore. That was my first international first class experience, since I unfortunately missed my Cathay Pacific first class experience last year.
The flight in the Singapore Airlines suites was indeed a trip of a lifetime. The service and food were impeccable, and having the flat bed and privacy doors made the long flight easy to tolerate. Be on the look out for a full flight review soon.
Once we arrived at SIN, we took advantage of the “Free Singapore Tour” that’s sponsored by Changi Airport and Singapore Airlines. The tour leaves from T2 and T3 and lasts for about 90 minutes – 2 hours by bus. The tour gave a general overview of the history of Singapore with a stopover opportunity by Merlion park for photos of the Singapore skyline and Marina Bay Sands. You can leave your luggage at airport for around $4 per luggage for up to 24 hours.
Our final leg to Sydney was Singapore to Sydney in Singapore Airlines A380 business class. SQ has a really nice business class with very wide seats that convert to a full flat bed. I slept 7 hours out of the 8 hour flight. We chose to “book the cook” and had an Indian-style lamb shank dish before dozing off on our red-eye flight.
So far the trip has been a blast, and I look forward to sharing the trip reports when we get home. Now, we’re off to the Blue Mountains!