Getting things sorted, round the world ticket

Trip Start Dec 18, 2009
Trip End Jan 12, 2010

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Where I stayed
Our home in Pembroke

Flag of Bermuda  , Pembroke,
Friday, December 18, 2009

I am writing this blog from memory as it is a record of a journey we took exactly a year ago. So I have to dig deep into the gray cells to get the details. I got the idea to record this trip in travel-pod after the big success of our second round the world trip, which takes a bit longer than 26 days. We got over 10,000 visits and the trip is not even finished. We are now in Asia planning our journey through Malaysia, Singapore and probably Cambodia, but that is another story which you can follow here.

This initial trip is kind of the pre-qeul, so I thought it should also be recorded here, for our fans to enjoy. Luckily I have the beautiful photos, mostly made by my lovely wife, Linda, to remind me of things that have surpassed, so I can complement these and entertain you with our story.

It all took a whole lot of arranging. We had to plan ahead, not only for the travels to Asia and Hawaii, but also for the coming holidays this year. Why you would ask, you don't plan that much ahead now? Well because we were diving into the hassle of purchasing an around-the-world ticket. This ticket will allow us to fly around the world and bring us where we need to go. First to Europe to visit the family, then to Japan for us to celebrate Christmas, Then back to Hong Kong to attend Linda's sister's wedding, and finally off to Hawaii for some well deserved rest in luxury. So in our scenario visit three continents, and hop around there for a couple of flights. The attractive part for us is that we can use 16 legs, or better flights, in Northern America, which is seen as Alaska to Panama, stretching from Hawaii to Bermuda. As it happens, we both live on Bermuda, so these flights will cover all our weekends and short trips away from the Island. Sounds confusing? It is!

And living on Bermuda, you would have to get off the little rock frequently. Because if you don't, you will go crazy, blind and cripple by a sickness called 'rock fever'.

For our travels we have chosen the One World Alliance as our alliance of choice. This was an easy choice as they include British Airways which is the only carrier flying off Bermuda to England. We start our ticket in London, as the pound has plummeted to record lows, bad for England, but good for the prices of these tickets. Down side of One World is that the US partner is American Airlines, and as you all know, this airline is seriously competing with RyanAir to be the worst airline in the world, and I think AA is ahead by at least 3 points there. But we decide to get a business class package as this is the best deal that we can get considering the advantages like the air miles and ticket flexibility. So we figure, it can't be all that bad in the Business Class of American Airlines, what do we know...

Buying a ticket is not as easy as it looks. The One World website has a lovely planning tool on the web that allows you to plan the flights and check if they comply to the rules for the ticket. These rules are a couple of pages of small print, which are an easy prey for Linda. The tool is as frustrating as it is useful, it takes quite some time to click all the 16 flights together, but then when you decide to make a change somewhere in the middle, things often go bad, and this is where the frustration starts. With the ticket we would have to decide upfront on all destinations, but changing dates and times would be free of charge, which comes with a basic Business Class ticket. So we plan to use this 'feature' to secure flights later on in the year and we only focus on the trip LHR-NRT-HKG-KOA-LAX-MIA-BDA. Yes you start to sound like an airport stewardess after playing around with these tickets for a while.

We ended up making long phone calls with the British Airways ticketing office somewhere in Newcastle. We were glad to have found their number after calling around to numerous BA service lines.The office in Newcastle is specialized in these kind of tickets, and the guys and girls there were very helpful putting everything together with us. The ticket had to be purchased through British Airways as they were the first carrier in our plans. And after a couple of weeks of planning we got ourselves a BA aligned credit card to pay for a year's worth of airfare. This way we racked up even more air miles, which always come in handy. Now we have one record locator number which will stay with us for the rest of the year, whereever we fly. As you can read in later blogs, this would cause plenty of confusion in future travels, but those are different stories. For now we are set to go, the date is set, we leave for Amsterdam on the 18th of December, today.

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