Hong Kong 3: For the LOVE of Avios! With Swiss and British Airways
Avios? Oh Yes… Oh Yes… OH YEAH!
- Memo to Self: Stop looking at Booking Engines Late at Night
- Leaving Birmingham, Servisair Lounge, To Zürich with Swiss and OLT Express on LX425
- Zürich Night Stop – “Zürich Dayrooms”, Senator Lounge
- LX1952 Barcelona to Zurich
- A Free Tour of Barcelona
- Back to El Prat, Lounge, BA0475 Barcelona – London
- British Airways T5 First Class Lounge
- BA027 London Heathrow – Hong Kong
- Holiday Inn Express Soho, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong Island
- One Time Exception: Macau with TurboJet
- GhettoIFE Special: Images of a Fragrant Harbour
- Lounging Around Hong Kong Airport
- BA026 Hong Kong to London Heathrow
- British Airways T5 First Class Lounge, BA484 London Heathrow – Barcelona El Prat
- Barcelona Switch, Lounge, LX1955 Barcelona – Zürich Airport
- Run like the wind, LX424 Zürich – Birmingham Airport, Homeward bound
- Avios? Oh Yes, Oh Yes, OH YEAH! (THIS SECTION)
And time to wrap this up… it’s been as just as a monster as I suspected…. and that’s just an ECONOMY Class trip!
I think the image below sums up how well I did.
Considering it would cost £399 to purchase 24,000 Avois, and the fare was £420ish or so, it was truly cheaper to fly than buy Avios.
I should do some summing up really shouldn’t I?
OLT Express for Swiss: Hmm. I’m not sure what to think. Whilst they try to keep to the Swiss service levels, they seem to miss out bits of it or rewrite bits of it. Certainly not the worst carrier I’ve been on by a long stretch, but there is something missing from them – and it shows in the lack of finesse in the final product. A pity as Helvetic got it right without an issue.
Swiss (Mainline) Didn’t disappoint. Good service all round, balanced with good segment legs remind me why Swiss is one of my favourite European airlines. More importantly, they delivered luggage on time, and it is possible connecting across the back end of the A gates to the D gates at Zurich airport in fewer than 45 minutes. But don’t if you like running lots…
British Airways did a great job, with its staff showing off great customer service. The on-board product isn’t THAT bad in economy (compared to some recent – and not so recent – experiences). The seating in World Traveller isn’t bad… although those slimline seats are really not suitable for Long Haul runs in my book. IFE seems to be something that BA has worked on, and had a good mix for all tastes, with systems that work easily.
Dayrooms at Zurich: Put it like this, if I have a forced overnight in Zurich again, I won’t be heading out to the hotels in the area – I’ll be using either a couch or a bedroom at Zurich Airport. Far cheaper, friendly and cost efficient… and I don’t even have to leave the airport, maximising rest time.
Holiday Inn Express Soho, Hong Kong: Another great little Holiday Inn property in the ICHG portfolio. The location can’t be beaten, the rooms are comfortable, the beds are reasonably firm. My only bugbear is the Breakfast facility which is too small for the amount of people that go through there. Still, for a good value chain property in one of the more expensive places in the world to get a hotel room, you can’t go wrong here.
Well, that concludes this little trip. I’d like to say I’ll be back on another trip soon, but – there is a problem that stems from the real world.
You see, in the real world as much as I dream of being a travel writer or a wonderful photographer, I’m a simple IT engineer that works in the National Health Service.
Just before this trip started back in November, I was fully expecting news that we would get our funding for 2013/2014 for the little unit I work for. All I got when I arrived back at the end of November 2012 was a letter of “that I was possibly at risk”. As of today (when this post went live), that’s turned into “You are formally at risk of being made redundant” as of 29th December 2012.
Meanwhile there are efforts for my little unit to be saved that I’m doing my best to participate in as redundancy is possibly staring in my face.
The above is the factual stuff – but I do have a lot of rude words for the powers that be up top who have made the changes to Health Profession (any side of it) an absolute pigs ear and even more confusing than it has been before.
Until I know otherwise, all trips are pulled until I know one way or another. Hopefully, all being well, I’ll be back in “Untitled Chicago Trip 14″ in April.
To those of you who have stuck with me till the final paragraph of this trip report, thank you so much for reading.
Comments and Feedback welcome