The Last Push! The Final 700 Tier Points to BA Gold!
700 Tier Points: Job Done
- Why do I do this to myself? (The introduction)
- Off to Birmingham Airport, Air France AF1656 to Paris CDG
- Ibis Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport
- A Rushed Check in, AA Lounge
- AA45 Paris CDG to New York JFK
- A Delayed Transit, AA85 New York JFK to San Francisco International
- Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport
- Intercontinental Mark Hopkins
- One Time Special – Around the Bay and Under the bridge
- Two Time Special – 3 and a half miles. Across the Golden Gate Bridge and back
- Escaping San Francisco to the Crowne Plaza
- Early Morning San Francisco Airport, AA24 San Francisco to New York JFK
- A Dash Across Manhattan and NJ, Newark Airport
- BA Galleries Lounge, EC8004 OpenSkies Newark Airport to Paris Orly West
- Paris. City of Dreams, Romance and Pickpockets?
- Eurostar 9013 Paris Nord to London St Pancras, Chiltern Railways
- 700TP: Job Done
700 Tier Points: Job done
So what was this all for – apart for a damn good winter holiday (with Christmas and New Year this year, I was stuck at the console or behind a camera for most of it)?
700 British Airways Tier Points, pushing me to a total of 1535 Tier Points for the year – 35 points over the required amount for retaining BA Gold for 2014/2015. A true challenge completed (which, unlike the BMI Gold card I used to have, I could had done in my sleep).
Let’s look back at the products and try to sum up everything in a few sentences:
Air France were mostly ok for the short hop. Nothing overly important to report… other than a lack of safety cards on the plane (which is a worry in itself….). Although if you want cheap singles on some Air France routes, book your ticket via FlyBe…
Ibis Paris CDG did the job for a night’s crash-pad. Yes, there are better options in the area, but it did what it needed to do on the tin at an acceptable cost. The size of that room though is the one remaining thought (and a distinct lack of Accor Hotel Points too!!!)…
American Airlines at CDG need to buck their ideas up. There was near enough total disorganisation at check in, unmanaged queues that shouldn’t have happened that was causing people to miss flights. Can do a LOT better here.
American Airlines in the air… continue prove exactly what I was trying to say on the San Juan Tier Point run. A lack of consistency in the air. There were a lot of variations in the sky even between these three services encountered. Still, whilst there were challenges in the air, the crews delivered their service reasonably. The IFE units are a great choice, with good content loaded on them… probably one of the few times I’ve used the AA given IFE in anger. And I’m so glad they’re retiring those rattletrap 767-200ERs…
Hyatt San Francisco Airport was a much better Hyatt property than the Hyatt Regency O’Hare – although that’s not saying much. The staff in the hotel were willing to help, friendly and provided a great room. All good things in my book, and not a bad property at all.
The Intercontinental Mark Hopkins (San Francisco) is a timeless property. Great customer service and a lovely room – combined with a great location. Just be prepared to invest in a Muni pass or a lot of spare change in taxi fares unless you like walking UP the Nob Hill….
The Crowne Plaza San Francisco was… pretty much what I thought it would be. A bland airport hotel (with apples that were going off in the Club Lounge). But at nearly the same prices as the Ibis Paris CDG, with a lot more room and Club Access (for what that was worth), it provided reasonable value for money.
OpenSkies is an oddball of a product – in a good way. I suppose the best description I have for it is “Club World Plus”. There are elements of the BA Club World product (including the seat and the food), but there were signs of first class in the softer product (Slippers, Pyjamas and style of service), It’s a BA product… but different (very much like the London City Club World service). It’s one – if you find a good fare on it – I would encourage you to try.
Eurostar – Start to end, this is one organisation that can provide a lesson in High Quality Customer service. Every interaction was great and welcoming (from their Twitter Feed, to In-Person at Gare Du Nord, to the Buffet person). The service is dominant between London, Paris and Brussels – with a 2 hour 15 (or 2 hour 25 service in my case) centre to centre journey, it beats planes hands down on these routes.
San Francisco remains one of my favourite US Cities – a wonderfully relaxed place with plenty options for anyone. Recommended for what it is (even with annoying 10cent charges for bags!!!)
… and Paris? The less said about the place, the better (I’m still feeling the after-effects of this one… the joy of dealing with Credit Card companies post fraud).
And that wraps up The Last Push – thank you for joining for the ride.
Coming up shortly – it’s back to the back for me as we go from Club World and Business Class back to my usual home of Economy class, as I carry out the Spring Travel Audit, with American Airlines, British Airways and Hyatt back in the spotlight in “Springtime Travels – Back to Chicago in Economy” (unless I get a better title in the meantime!).
I’ll hope you’ll join me for it, as it promises to have more fun and games that make my travels what they are – an experience.
Your comments and feedback are always welcome