Summer Premium Adventures – Off to Singapore and Bangkok… with diversions in between
Featuring, British Airways, Finnair, Qatar Airways (with QSuites), and Scoot
In this Summer Premium Adventure (Warning: Long!)
- In the Summertime when the weather is hot…
- Off to Heathrow, British Airways Galleries North Lounge
- BA762 London Heathrow to Oslo – A321neo (EuroTraveller)
- Oslo Airport, OSL Lounge
- AY914 Oslo to Helsinki, Business Class
- Helsinki Airport lounging
- QR302 Helsinki to Doha (Business Class)
- Doha Lounge Stop Part 1
- QR946 Doha to Singapore (QSuites)
- Hotel Indigo, Katong, Singapore
- Exploring Hawker Markets
- Intercontinental, Bugis, Singapore
- Orchids Everywhere – The National Orchid Garden
- Off to Changi featuring the Singapore Pokemon Centre
- Scoot TR604 Singapore to Bangkok
- Dream Hotel, Bangkok
- Exploring the Wats
- Food Mistakes in Bangkok (Or Regrets. I have a more than a few)
- Back to Suvarnabhumi, Qatar Airways Lounge, Bangkok Airport
- QR833 Bangkok to Doha (QSuites)
- Another long Doha Layover
- QR175 Doha to Oslo
- Back at Oslo Airport
- BA767 Oslo to London Heathrow (EuroTraveller)
- Homeward bound
- Always Curious
In the Summertime when the weather is hot
Life in the real world that I exist in can be… awful some days. Be it working late through the night, 12 days being on duty, office politics that make the recent Tory leadership fight look like kids stuff.
And it does grind you down after a while.
Combine that with a mixture of other things (least of all, an uptick in certain types of work I do), it’s got to the point that I have acknowledged that I need a break from everything. That means leaving the work phone in the sink at home, packing my rucksack and heading out in the world.
And this being my summer holiday, I want a premium experience. That’s not negotiable.
What is negotiable, is where I will end up in the world.
Splitting my long haul travels, it seems one year it’s the Americas for long haul trip, the other year – Asia. This year, it’s the turn of Asia. For this sort of trip, I turn to a Tier Point runners favourite – Qatar Airways. The “forced” Doha stop is excellent as most mid-European to Doha, and Doha to Asia routes score 140TP per segment – making this a British Airways Silver run without trying to break into a sweat.
Whilst I missed out on the Qatar Airways sale fares out of Oslo Airport (with fares coming in at £1200 or so), I did keep an eye on pricing – and fares weren’t THAT bad (around £260 more than a sale fare return) to Singapore and Bangkok.
By the time I was in a position to put a hammer on down on the fares, however, reward flight saver availability had dried up a lot – leaving me with only a few dates to play with.
So, in the first instance – I planned a simple Oslo – Doha – Singapore run. All priced up and ready to go.
When I went to book it, my bank’s anti-fraud system kicked in. Annoying, but bearable – it’s not often I put £1461 down
However, when the bank cleared payments from Qatar Airways to go through – the availability on the flights I wanted had vanished, with the airline wanting £200 for the same flights.
This necessitated the thing I love to do most – plan. Were the Bangkok to Oslo fares a thing still, and could I get back from Oslo to Doha using Multi-city tool?
The answer came out positive, with the air fare coming in at £1441 return. That would do nicely. On top of this, to ensure I made Singapore in the afternoon, I chose a dog-leg between Oslo and Helsinki with Finnair. Amazingly, this only added a couple of pounds to the airfare.
The next step was to secure some reward flight saver flights. With the summer peak season in full swing – this is a great cost-saving measure. So it was off to British Airways and a redemption for 30,000 Avios and £50 return (compared to £300+ cash fares).. I’ll take what I can get – even if it means a night in Oslo.
However, it didn’t help that I had booked the wrong dates – and in the end, had to bin those tickets and use Avios as part payment on a cash fare (put simply – in the time allowed – BA was the only airline who could get me from A to B at the right time frame. At least this was £220+29,0000 Avios. Manageable and but still a major chunk of change saved flying directly from the UK.
The fun part of the trip, of course, was the Singapore to Bangkok segement. There are MANY options on Singapore to Bangkok including:
- Thai Lion Air
- Thai AirAsia
- Malaysia Airlines
- Thai Airways
- Cathay Pacific
- Singapore Airlines
In the end, cost is a factor – like it or not. I therefore discounted the major players (Thai Airways and Singapore Airlines), and skipped Cathay – mainly as there was no availability.
In the end, I did what I do when I need input – I let it loose on Twitter. Which lead of a semi predictable result of a spit between Jetstar and Scoot.
With the top two evenly spit, I went for what I thought would be the worse of the two evils – Scoot. We’ll see how badly that choice went paid off later on.
Let’s move onto the hotel situation – which would be more entertaining thanks to my inability to read calendars and timetables. I would be needing an extra night in Singapore (making it three nights in total) and two nights in Bangkok.
For Singapore, my main residence would be a standby of mine – Intercontinental Singapore. There’s a simple reason for this – I had my Intercontinental 2-4-1 voucher to use up for the year and it’s a very good property. For the first night – I decided to try to be hip and cool for this trip.
Don’t judge me
But with me needing to rebuild my IHG points reserve, I went for the Hotel Indigo in Katong. Whilst away from the downtown district, it gives a few different exploration options in Singapore
Plus a chance to test Google Maps wayfinding.
Hotels in Bangkok were a much harder matter – mainly as I wasn’t in the mood for a chain hotel (however cheap they were). I therefore again threw my trust into Twitter, and followed a suggestion from Lee for the Dream Hotel, just off the Sukhumvit Road in Central Bangkok.
For the final part of this, I booked a coach journey to London (as I’ve given up guessing how late I’m going to be arriving back in London these days – and would rather take the train if possible.)
With everything in hand – it was time to pack my bags and head off to a place I haven’t been or places that I have been before.
All under my own timetable – the enjoyable way of flying.
Let’s go travelling!
Next: Off to Heathrow
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