Tickets Booked!

Authored By Brian

The hardest part of any trip is finally done! There have been about fifty changes since my last post, the most important of which is that we ponied up to go Business class instead of coach. We were looking at a half dozen 15-20 hour plane flights to make the SkyTeam alliance work and the increase in price seemed worth it. I’ve only flown in first class once when I was bumped and business once so this will be a cool trip. We’ve booked the tickets through Delta for the following flights:

San Francisco – Auckland (via LAX, Tokyo and Seoul using Alaska, Northwest and Korean Air respectively) – Sydney (overland) – Hanoi (via Seoul on Korean Air) – Bangkok (overland) – Mumbai (via Seoul on Korean Air) – Rome (via Paris on Air France) – Lima (via Paris and Bogota on Air France and Aviana) – Quito (overland) – Panama City (via Bogota on Avianca) – San Jose, Costa Rica (overland) – San Francisco (Delta via Atlanta)

Delta’s partners can get you where you want to go but there aren’t a lot of direct flights. The upside is that we’re going to get a 24 hour whirlwind exploration of Tokyo as we route through on Korean Air. The downside is that flying anywhere in the Asia/India/Oceanic area requires routing through Seoul. This was ultimately what convinced us to go for business class.

A coach ticket is 140,000 miles on Delta (also true on American’s OneWorld program) and a business class is 220,000 miles. The Star Alliance (considered the “best”) is more expensive with coach costing 200k and business 300k miles. All told, Jennifer and I used 440,000 miles to book this trip; not a small sum.

With the dreary scheduling bits behind us, now we get to investigate the details of each country to figure out what we’re going to do where. I like to use World66 and Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree in addition to actual LP guides to figure out possible itineraries and destinations as well as how to get off the beaten path.

I’m excited that we added more time in South America with Ecuador and Panama; more opportunities to speak Spanish for me as well as a couple of interesting places that don’t register quite as high on the tourist-o-meter.

Departure date: November 13th, 2006.

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