Following up from yesterday, here is the first day of my wife and I’s adventure to earn 1K status again by traveling from BWI to SIN and back in a few days.
Getting on the Super Shuttle at O’Dark Thirty (actually 0215) is not anyone’s idea of fun, but I had a 0625 UA flight awaiting me at BWI that would whisk me away to the exotic Orient. Remembered to get my 50 mile credit for Super Shuttle and apply that to my AAdvantage program to reset my 18 month expiration clock. Arriving at BWI three hours before my departure, I followed up on a recent tip from my fellow Arlingtonian Jeanne from Heels First Travel about a lounge available at BWI. One of the main reasons I hate flying out of BWI is that there is no lounge to wait in and have breakfast. Apparently, there is now a private lounge called Airspace Lounge that costs $20 to get in, but then gives you back $7 in credit for food or drinks. I got my BP and went through Pre-Check only to find that the lounge did not open until 0500. So I worked on my computer for half an hour and was the first guy in at 0500. Very nice little lounge and I enjoyed a breakfast of granola and a biscotti for the $7 credit. It was nice since I knew that I did not get a complimentary upgrade on my BWI-SFO segment and would get fed nothing in Coach. If I was smart, I would have got an American Express Platinum Card to get in for free. I was always put off by the high fee, but as Andy disclosed, I could get this one for free, but just haven’t got around to doing it yet.
I got a fair amount of sleep on the first leg of my journey and met the wife at SFO. We only had 90 minutes to connect so went straight to the International Terminal, fortunately not having to step outside security. We had a quick nosh at the United Club since we were both Star Gold traveling internationally. On the way to the gate, we passed the United First Lounge and i thought “hey, I bet we could have gotten in there with my wife’s FC ticket”. Oh well…
The flight to NRT was uneventful for me in Coach and I lucked out with an empty middle seat. I got to prove what a tough guy I am, but not taking a bathroom break for the entire 11 hour flight so that I wouldn’t have to wake the guy in the aisle seat. The wife had a much better experience in First Class (as you would expect) and here are some pictures she took of the cabin and food. She loved the fact that she was on a flight to Japan and had all the Japanese food including sushi and the salmon shown below. My little 108 lb. wife was so full that when they wheeled the ice cream sundae cart by she said “No thanks, but let me get a picture for my husband’s blog”!
I am still doing OK as we land at NRT and go through the transfer terminal to the United Club. To my delight, they saw my wife’s BP to FC and sent us up to the First Class Lounge. I had been tot he NRT United Club a bunch of times, but this was a first for me. Really good food up there, but my wife just kind of blanched at the dim sum and other goodies since she was still stuffed from the flight. I, on the other hand, took full advantage. The desserts were amazing!
On to the next flight! Ok, I admit, NOW I am starting to reach my limit, although this still beats the 24 hours I once spent in a Mil Air flight to Utapao, Thailand. Seven and a half more hours and we finally arrive in Singapore!
Finally arriving at midnight, I told the wife that we should spend our time checking out the airport. I had not gotten a hotel room for the night figuring we could kill time at this famous airport and wandering around the city. This didn’t sound to appealing to her, until she found out that there is a mall inside the airport! She marvelled at the modern and clean terminal comparing it favorably to Dubai’s. She started shopping and I checked out a few other items. I saw that they have a free movie theater for those waiting for a flight. What a great idea! I also was impressed that they have a store that just sells M&Ms – that’s it. Look at the picture of the two M&M characters – one is eating durian, while the other ends up with a hedgehog. So that’s the secret to eating durian, just have some M&M’s with it!
The airport shops are open 0600-0100 so they kicked us out and we passed through customs and collected our bags. On to the hotel!
A bedraggled Colonel is happy to arrive: