I’m Actually A Little Apprehensive About My Next Trip…..


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I’ve got a trip coming up soon and, unusually for me, I’m actually a little apprehensive about it. I’m not going anywhere dangerous, the airlines I’m flying are perfectly acceptable and there are no risky connections in my itinerary so there’s no outwardly obvious reason why I should be nervous…and yet I am.

I’m not a Road Warrior by any stretch of the imagination but, just like a lot of Road Warriors, I do a lot of traveling on my own and I know the routine.

When it comes to air travel I know how things work, I generally know what to expect, I don’t mind spending time in airports as I can just get on with some work and I’m pretty good at dealing with whatever may come my way…but that’s when I’m on my own.

On this upcoming trip I’m traveling with Joanna and MJ and, for the first time as a trio, we’re not traveling to our destination using a conventional routing – we’re taking a positioning trip first.

Joanna has been on at least two previous positioning trips with me but, on both of those occasions we didn’t have MJ with us and we were traveling in Business Class. Things are different this time.

Because the dates we’re traveling fall squarely in the middle of the UK school vacations the airfares back to LA are ridiculously expensive. So, to combat this, I found and booked an excellent fare out of Europe….but it was an Economy Class fare.

American Airlines 777-300ER Economy Class – I see this looming in our immediate future 🙂

Essentially, instead of flying London – LA, the three of us are flying a routing of London – Europe – London – LA for less than half the price of what the non-stop routing would have cost and the savings are paying for the rest of our stay.

This seemed a good idea at the time but I’m starting to have second thoughts.

While a non-stop routing would probably take no more than 15 hours door to door, the route we’ll be taking is going to be longer….considerably longer.

Allowing for flight times, time at the airports (in the lounges) and getting to/from the airports at either end we’re looking at around 22 hours door-to-door and that’s a long time to be traveling if you’re not used to doing trips like this.

It’s probably going to be an especially long time for MJ who, although an excellent and experienced traveler for her age, has never had the joy of flying out of an airport (in the wrong direction) only to fly back to the same airport just a few hours later to catch a flight she could have started out on in the first place.

It doesn’t help that the Aspire Lounge at London Heathrow will be where we spend quite a bit of time

What’s compounding the issue in my mind is that this is all being done just to save some cash. A very decent chunk of cash but just cash nonetheless. There’s no added prize of a flatbed on the way back (which mercifully will be a non-stop routing) unless we get incredibly lucky with upgrades.

Fortunately, because of the flights I’ve chosen, there’s little chance that we’ll miss a connection but the price for that is added time in airports. I’m fine with that because I can get some work done but I’m not sure I really thought through what this could be like for Joanna and MJ.

If I had managed to snag a fantastic Business Class fare that would be one thing (as I could point to the comfort we would be traveling in as another valid reason for the added travel time) but, when we board the Economy Class cabin of our London – LA aircraft after already having been on the road for 6 hours, I’m not sure I’ll be able to persuade myself (let alone Joanna and MJ) that it’s actually worth it.

At least we’ll have an exit row!

The funny thing is that Joanna and MJ both know every detail of our travel plans and both are completely ok with them and are taking everything in their stride (I think they’re just looking forward to some LA sun)….but that’s not enough to stop me from worrying that they’re not going to have a good journey.

Hopefully all will be fine, the lounges will be relaxing and the journey won’t feel like it’s dragging on endlessly. If that’s how things transpire I’ll be delighted…..but until we pick up our rental car in LA and are on our way home I’m not going to be resting too easy 🙂

2 COMMENTS

  1. Sure it will go to plan Ziggy, and MJ will appreciate all the tips in many years time when she starts booking her own travel. Though why, in your case, would such a seasoned traveller end up in the Aspire lounge at T5 :-s, especially when he knows just how bad it is?!

    Surely signing up for Amex Platinum for 1 month is worth it, just to use the Plaza Premium Lounge at T5 (even if it’s largely over-hyped and not as good as GL IMO).

    • Thanks for the positive thoughts (and sorry for the very late reply).

      You definitely have a point about MJ and how she’ll see things (especially when she starts planning her own trips) – she really is a remarkably good traveler (i.e excellent at entertaining herself on long-haul) so I probably shouldn’t worry too much.

      As for your very valid question re. the PP lounge at T5 – I have to hold my hands up and admit to misunderstanding the rules. I thought Platinum Card access was for 1 + 1 with additional guests charged at £40 so I din’t even bother checking it out. Now that I know I can get myself and two guests in to the lounge (free of charge) I can’t see us visiting Aspire again any time soon! Thanks for bringing this up as I probably wouldn’t have rechecked the rules had you not.

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