8 Flights, 7 Lounges & 3 Hotels In 5 Days – Introduction

a map of the world with red lines

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As someone who spends a lot of time in the UK I’m getting ever more interested in booking long-haul flights out of anywhere but the UK. I realise that probably doesn’t sound like it makes much sense but, when you find out that the UK has some of the highest taxes in Europe for long-haul flights, you may begin to understand why I take a great deal of interest in the cost of flights from continental Europe.

The Airfare Deals section of this blog has numerous examples of great Business Class fares (and the occasional Economy Class fare) departing to all corners of the world from continental Europe but, while I’ve been pretty good at highlighting the good fares, I’ve been pretty bad at taking any of them up. This had to change.

Back in July last year I started to notice some very good Economy Class fares between Europe and the US and I decided that I had to see just how practical it was to purchase a cheap flight from the UK to a European city and to then start my long-haul journey from there.

Most of the exceptionally good fares I was finding were for flights departing from Copenhagen and, as there was so much choice when it came to what dates I could fly, I decided to book two such trips to give me a chance to try a few things out.

The first of these trips was for January 2016 and, by design, involves a lot more flights than I actually needed to book. The trip I’m taking in February is the cheaper of the two trips and involves as direct a routing as I could find, while this trip has a bit more too it.

I decided to use the cheap fares to try out a few more of American Airlines’ products so I threw together an itinerary that involved an American Airlines Boeing 777-300ER, an American Airlines Airbus A321 (transcon version) and an American Airlines 767-300. To start and finish the trip there were a few British Airways, short-haul, Airbus flights too.

Original Itinerary

The original itinerary for the trip (all booked into Economy Class) was as follows:

Positioning Flight: London – Copenhagen (British Airways)

Main Flights: Copenhagen – London – Los Angeles – New York – Milan (American Airlines/British Airways)

Flight to get home: Milan – London (British Airways)

At the time of booking the cost of the Main Flights came to $539 (£350) while the flights I added on to Copenhagen and then back home from Milan cost a total of $228 (£147) making the total cost of all flights $767 (£497).

While this was fairly good it was by no means the best price I could get……but getting the cheapest fare wasn’t the point of the exercise for this particular trip (I left that to the February trip). On this trip my aim was to balance price with being able to try out (and review) more than just one American Airlines product.

An Addition To The Plan

The more observant among you will have noticed the itinerary above only involves 6 flights while the title of this piece mentions 8…so where do the other two flights come into it?

In November I noticed that American Airlines were selling what could only be described as ridiculously cheap same-day-return flights between Los Angles and Dallas. Not only were these flights super cheap ($74.60 return!) but they were also being operated by American’s old 777-200 aircraft and, as they were being sold as 2-cabin aircraft, my super-cheap economy class fare allowed me to select a seat in the Business Class section of the aircraft!

For $74.60 I could fly between Los Angles and Dallas, rack up 2,470 elite qualifying miles, 4,940 redeemable miles AND fly in an angled-flat intentional Business Class seat.

This was too good an opportunity to pass up, so I nested a Los Angeles – Dallas – Los Angeles trip into the original itinerary…..and I was all set.

The Reviews To Come

Over the coming days I’ll be reviewing all the lounges I visited, the flights that I took (American Airlines and British Airways), the hotels that I stayed at (one in Copenhagen and 3 in Los Angeles), going over the upgrades I requested (and how those requests fared) and passing on a few tips that I learned from my experiences.




There were a few surprises along the way, I definitely learned a few lessons that will serve me well going forward and, most of all, it was quite a bit of fun so check back to see how it all went 🙂


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