Qatar Airways Arrivals Lounge DOH
Doha Business Elite Flyers Lounge
Hamad International Airport Doha First Class Elite Flyers Lounge
Doha Al Maha Lounge
Qatar Airways Oryx Lounge
Doha Qatar Airways Al Mourjan Business Lounge
Qatar Airways Business Class 787 DOH-JNB
JNB Arrivals Lounge
JNB Shongololo Lounge
BA Galleries First Lounge JNB
British Airways First Class A380 JNB-LHR
BA Galleries First Lounge T3 LHR
Cathay Pacific Lounge LHR
American Airlines Flagship Lounge LHR
American Airlines Admirals’ Club LHR
British Airways First Class A380 LHR-MIA
Final Landing Thoughts
As the year came to a close, I realized for the first time in my life AA Executive Platinum Status was attainable for me. I was only 28,000 miles short, and there were tons of mileage run opportunities available. This came at a vey opportune time, because next year, the new spending requirements come into play.
I googled all the possible mileage run deals that were posted on FlyerTalk, and came across a good fare from Pakistan to LAX on Etihad. The flight would book into AA full fare F, so I could make 28,000 miles on just that leg. The issue came into play when planning how to get to Pakistan. I did not want to spend a very long time there (call me paranoid, but I felt a bit uneasy given the State Department’s warning). So I was about to call it quits, when I came across a good fare from JNB-YUL (Johannesburg to Montreal). The fare was 2000USD for full fare J, and 2700USD for full fare F. The only issue was that the LHR-USA leg was in J.
I decided to take the leap and book the flight, it was refundable after all, and when I rang up the Platinum desk, they found that instead of connecting through JFK, I could connect through MIA for the same price and get F from LHR-MIA on BA’s beautiful A380. Needless to say, I pounced on that opportunity. I booked my ticket and was ready to go from JNB-YUL. Now, how to get from the US to JNB?
BA.com for the Win
I came across the BA website a single business class ticket on the date that would allow me to get to JNB just for positioning. Unfortunately, in the interest of time, I could not stay in JNB more than 8 hours, as I had commitments in the States. The ticket took me from IAH-MIA on AA in coach (I know, the only downside of the trip, lol), then on to Doha on Qatar Airways’ 777 Business class, then stay for 15 (yes, I know 15) hours in Doha, then on to JNB on Qatar Airways’ 787 Business Class.
I was very excited for the trip, but also a bit nervous. I had never travelled such inordinate distances on my own, and I had never spent time in a destination outside the US and Western Europe without someone to join me. For those of you that don’t know me well, I get bored easily, and I despise getting bored, so I decided that I would take work with me to Doha and after visiting the Museum of Islamic Art (which was close to the airport) I would come back, nap, and work. Needless to say, life had other plans.
How I Paid:
So, to pay, I used the American Express Enhanced Business Platinum Card, that gave me plenty of protection in case of delays, and the BarclayCard Arrival Plus Card for the mileage ticket, for similar reasons. In a matter of hours I was set. I did, however, call AA various times as each single time they kept booking me on the wrong flight either out of JNB or LHR.
Probably my wildest and craziest idea so far, I booked this trip only a week out. My parents were not too excited that I would be doing this, but in the end, they gave me a reserved green light (so, more like yellow light then?). It was a chance of a lifetime, and I took it. I hope that the end result is as good as I expect it to be, and that I can enjoy Exec Plat for all its benefits that I have had to pay for this year as a Platinum.
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