The captain came on the intercom to inform us that our flight time would be 16.5 hours long. Then he invited us to relax, lie-flat, as Etihad proudly presented - my first class dream service. I half expected Lumière to serenade me when I boarded the Etihad first class flight from Abu Dhabi to Los Angeles.
It is ironic to say that the relaxing start to my vacation was en route back to the US. The journey to Los Angeles began in Cairo aboard Etihad, stopped in Abu Dhabi for a night, and resumed the next day on the same carrier but different plane.
EasyJet is not Southwest Airlines. It is more like Allegiant because you should 'expect everything, carry nothing'. I was looking for a cheap option to get from London to Athens after fog forced me to miss my flight to Poland. I had heard the horror stories of Ryanair and opted for Easyjet instead.
Everything about Virgin Atlantic Upper class is a party. In fact, it was my favorite flight I've ever taken not because it was Emirates, Singapore, or Cathay quality, but because the passengers and cabin crew were like Janice in Account, they just don't give a F*ck. And that's a good thing.
In the good old days, you used to be able to fly Emirate Shower Class from Colombo to Male from $300 and experience a nice soak at 30,000 feet. That is no longer the case. When I booked this RTW ticket, I made it a point to avoid using British for any of the segments in an effort to steer clear of fuel surcharges.
In the United States, more flights go through Atlanta than anywhere. It's been said that on the way to heaven, worthy souls still would have to connect through Atlanta. The same can be said of Kuala Lumpur. Too many of my passport pages have been used transiting on AirAsia flights through KL.
As I discussed, I don't think it's worth 40k Avios for a round trip to New Zealand from Australia. It is better to pay cash for coach and save your points. Still, it was interesting to see what flying Qantas business is like. As a company, Qantas has had a rough time competing with Virgin, the ever expanding number of competitors flying into Australia, and discount carriers.