Saturday, December 31, 2016

First Class from Boston to Dubai via Etihad Airways and American Airlines

Vacation has officially begun! On this trip, we will be ending the year with a bang in Dubai.  After 4 nights in the United Arab Emirates, we will make a quick stopover in Doha, Qatar for half a day, fly to Thailand, take a ferry to Koh Lipe Island for a few days, take the ferry to Langkawi, Malaysia for a few more lazy beach days then finally eat our hearts out in foodie metropolis Singapore.

For lodging, we are using our Hilton points to stay at the 5 Star Conrad & Waldorf Astoria in Dubai and Intercontinental in Singapore.  We will just get a beach bungalow in the islands.

I packed "Lightly" this go around. I ALWAYS over pack and have too many electronics, dresses, shoes, makeup etc.  This time, I stuck with just one luggage and NO carryon.  My camera bag will be my personal item.

There will be a total of 8 flights and 6 of them will be First Class.  The other two are "puddle jumpers" more smaller domestic budget airlines and we will be riding with the "common folks." aka Economy Class. (guys... I was kidding, wasn't trying to be a snob!, Get a sense of humor!)

When the Mo and I first started vacationing together, we considered ourselves "backpackers".  We would lug around 40-50 pounds of bathing suits and flip flips on our back taking public buses with the locals.  Although we are still "backpackers" at heart, time has changed and we got older and "wiser." Also, we discovered how to maximize our credit card points to travel better.  (Another post on that to follow)  Since then, we've been meticulous on how we spend money and which credit cards we use to maximize points for our travel. Correction: Mo enforces all the rules, I just spend the money.

For our first two flights, we redeemed our mileage for Etihad First Class.  Etihad is the national airline of the UAE and has won many prestigious awards.

Since Etihad doesn't fly from Boston, they set us up with their partner airline, American Airlines and we flew on the A321.  This isn't a common aircraft on this route as it's usually reserved for longer transcontinental itineraries.   We parked our car at Woburn Anderson Station and took the Logan Express into Boston. 

Although we were First Class passengers, we didn't have access to the lounge. Screw you American Airlines for only allowing International First Class Passengers in your lounge! Oh well, we hung out in the food court, charged our electronics and checked emails and FB.

The flight was quick, only 45 minutes, I watched one episode of "Blackish" and had a glass of champagne.  I felt special.  Kathy Bates from Titanic and American Horror Story was on our flight. 
Check out the video here. 

*** Disclaimer** I've never made videos before, I literally downloaded the program about three hours before my JFK flight.


We had a 24 hour layover in New York and caught up with some friends and family before our trip.  I discovered an amazing bagel shop with more than 15 cream cheese flavors and ate some delish empanadas!!! soooo yummy!!

We arrived to JFK with 3 hours to spare and hung out in the new Etihad lounge.  The booze was free flowing, there were showers, and we could eat dine in the buffet or order food a la carte.  See video below.


Minutes before our planned departure time, the lounge attendants came by to advise us it was time to board the plane.  There were long lines for economy but we went to a separate line.  Once onboard, we were asked what we wanted to drink and provided with some dates and a refreshing towel. 

The flight itself was sweet! For about 13 hours, we were wined and dined.  We hung out in the "lounge", changed into PJ's provided by the airline, had a wine tasting, took a shower, ate filet mignon, TWICE, cooked by the onboard chef and slept like a baby on the lie flat seats. See the video here! We hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Etihad First Class Apartments from JFK to AUH

Stay tuned for more videos from Dubai showcasing the grand NYE's fireworks from the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world to a waterpark adventure at the famous Atlantis, the Palms Resort in Dubai.

Kim & the "Mo"