Looking back on 2016, looking forward to 2017
January 5, 2017
Qatar Sale : Bangkok or Jakarta in business for around £900 (roundtrip)
January 9, 2017

TRIP REPORT – Bali III : Return of the Bali

Karma Beach - Bali

When I saw an airfare posted on Flyertalk.com for £1300 from Berlin to Indonesia, permitting numerous stopovers and with up to one year’s total validity I knew I had to get involved.

The airfare permitted routing on BA for the flights ex-Europe and on Cathay within Asia. In order to maximise the fare, I decided to incorporate a couple of stops in Asia (Hong Kong and Singapore) before carrying on to Indonesia.

Unfortunately, my preferred destination of Bali (DPS) wasn’t available but both Jakarta and Surabaya were doable.

I figured I would get to Surabaya and figure things out from there.

So my original ticket looked like this

TXL-LHR BA A320 J (flown in July 2015)
(5 month ‘stopover’ in London)

LHR-SIN BA B777 J
Overnight for NYE
SIN-HKG CX A330 J
Overnight stop
HKG-SUB CX A330 J

SUB-HKG CX A330 J
HKG-LHR BA B777 J

LHR-TXL BA A320 J

By buying a couple of cheap additional one way tickets:

LHR-TXL in July 2015
TXL-LHR in January 2016

I would end up with:

A summer break in Berlin, a winter break in Berlin, New Years in Singapore, January 1st in Hong Kong and a week in Bali.

8 total flights in business class for £1300!

The routing wasn’t perfect though: in an ideal world I would have taken the earlier BA flight to SIN, which would have given us more time to get ready for NYE and enjoy the hotel, as well as giving us the chance to experience the BA A380 for the first time.

I obviously also would rather have flown to Bali directly, rather than wasting time transiting via SUB.

Thankfully, as airlines often make numerous schedule changes throughout the year and given that many of these flights weren’t taking place until 10 months after I bought the ticket, I had a feeling things would work out.

Sure enough, after returning from our Summer trip to Berlin, I got an email saying that there had been a schedule change. The time of our flight from LHR-SIN had changed by 10 minutes. I called to see if we could change to the earlier A380 flight and was told that this was ok. Result!

Better plane and better timings.

I would now get to try the BA A380 and arrive into Singapore at 4pm on NYE instead of 6:30pm.

As the months passed and it looked increasingly unlikely that we could do anything about SUB being our final destination, I ponied up and bought some cheap flights on GA from SUB-DPS. We would end up losing a day in Bali but there wasn’t much we could do.

Then, a few days before we were due to fly to Singapore, just after Christmas 2015, a travel advisory warning came up on the Cathay Pacific website. Due to volcanic activity, flights to SUB were either severely delayed or cancelled.

This was our chance! I called BA (who issued my ticket) and said I would happily route via Bali (DPS) instead. The agent that I spoke to put me on a brief hold and then came back to tell me that this was fine. Best of all, our flights would now be on the 747.

I had flown the CX 747 a few times in the past and absolutely loved the experience in F but had always been slightly saddened by the fact that I hadn’t had a chance to try the upper deck Business Class cabin.  This would be my chance, just a few months before CX was due to decommission the 747s forever.

Better still, because of the timings of the DPS flights, we would no longer be able to catch our flight home on the BA 777. Instead we were able to secure seats on (the much better) CX for the long haul leg back to LHR!

Schedule changes don’t get much better than this 😀

So, our final itinerary was

TXL-LHR BA A320 J (flown in July 2015)
(5 month ‘stopover’ in London)

LHR-SIN BA A380 J
Overnight for NYE
SIN-HKG CX A330 J
Overnight stop
HKG-DPS CX B747 J

One week in Bali

DPS-HKG CX A330 J
HKG-LHR CX B777 J

LHR-TXL BA A320 J

This routing would also earn me 42,827 AA miles. Which at the time was enough to fly one way from LHR-AUH on Etihad apartments and onwards to MLE on EY Business. This is exactly what we ended up doing a few months later 😉

A side note: I procrastinated on getting these flights and actually could have gotten them for £1130 but the price went up. Given the incredible value here, I didn’t beat myself up too much about it, nobody’s perfect, least of all me. Here’s my test of a great airfare:

Question: would I hesitate to book this again, for the price I paid for it?

Answer: I would jump on this in a heartbeat 🙂

Approaching Singapore on the BA A380
Approaching Singapore on the BA A380
Centennial Suite at the Conrad Singapore
Centennial Suite at the Conrad Singapore
HK Weather Observatory on Tai Mo Shan
HK Weather Observatory on Tai Mo Shan
Cathay Pacific Regional Business Class
Cathay Pacific Regional Business Class
Karma Beach - Bali
Karma Beach - Bali
(8)Alila Soori-75
Ulun Danu Bratan Temple
Ulun Danu Bratan Temple
Upper Deck of a CX 747 to myself
Upper Deck of a CX 747 to myself
Alila Villas Soori
Alila Villas Soori
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