Hi! I hope everyone’s enjoying a very frosty start to March. I’ve got really exciting life plans lined up – I’ll be taking up an operations consultancy role in the UK mid-next calendar year, which I’m really excited about! I’m looking forward to approaching commercial awareness from a completely different perspective, lots of client work, and spending the weekends travelling and writing on the blog.
While I’ve been mostly at home these days trying to grind out a masters project for my engineering degree, I thought I’d drop by to show details of two really exciting products I’ll be reviewing in the near future. I’ve got lots of exciting travel planned for 2023, most of which will involve trips between Europe and Asia…though those are a bit further down the line. I thought I’d start by getting excited over a (mostly regional) trip I’ll be taking in the next few weeks.
Exploring Italy with my family
My parents went to Italy many a time ago, and have always been wanting to plan a trip there since we were born. They were particularly enthused by a little square in Siena called Piazza del Campo, which they’ve been advertising to us as kids as “a little square we can run around and play games in”.
I’m 21 now and my sister’s 16, though we’ll be sure to do some (mileage?) running of our own. We decided to piece together an itinerary that would bring my parents and sister through Venice and Rome as well, where I’d join them on the latter half of the trip.
Rome, Italy (credit: Bert Kaufmann from Flickr)
The plan was to pick up short flights from London to airports in Italy (preferably Rome on the return) so I could join my parents, though I figured that was a little bit too easy…
Singapore Airlines’ A350 Business Class from Barcelona to Milan
Upon being told that I was to join my parents in Italy, I immediately knew that I wanted to try Singapore Airlines’ fifth-freedom A350 flight between Barcelona and Milan. The flight is operated by an A350 and continues from Milan to Singapore, though you can book the Barcelona to Milan segment individually.
Unfortunately there’s never really any award space on this flight, though thankfully Singapore Airlines has a “book with cash and miles” option, where I was able to secure the flight for 35,700 KrisFlyer miles and a small cash surcharge. This is an absolutely ridiculous low-value redemption where I was redeeming 35k+ miles just to get on a 1h 35m flight with a refreshment, though my very few KrisFlyer miles were just about to expire, so there was almost zero opportunity cost. I’ve flown Singapore Airlines in premium economy before, though never in business class.
Singapore Airlines’ similar 777 business class
To position for this flight, I’ll be flying British Airways’ shorthaul business class from London to Barcelona – I did think about flying Iberia through Madrid, which would’ve allowed me to re-sample their A350, though ultimately decided it wasn’t worth it. I’ve never flown British Airways’ shorthaul Club Europe before (well, except on an A380), so it’ll be interesting to compare them against Lufthansa, Swiss, etc.
Finnair’s A350 Business Class from Helsinki to London
My parents are flying out from Rome, and it just seemed easiest to find a way out of Rome myself. Go figure that one of the Asia Miles redemptions listed allowed me to fly Finnair’s new non-reclining A350 business class from Helsinki to London. I’ve never flown Finnair before, and their new business class seat has really intrigued me, especially since I’ve yet to hear negative feedback about the product – so I’m really looking forward to flying this plane, even if just on a three-hour flight.
Finnair A350 Business Class
To position for this flight, I’ll be flying Finnair’s A320 from Rome to Helsinki, which I’ve also never tried before. I love that both of these flights are longer, both in flight time and distance, than an actual direct flight from Rome to London.
Trenitalia Executive Class from Milan to Florence
A review of this segment is slightly more out of my wheelhouse, though I’m taking a Trenitalia train ride from Milan to Florence, where I’m meeting my family. The Executive Class ticket was a 30 EUR premium over the cheapest ticket, so I decided it was worth a try, given they have a dine-on-demand meal service (otherwise only found in business class on Qatar Airways so far, out of all the products I’ve reviewed).
Trenitalia Executive Class
Unfortunately the deal wasn’t quite as good from Florence to Rome (which we’re doing as a family), so we’ve reserved seats in Business Class for that segment.
Conclusion: More Intra-Europe Widebodies!
Both the Singapore Airlines and Finnair A350s are planes that I’d like to try on a longer flight someday, though I’ll take this trip to Italy as a good opportunity to experience them. Singapore Airlines and Finnair both feature custom-made business class seats (i.e. you can’t find the same seats on other airlines), so I’m looking forward to writing about my experience on them. I’ll also get to try British Airways and Finnair’s intra-Europe products, which I haven’t tried before.
I’ve got lots of more exciting travel planned down the line, and will reveal more details as the time gets closer. In the meantime, if anyone’s got any ideas of what I can do between when I graduate and June 2024, let me know!
Which flight are you most excited to hear more about?