Travel is glamorous only in retrospect

Upcoming Alert: 9,200 miles over to Europe and back, and a Sunday in Switzerland thrown in!

While I have been writing in my head for most of the past week, and on the way back home from work, but for the past few days I have had no hours to put all these thoughts on paper. Why? A trip with two month’s notice going down the wire to a last-minute clincher and the work associated with it. 14-hour workdays at the office and hardly any sleep. My travels and work are deeply interrelated. I work to travel to work to travel to work … you get the gist. And when you are the face of an organisation (or so I am told I am 😉 ), you make sure you work very hard to make each meeting count. Though, of course, what hides into plain sight is the days and nights of a crew that puts the nuts and bolts in place to get some of us to wheel up. And I am not talking of the tickets, but of all the value we bring on the table with our travels. Hats off to those smart people who keep the wheels upping! It is times like these when I think of this quote which came from the pen of Paul Theroux and titled this post with the same.

On the other side of the globe, a whole bunch of fly-happy people are hopping across the pond on the big bird called the A380 in the Star Mega Do. As one of the pax on board reported on Twitter, “I’m at a frequent flier event that’s half travel hacker geeks and half “Up in the Air” people.”via (@BenNOLAFQ), and another one proposed on the SMD3 Charter and got a “Yes!”. Read it all here on the Liveflyer Blog where Randy Petersen is making sure we don’t miss the experience! But yes, I am getting a little envious with every new post 😐

Coming back to my travels, I have been lazy to even unpack fully from my last vacation yet. However, I am now heading into Europe for a week to attend and train at a corporate offsite, and visit some clients on the way.So it will be a forced eviction of my favourite checked-in bag.  Here is how the trip routing looks like:

BOM-BRU-ZRH-AMS-BRU-BOM

If you fly with me, you do already know which airline is taking me to Brussels. I am still not aligned much to any alliances, primarily because of the reason that no airline in India is affiliated to any yet. And now that AI has been booted out of the Star Alliance , it makes life easy because I don’t ever have to factor them in my travel plans again, not till the time they make it to SkyTeam at least. Kingfisher is on its way to becoming a OneWorld member as per 2012, so I am saving all my King Miles to cash out on OW airlines once IT is on board. That there is speculation if the airline will survive that long given its financial condition, is a different discussion. So, I am now back to praying Jet Airways gets into the Star Alliance shortly.

Ahead and beyond, my status with KLM may influence some of my choices in internal Europe routings, however, not at the cost of convenience yet. So, I will be crossing off the Embraer 175 on the list of planes after getting on one of those with KLM. KLM also got me on a Fokker 70 earlier, and I absolutely don’t like that plane for the cramped feeling it gives. But at least, I have tried it now!

I am also looking forward to checking out how a Swiss Air chartered subsidiary treats my short flight to ZRH. Will they have the Swiss standards, or will they be just passable. Also, since I am not deeply entrenched into the *A yet, I am going to  credit this flight for 500 miles posting to my primary *A account, which is still with Aegean Airlines (purely for status to come through to Gold).

Along the way, I will also use a Thaly’s train to get into BRU one evening, because the 6:30 AM connection I’d need to do for AMS-BRU ensures I will not sleep well, which is not exactly my idea of fun on a Saturday morning unless it was longer than the 98 miles it will cover. Most of the stay is at a non-chain hotel, but will credit into my Jet Privilege account for miles. Can’t help that one, because I am visiting and staying in the best hotel in a particular Dutch city which only has one 5 Star hotel yet!

Time to get packing. Here is when I wish I had one of these new scooter bags!

About Ajay Awtaney

Ajay is a financial services pro, working to bring order to the chaos of the financial industry on an everyday basis! Beyond that, he dons the hat of India's favourite frequent traveller, trying to help people elevate their travel experience via tips and tricks they never knew before, or introduce them to the world of miles and points. Armed with an MBA from MDI Gurgaon and graduate degree in computer science from the University of Delhi, Ajay brings a systematic and objective approach on the table for his audience in dissecting travel and loyalty programs in India and around the world, and how to benefit from them. Ajay has been quoted in various reputed traditional and online media including The Hindustan Times, Inside Flyer, Bloomberg, DNA India, Conde Nast Traveller, The Telegraph, Mumbai Mirror, Mint, MoneyLife and The USA Today.

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