Round The World and other travels

A frequent flyer's collection of trip diaries

This is: The Portuguese Connection (2012)


This latest Asian jaunt involved visits to Macau, Hong Kong and Seoul, all preceded by a stopover in Lisbon. It was designed so that there would be a three-night stay at each major destination, to avoid that "living out of a suitcase" feeling. The trip was again largely constructed around airline mileage redemptions, including some of my last award flights booked through bmi Diamond Club prior to its acquisition by the parent company of British Airways in April 2012. The European dimension - a visit to Lisbon in this case - may look like yet another application of the well-tried bmi Zone 2 / Zone 8 technique, except that my eastbound long-haul on this occasion wasn't a Diamond Club booking at all; it had been arranged by Bruce using United miles as a quid pro quo for a British Airways flight that I booked for him earlier in 2012. The Lisbon visit was simply an example of that other tried and tested trip component: a way of using up otherwise dead time prior to a midweek long-haul flight. Just when you thought you were getting the hang of this frequent flyer malarkey!

The itinerary contained a reasonable element of novelty value: Bruce had never been to Lisbon and I had never visited Seoul. There was also a bit of catching up with a long-lost former acquaintance: my one previous visit to Macau had been in 1986 and oh, how it had changed! Finally, there was the thoroughly familiar face of Hong Kong, one of my favourite cities and a destination of which I shall never tire.

As far as flying interest is concerned, the star performer on this trip was Asiana Airlines, which I have described in the body of the report as "one of the best-kept secrets in the world of international travel".

Please enjoy this latest Europe - Asia adventure, initially featuring Lisbon and Macau: The Portuguese Connection.