Trip Introduction: Epic A380 Adventure To Australia

Trip Introduction: Epic A380 Adventure To Australia

It’s time to introduce my next trip! This is probably my most epic adventure yet and I’m super excited!

Reasons For This Trip

The main reason I’m taking this trip is to visit family in Sydney, Australia. I could have easily taken an American Airlines or Qantas flight to Sydney but that’s not very interesting, right? Instead, I was inspired by OneMileAtATime’s journey to Australia through the Middle East and decided to replicate that.

Lots of airlines have announced that they have plans within the next 10 years to retire all of their Airbus A380s so my goal is to fly as many of them as I can before that day comes. Luckily, Qatar operates their A380 on the Doha-Sydney route so that was one I knew I wanted to hit. To get to Doha, I wanted to try Etihad and the timing worked out because they recently started flying their A380 on their New York-Abu Dhabi route so I booked both of those!

In total, the journey will involve 3 different airlines and span 22,242 miles!

For my epic route to Australia I'll be flying from New York (JFK) to Abu Dhabi to Doha to Sydney then back to Los Angeles
Route Map For This Trip

Airlines I Will Fly

Starting this journey off will be my flight from New York (JFK) to Abu Dhabi on Etihad’s first class on their A380. I originally booked their First Class apartments and was content with that choice. However, the opportunity arose that I could upgrade to The Residence, which is often regarded as the World’s Best First Class. I figured that this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and decided to go for it.

I'm beyond excited to try Etihad's The Residence on their A380!
Etihad The Residence

I can’t wait to see what this experience will be like and how it compares to my current favorite flight: Singapore Airlines First Class Suites.

Singapore Airlines First Class Suites is my favorite flight to date
Singapore Airlines First Class Suites

After landing in Abu Dhabi, I’ll be taking a short hop on Etihad’s business class in their A320 from Abu Dhabi to Doha. This flight is listed as only being an hour long and I was really considering just flying coach for this segment. However, I decided to go for business class so I could get access to Etihad’s business and first-class lounges at Zayed International Airport.

From Doha, I’ll be flying on Qatar Airway’s First Class on their A380 from Doha to Sydney. This is one of the few routes Qatar operates their A380 on and I can’t wait to see how it compares to other first classes.

I'll be flying and reviewing Qatar Airways A380 First class
Qatar Airways A380 First Class

Finally, to get back home to the States, I’ll be flying in United Polaris business class on their Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner from Sydney to Los Angeles. I really, really wanted to end this trip on Qantas’ A380 in first class but no award availability came up. Instead, I figured that it would be a good time to do my first review of an American carrier’s long-haul experience.

I’ve heard that United Polaris bedding might be the best in the entire industry so I’m very curious to see if there’s any weight to that statement.

Lounges I Will Visit

I’m trying to keep this list short as I feel that I went to too many lounges during my last trip report. In New York, I’ll be visiting the Chase Sapphire Lounge which was formerly the Etihad Lounge. I’ve never been to a Chase Sapphire lounge before but have only heard good things about them.

In Abu Dhabi, I’ll be checking out both the Etihad First Class and Business Class Lounges. Zayed International Airport just finished remodeling so I’m excited to see what their new lounges are like. If I have more time I might check out the Priority Pass Lounge.

I'll be visiting Etihad's business class lounge in Zayed International Airport (AUH)
Etihad Business Class Lounge in Zayed International Airport (AUH)

In Doha, I’ll be visiting the Al Safwa First Class Lounge and the Al Mourjan business class lounges. These are regarded as some of the best lounges in the world and I can’t wait to see for myself how incredible they are.

I'll be visiting Qatar Airways' Al Mourjan Garden business class lounge in Doha!
Al Mourjan Garden Business Class Lounge in Doha

Lastly, in Sydney, I plan on checking out the Singapore Airlines SilverKris Lounge. So if everything goes to plan, you can expect reviews on these lounges:

  • Chase Sapphire Lounge JFK
  • Etihad First Class Lounge AUH
  • Etihad Business Class Lounge AUH
  • Al Safwa First Class Lounge DOH
  • Al Mourjan Business Class Lounge DOH
  • Al Mourjan Garden Business Class Lounge DOH
  • Singapore Airlines SilverKris Lounge SYD


I’m beyond excited for this next trip and it honestly might be the pinnacle of my aviation experiences with the opportunity to fly the Residence. I can’t wait to review all of these airlines for the first time and am also looking forward to exploring Australia!

What is your favorite lounge in the Middle East?

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