10 pm I got confirmation of a last minute business trip, for tomorrow, well already today, to Australia, the business travel jackpot. A birthday spent in Korean Air business class.
This unleashed a booking frenzy to figure out how to spend a week of vacation tacked on at the end. The opportunity could not pass.
I have had a crash course in the crushing expense of the South Pacific, Australian rental cars with ridiculously low mileages (33 km allowance from Thrifty at one airport!), a nasty surprise trying to book Air Niugini from CheapOair (never again attempting to use them), air passes that no longer exist and more. Fodder for future posts, but now is the time to pack.
Here is what I put together:
- Sat arrive Melbourne and transfer to an Avios-booked trip to Tasmania on Qantas, back Sunday on the first segment of a Virgin Australia Pass.
- Work all week.
- Sat a lost day, will need to tool around Melbourne.
- Sun over to Ayers Rock via Sydney, Qantas/Avios.
- Mon to Brisbane via Sydney, Qantas/Avios.
- Tue-Wed figure out something in Brisbane. I wanted to go to Darwin but the costs, especially for rental car for what I wanted to do were too high.
- Thu to the Solomon Islands, Virgin Australia Pass.
- Sat to Papua New Guinea, Air Niugini, an airline that bankrupts passengers.
- Sun to the Bismark Archipelago of Papua New Guinea, Air Niugini.
- Mon-Tue the long road back with a dash of Virgin and Qantas connecting up with Korean Air.