Lydia and I have been "grounded" for the last two months and this trip in the next couple of days kicks start another round of flying for us for the next couple of weeks with the holidays around the corner. The main reason for the trip to Brisbane was to attend the wedding of a close cousin of mine who I grew up who now resides in Brisbane.
We were pretty limited with the options on getting to Brisbane for a number of reason. We had waited until quite late to finalize the trip as I wasn't sure if I could still get days off with all the holidays I already took this year. We had enough BMI miles for a business class redemption on Singapore or Thai which I was actually saving for a trip to Bora Bora. Even though it would have cost the same number of miles to Brisbane and Bora Bora, we could not "tag on" the trip to Bora Bora as we couldn't take that many days off. In addition, my sister was coming a long as well and finding 3 seats during this time of the year would be difficult if not impossible.
The cheapest option after searching for a couple of days ended being Singapore to Brisbane on Emirates for about ~$550 USD in Economy. (There was actually a Etihad mistake for the same flight that allowed routing via Abu Dhabi but I couldn't find availability for the dates I needed). Singapore, Thai, Malaysian and even Air Asia was more expensive. We've only flown Emirates once before but that I was in first class so it'll personally be something new for both us and should be interesting to compare with our recent experience with Qatar. The loads seem pretty high right now and here's hoping to some op-ups. As usual, we would be flying Air Asia from Penang to Singapore.
The current plan is to drive to Gold Coast when we get in for 2 days and then spend the last 3 days in Brisbane. We were too cheap to book a hotel for the first night since we would only get in at around midnight and with the driving to Gold Coast, would only be there around 2-3am. Figured we just kill him and hit the casinos before checking into the hotel. Anyone have better ideas? We would be staying at Hiltons at both Gold Coast and Brisbane to earn some free nights thanks for the Q4 Hilton Promo.