Friday, November 7, 2014

An airline ticket from Manila to Casablanca, Morocco lands me in Haneda, Tokyo via a Dreamliner

So last night, just before heading out to EDSA Shangri-la for a fantastic Japanese dinner paired with vintage champagne from Moet et Chandon, together with the Moet et Chandon brand ambassador and other lovers of champagne and the good life, there I was at home, online and booking a ticket to Morocco.

I hadn't had time to take care of buying an airline ticket to Morocco, even if I'm headed back to that part of the world in about 10 days' time, to accompany a group of Travelife Magazine friends and readers on a nice trip.

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I'd been to Morocco just four or five months ago, on an epic trip with the Travel Companion.

We'd done a pretty enjoyable holiday that had taken us to a luxury fortress in the middle of a dessert, a charming and ultra-stylish riad in the heart of the old town of Fes, and also to the most beautiful hotel either of us have ever stayed in, in a lifetime of staying in pretty lovely hotels.

Lunch in the middle of the desert

And now here I am again, thinking about where to eat in Casablanca, what to buy in Fes, and whether I should finally buy a lamp I'd been eyeing in the souk of Marrakech.


But, first things first.

I needed a ticket to Casablanca as everyone else in our group already has one. 

In Fes last June, living a Travelife

That would certainly be a damper if I was the only one who couldn't get to Morocco after all, because I'd left it too late and all the flights were booked.

As it is, the business class section of one airline's flight to Casablanca from the Middle East is already fully booked with Travelife Magazine friends and readers.

So yesterday, I decided to finish this business before heading out and getting a little tipsy on lots of very good champagne.

With the Moet et Chandon team last night,
at the EDSA Shangri-la, living a Travelife


First thing I noticed is that the prices sure were expensive, perhaps because I'd left everything so late.

I shopped around and made tentative bookings here and there, but I could find nothing ideal. The cheaper tickets entailed stopovers in Paris, and so I was already half-decided to book a night at the Bristol on the way back and call up a friend for dinner at Guy Savoy.

But then, I also have a million things to do back home and just too little time to do everything.

Unfortunately, all the shorter and more convenient flights via the Middle East were pretty expensive, making me feel it was a toss-up between a very convenient flight or a new lamp from Morocco.

Yes, the difference in price amounted to that much, for business class.


In Hokkaido last week, living a Travelife

Then I got a very good idea to check flights to Haneda, Tokyo.

I'd just thought of it suddenly, as I saw Haneda pop up on my computer screen, and I'd just been there a week ago to catch a flight to Hokkaido. The airport had been efficient and operations had been quick.

In Morocco last June, living a Travelife

Why don't I fly out to Casablanca from Manila and then fly back to Tokyo instead? I thought.

I could catch up with a few friends for a day or two and have a couple of nice meals at Michelin starred-restaurants in Tokyo.

In other words, I could have it all. And isn't that music to my ears.

In Rabat last June, living a Travelife


So I quickly inputted these details.

Then -- guess what. I literally fell off my seat when the price that came back for this ticket was about US$1500 less than what a local travel agent had quoted me for a roundtrip from Manila on the same airline.

And the long-haul flight to Haneda was on the great new Dreamliner, vis-a-vis the usual 777 jet to our part of the world. Business class on the new Dreamliner is really nice, by the way.

Oh my goodness. This was a no brainer. I would be able to get my lamp and have a few good meals in Tokyo too. 

In Tokyo last week, living a Travelife

So just like that, I bought a ticket to Casablanca that flies out of Manila and then returns straight to Haneda, Tokyo.

I plan to stay in Tokyo for two more days just to shop for some food and eat some good food as well, on just another wonderful trip in my never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.


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