A Quick Trip Down Under: Part 1 – United Airlines International Business Class to Australia (and, Food!)

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I made a last-minute trip to Australia to surprise my mom on her 60th birthday where she was visiting my sister.  And I planned this trip literally 3 days before I left.

We had a lovely stay at the Park Hyatt Sydney, ate incredible food, toured the Sydney Opera House, and enjoyed the friendly Aussie hospitality!

Park Hyatt Sydney Review

I Surprised My Mom in Sydney, Australia, for Her 60th Birthday Celebration!

A Quick Trip Down Under Index:

Part 1 – United Airlines International Business Class to Australia (and, Food!)

Part 2 – Awesome Park Hyatt Sydney Views and Diamond Breakfast

Part 3 – Park Hyatt Sydney – Opera Deluxe Room

Part 4 – Park Hyatt Sydney – City Harbor King Room

Part 5 – Sydney Opera House Tour

Part 6 – United Airlines Global First Review

Even though it was last minute, I managed to book a Business Class ticket using 70,000 United Airlines miles plus ~$28.  I did pay the $75 late booking fee (but see my trick on how you might not have to!)

I flew from Austin to Los Angeles in coach, because they weren’t any Business Class seats available.  Then from Los Angeles to Sydney in Business Class.  The flight left at 10:40 pm from Los Angeles, and I was exhausted, so I didn’t take many pictures.

I Know, It’s Strange, but I Have a New-Found Love for Vegetables!

But I did remember to stay up for the ice cream sundae!

Who Am I Kidding? That’s Much Better! :)

The crew was very friendly, but refused to give me both a croissant and a cinnamon roll for breakfast.  The flight attendant said that they don’t cater excess food on the flight.

My cinnamon roll was hard, crunchy, and fibrous, so I was glad that the Universe conspired to save me from the United Airlines croissant.

The flight landed early in the morning in Sydney and the airport was very busy!

United International Business Class To Australia

Lots of International Arrivals Early in the Morning in Sydney

My sister picked me up and I went out with her for a real Aussie breakfast!

United International Business Class To Australia

Breakfast of Champions!  Meat and Carbs in All Shapes and Sizes Made up for the Weak United Airlines Pastry Offerings

Over the next 5 days, I stalked some ‘roos…

You Can Find Kangaroos Roaming Wild in Some Parts of Australia

…ate a vegemite sandwich which made me miss the cinnamon roll on the United Airlines flight…

United International Business Class To Australia

I’m Smiling as I Hold This Yeast Paste Sandwich – but Note I Haven’t Bit Into It Yet! ;)

. . .and chuckled at the abbreviation for the “Flat Out Chicken & Kebab” restaurant!

United International Business Class To Australia

What the FOCK? Aussies Have a Fun (and Naughty) Sense of Humor!

I also ate some of the best Malaysian food in my life at Mamak in Sydney.

United International Business Class To Australia

Mamak Serves All Kinds of Satay, Roti, Rice, and Noodle Dishes, and Amazing Curries

It is a small unassuming place in Sydney’s Chinatown.

United International Business Class To Australia

Mamak Was Packed With Diners Ordering Inexpensive and Delicious Malaysian Home-Style Food

Australia is expensive, but Mamak wasn’t as outrageously expensive as a few other restaurants which I visited.

United International Business Class To Australia

I’ll Have 1 of Each, Please!

I had roti and sweet tea…

United International Business Class To Australia

Mamak Offers Several Varieties of Roti, Served With Curry Dips and a Dollop of Sambal (Hot Chili Sauce)

…fish curry and chicken & beef satay…

United International Business Class To Australia

The Fish Curry and Satay Were So Flavorful, and the Portions Were Substantial

…and some rice…

United International Business Class To Australia

You Can’t Go to a Malaysian Restaurant Without Ordering Nasi Goreng – Fried Rice With Prawns, Egg, and Spicy Sambal

Everything was delicious, especially the satay!

United International Business Class To Australia

You Can’t Go Wrong With Grilled Marinated, Skewered Meat – Heaven!

The food was so good that I came back here for dinner with my friend Russ!

United International Business Class To Australia

We Came Back to Try Nasi Lemak, Malaysia’s National Dish (Those Are Tiny Anchovies in the Foreground!)

Stay tuned to check out my review of the Park Hyatt Sydney!

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8 responses to “A Quick Trip Down Under: Part 1 – United Airlines International Business Class to Australia (and, Food!)

  1. Glad you made it to Mamak! The roti there was unreal as well as the curry. My wife and I lived in Sydney last year while working on secondment and we still miss all the Malaysian food that can’t be found in Kansas City. 🙁

  2. Nice of you to go see your mother!

  3. It’s great that you were able to surprise your mom in Australia. However, I’m hankering for some delicious Malaysian food. Great photos. Yum, sambal!

  4. Hey Daraius,

    Thanks for all your info. I’ve found it immensely helpful. My wife and I are thinking about a trip to Australia or New Zealand sometime in early to mid 2017. Based on your experience, what program(s)/airline(s) do you think are the best for getting biz/first class seats there?

    We would be flying out of Houston or Austin and currently only have miles with United, but we do have Chase Sapphire accounts and are very open to getting cards from other programs/airlines.

    Thanks in advance for your help.

  5. I have been searching for award flights for next May to Europe. I have a lot of points from Citi & Chase that I could transfer but all I am finding is 150k business & 170K first class and that is one way. I really need to know if I should wait a month or so to try and book again or keep using ExpertFlyer to check for flights. Does United ever go down in business class or first class?

    Thanks.

  6. Is there a “tutorial” on how to book only the international part on business class? Or do you basically book each part individually? I’m flying to Australia in May and it’s looking like 75k points round trip in just economy and 125k in business. I’ll likely have about 100k points to spend after the Christmas Holidays.

    Thanks

  7. Pingback: 5 Things I Wish I Knew About Miles and Points When Starting Out - Tech News

  8. Awesome review and delicious looking food. I’ll be flying out to Australia in a few days from Hawaii on Hawaiian Airlines and returning with Quantas and Hawaiian using AA miles. Spending a week in Brisbane and Sydney.