June 14, 2015

Brothers in Asia: Introduction

Planning & Booking
Sheraton Gateway LAX
Cathay Pacific 777-300 ER First Class Los Angeles to Hong Kong
The Wing Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge
Cathay Pacific A330 Business Class Hong Kong to Bangkok
Le Meridien Bangkok
Thai Airways First Class Lounge & Spa
Thai Airways 747-400 First Class Bangkok to Hong Kong
Conrad Hong Kong
Air India 787-8 Business Class Hong Kong to Seoul
Asiana A380 First Class Seoul to Los Angeles

I have one more post to write about our trip to Europe which I will try to complete this week.  Next weekend, I'm mixing it up travel companion wise and taking my brother Jonathan (who lives in San Diego) to Asia for the week.  He turned 30 late last year and has never flow international first class or been to Asia and we both figured this would be a good time to check both of his list.  Emily and I have now flown 11 international first class segments together - it is going to be fun to show someone else the ropes.

There are so many places to see in Asia it is sometimes hard to decide where to go.  I wanted to head to cities that I had been to previously but also places that I considered my favorites.  So naturally Bangkok and Hong Kong fir the bill.  Once we had destinations picked out, I set about finding award flights for both of us.  With enough miles to go roundtrip on either Star Alliance or OneWorld carriers, we had plenty of flexibility.  But it was actually tricky to find an outbound flight leaving on Sunday from LAX to Asia so we settled on a Monday morning outbound.  That will give us a couple of days in Bangkok and 3 days in Hong Kong.

Our routing courtesy of the Great Circle Mapper

This actually worked out great as I will get a couple of days in San Diego and LA visiting family before overnighting in LA and leaving the next morning.  I was able to secure a couple of first class seats on Cathay Pacific's direct service from LAX to Hong Kong.  A great first experience for my brother as Cathay's first class is one of my favorite products.  We'll also make sure to check out the Qantas OneWorld First Class lounge at LAX which is supposed to be spectacular.

After our flight from LAX, we have a few hours to clean up and chill at The Wing.  Cathay's new first class lounge (The Pier) is slated to open prior to our departure so I hope to check that out as well.  After a quick hop to Bangkok, we'll start our adventure at the Le Meridien Bangkok.  Emily and I stayed here during our honeymoon and loved the hotel.  I'm excited to see what's changed over the past few years.

The bar at The Wing Hong Kong

Getting back to Hong Kong was hard.  Well it was easy but there are lots of fun ways to fly.  We could have paid cash (~$650 each) to fly Emirates first class and shower at 35,000 feet.  But I decided to forego the cash, use miles, and fly Thai's 747 first class service which will get us an hour long massage in the Royal Orchid Spa prior to departure.

In Hong Kong, I've previously stayed at the W and Grand Hyatt and wanted to check out something different.  So we have three nights booked at the Conrad Hong Kong.

After exploring all that Hong Kong has to offer, we'll head home on Air India (can't wait for this one) to Seoul followed by Asiana's A380 suites service to LAX.  I'm really excited to fly Asiana again - our last trip was awesome.  It will be Jonathan's first time on the A380 (also first time on the 747) which should be fun for both of us.

I am really looking forward to this trip - will post the Planning & Booking segment prior to our departure.  Thanks for following along!!

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