June 20, 2015

Brothers in Asia: Planning & Booking

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

Booking this trip was actually more difficult than expected.  Finding availability from the west coast to Asia over the weekend proved to be difficult.  I was able to find availability on Monday so we decided to spend the weekend in San Diego and Los Angeles visiting family before taking off for Hong Kong Monday morning.


We needed an overnight at LAX and I originally booked the Hilton LAX for around $150 AI.  I checked last week and found the Sheraton Gateway LAX (stayed here in 2013) was selling for $130 AI.  We'll spend Sunday night there before heading to LAX early Monday morning.

Bangkok is a challenging hotel city given the extremely low cost (comparatively speaking) of luxury hotels.  It typically doesn't make sense to redeem points given the price and this trip was no exception.  I booked an Executive Deluxe room at the Le Meridien (also stayed here in 2012) for $150 USD per night.  The rate includes breakfast and evening cocktails/appetizers which made the rate even better.  

Le Meridien Bangkok Lobby

In Hong Kong, I booked the Conrad for 80,000 points per night.  As a HHonors Gold member, we should receive access to the executive lounge (with complimentary breakfast) which is supposed to be one of the best in the system.  Given that cash rates were selling for $500USD+ I got a great value for the last of my Hilton Honors points (at one point last year, I had over 700,000).

Total Hotel Costs:  240,000 HHonors Points and $430


I've become a huge Cathay Pacific fan so I was excited to grab two first class seats on Cathay's morning service from LAX to Hong Kong.  We'll then continue on Cathay's regional business class service to Bangkok after a few hours relaxing in one of Cathay's first class lounges.  At 67,500 American Advantage miles and $68 in taxes and fees for each ticket, this is one of the best mileage redemptions out there.  I was able to find space using the British Airways website.  Once I found space, I called AA to book the ticket.

Cathay All Day

While not the best redemption in the world, I'm sitting on a ton of United miles so decided to redeem 35,000 United miles (and $21) each to fly Thai's 747 first class service to Hong Kong.  Cash tickets go for about $650 (on Thai, Cathay, and Emirates) which is a great deal but still would have cost us a lot of money for a really short flight.  Booking online was really simple and I had plenty of miles in my account for both of us.

I'm really excited about our flights home.  For 130,000 United miles each (and $42 in taxes) we confirmed Air India's 787 Dreamliner service from Hong Kong to Seoul Incheon.  I don't know anyone that's flown Air India so I'm looking forward to what should be a unique experience.  In Seoul, we'll connect to Asiana's flagship A380 first class service to LAX.  The product is similar to the 777 which we flew last year.  I was able to book both of us online using a combination of miles from my account and Emily's.

I booked my positioning flights (to San Diego and home from LAX) on United for $350 in cash.

Total Fight Costs:  465,000 American/United miles and $612 in taxes and fees


For about $1,000 and 700,000 points and miles, I was able to put together a week long trip to Bangkok and Hong Kong.  That's 6 total hotel nights, 30 hours of first class flying, and another 8 hours of business class flying for two people.  We're off on Monday - follow along as we head to Asia!

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