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Little Evil

Long Haul Business Class for under $2K (Long Post)

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Luv2Phuket
1 hour ago, Little Evil said:

Their rates are indeed terrible. My vested interest is just because I had some stranded miles that were then padded when I complained about a fairly serious problem with a paid itinerary and they kicked me 15k for the trouble. All in all, these miles brought the requirement down to what I would consider competitive levels, so between the credit card bonus and an Amex transfer, it made sense. I would otherwise not use this program for anything other than upgrades from paid PE to J.

How are their rates for short haul, like HKG-BKK?

I have a convention this fall in Tokyo, so looking at various programs/ways to snag a side trip from there to BKK on miles (my flight to Tokyo will be paid and in biz class).  

I think I'm better off checking Star Alliance (ANA, Thai) and oneworld carriers (JAL), as Tokyo-BKK isn't exactly short haul at 5+ hours.

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skink

I saw Korean Air mentioned a few times on the last couple pages. I never got around to trying them and booked an F award BKK-ICN-JFK (before they ditched Chase) that leaves soon. Any advice for them? So far I heard to request PJs one size larger than normal. 

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Luv2Phuket

I have enjoyed Korean when I flew them.

As noted, pajamas were too small...and I asked for the biggest size they had! 555

If you like Korean food - like me - try the bibimbap if they have it. REALLY tasty, IIRC

I assume your connection is to another Korean Air flight. If not, be aware that the 2 Terminals at ICN are not remotely close to each other. About a 15+ minute bus ride (+ time to find and possibly wait for the bus).


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Little Evil
19 hours ago, Luv2Phuket said:

How are their rates for short haul, like HKG-BKK?

I have a convention this fall in Tokyo, so looking at various programs/ways to snag a side trip from there to BKK on miles (my flight to Tokyo will be paid and in biz class).  

I think I'm better off checking Star Alliance (ANA, Thai) and oneworld carriers (JAL), as Tokyo-BKK isn't exactly short haul at 5+ hours.

They use a mile/kilometer based chart like Avios. Those tend to suck, but might have some pockets of decent value. HKG to BKK would fall into "Short" distance of 751-2,750 miles, so 25k J and 40K F one way, but could be as low as 10k if you can swing Y for that short trip.

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Little Evil
5 minutes ago, Luv2Phuket said:

I have enjoyed Korean when I flew them.

As noted, pajamas were too small...and I asked for the biggest size they had! 555

If you like Korean food - like me - try the bibimbap if they have it. REALLY tasty, IIRC

I assume your connection is to another Korean Air flight. If not, be aware that the 2 Terminals at ICN are not remotely close to each other. About a 15+ minute bus ride (+ time to find and possibly wait for the bus).


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

I'm short and skinny, but did notice that my regular size felt like a lycra body suit. There was this larger guy, maybe Korean....man, I felt bad for him. He was probably wearing the largest size and he looked like someone who grew out of their clothes over night. Pants where like 4" above his ankles and they were so tight that you could unfortunately make out all his man parts whenever he started talking around the cabin before take-off. I both laughed out loud and then wanted to tear my eyeballs out at the same time. 

Bibimbap was a real treat in the air. I'm kind of jaded in these things, but was super excited about trying that out. It did not disappoint. I asked the FA about the order of preparation once I was served. I think she misunderstood and took it upon herself to make the plate for me. I felt like an entitled ass. I think KE does fall a little behind CX, JAL, and ANA when it comes to English.

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Luv2Phuket
2 hours ago, Little Evil said:

They use a mile/kilometer based chart like Avios. Those tend to suck, but might have some pockets of decent value. HKG to BKK would fall into "Short" distance of 751-2,750 miles, so 25k J and 40K F one way, but could be as low as 10k if you can swing Y for that short trip.

Did some snooping today (because it's more interesting than the work I need to get done! 555)

Tokyo to BKK falls outside of any "cheap" distance-based charts. 

Here is what I found for RT awards:
 - Avios: 75,000 Avios miles + about $185 for RT biz class (50,000 + the same basic taxes for Premium Economy)
 - United: 90,000 miles RT in biz class + $58 in taxes (lowest taxes, but horrendous required miles)
 - Aeroplan: 80,000 miles + $243 in taxes (highest taxes)
 - Singapore: 86,000 miles + $72 in taxes (and it 's the only option I checked that is not non-stop)
 - ANA: 60,000 miles + about $180 in taxes for business class (a very viable option; MR and SPG transfer partner)
 - Asia Miles was 100,000 for business class....didn't even bother to check the taxes!  555
 - Alaska - 50,000 miles + a little over $83 in taxes for RT biz on JAL (the winner....although those same 50,000 miles would get me from LAX to BKK in biz!)

On almost all, Tokyo to BKK RT was about the same mile cost as a one way from LAX to BKK.  Tough to swallow that one, although my search for RT biz fares came back at around $2500.  Ouch!

Looking over these options, Alaska is the obvious first choice, and that gives me a reason to start paying attention to their next miles sale.  With their top end bonus offer, Alaska miles can usually be acquired for 1.97 cents each, so the 50,000 miles would only cost me $985 - less than half of the best fare I could find.  I just have to get over the "I could do a one way award from LAX to BKK in biz class for that!" mentality!  5555

ANA is nice option at 60,000 miles, but, oddly, I may lean to Avios over them, even though it costs 15,000 miles more.  Taxes are about the same, but I currently have almost 65,000 Avios miles, so I could save my precious AMEX MR and SPG/Marriott points for other transfers. 

Along those lines, although the taxes suck ass, the 50,000 Avios miles for premium economy may be the cheapest miles option for me - no need to transfer or buy any miles and it would clear out a chunk of some miles that are just sitting there.  Also, since I just got my Asean Business Travel Card, I could breeze through the better immigration lines even though I am not in business class.

Ironically, BOTH Alaska and Avios awards would be on JAL....which makes me wonder WHY I would pay the same miles -- and MORE taxes -- to fly PE over Biz?  5555   

Hell, maybe the correct answer is to do one-way using Avios and the other using Alaska?  That would clear out some of my Avios, while also preserving some of my Alaska.

....and people wonder why I am not more productive at work during the day!  555555

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skink

Did you check Lifemiles? 

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skink

 I thought I'd checked NRT-BKK in the past and it was 50k r/t in J. Just tried a few dates and it showed 72k + around $70 in taxes in J and 100k in F. Only directs were Thai and ANA. Not a great choice if you wanted to avoid using Amex MR points. Seems like a few times a year that Lifemiles go on sale for around 1.375 cents per mile. If you've never had it, the Banco Popular Avianca card is another option (maybe 60k - $150 AF not waived).

Edited by skink
Fix different font sizes

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Ronniecage

Emirates cancelled my first class ticket with. No warning ..... a mistake fare ( first class RT KL- Dubai ......... waiting for my refund from orbitz ...... I was scheduled to depart today ..... thankfully I didn’t book any to and from flights to position myself in kuala Lampur !!!........ oh well.... 

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Luv2Phuket
10 hours ago, Ronniecage said:

Emirates cancelled my first class ticket with. No warning ..... a mistake fare ( first class RT KL- Dubai ......... waiting for my refund from orbitz ...... I was scheduled to depart today ..... thankfully I didn’t book any to and from flights to position myself in kuala Lampur !!!........ oh well.... 

That's the big risk with mistake fares.  More and more carriers are going ahead an honoring them, but I guess Emirates is not on that list.


My latest dilemma - my waitlist on an SQ award flight into BKK for my February trip just cleared, but not sure I want to -- or even CAN -- claim it.

Many issues/problems:
 - I would have to cancel and redeposit the United miles that I am using for my current award.  That's gonna run me $200 (I think) - a minor inconvenience if not for the other problems listed below
 - I loaded up my SQ account and booked SQ RT LAX-BKK for this fall, with a planned 2-night layover in Singapore.  A big part of this waitlist flight was my desire to spend a night in Singapore (which also will cost me another $100 fee on this itinerary), but that's now kinda moot since I already HAVE a trip to Singapore planned
 - because I cleared out my SQ miles for the RT flight this fall, I also would need to transfer ANOTHER 88,000 AMEX MR, Citi TY or Chase UR - I don't even know if they would hit my account in time to claim the waitlisted flights, and I certainly don;t want to risk them arriving too late for use
 - finally, the SQ itinerary has me leaving LA a day earlier -- Wednesday night instead of late Thursday night

As much as it pains me to pass up SQ for flights on ANA and Thai that use slightly more miles (but only 2000) and that have me with a long layover in Tokyo, I think I am going to have to let this one pass me by.....

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Luv2Phuket

Has anybody looked into using EVA's (poorly named) InfinityMiles program for award travel?

I read on blogs that they have bad redemption rates, but I just looked at their chart, and, if I'm reading it correctly, they are 75,000 for OW biz class from LAX to Asia. 

I ran a test booking, and, while the process confused the Hell out of me (think they use a waitlist system like SQ, but they don't TELL you upfront it's just a waitlist), it priced out at 75,000 EVA miles.

As far as I can tell, 75,000 each way is a pretty damn good rate these days -- United is typically, 90,000; SQ is bumping theirs in a few weeks to 95,000; Korean is 75,000 (although first at 95,000 is their "bargain"); AA is only 70,000.  Alaska is the clear winner at 50,000 for Cathay or JAL, but the others are worse than (or, in the case of AA, comparable to) EVA....ASSUMING  I am reading it correctly, of course!  5555


HUGE downside: the ONLY transfer partner that I can find is Citi TY -- EVA does not transfer from Marriott/SPG.  Bummer, as I keep clearing out my Citi TY points because they expire within a few months after closing an account.

Something to keep in mind if I see a nice Citi bonus offer, though....

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bgtp
3 hours ago, Luv2Phuket said:

Has anybody looked into using EVA's (poorly named) InfinityMiles program for award travel?

I read on blogs that they have bad redemption rates, but I just looked at their chart, and, if I'm reading it correctly, they are 75,000 for OW biz class from LAX to Asia. 

I ran a test booking, and, while the process confused the Hell out of me (think they use a waitlist system like SQ, but they don't TELL you upfront it's just a waitlist), it priced out at 75,000 EVA miles.

As far as I can tell, 75,000 each way is a pretty damn good rate these days -- United is typically, 90,000; SQ is bumping theirs in a few weeks to 95,000; Korean is 75,000 (although first at 95,000 is their "bargain"); AA is only 70,000.  Alaska is the clear winner at 50,000 for Cathay or JAL, but the others are worse than (or, in the case of AA, comparable to) EVA....ASSUMING  I am reading it correctly, of course!  5555


HUGE downside: the ONLY transfer partner that I can find is Citi TY -- EVA does not transfer from Marriott/SPG.  Bummer, as I keep clearing out my Citi TY points because they expire within a few months after closing an account.

Something to keep in mind if I see a nice Citi bonus offer, though....

Doesn't look like a good program for me. Coming from the east coast, it looks like it's 80K each way and that requires leaving from an EVA gateway city. If you need another flight, on United for example, to get to/from an EVA gateway, then it's 97.5K each way (or buy your own positioning flight). At least when using United or AA awards, the positioning flight is included and it doesn't matter what part of the USA you're flying from. Of course, folks flying out of LAX don't have these issues.

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Luv2Phuket
11 hours ago, bgtp said:

Doesn't look like a good program for me. Coming from the east coast, it looks like it's 80K each way and that requires leaving from an EVA gateway city. If you need another flight, on United for example, to get to/from an EVA gateway, then it's 97.5K each way (or buy your own positioning flight). At least when using United or AA awards, the positioning flight is included and it doesn't matter what part of the USA you're flying from. Of course, folks flying out of LAX don't have these issues.

That would make the lack of people advocating it make much more sense

I am in LA and love their business class product, so it may make sense for me at some juncture (like if I ever have a boatload of Citi TY points!)

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HimBadMan
On 11/01/2019 at 15:06, Luv2Phuket said:

That's the big risk with mistake fares.  More and more carriers are going ahead an honoring them, but I guess Emirates is not on that list.


My latest dilemma - my waitlist on an SQ award flight into BKK for my February trip just cleared, but not sure I want to -- or even CAN -- claim it.

Many issues/problems:
 - I would have to cancel and redeposit the United miles that I am using for my current award.  That's gonna run me $200 (I think) - a minor inconvenience if not for the other problems listed below
 - I loaded up my SQ account and booked SQ RT LAX-BKK for this fall, with a planned 2-night layover in Singapore.  A big part of this waitlist flight was my desire to spend a night in Singapore (which also will cost me another $100 fee on this itinerary), but that's now kinda moot since I already HAVE a trip to Singapore planned
 - because I cleared out my SQ miles for the RT flight this fall, I also would need to transfer ANOTHER 88,000 AMEX MR, Citi TY or Chase UR - I don't even know if they would hit my account in time to claim the waitlisted flights, and I certainly don;t want to risk them arriving too late for use
 - finally, the SQ itinerary has me leaving LA a day earlier -- Wednesday night instead of late Thursday night

As much as it pains me to pass up SQ for flights on ANA and Thai that use slightly more miles (but only 2000) and that have me with a long layover in Tokyo, I think I am going to have to let this one pass me by.....

I'd waitlisted SQ for my flight from LAX to BKK in June..  wanted to use some UR miles (just got 80k from ink proffered and 60k to open a Sapphire checking account).   But SQ just told me that if my waitlist isnt cleared by the 21st, when the award chart changes I will have to deposit more miles.  That'a total BS

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Luv2Phuket
2 hours ago, HimBadMan said:

I'd waitlisted SQ for my flight from LAX to BKK in June..  wanted to use some UR miles (just got 80k from ink proffered and 60k to open a Sapphire checking account).   But SQ just told me that if my waitlist isnt cleared by the 21st, when the award chart changes I will have to deposit more miles.  That'a total BS

That sucks!

The other big change SQ made to KrisFlyer was closing the waitlist 14 days pre-flight.  They claim it was to benefit frequent flyers (because we now won't be waiting until last minute for waitlist to clear), but I think that's crap -- I'd much rather have up until the last minute and make my OWN choice.

I'm wondering if EVA opens up close to the flight dates?  I keep reading in blogs about "good" availability, but I never find shit on them via United's search function.  Although I am passing on the waitlisted SQ flight, I will keep checking and would jump at the chance to switch my ANA-Thai itinerary to EVA through TPE.  I love EVA's service, they typically have a shorter layover (I'm looking at 5 hours) & it's a much shorter 2nd leg flight into BKK.

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HimBadMan
16 hours ago, Luv2Phuket said:

That sucks!

The other big change SQ made to KrisFlyer was closing the waitlist 14 days pre-flight.  They claim it was to benefit frequent flyers (because we now won't be waiting until last minute for waitlist to clear), but I think that's crap -- I'd much rather have up until the last minute and make my OWN choice.

I'm wondering if EVA opens up close to the flight dates?  I keep reading in blogs about "good" availability, but I never find shit on them via United's search function.  Although I am passing on the waitlisted SQ flight, I will keep checking and would jump at the chance to switch my ANA-Thai itinerary to EVA through TPE.  I love EVA's service, they typically have a shorter layover (I'm looking at 5 hours) & it's a much shorter 2nd leg flight into BKK.

Agree, I love EVA  only flew EVA biz with them once, pre AA and US Airways merger, so used 120K points for RT with US Airways.  Since then, always looked for a way to book them again.  This year I told myself that I will be an airline free agent, no longer chasing status.    So will follow closely to see how u faired with booking EVA biz..

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skink
20 hours ago, Luv2Phuket said:

....I'm wondering if EVA opens up close to the flight dates?  I keep reading in blogs about "good" availability, but I never find shit on them via United's search function....

I usually book well in advance and EVA award availability using United miles seems to come and go. Some years I see a lot and others almost none. When they first joined Star Alliance they had lots of seats available. United's search isn't nearly as good as it used to be, but you might be able to tweak their advance search by entering TPE as a preferred connection (I usually list PVG and PEK as connections to avoid). However, I believe you are LAX based and I'm usually searching several gateways. It wouldn't be as convenient but I guess you could also check SFO, SEA and YVR.

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HimBadMan

@Luv2PhuketOff Topic a bit- But still travel related- This year, I will be experiencing Songkran for the 1st time to knock it off bucket list and to see if I am a lover or hater of this Thai Holiday,  and arrive Pattaya Friday morning the 12th and leave Sunday the 21st-  I ready that the 19th is the grand daddy of all days...  Anyhow, I play on going to HK the morning of the 15th, and arriving back in Pattaya the night of the 17th-     If I read correctly, traffic should not be too crazy as long as I dont arrive Pattaya on entering or leaving Pattaya the 18th or 19th, Correct?

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skink
14 hours ago, HimBadMan said:

Agree, I love EVA  only flew EVA biz with them once, pre AA and US Airways merger, so used 120K points for RT with US Airways....

I miss US Airways. Especially the endless credit cards they'd give you and their "geographically challenged" phone agents that would manually price awards. Would just have to feed them your first stop in North Asia and then say you want to continue North to Bangkok and not have to pay the extra mileage to SE Asia.

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Luv2Phuket
15 hours ago, HimBadMan said:

@Luv2PhuketOff Topic a bit- But still travel related- This year, I will be experiencing Songkran for the 1st time to knock it off bucket list and to see if I am a lover or hater of this Thai Holiday,  and arrive Pattaya Friday morning the 12th and leave Sunday the 21st-  I ready that the 19th is the grand daddy of all days...  Anyhow, I play on going to HK the morning of the 15th, and arriving back in Pattaya the night of the 17th-     If I read correctly, traffic should not be too crazy as long as I dont arrive Pattaya on entering or leaving Pattaya the 18th or 19th, Correct?

I have zero personal experience with Songkran - just what I have read or videos on YouTube or PA.

If you use Nam's taxi service, I would email her and ask, but the 17th and 21st sound safe to me.

Songkran certainly does not seem like something I would enjoy, BUT I am not a big drinker and I don't like getting soaked (unless we're talking a TG who is a squirter! 555).  That said, if I ever went, I think my goal would be to stay somewhere like the Hilton, which has Central Festival attached to it, allowing me to get out of the hotel without going outside!  Avani and the Grand Centre Point attached to Terminal 21 would fall into that category, as well.

Speaking of, has anyone seen any feedback on/reviews of the Grand Centre Point? I may need to look into the GCP Rewards program....

 

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Luv2Phuket
41 minutes ago, Luv2Phuket said:


Speaking of, has anyone seen any feedback on/reviews of the Grand Centre Point? I may need to look into the GCP Rewards program....
 

Just read some TripAdvisor reviews, and they were NOT promising for mongers. 

The primary complaints were: (1) overcrowded pool area that is over run with kids; (2) kids freakin' everywhere; (3) large, rude crowds at pool and in restaurants (people sitting at your table when you get up to go get more food at buffet, etc. - have had this happen at Hilton, but told them to get the fuck off of my table); and (4) most troublesome, NO alcohol sold.

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Ronniecage

Qatar big sale expected on the 17 .... 

 

this is year has been huge for miles ....

 

incase you didn’t know .... Oman Air biz class ( one of the best biz class in world ) is openly available from BKK to Dubai RT $960 !!!!! Incredible value !!!!!

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Luv2Phuket

So I FINALLY got a good AMEX offer!

Just got an offer on my Hilton AMEX Aspire card -- a 10X bonus on Amazon spend, up to $500 (so up to 5,000 bonus HHonors points), in addition to what I get for the spend as usual.

Unfortunately, I got it right AFTER I had placed an Amazon order AND it is not valid on Gift card purchases or reloads (I was thinking of an immediate $500 Amazon GC purchase!  LOL).

I'm looking into a color laser printer, so ordering ti via Amazon now may make a little more sense.

 

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Luv2Phuket

You know what they say about the best laid plans of mice and men.....or maybe it's the best plans to get laid?!?

Just cancelled my RT SQ award for November and waiting for the miles to get back in my account.  The trip to Tokyo that I referenced above in October is actually going to be the first week of December - 2 days before I was scheduled to come back from BKK on SQ.

Paid $75 to have the KrisFlyer miles re-deposited and I have another itinerary on hold (same basic flights in, but a day earlier) to get to BKK.  From BKK I booked business class on JAL to Tokyo, then on AA from Tokyo to LAX, as that trip is on someone else's dime.  I think (hope?) that AA's long haul has gotten much better.

Downside for me: one less day/night in Thailand and an 8:15 a.m. flight out on Sunday morning (so leaving for BKK around 4:30 a.m.!  Yikes!).  Tried to switch to the 9:55 a.m. JAL departure, and AA told me the difference in fare was over $1700 -- uh....no fucking thanks!  5555

Pluses: still get my 2 nights to see Singapore, 8 nights in Thailand (although the last one will be short!) and then 3 more nights in Tokyo (where a colleague of my colleagues owns a shit ton of massage parlors), I am now back at 88,000 KrisFlyer miles instead of 0, and I get a pretty decent chunk of AA EQMs that should help push me to Platinum status through early 2021 (at around 41,000 scheduled miles right now).


BTW, I will NEVER figure out airline pricing.  Going BKK-Tokyo and Tokyo-LAX on an AA codeshare cost less than 1/2 of what a RT LAX-Tokyo AA flight would have been.  Saw the same thing when I went to Kiev -- LAX-London-Kiev was about $2500 cheaper than the EXACT same LAX-London flights without the Kiev leg.

 

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Luv2Phuket

JFC!  It's funny that I lock in plans to far in advance, because the invariably get changed!

Today's dilemma: my LLT sent me a Line saying she needs to go to Bangkok the last weekend of my trip - "can we stay there, baby?"

It actually worked out even better for me -- moved my Ambassador free weekend night booking back a week (rate about 600 baht cheaper); I am now able to cash out my annual Marriott free night on the night I arrive in Bangkok, and I could move a Hilton free night from Saturday to the preceding Sunday.

Now I just need her to tell me if I am coming BACK to Pattaya (again) or just staying on Bangkok until I leave on Tuesday....sigh....

 

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