Does anybody want to share good ways to fly in style, cheap, on International flights? I will start. We have become mileage point hounds because we find we love to fly long flights in either Business (with totally lay-flat seats) or First Class, on top-notch airlines, with very little cost. The newest way we see to make good use of Marriott points, is to take 132,000 Marriott Points each, transfer them to our Starwood SPG account for 44,000 points. Utilizing the extra 5,000 miles for each 20,000 miles transferred to the airlines, we transfer to Virgin American and end up with 54,000 Virgin Elevate miles. Since Virgin Airline miles will transfer at a rate of 1:1.3 starting Jan 9, those 54,000 will become 70,200 Alaska miles. For 70,000 miles, you can get a First Class one-way ticket from Seattle to LAX, LAX to Hong Kong, spend 4 days layover there (Alaska allows stopover on partner rewards), then go on to ICN Seoul, Korea, for 9 days. If you buy this same one way ticket from Cathay Pacific, for May 15, it costs $17,993 for just one ticket. Cathay First class is an awesome way to fly.
The reason we stay 4 days at Hong Kong and 9 days in Korea, is so we can get 3 free nights. Our Citibank Prestige Card refunds the 4th night of any reservation, but can't be on back to back stays. So we will get the 4th day free in Hong Kong, then the 4th day is refunded in Seoul, and then we have a 1 night stay in my wife's name, and then the last 4 days end up with one more refunded day. So between Hong Kong and Seoul, we have 13 days and only pay for 10 of them
We will probably just fly Economy back on Korean Airlines straight shot from ICN to SEA, non-stop for about 11 hours, and then recover for 3 days!
Which hotel in HK? Post some pics and a review. We are going and debating between the JW or the RC. I stayed at the Ren last month and really enjoyed it, but Spouse is pushing for the RC. Thinking JW would be better than RC due to executive club access. Or are you using SPG properties?
Also let us know how the flights go. Not sure how we are flying and would like to go biz class. Have never flown Virgin or Alaska which I guess are now the same airline. Was hoping to use AA miles on CP but not sure how easy those are to redeem for premium seats...
We haven't gone as far to figure out which hotel we'd stay at in Hong Kong, but in Seoul, we'd stay at the JW Marriott Dongdaemun Square again. Great hotel, wonderful location for getting around, and we were treated so wonderfully there last time.
Last time we used AA miles and flew Business on Cathy Pacific over to Korea, out of SFO. Their airport Business Lounge is wonderful, with custom cooked noodle dishes, where you order from the chef, and it is delivered fresh and hot to wherever you're sitting. Just as good as noodle dishes from a restaurant! We loved the lay-flat seats for sleeping on Cathy's business product, and the service and food on the flight was amazing!
We transferred other miles straight to Singapore Airlines for our trip home and got Business reward flights home that way. Both are equally amazing. Singapore seats were wider, but Cathay more comfortable for sitting up. Singapore was more comfortable for sleeping. We'd grab either airline in a heartbeat
tryt53, if you are considering Marriott branded hotels in HK, I will put in a good word for the Ren. It's an easy trip into the city on the Airport Express to Central, then connect to Wan Chai, and the hotel is right there across the street from the station so all you do it walk over the elevated walkway over Harbour Rd. They have a great concierge lounge and excellent service. The hotel shares a pool with the Grand Hyatt next door, and there are nice gardens between the two hotels so it's little bit of an urban oasis. But Spouse wants JW or RC next time so we'll see where we end up.