~HK$5600 fares to Manchester/Zurich/London on Cathay Pacific’s new (and old) routes

Earlier this year I wrote about Cathay Pacific offering flights to Zurich. While it’s a great offering, I didn’t think Economy was necessarily that much better than what you’d get on Swiss anyway (business is a different story).

Zurich1

However, the route to Zurich and the route to Manchester seems to be selling at HK$5640 in Economy (and it’s fair, as 777-300ERs on Cathay have quite a good cabin product).

It’s worth noting, though, that only certain dates get this fare, but as they revolve around the Easter period (you can find the dates here), it’s a great deal to take advantage of. (Please take note – even I muddled myself up just now – that these procedures are one-way.)

Continue reading ~HK$5600 fares to Manchester/Zurich/London on Cathay Pacific’s new (and old) routes

The most rewarding travel…isn’t for you guys

You know how much I love writing trip reports. I’ve written just two (not counting the one I’m writing for Jason, of course), but I’ve used a lot of effort in both.

I had a little family dilemma (don’t worry, everyone’s fine) last night, so to keep things short, the only technology I’ll be bringing this trip is my camera. Hell, I want to spend some time to make up for the argument last night with my parents, and blogging daily isn’t gonna help.

So, this blog will be quiet from the day I fly (Saturday) to next Thursday (when I come back). Safe travels, and hope everyone’s fine with this.

I will, though, be putting up a post about my overall experience. A trip report (like those now) will come soon after that, after I get Jason’s trip report done (which will take a while with my six day down time).

I’ll still try to post whenever possible today or tomorrow though, and maybe write up some posts for autoposting, too.

5 best ways to earn your Asia Miles in July/August – Hotels

As we get into the middle of the season, I’d better share these details fast. I figured I’d start making Asia Miles guides (apart from booking flights…duh) soon, and actually I don’t get this stuff from experience, I just rehash it from the Asia Miles site (but compiled into a post that’s easier to read).

Asia Miles do expire, so I’ll compile a post about using them soon – but you gotta earn them to use them, right?

I wanted to make this a guide about the five best ways to earn your points across the board, but that would take too long, so I’d focus on hotels. (Hell, there are more than 50 ways to earn points this summer.)

I value AsiaMiles at 8 cents per mile, so these are ways how I can do justice of the value.

5 best promotions for earning your Asia Miles this period

1. Earn quadruple Asia Miles at any Shangri-La property for 4 consecutive nights or more

This is the best promotions get. While hotels like the Shangri-La Singapore can be outdated, hotels like the Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort and Shangri-La Far Eastern Plaza Tainan would be the perfect combo to this deal. For a four-night stay, you earn 2,000 Asia Miles (you earn 500, 1,000 and 1,500 miles for a one-night, two-night and three-night stay respectively), so I’d call this a steal. Asia Mile’s website promotes that you can stay at newer hotels like the Shangri-La Lhasa and the Shangri-La at the Shard London, and the website is right – they are really good ways to spend a little cash and earn 2,000 Asia Miles. (In other words, it’s a discount of HK$160 – not much, but way more than what you’d get after the promotion ends.)

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Earn 2,000 Asia Miles for a four-night-plus at the Shangri-La China World Summit Wing Beijing

This deal dies on August 31st.

Continue reading 5 best ways to earn your Asia Miles in July/August – Hotels

Review: OneWorld Extravaganza – CX 401 Taipei Taoyuan to Hong Kong 777-300ER Business Class

Introduction
W Taipei
CX 401 TPE – HKG 77W J
CX 251 HKG – LHR 77W W
Sofitel London Heathrow
BA 572 LHR – MXP 319 Y
Hotel Villa Franceschi Venice
The Style Florence
St. Regis Rome
Le Anfore Lounge Rome
CX 292 FCO – HKG 343 J

Comfort 5/5 Service 4/5 Amenities 5/5 Little things 4/5 Meals 4/5 Overall 4/5

Again, this is by my friend Jason, who I must thank for entertaining you. He landed in London Heathrow Terminal 3 at 13:45 HKT, but that report will come later since it has 120 pictures and I want to keep this report spread out as it’s kind of “live” as it happens. This, along with the W Taipei installment will also be kind of picture lacking, so I apologise in advance for giving him the photo “shopping” list too late. I’ll take on the challenge again of sharing purely his thoughts in my words…


Our flight was originally scheduled on an Airbus A340-300, so I decided to skip the shell seats while possible and upgrade myself with Asia Miles into Premium Economy. However, fortunately for most (including me, stay tuned), the flight was subbed by a 777-300ER…

Booking a Taipei to Hong Kong Premium Economy flight

Unlike the Hong Kong to Singapore route, the Taipei to Hong Kong route in Premium Economy is only marginally more than Economy. Not a big deal if you’re on an A330 or 777-300ER, but certainly a big deal if you’re on an A340 or 747-400, which the prices still stay the same.

A Premium Economy seat for the sub-2 hour flight costs one person HK$4,112.

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Cathay Pacific Premium Economy Class Booking Fare Details

You get 551 Asia Miles for taking a Premium Economy flight on the route.

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Cathay Pacific Premium Economy Class Booking Mileage Accrual

Continue reading Review: OneWorld Extravaganza – CX 401 Taipei Taoyuan to Hong Kong 777-300ER Business Class

I lost 37.5% of Asia Miles to…grocery shopping points

My aunt had 19,000+ miles that were going to waste by July 31st (this is the thing I hate about Asia Miles – they expire), so we decided to convert those into MoneyBack points that she could use on grocery shopping. With a little help from me, she did so, converting her miles into 47,500 MoneyBack points. The conversion from Asia Miles to MoneyBack points (eligible for use at Park N’Shop, Watsons, taste and other grocery stores) is 1 Asia Mile:2.5 MoneyBack points, so 19,000 miles made 47,500 MoneyBack points.

I made a suggestion that my aunt convert her MoneyBack points back into Asia Miles, which she unhesitatingly agreed to. I converted 40,000 MoneyBack points into 10,000 Asia Miles, then checked how much the remainder (7500 MoneyBack points) translated to using the 4:1 system. It made 1875 Asia Miles. I realized a problem immediately. While you can get 2.5 MoneyBack points with 1 Asia Mile, the other way round the conversion is 4 MoneyBack points:1 Asia Mile.

Continue reading I lost 37.5% of Asia Miles to…grocery shopping points

Father of MH 17 passenger writes message to Putin “thanking” him for murdering his child

While not really related to aviation, I found this really touching (and interesting, and mildly aviation related, of course).


A father of three beloved passengers on their way to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam on MH 17 on July 17th wrote a message to Putin and published it publicly on Facebook.

Thank you very much mister Putin, leaders of the separatists or the Ukraine government!

For murdering my loved and only child, Elsemiek de Borst!
She was 17 years old, 5th “gymnasium” student at the “Segbroek College” in Den Haag.
And she was on her way to her holiday in Malaysia together with her little brother, her mom (my ex-wife) and her stepfather.

Elsemiek would have done her final school exams next year, together with her best friend Julia and Marina, she did so good in school!
After that she wanted to go to the “Technical University Delft” to study engineering, she was looking forward to it!

But suddenly she is not here anymore! She has been shot out of the sky, in an unknown country, where there is a war going on!

Aforementioned misters, I hope you’re proud to have shot her, amongst other, young life and future.
And that you will be able to look at yourself in the mirror tomorrow morning.

I hope you will receive this message, maybe translated in English (what you as a intelligent gentleman could read just fine)

Thanks again!

Regards, Elsemieks father Hans de Borst from Monster, The Netherlands, whose life is ruined!!

PS mister Putin, I hope that your intense conversation with our prime-minster Rutte opened your eyes!
I know you are impressed by this and I would find it impressive if you took the initiative to guard the crash-sight with the Russian military, so the Dutch investigators can do their job.
Thanks in advance.

Continue reading Father of MH 17 passenger writes message to Putin “thanking” him for murdering his child

The least pretentious W service anywhere?

I had dinner at the Sing Yin restaurant with family at W Hong Kong last night. After signing up for a Hong Kong W dining coupon, every restaurant at W Hong Kong, Taipei, Guangzhou, Sentosa Cove and a few other properties is 75% off, so I’m basically just trying to make up for the HK$2200 that I paid for my yearly fee for the card. (Actually, I’ve already saved $1868.5 and I have to renew my card next May, so I’m set for now.)

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Ah, the big homey sign…

I enjoyed a stay at the W Retreat Bali Seminyak back in 2012. Everything was excellent except the service, which didn’t have the genuine “Bali” feel and was pretentious (I’m Starwood Platinum and I had to force them to upgrade to a Marvellous Suite – which they were still selling – by tweeting to SPG, since I was Starwood Platinum). The service throughout the whole hotel was a little pretentious, as we had to make them do most of the things that they are allowed to do for guests (such as ask if we could bring alcoholic drinks down from WOOBar) that they’re not obviously supposed to do (like give us a room – they did that).

Continue reading The least pretentious W service anywhere?