June 15-30 2013 Bali, Indonesia and Hong Kong, China
After first discovering Flyertalk in December of 2011 and subsequently having my mind blown by the information and material it was time to put the learned knowledge to work!!
We had previously planned and executed a much easier trip back in Sep 2012 using United miles, Starwood points and UR points to have a 10-day Kauai trip. I wanted to plan an even more adventurous and exotic trip. My wife loves beach and tropical destinations as do I but I love a city adventure as well. We both never have traveled outside of North America and well we had about 300,000 AA miles thanks to Citi.
So one thing you will see a lot and hear a lot of around the flyertalk forums is Cathay Pacific! After seeing numerous reports and pics that is what I wanted to do.
On Halloween 2012 the trip was “born” so to speak. I tried to book this trip around Memorial Day weekend to save a vacation day however I could not find any availability online nor on the phone thus it got pushed back to June. I asked the phone agent what was available ORD-DPS and HKG-ORD with in 2 weeks. June 15 was available on the outbound and June 30 was available on the inbound CX first class on the way there and Biz class on the way back- “DEAL”!
I then needed to find a connecting flight from DPS to HKG since I don’t get a stopover in DPS. Thus I knew Avios would be the best bet! Everyday I checked DPS to HKG sometime in the middle of the trip. After about 2 weeks Monday June 24 opened in economy for 12,500 Avios opened and was booked! So that gives us 8 days and seven nights in Bali and 7 days and 6 nights in Hong Kong.
With the flights locked down, up next were the hotel accommodations! Bali has such a vast selection of resorts and hotels its mind blowing! We love a luxury accommodation and have become somewhat hotel snobs to a small degree. My first reaction was to stick to Starwood and do some nights at the W Seminyak and some at St Regis Nua Dusa. After many months of research and looking at rates and availability the Starwood options didn’t seem appealing compared to the competition. In the end, we chose Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay for 4 nights using the buy 3 nights get one night “free” and then Four Seasons Sayan for 3 nights using the buy 2 nights get on night “free”.
Lastly the Hong Kong portion was somewhat easier with the Hilton devaluation. I had just got my Hilton Reserve card in Jan 2013 and was looking forward to staying with Hilton as a backup to Starwood until the devaluation; I was even planning on spending the $40k to acquire diamond status. We ended up using the 2 night certificates from the Hilton Reserve card at the Conrad and using the 50k points for one night and using cash and points 25k points a night plus $125 for the 4th night. Also and this decision hurt but I dumped 40k Starwood points for 2 nights at the W Hong Kong with rates at one point of $274 a night I should have jumped on them but of course they went up to $330 a night and I just didn’t want to use any more cash for this trip so there goes 40k spg points!
Lets get to the trip and the pics so we can share the experience!
CX First Class CX807: ORD-HKG
June 15th 2013
Scheduled Departure: 330pm
Actual Departure: 445pm
Seats 1A and 2A
We took the Coach USA bus from Milwaukee MKE airport to ORD international terminal 5. It is about a 1.5-hour drive with a few quick stops and costs about $50 per person round-trip.
Entering the Terminal the CX counter was pretty much right in front of you slightly to your left. We walk towards the ticketing line and a CX personal asks, “business class sir” I say no “First Class”. He says, “oh sir please step over to this line and we will get you situated right away”. I think it appeared to him I was walking into the biz class line.
We handed over our passports and I asked if our bags would be checked in all the way to DPS since we had a 13-hour overnight layover and she said yes. I also asked if we could sit in First Class on the connecting flight from HKG to DPS since my booking showed we were slated for biz class on the connecting flight. I figured maybe an equipment change to the 747 or 777 and we could sit up front however they were showing an Airbus plane and thus remained in the 2 class plane for that connection. The gentleman CX rep asked, “would we like to be escorted to security as the line at this time is long.’ “Sure” I replied thus missing the chance to get a picture of the check-in scene.
The line for the economy passengers was LONG. He escorted us past everyone right up to the separate line for 1st class security line and wished us a pleasant flight. I felt kind of strange and we got a lot of stares. We cleared security and started to walk to the lounge. We were issued passes to the SAS lounge and we had 3 plus hours to wait with the delay for the plane.
Lounge was about 1/3 full but as we got closer to departure the lounge was nearly 100% full and I was very surprised! It got to a point were my wife and I took turns leaving the lounge to walk the terminal and see if the gate area was any better. The gate area was worse than the Milwaukee county zoo on a summer Sunday!!! Wow people sitting all over the floor as there was an Air France flight to Paris in the shared gate area, one gate over.
More lounge seating
Food for Cathay Pacific passengers only!
Lounge offerings Continue reading