Lucky just paid extra miles NOT to fly Cathay Pacific first class!

This situation is so crazy it warrants the third person!

I’m supposed to fly back to the US from Singapore tomorrow, and booked Singapore to Hong Kong to Chicago in Cathay Pacific first class the entire way for 67,500 American miles, which is one of the best award values out there, in my opinion.

I don’t think there’s a more consistent first class product than Cathay Pacific — the food, service, and entertainment are among the best out there, in my opinion. But I’ve reviewed Cathay Pacific extensively in the past, including here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

My goal with the blog is to continue to deliver new content, and one thing I’ve heard over and over from you guys is “Lucky, please try new products.” While I have no problem revisiting airlines, the Cathay Pacific experience really hasn’t changed over the past several years (which, with the way the industry is headed, is definitely a good thing). And while I’m sure I would have loved the in-flight experience and would have watched “The Big Bang Theory” and “Abduction” on repeat the entire way to Chicago, I realize that probably doesn’t excite you guys much (I had dinner with a friend yesterday that said “Abduction” wasn’t the best movie ever… what’s wrong with some of you?!).

So instead I did what was entirely irrational from a “value” perspective, but what will allow me to experience two new products.

I won’t be revealing the routing just yet, but here are some clues:

a) I had to book two separate awards to be able to do this
b) I’m flying two airlines I’ve flown before, though in new products I’ve yet to experience
c) The airlines are in different alliances
d) I’ll be departing on both airlines from their largest hubs

If anyone can guess the routing I’d be mighty impressed.

NOT the product I’m flying (but I felt like at least having a picture of something)

Filed Under: Awards, Travel
  1. I will have a pretzel in the Lufthansa First Class Lounge while I think about where you might be flying

  2. SIN-ICN in Singapore First (?) and then Korean Air from ICN-JFK — A380 First? I figured the fact that you paid more miles was an indication of use of SkyPesos (or rather AMEX Pts transferred to SkyMiles).

  3. @Trevor Can’t get KE F using SkyPesos (or any currency other than SkyPass miles, it seems). Also, SQ’s SIN-ICN flights don’t appear to offer a product that Lucky hasn’t flown before unless he’s aiming for a regional business class experience. (I’m assuming he’s had one of those before.) I do like the idea of KE F, since Lucky’s posted about using Ultimate Rewards points to do it.

  4. One is definately SQ First (since Lucky just let slip on flyertalk he is in the Private Room at Changi. The photo is the Old JAL First. So I would assume its JAL but possibly in JAL J?, 787 NRT BOS?

  5. I would say SQ F to AMS since 30th Apr is the only day they have F service till sometime in July. Then KLM to some gateway city in USA connecting to a DL flight back home.

  6. SIN-AMS is a 77W, so no new product there. It’s got to be suites, which means A380, no? I’m only seeing pending departures to Australia out of SIN on the A380 in the next few hours. I’m wondering if it’s not SIN-SYD/MEL with SQ in the F suites followed by KE F SYD/MEL-ICN-LAX/JFK. I’d bet on SYD, since KE’s F product from MEL is not as good as out of SYD.

  7. Not really a guess, but hoping you’ll get a chance to review Delta’s new flat bed product on both their 767 (only on 767-400s so far) and 747 fleet. Separate products so maybe two reviews..? I think you’ll have a different experience than your old cradle seat experience a year or two ago, and would be interested in your comparisons between the DL seat vs AA/UA.

  8. @DiscoPapa: I initially thought maybe something DL (777 or new 747, since I don’t think Lucky’s reviewed the 777 seats either), but the bits about departing their biggest hub are throwing me (although I guess he could be connecting in ATL to get home). Also, there’s the issue of no one-way awards on DL, so he’d have basically wound up with a dummy return ($150 to change) or booked on a partner (and paid big YQ).

  9. OK, so he says opposite direction to SYD. I’m now putting my guess on SIN-CDG on the A380 with SQ. (FRA and LHR don’t make sense to get different alliance and/or new product, unless Lucky has flown far less BA premium cabin flights than I thought.) AF F out of CDG? I know Lucky had posted about getting someone with a FB elite account to book him an AF F flight at some point.

  10. I am thinking in the same line as Ivan. SQ F awards are difficult these days unless one had BD miles (but they are long gone so unless Ben had planned this earlier, it’s not possible to fly SQ F on long haul routes).

    One route that is feasible to get on SQ F (award from partners) would probably be the SIN-CGK route. Then, from there JL flies three class flights to NRT and onwards to the US. Given that JL sometimes open up last minute F awards, I think Ben is flying SQ to CGK in F (hence, explains why he’s in the private room) and then to NRT and the US via JL F. From Ben and other FF’s perspective, SQ F award on SIN-CGK for 40K mile one-way award might be an inefficient use of mileage. Perhaps he had some Silver Kris miles, which may be more attractive to use on this short route.

  11. @brahms77: There’s more than one person booked in F on the remaining SIN-CGK flight tonight, and Ben has tweeted that he’s the only one booked in F on his flight. There’s one F seat taken on SIN-CDG. I’m thinking MR->KrisFlyer for a suite on the A380. We’ve also got to get two new products, which I don’t see happening with SIN-CGK-NRT-US on SQ/JL.

  12. But didn’t he also tweet that he’s having a possible equipment subst TO the A380… which would imply he’s not already in one?

    Are we overanalysing this? 😛

  13. We are definitely over analyzing this, in a rather creepy-stalker sort of way. The tweet about equipment issues could be that he hopes they find *another* A380 so that he’s not on some class of aircraft where he’s already experienced the product. OK, probably time to stop with the stalking and just await the announcement of what’s actually happening.

  14. @Lucky: First of all, good for you for trying to change it up — I don’t think it’s crazy at all!

    As for the new routing, I’m guessing similar to many above me:

    SIN-NRT: SQ First (*Alliance award)
    then either NRT-ORD: JL First or NRT-BOS: JL new 787 Biz (ow award)

  15. its definitely new F from ANA, since Lucky himself was overly jealous that he found award space for friend/parent over Christmas last year and said he’d do everything to try it out himself.

    SQ Suites SIN-NRT and then NRT-ORD with ANA F.

  16. I’m not 100% sure of the routing, but I’ll bet money or 100k MR points(I remember that post) that one of the airlines you’ll be flying is Malaysian Airlines.

    For the routing, since lucky doesn’t fly anything less than first class, there’s only certain routes that MH has a first class cabin. That would be KUL-SYD KUL-LHR I’m having a harder time with figuring out the routing. Am I on the right track for routing wise?

    I’ll be looking forward to the trip review on Malaysian Airlines First Class

  17. Hmm… well Lucky has practically given it away that it’s SQ ex SIN. Now I doubt the other alliance is DL/SkyTeam simply for the lack of one-way awards, so that basically means the other alliance has to be Oneworld. Now we know it’s not SYD, ruling QF out. LHR is a possibility. SQ doesn’t fly to HEL and I doubt Lucky would be swapping CX F for IB J… 😉 It could be TN ex CDG, but that’s not a ‘major hub’. And Lucky has already flown EY F before. And it’s not CX, which means it is most likely JAL, or unless it’s either Royal Jordanian or Air Berlin, but I doubt Lucky had flown either of these two airlines before.

    Do I get a medal now? 😛

  18. I can’t imagine lucky would waist 125k MR points on AF First so that idea is out for me. I’m guessing he’s the one passenger booked in First on SQ638 to NRT connecting to JL10 to ORD or JL6 to JFK in F. A few days ago you said JL F was one of your options to come home, after all.

  19. *waste

    Also, the JL 787 on NRT-BOS seems unlikely as that flight doesn’t operate tomorrow and is J0Y0 the following day.

  20. Looking at the SQ638 seatmap to NRT now, there is only one occupant in F and i think its pretty much a given now it will be JL F transpacific.
    Psst you can try ordering the foie gras burger in the private room without the burger to make an awesome entree 😉

  21. @ Ivan — LOL, I did the opposite — foie gras burger without the foie gras. Did I mess that up?

  22. @Lucky — Request for a second sampling without the bread if you have still have space 😉 Foie gras does make an excellent supper.
    If memory serves me correctly, SQ638 has only one meal service which you can choose to have after takeoff or before landing.

  23. Not to be stupid, but with the seats shown in the picture above, can you actually sit next to and talk to someone. Say for some reason I would like to have a conversation with my spouse during the course of the flight? Am we looking at each other on the diagonal and getting kinks in our necks?

  24. @Lucky And once you reveal the answer, will you also share the booking process? Cash? Miles? MR/UR? Thanks!

  25. Just kidding on GRU. Forgot about the hub thing. Considering the only ST trip report is DTW-FRA, there are no reports from RJ, and assuming you didn’t want to pay the thousands in taxes/fees from LHR for BA, its gotta be JL. I’m thinking after SIN-NRT on SQ, then NRT-ORD on JL J, then a mini MR from ORD-TPA via who knows what on UA.

  26. I have so much respect that you’re paying a premium to turn down a solid 1st class product in order to experience two other new products. It shows that you really care about the content of this blog. Mad props.

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