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I’m currently building a trip to Asia this fall/winter with my buddy, Dave. If you’re a regular reader of the blog, you know the two of us like to take crazy weekend trips ( Shanghai ), but this time we’re going to go for a bit longer. We’ve been circling a few different areas, and are currently thinking it’d be a good time to hit up Korea, work in some time in the Philipines, and angle back through Hong Kong. In all Miles’ crazy routing ideas, there is one thing Dave is insistent upon…Cathay First. He has good taste, nay, the man is a connoisseur of the finer things in life. Caviar please and keep the bubbles flowing! As you can see below, the last time we didn’t have fun at all. 🙂
Cathay First sounds like an amazing idea, but I’d also like to try out a new product in the opposite direction. Dave is looking to mainly use a combination of Amex and Chase points, but I’m earning quite a bit of Alaska miles this year in organic travel and would rather use those, if possible. So we need something that could be achieved with both currencies. The solution? A combination of Korean Business Class and Cathay First.
Korean Airlines can’t be booked as a one way on its own when using Alaska Miles, but can in combination with a partner, roundtrip.
I’m sure you heard that Korean Air redemptions must be roundtrip when using Alaska miles. While this is completely true, you can actually book Korean Air as a part of a roundtrip itinerary ( including a partner) and it’ll be priced at 1/2 the roundtrip price. However, if I were to book this as a roundtrip, and then drop the partner return, the roundtrip price would be charged.
My Plan is to book JFK to ICN to Manila on Korean’s 747-8 upstairs and a return in Cathay business: MNL-HKG-JFK. With the plan to move into Cathay First when avail opens.
Korean has an outstanding business class featuring an Apex Suite. While I’ve never flown in an Apex Suite, the reviews are stellar. I’d love to compare it, and think the 747-8 would be a really cool way to give it a go, but any aircraft fitted with it would be great.
Ultimately this should price out at 52.5k for the Korean business class leg, and then between 50k and 70k for the Cathay leg. An incredible trip, and a great opportunity to use Alaska miles at a high redemption rate, and utilize Dave’s Chase and Amex points for transfers into Asia Miles and Korean.