If you didn’t get a chance to read part one, please click on the link above.
Europe to Asia
Our next long-haul flight on our trip around the world was Europe to Asia. Originally, I had booked us on a CDG – ICN – HKG Korean Air flight in First Class. This was going to cost 80k miles + $250 per person. That’s 160k Korean Air miles and $500 in taxes/fees. I wasn’t too stoked about the crazy high surcharges, but I went ahead and placed a hold on the award seats.
I then continued my search for other possible award routes from Europe to Asia. This is when I stumbled across the Cathay Pacific CDG – HKG route. When I initially looked, there was no business class availability on the day we wanted to leave Paris.
However, much to my surprise about a week later three business seats opened up. I immediately called Alaska to book these seats using Alaska Mileage Plan miles. It ended up costing only 42,500 + $100 in taxes/fees per person (85,000 + $200 in total). That’s quite good value considering that this flight would have cost around $2,500 per person. After booking the Cathay Pacific seats, I went ahead and cancelled the award hold I had on the Korean Air flight.
For our stay in Hong Kong, I found a Holiday Inn Express on Hong Kong Island for $88 per night. I tried looking for hotels that I could use points at, but I found that most weren’t good value.
Now we had roughly 8 days in Asia. We decided we’d like to go somewhere else besides Hong Kong. Initially I was thinking Bangkok or somewhere in Vietnam, but my wife wanted to go someone tropical. Upon further research, we settled on going to Bali for four nights.
Garuda Indonesia is part of the SkyTeam alliance, which means you can use Air France or Korean Air miles to book flights. It was 20k Air France miles RT per person and 30k Korean Airline miles RT per person. Because of a transfer error on my part, I had 160k Korean Air miles sitting in my account. However, Air France would be 10k cheaper per person for the same flight. I ended up deciding to transfer points to Air France and booking Garuda flights in economy.
Initially, I was able to book a best rate guarantee for the Hilton Resort Bali for around $110 per night. However, I recently decided to try and go after Hyatt status so I re-booked our stay for the Grand Hyatt Bali on a cash and points rate. Hyatt is also running a promotion that you get 10% of your points back for stays between June – September.
First Class Back
We return from Bali to Hong Kong for a one day stopover before jumping on our Korean Air first class flights. For our one day stopover in Hong Kong, we’ll be staying at the Intercontinental Hong Kong hotel, which we were able to booking using the annual free night from our IHG credit card.
The routing for our Asia to USA flight is: HKG – ICN – LAX. We have a ~22 hour layover in ICN to explore South Korea. I wish we had a little bit more I tried to find availability for HKG – ICN – SEA, but unfortunately it was limited. We decided we would just fly into LAX and visit our families down in Southern California.
Overall, we didn’t have too much difficulty finding first class availability on Korean Air. They release quite a few seats, which are easy to book with Korean Air miles. We were able to use miles transferred from Chase Ultimate Rewards to book these seats.This flight cost 80k Korean Air miles and $80 in surcharges per person (160k and $160 in total). These seats normally retail for around $6,600 per person.
Weekend in LA
We’ll spend a weekend in LA with our families before heading back home to Seattle. To book this final leg, we just paid cash for an Alaska flight to Seattle. This will conclude our round the world trip.