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Redemption Help: New to DC : o/w award flight HKG-BKK

Redemption Help: New to DC : o/w award flight HKG-BKK

Old Jan 7, 09, 9:05 am
  #1  
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New to DC : o/w award flight HKG-BKK

I fly BMI occassionally, have their credit card and have a small amount of miles. I was intitially planning on saving these miles for a couple of return flights to Europe.

However, I'm going to South East Asia in October with my g/f and one of the internal flights we're looking at taking is from HKG to BKK.

The flight with AirAsia is the cheapest (150 for 2 one way) compared to Thai/Cathay who are all c. 300 one way each and not much cheaper booking a return and not using the return leg.

AirAsia have one flight a day whilst Thai have a number of flights which would suit us much better. I had a quick look at the redemption chart and just wanted to make sure I was reading it correctly.

From HKG-BKK would be 15,000 plus tax per person for a one-way economy ticket and to book I would need to call the Diamond Club? I've checked availability using the ANA tool but can't get past the flight selecting page.
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Old Jan 7, 09, 9:27 am
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A random look shows availability excellent on all the TG flights. Business Class is also there, as indeed (on the 747 flights only) First Class.

15k miles plus tax one-way in Y. However, why not go cash and miles instead? Y is 7,500 plus £50 plus tax each. It is, after all, nearly a 3 hour flight. Taxes will be roughly £30 each looking at Expedia.

Given that Business Class is only an extra 3,750 miles and £25 each on 'cash and miles', though, I'd go for that. On the 747's and probably 777's, Thai uses its long-haul planes to fill up time during the day so you would probably get a proper long-haul sloping-flat-bed seat. In F you'd presumably get the proper bed on the 747's. Given how few extra miles you need, why go Economy? Buy the extra miles you need if necessary.

The upgrade is especially worthwhile if you don't have *A status as it would also get you lounge access in HKG, where you could easily drink your way through the extra cost of the upgrade! Have some fun, go F or J. Life is too short for 3 hours on Air Asia, especially given the modest cost of doing it properly.

Last edited by Raffles; Jan 7, 09 at 9:36 am
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Old Jan 7, 09, 9:32 am
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Originally Posted by Euan View Post
From HKG-BKK would be 15,000 plus tax per person for a one-way economy ticket and to book I would need to call the Diamond Club? I've checked availability using the ANA tool but can't get past the flight selecting page.
As for ANA, as far as we are concerned, it's 'View only' and once you have found the magic Gold Circle indicating availability, you then have to call the diamond club call centre to book your award.
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Old Jan 7, 09, 9:50 am
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Originally Posted by Oxon Flyer View Post
...and once you have found the magic Gold Circle indicating availability, you then have to call the diamond club...
OK, I'm here! You found me...
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Old Jan 7, 09, 9:53 am
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Originally Posted by Raffles View Post
Given that Business Class is only an extra 3,750 miles and £25 each on 'cash and miles', though, I'd go for that. On the 747's and probably 777's, Thai uses its long-haul planes to fill up time during the day so you would probably get a proper long-haul sloping-flat-bed seat. In F you'd presumably get the proper bed on the 747's. Given how few extra miles you need, why go Economy? Buy the extra miles you need if necessary.
The trouble with HKG-BKK on TG is that the aircraft operating the flight on any given day is totally unpredictable. What you think will be a refurbished 747/777 or a new A346 could end up as an old 747, A330 or even an A300 or 737. It's one of those routes with a high probablilty of being disappointed.

Unless I was flying that route as part of a longer award, therefore not caring too much about the short sector, for peace of mind and guaranteed cabin quality, I'd forego the award and fly business class on EK for £150.

Of course you could always extend a Z7-Z8 award to fly HKG-SIN-BKK for the same mileage and a bit more cash and have a stopover in SIN too.

Last edited by FlyingOnceMore; Jan 7, 09 at 11:10 am
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Old Jan 7, 09, 10:00 am
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Originally Posted by Oxon Flyer View Post
As for ANA, as far as we are concerned, it's 'View only' and once you have found the magic Gold Circle indicating availability, you then have to call the diamond club call centre to book your award.
Oxon Flyer, thanks for clarifying that. Wasn't sure if I was doing anything wrong.

Originally Posted by Raffles View Post
A random look shows availability excellent on all the TG flights. Business Class is also there, as indeed (on the 747 flights only) First Class.

15k miles plus tax one-way in Y. However, why not go cash and miles instead? Y is 7,500 plus £50 plus tax each. It is, after all, nearly a 3 hour flight. Taxes will be roughly £30 each looking at Expedia.

Given that Business Class is only an extra 3,750 miles and £25 each on 'cash and miles', though, I'd go for that. On the 747's and probably 777's, Thai uses its long-haul planes to fill up time during the day so you would probably get a proper long-haul sloping-flat-bed seat. In F you'd presumably get the proper bed on the 747's. Given how few extra miles you need, why go Economy? Buy the extra miles you need if necessary.

The upgrade is especially worthwhile if you don't have *A status as it would also get you lounge access in HKG, where you could easily drink your way through the extra cost of the upgrade! Have some fun, go F or J. Life is too short for 3 hours on Air Asia, especially given the modest cost of doing it properly.
Raffles - thank you so much for that post. It hadn't even cross my mind to fly Business or First. I've taken a quick look and on the 11/12 October First is unavailable but Business Class is free and I suspect that's definitely what I'd go for. If First becomes available I'd probably go for that and by the additional 3,000 miles I need.

Will keep an eye out for availability as I definitely think this is the best option... better flight times as well with Thai than AirAsia.

Cheers guys.

Last edited by Euan; Jan 7, 09 at 10:32 am
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Old Jan 7, 09, 10:01 am
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TG's route planning is a little unpredictable right now. They canned half of their HKG-BKK schedule a month ago, and then reinstated it a few days later when they realised what an almighty stuff up they had made. You could book a seat and then find your flight cancelled, especially as you are looking so far out.

TG have no idea how the rest of winter 08 is going to shape up let alone summer or winter 09, so route cuts & reinstatements are still likely.

FOM is right that this route suffers from regular equipment swaps too, I personally wouldn't waste the miles on it. If you book F and then get hit with a swap, you may find yourself on a 2 class service in J.

If you can get J on EK for £150, it seems like good value for a 3 hour flight.
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Old Jan 7, 09, 10:05 am
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Originally Posted by FlyingOnceMore View Post
Unless I was flying that route as part of a longer award, therefore not caring too much about the short sector, for peace of mind and guaranteed cabin quality, I'd forego the award and fly business class on EK for 150.
How do you get that fare with EK?

Originally Posted by FlyingOnceMore View Post
Of course you could always extend a Z7-Z8 award to fly BKK-SIN-HKG for the same mileage and a bit more cash and have a stopover in SIN too.
Interesting thought.

Maybe it would help to provide a bit more information about our trip. We arrive and leave from BKK (with BA). We're interesting in DPS, KUL and HKG. I don't mind AirAsia for the other flights but the flight from HKG back to BKK is at a crap time hence my thoughts of using BMI miles.
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Old Jan 7, 09, 10:14 am
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The EK flights are now £285 each in J - they have really kicked up their prices in the last 12 months. And it arrives in HKG after midnight.

Book Thai J on miles. Even if your exact flight is cancelled or retimed, they will simply move you to the next one. Even the 'old' TG J seat - which I've had on internal flights in Thailand - is a big fat seat in itself, a typical 1980's style long-haul J seat. 100x better than an Air Asia Y seat on a short-haul plane. Plus proper food, drinks etc and lounge access.

Last edited by Raffles; Jan 7, 09 at 10:19 am
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Old Jan 7, 09, 10:27 am
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Originally Posted by Raffles View Post
The EK flights are now 285 each in J - they have really kicked up their prices in the last 12 months. And it arrives in HKG after midnight.
Yep that's what I got the price to be. The AirAsia flight arrives that sort of time as well.

Originally Posted by Raffles View Post
Book Thai J on miles. Even if your exact flight is cancelled or retimed, they will simply move you to the next one. Even the 'old' TG J seat - which I've had on internal flights in Thailand - is a big fat seat in itself, a typical 1980's style long-haul J seat. 100x better than an Air Asia Y seat on a short-haul plane. Plus proper food, drinks etc and lounge access.
That's the plan. To be honest I'm not bothered what type of plane/configuration it is for J - the seat will be better than in Y for a comparable cost.

I'm now also looking at the cost of a one-way J from BKK-DPS with Thai which I understand (as both BKK/DPS are in Zone 7) should be 7,500 miles + 52.50 plus tax per person one-way in Business Class.
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Old Jan 7, 09, 10:28 am
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Euan - thanks for your feedback.

As a result, I have updated the ANA tool guide to reflect that it is only for research usage. Hopefully that will help to clarify it for future readers of the guide.
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Old Jan 7, 09, 10:50 am
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Originally Posted by Euan View Post
I'm now also looking at the cost of a one-way J from BKK-DPS with Thai which I understand (as both BKK/DPS are in Zone 7) should be 7,500 miles + 52.50 plus tax per person one-way in Business Class.
... and now for the good news.... You could tag on the BKK-DPS flight as part of the same redemption as your HKG-BKK booking by making a single HKG-DPS booking, with a stop-over in BKK. In other words, book HKG-BKK-DPS as a Z8-Z7 award, for no extra miles. There would be additional TG taxes/surcharges but no extra miles & cash....
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Old Jan 7, 09, 10:51 am
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Originally Posted by Euan View Post
I'm now also looking at the cost of a one-way J from BKK-DPS with Thai which I understand (as both BKK/DPS are in Zone 7) should be 7,500 miles + 52.50 plus tax per person one-way in Business Class.
Sorry, could someone please confirm that my calculation's correct for BKK-DPS o/w in J.

It would be much appreciated
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Old Jan 7, 09, 11:37 am
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Seems correct to me. But see Corpt above!
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Old Jan 7, 09, 11:43 am
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Euan,

why not do 2 one ways:

BKK-DPS(stopover)-SIN-NRT for 11,250 points in J
NRT-HKG(stopover)-BKK for another 11,250 points in J

You can almost make a tour of SE Asia.

I'd say Tokyo beats KUL any time.
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