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First Award Redemptions: Away to Asia - CX J, SQ Suites, WN Y

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Old May 8, 17, 9:23 pm
  #16
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BKK to SIN in Cathay Pacific business class

CX 751
BKK -> SIN
Miles: 881 miles
Seat: 12A
A330-300

Iím going to skip ahead and plow through the remainder of my flights from this trip report so it can be complete. After a lovely 3 night stay at the Millennium Hilton on the Chao Phraya River, we were ready to move on to Singapore. The Hilton offers a complimentary river shuttle that runs to several stops along the river, but also to the Sathorn Pier, which is right next to a BTS stop, Saphan Taksin. From here we took the Skytrain to Phaya Thai, which connects to the Airport Rail Link that provides service to Suvarnabhumi Airport.

Random picture of the Airport Rail Link train.


I didnít record the exact prices, but it was only a few dollars for this combination of transport. The trains were efficient and quick, and we were arriving at the airport in almost no time.

We were flying Cathay Pacific business class and by doing so were allowed access to the premier security lane, which expedited us, although the regular security line didnít seem to move too slowly.

For those keeping track, these flights were booked using British Airways Avios that I transferred from American Express Membership Rewards. These flights were a steal at only 15,000 Avios per passenger and $22.12.

We arrived at the airport with a decent amount of time to spare, so we headed to the Cathay Pacific lounge in Concourse G, Level 3. This lounge was renovated within the last few years and was quite pleasant for getting some snacks and drinks in before our flight.









About 30 minutes before we were supposed to board we began the walk over to the gate. It took us about 10 minutes to get to the gate, then another few minutes to wind our way down to the gate level. Once we were there, I found our Airbus A330-300 waiting for us.





While perhaps not as aesthetically pleasing as the A350, this plane was going to be more than suitable for our quick jump to Singapore. Premium class passengers were invited to board first and about 30 seconds later everyone jumped up to board the plane. Fortunately there were two jet bridges, so despite everyone hopping up at the same time, we were quickly headed down the bridge for premium class passengers.

On board, the seats and environment was very similar to the 777-300ER and the A350. Although not as new as the A350, the fundamentals of the seat have remained the same for quite some time. Below are some cabin and interior shots.



















The seat lies flat, the entertainment screen works well and Cathay Pacific can get through a meal service in the time it takes a U.S. carrier to distribute peanuts. Upon boarding we were offered champagne, and not wanting to snap my streak, I accepted. I enjoyed the views as we headed out of the airport into the skies for a beautiful day of flying.









The meal service started pretty quickly after we reached 10,000 feet. I apologize because Iíve misplace the menu from my flight, but I can say that my meal consisted of a small starter salad with prawns, two pieces of garlic toast and for the main had pork with rice. For a quick meal, it served its purpose and was tasted good, although it may not have looked it. I switched to some gin and tonics, which were graciously provided by the flight attendants.







Finished the meal with a little chocolate from Haagen-Dazs.


In almost no time, we were beginning our descent into Singapore. Despite only being a few hours, there was still a full meal service with drinks, a comfortable lie-flat seat and plenty of entertainment options. For anyone looking to get around Southeast Asia, the combination of Avios and Cathay Pacific is difficult to beat.





Thanks for reading!
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Old May 10, 17, 9:52 pm
  #17
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Great TR. Thanks for sharing
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Old May 10, 17, 10:26 pm
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Originally Posted by mccluresonthemap View Post
My first trip on an A350 was amazing. Great opportunity to try a new aircraft and fly in business class. Service was top-notch and the flight was uneventful. I'll be curious to see if Cathay Pacific ever replaces any 777 routes on US to Asia flights with an A350 - I'd love to fly it again!

Thanks for reading!
Great report, just came across it! Just in case you weren't aware, but Cathay flies one of its daily YVR-HKG flights with the new A350. It's not quite the US but it still counts I'd say!
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Old May 15, 17, 7:51 pm
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Originally Posted by Madone59 View Post
Great TR. Thanks for sharing
Thank you, Madone59. Final segment is coming tonight.

Originally Posted by Smiley90 View Post
Great report, just came across it! Just in case you weren't aware, but Cathay flies one of its daily YVR-HKG flights with the new A350. It's not quite the US but it still counts I'd say!
Good to know, Smiley90. I'd happily reposition to Vancouver to fly the A350 if there was a convenient way to get there from Kansas City.
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Old May 16, 17, 12:38 pm
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Great report - I'm definitely enjoying it!
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Old May 16, 17, 9:12 pm
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SQ 26 SIN to JFK via FRA

SQ 26
SIN -> FRA -> JFK
Miles: 6,395 miles and 3,849 miles
Seat: 3D
A380-800


All good things must come to an end, but fortunately for us, the highlight of the trip would be our transportation home. While we had an awesome time in Hong Kong, Bangkok and Singapore, I have to acknowledge I was ecstatic to have the opportunity to fly Singaporeís Suites on our way back to the United States.

How I Booked It: I didnít just open up my computer, pick a date and get a pair of seats in Suites Class. After creating my Singapore Air KrisFlyer membership, I transferred points from American Expressí Membership Rewards and Citiís Thank You program. Taking into account the 15 percent discount that used to be offered by Singapore, we needed 187,000 KristFlyer miles. Singapore allows you to waitlist several flights at a time, so I waitlisted the SIN -> FRA -> JFK suites class on the day I wanted, along with the SIN -> NRT -> LAX flight. After some additional looking, I discovered that the SIN -> DME -> IAH flight was wide open. While not Suites, it would still be Singaporeís First Class and an experience that would be new to me. I ticketed two of these tickets and was excited to fly!

Two months later, I was out at a bar and received one of my favorite text messages to date: award space had opened in Suites on the SIN -> FRA -> JFK flight ON THE DAY I WANTED. I immediately phoned the call center and for the low cost of $30 had my flights changed to the new routing. I was thrilled by my luck in getting this to line up.

My advice to anyone trying to book these tickets is to plan in advance and not give up hope. Thereís always a chance waitlisted tickets will clear, even up to a day or so before departure.

A little bit of SingaporeÖ


Gardens By The Bay


Deepvali celebration in Singapore


The remains following a Singaporean hawker center meal


View from our room at the Conrad Centennial


The Conrad Centennial Singapore


Mural on Arab Street


Merlion


Raffles Hotel

Now for the flights. We stayed at the Conrad Centennial Singapore, which was a nice hotel, made even sweeter by Visaís Two for One hotel promotion last fall. Although our flight didnít leave until 11:55 pm, I wanted to arrive at the airport with plenty of time to spare so we could enjoy The Private Room and the amenities of Changi Airport. We grabbed a taxi and headed to the airport around 8 p.m.

Our taxi dropped us at the first class section of the airport, reserved especially for travelers using Suites and First Class. Upon arrival, several members of the airport staff swiftly removed our luggage and took us inside the terminal, where we presented our passports. Within a few minutes, we had our passports, boarding passes and ďgolden ticketsĒ to the Private Room.


Private Room passes

Changi Airport is an incredible place, detailed by many other people, so I wonít do it here. Singapore Airlines uses Terminal 2 and 3, but Terminal 3 is used for most long-haul departures.


Changi Airport


SilverKris Lounge

Upon presenting our boarding passes, we walked through the Business Class lounge, First Class lounge and finally found ourselves in The Private Room.











The Private Room was a great place for us to relax before our flight. We took a seat and were immediately greeted by a server who offered us our choice of drink. We both chose champagne, which arrived quickly.



Wanting to test all the available amenities, we browsed the menu of the restaurant, which is part of the lounge. Items on the menu were:





I ordered some crispy duck with rice, which for some reason isnít listed on the menu - but I know I ate it! We also selected an order of satay. Both dishes were excellent, and we were careful not to spoil our appetites for what awaited us.





Around T-90, we left the lounge and headed for the departure gate. Changi security is handled individually at the gate, and it took us about 10 minutes to get through security. Awaiting us at the gate was our chariot for the next 22 hours of flight!





Suites class was called first, and we made our way down the jet bridge to one of the grandest experiences in aviation! Once on board, we were separately escorted to our seats by a flight attendant who took our rollaboards and stowed them at our seats.







As we settled in, a flight attendant instantly appeared and offered our choice of drink. Not wanting to wait any longer, we both asked for a class of Dom Perignon. Everyoneís happy when Dom P. is being poured.



The aesthetics of the cabin are gorgeous and remind me of what glamorous rail travel used to look like. It didnít feel as if you were on a plane with 450 other passengers, but rather on a private jet with just 10 other people.

A few more cabin shots:





Once everyone else had boarded, we had an on-time departure and blasted off into the night. Although it was a late departing flight, there was still a full meal service on board. The service began with another round of drinks (more Dom, please) and warm nuts.



We both used the Book The Cook service Singapore offers and had preselected our meal. However, the menu for the flight is listed below.









Drink menu was as follows:











I started with the caviar and foie gras, along with a piece of garlic bread. (Iíll be honest - this was my first time trying caviar and foie gras. I enjoyed the caviar, but wasnít quite in love with the foie gras. My opinion on what tastes good in this category is based on no experience whatsoever.) The garlic bread, however, was excellent!



Next up was the Corn Chowder with Bacon. 6/5 rating on this one.



Steak with potatoes for the finale. Ate it so quickly I didnít capture the fact that this steak was cooked to a perfect medium temperature.



After this, I decided to turn in. Singaporeís flight attendants provide turndown service, which on their flights means you get your bed prepared. I opted to change into some shorts and a T-shirt and in the few minutes it took to do so, our two middle seats had been combined into one double bed. Simply put, this was incredible - a bed in the skies with plenty of room to stretch out!










(No, I didnít walk around the cabin barefoot. But sleeping in socks is a mortal sin to me.)

I woke up after a few hours of sleep and was instantly approached by one of the flight attendants, who asked me if I would like anything to drink. She also confirmed my breakfast that I had already selected via Book The Cook. I started with a glass of orange juice and a fruit tray.



In no time, my Belgian waffles arrived. These were delicious and are highly recommended for anyone flying Singapore!



We were soon making our descent into Frankfurt and we landed after a smooth, memorable flight from Singapore.





When you fly SQ 26, you deplane and are escorted through German security. After clearing security, you are invited to the Lufthansa Senator Lounge, which is where we headed for a brief stop. Since it was 7 a.m. and we were in Germany, I opted for a pretzel and beer, along with some plane spotting with lots of Lufthansa.









Before we knew it, we were back on board and ready for our hop across the Atlantic to New York City. Upon boarding, we received the same friendly service as before and were escorted to our seats.







Letís eat! Once again, the Cook was Booked for the main course. The appetizer for this meal was fruit and tasted quite fresh. I have no self control, so I went ahead and ordered a steak with garlic herb butter, potatoes and grilled vegetables. The steak was cooked to a perfect temperature, unlike the pucks usually served on planes. The dessert was a warm chocolate orange crepe that was delicious.









After this feast, I opted to enjoy some time watching a few movies and passing the time at 38,000 feet.







In what seems like too short of a timespan, we were descending into New York City. After landing, we asked if the cockpit would be available for a photo or two, and once everyone had deplaned, we were invited to the cockpit. The pilot and copilot were quite friendly and entertained my questions politely, which was an excellent touch.



Although I was sad to see our journey come to an end, we had just spent 22 fantastic hours in one of the premier products in the sky. Every detail of the service was impeccable, and the Singapore Airlines Suites absolutely lived up to its reputation. Didn't hurt that Dom Perignon and Krug were on pour. Between Megan and I, I think we knocked out about 5 bottles during the entire trip. Given the opportunity to fly Suites again, I would in a heartbeat, but given the future downsizing of the cabin and the new increased award rates, it seems unlikely our paths will cross again in the near future. After clearing customs at JFK and retrieving our bags, we hopped on the Airport Transporter and made our way to LaGuardia for our Southwest nonstop flight back to Kansas City. Although they are both sealed metal tubes crammed with people, the Singapore Airlines Suites route will always beat Southwest in my book!

Thanks for following along on our trip! My apologies for the delay in making this a complete report. Itís provided me a much better insight into what itís like to document a trip, and Iíve already put forward some thoughts for our next trip, which kicks off in a little more than a week as we travel to Italy on a much less exciting combination of Delta and American. Feel free to post any comments/suggestions/improvements - Iím open to it all!

Thanks for reading!
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Old May 16, 17, 10:32 pm
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Originally Posted by mccluresonthemap View Post
...
Great ending to your report! That is amazing luck with getting the suites award space. How long would you recommend for a visit to SIN? I've heard mixed responses from 2 days through a week haha.

Edit: removing quoted post. Sorry I didn't realize that quoting would make everything load twice

Last edited by eeflyer; May 18, 17 at 9:16 pm
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Old May 18, 17, 11:39 am
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Originally Posted by eeflyer View Post
Great ending to your report! That is amazing luck with getting the suites award space. How long would you recommend for a visit to SIN? I've heard mixed responses from 2 days through a week haha.
I spent 2 days in SIN and it was not enough. There is a lot to see and do if you know what you want to see and do.

mccluresonthemap: thanks for posting this TR. I also flew in CX F and SQ Suites and they were flights to remember. You should post more SIN food pics. :P
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Old May 18, 17, 9:07 pm
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Originally Posted by eeflyer View Post
Great ending to your report! That is amazing luck with getting the suites award space. How long would you recommend for a visit to SIN? I've heard mixed responses from 2 days through a week haha.
Thanks for the compliment, eeflyer. We were really lucky to get the flights on the day we wanted, and the effort paid off!

For Singapore, three days was enough for us. It's a great city to eat your way through, but can be expensive even in mid-grade restaurants. The hawker centers are the place to go for cheap food and drinks!

Originally Posted by injian View Post
I spent 2 days in SIN and it was not enough. There is a lot to see and do if you know what you want to see and do.

mccluresonthemap: thanks for posting this TR. I also flew in CX F and SQ Suites and they were flights to remember. You should post more SIN food pics. :P
Thanks for reading, injian. We were unfortunately hungrier than we were trip report-minded and gorged ourselves before proper documentation. Next time we'll do better!
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Old May 18, 17, 9:18 pm
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Originally Posted by injian View Post
I spent 2 days in SIN and it was not enough. There is a lot to see and do if you know what you want to see and do.
Originally Posted by mccluresonthemap View Post
Thanks for the compliment, eeflyer. We were really lucky to get the flights on the day we wanted, and the effort paid off!

For Singapore, three days was enough for us. It's a great city to eat your way through, but can be expensive even in mid-grade restaurants. The hawker centers are the place to go for cheap food and drinks!

Thanks to both for the advice! Seems like three/four days would work out fine. Now to get lucky on finding redemptions
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Old May 19, 17, 4:00 am
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Wonderful trip report.
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Old May 19, 17, 4:51 am
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Originally Posted by mccluresonthemap View Post
Since it was 7 a.m. and we were in Germany, I opted for a pretzel and beer, along with some plane spotting with lots of Lufthansa.
What else?
Great report, mccluresonthemap.
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Old Nov 14, 17, 8:29 pm
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Thanks for the tr. We are in the process of planning a 5 week trip to se asia. Your tr was very helpful.

Thank you,lml9905
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