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March 21, 2017 / oneworld82

A trip to China

Collecting miles is awesome. In the USA, as long as you have a good job and good credit it’s oh-so-easy to collect millions of miles (literally) in months – and I am not even exaggerating. Thanks to miles I have flown some of the best first class products in the World, but one airline still missing from my portfolio was Singapore Airlines. I had tried many times to fly them before – and I even went close to once – but for one reason or another my plans never quite fit well with SQ availability and so my miles kept sitting in my KrisFlyer account. That is, until I got an email saying that my miles would expire in a few months.

That was the key driver to start planning a nice vacation around my mileage bank – something I have carefully tried to avoid in the past. But hey, Singapore Airlines fly to Asia, and while I have visited the continent extensively it had been a while since I have had been to mainland China. As I was supposed to be in Europe the week of November 8th for work – and I as knew that SQ has great Suites availability from Zurich to Singapore – I quickly checked online and, score!, a seat on that flight – connecting to Hong Kong – was available. I booked it 11 months ahead of time.

Of course, plans changed, and my week in Europe got cancelled a few months after. Trying to avoid a positioning flight to ZRH from DFW,  I frantically checked for flights from the US which – funny enough – would cost the same number of miles. I stumble upon good availability on IAH-DME-SIN, and so I rebooked myself on that route leaving Texas on Black Friday; but guess what? The route was moved now to go via MAN, which would cause a misconnect in Singapore. After a call to the Singapore call center in Singapore, in a few days I was rebooked – free of charge – to a very nice JFK-FRA-SIN-HKG, all in Suites class and all aboard the A380. Score!

Figuring out the return flight was somewhat easier. I had booked a pre-devaluation flight on Cathay Pacific First Class to Milan and then on to London on BA Club Europe – I could always make a reason for a quick work trip to London after all.

Now the most difficult part was: where should my wife and I go? End of November is a tricky time for visiting Asia: too cold up North, too rainy down South East. Yet, it looked like we found a sweet spot: Southern China. Hong Kong weather looked wonderful (low 70s), I was intrigued by Guangzhou (read: food), and Hainan was close enough to allow us to spend 4-5 days relaxing by the beach during the driest time of the year. Sounds quite good to me.

Convincing my wife that China would actually be a relaxing and fun trip wasn’t the easiest task, but some (hefty) concessions (“we can only travel once next year” and “I need a new expensive bag” type of promises) did it and so, off we go to China!

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