I have a trip to Bangkok and Koh Samui coming up in January and need some help deciding how to get back home. I’m slowly piecing together the trip bit-by-bit, and have my flight booked from Los Angeles to Bangkok but no flights beyond that.
Despite the recent devaluations of LifeMiles, they’re still pretty darn valuable…especially when flying to Asia. You simply can’t beat it for getting availability on Singapore Airlines’ Business Class. My flight to Bangkok will be LAX-NRT-SIN on the A380 in Business Class, and then SIN-BKK on a “normal” plane in Business as well. Since I booked this flight a couple of weeks before the devaluations, I got it for the equivalent of about $930 – a steal compared to regular price. I also booked a friend on the exact same flights. Again…you simply can’t beat the availability of Singapore Airlines flights with LifeMiles.
The problem is I don’t have a flight home yet. I’m trying to decide between several different options and am having trouble choosing, so I’d like to take a poll to see what you guys think would be my better option.
BKK-NRT in Business Class on Thai’s A380, then NRT-LAX on Singapore Airline’s A380 Suites/First Class. The allure here is clear – two A380′s including the Singapore Suite, which is arguably the best flight option there is.
The downside? The BKK-NRT flight will be booked using either United or LifeMiles, and either way it costs me 30K for just that flight. The Singapore Suite from NRT-LAX is another 74K Amex Membership Rewards plus a couple of hundred in taxes and the flight is less than 10 hours long. Total cost will be 104K points plus taxes of $200-$300. Yikes!
BKK-FRA in First Class on Thai’s A380, then FRA-ORD in First on United’s 777, then ORD-SNA on a standard, domestic United flight. The upside is a long flight on Thai’s A380 and, just as important, I get to experience the famed First Class ground service in Bangkok (massages and all). I can also fly into Orange County, which is a huge deal for me since I live just 10 minutes from the airport (while LAX is about an hour’s drive). It’s “only” 70K United miles on this route.
The downside here is that I’m flying much farther than I really need to by going West. There’s a third flight, and two of the three flights are on United. I’d also have to extend my stay in Bangkok an extra day to make this happen.
One potential upside is the possibility to grab a Lufthansa First Class flight direct from FRA-LAX if I’m ready to pounce 15 days out. It’s not guaranteed, but it would make for a much better flight experience and cut down on my travel time. No guarantee that I get it though.
Any number of more simple itineraries. I could do First Class BKK-PEK on Thai and PEK-LAX on Air China (hah!), Business Class on BKK-HND on Thai and HND-LAX on ANA, I could route BKK-NRT-SEA-SFO-SNA on Thai, ANA, and United in Business Class, etc. There are lots of possibilites going East or West.
The positive is that I can either get shorter travel times or fly directly into Orange County. The downside is that none of these flights are really “fun” flights. Unfortunately the NRT-SEA flight I’d take happens to fall on a day when the 787 isn’t flying, otherwise I’d consider that one very heavily.
So now I’d like to ask your opinion. If it were you, would you take Option 1, 2, or 3, or something completely different? And more importantly, why? I’m leaning more towards Option 1 at the moment, but my mind definitely isn’t set. Try to convince me!
Thanks for your opinion!