A Guide to Cathay Pacific’s Marco Polo Club

Anyone who has flown with Cathay Pacific will have no doubt heard of the Marco Polo Club. “The Club”, as it’s sometimes referred to, is Cathay Pacific’s frequent flyer program, rewarding high-flyers with elite status. Despite how well-known the Marco Polo Club itself is, people generally tend to have a limited understanding of its inner workings and often have many unanswered questions about the program. Because I’m obsessed with Cathay Pacific and basically have no life, I thought it would be a good idea to dispel some common misconceptions about the program and do a quick “guide for dummies” about the program.

img_5635Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER

Continue reading “A Guide to Cathay Pacific’s Marco Polo Club”

Review: JetBlue A320 Economy Class New York to New Orleans

In April of this year, I took a trip with my school to New Orleans. On the way there, we flew with JetBlue. While JetBlue gets a lot of attention for their phenomenal “Mint” premium product, their regular Economy product hasn’t been covered as extensively. As such, I thought it would be interesting to report back on my experience with what is considered to be one of the best Economy experiences in the United States. 


We arrived at JetBlue’s Terminal 5 at JFK around four hours before our flight. Since we were travelling in a large group, we were given a small roped off check-in area in order to streamline what would have been an undoubtedly messy process. The ground staff weren’t the friendliest but were patient enough when it came to dealing with eighty high-schoolers.

Security was a breeze and the TSA was uncharacteristically friendly. Afterwards, I grabbed some lunch and roamed the terminal with some of my friends, before heading to our boarding gate.

IMG_5252JetBlue A320 at New York JFK Airport 

When we arrived at the gate, the A320 waiting to take us to New Orleans was already waiting for us. I appreciate that JetBlue has pimped out its gate areas with plenty of power ports and comfortable seating, which makes for quite a nice change especially when compared to some of the dumpier terminals at JFK… (Terminal 7, I’m looking at you).

Continue reading Review: JetBlue A320 Economy Class New York to New Orleans”

Cathay Pacific Changes Website Regions, Pisses Off Facebook…

Cathay Pacific recently changed their website regions to reflect the Chinese government’s “One China” policy, renaming Taiwan to “Taiwan China”. This comes following orders from the Civil Aviation Administration of China, who recently sent notices to 44 global airlines to change their websites to explicitly reflect Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan and Tibet as parts of China. Airlines who did not comply would face unspecified sanctions.  Cathay Pacific, along with American Airlines, Delta and United, was one of the last airlines to make the change, doing so right before the CAAC’s deadline.

On Cathay Pacific’s website, Hong Kong is now explicitly listed as a Special Administrative Region, while Taiwan is now called “Taiwan China” (wtf?). In comparison, Cathay Pacific’s previous website menu listed Taiwan as a “region” of China but did not explicitly refer to Taiwan as a part of China. I guess that Cathay Pacific could hypothetically get away with not referring to Taiwan as “Taiwan, China”, but rather as “Taiwan China”, implying that it is not technically a part of China but rather another China…

Continue reading “Cathay Pacific Changes Website Regions, Pisses Off Facebook…”

What’s It Like To Fly Cathay Pacific’s One-Stop Service to New York?

I recently had the chance to fly on Cathay Pacific’s service from Hong Kong to Vancouver to New York. While I ordinarily would have chosen a non-stop service straight to New York or Newark, I needed to take advantage of the late departure time of the flight as well as the early morning arrival to catch a bus to my summer school.

Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER Hong Kong Airport

While we’ve extensively reviewed Cathay’s long-haul Business Class product on the Boeing 777-300ER, I thought I would only report on the Vancouver connection experience and talk a little bit about the ways in which the experience was different from taking a non-stop flight.

Continue reading “What’s It Like To Fly Cathay Pacific’s One-Stop Service to New York?”

Review: L7 Hotel Myeongdong Seoul

Last year, I took a trip to Seoul. Unfortunately, it was cut short by a last-minute family emergency. However, I was able to snap some pictures during the 3 hours inside the hotel that I had booked for our trip, the L7 Hotel Myeongdong. L7 is a trendy new brand under the massive Lotte Group. I was excited to check out the hotel and see if it all the hype was deserved. 


We made our way to the hotel using an Airport Bus service, which dropped us off one block away from the hotel. After being greeted by some staff on the first floor, we were directed to the lobby which was on the third floor where we were able to check in and given rooms despite the fact that we arrived 5 hours before the published check-in time. The overall process was efficient enough and the associates were quite friendly.

The hotel is located in Myeongdong, which is one of the main touristy areas of Seoul with plenty of great shopping and dining, so I have no complaints there.

IMG_2007L7 Hotel Myeongdong Lobby 

While my mother handled the check-in formalities, I decided to explore the gorgeous lobby area, which was quite honestly the perfect place for an Instagram photoshoot. Right behind the front desk were a couple of decorative benches.

Continue reading “Review: L7 Hotel Myeongdong Seoul”

Review: Cathay Pacific A330 Economy Class Hong Kong to Seoul – How Is Cathay’s Redeye Service?

Last summer, I flew with Cathay Pacific from Hong Kong to Seoul on their daily red-eye service and checked out their watered down “midnight service”. Cathay Pacific operates a handful of redeye flights to cities in North Asia, including Seoul, Osaka, Tokyo, etc., as well as from a few southeast Asian cities to Hong Kong, such as Singapore and Jakarta. If you’re booked on one of those flights, this is along the lines of what you’ll get.


I had checked in online, although an error message meant that I had to head to the check-in counter to collect a paper boarding pass which was quick and efficient. As it turns out, the flight was slightly overbooked and there was a chance that I would be upgraded. Afterwards, I made a beeline for The Pier, where I enjoyed a short nap in the relaxation rooms and took a quick shower.

IMG_0092Cathay Pacific The Pier Business Class Lounge Food Hall

I left the lounge at around the published boarding time and arrived at our departure gate, only to find that boarding hadn’t even started. After a lack of boarding announcements for another 30 minutes, an announcement was made that the flight would be delayed for a further 40 minutes due to mechanical issues. While I understand the reason behind the delay, the lack of communication was irritating and really annoying. The fact that the aircraft was on the ground for five hours before our flight only added insult to injury.

Continue reading Review: Cathay Pacific A330 Economy Class Hong Kong to Seoul – How Is Cathay’s Redeye Service?”

Cathay Pacific Resumes In-Town Check-In For US Flights; Introduces New Powder Restrictions

Late last year, Cathay Pacific suspended in-town check-in services for travellers heading to the United States in order to comply with new security directives implemented by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for all flights. As part of the new directives, passengers would be subject to a security interview at check-in and another one immediately prior to boarding. The new directive also meant that passengers were required to arrive earlier at the airport to complete the interview.

As of June 29 (last Friday), passengers will once again be able to use in-town check-in services when travelling to the United States. This comes as the result of a new set of DHS directives which allows all passengers to be interviewed at the boarding gate. Despite this, all passengers travelling to the United States (except on flight CX888) will be required to undergo a secondary security check at the boarding gate.

IMG_4798.jpgCathay Pacific Business Class Check-In Hong Kong Airport 

Continue reading “Cathay Pacific Resumes In-Town Check-In For US Flights; Introduces New Powder Restrictions”

Review: Finnair A350 Business Class Helsinki to Hong Kong

Introduction: Flying The Nordic Shortcut to Europe
Cathay Pacific 777 Business Class Hong Kong to Bangkok
Oriental Residence Bangkok
Finnair A350 Business Class Bangkok to Helsinki
Hilton Helsinki Airport
Finnair A321 Business Class Helsinki to Amsterdam
Hotel Des Indes The Hague
Hotel Le Royal Luxembourg
Sofitel Brussels Le Louise
Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht
British Airways Lounge Amsterdam
British Airways A321 Economy Class Amsterdam to London
My Bloomsbury London
Finnair A350 Business Class London to Helsinki
Finnair A350 Business Class Helsinki to Hong Kong


We made a beeline for the Finnair non-Schengen lounge after stepping off our flight from London. Given that the United Kingdom is part of the EU but isn’t part of the Schengen agreement, there was no need to clear immigration or security when connecting onward to our flight to Hong Kong, which was great.

IMG_1145Finnair Business Class Lounge Helsinki 

We arrived at the lounge during Finnair’s afternoon departures rush, meaning that it was absolutely jam-packed. As such, I didn’t feel comfortable taking pictures and reviewing the lounge. After failing to find a seat, we left the lounge to do some shopping. I wish Finnair would either expand seating options in their lounges, given how serious of an issue overcrowding is in Finnair’s Helsinki lounges. I don’t think I’ve ever been inside a Finnair lounge that was empty.

Continue reading Review: Finnair A350 Business Class Helsinki to Hong Kong”

Review: Finnair A350 Business Class London to Helsinki

Introduction: Flying The Nordic Shortcut to Europe
Cathay Pacific 777 Business Class Hong Kong to Bangkok
Oriental Residence Bangkok
Finnair A350 Business Class Bangkok to Helsinki
Hilton Helsinki Airport
Finnair A321 Business Class Helsinki to Amsterdam
Hotel Des Indes The Hague
Hotel Le Royal Luxembourg
Sofitel Brussels Le Louise
Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht
British Airways Lounge Amsterdam
British Airways A321 Economy Class Amsterdam to London
My Bloomsbury London
Finnair A350 Business Class London to Helsinki
Finnair A350 Business Class Helsinki to Hong Kong


Finnair operates out of London Heathrow’s Terminal 3, which is also used by American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, and Virgin Atlantic. We arrived at the airport a couple of hours before our flight and headed to Travelex’s VAT refund desk, which ended up giving Alvin’s VAT refund experience at Munich airport a run for his money, and resulted in us losing a couple hundred dollars’ worth of refunds. Anyways, I digress…

I decided to go check-in early while my mother was holed up at the VAT refund counter. For some reason, the agent refused to check all of the bags under my name and insisted that my mother had to be with me to check any of our bags.

IMG_0001Finnair London Heathrow Priority Check-In Counters 

Soon enough, my mother arrived and we were sent on our way through priority security which was a breeze. Although we had access to Cathay Pacific’s London Heathrow lounge, we were running a little tight on time so we did a bit of souvenir shopping.

Continue reading Review: Finnair A350 Business Class London to Helsinki”

Review: My Bloomsbury London (Brief Review)

Introduction: Flying The Nordic Shortcut to Europe
Cathay Pacific 777 Business Class Hong Kong to Bangkok
Oriental Residence Bangkok
Finnair A350 Business Class Bangkok to Helsinki
Hilton Helsinki Airport
Finnair A321 Business Class Helsinki to Amsterdam
Hotel Des Indes The Hague
Hotel Le Royal Luxembourg
Sofitel Brussels Le Louise
Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht
British Airways Lounge Amsterdam
British Airways A321 Economy Class Amsterdam to London
My Bloomsbury London
Finnair A350 Business Class London to Helsinki
Finnair A350 Business Class Helsinki to Hong Kong


I wasn’t planning on actually reviewing the hotel until I checked out, so I’m apologise for some missing photos. 

My Bloomsbury London is part of My Hotels, which is a small standalone chain with three locations around the London area. Bloomsbury is around a 20-minute walk from Oxford Street, within close proximity to Tottenham Court station. The surrounding area is home to Russel Square, the British Museum and the University of London, where I was attending a summer course.

We arrived at the hotel after driving from my aunt’s house on the outskirts of London. My first impression of the lobby was that it was small but intimate. The design was warm and homey. I liked the sit-down check-in desk, which contributed to the boutique feeling. We were welcomed by a friendly associate. Despite our early arrival, she was able to assign us a room.

IMG_0937My Bloomsbury London Lobby 

Continue reading Review: My Bloomsbury London (Brief Review)”