How To Use Your Bonus AAdvantage Miles From Hong Kong

For the next couple of days, American Airlines is offering a 120,000-mile bonus for every 150,000 miles that you buy from their website (with smaller bonuses for smaller increments). If you have an AAdvantage account over 30 days old you’re eligible to purchase, but the bonus reduces every day after that (I’m not actually sure what they’re on about, since the website suggests the bonus is “reduced every day for the first 12 days”, but the bonus has stayed at 120,000 miles all along). This represents a value of 1.77 American cents (HK$0.14) per mile, which is pretty good (it reduces the value of a 150,000-mile roundtrip to Europe to US$2,660, or HK$20,800).

I’m sure most of you have already taken advantage of this offer, so that’s not the point of this post. Instead I want to point out some really nice redemptions that you can make with your extra miles (now that the promotion is almost over, and I’m sure those of you who usually take advantage of these deals have already done so).

Fly QSuites to Europe for the value of HK$20,800, or fly twice if you already have a bunch of miles at hand

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Review: Royal Brunei A320neo Economy Class Hong Kong to Brunei

In November 2018 I had commitments in Bandar Seri Begawan, and also headed off to a jungle resort in Ulu Temburong National Park, a national park in Brunei. This was booked as part of my fourth and final trip with school – you can check out my reports in previous years of my trips to Myanmar, Fujian, and Yunnan here. Once again, my parents funded this trip, and I’ll reiterate once again that my goal in life is to be able to use the tactics I learn in this industry to give my parents such experiences in the future, for pennies on the dollar.

Royal Brunei Airbus A320neo Brunei Airport

With that in mind, I was booked a HK$3,800 roundtrip economy class ticket on Royal Brunei, which operates the only nonstop flight between Hong Kong and Bandar Seri Begawan. I was thrilled to see that I’d be flying their new A320neo, which I was excited to review – I quickly did a little research, and found out that Royal Brunei had installed PTVs on their A320neos, which isn’t usually the case in economy class on narrowbody aircraft in Southeast Asia. For your reference, business class starts selling from HK$6,900 roundtrip on this route.

Here’s my review of the product, which will work a little differently from the other reviews I’ve written in the past.

Continue reading Review: Royal Brunei A320neo Economy Class Hong Kong to Brunei”

Royal Brunei A320neo Economy Class: Better Than What You’d Expect

Hello from Bandar Seri Begawan! Today I had the opportunity to fly from Hong Kong to Bandar Seri Begawan on Royal Brunei. The flight was operated by one of the airline’s brand new A320neos. I was especially excited about this flight because I hadn’t heard much about Royal Brunei’s A320neos prior to booking myself onto the flight, but was intrigued by the cabin photos that I searched up.

Royal Brunei Airbus A320neo Hong Kong Airport

After searching up the cabin photos, my expectations of Royal Brunei’s A320 heightened. I’m glad to say that those heightened expectations were met. While Royal Brunei doesn’t have the world’s most luxurious narrowbody products, this is a great way to spend 3-4 hours.

Continue reading “Royal Brunei A320neo Economy Class: Better Than What You’d Expect”

NEXT UP: Royal Brunei’s A320neo

I’m in Hong Kong, having spent the last three months on the ground. The last two months have been a PITA – while I’m closer to university life and the prospect of flying between Europe and Asia continually than ever before, it sure isn’t easy to get there, and I’m sorry for the lack of posts in the meantime.

I’ve gotten endless support from a multitude of friends and fans. One of these friends you guys may know is Josh Cahill, who’s one of the most dedicated aviation YouTubers out there; while I’ve continued to get overloaded on all fronts, Josh has been behind me, giving me a plethora of ideas about how I can keep this blog at its best with the schedule that I operate on. The least I could do is give him a little public gratitude, so if you have free time on your hands, check out his video trip reports on YouTube (while I’ve been stuck on the ground for the last three months, I don’t think Josh’s spent any more than three days on the ground throughout the past few months, so a lot of terrific content is being generated on his channel every week).

I’m excited to announce that I’ll finally be off the ground later this week. I’ll be headed to Bandar Seri Begawan for a few days on Royal Brunei.

Royal Brunei Airbus A320 Hong Kong Airport

Continue reading “NEXT UP: Royal Brunei’s A320neo”

5 Fifth-Freedom Flights From Hong Kong I’d Like To Try

Sometimes airlines find profit in flying a plane to a certain destination via another, so to fulfil two low-demand destinations. These flights were instrumental to the economic viability of longhaul flights prior to the 80s, since planes didn’t have the range to fly ultra-longhaul. Nowadays, with profitable aircraft such as the A350 or 787, there’s much less need for fifth-freedom flights – which makes them all the more fun when you actually get to fly them.

Fifth-freedom flights these days are normally run when there’s insufficient demand for a flight to be run to a single destination, so airlines “tag” the flight onwards to sell the fifth-freedom segment as well (for example, Egyptair can’t justify the demand to operate a direct flight between Cairo to Hong Kong, so they route their twice-weekly flight via Bangkok to generate revenue between Bangkok and Hong Kong as well). Other airlines operate “novelty” fifth-freedom flights, where they’ve sustained a fifth-freedom flight for years and are unwilling to give it up despite the fact that a direct flight may be more viable. Emirates is a good example of that (continue reading to find out more).

Thai Airways’ flight between Hong Kong and Seoul allows the airline to compete on the Hong Kong to Seoul segment (this isn’t one of the more interesting fifth freedom routes out of Hong Kong in my opinion – I’d much rather fly Korean Air or Asiana business class, which is usually reasonably priced)

Believe it or not, I haven’t actually had the chance to fly any fifth-freedom routes. The closest I’ve gone to flying one is Singapore Airlines’ flight between Singapore and San Francisco via Hong Kong – however, I flew the Singapore to Hong Kong segment, whereas the Hong Kong to San Francisco segment would’ve been the fifth-freedom flight. So I thought I’d list a few of the fifth-freedom flights I’d like to try in the coming years.

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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”

Shenzhen Airlines Will Launch Flights Between Shenzhen and London

I’m a frequenter between Hong Kong and London, and plan to find the best premium economy product between Hong Kong and London. When I created that goal, I wouldn’t have imagined that I’d fly Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class anytime soon, but now that I have, I’m also keen to fly British Airways’ business class product, so I can compare and contrast the business class products flying between Hong Kong and London as well.

One city that I’m also fine with originating from is Shenzhen. It is quite aways from Hong Kong – it’s a 90-minute, HK$100 bus ride from Sheung Wan, nowhere as convenient as the 25-minute Airport Express to Hong Kong Airport – and customs isn’t the most pleasant (they’re much more thorough with checking your belongings, e.g. if your portable charger doesn’t clearly list its capacity, you won’t be allowed to take it onboard). However, the airport experience is quite pleasant, and the terminal is absolutely stunning – and most importantly, the prices out of Shenzhen are usually cheaper, as it’s less of a premium market compared to Hong Kong.

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Austrian Will Stop Flying To Hong Kong

In 2016, Austrian launched a direct, five-times-weekly flight from Hong Kong to Vienna. This was the fourth route flown between Hong Kong and Europe by the Lufthansa Group, adding to Lufthansa’s daily flight each between Hong Kong to Munich and Frankfurt, and Swiss’ daily flight between Hong Kong and Zurich. Austrian’s actually the only of the three airlines I haven’t flown, though I’ve heard that they have a great product, with a decent hard product and superb catering.

Austrian Boeing 777

On the route, Austrian flew a decent staggered business class seat (similar to the one I’d experienced on Swiss), a premium economy seat similar to Lufthansa’s, as well as an economy cabin featuring a 3-4-3 configuration. When booking connecting flights to secondary cities in Europe, Austrian’s prices were usually (but not always) lower than what Lufthansa and Swiss offered. I actually listed their business class product as one of the ones I wanted to try most, due to the good things I’ve heard about their catering in business class.

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5 Outstanding Business Class Products I Really Want To Try

A couple of weeks ago I shared the 5 business class products that I’d like to try because I believed they’d underwhelm. Over the years I’ve had the chance to try some amazing business class products, and I’m booked on a couple in the near future that I believe will be equally great. I thought it’d be fun to talk about some airlines that I’d like to try to provide some variety for my reviews (and also point out ways in which the passenger experience could be improved, since I’ve been on my fair share of business class products).

That said, there are some products that I’d really like to try because I believe, from what I’ve heard, that they’re industry leading. Right now, as arrogant as I believe the airline can be, the best business class product I’ve taken is probably Qatar Airways’ (they have a great dine-on-demand menu, the food is good, the seat is excellent, the bedding is good, the CEO is a tourist attraction, and…UGH!). I’m looking forward to trying a few business class products that I’ve read impressive reviews of that I’d like to try in the near future.

Qatar Airways Boeing 787 Business Class

As I delve deeper into the game of miles and points I’d like to have a few “goal products” that I can try and review, to test if they’re really as good as I’ve heard they are. Most of these are relatively attainable, so hopefully I’ll have the chance to snag some cheap business class fares, or use miles and points to book myself, and my family/friends in these products in the future.

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SAS Will Now Fly From Hong Kong To Copenhagen

I’ve always wanted to try SAS, which is a Swedish airline operating hubs out of Stockholm, Oslo, and Copenhagen. They have a solid business class hard product (with a seat similar to Swiss’ business class product), and they offer free WiFi to their business class and premium economy passengers. While free WiFi for all passengers may cause bandwidth issues (leading to extremely slow WiFi), it’s always a nice gesture when an airline offers free WiFi to their premium passengers, especially when some of these passengers have paid 4-5 times the price of an economy seat just to experience a better product.

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SAS launched a route from Stockholm to Hong Kong on their A330 in 2015, but from October 28, 2018, SAS will move their Hong Kong flight from Stockholm to Copenhagen. Passengers booked on flights beyond then will be rebooked to connect through Copenhagen instead of Stockholm.

Continue reading “SAS Will Now Fly From Hong Kong To Copenhagen”