Introduction: San Diego to Hong Kong on Asiana and United Airlines

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01. Introduction: San Diego to Hong Kong on Asiana, Air India, and United Airlines
02. United Express ERJ-175 first class San Diego to Los Angeles
03. Star Alliance First Class Lounge, LAX
04. Star Alliance Business Class Lounge, LAX
05. Asiana A380-800 first class Los Angeles to Seoul
06. Asiana A380-800 business class Seoul to Hong Kong
07. Hong Kong, day one – Tsim Tsa Tsui, the Star Ferry, and Victoria Peak
08. Hong Kong, day two – blending in
09. Hong Kong, day three – I love this city!
10. Hyatt Regency Hong Kong, Tsim Tsa Tsui
11. United Club, HKG
12. United Airlines 777-200 business class Hong Kong to Chicago
13. United Airlines 737-900 economy class Chicago to San Diego

I usually have a pretty good sense of my remaining travel plans for the year by mid summer, but it was the first week of September before I realized that I didn’t have any international travel on my plate at all for 2015. The last time I was out of the country was October of last year on our annual trip to Japan, so it’s been a while and I was definitely feeling the itch to go somewhere overseas. We decided to skip the Japan trip this year, and my wife didn’t feel like going anywhere, so that left me pretty much with anything that I wanted to do. Woo hoo! An added bonus was the fact that work happened to be really slow at the moment, so I knew that I’d easily be able to get away for a week without much of a problem.

It didn’t take long for me to decide on a destination. I’ve had a real bad hankerin’ to go back to Hong Kong for the past couple of years (it’s my favorite city in the world), and the last time I was there was way back in 2002. Yeah, it’s been a while, and I really wanted to go back to rediscover the city I fell in love with so long ago. I wasn’t totally dead-set on Hong Kong though – an important part of this trip would be to experience some new international business class cabins that I haven’t tried before (using miles, of course), but I simply told myself that it would be the first destination to check availability for before trying some others. It didn’t absolutely have to be Hong Kong.

The good news was that I didn’t have to check anything else. It turns out that Asiana had generous first class availability out of LAX (via Seoul) for just two weeks later at the lower/discounted award levels, which I never even imagined would be available. So yeah – I jumped all over that without even blinking an eye!

The options for return flights ex-Hong Kong weren’t as glamourous, but I did (somehow, some way) manage to book myself on an Air India flight between HKG and KIX. How freaking cool is that?? Yes, it would be economy class, but heck…it’s Air India! Say what you want about the airline that everyone loves to hate, but I was really looking forward to adding that one to my flight log.

Here is what I booked, which cost me only 200,000 United Mileage Plus miles (and $127.60 in taxes):

09/18/15 UA6321 first class San Diego to Los Angeles – ERJ-175
09/18/15 OZ201 first class (First Suite Class) Los Angeles to Seoul – A380-800
09/19/15 OZ745 business class Seoul to Hong Kong – A380-800
09/23/15 AI310 economy class Hong Kong to Osaka – 787-8
09/23/15 UA34 business class (BusinessFirst) Osaka to San Francisco – 787-8
09/23/15 UA1174 economy class San Francisco to San Diego – 737-800

Unfortunately, the Air India flight never happened. It was delayed 3 hours, overbooked by a lot (the previous day’s flight was cancelled), and they were aggressively rebooking passengers on other flights. I really wanted to stay on that flight, but they sent me over to the United desk since the the ticket was booked through United Airlines. I’ll go into more detail about how all that went down later (it was a massively disorganized mess), but in the end, my final itinerary liked like this:

09/18/15 UA6321 first class San Diego to Los Angeles – ERJ-175
09/18/15 OZ201 first class (First Suite Class) Los Angeles to Seoul – A380-800
09/19/15 OZ745 business class Seoul to Hong Kong – A380-800
09/23/15 UA896 business class (BusinessFirst) Hong Kong to Chicago – 777-200
09/23/15 UA1753 economy class Chicago to San Diego – 737-900

Before setting off I was very excited about this trip for many reasons, and one of them was that I would finally get my chance to fly on an A380. Actually, two A380’s. But more than anything else, I was simply looking forward to being in Hong Kong again. That was the primary focus of this trip. Not the airlines, not the first class – it was simply the fact of being in Hong Kong that made me look forward to this journey in a big way.

Are you ready to experience some Asiana long-haul premium cabins with me? Let’s do this!

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    1. AlexRG February 9, 2016
      • SANspotter February 9, 2016
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