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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Sampling oneworld Premium Services: Introduction



This is the first trip report that involves airlines other than Japan Airlines (JAL). It will include the following flights:
  • American Airlines Business Class Los Angeles to New York JFK
  • Japan Airlines First Class New York JFK to Tokyo Narita
  • Japan Airlines Class J Tokyo Haneda to Okinawa Naha
  • Japan Airlines Class J Okinawa Naha to Tokyo Haneda
  • Japan Airlines First Class Tokyo Narita to Jakarta
  • Cathay Pacific Airways First Class Jakarta to Hong Kong
  • Cathay Pacific Airways First Class Hong Kong to Los Angeles

The planning of this trip started about a year ago when I found out British Airways (BA) was planning to change their Executive Club program and people speculate that some big devaluation on partner award redemption is coming. Therefore I had to use up my 100K sign up bonus from Chase Visa (and I am glad that I did).

Some of you probably know that JAL First Class awards are really hard to come by, especially if you want to plan for your trip far in advance. That's why I was so surprised when I found out there were plenty of availability for both of my inbound and outbound flights on multiple dates. I even had a choice to fly out from New York JFK, one of routes with the highest premium demand, too! And of course I took the opportunity and redeemed for the JFK flight which is the longest in JAL's network. Till this day I still believe that JAL made an error and that's why I saw plenty of inventory (there were 4+ seats available for the entire week that's 10 months away :P). So I considered myself really lucky! :D

But the problem was JAL does not provide first class service between Tokyo and Hong Kong. If I want to fly on First Class all the way, I would have to fly to Jakarta (CGK), the only destination with regional First Class service in JAL's network. That's why I ended up flying on Cathay Pacific Airways (CX) on my inbound because I need to stopover in Hong Kong as part of my biannual trip.

After finalizing my redemption itinerary, all I need to do is to get a ticket on for my positioning flight from Los Angeles (LAX) to JFK. I was prepared to sit in coach and suffer for 6 hours but an extremely generous member on MilePoint offered to upgrade my flight with his upgrade certificate for FREE. So I end up with the above itinerary.

I will try to cover the check-in, lounge and inflight service on each of the flight. I know I don't have a very good track record of finishing these reports but I will try to finish them before I get lazy :) So stay tuned!



Sampling oneworld Premium Services Trip Report Index

  1. Introduction
  2. American Airlines AA32 Business Class Los Angeles to New York JFK
  3. Japan Airlines JL005 First Class New York JFK to Tokyo Narita
  4. Japan Airlines Class J Tokyo Haneda to Okinawa Naha
  5. Japan Airlines Class J Okinawa Naha to Tokyo Haneda
  6. Japan Airlines First Class Tokyo Narita to Jakarta
  7. Cathay Pacific Airways First Class Jakarta to Hong Kong
  8. Cathay Pacific Airways First Class Hong Kong to Los Angeles



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