A few weeks back Qatar Airways sold some incredible business class fares. I jumped on the opportunity and purchases two of them without really considering a major factor. In order to take the trips I’d have to get to Vietnam. The cheap business class fares originated in Vietnam. I considered this when I booked my second trip by booking a second trip departing the day my first trip concluded in Vietnam. However, I hadn’t fully considered how I’d actually get to Vietnam to start this whole, crazy, process. When I booked this excursion nearly two months ago I hadn’t really given this oversight much thought. I guess I just figured that it would sort itself of. Well it hasn’t and now I have just over a month until my trip and I still don’t have a flight across the Pacific.
Use Miles To Get To Vietnam?
Using miles to get over to Vietnam is near the top of my list of options. Specifically, I’m considering using 80,000 United miles to fly some Star Alliance carrier over there. At face value it appears Asiana business class is the best way to accomplish this. There’s currently plenty of availability and I would get to fly the Asiana A380 and 747-4. Getting there this way allows me to review two different Asiana business class hard products and slew of airline lounges along the way. Another added bonus (and the reason it’s near the top of my list) is that my step-brother and his girlfriend will be on the flight. By stroke of luck they are both flying to Hong Kong on the same day that I need to head to Vietnam. I just hope they’re ok if I third wheel!
The issue I have with the above option is the value. Asiana only charges $2,200 for a one-way business class ticket. By using 80,000 miles I’m only getting about $0.03 of value per mile. If I’m going to use miles I’d like to get at least $0.05 of value per mile used. Since I’m not coming close to that with the Asiana business class flights I may end up simply paying for a round trip economy ticket instead.
The other issue with using miles to get to Vietnam is that I’d have to pay for a return flight eventually. One-way flight from Vietnam back to the US currently cost $450 or so. If I’m already an additional $450 out-of-pocket why not just pay for an economy positioning round trip flight?
Pay For An Economy Round Trip Ticket?
Another viable option to get to Vietnam is to simply pay for a coach flight. This option isn’t the most glamorous, but at the moment it’s the most cost-effective. With this option I’d simply purchase a $550 United flight to/from Vietnam. I’d then credit the 17,000+ miles to the Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer program.
Although this option seems as though it’s the most logical, I worry about flying transpacific in coach. I’m not sure exactly how difficult this trip will be on my physical and mental health so I want rest as I’m going into it. I’m worried that if I don’t sleep on the way to Vietnam I’ll be miserable starting out. I want to get the most out of this entire journey. When I flew to Germany and back in a single day I found it hard to enjoy my return flight. I don’t want to experience that for this trip.
Fly Delta’s New A350?
My third and final option involves using miles to get to Vietnam, as mentioned above, and paying for a flight home. The flight I’m looking to book is from Tokyo to Detroit on Delta’s new A350. Delta is the first US carrier to take delivery of the A350 and it’d be exciting to review the experience early. This option costs nearly $600 however. For that same price I could save my miles and book a round trip.
I’m also considering this option because it’d most likely be my last flight as a Delta Medallion Gold Elite. I’ve had Gold status since late 2016 and it expires in Jan 2018. I think I’d be fun to take an international Delta flight with mid-tier elite status to review that experience.
I really hope you weren’t expecting an answer right now. If you were I definitely just let you down. Basically as the departure date to my ridiculous Qatar Airlines Mileage Runs draws nearer I find myself wondering why I’m doing this. There are several things I still need to figure out (Visa, Lodging, etc.) that I’ve been putting off. With just over a month to go I’m going to try to nail everything down this weekend. Tomorrow and Sunday are planning days and hopefully by Monday I’ll have all my flights booked related to this trip.
I can’t tell you how nervous/excited I am about all this. I’m partially nervous that I’ll be exhausted the entire trip and won’t enjoy it. On the other hand I find myself dreaming about what type of champagne I’ll drink over the Atlantic. I also find myself trying to pick between a Ritz-Carlton or Four Seasons in Doha. Clearly at the end of the day this trip will be incredible, I just need to figure a few things out first.
Featured Image Courtesy of Asiana