While most people spend Black Friday running around department stores trying to score a killer deal on a new TV, I spend the day searching airline websites for flight deals. This year’s black Friday sales were a bit disappointing, but one fare in particular stood out. Specifically, Cathay Pacific’s 60% off sale.
On Black Friday Cathay Pacific was offering 60% of all fares. While there were some attractive business class and economy fares, the premium economy fares really peaked my interest. So, on Black Friday I booked Cathay Pacific Premium Economy from Chicago to Hong Kong for just $1,100. That same fare today costs approximately $2,175!
Why I Booked Cathay Pacific Premium Economy
While I wasn’t dying to fly Cathay Pacific Premium Economy, I did think this flight represented an incredible value. That value of the flight is from the number of American Airlines AAdvantage Elite Qualifying Dollars (EQD) and Elite Qualifying Miles (EQM) I’ll earn.
As you can see from the above chart, Premium Economy flights on Cathay Pacific earn AAdvantage EQD, EQM and award miles based on the distance flown. Chicago to Hong Kong to Los Angeles (the flight I booked) covers a distance of 15,000 miles. As I bought an “R” fare class from Cathay I’ll earn 3,000 EQD and 22,500 EQM. That’s nearly 25% of the annual EQD and EQM I need to qualify for Executive Platinum. Not too bad for just $1,100.
Additionally, I’ll earn AAdvantage award miles again based on the distance flown. I’ll also earn a 120% elite status bonus because I maintain AAdvantage Executive Platinum status. In this case, I’ll earn about 33,000 AAdvantage award miles. I value AA miles at $0.015/mile so I’m essentially receiving a $500 rebate on this flight. This rebate drops the total cost of this trip to just $600 if you buy in to this form of mileage accounting.
Things I Hope To Review During This Trip
For starters, I’m of course going to review the Cathay Pacific Premium Economy flights. Upon arrival in Hong Kong I also hope to shortly visit the Cathay Pacific Arrivals lounge before heading into the city.
As I head back to the United States I hope to get to the airport early to visit several lounges. For starters I hope to revisit both The Pier and The Wing First Class lounges, but also explore the business class portion of each lounge. Additionally, I hope to stop by both The Bridge and The Cabin which are both Cathay Pacific Business Class lounges.
While I realize that’s already a long list of lounges I want to visit in Hong Kong, I also want to try to squeeze in the Qantas Hong Kong lounge. I should be able to access the lounge thanks to my OneWorld Emerald status, but I’m not sure that I’ll have access since I’m flying with Cathay Pacific. More on that to come.
Lastly, I also really hope to squeeze two lounge reviews into my long layover at Los Angeles International (LAX). I’m going to try my best to access the Qantas First Class lounge at LAX and also the OneWorld Business Class lounge. I’ve visited the OneWorld Business Class lounge before, but it was well before I started blogging regularly. The last time I visited the OneWorld Business Class lounge was on the return leg of an international connection. The lounge agent let me into the lounge, but hinted that I may or may not actually have access. I’ve read similar stories regarding the Qantas First Class lounge, but the last I read I should have access to this lounge since I’m transiting after an international flight.
I’m so utterly excited about this trip I’m literally counting down the days. I’ve spent a few hours in Hong Kong before, but wasn’t able to leave the airport. Also, during that layover, the fog was so intense that I couldn’t even see the city as we departed. This time around I have the privilege of spending nearly two full days in Hong Kong. I also just booked the Ritz Carlton Hong Kong so I’m extremely excited to stay at that property.
This trip is how I hope all of my future travels work out. I not only scored a great deal to earn a ton of AAdvantage Elite Qualification Dollars and Miles, but I also get to actually spend time in a city to explore. I realize two days is a very short amount of time to stay in a city given the length of the flights to get there, but it’s how I love to travel.
Be sure to check back in shortly after the New Year for my Hong Kong trip report. I hope to post all of my reviews much more quickly than I have with my Qatar Airways mileage run.