Which First Class Flights Home from Asia…help me choose

by Adam

As I mentioned in my post last week, I’ve yet to book return flights from Asia for this Saturday. It’s been sort of fun to turn this into a game and see what pops up last minute. I was hoping for some Lufthansa 747-400/A380 first space to open via their hubs in Germany to NY, but there’s been nothing yet (just the A330). I have my alerts set up and I’m checking manually as well. I’ve also been monitoring Etihad/Qatar/Emirates space for Saturday. I think things will open up as we get closer but at this point I have three different itineraries on hold and or ticketed. I have AA miles, AMEX MR points, BA avios, Chase UR points, SPG points, and UA miles at my disposal. All itineraries are first but some of the connections are business on two-cabin aircraft (CX720, NH916, TG418). Which would you select? I still think other options will open up prior to Saturday, especially at the 48 hour mark…

Remember, you can still place flights on hold using United.com. Check out Gary’s post from back in June for further details.

#1 Cathay / AA – On hold until January 16th (Cathay First but long connections in HKG and LAX)

#2 Lufthansa – On hold until January 16th (FRA F Terminal, though not the 747/A380 flights)

#3 Lufthansa / ANA – Not on Hold

#4 Thai / ANA – Not on Hold

#5 Ethopian / Thai (A380) / ANA – On hold until January 16th  (Thai F Lounge & Thai F A380 with ANA F…but 7 hour 35 minute layover in Bangkok beginning at 12:25am and tight connect in NRT) 

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AWP January 15, 2013 - 1:18 pm

LH flights get you FRA F terminal. That might be worth it even if you can’t get the 747 or A380.

Flying F x BKK gets you the Thai F lounge (iPad photo menu and made-to-order) and massage services (the hour long full-body is fantastic and peaceful). I flew F on TG 747 and A346 two weeks ago, both great products but sitting in 1A on the 747 is an experience. TG overall has great in-flight and ground service. Just remember to go online and pre-order your meal. I had lobster with my caviar.

Skip two-cabin options if you’re going to redeem points for F. Also skip US Airways as you’re not booking a r/t.

Personally I would book option 2. The BKK F lounge was very nice but I want to see a whole F terminal.

Mikey January 15, 2013 - 1:26 pm

CX 882 first class is a good one, took it last oct. never disappointed with their seats or service.

Peterson January 15, 2013 - 1:34 pm

#1 lands too late in NYC

#5 has only 55 mins connection in NRT (rather insufficient given how slow the transit security line works)

#3 and #4 are nearly identical.

I’d go with #2, even at the risk of old LH F.

Samuel January 15, 2013 - 1:41 pm

A little selfish to have three different itineraries on hold, don’t you think? It should be easy enough to choose just one.

adam January 16, 2013 - 6:16 am

@Samuel – Thanks. I don’t think one itinerary on hold in each of three different programs for 24 hours is selfish while I make a decision.

Voice of reason January 15, 2013 - 1:47 pm

Perhaps your desired options are unavailable because other people are squatting on multiple reservations like you are.

Jimmy Y. January 15, 2013 - 1:56 pm

#5 NH only releases F awards during low season. If you get to try TG’s A380 F at the same time then that’s amazing.

geo1004m January 15, 2013 - 3:15 pm

Tough one. I LOVE LH First… but in this case, Thai F on the A380 connecting to NH FC might win out.

golfingboy January 15, 2013 - 3:31 pm

5 is a no brainer. You get to enjoy 1 hour full body massage in BKK and TG’s top notch ground services (try getting on the TH KUL-BKK flight so they will pick you up at the gate and whiz you through everything. ET’s J product sucks on the 767 anyway) and you get to fly in NH’s new F seat.

Jason January 15, 2013 - 5:39 pm

Try this:
FRA-IAD LH 747-800

Lots of availability on these flight, you can do this with ual miles only 70K.

adam January 16, 2013 - 6:11 am

@Jason – Very true, except the only problem is the KUL-NRT flights which require a connection in BKK.
TG416 / TG640 8 hour 25 minute layover in BKK
TG418 / TG676 9 hour 55 minute layover in BKK
or normal connections but coach only seats for the BKK-NRT legs…
LH786/TG42 means BKK-NRT in coach
LH783 / NH916 means BKK-NRT in coach

Mike January 15, 2013 - 6:22 pm

If you can get yourself easily to SIN – and move some MR points quickly (not sure if there is enough time) you can do SQ26 – SIN-FRA-JFK on the evening of the 18th in F for 93500 miles online with Krisflyer points.

adam January 16, 2013 - 6:12 am

@Mike – Thanks! I saw that too…I can’t leave until midday the 19th though…

jack January 15, 2013 - 6:26 pm

CX F is great. I’ve flown them transpac at least a dozen times. It’s probably a no-brainer IMO. However, I too would try TG F on the A380. The lounge & massage wouldn’t sway me though. You can get a 2 hr massage in BKK for $10. BTW, TG is bottom 10 for safety in recent rankings – doubt they’ll crash the big boy though.

adam January 16, 2013 - 6:14 am

@jack, golfingboy, geo1004m, jimmy y, Peterson, Mikey, & AWP – Thanks for your thoughts, really appreciate it.

Kris Ziel January 15, 2013 - 9:42 pm

The recent rankings that I saw are complete garbage. The last time Thai had a serious incident was well over a decade ago (said incident killed a single crew member).


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