A long way home
- Introduction and Booking
- Review: AMEX Centurion Lounge LGA / Video LGA-DTW
- Review: Clarion Hotel DTW
- Review: Delta Sky Club DTW
- Review: Delta One Suite DTW-PEK / Video DTW-PEK
- Review: Ibis Style Hotel PEK
- Review: Cathay Dragon PEK-HKG-KHH
- Review: EVA Airways Premium Laurel Class TPE-YYZ
- Review: Comfort Inn YYZ
- Review: United Express YYZ-EWR
Introduction and Booking
I had to visit Kaohsiung, Taiwan in Jan 2020 for an important event. I decided to use award tickets for this trip. In addition, I would really want to try Delta One suite, but the problem was that Delta had eliminated many of it’s Asia routes such as TPE and HKG. Moreover, Delta charged a lot of miles if I tried to book it with SkyPesos. The best way and the most economical way of booking this trip was by using Virgin Atlantic Airlines’ miles since they only charged 60,000 miles plus $5.6 USD for a one way one segment business class award ticket from the United States to Asia. However, Delta had no non-stop flight from NYC to Asia nor any non-stop flight to HKG or TPE. So the best option for a NYC flyer was either departed from DTW or ATL. Upon checking the availability online, The best option for me was from DTW to PEK.
After booking the Delta One Suite, I then used 7,500 BA Avios for an one way award ticket from LGA to DTW and 10,000 CX Asia miles for an one way award ticket from PEK via HKG to KHH. However, there was no award seat availability for my return from KHH to NYC due to the time frame. Evetually, I booked an one way ticket on EVA Airways and United Airlines from Taipei – TPE via Toronto – YYZ to Newark – EWR with 80,000 United Airlines miles. (United recently increased the mileage requirement to 83,500 if you book closer to departure date). From Kaohsiung to Taipei, I decided to buy a Taiwan High Speed Rail ticket so I could maximum my stay in Kaohsiung.
Upon finishing the flight bookings, I had to book three hotel stays since I had to overnight in Detroit, Beijing and Toronto. I actually could do a same day connection in Detroit. However, I did not want to have any chance to misconnect my flight since it was in winter and I was on two separate tickets. Therefore, I decided to arrive one day earlier in case anything went wrong. I also did not want spend extra money on those overnight stays. So I booked the Clarion hotel at DTW, and the Comfort Inn Toronto Airport by using the Choice Hotel points which I bought during the annually Daily Getaways sales and Ibis Style hotel nearby Beijing Capital Airport. All Three hotels offered free shuttle bus service to and from the airports.