One thing that I’ve heard over and over about Lifemiles award redemptions was to make sure you’ve made up your mind before booking, since it’s a huge pain in the butt to cancel them. Well the time finally came that I need to make a cancellation, so I blocked off several hours of my day and prepared for the worst. The reality of the experience was anything but a nightmare.
If you are ready to use your Singapore Airlines miles to book travel for early 2017, there is a special offer available through November 16th to receive a 30% discount when redeem Krisflyer miles online for for flights aboard Singapore Airlines or SilkAir, for travel between February 6th and May 31st, 2017.
It seems like Korean Air’s SKYPASS frequent flyer program continues to fly under-the-radar, despite the fact that it is a transfer partner of the Chase Ultimate Rewards program, and a new transfer option for Starwood Preferred Guest points. They’ve also recently addressed one of the major negatives about the program, which was how cumbersome and painful it was to book award tickets. The website has improved dramatically, bringing it closer to the standards that most of us are accustomed to with domestic airlines.
I’m one of the charter members of the “Korean Air Fan Club” and in recent years have been funneling the vast majority of my Chase Ultimate Rewards points into the Korean Air Skypass program. I’m planning a trip to Asia later this year, and decided to finally cash in those Skypass miles. I blocked off an hour of time to go through the incredibly confusing and annoying award booking experience that I remembered from 2014, but to my surprise, I had confirmed tickets in my account in less than 10 minutes.
As I wrote about here, it seems like I was the only person in the frequent flyer community that was actually excited for this flight. On the plus side, because I’d heard so many negative comments, the bar had been set really, really low. After a few final stretching exercises in the Etihad US Premium Lounge, we headed over to the gate and on-board our 16-hour flight back home to San Francisco. It was well past midnight and I was half-asleep, so I remember having to do a double-take when I saw the exterior of the plane showing the Jet Airways livery.
Even though we’d be taking the same plane and even sitting in the same seats from Seoul to Singapore, there’s no way to simply stay on the plane during the layover. Believe me, I tried my best to convince the crew that they could just leave a bottle of Dom and I would be more than happy to entertain myself for the next hour.
This flight brought on a bit of nostalgia, as these were the exact same seats on the same type of plane that we had on our very first longhaul international First Class flight back in 2012. Since then we’ve tried dozens of premium cabin products, but I’ll aways have a soft spot for this particular one.
In case you hadn’t realized, I’m a math nerd (as are some of my coworkers). That means that numbers weigh heavily into any decision I make around getting the best value out of my miles. In fact, I even built a model that tells me when it makes sense to use miles or spend cash for a specific ticket. For my upcoming trip to India, I dusted off the model to compare a few different options. Here was the situation.
This hotel review could easily be summed up in a single sentence – The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto is one of the best hotels that I’ve ever stayed at, and I would be absolutely shocked if it didn’t soon ascend into the rankings of “Best Hotels In the World”. But as tempting as it is to drop the mic and walk away, what’s a trip report without a few pictures? We arrived at Kyoto Station in the late afternoon, and while the hotel is semi-walkable from the station (25-30 minutes), we had our luggage with us and instead jumped in a taxi. The traffic around the river was backed up, and it took 30 frustrating minutes and more than $20 to get to the hotel.
Singapore Suites have been around for quite some time and definitely aren’t “new” in the same sense that the Etihad Apartments are, for example. But for some reason they remain as one of the most coveted First Class products out there. Perhaps it’s the novelty of the double-bed, the mystique of the Singapore Girl, or a mixture of both. Either way, I was about to find out for myself.