Monday, February 27, 2012

My First Round-the-World Redemption: Introduction

Part I: Introduction
Part II: New York to Hong Kong in CX F
Part III: Hong Kong
Part IV: Hong Kong to Bangkok in CX F
Part V: Bangkok and VIE Hotel Bangkok
Part VI: Bangkok to Tokyo in TG F
Part VII: Narita and Hilton Narita
Part VIII: Narita to Frankfurt in LH F
Part IX: Frankfurt and Sheraton Frankfurt Airport
Part X: Frankfurt to Munich in LH C and Munich to Newark in LH F
Part XI: Conclusion

In a few weeks, I will be taking my first RTW which I was able to "finance" with the miles I received from a few credit card sign-ups. Last year, I applied and was approved for the Citi AAdvantage Visa and AMEX personal cards which each had a bonus of 75,000 American Airlines (AA) miles and the Chase Sapphire Preferred which had a bonus of 50,000 Ultimate Rewards (UR) points. The UR points can be transferred to United/Continental at a 1:1 ratio which meant the 50,000 UR points became 50,000 Continental (CO) miles. I had some other points that I didn't need which I transferred into CO which topped off the account to 70,000 CO miles.

In terms of hotels, I decided to pay for a few nights while using Starwood's (SPG) Cash+Points option on the other nights. Since Bangkok, Thailand is my final destination, I decided to pay for my hotel since the rates are cheap for a four/five star property compared to other Asian cities such as Tokyo, Singapore, and Hong Kong. I decided to choose the VIE Bangkok which is part of Accor since it looks like a nice property and I have Platinum status with Accor. Since I will be doing a layover at Narita, Japan I decided to take advantage of a promotion the Hilton Narita had on Facebook which had rooms for $62 USD. Fortunately, my A|Club Platinum status and Hilton Gold status allowed me to confirm my upgrades for my upcoming stays. The other property I will be staying at will be the Westin Grand Frankfurt which was a C+P reservation. Unfortunately, I do not have SPG status other than "SPG Preferred" since I am an AMEX SPG cardholder so I doubt I will get a "real" upgrade.

My itinerary for this trip will be:
New York (JFK) - Hong Kong (HKG) in Cathay Pacific First Class

Hong Kong (HKG) - Bangkok (BKK)  in Cathay Pacific First Class

Bangkok (BKK) - Tokyo (NRT) in Thai Airways First Class (Suites)

Narita (NRT) to Frankfurt (FRA) in Lufthansa First Class

Frankfurt (FRA) to Munich (MUC) in Lufthansa Business Class

Frankfurt (MUC) to Newark (EWR) in Lufthansa First Class


  1. Nice mix of CO/UA and AA rewards to be able to fly upfront in CX, OZ and LH :) Keep us advised on the hotels!

  2. How were you able to get a RTW flight with only 70k+75k miles? Did you have to pay for most of it out of pocket?

    1. I used 67.5K AA miles since Asia Zone 2 including Bangkok costs that much from the US. From there, I used 70K CO miles since Asia to US costs that much. Continental has relaxed routing rules and the stops in Narita, Seoul, and Frankfurt are for only a night (<24 hours).

  3. great report Jimmy, looks like a great trip, nice pics