CX Trip Report: Introduction & American Airlines flight to San Francisco

CX Trip Report: Introduction & American Airlines flight to San Francisco

CX Trip Report: Check-in and British Airways’ Terraces lounge San Francisco Airport

CX Trip Report: Cathay Pacific flight 879 San Francisco-Hong Kong

CX Trip Report: Amenity Kit Review – Cathay Pacific First Class men’s kit

CX Trip Report: Cathay Pacific “The Arrival†lounge Hong Kong Airport

CX Trip Report: Regal Airport Hotel Hong Kong

CX Trip Report: Cathay Pacific “The Wing†First Class lounge Hong Kong Airport

CX Trip Report: Cathay Pacific “The Pier†First Class lounge Hong Kong Airport

CX Trip Report: Cathay Pacific flight 884 Hong Kong-Los Angeles

Through a combination of Citi credit card sign-up bonuses & spend, American Airlines flights & bonuses, a hotel points conversion and (gasp) purchasing miles, I had enough for a First Class Oneworld award redemption to Europe or Asia. Satisfied with having 135,000 miles in the bank, I knew I’d have plenty of time to book a great trip sometime in the future. Originally, I was going to hold onto the miles and plan an elaborate multi-destination itinerary during my annual two-week Christmas holiday, but like any good travel junkie I began searching for space immediately.

I took the month of August totally off from flying and didn’t have anything planned for the Labor Day holiday weekend, so was a bit antsy in wanting to take to the skies again. Thursday Morning September 1st I logged into my Qantas account and looked around for Oneworld flights in the off chance something might be available for the weekend. The First Class gods were looking out for me because I found space the next morning flying LAX-SFO on American in First connecting onto Cathay Pacific’s 747 flight to Hong Kong. Looking at the return, I found plenty of space on the 777-300 nonstops back to L.A. on Monday the 5th, so I picked up the phone and within minutes had a quick weekend in Hong Kong ticketed.

02SEP AA  1920 07:00-08:20     Boeing 737-800 Seat: 5A

02SEP CX    879 13:35-06:55+1 Boeing 747-400 Seat: 2A

05SEP CX    884 13:05-11:20      Boeing 777-300 Seat: 1A

Total taxes: $37.90, plus a $25 phone reservation ticketing charge (ugh)

Throughout the day on Thursday I kept getting several flight status updates from American where the departure time went from 7am to 8am, then 7:15am, then 7am, then back to 7:15am. I logged into my reservation a couple of times and noticed once they had protected me on American through Narita. Oh, no, no, no. I definitely was not going to burn miles only to be protected on American metal. Luckily, that protection fell off and the flight was on for 7:15am.

Friday morning quickly arrived and I checked-in.

a group of people in an airportThen it was up the escalator and through Priority Access security.

a group of people walking in a hallway

I had a seat at Gate 46B.

a room with chairs and a tvBoarding quickly approached and I was one of the first in line, boarded and took my seat, 5A.

a row of seats in an airplaneI had the standard First Class breakfast of coffee and Biscoff for the short flight and the hour was quickly coming to an end.

a cup of coffee on a tableThis was my first time in the newly reopened Terminal 2 at SFO and it really is quite spectacular. Gorgeous artwork and exhibits and clean as a whistle, a much improved experience from the last time I had walked through those grounds when it was the International Terminal back in the 1990s. I’m kicking myself now for not taking any pictures, but I was too excited to head over to the International Terminal and check-in for my Cathay Pacific flight and make my way to the British Airways Terraces lounge.

Stay tuned for the next installment and in the meantime, here’s a quick video of leg one of my trip on American to San Francisco.


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  1. Hi

    I only discovered your website yesterday when I was looking for an AA 747 seat map from the 70’s. I have been an airline geek since I was a kid and then worked in the industry for a few years. Now I just read about other peoples travel. This site is great.

    Anyway I saw that you had posted a trip report, so went and made some tea and got ready for a good read. Oh no.. whats this…were is the rest of the report. I guess I will just have to wait.


    • Naw, this was a “long” trip based on some of my other award redemptions. 🙂 I definitely could have stretched the 135k further, but really wanted to try Cathay First Class.

  2. The reasearch and booking process for this trip sounds like it was +/- painless. The various taxes will always be there, but the $25 “Telephone Booking Fee” is a major annoyance for Award Tickets. Why? Simply because there is No Other Choice! If they would allow one to book those flights, to your specifications via the website, that would be one thing. Since they require telephone booking, I’d raise a little hell about that $25 fee. Just saying… Looking forward to the rest of your reports…

    • Thanks & agreed the booking fee for awards is annoying. Carriers should at the minimum drop that fee for all elites and then yes, invest in the IT needed to make it available on the web.

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