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TPG reader Seth brings up an interesting question about how to choose which airline in an alliance to use your miles on. Especially when it means a difference in class of service. In this particular case, choosing between American Airlines and Cathay Pacific. Here’s his question:
“A quick question for you: Flying from Bangkok to New York, would you rather fly Business Class on Cathay Pacific (connecting in Hong Kong), or First Class on American (connecting in Tokyo with a Japan Airlines flight from Bangkok to Tokyo)?”
Cathay Business all the way. Whether you get the old or new business class, I feel like the experience is better than American Airlines first class for the following five reasons:
1) Better food
2) Better service
3) Better lounges
4) Longer flight, so less time in regional business/first
5) Better product: even though it’s a smaller seat, Cathay has better in flight entertainment
Don’t get me wrong- American First Class isn’t bad, per se, but it’s just not worth the premium in miles over Cathay Pacific business class. The first class seat is bigger and longer on American, but the Cathay business class seat is private and also comfortable. Plus, the amenities and service far surpass American- even in First Class- especially since American only had DC (cigarette plug) power.
I think the real question should be Cathay Pacific business vs. Cathay first class. In which case, I’d say splurging on first class is totally worth it, since it’s such a memorable experience and using miles to attain it is the ultimate “beating the system” redemption. But whatever you decide, it will be fine, because the point of award redemptions is the travel and the experience – both of which you’ll have whether you fly business, first or even coach!
Am I being a little Cathay obsessed here or do most of you agree? While this premium card has one of the highest annual fees on the market, it has several valuable perks that could make it worthwhile, depending on your travel patterns. These include a $200 annual airline rebate, lounge access, free Hilton Gold status and free Starwood Preferred Guest Gold status.
While this premium card has one of the highest annual fees on the market, it has several valuable perks that could make it worthwhile, depending on your travel patterns. These include a $200 annual airline rebate, lounge access, free Hilton Gold status and free Starwood Preferred Guest Gold status.