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The first stop of my trip was São Paulo, Brazil for Amfar’s Inspiration Gala São Paulo. I’ve been before, and it’s an incredible party for an amazing cause. My flight there was on American Airlines, for a total of $1,238.00 for Economy round-trip with a return later in the year, as it was basically the same price as one-way; I then used EVIP to upgrade to Business Class on JFK-GRU. If I’d made this purchase without EVIP, the total would have been $5,250.30—so I got a great deal.
The next leg of my trip started on Sunday, April 12, with a GRU-LAX First Class direct flight on older American Airlines 777-200 for 62,500 miles and $54.74, which would have been $6,752.00 if I’d booked it directly.
After a connecting flight from LAX to SFO, I flew to Seoul, South Korea via a Singapore Airlines 777 in First Class (SFO-ICN for 74,375 miles and $203.30; $5473.80 if purchased directly). I’ll be in Seoul for just one night to get Korean BBQ, which is my idea of a good excuse to fly Singapore Airlines First Class; even though it wasn’t on the A380, I loved every second of it!
As I mentioned back in 2012, one of my travel resolutions was to explore more of Asia. I asked you guys for suggestions and got such great replies that I want to do it again. I’ll be going to Beijing for the opening party of the W Beijing – Chang’an, and to revisit China. I’m hoping to explore more even though I’m only there for three days. So, give me what you’ve got and I’ll see if I can fit it into my schedule!
The flight to Beijing (GMP-PEK) is Business Class on a China Southern Airlines Airbus A321, which I booked through Orbitz. Then it’s PEK-CAN on China Southern Airlines First Class, booked on Ctrip. I paid for them with Chase Sapphire because it wasn’t worth redeeming miles.
After a few days in Guangzhou, I’ll be off to Hong Kong via train for a short stay, and then back home: HKG-ICN-JFK via Korean Air First Class on an Airbus A380, which I purchased for 80,000 miles transferred from Chase and $90. The full price would have been HKD 61,462 ($7,925.10 USD).
As always, you can follow my travels here on The Points Guy blog, as well as on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook—come along for the journey! Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.
Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.