I have been scouring the internet’s travel search engines (Expedia, Orbitz, airline code share options such as ‘One World’) for many weeks now for a planned Christmas trip to my family in Perth, Australia – and am happy to report that I finally made a booking. Given that I have to fly commercial – no limousine to pick me up for a direct flight in soft upholstery from Seattle to Perth – there are literally thousands of routes out there.
An obvious choice is Qantas out of Los Angeles to Sydney, and then west to Perth, but their coach fares start at $2,500 and man! 15 non-stop hours in coach .. I wanted to see what other options I might have. I really wanted to stop over in Tokyo if I could, and for a long time I braced myself to buy a $3,000 fare on All Nippon Airlines’s direct Seattle-Tokyo flight on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner (blowing away my whole fare budget right there), and try to use miles to get from there to Perth. I know Singapore Airlines stops in Singapore and then goes directly to Perth, but let me just check American Express one more time, I thought. The AmEx fares are usually expensive, but let me look. To my surprise I found a few business class tickets left on Cathay Pacific from Tokyo to Perth via Hong Kong, a really good deal for $2,600. So got that, and then the other surprise was that there were great fares on AmEx for All Nippon Airlines’s direct Vancouver-Tokyo flights. Done! I thought, go for it. Not that hard to get to Vancouver. I will go there the night before by train from Seattle.