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Surviving the flight to Bangkok from the East Coast of USA

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Is there any way to make the flight less of a chore. We will be traveling business class but before we make the final decision to go on the cruise need to know how people feel about it the long haul. Was it worth it? In advance, I appreciate your comments. My husband and I are seniors. Thank you

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Do you have health issues? If not the flight is likely to be a bit boring and tiring but otherwise fine, especially as you are flying business class. On a long haul flight I usually have dinner, watch a movie and then at around 11pm I'll have a glass of wine and 2 valium and that usually does the trick. Noise cancelling headphones and an eye mask are handy as are comfy clothes and nice warm socks.

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It will be challenging.

You could break it up into multiple flights with stay over but it can get pricey such as:

Bangkok to Hong Kong

Hong Kong to Honolulu

Honolulu back Home.

You could stay over one night in each area.

Flying business class would help too.

Keith

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Most airlines offer comfortable sleeperseats in businessclass, that will make the trip so much more comfortable. Also you will have a private screen to watch movies etc. Often also an USB connection to use your laptop. Food is also much better and served in a nice way. All that makes flying in business very doable!

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Your post made me smile - particularly linking business class and chore. I dream of having chores like that!
Good luck to you - I'm sure you'll be fine😎

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Which airline? Usually the Asian airlines like Cathay Pacific or Singapore will be better. Check out a few reviews of these two on YouTube.

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Choice of airlines, aircraft and business class seating configuration (lie-flat seat for sleeping) will take most of the hassle of a grueling non-stop flights, typically flown on a polar route over/near the north pole - its departure and arrival schedule overseas can further make a difference in coping with the unavoidable effects of long distance air travel ... known as jetlag.

Majority of flyers do not have the blessing of flying in the forward cabin, we've done this time & time again in "coach" or economy class, sometimes in what's known as E Plus with more legrooms ... alas, wide-bodied jumbo's in the 1970's and 1980's that I've flown TPAC had 18" wide seats with 34" recline - it is still the frugal way to travel these days for many.

Wear loose, comfortable clothes & shoes and in layers, cabin temperature can be cooler and dry - nobody else care what & how you look ... you can freshen up and change back before you leave the airport (better yet, wait till you get checked into your hotel). Allow 1 to 2 days, 3 is better - to adjust to the new time zone, typically upside down .... 11 to 13 hours of difference in the clocks, before you embark on a cruise or tour, or, else - you might find yourself napping all over afternoon or tired by high tea time, and wide awake at midnight.

Our TPAC carrier of choice is Cathy Pacific, the B777's and A330/A340's - and Korean Air's Queen of the Sky, A380 double decker's - both with legendary services and meals. But, suprisingly, AIr China and it is flying new A747-8's and B777's from NY's JFK and EWR ... and, a Star Alliance partner so our air miles earned can be banked & put to good use, not to mention it's usually easier for us to get upgraded from Y to J class, especially flying outbound. CA's food is nothing to brag about and onboard services from FA can be hit-n-miss, but for the savings and other advantages we have, it's a good tradeoff to us.

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[quote name='upgrayders']Is there any way to make the flight less of a chore. We will be traveling business class but before we make the final decision to go on the cruise need to know how people feel about it the long haul. Was it worth it? In advance, I appreciate your comments. My husband and I are seniors. Thank you[/quote]

I am a senior, who has flown long haul business class from Australia to New York, as well as to London. If your business class flights have flat beds, flying is a pleasure rather than a chore. It is certainly worth it!

If you have to change flights en route, you can request wheelchair assistance, even if you are physically able.

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[quote name='CHPURSER']If you told us the airline and the itinerary, we could be helpful with advice.[/quote]


We have not chosen the airline yet. We will be leaving from Southeast Florida (Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, West Palm Beach)
We will probably have to do an overnight in California. We just want the sanest method of getting there. Someone suggested Emerits(?) with a stop in Dubai then off to Bangkok. We will be flying business class.
Thank you in advance for your insights.

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[quote name='mking8288']Choice of airlines, aircraft and business class seating configuration (lie-flat seat for sleeping) will take most of the hassle of a grueling non-stop flights, typically flown on a polar route over/near the north pole - its departure and arrival schedule overseas can further make a difference in coping with the unavoidable effects of long distance air travel ... known as jetlag.

Majority of flyers do not have the blessing of flying in the forward cabin, we've done this time & time again in "coach" or economy class, sometimes in what's known as E Plus with more legrooms ... alas, wide-bodied jumbo's in the 1970's and 1980's that I've flown TPAC had 18" wide seats with 34" recline - it is still the frugal way to travel these days for many.

Wear loose, comfortable clothes & shoes and in layers, cabin temperature can be cooler and dry - nobody else care what & how you look ... you can freshen up and change back before you leave the airport (better yet, wait till you get checked into your hotel). Allow 1 to 2 days, 3 is better - to adjust to the new time zone, typically upside down .... 11 to 13 hours of difference in the clocks, before you embark on a cruise or tour, or, else - you might find yourself napping all over afternoon or tired by high tea time, and wide awake at midnight.

Our TPAC carrier of choice is Cathy Pacific, the B777's and A330/A340's - and Korean Air's Queen of the Sky, A380 double decker's - both with legendary services and meals. But, suprisingly, AIr China and it is flying new A747-8's and B777's from NY's JFK and EWR ... and, a Star Alliance partner so our air miles earned can be banked & put to good use, not to mention it's usually easier for us to get upgraded from Y to J class, especially flying outbound. CA's food is nothing to brag about and onboard services from FA can be hit-n-miss, but for the savings and other advantages we have, it's a good tradeoff to us.[/quote]

thank you for the information on the airlines you fly. What do the initials CA and FA mean?

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[quote name='Philob']Which airline? Usually the Asian airlines like Cathay Pacific or Singapore will be better. Check out a few reviews of these two on YouTube.[/quote]

Thanks for the advice about YouTube.

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[quote name='wagtail_syd']Do you have health issues? If not the flight is likely to be a bit boring and tiring but otherwise fine, especially as you are flying business class. On a long haul flight I usually have dinner, watch a movie and then at around 11pm I'll have a glass of wine and 2 valium and that usually does the trick. Noise cancelling headphones and an eye mask are handy as are comfy clothes and nice warm socks.[/quote]

:wine-glass:

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I'm personally not a fan of the overnight stop. Even on 24 hour plus flights I'd rather just get it over with in one hit rather than prolong the pain. When we have stopped overnight we've often ended up not enjoying the stopover as we were too tired and the time spent clearing customs, checking in to the hotel etc just added to the already long trip. Also didn't sleep well as worrying about the alarm not going off/missing connecting flight.
If you are flying business class you will have access to the lounge anywhere you are transiting so you'll at least have the chance for a shower and a change of clothes.
I had a look at options from Miami to Bangkok and it does look pretty grim unfortunately. Most options include 2 stopovers and are >24 hours. Qatar fly Miami to Bangkok with only a short stop in Doha. I have flown long haul economy with them before and found them to be excellent. Other options with 1 stop are British Airways (yuck!!) and Austrian (haven't flown with them since the 90s so no idea what that would be like).

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[quote name='upgrayders']thank you for the information on the airlines you fly. What do the initials CA and FA mean?[/quote]
CA is the airline short code for "Air China" (whereas AC is Air Canada, and, CX is for Cathy Pacific ... KE is for Korean Air, and LH is for Lufthansa)

Now that we know you are snowbirds ?? leaving from a Florida (int'l) airport - and with common gateway airports and connections, I fully understanding what you are referring to, as being grueling for being in the air ... tradeoffs between 1 stop and longer time in-flight and 2 stops (or more) and maybe shorter time in the air but more transfers inside connection airports for boarding & making the next one.

I strongly suggest giving your business and plans to a local travel agency/agent familiar with Asia and can come up with optimal flights, routing and competitive fares ... with one of the better, if not highly rated airlines - let them do the hard work for you, maybe work in a complimentary overnight stopover somewhere and free airport/hotel transfers, and to get you into BKK (that's official Bangkok, Thailand's airport code) ... whether this is connected to a cruise or not, or just a land-based / river tour.

Will you be returning also via BKK or is this a one-way, coming home to the US via another Asia city/airport ??

US's air traffic (FAA) systems aren't the best and I would not recommend flying out to the West Coast for a stop going outbound to BKK, reasons - among others - is that it will most definitely be a polar routing flight, up over the "top" of the world - over Canada airspace, across/near the North Pole/Alaska and down coming south again - over Soviet/China down to BKK. Absolutely not a fun way to deal with TSA at LAX and/or SFO (Los Angeles or San Francisco) again for airport security in addition to home airport in FL, and/or be overnighting in an airport hotel to make the next day connection.

You are better off doing this half way around the world first, fly 2/3 of the way across the globe to the first gateway city in Asia - rest, maybe a 1/2 day sightseeing (optional) with an airport hotel - although, jetlag will still be wrecking your body clock, more or less. For example, flying CA, CX or KE from Texas or Atlanta, or even JFK or EWR (in NY) ... a 3 hour nonstop - then, on a wide-bodied jumbo jet into Asia, 12 hours for Seoul, SK but it's 15 hours into Hong Kong, Beijing is about 13 hours or less - depending on jetstream and wind on the route.

When you are flying business class, you have free & complimentary access to airline's club lounges - both Cathy & Korean Air has excellent business class lounge, with free shower facilities for arriving & in-transit passengers, etc. Air China aren't quite up there, far from but trying hard, with club & lounge services & their offerings - but, fares can sometimes be surprising good for being in J or B class.

The other routing are via Europe, but the flights will still be up north before across the North Atlantic, sometimes near polar - skirting Canada's eastern coastal and then down to ... maybe Munich, Germany if using LH or London if via BA (British Airways) as a fairly long nonstop - 11 to 13 or 14 hours + ... from MIA (Miami - I haven't look at the details to see who's doing what, just a generalized idea, so you can visualize your options). Then, it's another - long, non-stop from the European city's airport direct into Bangkok, 10 to 12 hours, could be more.

Thus, when you add up the actual flight times involved, airport connecting waiting times and transit, easily 25 to 30 hours (and, more - if there are delays in transit or a connection is missed.) Good thing is that, as paying business class passengers - airlines involved will take care of any routing issues for you first. Still, make sure you have travel insurance for the trip - needless to say, even if that's the "basic" included free from your AE Gold or credit card issuer's coverage.

There are expertise here on CC, among those in the travel industry who can offer more tips, helps & ideas - if you don't mind, please list more specifics like months of travel, etc. and folks can work up some suggestions ... which you can then take to your local TA as a template or framework, and, let them work a little to "earn" your money and their commissions for the booking.

[I](P.S. I'm in full agreement with poster above, especially flying business on routes like this - and, having the benefits of lie-flat beds, to just get the flying part done ASAP - the body clock is going to be disrupted from multiple time-zone changes, can be worst with en-route stopover. Get there first, adjust to the new clock and give yourself & spouse 2 or 3 days to transition, recover & then enjoy what's waiting for you ... outside the hotel and/or join the local tour/cruise, etc. The flight routin g options out of Florida aren't pretty or good, no matter which way you look - planes don't fly, really, in a straight line across. But, my oldest SIL, 65 years old then - flown nonstop New York to Los Angeles, immediately connect nonstop to Sydney & back ... alone, in coach, about 22 hours end-to-end, no stopover - and still laughed about it. Next Spring, Singarpore & Hanoi on her bucket list ... probably a combo of business & economy plus for comfort. [/I] Edited by mking8288

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We are in our seventies and will be flying from Toronto to Shanghai next month, 13 hours non stop in economy. We have done several similar flights, Singapore, Beijing, Sydney and just bite the bullet and do it. Last year we scored business class with points from Tokyo and it was a real treat. We just regard flights as a necessary evil if we want to see the world. If we flew business class every time we would not be able to afford as many trips.

Sheila

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I fly round trips between Tokyo and North America or Europe about once a month.
I always fly Business or First Class.
I never fly US airlines except in an emergency.

1. Get a good night's sleep the night before your flight.
2. Eat well, but light, the day before your flight.
3. Arrive at the airport early, relaxed and calm.
4. Dress smart, but relaxed.
5. Make full use of the VIP lounge. Good airports like Narita and Changi have reasonably priced massages, showers, steam rooms to use before your flight.
6. Wheelchair assistance is free and gets you past most of the lines. You only need tip the pusher at the end.
7. Use the priority security gate for Business/First, instead of the regular one.
8. A few Ibuprofens can mediate some of the negative effects of Airplane Cabin atmosphere.
9. I always pack some leisure clothing (Japanese jinbei) in my carry-on bag. I change into them after dinner, for comfortable sleeping. My travel clothes stay fresh for my arrival.
10. Comfortable ear plugs are essential.
11. Noise-cancelling headphones / ear buds are essential. The airlines furnish the headphones in Business/First, but they are difficult to sleep with. My tiny Sennheiser earbuds were very expensive, but well worth the money.
12. Keep toothbrush, shaver, Cologne, alcohol wipes in a very convenient and accessible place.
13. Longer flights are better. You need time to eat meals, watch a few movies, have a few drinks, and still get a solid 8 or 9 hours of sleep.
14. If your flight has Duty Free shopping, buy a box of chocolates and give them to the cabin crew. You will be amazed at all the extra things you can get on an airplane.
15. Some fliers find that an antihistamine tablet washed down by a few drinks results in a much better feeling upon arrival.

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[quote name='upgrayders']
Someone suggested Emerits(?) .[/quote]

Close. ;)
It's Emirates.
Very good airline, though I don't know about your route.

[B][COLOR=red]JB[/COLOR][/B] :)

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Absolutely agree with avoiding US airlines for long trips to Asia. Mirrors our experiences.

We find the same with travel Europe and beyond.

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Done this from Toronto many times including this year.
Sometimes we score business with flat beds which make it a piece of cake.
Other times it is economy. Dress in loose fitting close, not hanging so it is not on the ground in toilet, buy little travel slippers, they roll up in package and are stretchy not tight fitting things for swelling, use travel compression socks for healthy circulation, bring your own ear phones and a book. This way if you do not like the movies you have reading material you like.
With regards to drugs like Valium do not touch especially if you plan to drink, as my son a Dr had to revive a woman on a trans pacific flight who did this.
If no alcohol best to use Meletonin or my preference the Dr suggested is Gravol I think in US it is called Bonine ( for nausea ) it makes you sleepy but ok for high blood pressure people.

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Thank you all very much for you input. We do have a great TA. We will be discussing the flights tomorrow. We will be traveling to Bangkok in mid February. So we do not want to change planes in JFK. I will make sure we check flights from Texas and Atlanta and Qatar out of Miami. We will be returning back to Florida from Shanghai. Reading all your comments has made the decision to travel easier. Thank you all. I will keep you posted as to the suggestions from the TA and look forward to your comments.

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Yes, avoid JFK in the middle of winter (Feb.) for sure - now, if you can travel right on/around Chinese New Year 2018 (Feb. 16, Friday) - there could be fare deals in business class and/or even economy plus, depending on demands - travel demand is before & after) on Cathy & even Korean Air and Air China.

Looking at 2 stops - if this is done on Cathy/American Airlines as alliance partner on the domestic connection from MIA, nonstop to LAX, on a late evening flight to Hong Kong (16 hours) arriving in the morning - with a 2 hour transit/connection time to BKK, landing by midday ... about 26 hours in the air, 30 hours end-to-end with layover.

On your return, CX doesn't fly nonstop out of Shanghai to the US, so it's a 3 hour flight down south to HKG first, likely a 2 or 3 hours connection/layover - then, board nonstop to LAX ... 14 hours (always faster flying eastbound with jet stream) - the home stretch would be on American.

This is just to give you an idea of what you are looking at - going thru Europe is about the same. CX's Economy Plus fare is about $2,100 p/p and Business is a little over $6,000 p/p - with different airports/routes involved. TA has rooms to discount/negotiate & get special rates for 2 business class ticketed - routing like the above should steer clear of most winter weather events in the U.S.

Be sure to ask about fees, charges or penalties for changing flights - in case of a last minute thing, and, of course - trip/travel insurance to protect the "investment"

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If you can stay over in Hong Kong if it is Chinese New Year that is amazing. We did it two years ago, the city is all decorated up and the light show is on steroids.
They have a parade in the evening that blew us away as countries from around the world had floats, thing were neon with lights, dancers, dragons so much more.

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This is a follow up to my original post. We did some research and looking at an Emerites flight from Ft. Lauderdale, FL changing planes in Dubai then on to Bangkok. Does any one have experience with this flight.....specifically it is a change of planes in Dubai. 3 hour layover. Easy?

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[quote name='upgrayders'] ... looking at an Emerites flight from Ft. Lauderdale, FL changing planes in Dubai then on to Bangkok ... a change of planes in Dubai. 3 hour layover. Easy?[/quote]Emerites is one of top/highly rated airlines of the world, using a fleet of A380's and B777's (probably Rolls Royce jet engines, too) and flying J or business class, you get complimentary limo services to/from FLL airport's 65 miles radius.

No experience flying this carrier but from what a quick read on Flyertalk (CC's forum counterpart) ... looking fine & great services, lie-flat beds in business class, pairs of seats by the windows are best for 2 traveling together. A 3 hour transit connection at their base/HQ in Dubai should be more than sufficient, as any delays resulting should prompt them to escort & get you to catch up to your onward flight or make alternate arrangements, both as prioritized behind First Class flyers, ahead of those in coach. Total trip time about 24 hours - it is also a polar route, north, over the top & down over European airspace - including the layover, and the official fares is very reasonable & good on my lookup.

Here's an image of the business class seating on their B777 3-class product, lots of legrooms - before it's slide forward for a lie-flat bed to sleep, and you should be a restful one en route - plus, option to dine at a time of your choice, and, of course, special meal request.
[url]https://cdn.seatguru.com/photos/show?pid=12094&photoversion=1[/url]

On your return from Shanghai, Emerites doesn't look to have any good connections unless it involved a partner/alliance flight to connect to its gateway city, then onward back to FLL. Well, that is comissionable work for your good TA to come up & present to you.

Even in my old days of flying for business & living out of a suitcase (no rollerboards then) - avoiding alcohol was a must and coffee/caffeine drank only to deal with jetlag based on a proven program for frequent flying long haul business. Pack your own noise-isolating or reduction earbuds and be sure to pack medications with you at all times, and, keep track of time zones & clock adjustment to take them as scheduled.

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>>Emerites is one of top/highly rated airlines of the world, using a fleet of A380's
>> and B777's (probably Rolls Royce jet engines, too) and flying J or business class,
>>you get complimentary limo services to/from FLL airport's 65 miles radius.


Trivia but no RR engines on most of the 777s (-300ERS and -200LRs if EK has any of the latter). Those a/c came exclusively with GE90-115/110s respectively.

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We have flown with Emirates several times from the UK to the Far East and Australia, mostly in economy - but we did get a free upgrade to business class one time from Shanghai to Dubai. They are an excellent airline, great service and attention to detail.

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We have flown Emirates several times and it is definitely our first choice for flights to the east. We flew Toronto - Dubai - Singapore then Singapore - Dubai - Frankfurt on our most recent trip. The economy seats seem more spacious than most airlines and the service is excellent. Changing planes in Dubai was painless. We had about three hours layover, so had time to browse the shops and enjoy lunch. Our son, who travels on business says the Emirates lounges are spectacular. He also rates Singapore Airlines very highly.

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There is one good thing. Untited no longer, or at least they did not for the past few years. fly to Bangkok. If you book United your NRT-BKK flight will be ANA.

United, in our experience, has to be about the worst when it comes to economy seats in trans-ocean flights. Even Delta is better and that is saying something! We had far better everything on discount carriers such as Air Asia, Sky, Vueling, etc. than we have on United.

One of the challenges we have on the Narita-Bangkok part of the trip is that for us it comes after two other flights, one stop over in the US, and another in Narita that is often scheduled for two hours but sometimes stretches to three-five hours. After that six or seven hour to Bangkok, arriving late at night, really takes the shine off the entire air adventure!

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We decided to NOT take this trip. Too challenging at this time. Thank you all for your advice and suggestions. They were appreciated.

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[quote name='upgrayders']We have not chosen the airline yet. We will be leaving from Southeast Florida (Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, West Palm Beach)
We will probably have to do an overnight in California. We just want the sanest method of getting there. Someone suggested Emerits(?) with a stop in Dubai then off to Bangkok. We will be flying business class.
Thank you in advance for your insights.[/quote]

You might want to check with your cruise line to see if they have any special Business Class deals. There are many excellent Asian airlines (Singapore, Cathy Pacific, JAL, China Air (different from Air China), Korean Air, etc. Sometimes the cruise line deals are amazing. We were able to get a one-way Business Class ticket on China Air (with lay flat seats and all the other good stuff) for only $1500 from JFK! If we had booked on our own we would have opted for Singapore at double that price...or Emirates for even more money.

Right now, if we were flying to Bangkok from MIA we might consider Quatar.....who has some decent Business Class fares (plus they use a new A350-900 out of MIA). This airline has gotten itself caught in some political issues (it has lost rights to some of its Middle Eastern country neighbors) which we suspect has caused them to offer some good deals.

Hank

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Many years ago I purchased 3 seats for the 2 of us on CA. In economy. Roundtrip JFK BEIJING price was $1200.00 per person so the 3 seats cost us $3600.00 a lot cheaper then business class.
Had the row to ourselves. Very comfortable. Everything was fine until we had to return home.
When we checked into CA in Beijing on our flight home we hit a snag. The counter agents could not understand that we had 3 seats for 2 passengers.
After a half-hour we finally worked it out. Got our 3 seats home.

Sent from my SM-J320V using [URL=http://r.tapatalk.com/byo?rid=76452]Forums mobile app[/URL]

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Why are you starting/ending a cruise in Bangkok, if the flight there is going to be a chore may I ask? I fly business class these days but you must select the airline that offers the most comfort in the Aircraft, I would also suggest no overnights as you have access to business class lounges and no queuing to board the aircraft, you would have to join queues to leave through security, travel to hotels,and return in time for your flight more security, now thats a chore! unless you take a mini break of 3 days to tour the mid point city I would recommend going all the way in the way in one go.


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[quote name='wendy_woo']Why are you starting/ending a cruise in Bangkok, if the flight there is going to be a chore may I ask? I fly business class these days but you must select the airline that offers the most comfort in the Aircraft, I would also suggest no overnights as you have access to business class lounges and no queuing to board the aircraft, you would have to join queues to leave through security, travel to hotels,and return in time for your flight more security, now thats a chore! unless you take a mini break of 3 days to tour the mid point city I would recommend going all the way in the way in one go.
Sent from my iPad using Forums[/quote]

I agree. I used to stopover en route on all my overseas flights. Now I travel business class and fly direct, as security made short stopovers an unpleasant chore.

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No need to further comment - some of you late to the this thread, OP has posted just above -
[B]We decided to NOT take this trip. Too challenging at this time. [/B]

Nowadays, we've continued to smartly travel abroad in coach, sometimes upgrading to business class on earned points/miles, or, economy plus as an option. Otherwise, if load factor is light, go for bulkhead seats (personal noise isolating/reduction headsets take care of noises, screams or distractions while trying to get some rest and zzzz's) It's far, far more civilized than flying domestic business-first on mostly narrow-bodied tin cans.

Virtually all of the airlines mentioned here for OP to consider are rated by travelers as being the top 10 for service, comfort and reliable, safe and well managed.

Still scratching my head as to starting at Bangkok for cruising, as I would be more concerned about travel over land to the port of embarkation ... maybe it's SIngarpore, which would be an easy 1 stop connection from many, if not all US gateway cities. From Shanghai, there are nonstops PVG to JFK - making it fairly easy to - with a good connection & layover time - for a 3 hour domestic nonstop to Miami or FLL. If that's too challenging, time to find a different travel agency/agent to come with better proposals and routing.

But .. whatever, OP has [B]given up and not going. [/B]

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[quote name='mking8288']No need to further comment - some of you late to the this thread, OP has posted just above -
[B]We decided to NOT take this trip. Too challenging at this Time[/B][/quote]

Although the original poster is no longer taking this trip, we are taking our first trip to Asia next year (NY to Singapore) and I am picking up tips from this thread (including a tip from your post!)

So I encourage others to continue posting, if not to help the OP, then to help me:D

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If I do journeys such as these, I look at the arrival country first, in this case Thai airways, who are a great carrier and have excellent business class services, they should, as a national airline, get you as close to your home possible and they are part of Star Alliance. However, my last holiday was to Malaysia and I was not prepared to fly their national Airline, so used my home carrier (business class) Air New Zealand to Singapore with a stopover in Singapore then on Singapore Airlines flight to Kuala Lumpar. As it was a land based tour for domestic we flew Air Asia low cost carrier, thus avoiding MH flights completely, I am please the OP has decided to cancel, I would not be starting a cruise with such a difficult start, especially as Bangkok to the cruise terminal is a long haul too!


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[quote name='deefer']Although ... we are taking our first trip to Asia next year (NY to Singapore) and I am picking up tips from this thread (including a tip from your post!)
... if not to help the OP, then to help me:D[/quote]
Fair enough, that's different - folks tend to sometimes not read thru & jump to all sorts of conclusion and go off-track.

As a suggestion, post a new one for help, ideas, suggestions, etc. with JFK to SIN, fly-cruise in 2018, etc. something along that line ... with a link to this thread for reference. That would help the rest of us from repeating & responding to generic & off tangent replies.

We've been looking at Singarpore, Hong Kong and Shanghai as ports for embarkation/disembarkation - been to 2 out of 3 on air-land trips/tours (along with Seoul & Taiwan ... but not Japan in a while) so ...
Flights out of the Northeast, especially JFK is highly competititve and a good T/A that specialize in consolidator fares can get discounts & come up with routing proposals,

JFK - PEK is 13 hours nonstop
JFK - PVG is 14 hours nonstop
JFK - SIN is 16 hours via HKG plus 4 hours & connecting time (2 hours layover is fine, 4 hours to enjoy club/business class lounge)

Look closely at which port to embark & disembark, plus days for jetlag recovery, not sightseeing to rest up before local sightseeing and cruising ... work with the upside down time zone changes and body clock to readjust. EWR (Newark Int'l Airport) has some long haul flight options - regardless of airport, check to make sure you aren't flying on an airline alliance's code sharing partner or, else - get surprised & ended up on a United or Delta "metals" (aircraft)

Ground transportation logistics are far better in HKG, SIN compared to PVG as bigger ships are not docked at the Bund & in the remote int'l cruise terminal, especially one is not comfortable ... not speaking Chinese (Mandarin dialect) spoken by taxi drivers.

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