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East Coast US to Hong Kong Flt Tips?

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We are looking at Asia and the flights will likely be more than the cruise fares!!!

 

Any times from those on the East Coast for how you handled the flights?

Did you break it up into days? Book the overseas-long haul portions from the west coast biz class and fly coach to the west coast?

What about out of say Vancouver?

 

TYIA

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JFK to HKG has about a 16 hr flight time.  SFO to HKG is under 15 hrs & YVR to HKG is under 14 hrs plus flight time from the East Coast.   Unless other issues are involved or you really want to visit the Left Coast I'll tough it out and fly direct from JFK.

 

 

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Are you flying rt east coast to HK?  if you are returning from a different city your choices and connections may be different. We're flying from Chicago to HK but returning from SIN. We choose Cathay Pacific as it gave us the best flying  times + a non stop to HK.

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We just flew out of Vancouver  to Tokyo and it was a very civilized flight in terms of time around 8 or 9 hours.  You can also fly to Narita direct non stop  out of Calgary on Air Canada.   Lots of options out of Vancouver to Asia.  And a nice place to break up your flights.   Lots of Dreamliners, too.  

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How do I deal with it? I suck it up and get on with it....I was working on a project in China and had a few trips 2011-2015 and I flew coach (sometimes comfort+) I typically fly Delta I'm in NC, through Detroit, into PEK or PVG. And try to schedule a massage once I arrive 😉

 

For me, it's not worth it to fly to the west coast - it's just two long flights to me in that case. I'm also not paying for business class (can't for work, won't for leisure). I wear comfortable clothing, drink lots of water, sit in the aisle so I can get up to the lav (water 😉 but also moving is good. Bring headphones and watch a movie and read, hopefully sleep a little bit.

 

We're going on a Mekong cruise in August and have booked RT Premium select flights on Delta to ICN (Seoul). From there, we're flying business class on Vietnam Airlines to SGN, returning from REP. It made sense for this trip to split it up like that (we're spending the night in Seoul outbound) for schedule and for the fares.....

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We're flying premium economy on Cathay Pacific direct flight from Boston.  15.5 hours and it's overnight so we'll surely get some sleep.  I don't think this is that big of a deal.  Premium Economy can be pretty inexpensive if you book through American Express Travel and have a platinum card.  If you don't have one, get one.  The card will pay for itself with this trip.  

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Posted (edited)

I'd recommend Cathay Pacific or Singapore airline over any American carrier for comfort and service to Asia.

 

And I would recommend getting a gel travel cushion, maybe its my rear end:classic_dry: , but unless the seats are right from the factory those cushions have been compressed by thousands of pax :classic_wacko: and seem a bit thin.  Disregard if your booking lie-flats.

Edited by Philob

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TY to everyone who provided advice and insight.

Much appreciated!

 

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If you are flying out of JFK, look at both Korean Air & Cathay for connection options and non-stops, just beware that intra-Asia, you could be on a B737 or A320 narrow-body, but at least the hub airports are nice, free & fast WiFi and superior to the dumps here.  

 

See this post - https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2665221-cathay-pacific-economy-flights/?tab=comments#comment-57548239

 

Do it all on the same one-two-days instead of breaking it up with a layover - get there an extra day or two earlier, allow time for jetlag recovery to rest up.  Flying home is sometimes tougher with 12 hour time zone changes ... big mistake for many is to go to work the next day or two & made belief they are fit to do it. 

 

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I'm not sure if you have done long haul flights before but I have done a 14 hour flight from Detroit to Beijing and a 16 hour flight from JFK to Johannesburg, South Africa in economy and it's really not that bad. Try to get the bulkhead seats, which makes a big difference.  I'm thinking about going to Japan next year and also trying to figure out the flights.  I think it's best to just bite the bullet and do it all at once rather than breaking it up.  For me it's easier to go west than east.

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Has anyone had experience with China Eastern Airlines? Will be flying Chicago to Shanghai in Feb.

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6 hours ago, mek said:

Try to get the bulkhead seats, which makes a big difference. 

 

Check on SeatGuru, but on CX & SQ bulkhead seats are "bassinet" capable :classic_smile:

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16 hours ago, Philob said:

 

Check on SeatGuru, but on CX & SQ bulkhead seats are "bassinet" capable :classic_smile:

Just avoid the center section,(other than bulkhead), like the plague and get an aisle seat.

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Unless you have current frequent flyer status on CX, SQ, KA or other carriers flying TP, those bulkhead seats are usually off-limits to everyoneelse until airport check-in with ground agents.  Middle section or those wide-bodies twin aisle bulk-heads are just as likely to be assigned to flyers/families traveling with young children and infants ... in fact, avoid the row behind them ... best to stay 2 rows or more behind for "peace of mind"

 

We always pack & travel with noise-cancellation or noise-isolating ear-buds or full-sized headset, along with a pair of dark sleeping masks.  

 

As for China Eastern, they are fine - similar to Air China, where newer aircrafts are in use for long haul routes - services can be hit-n-miss and the food served catering to their mostly Chinese base.  Just be careful of layover & MCT (connection) time as air-traffic can be an issue connecting via its Shanghai hub, airport itself is nicely done & modern ... actually, better than JFK.  

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Posted (edited)

I fly Tokyo - USA or Tokyo - Europe nearly every month.

Only Business or First Class.

If only economy is available, I stay home. Life is too short.

I recommend the same to you.

A380s and 787s are the preferred planes.

 

Note: Do not ever, ever, fly a US Flag airline for an overseas trip.

Edited by BruceMuzz

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Depending on when you are going and if you play around with the dates a little, Qatar is running a special in their Qsuites.  I just booked Lax to Dad(2 hour flight to HKG) and then Sin to Lax for $2800 a person.  They fly out of JFK, BOS, ATL.  The Qsuites also have the option of two seats next to each other in the middle that make into a full size bed.  It is one of the best business classes out there and United Polaris and Delta One products dont touch it.

Oh, and the planes fly West to East, so you are not going all the way across the US.  Layover in Doha, Qatar and if you book a layover for longer than 7 hours, you can get a 4 or 5 star hotel of your choice for $29.  Four Seasons is one of them.

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I have flown Toronto to Hong Kong 12 times over the last 26 years.  Before the 777's it was a 19 hr flight with a quick stop in Vancouver or Alaska .  Now it's about 15 hrs direct non-stop as they flight over the northern part of the world.

 

We prefer Cathay Pacific but usually can't afford them and end up on Air Canada.  I've looked at doing the Premium Economy but can't justify the cost.  We just hunker down and try to sleep.  Or watch 7 movies back-to-back.

 

I am planning our next cruise and am looking at EVA as they get good reviews.  Might even be able to afford PE.

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EVA is #2 carrier based in Taiwan and for long haul - uses a fleet of B777 - economy seats with a 32" seat pitch (good luck finding something similar on US legacy carriers flying) and yes, it has good reviews.  Cabin crew, food & the soft product are better rated by flyers than mainland China airlines.  If you can connect to/book with them, it should work out nicely - there is only one daily non-stop each way, connecting via Taipei (TPE) as it is their main hub/gateway to the rest of Asia, i.e. HKG, SGN or SIN, etc.  

 

Like most TP flights, it leave JFK around midnight to 2 AM and the east-bound flight land mid to late evening, do the turnaround & a fresh flight deck/cabin crew board for the return ... sometimes, if the aircraft go MX and is delayed or cancelled until next day, you could be "stranded" - always fly out 2 or even 3 days early if possible, not just for better jetlag recovery.  

 

Looking at a Spring 2020 trip, early pricing on EVA out of JFK to SGN via TPE, with a 2+ hours "legal" layover in transit, returning & stopping in TPE for a week before flying non-stop back to JFK .... currently priced out to be a little under $1k per person for all 3 segments together, 2 pcs. of checked luggage free.  Our long-haul TA can probably come up with a better pricing/discount as we get closer & ready to book it.  

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On 5/26/2019 at 11:01 PM, diesel1973 said:

Has anyone had experience with China Eastern Airlines? Will be flying Chicago to Shanghai in Feb.

Yes have flown them Business Class, overall better than most American Carriers, for food, comfort,  etc.  We would fly again with them.

 

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9 hours ago, Expat Cruise said:

Yes have flown them Business Class, overall better than most American Carriers, for food, comfort,  etc.  We would fly again with them.

 

Thanks for the response

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If going Business Class we would probably opt for using the one stop Eva Air route since we like the layout of their 777 aircraft and its a terrific airline.  The non-stop Cathy Pacific flight (from JFK) is certainly the most direct but I am not a fan of their 2-3-2 configuration in the 777 on that flight.    No way would we want to choose any aircraft operated by the US airlines.  They just do not offer a product that comes close to the better Asian carriers.

 

Hank

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It is safe to say that you are flying rt east coast to HK? on the off chance that you are coming back from an alternate city your decisions and associations might be unique. We're flying from Chicago to HK yet coming back from SIN. We pick Cathay Pacific as it gave us the best flying occasions + a constant to HK.

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On 5/27/2019 at 5:49 PM, BruceMuzz said:

I fly Tokyo - USA or Tokyo - Europe nearly every month.

Only Business or First Class.

If only economy is available, I stay home. Life is too short.

I recommend the same to you.

A380s and 787s are the preferred planes.

 

Note: Do not ever, ever, fly a US Flag airline for an overseas trip.

 

That's the only time they are any good, and I've a very close friend that is a pilot for an American flag carrier 😉 although jetBlue actually does alright and is starting some service to London, Paris and a few other European gateways. Perhaps it will force the other US domestic carriers from their lapse in concern for the quality of the flying experience. I get that not all of their guests behave well, but as one who has had to also serve a not always well behaved public, that didn't mean I was permitted to stop trying to provide quality service or the company could cease providing reliable banking.

 

JetBlue also allows pax to purchase, for a reasonable price, a better seat. No other domestic carrier permits this as all seats are blocked off and unavailable to only the select. Yes, loyalty should be rewarded but give others an option, especially on the long trips. Their crew however, hit or miss. Tough job.

 

I disagree with Sammy in that I would NEVER willingly take an A380 and Airbus has stopped building them. Desolé, je sais que vous êtes Français et Airbus aussi, mais voila...

Yes, the 787 is a wonder plane, composed significantly with carbon fiber in the fuselage, it is a much lighter plane enabling it to travel longer distances more economically than the 777. Also handles lightening strikes better although most modern planes flying today handle them very, very well.

 

I should summarize because I've done the flight too, flying to Hong Kong from JFK was my easiest trip, or so it seemed. Went on Japan Air Lines, stopped for about 2 hours in Tokyo and continued on to HK, landing in the evening so that by the time I was settled in Causeway Bay at my friend's flat, it was time to go to bed and I was ready!

 

Flying back home to JFK was slightly different as the flight had a scheduled over night in Tokyo at a Narita Sheraton and then onward to JFK. Landed sometime in the afternoon, tired but it wasn't terrible as it's generally quicker flying east anyway...just a long time to be in an airplane but Japan Air Lines made it quite comfortable with refreshing warm cloths with lemons to periodically freshen up with, good food etc.

 

I think this was why our Sammy made a point of emphasizing flying international carriers when flying abroad. I've flown overseas twice with US carriers and it was ok (not counting going to the Caribbean-international, also twice on US carriers but shorter trips) but I too prefer the way the international carriers manage it, if for no other reason than it's simply got more flair and gets me into another mindset before I've even arrived where I'm going, even if it's not the nation of the carrier I am flying. 

 

Jet lag is jet lag. Either one has time to get sorted before/after, because it is what it is. But certain things help I suppose like sleeping, drinking water, moving around when possible, eating well. Otherwise....it is what it is. 

 

 

 

 

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15 hours ago, Host Bonjour said:

JetBlue also allows pax to purchase, for a reasonable price, a better seat. No other domestic carrier permits this as all seats are blocked off and unavailable to only the select.

 

That's not true. Right now, I could spend $899 and upgrade my DTW-ICN leg on Delta to Delta One (international business). But we purchased premium select and will stick with that. I'm not willing to spend so much money for business class seats - my husband wishes I would 😉 I can't buy them for work travel and am unwilling for leisure, but somehow I survive just fine....

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On 6/21/2019 at 2:08 AM, Hlitner said:

The non-stop Cathy Pacific flight (from JFK) is certainly the most direct but I am not a fan of their 2-3-2 configuration in the 777 on that flight.

 

Why do you think there would be any real risk of getting a 2-3-2 business class configuration on a Cathay flight from New York to Hong Kong? An awful lot would have to go wrong for that to happen.

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