As I’ve said in the past, one of my goals for the blog is to try every A380 first class product out there. So far I’ve flown A380 first class on Air France, British Airways, Emirates, Lufthansa, Malaysia, Qantas, Singapore, and Thai. That means of the airlines operating the A380 right now, the only ones I haven’t tried are China Southern and Korean Air. I’ll be knocking those off my list later this week, meaning I will have flown all A380s out there. Of course I’m waiting patiently for Asiana, Etihad, and Qatar to announce their first A380 routes, as they should all be taking delivery of their first A380s this year.
Now that MileagePlus miles are devalued, time to look at other ways to redeem Ultimate Rewards points
There’s no doubt that the United MileagePlus devaluation was a big hit for the value of Ultimate Rewards points. That being said, as far as I’m concerned this is an opportunity to explore some of the other great uses of Ultimate Rewards points. Cards accruing Ultimate Rewards points are still incredibly valuable, in my opinion, given the bonuses they offer. It’s tough to argue with the 2x points on dining and travel offered by the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and the 5x points offered on office supply stores, and on cellular phone, landline, internet, and cable TV services on the Ink Plus® Business Card and Ink Bold® Business Card in select categories (not even factoring in the huge sign-up bonuses). That has translated into cardholders earning bonus points on the bulk of their spend, which has been incredibly compelling.
My Korean Air SkyPass award
In looking at my calendar for the next two months I’ve realized that I don’t have more than a week at a time for new travel due to previous commitments, so this will be a bit of a whirlwind trip. Ultimately it’s important to me to be able to review China Southern and Korean Air A380 first class, since I know how many of you have Ultimate Rewards points and want to know about the quality of their products.
Korean Air SkyPass does have an attractive award chart for travel between the US and Asia, as they charge just 160,000 miles in first class roundtrip. This includes travel on their partner airlines, so I’m flying China Southern on the way out and Korean Air on the way back.
Given how good award availability is in first class on both of these airlines (Korean Air often releases as many as four first class award seats per flight), I’m sure many others will find these redemption opportunities lucrative as well.
What I’m looking forward to with China Southern
China Southern has eight fully enclosed suites in first class on the A380, and they look quite nice, if not a bit bland.
From Guangzhou I’ll be connecting on an A330 to another destination in Asia. I’m quite excited about that as well, as China Southern’s A330s have just one row of first class with four seats, which is the smallest first class cabin I’ve ever been in.
What I’m looking forward to with Korean Air
I’ll be returning on a Korean Air 777 flight to Seoul Incheon, connecting to a Korean Air A380 back to the US. Initially I was most excited about the champagne that I thought Korean Air served on their routes to the US. I was under the impression they serve 1998 Laurent-Perrier Alexandra Rose in first class. Then I realized they apparently only serve that on their routes to New York and Paris. And after posting about whether it’s worth routing through New York instead of Los Angeles for better champagne, it was pointed out to me that apparently Korean Air doesn’t even serve Laurent Perrier at all, but rather serves Perrier-Jouët nowadays.
So I guess that’s a moot point…
And while 110% style over substance, I do love Korean Air’s A380 video:
Anything I shouldn’t miss in Guangzhou?
I’ll be spending two days in Guangzhou during this trip. I realize it’s probably not the most exciting tourist destination, but I’m excited to visit nonetheless. Anything I shouldn’t miss while there?
Also, if anyone has any tips for maximizing China Southern or Korean Air first class (either on the ground or in the air), I’d love to hear them!
(In the interest of full disclosure, I earn a referral bonus for anyone approved through the above links. All are for the best available offers. Thanks for your support!)