[Travel] Cathay Pacific The Pier, Business Class Lounge

Standard

Travelled to Hong Kong again last month and flew back with Cathay Pacific on their A350-900 Premium Economy cabin. That was good. But I enjoyed their lounge the most.

CX Lounge Map

CX Lounge Map

In Hong Kong International Airport which is the home hub for Cathay Pacific, there are not 1 but 4 Business Class lounges for departing passengers.

  • The Wing, Business (Level 6, Terminal 1 near gate 1-4): Noodle Bar, Long Bar, Coffee Loft, Shower Rooms, Workstations
  • The Bridge (Level 5, Terminal 1 near gate 35): Bistro, Bakery, Long Bar, Coffee Loft, Shower Rooms, Workstations
  • The Cabin (Level 6, Terminal 1 near gate 23): Health Bar, Deli, Workstations
  • The Pier, Business (Level 6, Terminal 1 near gate 65): Noodle Bar, Tea House, Food Hall, Coffee Cart, Shower Suites, Relaxation Rooms, Bureau

So with my Marco Polo Club Elite Silver membership, I can go to any of these lounges for free. So which 1 should I go to? As my flight is near gate 65, The Pier, Business is a natural choice as it is near to my gate, newly renovated and with the best facilities across all these lounges. Will be keen to try out The Cabin in the future.

CX Business Class Lane

Checking in at CX Business Class Lane

CX Business Class Counter

CX Business Class Counter

CX Lounge Invitation Card

CX Lounge Invitation Card

CX The Pier, Business Class Lounge

CX The Pier, Business Class Lounge

CX The Pier, Business Class Lounge Reception

CX The Pier, Business Class Lounge Reception

Artwork on display

Artwork on display

Signature Dan Dan Noodle in Noodle Bar

Signature Dan Dan Noodle in Noodle Bar

Dim Sum and Wonton Noodle

Dim Sum and Wonton Noodle

JING Tea and Cakes in Tea House

JING Tea and Cakes in Tea House

Relaxation Rooms

Relaxation Room

Food Hall

Food Hall

Coffee Cart

Coffee Cart

Luggage Lockers

Luggage Lockers

Bureau

Bureau

[Travel] Cathay Pacific (CX) Premium Economy Class HKG-SIN: Booking Award Flight

Standard

Another flight in 2 weeks time again to Hong Kong. As usual, flying out on Singapore Airlines Suites on boxing day morning using my miles. Will be in The Private Room on Christmas night to enjoy my Christmas dinner.

So what’s new on this trip? Let’s start off with the return flight. This time round, I will not be returning on a Star Alliance carrier. I will be returning to Singapore on Hong Kong’s flag carrier: Cathay Pacific. (CX)

So why CX?

  1. It’s Hong Kong’s flag carrier. I have been to Hong Kong quite a few times but have never tried it. Have friends who are fans of CX. All ask me to give them a try.
  2. CX took delivery of their Airbus A350-900XWB recently. So got to give this plane and CX’s new cabin product a try. I’m an Airbus guy.
  3. Got my Marco Polo Club Silver status for free. (Usually cost: USD100 and flights worth 300 club points.) Thanks to a corporate benefit from CX for the company I work for in my day job. Benefit: Business Class lounge access for any travel on CX’s flight. SCORE! Will be going to the Pier!

    Marco Polo Club

    Marco Polo Club Silver (OneWorld Ruby BTW!)

  4. Miles transfer. Most banks in Singapore only allow transfer of credit card points to 2 programs: Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer and CX Marco Polo Club/Asia Miles. (Citibank and American Express allows transfer to more programs while Standard Chartered allows transfer over to Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer only at a pretty lousy rate of transfer.)

So I transferred 10,000 miles from UOB using 5,000UNI$ (Due to block redemption requirement.) and 14,000 miles from Citibank to redeem a Premium Economy Class ticket on CX’s A350-900XWB from Hong Kong to Singapore one way for 260HKD. (SG$49.16.) That’s a total cost savings of 7200HKD. (SG$1,361.35. 97% savings!)

CX Redemption

CX Redemption

CX Cost

CX Cost

Let’s see if I can score an upgrade on this flight…

[Travel] Singapore Airlines SilverKris Lounge The Private Room at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 3

Standard

For those who have been following this site, you will be aware that I flew with Singapore Airlines A380 Suites to Hong Kong on 25 January 2016. (Monday) It was a great experience as always and I will be writing about it here.

First, let’s talk about check-in. Checking-in for Singapore Airlines Suites and First Class can be done within Changi Airport Terminal 3 check-in rows. However, there is a separate check-in reception located next to Changi Airport Terminal 3. You need to walk to end of terminal, exit and walk to next building or drive there directly.

Suites/First Class Row

Suites/First Class check-in row

Suites/First Class Check-In Reception

Suites/First Class check-in reception

Privacy

Privacy

Relax & Check-In

Relax & check-in

Decor

Décor

Decor

Décor

Ticket

Golden Ticket

Walkway to dedicated immigration counter

Walkway to dedicated immigration counter

As a passenger on premium cabin class (Business, First and Suites.), lounge is standard entitlement. However, lounge for Singapore Airlines’ First class and Suites in Changi Airport Terminal 3 is different. It is called The Private Room which is located deep in Changi Airport Terminal 3’s SilverKris Lounge. After walking through dedicated immigration counter for Singapore Airlines First Class and Suites passengers, you will be at airside which is not too far from SilverKris Lounge. At reception of SilverKris Lounge, staff will receive you and lead you to The Private Room upon presentation of Golden Ticket. Walking past Business Class and First Class section of SilverKris Lounge along the way.

SilverKris Lounge

SilverKris Lounge

The Private Room

The Private Room

Papers

Papers

Signs

Signs

Seats with high backing for privacy

Leather seats with high backing for privacy

Dining Room

Dining Room

Private Room Within The Private Room

Private Room Within The Private Room

Family Room

Family Room

After making myself comfortable in dining room, champagne is served and food is made to order.

Champagne

Champagne

Menu

Dinner Menu. Ordered Sauteed Lobster with Linguine. U.S Prime Beef Burger with Foie Gras, Rocket Leaf and Fried Quail Egg is also a good pick. Had that on my 1st Suites experience in 2014.

Menu

Dinner Menu. Ordered Assorted Satay and Dim Sum Delights which are quite well known for The Private Room.

Table

Table

Sauteed Lobster with Linguine

Sauteed Lobster with Linguine

Assorted Satay

Assorted Satay

Dim Sum Delights

Dim Sum Delights

Desserts

Desserts

TWG Imperial Oolong Tea

TWG Imperial Oolong Tea

Breakfast Menu

Breakfast Menu. Ordered Scrambled Egg with Bacon.

Scrambled Egg with Bacon and Coffee

Scrambled Egg with Bacon and Coffee

Healthy Stuffs

Healthy Stuffs

You will be able to walk around in The Private Room pretty comfortably. It is spacious and you will feel right at home.

PC and iMAC

PC and iMAC

LG UHD TV

LG UHD TV

Amenities

Amenities

Salvatore Ferragamo Tuscan Soul

Salvatore Ferragamo Tuscan Soul

L'OCCITANE Face Splash with Peppermint

L’OCCITANE Face Splash with Peppermint

SQ Exclusive

SQ Exclusive

Shower

Shower. You can pull your luggage in for security and there is a dry area for you to stow your luggage in.

Shower

Shower

Overall, I enjoyed The Private Room a lot. Size is just nice, ambience is good, delicious F&B, impeccable service, comfortable and safe. The Private Room is open daily from 0530HRS to 0230HRS. When The Private Room is closed, you can still make yourself at home at SilverKris Lounge’s First Class area which is open 24 hours.

Disclaimer: Drink Responsibly.

[Travel] First Class Train Travel to GuangZhou on MTR Intercity Through Train

Standard

Since I have been to Hong Kong a few times, so I thought why not do something different this time. Time to venture up north: China! After thinking about options, went with GuangZhou instead of Shenzhen as it is a bigger city.

After doing some research, I went ahead and booked transport. Booking is done on MTR’s website for their Intercity Through Train service. I am making this a day trip so I booked the earliest train and a train for return in late afternoon/evening. Journey will be 2 hours per trip and there is only 1 cabin class: First Class. Ticket is priced at HK$219 per trip inclusive of HK$9 handling fee. (Approximately SG$40.) Shall do a review on this next week.

Shanghai

MTR Intercity Through Train

[Travel] Singapore Airlines (SQ) Suites/Economy Class SIN-HKG: Booking Award Flight

Standard

Singapore Airlines (SQ): “A great way to fly”. Pride of Singapore and one airline that I feel lives up to its slogan. (Way better than an airline that used to brag that they are a World’s 5 stars airline. They have dropped that slogan BTW.)

Usually I try to fly via SQ if possible. However, I am also ok with their subsidiary Scoot (Not TigerAir though. I hope SQ kills it.), Jetstar, British Airways and United Airlines. So far I had good experiences with these airlines. But nothing beats complete package of SQ. As their recent campaign says: “No detail is too small”. Their cabin is quite well maintained even on older aircrafts like A330 and service from Singapore Girls and Gents are impeccable.

From 25th to 27 January 2016 (Next Monday to Wednesday), I will be making a trip from Singapore to Hong Kong with a visit to Guang Zhou in between using train from Hong Kong. So I started booking my air tickets with SQ using my KrisFlyer miles.

I have a total of 44,625 KrisFlyer miles in my account which is sufficient for Suites one way on A380 and return via Economy Class. So I booked my flight out on Suites so that I can enjoy The Private Room in SQ SilverKris Lounge at Changi Airport Terminal 3.

SQSuitesMiles

SQ Suites Miles (Save SG$2,760.)

SQSuitesCost

SQ Suites Cost

SQEconomyMiles

SQ Economy Miles (Save HK$3,830. SG$719.19.)

SQEconomyCost

SQ Economy Cost

From pictures above, you are able to see amount of KrisFlyer miles and surcharges required. SQ Suites cost me 31,875 KrisFlyer miles with surcharge of SG$38.50 while SQ Economy class cost me 12,750 KrisFlyer miles and HK$194. (SG$36.43.) Total saving amount to SG$3,479.19. However, I have selected a Preferred Seat (Exit Row.) on my Economy Class flight. That cost US$40 (HK$310 or SG$58.21.) and so total savings drop to SG$3,420.98.

You may be asking how come there are Saver, Standard, Full and how come miles required is stated to be more than what I have mentioned. Airlines usually set quota for amount of seats offered via award with Saver given least amount of seats as it has lowest miles requirement. As for miles required, even though box stated that miles required is 37,500 for Suites for example, it works out to 31,875 miles as a 15% discount is given for online redemption. Redemption offline via SQ Call Centre or Service Centre at Ion Orchard will be charged at full. Do that only if you are redeeming an award flight operated by another Star Alliance airline or trying to do up a super complex itinerary. (Looking at my friend at Global Travelogy. LOL!)

Next, you may ask what is waitlist. It simply means waiting list. That means quota is full for that level and you will be put on a waiting list if you choose that. Waitlist bookings may only receive confirmation as late as 24 hours before flight and miles will only be deducted when you decide to book when available. Alternatively, you can check for award availability on Star Alliance partner airlines (For same amount of miles without discount.) via SQ Call Centre/Service Centre or book an award of higher level.

Hope that gives you a good introduction to redeeming flights with miles. Will be sharing more about miles in future posts. Watch for them.

Welcome to Have Cards Will Travel

Standard

Lot of friends know me as lobang king, mileage guy, credit card guy and many other nicknames. They will often ask about which credit card to get/use to maximize their returns and I do post on Facebook about using miles earned from credit cards to fly in premium cabins like SQ Business Class and Suites. (SG$38.50 + 31,875 miles vs SG$2,768.50 for Hong Kong one way Suites ticket on SQ sounds good? Savings of SG$2,730.) So after some thinking, I decide to set up this site to share more about:

  • Credit cards that I own. 25 and counting…
  • Travel reviews.
    Airport, airport lounges and cabin products.
  • Membership cards.
    Some deals are just not available with credit cards.
  • Mobile applications.
    Some mobile applications can be life saver when I want to find deals or globetrotting.
  • Gear.
    Typical geek here.
  • Deals. (Duh…)
    What’s lobang king without deals.

Please note that posts here are not paid advertorials unless stated.

So before I end this post, will like to share this picture of a credit card that I own (No more…) which feature a mantra that I believe in.

Frank

I like the quote. But not the card anymore.

Disclaimer: Use credit card responsibly.