Oneworld member airlines Japan Airlines and Cathay Pacific have an interesting offer for those who want to test their magnificent business class products. You can spend 22 premium packed hours (9 with JAL and 13 with Cathay Pacific) enroute from Honolulu via Osaka and Hong Kong to Dubai at the price of US$1,293 (~€1,083). While this seems like a ludicrous plan during a pandemic, it’s a still a rare offer we want to draw your attention to. You can find this fare for flights through May 2021.
Worldwide travel restrictions are in place to slow the spread of Covid-19. We strongly recommend gathering detailed information about the travel and quarantine restrictions that apply to your desired origin and destination.
A good start is the International Air Transport Association (IATA) website. It provides current updates on a country’s immigration policies. Even better, the Covid-19 Travel Regulations Map is one of the most useful tools you can find.
A Japan Airlines 787 takes you from Hawaii to Osaka. Onwards, a Cathay Pacific Airbus A330 takes you first to Hong Kong and the onwards to Dubai. These planes offer Cathay’s long haul business class product, with lie-flat-seats in 1-2-1 configuration.
Thanks to our reader Lee, who gave us notice via Report a Deal!
Search & Book
According to the fare rules, the offers has no sales period and is likely based on availability. It is valid for travel between December 29 and May 23 as well as August 15 through December 9. We recommend booking flights directly with the airline – you can find suiting flight dates with Google Flights.
You can add a stopover in Hong Kong, which increases the price by roughly US$100 (~€84).
According to Cathay Pacific’s change policies, you can change the date of your trip without paying change fees. However, you might have to pay the fare difference.
Why is booking with an airline better than with an online travel agency?
More often than not, online travel agencies offer lower fares than airlines do. We still recommend booking with the airlines directly. There are three main reasons for that:
- The Covid-19 Pandemic
During the worldwide outbreak of Covid-19, planning international travel got more and more risky because of ever-changing restrictions. In contrast to many online travel agencies, most airlines modified their terms & conditions to become more customer friendly. Rebooking conditions are eased, change fees are waived and cancellations are much easier when there is no third party involved.
Further, by adding an OTA to your plans, you increase the risk of one service provider involved going bankrupt. Now, the airline and the online travel agency involved could vanish along with your money.
- Better Customer Service
In case any problems like delays, cancellations or missed connections arise, you can communicate directly with the airline. The airlines has to take care of you because you have a contract with them.
If a travel agency issues your ticket, you may have to reach out to them first. You also depend on your OTA to forward you information like flight changes instead receiving them directly from the airline. You may get a prime exhibition of responsibility shifting rather than problem solving.
This especially applies for premium tickets. You don’t want to spend more than €1,000 to wind up with some budget OTA’s telephone hotline in case anything goes wrong.
- Baggage Fees
Economy fares not including hold luggage are more and more common. In most cases, travel agencies charge much higher baggage fees than the airlines themselves. If bags are not included in your fare, airlines are often the cheaper alternative.
Both airlines issue these tickets in booking class I. This results in quite attractive award mileage with the following Oneworld frequent flyer programs:
- 37,450 on Alaska Mileage Plan
- 26,050 on Finnair Plus
- 20,990 on Air China PhoenixMiles
- 18,800 on SriLankan FlySmiles
- 18,800 on British Airways Executive Club
- 18,800 on Qatar Airways Privilege Club
- 18,800 on Bangkok Airways FlyerBonus
- 18,800 on Iberia Plus
- 18,800 on Malaysia Airlines Enrich
- 18,800 on LATAM Pass
- 18,800 on American AAdvantage
- 15,100 on S7 Airlines Priority Club
- 14,260 on Asia Miles
- 13,040 on Royal Jordanian Royal Club
- 13,040 on Aer Lingus AerClub
- 9,260 on China Eastern Eastern Miles
- 7,300 on Japan Airlines Mileage Bank
- 5,750 on Emirates Skywards
- 5,750 on FlyingBlue
- 5,750 on Hawaiian Airlines
Further, this trip is worth 320 tier points in British Airways Executive Club, with 140 TP for each long haul flight and 40 TP for the shorter leg between Osaka and Hong Kong. Flying this ticket will instantly qualify you for Oneworld Ruby status. Sadly, the most interesting perks begin with Oneworld Sapphire. You currently need 450 points to gain that tier.
Information & Tips for Hong Kong
Hong Kong is an Asian city-state and a vital trading metropolis in the Pearl River Delta not far from the Chinese coast. The city has long been a center for trade and business. Hong Kong is one of the largest air traffic hubs in Asia and therefore offers excellent connections to the rest of the world, hence the good deals that various airlines often provide. Flights in economy class usually are between 400€ and 500€ sometimes for even less than 400€.
Best Time to Visit
Winters are mild and dry, whereas summers are hot with rainfall and high humidity. The best time to travel is from October to early December when the weather is sunny, cool and therefore very pleasant.
Entry & Visa
Entry is possible for most EU citizens without a visa, and only a passport is required. A permit for 90 days is issued upon entry. For further information, please visit the website of your countries Ministry of foreign affairs.
The local currency is the Hong Kong Dollar ($, HKD, HK$). One Euro is approximately HK$9. Many credit cards may charge a foreign currency fee (up to 2% for payment) in Hong Kong Dollars.
Getting from the airport to the city centre
The fastest and most convenient way into the city is by Airport Express. This train will take you to the city centre within 24 minutes and will cost you around €12 per trip. Alternatively, you can also get into a taxi and pay approximately €35.
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Information & Tips for United Arab Emirates
Visa & Entry
Most European citizens may enter the United Arab Emirates without a visa and with their passports only to stay there as tourists as well as for business(without work) or visiting purposes for a maximum period of 90 days within 180 days.
Best Time to Visit
In April and May, the temperatures in the UAE are around 30 °C and can even climb to just close to 40 °C. You usually don’t have to expect less than 25 °C, so you can always bring your bathing suit. In June, July and August, 40 °C are standard. The most pleasant travel months are December, January, and February when temperatures rarely climb above 25 °C.
You should know that the United Arab Emirates is a Muslim country. This means that Ramadan, the month of fasting, is strictly celebrated. There are usually no drinks and no food during the day, at least not in public. When booking offers during this period, you should keep that in mind.
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