Award Trip Report – November, 15 2011

Award Trip Report – November, 15 2011

We took our annual “epic trip of the year” in August thanks to Dividend Miles from US Airways. This time we went to Almaty, Kazakhstan. It took a while to convince my wife to say yes to this trip. “What is there to see and do?” Honestly at that point of time, I didn’t know much about Kazakhstan and was more interested in the first class experience and other destinations we would be visiting.

We maximized some interesting routings in first class thanks to the way US Airways puts some countries in North Asia in their redemption chart.

The start of the trip was in Hong Kong. We flew from Hong Kong to Seoul on Asiana business class with an overnight layover allowing us to explore Seoul. Our flight from Seoul to Frankfurt was on Asiana first class, which lived up to the hype and our expectations. It was definitely a WOW experience on our part. The service both on the ground and in the air was outstanding. The in-flight food was some of the best we have eaten. The only slight disappointment was the champagne (no Dom here).

After another overnight layover in Frankfurt, we experienced the much touted First Class Terminal before flying to Almaty on Lufthansa first class.

After four days in Almaty, it was nothing like what we expected. Almaty is a modern city with pretty good road infrastructure and it feels more like any city in Europe than Asia. We would recommend visiting Almaty or Kazakhstan for those looking for an off-the-beaten-path kind of holiday. The scenery is spectacular and the people are extremely friendly.

We ended the trip with first class fights through Bangkok on Thai but “suffered” the ancient first class that should be retired ASAP.

Calvin Ong

FFP miles spent:
80,000 US Airways miles (North Asia to North Asia)

Hotel points spent:

Approximate fees:

Airline(s) / Routing:

How booked:
Over the phone

Type of award(s):
First/business class

Novotel Nathan Road, Hong Kong; Grand Ambassador Hotel, Seoul; Ibis Frankfurt Centrum; Astra Hotel and World Hotel Saltanet, Almaty; Novotel Citygate Hotel, Hong Kong

Month/year of trip:
August 2011

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