LAX-HAN-Best flight option

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Apr 21st, 2004, 10:33 PM
  #1
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LAX-HAN-Best flight option

Ok, just looking for opintions here...

My husband and I want to go to Vietnam this summer. We've traveled all over South East Asia before, but just not to Vietnam. Problem is, we can only travel for 2 weeks in the summer due to work restrictions, which is (of course) "high season". The other limitation is that we need to fly on weekends or we'll lose too much time out of the 2 weeks.
So, my dilemma is this:
Fly Cathay Pacific for $1280 each (coach)
or
Fly Korean for about $900 each (coach).

Cathay has better flights; better flight time (18.5 hours travel time), better arrival time (10 AM), and better seats (seat back video, etc).

Korean saves us almost $800 total, but gets us there later (10 PM) so we effectively lose a day, on the flight home we'd have a 6 hour layover in Seoul, and I'm a more than a little concerned about their safety record.

I'd prefer Cathay since I've flown them before to BKK. I've also flown China Airlines, but won't do that again since it was horrible.

BTW, I've been looking at this for about 3 weeks, hoping to find a cheaper fare on CX, but I can't. I've called local travel agents, searched the internet, and nothing.

So, my question is this; what would you do? Fly the "better" airline and spend the $$, or fly Korean and lose some time and comfort, but save money?

Thanks!
Kristina is offline  
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Apr 22nd, 2004, 03:49 AM
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I'd check out the FF alliances because that's money, too -- more than $200 a ticket worth, if one carrier offers you an easy way to capture the value and the other doesn't.

-- A six-hour layover is a drag, but you have to figure that anything less than two might be cutting things uncomfortably close, so you're dealing with an extra four hours on that. Do I like cooling my heels in airports? No. Would I feel better if I knew I was doing it for $100 an hour and my partner was getting the same? You bet.

-- The safety issue: the last fatality on a KAL flight was nearly seven years ago, so I'm going to figure that either way, I'm probably going to end up where I'm going in one piece.

-- Arrival time: there is something to be said for being able to get off a long flight, check into the hotel and immediately go to sleep without worrying about messing up my timing too much -- so arriving at 10 a.m. would be no huge advantage for me, but that is your call.

-- Losing too much of the two weeks by flying on a weekday: again, your call -- but if it was a big money difference, I would regard a 10-day trip as a great option. Moreover, while I invariably go to work the day after arriving home from Europe or Asia, I know a lot of people who would have more than a little trouble with that. Inflexibility about days and dates can be the single biggest enemy of finding low airfares, but at other times it doesn't seem to matter very much.

Only you know what is best for you. If Cathay Pacific is worth the 42% premium for you, then you should book it with no regrets.
Flyboy is offline  
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Apr 22nd, 2004, 05:34 AM
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I'm afraid I won't be too much help with the decision, but I do want to make a suggestion. Did you consider flying into Hanoi and flying out of Ho Chi Minh City(Saigon)? You won't be loosing any time backtracking and the fares should be about the same.


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Apr 22nd, 2004, 03:51 PM
  #4
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Thanks for the replies.

AA-We won't be going to Saigon, not enough time. Just focusing on the North and maybe mid regions.

Flyboy-You had some really good points, esp. about the $100/hour layover. That puts it in perspective. I also like your point about arriving late and going to sleep. I usually try to arrive as soon as possible, but inevitably, if it's early in the day, I have to crash in the afternoon. Yeah, not sure if CX is worth the 42% surcharge.
Oh, and I don't think the CX would give me FF miles anyway for AA. It didn't last time on a discounted ticket. Don't know about Korean.
Thanks!
Kristina is offline  
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Apr 22nd, 2004, 04:00 PM
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You can get AA miles if you book fare H or higher on CX. It usually means about $100 more. It's worth it if you consider the fact that these are status miles and you do get 100% plus any status bonuses.

Can't help you with Korean Air.

Have a great trip!
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Apr 22nd, 2004, 04:01 PM
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DL is a partner of KE, however, according to Delta's website:

"No mileage credit for fares booked in B,G, N, Q, A, D, J, U and R classes" on KE.

I guess that'd include your good fare.
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