Travel plans 2024

Revised plan - not long to go now.

May 21 I depart MEL for CAN on CZ J! to see some relations before heading up to Luoyang and Xi'an for some "domestic" leisure travel for me. Returning via HKG on June 9 to hopefully catch up with the AFF Asian pub crawl people, returning HKG-SIN-AKL (SQ J) and back to work.

In September it looks like MEL-SIN-LHR on SQ J and 2-3 weeks in Scotland and Ireland, and then going DUB-LAX and 3 weeks in California and Nevada: LA, Big Sur, Yosemite, Lake Tahoe and Vegas. Returning with Fiji airlines J redemption home.
 
The Frequent Flyer Concierge team takes the hard work out of finding reward seat availability. Using their expert knowledge and specialised tools, they'll help you book a great trip that maximises the value for your points.

AFF Supporters can remove this and all advertisements

Sponsored Post

Struggling to use your Frequent Flyer Points?

Frequent Flyer Concierge takes the hard work out of finding award availability and redeeming your frequent flyer or credit card points for flights.

Using their expert knowledge and specialised tools, the Frequent Flyer Concierge team at Frequent Flyer Concierge will help you book a great trip that maximises the value for your points.

Bali trip early October with a few other couples we go there with regularly. Was looking for flights to get us there and found a couple of QF J CR’s on QF29 to HKG so going to head there for a week beforehand. Might have a couple of days in Macao as it’s been a few years since last visit there.
 
Had a nightmare six months late 2023/early 2024 and needed a holiday. Had a look around and nothing really stood out. Ended up booking a flight to Taiwan and spending ten days there. It wasn't somewhere I had ever really considered but I really enjoyed it. Very few western tourists and even at the really popular places it wasn't overly crowded. Truly a bit of a hidden gem and I'd highly recommend it. Amazing scenery, great food, excellent transport network and friendly people. Fairly cheap as well. Besides being able to butcher "hello" and "thank you" my Mandarin is non existent but I had no trouble at all.

I flew with EVA and their product is really good, even in Y. Decent leg room, good service and two full meals on an eight hour flight both ways between BNE and TPE. Only issue is the outbound flight was a 10pm departure and by the time you clear customs and immigration you still have forty minutes or so before the first train into Taipei leaves at 6am. There's nothing really open at Taoyuan at that time of morning either besides the foodcourt near the MRT station. For some reason the hotel I booked didn't allow check in until 4pm which made for a long day before I could relax.

I had planned on going to Japan later in the year but after Taiwan I figured I'd leave it until next year but then ANA had one of their regular sales and I ended up booking a J seat for September. Going for two weeks.
 
Had a nightmare six months late 2023/early 2024 and needed a holiday. Had a look around and nothing really stood out. Ended up booking a flight to Taiwan and spending ten days there. It wasn't somewhere I had ever really considered but I really enjoyed it. Very few western tourists and even at the really popular places it wasn't overly crowded. Truly a bit of a hidden gem and I'd highly recommend it. Amazing scenery, great food, excellent transport network and friendly people. Fairly cheap as well. Besides being able to butcher "hello" and "thank you" my Mandarin is non existent but I had no trouble at all.

I flew with EVA and their product is really good, even in Y. Decent leg room, good service and two full meals on an eight hour flight both ways between BNE and TPE. Only issue is the outbound flight was a 10pm departure and by the time you clear customs and immigration you still have forty minutes or so before the first train into Taipei leaves at 6am. There's nothing really open at Taoyuan at that time of morning either besides the foodcourt near the MRT station. For some reason the hotel I booked didn't allow check in until 4pm which made for a long day before I could relax.

I had planned on going to Japan later in the year but after Taiwan I figured I'd leave it until next year but then ANA had one of their regular sales and I ended up booking a J seat for September. Going for two weeks.
I keep seeing people promoting Taiwan on r/travel (Reddit) which has got me interested. A huge number of mountain peaks over 2000m alone makes it of note.
 
I made a spur of the moment booking last night for Mongolia, this July. I'm not usually so impulsive, but everything just seemed to fit together and I thought, why not?!
I will be home for 4 weeks before I head off to Turkey and the 5 Stans, and I had a month in Sri Lanka earlier this year. It seems 2024 is my Asian Year.
Retirement is great!
 
Hoping to get some advice from more experienced folks, sorry if this isn't the right place to ask.
I've been given the tricky task of helping plan out flight bookings for a family group of 8 or 9 (all in Y), starting from roughly mid to late Nov 2024 for an approx 3 week USA trip for a wedding in the extended family. Starting from either SYD or BNE, final destination BOS.
A bad transit experience about 15+ years ago at LAX (this was our first time flying to the USA I think) means none who experienced that hell wants to ever go through it again, so considering other transit options. Most of the group are budget-concious and aren't getting any younger either so they likely wouldn't want to spend more than 10 hrs non-stop.

So I'm thinking the best options for going 1 stop and skipping over LAX are looking like...
* via ICN on KE - probably the preferred option amongst the family currently due to being arguably the cheapest option. Overnight layover but also allows time to spend an evening in the city (none of us have been to South Korea before).
* via HKG on CX - my personal preference due to *O lock-in but also more expensive. HKG is a nice airport imo.
* via HND/NRT on JL - another option but annoying as also overnight layover (so will need to find accomodation) and also a likely airport change as JL8 flies out from NRT. AFAIK there isn't much to do around NRT.

Slightly annoyed at myself since something like this would probably be easier if I knew a good TA and I haven't done a booking for such a large group before.
Going around or under 2.2k AUD per person would be ideal, but I realise this is a tough ask considering the dates are close to peak travel periods.
Transitting through a different airport/airline on the return leg is something I've suggested but this would likely cause the costs to increase.

Again, apologies if this isn't the right place to post this, or if I should create this as its own thread.
 
Hoping to get some advice from more experienced folks, sorry if this isn't the right place to ask.
I've been given the tricky task of helping plan out flight bookings for a family group of 8 or 9 (all in Y), starting from roughly mid to late Nov 2024 for an approx 3 week USA trip for a wedding in the extended family. Starting from either SYD or BNE, final destination BOS.
A bad transit experience about 15+ years ago at LAX (this was our first time flying to the USA I think) means none who experienced that hell wants to ever go through it again, so considering other transit options. Most of the group are budget-concious and aren't getting any younger either so they likely wouldn't want to spend more than 10 hrs non-stop.

So I'm thinking the best options for going 1 stop and skipping over LAX are looking like...
* via ICN on KE - probably the preferred option amongst the family currently due to being arguably the cheapest option. Overnight layover but also allows time to spend an evening in the city (none of us have been to South Korea before).
* via HKG on CX - my personal preference due to *O lock-in but also more expensive. HKG is a nice airport imo.
* via HND/NRT on JL - another option but annoying as also overnight layover (so will need to find accomodation) and also a likely airport change as JL8 flies out from NRT. AFAIK there isn't much to do around NRT.

Slightly annoyed at myself since something like this would probably be easier if I knew a good TA and I haven't done a booking for such a large group before.
Going around or under 2.2k AUD per person would be ideal, but I realise this is a tough ask considering the dates are close to peak travel periods.
Transitting through a different airport/airline on the return leg is something I've suggested but this would likely cause the costs to increase.

Again, apologies if this isn't the right place to post this, or if I should create this as its own thread.
A number of people on here can recommend a good TA. I will message you with one who is not in this forum
 
For 8 or 9 people I would highly suggest a TA. It will mostly require a service fee as airlines have slashed commissions for TAs.
Now I looked up JAL and most of their North American flights are out of HND not NRT.
When I put 8 pax in it couldn't be done. With 2 you can do it all online.
SYD to HND 9.45 hours but HND to JFK or ORD is ~ 13 hours. So if they want less than 10 hours before a break then it has to be to a West Coast airport. LAX has improved markedly from 15 years ago.
The price on JAL straight through SYD-HND-JFK-BOS but return via ORD was ~ $2500 .After 9/12 the price coming back starts increasing.

PS JAL has one Skytrax Best Economy cabin the last couple of years for what it's worth.
 
A number of people on here can recommend a good TA. I will message you with one who is not in this forum

For 8 or 9 people I would highly suggest a TA. It will mostly require a service fee as airlines have slashed commissions for TAs.
Now I looked up JAL and most of their North American flights are out of HND not NRT.
When I put 8 pax in it couldn't be done. With 2 you can do it all online.
SYD to HND 9.45 hours but HND to JFK or ORD is ~ 13 hours. So if they want less than 10 hours before a break then it has to be to a West Coast airport. LAX has improved markedly from 15 years ago.
The price on JAL straight through SYD-HND-JFK-BOS but return via ORD was ~ $2500 .After 9/12 the price coming back starts increasing.

PS JAL has one Skytrax Best Economy cabin the last couple of years for what it's worth.
Thank you both.

Definitely have no qualms going JAL as they are indeed a top tier airline - having done a solo red-eye in their B789 J Sky Suite I (though the storage layout was a bit odd imo). JL8 would be preferred I think if going with JAL since it's non-stop NRT-BOS even if 13 hrs.

It does seem the family are pretty set on the KE option though primarily due to relatively cheap price per person and luggage allowance (2 x 23kg pieces, same as JL. CX's cheapest economy fares give 1 x 23kg only), but I'll have to find some time to write to the TA and see what they say.
 
Last edited:
So I'm thinking the best options for going 1 stop and skipping over LAX are looking like...
* via ICN on KE - probably the preferred option amongst the family currently due to being arguably the cheapest option. Overnight layover but also allows time to spend an evening in the city (none of us have been to South Korea before).
* via HKG on CX - my personal preference due to *O lock-in but also more expensive. HKG is a nice airport imo.
* via HND/NRT on JL - another option but annoying as also overnight layover (so will need to find accomodation) and also a likely airport change as JL8 flies out from NRT. AFAIK there isn't much to do around NRT.
I won't comment on JL as @drron has provided some advice. HKG you have made it known it is your preference.
It does seem the family are pretty set on the KE option though primarily due to relatively cheap price per person and luggage allowance (2 x 23kg pieces, same as JL. CX's cheapest economy fares give 1 x 23kg only), but I'll have to find some time to write to the TA and see what they say.
What is your layover time in ICN and do you plan to have your luggage through checked. ICN is a largish airport and easy to navigate but if you were planning on going into Seoul for the evening with luggage I would think again. There is a commuter that leaves ICN for Seoul around every 10 minutes and will take around 1 hour. There is also a rapid line (KTX) that will take around 35 minutes and leaves 2-3 times an hour depending on the time of day. If you want to go out in Seoul from a station that is on the commuter lines from the KTX you will need to purchase an additional ticket and change at Seoul between the rapid line and the commuter line. It is not difficult but may/will involve lugging luggage up and down stairs. Also based on what info you have provided in Seoul you may need to purchase single trip tickets which are not expensive but in most stations you will require local currency to purchase and ensure you get the get the the deposit back.

If your travelling party is only have one evening in Seoul I would think about what you would like to do. If you would like to just get off the train and walk up towards the main palace and river you can take the commuter line (1) from ICN and get off at City Hall (one stop on from Seoul) and even if you use the wrong exit you will be in right vicinity. If it is more restaurants you are after you can stay on the same line and get off at either one of the next 2 stations as they will feed you into the Insa-dong area full off eating places and depending on your time of arrival some of the more traditional shops may be open. The other option to consider is Myeong-dong a lot of shops that stay open late and many places to eat. From ICN you will need to transfer at Seoul from the commuter line (1) or the KTX to commuter line (4) and it it 2 stops from Seoul. IME the Seoul commuter trains lines is one of the easiest systems I have come across in a large city, you just need to make sure if you have to transit you look for the correct platform exit to get you to the transfer areas. Also when you get on the train just check it is going in the correct direction. Have fun.
 
Last edited:

Recent Posts

Back
Top