Reader Ramy Flew in First Class to Hong Kong…and Made It His Miles & Points Goal!

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Update: One or more card offers in this post are no longer available. Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers. Welcome to the next installment of our Reader Success Series where Million Mile Secrets Readers share how they booked a trip with miles & points to get Big Travel with Small Money! Ramy is our newest reader success story to show folks it’s possible to travel without spending a lot of money.
Reader Ramy Flew In First Class To Hong Kong And Made It His Miles Points Goal
In the Korean Air First Class Suite
A big thank you to Ramy for sharing his story!

Please introduce yourself to everyone and tell us how long you’ve been involved in the miles & points hobby.

My name is Ramy Wahby.  I’ve been involved in the miles and points hobby since Summer 2014.

What was the goal of your trip?

To be honest, the goal of this trip was to experience Cathay Pacific long-haul First Class I read about it on almost every miles and points blog.  And it was a points and miles goal for me.

How long did you collect miles and points for your trip? 

I wasn’t collecting miles and points for this specific trip during a certain period of time.  I’ve had Alaska Airlines miles for a while and on a random day, I found an open seat from Hong Kong to New York ~10 months in advance.  So I called and booked it without really planning how I’d get to Hong Kong!

Reader Ramy Flew In First Class To Hong Kong And Made It His Miles Points Goal
My Bed in Cathay Pacific First Class

Which points did you save to take your trip?

I used:

What cards would you recommend to someone starting out with miles & points?

How did you search for and find the award flights?

To get to Hong Kong, I searched for Korean Air First Class seats on their website and on ExpertFlyer to see more dates around when I wanted to travel.

Reader Ramy Flew In First Class To Hong Kong And Made It His Miles Points Goal
Dinner Time With Doors Closed in Korean Air First Class

For Cathay Pacific, I used the British Airways website to search for seats.

How did you find your hotel accommodations?

For Hyatt and IHG hotels, I used their websites to search for open award rooms.

What was the most challenging part about planning your trip?  How did you solve it?

For some reason, the most challenging part was finding a seat in Korean Air First Class out of New York-JFK.  Usually, Korean Air has plenty of First Class seats open.  This is when I moved from searching on their website and decided to search on ExpertFlyer and set-up seat alerts.

Give us a few recommendations or tips for what to do at your destination.  Parks, restaurants, hidden gems, etc.

Because I only had one full day in Hong Kong, I decided to see things I didn’t see last time I was there.

Reader Ramy Flew In First Class To Hong Kong And Made It His Miles Points Goal
Yik Cheong “Monster” Building

I went to see the Yik Cheong Building which I saw several times on Instagram accounts.

Reader Ramy Flew In First Class To Hong Kong And Made It His Miles Points Goal
Yum Cha Dim Sum

I also went to eat at Yum Cha, which is an interesting and funky dim sum restaurant in Tsim Sha Tsui.

What did you learn about yourself on the trip?

I love traveling so much.  And for me, it’s not just about the destination.  Getting there is half the fun for me.

Spending 33 hours on planes out of an 80-hour trip is not for everyone.  But when you’re traveling in First Class in comfortable lie-flat seats and enjoying Krug Champagne and caviar, getting there can even be more than half the fun – especially when it’s for very little cash out of pocket! 😉

What would you say to folks looking to plan a similar trip?  Or to those who haven’t taken a miles & points trip yet!

Don’t get overwhelmed by the number of miles required for your trip.  It’s actually very easy to accrue hundreds of thousands of miles.
Reader Ramy Flew In First Class To Hong Kong And Made It His Miles Points Goal
Hong Kong Skyline

Start applying for one card at a time and you’ll reach your goal quickly.

Also, if you want to apply for more than one card at a time, Plastiq is a useful tool to help you reach the minimum spending on several cards because you can pay rent, mortgage, utilities, student loans and more using your credit cards.

Want to Share Your Story?

If you’d like to be considered for our reader success story series, please send me a note!  Emily and I would love to hear about how you travel with miles and points!

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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