Yes, I’m crazy, but not as crazy as others. I did an out-and-back trip to Hong Kong from New York on American Airlines over Labor Day Weekend. How much did it cost? In total, including airfare, the weekend cost $302 plus 38,922 Citibank Thank You points plus 15,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points.
It all began with a targeted Fast Track to elite AAdvantage status offer from American Airlines. I took the plunge and booked a flight to Hong Kong, which was sufficient miles to earn Platinum status through January 2018. The price was about $650 for the flight, but I paid with Citibank Thank You points (see below).
I almost canceled due to, among other things, family issues, questions on the current worth of airline status, and that sensible person in my head whispering why are you doing this? But, I like to finish what I start, so I ignored my whispers, and charged forward.
I’m glad I went.
I left 7 am on Friday morning and returned at 11:30 pm, Monday, Labor Day. In both directions, I changed planes in Dallas. To my delight, I even ran into friends at the DFW American Express Centurion Lounge!
The flights (especially the 16-hour DFW-HKG flight) were long. I splurged on the $19 wifi, which was worth it’s weight in gold (note: you can stream on this wifi).
Hong Kong Airport was large and modern. There was a cool art exhibit.
To my surprise, I saw and experienced a lot more in those 36 hours in Hong Kong than I ever dreamed I would. I want to see more, so it’s back on my travel list.
I stayed at the Hyatt Regency Hong Kong, Tsim Sha Tsui (separate post coming soon). It was very nice and the staff was extremely accommodating.
As a Diamond Gold Passport member, my breakfast was included as were evening cocktails and canapes. They knew I was arriving late the first night, so they set aside a special platter of food for me! I met really nice people at the Regency Club, including a local tour guide, Mandy from Hong Kong Getaway, who gave me suggestions where to visit on my one full day in Hong Kong. She even emailed me detailed itineraries and directions. If you are looking for a tour guide for Hong Kong, I certainly recommend Mandy.
My one real day in Hong Kong was filled from beginning to end. From a morning run, to an afternoon visit to Chi Lin Nunnery and Nan Lian Garden, to strolls through some outdoor markets and indoor malls.
This site alone was worth traveling 10,000 miles.
Did I miss anything? Of course I did. I’ll see that next time.
MONEY, MONEY, MONEY
I hardly spent anything – – there was a Citibank ATM at the airport. The minimum withdrawal was 500 HKG pounds. Of that, I spent some money for the Hong Kong MTR (subway), a very good and well-priced subway system. The cash I didn’t spend I applied towards my hotel bill.
What did it cost?
The flight from LGA-HKG cost $645, but I used 38,922 Citibank Thank You Points
The wi-fi on the flight was $38 ($19 x 2)
The Taxi from Manhattan to LGA was $34
The Airport Express Train from HKG-Kowloon (which included a bus shuttle directly to the hotel) was approximately $20
MTR (subway) was approximately $10
Hyatt Regency Hong Kong, Tsim Sha Tsui – Cash and points- 2 nights – 15,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points and $200
I did not spend any money on food or drinks – as I visited decent airport lounges at LGA, DFW and HKG, was fed on the flights, and my hotel stay included breakfast as well as evening complimentary hors d’oeuvres and cocktails.
FINAL TALLY: $302 plus 38,922 Citibank Thank You points plus 15,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points.