Cathay Pacific Brings Service from Seattle to Hong Kong in April 2019

Flying to Asia from the west coast has always been easy with the options of various carriers, and alliances, but Cathay Pacific’s new service from Seattle to Hong Kong and definitely a golden nugget in my basket.  One of my favorite cities to fly to is Kuala Lumpur, and often times, I’ve had to depart from SFO or LAX to do that, but this new option from Seattle makes things a lot easier for me, since Cathay’s partner, Alaska Airlines has tons of flights to Seattle from Portland.  The service will begin in April 2019, and this may work out perfect, as I plan on going to Malaysia next year sometime, anyways. I found an amazing restaurant there, and I need to hit it up again!!

This makes going to Asia for me even easier, if I can score availability on award tickets..  The aircraft will be serviced by A350-900s, which are super quiet and comfortable.  I flew it before, and was very satisfied with it.  There’s also Wi-Fi connectivity on board, for business , premium economy, and economy.  The flight will have a 4x weekly service, and will hopefully have a lot of award availability so I can use up some of my AAdvantage and Alaska miles to book award tickets.  Of course, you can rack up Cathay Pacific miles also by transferring CITI ThankYou points, or American Express Membership Rewards, into their mileage program, known as AsiaMiles. Happy Travels.

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Skip That North Korean Trip

The death of Otto Warmbier should be a reminder for us all that traveling to places like North Korea isn’t a great idea.  Honestly, I don’t think we will really know the facts why he was detained, and any statement regarding his detainment from his captors, shouldn’t be taken seriously. This article in The Independent UK highlights some of those points, and is written by a former North Korean, who luckily escaped to South Korea. Check it out as it is very interesting.  I have seen documentaries of people who have sneaked out footage of stores, hotels, and restaurants, and put them on YouTube for everyone to watch, and I cant help wonder what a big risk they took to do that.  They very well could’ve ended up like Otto Warmbier, seriously.  I personally have no ambitions to visit North Korea, or to fly their state carrier Air Koryo, in light of Otto’s death, because they could just apprehend you for no reason, and you really don’t have any rights.  There won’t be a phone call to mom and dad, and you’ll end up in a kangaroo court, and get served the most idiotic definition of justice there probably exists in this world.

Brave Tourists Looking for Instagram Fame

There are several tour companies that arrange North Korean tours. Though I don’t recommend them, you can check out their offerings and get an idea of costs.

The Young Pioneer Tours – this is the company that handled Otto’s trip to North Korea. They have probably the most experience in handling a trip there, but also have come under fire now with the recent event. Therefore, they are no longer offering tours for Americans to North Korea, but still open to other passport holders.

Uri Tours – This is another company that boasts travels to the DPRK. They also take Americans, and also offer packages that include skiing, snowboarding, and even a marathon.  Run for your life!..you may need to.

Koryo Tours – this Beijing based company, founded by two British guys, hosts tours as well. They are a bit smaller, but account for 50% of travels by Westerners to North Korea.

I would take my chances on a trip to Iran before North Korea. If anything, if I do get detained, I know at least the food will be better….or at least I hope.

Happy (and safe) Travels.

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