I’m about to start another trip report and I’d really appreciate your feedback on how I should go about it.
Back at the end of August it looked like American was going to start adding fuel surcharges onto all partner awards (where the partner charged those on paid tickets).
It turns out to have been a system glitch, compounded by a vaguely worded memo talking about changes to certain revenue tickets, and then mistakenly confirmed by American’s twitter team. Oops.
But during the few hours that this was going on I decided to book an award ticket, to get in under the wire and burn some miles and presumably save myself some money on fuel surcharges in the process.
I booked Cathay Pacific first class New York – Hong Kong and return, and then added in some flights around it so that I would have:
- Washington National – New York JFK, American Eagle first class
New York JFK – Hong Kong, Cathay Pacific first class
Hong Kong – Ho Chi Minh City, Cathay Pacific business class
Siem Reap – Hong Kong, Dragonair business class
Hong Kong – New York JFK, Cathay Pacific first class
New York JFK – Washington National, American Eagle first class
The cost of the award was 160,000 American Airlines miles and $65.50 in taxes.
I left it like that for a few months, not certain I’d even take the trip and especially when it turned out that it wasn’t the ‘last shot to redeem without fuel surcharges’. But I decided to make the trip.
- I purchased Ho Chi Minh City – Danang, where I booked the Hyatt Regency Danang.
- And I purchased Danang – Siem Reap, where I booked the Park Hyatt Siem Reap.
- I also booked Hong Kong airport to Macau by ferry, where I wound up on points at the Sheraton during Chinese New Year. And I returned by ferry (walk-up) to Hong Kong, where I stayed at the Grand Hyatt.
- Throughout I had some great local experiences worth reporting on, a second visit to Pho Hoa on Pasteur Street in Saigon, a second meal at Fernando’s in Macau, walking around the temples in Siem Reap, two Michelin three star meals in Hong Kong – including Bo Innovation, a home for Chinese molecular gastronomy.
Here’s where I need your help.
- I think I should do a full trip report. Back in May I went to Singapore and Bali, and flew Singapore first class. I didn’t do a traditional, chronological report. Instead I separately reported on a few lounges (Singapore’s Private Room, Premier Lounge in Bali, Singapore’s lounge in Hong Kong, and their lounge in San Francisco), on the Grand Hyatt Singapore and on the world’s most over-the-top hotel breakfast, an overall take on Singapore first class after four straight flights, and an Introduction to Singapore Hawker Centers.
At the time I received a whole bunch of feedback expressing a preference to pull it all together in a trip report, so that readers can ‘come along with me’.
Would you want to read this trip report? or should I write just a few posts on the things that stood out most, and not part of a larger trip discussion?
- I think I should truncate the posts. One of the comments I received during the report on my recent trip to Chennai, India in Etihad’s first class was that the reports are really long and readers have to scroll down pretty far to get past them to the next post on the blog.
There’s an easy way to fix this, I can put some of the content ‘above the fold’ and then folks who want can click to see and read the full post.
I’ve generally resisted this because it felt like a technique to generate clicks, I know that I hate reading an article and having to scroll through page after page. But one extra click for trip section may be more helpful than annoying. What’s your preference?
- How long is too long for the report?
This was a two week trip, with Cathay Pacific long haul first class segments, regional business class on Cathay as well as Dragonair, a Vietnam Airlines domestic flight and a turboprop from Vietnam to Cambodia. There’s the ferry between Hong Kong and Macao.
Lounge visits around the world, including the Wing and the Pier in Hong Kong — the former having been renovated, the latter with a temporary roped-off first class section.
There were several hotels — two Park Hyatts, the lovely Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, a Hyatt resort in Vietnam I haven’t read much online about, and an airport overnight in New York.
And the food… I know food reports are a polarizing subject, but there were some amazing meals at both the high and low end, some people like to read about them and others find them useful as they make decisions about what to do on their own trips.
Add in some sightseeing, and this could easily be a 23-segment trip report. So I ask again, how long is too long?
Your feedback, and any other suggestions, would be much appreciated!
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