Thursday, November 22, 2007

Hong Kong!

The Mrs. and I headed out to Hong Kong for Thanksgiving. It was a fantastic trip. We had a great time! I will post a series of entries highlighting our trip. For this entry, I'll talk about the long journey there.

We decided to leave on Thanksgiving Day because it is easy to get flights, especially international flights on Thanksgiving Day. Most Americans spend the day with family, eating turkey and watching football. Few travel internationally that day. And that makes it a good day to travel abroad.

For the trip, I cashed in 120,000 United Mileage Plus miles for two round-trip tickets. Since I am a Premier Executive member, I get Economy Plus seating which includes 5 extra inches of space. I can also reserve the exit rows - which provide even more space. Having that extra leg room in the exit rows makes a big difference when you fly - especially long distances. Being able to stretch your legs on flights without having to arch your body around people and obstacles is incredibly nice.

We took the 7:00 am flight out of Dulles. It was a 767, which means it included in-seat personal entertainment systems. A series of movies, music channels and GPS tracking/flight information is available. While not as sophisticated as European competitors, the entertainment system is still nice to have. If you have the choice between a 767/777 v. 737/757/321/320 when you fly, pick the 767/777. The wide body plane handles turbulence better and offers more amenities than the smaller planes.

As we approached San Francisco, to transfer to the flight to Hong Kong, we could see how nice the Bay Area looked. It was very sunny, with hardly any clouds. And the temperature was just about right - warm enough to get by with a light jacket and just a bit of crispness in the Fall air. There was a strong pull to spend the weekend in San Francisco before heading to Hong Kong. But Asia beckoned louder and a couple of hours later we hopped aboard a 747 bound for the Orient.

The flight to Hong Kong was relatively uneventful. My biggest surprise was the route, which took us north towards Alaska, then followed the Aleutian Islands across the International Date Line, then southwest towards Japan. I would have guessed a more direct route, across Hawaii and the Philippines would have been faster.

14 hours later, we landed in Hong Kong, cleared customs and headed for our hotel. More in the next installment.

No comments: