After a year of planning, launch day finally arrived. We had quit our jobs and said tearful goodbyes. Our teeny tiny little backpacks were packed.
After a Goodwill run to donate the last of our meager possessions, our tiny little rental flat was empty of what few belongings we had remaining.
It was time to start our affordable luxury digital nomad lifestyle.
Having made the decision to become affordable upscale digital nomads a year earlier, we had decided to keep an eye out for cheap international airline tickets and let the fates of airline pricing algorithms help guide us to our first destination.
After all, the whole point of our adopting this affordable luxury full time travel lifestyle was to be flexible and go with the flow as opportunities present themselves.
Cheap Hong Kong Airlines Business Class Tickets
In August the fates spoke: a $585 business class fare from LA to many Asian cities on Hong Kong Airlines appeared on our radar.
We snapped up two tickets from LA to Bangkok, figuring we could pretty easily and inexpensively get anywhere from there.
We were worried that these ‘mistake fare’ tickets would be rejected by the airline (they had left a zero off the fare – it was supposed to be $5850, not $585), but a day later the airline agreed to honor them!
A few days later we decided to start our adventure on the island of Koh Samui, Thailand for some R&R on lovely Chaweng Beach. Destination sorted!
Reserving Seats for Hong Kong Airlines Business Class
Hong Kong Airlines website is a mess. I never was able to get seat assignments using the website.
So I simply called Hong Kong Airlines and they booked us seats straight away.
We chose cuddle seats…more on that in a minute!
When to Depart
The launch date was set by another act of fate: the random day that our dear friend Martin was born.
Many of our travel friends have a tradition of doing a Napa wine tasting weekend for Martin’s birthday over the Martin Luther King Day long weekend in mid-January (Martin! Martin! Martin!).
Martin and his wife Ashley had a baby girl this fall, so the wine tasting was moved to their hometown in Southern California. Guess what else is in SoCal!? Yep: LAX airport, where our cheap flight to Bangkok would originate!!! The fates were smiling. We bought those cheap tickets to depart LAX after his birthday!
So we had a fantastic long weekend with friends in SoCal:
Hong Kong Airlines Business Class Review
Hong Kong Airlines LAX to HKG
We made our way to the International terminal at LAX.
Check in was a breeze. We did some light shopping and then had a drink at the LAX International Airport Lounge on the 6th Level. It’s a pretty crowded and bare bones lounge.
Soon we jumped on the 15-hour Hong Kong Airlines flight to Hong Kong.
And I have to say: Hong Kong Airlines was terrific!
The configuration for this Hong Kong Airlines A350 was the one on the left (our flight back from Hong Kong to LA was in the other Hong Kong Airlines A350 configuration on the right which I reviewed here).
Every other row has 2 seats right next to each other.
Lisa and I could literally cuddle when the seats were laid flat!
Not sure how I’d feel about having a stranger for a seatmate in that configuration, but it worked out great for us!
For AvGeeks like me, here is our literal launch seen from both external cameras on the Hong Kong Air A350!
We spent the long flight eating, drinking, watching movies and sleeping.
The meals were pretty standard business class fare. Beef or chicken or pasta.
The service was eager but a little unpolished. Certainly not up to the standards of other Asian airlines. But if I wanted anything it was quickly delivered.
Layover at HKG
We spent a 5-hour layover at Hong Kong Airlines Club Altus Lounge catching up on emails, working on the business and trying to stay awake.
Hong Kong Airlines Hong Kong to Bangkok
Then took the much shorter 3-hour flight to Bangkok.
This flight was on an older A330 with recliner seats.
The flight was relatively quick and uneventful.
Novotel BKK 24 Hour Policy After Hong Kong Airlines Business Class Flight
We spent the night at the Bangkok Airport Novotel hotel which has a great ’24 hour’ policy.
Because flights arrive and depart BKK at all sorts of crazy hours, a hotel reservation there lasts 24 hours from when you check in.
In our case, we checked in around 2:30 am, which meant we didn’t have to worry about normal 11am check-out times.
Based on that policy, we had decided to sleep in the next day and had booked an afternoon flight on Bangkok Airlines from Bangkok to Koh Samui.
We had a 3:30pm flight so we were able to check out and walk over to to the airport around 2pm.
An hour later we had finally arrived ready to unwind, relax and start our lives as affordable upscale digital nomads!
Bottom Line – Hong Kong Airlines Business Class
Hong Kong Airlines has a very good business class product.
It’s not quite to the standards of Cathay Pacific or Singapore Airlines but it is heads and tails better than a trans-Pacific business class experience on United or American Airlines.