The Marginal Return of Booking An Added Segment

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I’m on hold with AA today for the fourth time. I’m talking to a nice agent and I’m at peace from the hold music because it is barely audible. The reason I’m calling AA again is because I want to improve my reservation. The first rule in making an awards reservation is to lock up the long-haul portion. That was done. I have JFK-YVR-HKG-BKK all in Cathay first. This includes the flight from HKG-BKK meaning I will get to enjoy the Champagne Bar after all. For the return segment, I originally had HKG-EWR in business class.

More impressed by my departing segment than my return, I decided to search for additional segments for my flight back from Hong Kong. The reason is two-fold: First, why not stretch the value of your precious miles to the limit? Second, TPOL is a man of adventure. Besides playing the Country Count Game in order to reach the century mark, there is a separate thrill that comes from visiting new places.

Here are the countries within Asia Region 2 that could be added to my return segment while still preserving the 55k mile requirement.

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The only ones I have not visited are Guam, Java (since Bali is a separate territory from Indonesia according to the TCC), Saipan, and Borneo. (I’ve been to Brunei (Borne) and Malaysia proper (Kuala Lumpur) but Indonesia Borneo and Myanmar Borneo are also considered separate countries.)

I tried to book Guam or Saipan but of course there was no availability. In order to maximize miles and memories, I elected to fly from Kota Kinabalu (Borneo in Malaysia) to Kuala Lumpur to Hong Kong. I will also find a way to get to Jakarta (Java, Indonesia) in between arriving in Bangkok and departing Asia so I can check that off of the list. Remaining true to TPOL’s Travel philosophy, I will spend the required 3-4 days in each new destination.

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Plenty of lounge time, business class time, and a generous layover in Hong Kong

With the return secured, I can’t help but take a second look at the JFK-YVR-HKG-BKK routing and ask if I should terminate my itinerary in Bangkok.

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So much Cathay First…

Should I add another segment? Maybe I should add a flight that leaves the day after which departs before 6:10PM in order to maximize more first class time and more lounge time. But where would I go? I love Bangkok so what could be better than staying there for a few days? At some point there is a marginal return from the additional lounge, the additional flight.

The question is have I reached it or should I keep going.

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