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Posts: 142
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2007 11:48 am

SFO-BKK - NH/TG Vs CX Vs CA - Help Me Decide

Sun Jun 05, 2011 9:31 pm

Hi everybody,

I usually fly to BKK twice a year. This year, however, I will probably make it only once to the Land of Smiles (although for 2 months). I would like to fly at the beginning/middle of July and come back at the beginning/middle of September.

I have 3 choices:
1.) CA via Beijing for about $1200
2.) NH/TG combo via NRT for $1400
3.) CX via HKG for about $1500-1600.

Of course, I'll fly Y class  

I can't decide which airline(s) I should choose.

All of the above options have advantages and disadvantages.

Pro: I never flew this airline and I have never been to PEK. It's also the cheapest option.
Con: The reviews about this airline are rather mixed. I would also have a long layover in PEK. No status with this airline.

Pro: I have never flown TG internationally. I have flown NH before and I liked their service. The connections in NRT are rather good (less than 2 hours).
Con: I have flown NH before. and I have been to NRT countless times. I would also get only 50% of the actual miles flown on NH. And I have no status with either airline.

Pro: Good service. I also have Marco Polo Silver status with the airline so I could use the lounges. The connection times in HKG can also be quite good (less than 2 hours if I gtake the shortest connections) and I would get the full mileage.
Con: I have flown them quite often and they are the most expensive option.

I have never been to the CX lounges in HKG. For this reason alone I tend to go with CX.

Still, are the lounges worth it? Is there any chance of an op-up on any of the sectors with CX?

Any advice would be appreciated before I make my decision.


Posts: 224
Joined: Wed Oct 06, 2010 8:55 am

RE: SFO-BKK - NH/TG Vs CX Vs CA - Help Me Decide

Mon Jun 06, 2011 12:23 pm

Hi there

I would choose CX and then NH/TG.

Reasons: CX you are already a silver member and it is nice to be able to sit around the lounges in HK. They are really rather good. Also there are four lounges to choose from and each has some cool amenities. The chances that you get upgraded depends. I would say your chances are higher on the BKK-HKG-BKK sector. Although prob your chances are higher if you are gold with CX. Also I am not sure but I thought if you are silver or gold you can choose extra legroom seats at no or little cost. You also get priority boarding and can check in at the business class counter and your bags will be priority tagged. Also CX is a good airline and should anything happen they have 2-3 flights a day between SFO and countless flights between HKG-BKK. Further HKG airport is perfect to transit and it is also an airport which caters to transiting passengers. AVOD is also another plus point for CX.

NH/TG are both good airlines but I am not sure if they match up with CX's offering in Y class. TG you might not get a new plane and end up with no AVOD. NH I can't judge as I have not flown them long haul. There food though was good when I flew them once for a 2h flight. Service is good on both carriers but then CX also has good service usually.

CA: first of all, PEK although better than before is still not an ideal airport to transit through. Also T3 at PEK can get very boring if you are stuck there for long and can't access a lounge. The building also tends to be too hot in summer and too cold in winter as something is wrong with the ventilation. Spotting can be fun but then you mostly only see Chinese carriers which after a while can get boring as well. Also the constant announcements about flights can be a pain after a while. CA uses their newer planes to the US but I heard that the AVOD is very bad if at all existent and food is catered to Chinese people which can be unusual to say the least. It is very different than Asian food in South East Asia which is great. Service can be hit and miss and also as you read some reviews, if things go wrong, then they go wrong big time.

However if money is important to you then why not but I would prefer to pay a bit more and fly with other carriers.

Did you check if BR or KE have some good offers? Or you can also book a cheap ticket with FD or one of the many carriers which fly BKK-HKG and try to see if you can get a good ticket on UA (*A miles) or SQ to SFO.

Hope this helps. Have a safe and fun flight!
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RE: SFO-BKK - NH/TG Vs CX Vs CA - Help Me Decide

Tue Jun 07, 2011 8:03 pm

My advice: avoid CA at all costs, they are horrible in pretty much every aspect. Then it's a toss up between NH and TG - NH is great, their food is good if not a bit on the smaller portioned side. TG is world famous for their catering and the way it looks these days you will probably end up on an upgraded interior aircraft. NH has consistently great cabin crew IMHO and with TG it's more like a 70/30 toss for a good/bad crew.

CX is good but in Y it's really nothing to write home about. Their slide in economy seat is a hotly contested topic and their catering is by no means the best in the industry. I used to say that their cabin crew were consistently great, but sadly I have no longer found that the truth - more along the lines of the TG crew - 70/30 split. I flew on a older regional 777 of theirs and was shocked how dated and tatty the interior was (especially compared to the regionally configured SQ 777 birds) and it really surprises me that CX keeps these interiors flying when SQ is upgrading their regional offering. The food was mediocre but the presentation really lacked quality - an old small casserole dish to serve the main and a really dated looking service regiment...I was surprised by how much CX had slipped actually.
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Topic Author
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RE: SFO-BKK - NH/TG Vs CX Vs CA - Help Me Decide

Thu Jun 09, 2011 10:56 pm

Hi LAX888 and sq_ek_freak,

Thank you for your advice. I have finally made a decision - I am going with CX. Although it is the most expensive option I was always satisfied with their level of service. Plus, I have Marco Polo silver status which gives me priority check-in and lounge access. NH/TG were a close second but I would not have any lounge access or priority status with them. And CA - well, it was the cheapest option but also with the presumably worst service standards plus the longest layovers.

Now I just have to figure out which lounge to use in HKG during my 3 hour layover  
Posts: 55
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2009 11:45 pm

RE: SFO-BKK - NH/TG Vs CX Vs CA - Help Me Decide

Fri Jun 10, 2011 12:40 am

Quoting sq_ek_freak (Reply 2):
avoid CA at all costs, they are horrible in pretty much every aspect.
Quoting sq_ek_freak (Reply 2):
TG is world famous for their catering

Not sure where you get those ideas from...

The service on CA has really improved lately. Indeed the Chinese FAs are some of the friendliest out there.

As far as TG's catering, I have had plenty of chances to experience it lately in both Y and C, and found it to be mediocre bordering on poor.

Quoting sq_ek_freak (Reply 2):
with TG it's more like a 70/30 toss for a good/bad crew

There I agree with you. It's something to do with the average age being a lot higher than many Asian competitors I think.

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