Trip Report: Memorial Day Firsts – Introduction

Seattle to New York
New York
New York to Vancouver
Vancouver to Seattle


This is probably one of my craziest introductions. Lately when I told people what I was doing for memorial day they looked at me wierdly.. and asked one thing… Why? My reply…. “Because I can”.

This all stems back a number of years, when I first started reading about points and I saw a trip report from either Lucky or Gary (I don’t remember which) on Cathay Pacific First Class. I saw it and I was hooked. I had to fly it one day. Well that eventually was going to come to fruition. My friend Charles flew it last year when he came to visit this side of the country and he told he how easy it was to fly JFK to YVR on Cathay First Class using American points. Using Qantas points was just stupid as it would of cost me way to many. How do I get enough American points to do this… well 1 credit card churn is all it took. Once I got my credit rating the first thing I did was apply for an American Airlines Citibank card. 50,000 points later (after like $2000 in spend in 4 months.. pfft whatever) and I was set. Finding the availability was a whole other story.

Eventually after plenty of planning i managed to get the flight booked in and the total outlay was $2 in taxes. I scoffed at this on the phone. Then the agent remembered the phone reservation fee. Dammit. $25 added on. Still a $3500 airfare one way from New York to Vancouver for $27… Hell YES!

So one flight set. Now how the hell do I get to New York. I managed to find a cheap one way flight on Jetblue and then booked that. Crap… now I have to get from Vancouver back home to Seattle. Can’t drive, that won’t work. So I ended up checking Amtrak vs Bolt Bus. Bolt wins. Mal’s taking the Bus! From an Economy Seat to a First Class Suite to a Bus… talk about differences. Here is what a crazy ass itinerary looks like on a map:



So with that all booked in.  I was flying out on the Jetblue red eye on Thursday night (which is tonight actually!) and then I was not flying to Vancouver till Saturday night at 10pm so I would actually have some time to see New York.  I managed to get a really good rate on a room in New York at the Eventi, which is a Kimpton Hotel.  I did status match over (and I talked about that in the past).  This was planned to be my first stay at a Kimpton but my Portland trip fixed that.  So that was the east coast covered.  What about the West.  2 nights were required in Vancouver as I got in on Sunday morning at 1am.  So I tried my trusty old friend the Fairmont Vancouver Airport.  They came to the party with their usual cheap rates and I was set.

Fast forward till to about a week or so ago and I find out that I will be in New York for the opening of the new Delta T4.  So a few emails back and forth and hey presto.  Mal has  press invite.  It did mean I was going to have make quick turns on arrival in New York but hey it would be worth it.  My plans got all changed up and it meant I wouldn’t be able to go spotting anymore in New York but I would keep it for Vancouver.  Also found out that a friend would be in New York on the Friday so that solidified my evening plans hanging out with her.

So in the end it looked like this:

Thursday 23rd May – Jetblue B682 Seattle to New York 2130/0545+1
Friday 24th May – Delta T4 Opening, New York fun and Frivolities – Eventi Hotel New York
Saturday 25th May – New York during the day, Cathay Pacific CX889 2200/0130
Sunday 26th May – Fairmont YVR Airport, Spotting, Avgeek Fun
Monday 27th May – Bolt Bus – Vancouver to Seattle

It would mean I have a whole heap of firsts for me:

1. First Transcon Red Eye
2. First flight on Jet Blue
3. First flight on Cathay Pacific
4. First flight Trans Con in First Class
5. First Media Event NOT in Seattle (trips don’t count)

So Stay tuned, This one is going to be indulgent!

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