Our free trip to Thailand

It’s been exactly a year since we took our second dream vacation to Phuket and Bangkok, Thailand paid for by airline miles and hotel points.

I thought it is finally about time that I do a proper write up of our adventures.

Thailand Trip Day 1 – flight cancellations
Thailand Trip Day 2
Thailand Trip Day 3
Thailand Trip Day 4
Thailand Day 5 Island Hopper Excursion
Thailand Day 6 – Rain
Thailand Trip Day 7 – the local market
Thailand Trip Day 8
Thailand Trip Day 9 – Jim Thompson shop, Temples, and Gulati
Thailand Trip Day 10 – A Chill Day and going to the movies
Thailand Trip Day 11 – home in first class

Day 1
My wife spent some serious time on the phone with the Delta desk and the Hilton desk booking our trip. Our plan was to fly first class to Phuket, Thailand and stay at the Hilton Arcadia Resort & Spa for 7 days and then fly to Bangkok, Thailand and stay at the JW Marriott for 3 days.

We were trying to decide between the Hilton Arcadia Resort Spa and the JW Marriott Phuket Resort and Spa. Based on all the reviews we read, the JW would certainly be nicer but more out of the way. We decided on the Hilton Arcadia.

After several hours, my wife had all of the routings set up and hotels booked. We would fly SLC – LAX – TPE – BKK in first class on China Airlines. From there, we would take Thai Airways from Bangkok to Phuket.

Luckily, I had 9000 BMI miles from a previous promotion to join their frequent flyer club. I was able to redeem these miles for a free one way ticket from Bangkok to Phuket on Thai Airlines.

We arrived to the SLC airport in plenty of time for our first flight. As we waited in the First Class line, we overheard a couple of people mentioning that the last flight from SLC to LAX has been cancelled. We started to feel a little bit panicked. We finally had our turn at the counter where the agent informed us that indeed the last flight from SLC to LAX had been cancelled. He said the best that he could do at that time was to book us on the following day.

This was problematic since we had purchased non-refundable Thai Airline tickets from Bangkok to Phuket.

We stayed calm and talked to the agent about our extensive travel plans. He turned out to be about the best agent ever. He started to type in his computer to see what he could do. After a while, he found a way to change our reservation from SLC – LAX – TPE to SLC – SFO – TPE hitting the same connections. We would only be in business class from SFO – TPE but at this point we were just happy to still be going this day.

We ran to the gate and made the SFO without any problem in First Class.

We arrived in SFO and tried without success to get them to change our reservations from Business Class to First Class. China Airlines just wouldn’t budge. We decided to give up and headed to the lounge. I was really surprised how awful the China Airlines lounge was in San Francisco. The food was subpar and the seats quite hard.

We boarded the SFO – TPE flight and sat back for our 14 hours flight to Taipei in business class. We were on the upper deck of the plane. The seats were nice but definitely a little old. The service was superb.

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