Update: My Hong Kong Transit Dilemma – Live and Let’s Fly

I left you hanging and owe you an update. No, I did not decide to chance it and instead cancelled my trip from Hong Kong to London due to my transit dilemma. But that has left me with another dilemma on my hands.

When even Danny Lee of the South China Morning Post warmed me not to attempt the trip, I knew it would have been foolishness (at best) and persona non grata status or prison time (at worse).

So I cancelled the trip. Apprehensively, I might add.

British Airways had cancelled the flight on me several times, but this time it was me making the voluntary change. Would they allow me to rebook at no fee or want to charge me more miles?

The British Airways Executive Club call centers have been slammed lately – such that for hours I could not even join the queue but only encountered a busy signal. I finally called the Hong Kong office and only had to wait a few minutes. A very professional agent made the change and my trip is now rescheduled for January…too soon? We’ll see.

But there’s a problem. Because of my displacement, I had been booked in revenue first…full fare F to be precise. I was banking on this trip to re-qualify for my American Airlines Executive Platinum status (I’m only at about $5K in earned spend for the year, but AA is currently running a promo where you if you earn $2K EQD this quarter, you re-qualify with no minimum flying necessary).

I’m rebooked in “Z” class (award first class), meaning I will earn no miles. That’s a bummer. So now I have to figure out what to do about my AA status. At this point, I’m thinking it is a lost cause.

Original post below:

While the West re-opens, it’s going to take longer in Asia…and now my Hong Kong transit is up in the air.

Hong Kong Transit Dilemma: Separate Tickets

Almost a year ago, I booked a booked a British Airways first class flight from Hong Kong to London during a half-off Avios promotion. The route was scheduled with a refurbished 777-300 and it has been many years since I have flown first class on British Airways. Three times, my flights was cancelled. I pushed it back to next month. But now it looks like the flight is sticking (and has the old first class).

Hong Kong is allowing international transit again, but there is a catch…everything must be on a single ticket. I have not been able to find the actual regulation which specifies this, but this is what airlines websites make clear.

That’s obviously a problem for me, since I am on a one-way ticket form HKG-LHR. I had planned to connect in Hong Kong with a separate ticket, spend a few hours, potentially not even be allowed in a lounge, but then board my BA flight to London.

That’s all up in the air.

So while Asia travel has been off-limits for most people for quite some time, I wanted to ask my readers:

  • Is Hong Kong very strict in enforcing its “single ticket” rule for transit passengers?
  • Am I missing anything? Perhaps I can add a segment from Tokyo or Taipei unto the existing itinerary, but even if that was possible, it would likely re-price the ticket at present-day rates, which would mean a heck of a lot more miles or $.
  • If I booked a different connecting itinerary through Hong Kong, would I be allowed to “switch” to the British Airways flight?

CONCLUSION

Unless I can find a way to extend this trip again, I don’t think the Hong Kong trip is going to work next month. Unless Hong Kong relaxes its transit rules, it appears I will not be permitted to board my flight.

image: Cathay Pacific

Author: Matthew Klint