Home Airlines I Finally Managed To Get The OK To Visit Hong Kong, But I’m Not Going To Plan A Trip Right Now

I Finally Managed To Get The OK To Visit Hong Kong, But I’m Not Going To Plan A Trip Right Now

by joeheg

Our big trip in 2020 is Japan. Originally we were planning on visiting during the Olympics but the crowds, the overpriced tickets and whole idea of visiting Japan in the summer eventually lost its appeal. That doesn’t mean we aren’t going to Japan in 2020, because we are. Just not in the summer. We’ve decided to put the trip off until later in the year when the temperatures are a bit cooler.

Ever since I knew we were going to Japan I had an idea in the back of my head. We have a ton of AA miles sitting in our accounts from the US Airways days. I could use those to get us flights on Cathay Pacific. First, I had to pitch the idea to Sharon.

I felt like Ralphie in “A Christmas Story” asking the department store Santa for a BB gun.


The Pitch

When the time felt right, after a glass of wine or two, I made my pitch. Now I know what the people on Shark Tank are feeling when they try to convince the sharks that their idea is a good one.

  • Um, you know how we’re going to Japan next year?
  • Yes
  • Well, I was thinking about the trip
  • A dangerous pastime
  • I know


OK, that’s how far a conversation in our house gets before someone works in a Disney reference.

  • Anyway, I was going over how we could get to Japan with miles.
  • And……
  • Since we’re already flown on ANA, maybe we could try another airline.
  • Like what?
  • I have all those AA miles, we could try to get flights on Cathay Pacific to Hong Kong. They’re supposed to be wonderful to fly with.
  • OK
  • And when we’re there, we might as well spend a few days in Hong Kong.
  • You know I don’t want to go to China.

Drats! The classic “Sharon doesn’t want to go to China” defense.

I managed to convince her that despite what China says, Hong Kong isn’t really China. It’s a different place, it used to be a British colony until not that long ago.

Then I pulled out the only other card I had to use.

And we could stay at Hong Kong Disneyland, that’s like staying at Disney. We’d only just visit the city for the day.


I did it. We could visit Hong Kong. Now it’s time to start planning the trip and I’m not including it in the itinerary.

My Dilemma

I am truly conflicted about planning a trip to Hong Kong right now. I’m not the only one as Cathay Pacific is cutting capacity due to the ongoing protests. I have no idea what the political landscape will look like during the time of my trip. All of the unrest may be resolved and things may be back to normal. It also could continue or even get worse. Why would I voluntarily plan a trip to such a location?

Now I’ve been one to champion visiting locations after tragic events, like when we visited Las Vegas two weeks after the mass shooting in 2017. The same goes for visiting places after natural disasters, which is why I wouldn’t feel bad about visiting any part of the Bahamas not affected by Hurricane Dorian right now.

However, I draw the line at social unrest.

Final Thoughts

I’m not going to pretend I’m an expert at China-Hong Kong politics. No matter if I think the protesters are right or wrong, there’s no question that the demonstrations have a possibility to significantly impact our vacation. Protesters have already closed the airport once, forcing cancellations of all fights.

hong kong airport protest

This is totally a self-centric world view but is there any other way to act when planning a trip? Unless you are a reporter or an activist, why would you willingly fly into an area of active unrest?

Our trip is still a long time away. As a compromise, I’m leaving a section of our trip open. If things in Hong Kong have settled down, I could still book flights there from Japan and I’m sure it wouldn’t be hard to book hotel rooms and an award flight home.

If things are still unsettled, I just plan on spending a few more days in Japan hoping that we’ll eventually get a chance to visit Hong Kong.

Am I wrong?

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary


DM September 13, 2019 - 6:03 pm

Go! Really go time to go. Less people in the Park.
Go during the week. Protests are usually on weekends.

Albert September 13, 2019 - 6:18 pm

You may want to go to Taipei. It’s a perfectly great destination that has great food and great cultural. However, China is awesome. Shanghai especially has a wonderful collection of awesome (and affordable) luxury hotel—plus the Shanghainese food is excellent. We have a Guangzhou and Chengdu trip (with W and St Regis stays attached). But you can still go to HKG and just keep an eye on what’s going on. No more of a US State Dept threat than Spain or other parts of Europe.

Christian September 13, 2019 - 8:19 pm

Whatever happens, the unrest will likely be over in a year. Additionally, Hong Kong is a very safe city and you seem unlikely to be mistaken for a local. My wife and I are visiting soon, only for an overnight this time, and I’m not worried. As a plus, Cathay is a superb airline.

Joey September 13, 2019 - 9:23 pm

I’m going to Japan as well for my big trip in 2020. I used my AAdvantage miles and redeemed them to fly on JAL. I suggest you guys do the same for the transpacific portion of your flights. If you still wish to go to HKG, then you can always do a round trip between Japan and Hong Kong. I personally prefer JAL to CX but to each his own. Whichever you choose, enjoy your trip next year!


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