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North Vietnam with Cathay Pacific

Bart Lapers at Mua Caves Ninh Binh Vietnam 2019

Last year, I flew the inaugural flight from Brussels to Hong Kong with Cathay Pacific in Business Class. This year, I decided to give Premium Economy a try. As I had already explored Hong Kong before, I added a connecting flight to Hanoi with Cathay Dragon in Business Class.
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Brussels Airlines American Express: 26,000 bonus miles!

UPDATE JULY 2019: The 26,000 miles offer has now expired. However, there’s a new offer for applications made until 31/08/2019. Apply for the Brussels Airlines Premium American Express card with 12.000 Miles & More bonus miles and don’t pay the €150 fee the first year using the card! To receive a personalised sign-up link for this offer, please complete the form below.
Brussels Airlines American Express welcome bonus 12000 miles
American Express has a very attractive limited time offer: the Brussels Airlines Premium American Express card with 26.000 Miles & More bonus miles for signing up and spending €1500 in the first 3 months using the card. This offer is only valid till 30/04/2019. To receive a personalised sign-up link for this offer, please complete the form below.
Brussels Airlines Premium American Express Credit Card detailsEarning airline miles is not limited to flying, you can earn miles with almost anything these days. One of the easiest ways to earn extra miles is signing up for a credit card. You will receive 6000 miles for signing up for the Brussels Airlines Premium American Express card + an additional referral bonus of 6000 miles via my blog. After spending €1500 in the first 3 months using the card, you’ll receive another 14000 bonus miles. Additionally you’ll earn 1,5 miles per euro spent with the card. American Express also provides a yearly bonus of 10000 miles when you spend €20000 in one year. Miles of the Miles & More program can be used to book (and upgrade) flights of any Star Alliance carrier. My preferred way of using Miles & More miles is redeeming them on Lufthansa First Class flights.

Pic: Lufthansa First Class booked with miles
The key to earning the maximum amount of miles is to pay as much as possible with your credit card. Pay all your bills and purchases (both online and offline) with your credit card, every euro counts! Shopping (including groceries), dining, gas, electronics, hotels, airline tickets, … almost everything! The yearly fee of the card is €150 but comes with a number of travel insurances & buyer protection.
Brussels Airlines American Express insurance package travel protection overview
What are the pitfalls?

  • The annual fee of the Brussels Airlines American Express card is €150
  • American Express cards have a high conversion fee (2,5%) for non-euro payments. Use your Brussels Airlines American Express cards for euro payments only. For non-euro payments, I recommend Revolut.

I’m not yet a Miles and More member, where do I sign-up?
You can enroll at the Miles and More website.

Questions? Email me at bart@bart.la
Don’t see the form? Click here.

To receive a personalised sign-up link, please complete the form below.

Full disclosure: By signing up for the Brussels Airlines American Express card using your personalised link, I will also receive bonus miles. Thank you for supporting my travel blog and enjoy your sign-up bonus. 🙂

My Best Travel Experiences of 2018

Pic: Shipwreck Beach at Zakynthos Island, Greece.
Once the travel bug bites there is no known antidote, and I know that I shall be happily infected until the end of my life. – Michael Palin. I’m pretty sure that statement is valid for me too! Time to wrap up 2018 with an overview of my travel highlights of the year.

Flights

Cathay Pacific A350 Business Class Bart Lapers
Pic: Cathay Pacific A350 Business Class (Mar 2018)
After record years 2016 with 116 flights (160,432 miles flown) and 2017 with 122 flights (161,352 miles flown), I ended 2018 with slightly lower flight stats.

    • 95 flights (139,609 miles flown) (5.6x around the earth, 336 hours up in the air)
    • 1 First Class flight with Air France
    • 15 Business Class flights with Emirates, Kuwait Airways, Swiss, Cathay Pacific, British Airways, Brussels Airlines, Thai Airways and Turkish Airlines.

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Cathay Pacific A350 Business Class Brussels – Hong Kong

On March 25th, Cathay Pacific launched its non-stop service between Brussels Airport and Hong Kong. I was invited to attend the inaugural event and had the pleasure to join the first non-stop A350 flight from Brussel to Hong Kong.
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10 Tips For Better Travel in 2018

1. Use Google Trips


If there’s one travel app you’re going to install on your smartphone this year, it should be Google Trips. The app gathers all your travel reservations (flights, hotels, rental cars, …) from your gmail inbox, organises them trip by trip and stores all details on your phone so you can still access your travel reservations while you’re offline. But the app does a lot more than that. It uses your travel plans to generate of number of handy list for your destination: “Things to do”,  “Food & Drink”, “Getting around”, “Need to Know”, … it even creates Day Plans using Google Maps so you don’t need to plan anything in advance. And what’s really great, all this information is available when you’re offline! Have a look at the video below for a nice overview of the features of Google Trips.

2. Keep track of Flight Deals


Checking flight deals should become a daily routine if you want to score the best travel deals. In my opinion, the most efficient way to keep track of deals is Twitter notifications. I get most of my deal notifications via:
@secretflying
@fly4freecom
@traveldealz_de (German)
@theyhbu (German)
If you are overwhelmed by the number of notifications, you can also limited the notifications to flight deals from Belgium via the pushapp of Fly4Free. In case you are looking for a particular flight deal, you can set an email alert via Google Flights to keep track of flights for your destination & dates. Don’t forget to also check your flights via Momondo, as they tend to regularly find cheaper or alternative fares.
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