My (Mis)Adventure With A China Eastern Award: A Cautionary Tale

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As a frequent business traveler who is a glutton for punishment values domestic experience and on-time performance over award redemptions, I have a pretty significant cache of miles with Delta.

So, when the topic of our annual December vacation came up and we decided on Malaysian Borneo, I did what your average Delta loyalist would do: I logged into my account and searched for the finest mainland Chinese carrier availability that SkyMiles can buy.

The outbound flight was fairly straightforward: I was able to snag two one-way business class tickets for 80,000 SkyMiles (now 95,000) from New York JFK to Kota Kinabalu (BKI) on China Eastern. It’s no Cathay Pacific or Japan Airlines but I’m a sucker for reverse herringbone seats, and I’m not typically bothered by cigarette smoke 😉