If you have to travel from the U.S. West Coast to Hong Kong, Bangkok or Bali in early July -- or if the idea inspires your wanderlust -- you're in luck. To promote a new daily flight, Cathay Pacific Airlines has just announced an amazing limited-time fare of $500 round trip (plus taxes) from Los Angeles to Hong Kong. And if you're flying from San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland, Sacramento, San Diego, Las Vegas, Fresno, Monterey, Phoenix or Tucson, Cathay will fly you round trip via L.A. for $600.
On top of that, you can fly on to Bali or Bangkok for an extra $100 round trip -- the best offer I've seen in a long time.
What's the catch? The biggest restriction is time: You have to start your travel on one of 10 departure dates, beginning July 1 and ending July 10, and you have to fly to Hong Kong on Cathay flight 883 (which departs Los Angeles at 2:40 p.m. and arrives at 8:40 p.m. the following day) and return on flight 882 (which departs at 3 p.m. and arrives in L.A. at 1:10 p.m. the same day). You can stay a maximum of five nights in Hong Kong -- and if you want to venture on to Bangkok or Bali, your maximum stay in either place is three nights each.
Also, to get the fare, you have to register as a Cathay Pacific CyberTraveler at the Cathay Web site. Once you've registered, you need to call 1-800-233-2742 to make your reservations and buy your tickets. You can get as many tickets as you like for anyone you want, but the tickets are non-refundable and you have to pay by credit card on the spot.
And the offer ends 5 p.m. PDT June 11 -- or earlier if all the allotted seats sell out.
In conjunction with this promotion, Cathay has also lined up some special deals with hotels: In Hong Kong, Regal International Hotels are offering rooms for as low as $45 per night. (Call 1-800-222-8888 and ask for the Hop to Hong Kong rate.)
In Bangkok, the Regent (1-800-545-4000) is offering Hop to Hong Kong deals starting at $85 per night, and the Shangri-la (1-800-942-5050) at $110 per night.
In Bali, the Sheraton (1-800-325-3535) has CX Sizzler rates starting at $79 per night, and the Hyatt (1-800-233-1234) is offering Hop to Hong Kong tie-ins starting at $98 per night.
This promotion dovetails with a downturn in visitor arrivals in both Hong Kong and Bali, so other travel bargains abound as well, and it would be wise to check around before booking your room. But as far as regularly scheduled air fares go -- Cathay's sound good to me.
If you hear of something better, let me know!