Air travel has become torture in recent years as airlines cram more passengers in cattle class. The US airlines are all horrendous when it comes to service, so when traveling long haul internationally, it is well worth it to fly the foreign airlines. Cathay Pacific is one of the best and even their rates in premium economy class are value priced from New York to Hong Kong. From Hong Kong, connections are available to almost anywhere in Asia.
After a long overnight flight, one of the best things to help ease the jet lag is a nice shower upon arrival. Cathay pacific really delivers with their lounges at HKG and the facilities are among the best to be found anywhere in the world.
In addition, with OneWorld preferred status, travelers can get access to the first class area of the lounges and have a nice, civilized sit down meal in a dining room with all expected amenities.
These days, airline points and loyalty programs are worth less and less, although access to international amenities remains one of the last reasons to stay loyal to a particular airline. When traveling internationally, it is well worth flying a foreign affiliate and taking advantage of civilized travel; something that does not seem to exist anymore in the United States.