Redeem Miles For China Southern New York Flight

Last October I wrote about China Southern’s CEO suggesting they were eying service to New York in 2014, and it appears as if that’s finally materializing. Per airlineroute.net, China Southern will launch service to New York as of August 6, 2014:

China Southern 399 Guangzhou to New York departing 1:40AM arriving 5:45AM
China Southern 300 New York to Guangzhou departing 11:15AM arriving 3:15PM (+1 day)

The route will operate four times weekly — Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays in both directions. The route is over 8,000 miles and blocked at roughly 16 hours per direction.

It will be operated by a Boeing 777-300ER, which China Southern hasn’t actually taken delivery of. So it’ll be a brand new plane, and will feature a first, business, and economy class cabin. My guess is that the first class cabin will consist of fully enclosed suites, and I think it’s a given that business class will be fully flat.

Anyway, this is an exciting new route for anyone looking to redeem Delta SkyMiles, since it can be really tough to find award space on SkyTeam partners with a solid business class product from the east coast of the US to Asia. Delta charges 140,000 SkyMiles for roundtrip business class between the US and most of Asia under their new devalued award chart.

Award space on the route is fairly good. It’s nowhere near as good as the award space China Southern had when they first launched A380 service to Los Angeles, where they literally had at least nine business class award seats per flight. But on the New York service I’m seeing an average of 1-3 business class award seats per flight, which I’d say is pretty good. Keep in mind that China Southern award space can’t be searched or booked on delta.com. Instead you can search space on ExpertFlyer and then call Delta SkyMiles to book.

China-Southern-JFK-1 China-Southern-JFK-2

It’s worth noting that Delta does impose fuel surcharges for travel on China Southern, and in pulling up a roundtrip fare it looks like the taxes, fees, and fuel surcharges would total ~$400USD.

China-Southern-JFK-3

Alternatively, this is a great way to fly one-stop from New York to Sydney using Delta SkyMiles in a fully flat business class product the whole way. Under their new award chart Delta charges 160,000 SkyMiles for roundtrip business class between the US and Australia, and they let you route via Asia. China Southern even flies the A380 between Guangzhou and Sydney, and the flight times line up fairly well. The Guangzhou to Sydney flight has an unbelievable amount of award space.

China-Southern-JFK-4

You can also plan a stopover in Guangzhou, given that you can now do a 72 hour transit there without a visa.

As a reminder, you can’t redeem Delta SkyMiles for travel in international first class. If you do want to redeem for first class, your best bet is to book through Korean Air SkyPass, which is transfer partners with Chase Ultimate Rewards (meaning you can redeem your points from your Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Ink Plus® Business Card, and Ink Bold® Business Card). While Korean Air allows one-way awards for travel on their own flights, when booking partner airlines you have to book a roundtrip (though you can mix partners on a roundtrip award).

Korean Air SkyPass charges 120,000 miles for roundtrip business class between the US and Northeast Asia (which includes China), while they charge 160,000 miles for roundtrip first class. I’d say the latter is an especially good value given that China Southern seems to consistently release two award seats in first class on the flight.

Korean-Air-Chart-1

Anyway, this is an exciting new route for SkyTeam. I’ll be flying China Southern’s A380 from Los Angeles to Guangzhou next month, and am quite looking forward to the experience!

(Tip of the hat to The Hustle Blog)

(In the interest of full disclosure, I earn a referral bonus for anyone approved through the above link. All are for the best available offers. Thanks for your support!)

Comments

  1. Nick says

    The SYD A380 service will be seasonal – apparently it’s too much capacity for the route – and will revert back to A330 at the end of February. Also, they now fly their 787 to AKL, providing a decent option to get to NZ.

  2. Gene says

    @Ben — This is all nice, but is Delta still unable to “see” CZ space, or have they fixed this problem? I gave up trying to book CZ J awards months ago, and would love to know they are back!

  3. dwi cahyadi says

    Based on the KE chart, it looks 180k miles usa to southeast asia… is it possible to u for from can going to cgk, back on GA first class via icn, now GA has 4 route on their 77w, jed/pvg/icn/nrt

  4. Steve says

    @Dwi… GA won’t be part of the Skyteam until end of March 2014… so until then they have a separate award chart… and that award chart for “First” is actually the Executive Class/Business, not FC

  5. dwi cahyadi says

    @steve… GA will join skyteam March,5 2014, so after that date, we can redeem KE skypass miles based on skyteam award chart, which First, should be First, for now on partner airlines chart Business/first section means business….

  6. Steve says

    @dwi… have you seen how restrictive Korean chart/ ruling is? you won’t know blackouts, flight restrictions until GA actually joins Skyteam… I think “should be” doesn’t always mean it will be

  7. Brent says

    You can search CZ space easily here:
    http://wandr.me/

    While the China Southern hard product is great for business class, the service and food are well below average. I would not want to fly to Guangzhou and then take a second flight to get to Australia.

  8. The Global Traveller says

    It’s also worth checking out fares, as sometimes these offer better value than redeeming miles. I’ve found some great premium fares on CZ in the past.

    @Lucky I wondered when you were going to get around to CZ’s A380 F. Unlike CZ’s other a/c it is an enclosed suite. Just don’t have high expectations on food, drink or service.

  9. The Global Traveller says

    @Nick the schedule for North America to NZ is terrible, both for LAX and JFK’s announced timings. Long transit at CAN in both directions. At least in first & business CZ provides a hotel for the transit (if over 8 hours).

  10. Erik says

    +1 to Brent – I’ve flown the CZ A380 from LAX to CAN. The biz class flat seat hard product is great, they even give out pajamas. But the service/food stinks. On the LAX flight it’s not too much of an issue because it leaves late at night after most people have already eaten dinner and you can pretty much sleep the whole way to China. Schedule is similar on the return. This JFK flight leaves during the day and the return flight is during the night, so food/service could be more of an issue if they don’t improve it.

  11. NYBanker says

    A more interesting strategy is to book CZ to Australia, then when they have a schedule change, if you ask nicely, Delta will book you on their metal via LAX to Australia (at low miles levels).

  12. Brad says

    Lucky, I’m seconding Gene’s statement — I saw non-zero award availability on EF for the LAX-CAN flight a couple of months ago and Delta could not see it despite talking to multiple agents.

  13. Brent says

    @Burj

    I’ve booked this in business class last summer. LAX-CAN stopover there and then on to MEL then back to LAX using Virgin Australia. The flight from CAN-MEL did not have fully flat beds. The a380 service was pretty bad. The FAs spoke very little english and they pretty much disappear between meal services. It’s a 15.5 hour flight. The entertainment selection is pretty lacking and also edited to meet China’s standards. The hard product is great and the business cabin was about 20% full. What was strange is seeing Chinese business men go empty seat to empty seat and plunder each for pajamas and amenity kit to take home as presents.

    First class area does not seem much of an upgrade taking how empty the business cabin can be. I’m sure they have improved service and food up in first though.

  14. The Global Traveller says

    @Burj

    Having flown CZ in both first and business to & from LAX on the same menu cycle, the menus are almost identical. First has one extra main course for dinner/supper, one extra dessert option, and a personal bread basket for breakfast. Otherwise it is the same in first and business class.

    The other point to note is every longhaul CZ flight I have flown in a class other than first, there has been an announcement of onboard paid upgrades. I don’t know how much they cost.

  15. Sharon says

    @Lucky,I hope you are not spending more than 72 hours in Guangzhou. I just came back from a two week trip there with my kids visiting families. In my opinion the city has become a lot less enjoyable since my last visit 5 yrs ago. Traffic was beyond terrible/insane, pollution is bad. There isn’t much to do there. But Caton Tower is worth a visit for sure!

  16. Phil says

    I was on the phone tonight with Delta trying to book the new New York flight. The agent couldn’t see it at all. I pulled it up on the China Southern website and could see the flight but the Delta agent could only see the LAX flights all through Sept.

    I’ll repeat Burj’s question. Has anyone been able to use SkyMiles to book this flight?

  17. says

    @Phil – I’ve had the same troubles, just trying to book a relative in Economy. There’s some blockage going on for sure. My agent saw the availability but when he tried to book it, got a “Sell Denied” message.

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