Amazing Deal: Business Class To Asia On A New Airline For ~$1,580 Roundtrip!

Oh man, I’m excited about this one! If you’re someone (like me) who loves trying new airlines, here’s a great opportunity.

Xiamen Air, a SkyTeam airline, will be launching their first route to the US this September. Xiamen Air will be operating nonstop flights between Seattle and Shenzhen (just a short distance from Hong Kong) as of September 26, 2016.

SEA-SZX

The flight will operate 3x weekly (Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays) with the following schedule:

MF846 Seattle to Shenzhen departing 1:25PM arriving 6:15PM (+1 day)
MF845 Shenzhen to Seattle departing 12:45PM arriving 10:25AM

The flight is being operated by one of their Boeing 787-8 aircraft.

Xiamen-Air-787

The plane has four first class seats (one row in a 1-2-1 configuration).

Xiamen-Air-787-First-Class

It also has 18 fully flat business class seats (three rows in a 2-2-2 configuration).

Xiamen-Air-787-Business-Class-2

Xiamen-Air-787-Business-Class-1

The best part is that Xiamen Air has some incredible introductory business class fares in the market. Through the end of 2016, you can fly Xiamen Air roundtrip business class between Seattle and Shenzhen for ~$1,580.

Xiamen-Air-Fare

There’s no minimum stay requirement, so you can schedule it however you’d like, though do keep in mind their flights just operate on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

Xiamen-Air-Fare-2

Xiamen Air also has excellent fares to other points in Asia, starting at ~$1,700 roundtrip. However, in many cases it requires double connecting.

Xiamen-Air-Fare-4

They even have a pretty attractive fare all the way to Sydney, for just ~$2,750 roundtrip.

Xiamen-Air-Fare-3

Xiamen Air is a SkyTeam member, so you can earn and redeem SkyTeam miles on this new flight. However, with ~$1,580 introductory business class fares, I can’t imagine anyone will want to redeem miles for this flight just yet.

Earlier in the year I flew Hainan Airlines shortly after they launched flights between Los Angeles and Changsha, and I plan on doing the same with Xiamen Air’s new flight, as I’m fascinated by what their service is like on their first US flight.

Personally I plan on crediting the miles for these flights to Korean Air SkyPass, as those are the SkyTeam miles I value most. Xiamen Air flights in the “I” fare class earn 125% miles through them.

Shenzhen even has some good hotel options, including a St. Regis, which I plan on staying at.

The St Regis Sanya, China

Bottom line

I hadn’t realized until yesterday that Xiamen Air was launching flights to the US, let alone that they had such incredible introductory fares. I’m in the process of booking my flights, and can’t wait to review them.

Anyone else tempted to fly Xiamen Air between Seattle and Shenzhen (and possibly beyond)?

(Tip of the hat to Jimmy)

Comments

  1. Just follow the FB, IG, Twitter, Vine, SnapChat…etc. of all airlines and you’ll see their route announcements. Xiamen will start service to JFK as well in 2017 or 2018.

  2. You should try to upgrade to F on one of the legs… Am very curious what that will be like. Seat looks like old AF F.

  3. @ BrooklynBoy — Yeah, need to find a way to do so. Anyone know if they do paid upgrades day of, or anything?

  4. @ Deo — They have two rows of business class behind first class, and then behind the galley and lavatories they have one row of business class (which looks super private).

  5. So excited that you are visiting my hometown! Regarding the hotel, I’m not sure whether the St. Regis is the best in Shenzhen – I have heard people saying that the service is not up to St. Regis standards. Alternatively, I have heard good things about the Sheraton and the Grand Hyatt in Shenzhen, so you might want to consider those. Also be sure to check out the new metro line (Line 11) that connects the airport and the city – it is the only one that features a business class cabin among all metro systems in mainland China! Just shoot me an email if you have more questions.

  6. I believe Xiamen airlines is still a subsidiary of China Southern Airlines, you should upgrade at least one sector to first to see what kind of champagne they serve.

  7. Flew Xiamen Air on domestic short hop btw Xiamen and Shanghai Hongqiao. Flight was good, service is not bad, for domestic Chinese airlines. Cabin was clean, and boarding process was surprisingly orderly. The only quirk is their cabin use some much purple inside, it’s like as if the late Prince designed the color scheme.

  8. Any idea when this deal will be live on their website? Went and tried to book but SEA isn’t an available departure in Oct.

  9. @ Adam — No clue, but their website is horrible, so I’d recommend booking through an online travel agency like Orbitz, etc.

  10. Excited to read your review of them! In 2012, I flew them from Hangzhou to Tianjin – the flight was delayed 3 and a half hours, and they put everyone up in a four star hotel just to wait during the delay! Needless to say I was quite impressed. Service onboard is great too in my experience; very friendly crews on all of the flights I’ve taken with them. I’ve only flown them within China though – curious to hear what their international service is like.

  11. @Abe I would add that you can take a bus or high-speed boat to both Hong Kong and Macau directly from Shenzhen’s airport

  12. Welcome to my hometown Shenzhen! As coming to my last year before SPG Lifetime Platinum, I had experiences with all Starwood properties in Shenzhen, as well as lots of other properties around the world. I would recommend the St. Regis and the Sheraton Dameisha Resort in the SPG portfolio. Westin is also good, but not that different. The St. Regis is in the highest building that in operation in Shenzhen, and it offers happy hour on its highest 100th floor lounge and it is complimentary for platinum guests. The hotel also has several Duplex Suites with two-storey space, which could be offered as platinum upgrade. After noticing this great fare days ago, I am also thinking of taking this opportunity for a short trip to Shenzhen before the end of September. Tell me if anything I can help!

  13. @Lucky, any suggestions on catching this deal for NYC based travelers? Thought this may be a good treat for parents going to FOC. Thanks!

  14. Should make for a good miles run for Delta folks. Have not done the math, but I assume it is a nice chunk of MQMs.

  15. Is this new Skyteam entrant working in coordination at all with Delta at SEA?

    Or are they in some way in competition, adding a new twist to the ongoing battle for Seattle?

  16. A bit strange that the route is SZX instead of XMN, because Xiamen Air’s hub is XMN. They have almost nothing to connect from SZX (a few Chinese cities only), so connection has to be done from XMN. Without further connection to rest of Asia, and only depending on the demand from SEA and SZX, I am not so sure.

    But if it is SEA-XMN-Rest of Asia, I think it could be very interesting. (Anyway, YVR-XMN appears to be starting in a few days)

    Maybe Shenzhen Air does not have a strong international presence (nor does Air China), and SZX is slots are still up for grabs, so Xiamen Air decides to stake a claim to secure a first SZX-USA route.

  17. @Lucky Looks like I class only credits 75% MQM to Delta , not worth it for Delta run, off as you suggest Korean, unless I am not looking at it correctly.

  18. @Deo – Ben told you why it was so in this case, but it’s not entirely strange to have renders not match the actual product in terms of configuration. The original photos Garuda Indonesia used to show off its first class product showed only one row despite them announcing in the same press release it was going to be 2 rows of 4 seats each

  19. This blog should have described the visa requirements. Shenzhen 5 day visa not available to US passport holders AFAIK.

  20. @SKF It’s actually a good Delta “MQD run”, a good combination with “MQM run” I think… “I” class on MF yields only 75% of distance flown as MQM (unlike a typical 125%-150%), but it gives you 20% of distance flown as MQD, which is about $2,700. You also get 100% of distance flown as Skymiles (no class and medallion bonus), which is not bad for the price paid.

    The amazing thing is the fare is good even for the busiest December weeks. Just booked my trip to XMN this Xmas. It costs only $100 more than to SZX and beats most economy fares on this route.

  21. @Jason @Lucky A recent news report indicates that Shenzhen International Airport will launch the 144-hour TWOV starting from August 1, 2016, for 51 nationals including the U.S. Although Hong Kong and Macau are deemed as third countries for transit purpose, I am not sure whether a ferry ticket from Shenzhen Airport Fuyong Ferry or Shekou Ferry to downtown Hong Kong or Macau will satisfy this requirement.

  22. @Abe – From Shenzhen Airport? Incredibly easy. There’s a high speed ferry directly from the airport to Hong Kong. There’s a bus too, though it’s slower.

  23. I booked a business class ticket for December through Expedia. Expedia did not allow me to select seats but said that I should call. During a trip to China, I called their customer number 95557 and I speak Chinese. The experience was far from positive. The line would be cut-off randomly and the call directing seemed erroneous. When I finally got to talk to someone, they said that selecting seats is *not* an option for business class. Economy class can select seats with a fee. I thought that was pretty ridiculous. The reason they gave was that since there are few seats in the business class so they are all the same!! I would definitely think twice before booking with them again. BTW, their website is far from meeting the standard.

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