Sub-$500 fares on American early next year between Philadelphia and Beijing

Per this FlyerTalk thread, American has published a really cheap fare for roundtrip travel from Philadelphia to Beijing between January 7 and March 7, 2014. The base fare is $314, which isn’t actually unusual, but the interesting thing is that there are no fuel surcharges on the fare, which are usually an extra $300-400 roundtrip.


There doesn’t seem to be a minimum stay for the fare, so you can theoretically turn around after a night if you’d like to.

Anyway, the number of dates available under the fare is limited, so you’re probably best off using ITA Matrix to look up space. Just enter the origin and destination, specify you want to fly on American, and enter the number of days you’d like to stay, and it’ll show you results on a calendar.


The cheapest fare I’m seeing is $449 roundtrip.


Anyway, that’s a hell of a deal and as usual all revenue American fares are upgradable with systemwide upgrades. So it’s tough to beat a sub-$500 fare to China, especially when upgrades to business class are a possibility.

This won’t last…


  1. @lucky
    you should add the China 72-hour Transit VISA requirement at PEK/PVG/Chengdu – it has to transit to 3rd country via China, etc..

    Too bad I’m too far from PHL

  2. Since fuel surcharges are not there, will AA add them if one tries to upgrade their seats to business class?

  3. @ HARVEY — I believe you should be able to, though it would run you 25,000 miles plus $350 in each direction.

  4. @ Joey — That’s a great question. When American upgrades tickets it has to go through the rates desk and if you tried a fuel dump they’ll usually put an add/collect on the ticket to be added at the airport. In this case, however, since it’s not a fuel dump and nobody is trying to “game” anything, I’d sure hope they don’t…

  5. Wow, what a deal. Theoretically, you could actually fly 7 times between PHL and PEK, with a stopover in ORD, between Jan-Mar and qualify for EXP until 2015 while earning tons of miles for around $3000. Doesn’t really get any better than that. Too bad my husband would kill me if I spent the entire month of February flying between PHL and PEK.

  6. I’d have to position from YVR to PHL, but I think it would be worth it. However, on the return to PHL, I can go through DFW. If I were to do that, then drop my DFW-PHL segment and instead fly DFW-YVR (on a separate ticket or miles), that wouldn’t cause problems for me, would it?

  7. Wish I had time to do mileage runs or had a reason to be in China at that time!

    @ Todd – someone asked a similar question on FT thread and I believe the answer was that you wouldn’t get miles for DFW-PHL segment but, generally, you would get miles for other segments flown.

  8. Wow sounds like Spring 2011 when we had crazy fares to CPH and MAD/BCN.

    Great for NY travelers who want to visit China. I read Boston has a similar offer.

  9. First of all, thanks for all of these posts. I’m a newbie at racking up miles, but your blog has proven extremely helpful.

    I’ve been searching for these fares for the past hour via ITA Matrix and I can’t find any. It’s only been a day since the original post–are they already gone? Or am I doing something wrong?

  10. No worries, I’ll catch the next one. Glad to hear I’m not making some kind of ITA Matrix mistake. Thanks again!

  11. the only problem is that you will be in china, and pollution, corruption, haggling, dirty dealings central.

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