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At the moment American has some attractive business class fares for travel to Hong Kong this summer. These aren’t super low fares, or anything, though I think for the right person they have the potential to be very attractive.
American has ~2,400USD roundtrip fares between Vancouver and Hong Kong, which you can route via Los Angeles.
For about $100 more, you can fly via Dallas, on American’s longest flight.
The routing covers a distance of ~17,000-20,000 flown miles, depending on which routing you select. Using the routing through Dallas an example, you’d earn ~39,500 elite qualifying miles with AAdvantage. Unfortunately you’d only earn miles based on the spend, so you’d earn 5-11x miles per dollar spent, depending on your status.
Alternatively you could credit to Alaska Mileage Plan, and earn 150% elite qualifying and redeemable miles. That means through Mileage Plan you’d earn ~29,500 elite qualifying and redeemable miles. However, if you’re an MVP Gold 75K member you’d earn 125% bonus miles based on base miles earned, for a total of ~54,300 miles.
These fares are valid for travel through August 31, 2017. There’s a seven day advance purchase requirement, seven day minimum stay requirement, and six month maximum stay allowed. I recommend using ITA Matrix or Google Flights to look up these fares.
American has a solid business class product on their 777-300ERs, featuring reverse herringbone seats and wifi.
Furthermore, routes to Hong Kong feature American’s enhanced service, including pajamas and mattress sheets in business class.
There’s also enhanced service in first class, similar to what I experienced last year between Sydney and Los Angeles.
If you’re an Executive Platinum member, what makes these fares especially attractive is that you can easily upgrade to first class using systemwide upgrades. While confirmed upgrade availability from economy to business class is virtually non-existent, it’s wide open from business to first class, so you can confirm the upgrade at time of booking.
If you’re booking this ticket and paying in cash, be sure you use a card that maximizes the points you can earn from the purchase, like The Platinum Card® from American Express, which offers 5x points on airfare.
Another great option is to use Membership Rewards points in conjunction with The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN. When you use the “Pay With Points” option for premium cabin tickets you get 50% of your redeemed points back.
In other words, the ~2,500USD ticket from Vancouver to Hong Kong would cost you ~250,000 Membership Rewards points, but then you’d get 50% of them back, meaning that in the end it would cost you 125,000 Membership Rewards points (though you need to have all the points upfront). Then you’d still earn miles as if it was a revenue ticket. In the end you’re paying significantly less than you’d pay for a business class award, you can upgrade to first class, and you’d earn miles.
You can potentially earn even more points if you have both The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN, as I outlined in this post.
These fares aren’t so cheap that the pricing is unheard of, but I do think the fares are good enough to point out. The first reason is because these fares are easy to upgrade to first class. Not only did American cut the number of systemwide upgrades that Executive Platinum members get last year, but confirmable space from economy to business is tougher than ever before to find, so getting any sort of confirmed upgrade is a good thing.
Furthermore, if you’re using the Amex Pay with Points feature, this can be a much better deal than using miles for an award ticket.
Hopefully some of you can take advantage of these fares.
(Tip of the hat to 777topdog)