Hainan is China’s Skytrax 5-star airline, and while I don’t put too much weight into those rankings, I was very pleasantly surprised by my flights with them last year from Los Angeles to Changsha and back. While the airline is based in Beijing, due to China’s “one route, one Chinese airline” policy, much of their expansion lately has been out of other markets.
What makes Hainan especially interesting to the miles & points community is that they’re a partner with Alaska Mileage Plan, so you can earn lots of miles for flying with them.
At the moment Hainan has a fare sale, where you can fly from New York to Chengdu or Chongqing for $2,188 roundtrip. Hainan is launching both of these routes in October, so this is a great opportunity to try a new route. The basics of the promotion are as follows:
- Valid for tickets booked through November 30, 2017
- Valid for travel to Chengdu between October 26, 2017, and March 24, 2018, and valid for travel to Chongqing between October 20, 2017, and March 31, 2018
- There’s a three night minimum stay and three month maximum stay
Availability is pretty good with this fare, and business class tickets book into the “R” fare class.
Those are solid fares, though not that remarkable as such. However, the great thing is how many Alaska Mileage Plan miles you can earn for these fares.
Hainan tickets booked in the “R” fare class earn 200% elite qualifying and redeemable miles with Alaska, meaning a roundtrip ticket would earn you over 30,000 elite qualifying and redeemable miles. If you’re an MVP Gold 75K member you earn a 125% redeemable miles bonus on the base miles earned, meaning you’d earn nearly 50,000 redeemable miles. If you value those at close to two cents each, that’s like getting almost $1,000 worth of miles on these tickets.
When I flew Hainan’s 787-8, the plane just had forward facing fully flat business class seats.
These routes are operated by 787-9s, and at this point a couple of those planes have Hainan’s new reverse herringbone business class, which looks great. Unfortunately getting that product isn’t a guarantee, though.
If you’re looking to travel to China in business class at a good fare on what I’d consider to be China’s best airline, and if you’d like to earn a ton of Alaska miles in the process, this is a really solid deal.
(Tip of the hat to qupasyd)