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At the beginning of the week I wrote about an excellent $1,700 roundtrip Business Class fare that Hainan is offering for travel between LA and Shanghai but I.ve just spotted an even better deal on the same airline – you can fly in Business Class between LA and Beijing for just $1,609.
I’m going to go ahead and guess that this fare was available when I wrote about the Shanghai fare on Tuesday as the details of both fares are very similar (I just must have missed it), so you’ll probably notice a lot of similarities between this post and the one from Tuesday.
Headline Fare Rules
- Travel 26 August – 13 December or 23 December – 31 December
- Unlimited stopovers permitted (2 free, remainder $100.00)
- Stopovers limited to 7 days
- Accompanied children with their own seat cost 75% of the adult fare
- Infants (under 2) traveling without his/her own seat costs 10% of the adult fare
There is no specified end date for this sale so the fare may be around for a while or may disappear at any time without notice.
All the itineraries to which this fare applies will require a stopover in either direction and you can choose between itineraries which involve long layovers (often overnight) and itineraries where layovers are limited to just a few hours.
All the routings I’ve seen take you though Chengdu, Changsha or Xi’an.
The Long Haul Aircraft
Hainan flys Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners on its Los Angeles – Xi’an, Los Angeles – Changsha and Los Angeles – Chengdu routes and the good news is that it would appear if the aircraft on all three routes offer Hainan’s new all-aisle access, reverse herringbone Business Class cabin.
Here are the ExpertFlyer seat maps for the aircraft on all three routes (click to enlarge):
You’ll even find that some of the short-haul sectors are operated by Hainan’s 787-9 Dreamliners (which also offer the new Business Class seats) so it’s possible to book itinanraries that don’t involve any narrowbody Business Class cabins:
If you’re looking to avoid overnight layovers or any excessively long airport stays the flights to focus on depart LAX on Tuesdays and Fridays, If you’re happy to book an itinerary with an overnight stop the options open to you are greater.
The fares are available from the end of August through to the end of December and here’s what availability looks like (regardless of the length of the layovers):
As you can see it’s not exactly hard to find the $1,609 fare if you’re looking to travel at some point between the end of August and the end of December 2019 🙂
Finding & Booking The Fares
Normally I use the Matrix ITA Airfare Search to find deals such as these but, on this occasion, Matrix will show you a fare costing $1,700 when the best price available is lower than that.
It’s still useful to use the Matrix tool to narrow down the choice of flights to those that work for you but don’t rely on Matrix to price the fare correctly.
Here’s an example set of Matrix parameters which will show you options which do not come with excessively long layovers:
If you’re happy to have longer layovers simply remove the ‘maxdur’ commands which, in this case, limit the journey time to 22 hours in either direction.
As far as pricing, unlike with the Shanghai fare from earlier this week, Google Flights is your best option.
Orbitz will only return the prices you’ll find via the Matrix search tool…
….but clicking through to Hainan seems to bring up the $1,609 fare with ease:
This will be good news to readers whose credit cards only offer them bonus points for booking directly with an airline (and not through an agency).
Where To Credit The Flights
Hainan isn’t a member of any of the major alliances so your options of where to credit these flights are limited….but the options of Alaska Airlines and Etihad aren’t bad ones to have.
The long-haul Hainan Business Class flights book into fare code ‘I’ and will earn miles at the following rates…
…while the short-haul Business Class segments book into fare code ‘C’ and will earn miles according to these rates:
To give yourself all the information you need to make the best decision I suggest using the Wheretocredit tool (which is where the screenshots you see above came from).
Although the routing may not be direct and although, in some cases, the layovers may be on the long side, this is another very impressive fare for Business Class travel across the Pacific…especially if you choose your flights carefully.