FARE ALERT: Los Angeles – Shanghai Business Class From $1,700 Roundtrip


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Business Class fares across the Pacific can be astronomically high (we don’t tend to see as many Business Class fare sales across the Pacific as we do across the Atlantic) but right now there’s a fantastic $1,700 roundtrip Business Class fare on offer for travel between Los Angeles and Shanghai courtesy of Hainan Airlines.

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 fares may be around for a while or may disappear at any time without notice.

Routing

There are two main types of itinerary available with this fare – one which involves long layovers (often overnight) and one where any layovers are limited to just a few hours.

The itineraries with long layovers tend to involve a routing through Chongqing and/or Xi’an…

….while itineraries with the shorter layovers tend to route through Xi’an only:

The Long Haul Aircraft

Hainan flys Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners on its Los Angeles – Xi’an and Los Angeles – Chongqing routes but the Business Class cabins on offer are far from the same.

The Dreamliner(s) operating the LA – Xi’an route offer Hainan’s new reverse herringbone Business Class cabin which offers all aisle access seating in a 1-2-1 layout as shown here by the ExpertFlyer seat map….

Hainan 787-9 New Business Class – Image courtesy of Hainan
Hainan 787-9 New Business Class – Image courtesy of Hainan

…while the Dreamliner(s) operating to/from Chongqing offer the airline’s older Business Class seats set out in a 2-2-2 layout:

Hainan 787-9 Old Business Class – Image courtesy of Hainan

The older seats may not be as fashionable as the newer, reverse herringbone seats but they shouldn’t be dismissed out of hand – the sleeping position offered by these seats is actually very good and is one that a lot of people favor.

Fare Availability

If you’re looking to avoid overnight layovers or any excessively long airport stays the flights to focus on depart on Mondays and Thursdays, If you’re happy to book an itinerary with an overnight stop the options open to you are greater.

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 $1,700 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

A usual, I used the Matrix ITA Airfare Search to find this deal. Here’s an example set of parameters I used when searching for trips with shorter journey times:

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 goes Google Flights isn’t always your friend. Google will suggest that Hainan will sell you the fare for just $1,609…

….but after clicking through to the Hainan website and checking 6 or 7 different itineraries I came to the conclusion that this was nonsense – Hainan’s site never displayed a fare lower than $1,700 (and the fare was often significantly higher).

The results from Orbitz were much more pleasing:

Other OTAs may be able to price the fare up as well.

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 acording 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).

Bottom Line

Although the routing may not be direct and although, in some cases, the layovers may be on the long side, this is still a pretty impressive fare for Business Class travel across the Pacific…especially if you choose your flights carefully.

Personally, I’d probably avoid the longer layovers and enjoy Hainan’s new Business Class cabin but I wouldn’t be averse to flying in the older cabin if the travel dates on which these were the only option worked better for me – at $1,700 for roundtrip travel this is a good deal regardless of the aircraft you fly in.

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