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Anyone who has been reading the news the past few days is likely aware of the coronavirus outbreak in China. With Chinese New Year approaching this week, that will surely impact short-term travel plans for many (and minutes after publishing this deal, I saw that Thrifty Traveler had a post on the virus outbreak noting that the city of Wuhan is being quarantined, with flights and transportation to or from the city shut down). However, for those still looking to visit China later this winter / early spring, Air Canada is offering some amazing fares from Dallas to Beijing or Shanghai, with prices from $320 round trip — and these fares should even earn some miles. Note that these are not basic economy: you do get seat selection and 2 free checked bags.
- Air Canada is offering some terrific fares from Dallas, TX to either Beijing or Shanghai during late February and March 2020, with prices from $320 round trip
- Direct link to Google flights to search
This is surely a long distance to travel in economy class, but the cost per mile traveled is impressively cheap. Those with flexible points on a card like the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card or the no-long-er-available Barclays Arrival Plus could do better than those looking to redeem points for an award. In fact, I’m not even seeing these fares available via the Chase, Amex, or Citi booking portals, which means there doesn’t appear to be a way to use points at a value greater than 1c each.
However, given the price, these might be worth a look for those considering travel to China at this time. There is a long (18-hour) layover on some of the return flights, so this surely isn’t the shortest way to go — but at a savings of over $600 per passenger over the nonstop options, a family could save enough to make that well worth it.
And that’s not basic economy. This screen shot only shows the price in one direction and the price is listed in Canadian dollars, so don’t be thrown off by that. You’re looking at the standard features — seat selection and two free bags are included. This isn’t the basic economy experience.
Interestingly, Google Flights shows the correct $320 price when using their search engine.
However, if you click through from there to “Book with Air Canada”, the price jumps three bucks and change to $323.79.
However, if you start at AirCanada.com and search, you’ll get a price of $417 Canadian dollars that Air Canada figures converts to $319.39 in US Dollars. According to the exchange rate at the time of writing, that should actually be more like $317.21 if you use a card with no foreign transaction fees.
I’m not sure why the difference, and if you book via Google Flights it shows that same increase of four bucks and change.
I’m clearly splitting hairs there, I just found the difference interesting.
According to the info at Air Canada, these fares are K-Class.
That means they should earn 50% mileage flown in several programs (including Aeroplan and LifeMiles) according to wheretocredit.com, which should be a little over 8,000 redeemable miles in my example itinerary that flies DFW-YYZ-PVG on the way out and PVG-YUL-DFW on the way back. With LifeMiles, that could be enough miles for a one-way ticket within the US (or even a round trip in some instances).
If you’re looking to book a trip to China in economy class at this time, these prices are pretty hard to beat.
H/T: Secret Flying
Last updated on February 1st, 2020