Per Paul5795 on Flyertalk, American and US Airways are offering incredible round-trip fares from Philadelphia to Beijing for $441 starting January 7 and going through March 7th, though there may be even more dates after that. This is a great way to bank tons of miles and visit a great country. You’re looking at 14,516 miles for $446 meaning you’re looking at a cost of 3 cents per mile- a true mileage run (if the elite qualifying miles are what you’re after).
There are multiple routing options and you can even build in some other domestic connections if you’d like to increase the miles you’d earn. If you are an Executive Platinum, depending on the dates you could use your EVIP upgrades to upgrade to Business Class, so keep that in mind. You can search upgrade availability using ExpertFlyer, but even if nothing is available now, it is likely AA will release space closer to departure. I had a blast when I went to China last year in January. While it is cold in the winter, tourist crowds are gone for the most part and I basically had the Great Wall to myself!
There are also fares from Baltimore in the sub $700 range, so check for your city and report back if you find anything worthwhile.
You do need a visa to go to China, which costs $170, but isn’t terribly hard to get. I paid a fee and used Allied Passport to get mine without having to leave home and they corrected some mistakes I made on the application.
For hotel recommendations and things to do in Beijing, be sure to check out my Destination of the Week: Beijing. Please feel free to comment on other dates you’re able to find, or other routing ideas!
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