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Deal Alert: Los Angeles to Sydney in Business Class From $2,602 Round-Trip

Oct. 07, 2017
5 min read
Deal Alert: Los Angeles to Sydney in Business Class From $2,602 Round-Trip
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Airfare deals are typically only available on limited dates. We recommend you use Google Flights to find dates to fly, then book through an online travel agency, such as Orbitz or Expedia, which allows you to cancel flights without penalty by 11pm Eastern Time within one day of booking. However, if you’re using the American Express Platinum Card, you’ll need to book directly with the airline or through Amex Travel portal to get 5x MR points. Remember: Fares may disappear quickly, so book right away and take advantage of Orbitz or Expedia’s courtesy cancellation if you’re unable to get the time away from work or family.

It can be challenging to get to Australia from the US using points and miles, and it's even harder if you want to travel in a premium cabin. That's why you might want to consider going a different route and grabbing this cheap business class fare on Xiamen Airlines. Right now you'll find tickets from Los Angeles (LAX) to Sydney, Australia (SYD) on Xiamen starting as low as $2,602 round-trip.

Xiamen is a Chinese carrier and a member of the SkyTeam alliance, so you can credit these flights to an airline like Delta and get a minimum of 100% of the miles flown as redeemable miles (along with 75% in Medallion Qualification Miles and 20% in Medallion Qualification Dollars). As far as the business class product itself, Xiamen has lie-flat seats in a 2x2x2 configuration and a reputation for good service. TPG Assistant Editor Nick Ellis flew in business on Xiamen's Boeing 787 Dreamliner last year and wrote that even though there were some quirks, he had a great experience and wouldn't hesitate to fly the carrier again.

As far as availability, there are only a handful of departure dates each month through the end of the schedule in August 2018, but there appears to be significantly more flexibility on the return leg with several options each week. You won't need any tricks to find these flights, so just use Google Flights to pick the dates you want, then book on Orbitz, Expedia or directly with Xiamen itself.

Even though most of these options require an overnight in Xiamen (XMN) on the way to Sydney, you shouldn't need a visa thanks to China's "visa-free transit" policy since these itineraries continue onwards to a third country (in this case, Australia). But if you do want to stay in China longer than 72 hours, be sure you get the right visa before traveling or you won't even be able to get on the plane. TPG recommends using a third-party service like Allied Passport & Visa; mention The Points Guy on your order form and receive a discount.

Airlines: Xiamen Airlines
Routes: LAX to SYD
Cost: $2,602+ round-trip in business
Dates: October through August 2018
Booking Link: Orbitz or Expedia
Pay With: The Platinum Card from American Express (5x on airfare), Chase Sapphire Reserve, Citi Prestige (3x on airfare) or Chase Sapphire Preferred (2x on travel)

Here are a few examples of what you can book:

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Los Angeles (LAX) to Sydney, Australia (SYD) in February for $2,602 round-trip via Orbitz:

IMG-xiamen-biz-lax-syd-dec-2602

Los Angeles (LAX) to Sydney (SYD) in March for $2,602 round-trip via Orbitz:

IMG-xiamen-biz-lax-syd-mar-2602

Los Angeles (LAX) to Sydney (SYD) in May for $2,602 round-trip via Orbitz:

IMG-xiamen-biz-lax-syd-may-2602

Los Angeles (LAX) to Sydney (SYD) in August for $2,602 round-trip via Orbitz:

IMG-xiamen-biz-lax-syd-aug-2602

Maximize Your Purchase

Be sure to use a credit card that earns additional points on airfare purchases, such as the American Express Platinum Card (5x on flights booked directly with airlines or American Express Travel), Chase Sapphire Reserve, or Citi Prestige (3x on airfare) or the Chase Sapphire Preferred (2x on all travel purchases). Check out this post for more on maximizing airfare purchases.

If you’re able to score one of these tickets, please share the good news in the comments below.

H/T: View From The Wing

Featured image by Getty Images/iStockphoto

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Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees