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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 Platinum Card® from American Express, you’ll need to book directly with the airline or through the 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.
You can now fly to the other side of the world for cheaper than some domestic flights. China Eastern, China Southern and Xiamen — all SkyTeam alliance carriers — are offering solid deals to Southeast Asia from just $387 round-trip and India from $462. Even better, all of these options are one-stop itineraries with reasonable layovers.
Note that while China Eastern and Xiamen will continue to be Delta partners, China Southern is leaving SkyTeam effective Jan. 1, 2019. So, Delta flyers won’t be able to score Medallion Qualifying activity from these flights, which are all in 2019. However, it was announced just this week that American Airlines flyers will be able to earn miles on China Southern flights in “early 2019.” And, if you’re an AA elite, you’ll hopefully soon get lounge access on China Southern — although details haven’t yet been announced.
To search, head to Google Flights and enter your origin and destination cities. Scroll through the calendar function to find dates and prices that work for you. Finally, click through to book directly with the airline or through an OTA like Priceline or Expedia.
Airlines: China Eastern, Xiamen, China Southern
Routes: LAX/SFO/JFK to BKK/KUL/SGN/DEL/CNX
Cost: $387+ round-trip
Travel Dates: February – June 2019
Pay With: The Platinum Card® from American Express (5x on airfare booked directly with the airline), Citi Premier Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve, American Express® Gold Card, Citi Prestige (5x on airfare plus trip delay insurance) or Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on travel)
Here are a few examples of what you can book:
Los Angeles (LAX) to Bangkok (BKK) for $387 round-trip on China Eastern:
Los Angeles (LAX) to Kuala Lumpur (KUL) for $454 round-trip on Xiamen:
San Francisco (SFO) to Ho Chi Minh (SGN) for $457 round-trip on China Southern:
Los Angeles (LAX) to Delhi (DEL) for $462 round-trip on China Southern:
New York Kennedy (JFK) to Chang Mai (CNX) for $510 round-trip on China Southern:
New York Kennedy (JFK) to Delhi (DEL) for $522 round-trip on China Southern:
Maximize Your Purchase
Don’t forget to use a credit card that earns additional points on airfare purchases, such as The Platinum Card® from American Express (5x on flights booked directly with airlines or American Express Travel), Chase Sapphire Reserve, American Express® Gold Card, Citi Premier, Citi Prestige (5x on airfare) or the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on all travel purchases). Check out this post for more on maximizing airfare purchases.
Featured image by SeanPavonePhoto via Getty Images
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