Deal Alert: Top-Notch Business Class Flights to Asia From $1,249 One-Way; $2,029 Round-Trip

Aug 5, 2018

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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 11:00pm Eastern Time within one day of booking. But 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.

Historically, it was nearly impossible to get cheap international one-way flights — making points & miles options particularly valuable for those not traveling on a simple round-trip. With the expansion of low-cost international airlines, now it’s not rare to see $99 one-way flights to Europe. However, cheap international one-way business class flights on legacy carriers have remained somewhat of a unicorn. Today, we have a few unicorn sightings.

Besides being able to fly to Asia for just over $1,200, the best part of these options is that they’re on top-notch US-based carriers. These aren’t smoke-filled China Eastern aircraft or “satisfactory” Hainan business class products. Instead, you’ll be flying on some of the best that Delta and American Airlines have to offer — and not the worst United product either.

Business class on American Airlines' 787-9 is quite the upgrade. Image by JT Genter / The Points Guy.
Business class on American Airlines’ 787-9 is quite the comfortable way to hop the Pacific. Image by the author.

These one-way fares can be great if you have enough points and can find availability to book a premium cabin one direction but not both. Or, this can be great for flexible travelers who’d love to position from the US to Asia. If you’re looking to fly round-trip in business class, there’s some great round-trip fares too starting at just $2,030 round-trip.

Here’s an overview of the elite and award mileage earning potential from these flights:

Airline Route Cost Qualifying Miles Qualifying Dollars Award Miles
(before elite bonus)
United RDU-SFO-ICN $1,249 16,128 1,217 6,085
American RDU-DFW-ICN $1,249 15,804 1,216 6,080
United BWI-SFO-ICN $1,268 16,242 1,236 6,180
Delta BOS-ATL-ICN $1,268 16,196 1,235 6,175
United IND-SFO-ICN $1,329 15,216 1,297 6,485
United MCO-SFO-ICN $1,479 16,218 1,447 7,235
United RDU-EWR-PEK-ORD-RDU $2,029 28,625 1,940 9,700
American RDU-ORD-PEK-ORD-PEK $2,029 28,902 1,938 9,690
American SAN-ORD-PEK-ORD-SAN $2,078 33,208 1,987 9,935

You can find these fares by heading to Google Flights and plugging in your desired departure and destination cities. After finding the dates that work best for you, book directly with the airline or with an OTA such as Expedia or Priceline.

Airlines: American, Delta, United
Routes: RDU/BWI/BOS/IND/MCO to ICN/PEK
Cost: $1,249+ one-way in business; $2,029+ round-trip in business
Dates: August to November
Booking Link: OrbitzExpedia or directly with the airline
Pay With: The Platinum Card® from American Express (5x on airfare), Chase Sapphire Reserve, Citi Prestige (5x on airfare plus excellent trip delay insurance) or Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on travel)

Here are a few examples of what you can book:

Raleigh/Durham (RDU) to Seoul (ICN) for $1,249 one-way on United:

Raleigh/Durham (RDU) to Seoul (ICN) for $1,249 one-way on American:

Baltimore (BWI) to Seoul (ICN) for $1,268 one-way on United:

Baltimore (BWI) to Seoul (ICN) for $1,268 one-way on Delta One Suites A350:

Indianapolis (IND) to Seoul (ICN) for $1,329 one-way on United:

Orlando (MCO) to Seoul (ICN) for $1,479 one-way on United:

Raleigh/Durham (RDU) to Beijing (PEK) for $2,029 round-trip on American:

Raleigh/Durham (RDU) to Beijing (PEK) for $2,029 round-trip on United:

San Diego (SAN) to Beijing (PEK) for $2,079 round-trip on American 787-9:

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, or 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.

H/T: Sam Chui via One Mile at a Time

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