The sweet fare on Air China flights between Rome and Auckland that we promoted yesterday turned out to be a business class sale, including many other destinations. The Star Alliance member is selling discounted tickets to various cities in Asia as well as Australia and New Zealand. Prices start at only €1,275 for a round-trip to Taipei.
There are several other options at very reasonable prices:
- Bangkok at €1,344
- Manila at €1,374
- Osaka at €1,469
- Melbourne at €1,751
- Auckland at €1,729
- Sydney at €1,899
Your trip will always include one layover in China. This will be Beijing in most cases. But you could also switch planes in Hangzhou. Some stops are overnight or at least extended. But you could always try to convert this into a short visit to another city.
On the long-haul routes, the airline will operate mostly Airbus A330 or Boeing 787. Both aircraft and business class products should provide a rather pleasant onboard experience. Although the layout on the Dreamliner is more modern. Have a look at these two reviews to get a better idea:
Search & Book
This nice sale will be going on until November 30th, which is also until when you should be able to purchase tickets. The offer is valid for travel commencing before October 4th, between October 16th and December 12th and between December 30th and May 20th, 2020. At the moment, availability is good for most routes.
The minimum stay requirements are 3 days. But you can spend up to 3 months at your destination of choice before returning to Europe and still benefit from this deal.
As with most Air China connections, Google Flights (instructions) won’t display the prices at all or at least in many cases not correctly. The solution is the ITA Airfare Search. Follow our detailed guide on how to use the Matrix to find flights that Google won’t, and you will be able to find the dates that you’d like to travel on.
Once you’ve settled for a specific time, go ahead use our Travel Dealz flight search to get the best available price. You can also try and book via the carrier’s website. But this might result in a slightly higher fare.
Why is booking with an airline better than with an online travel agency?
More often than not, online travel agencies offer lower fares than airlines do. We still recommend booking with the airlines directly. There are three main reasons for that:
- The Covid-19 Pandemic
During the worldwide outbreak of Covid-19, planning international travel got more and more risky because of ever-changing restrictions. In contrast to many online travel agencies, most airlines modified their terms & conditions to become more customer friendly. Rebooking conditions are eased, change fees are waived and cancellations are much easier when there is no third party involved.
Further, by adding an OTA to your plans, you increase the risk of one service provider involved going bankrupt. Now, the airline and the online travel agency involved could vanish along with your money.
- Better Customer Service
In case any problems like delays, cancellations or missed connections arise, you can communicate directly with the airline. The airlines has to take care of you because you have a contract with them.
If a travel agency issues your ticket, you may have to reach out to them first. You also depend on your OTA to forward you information like flight changes instead receiving them directly from the airline. You may get a prime exhibition of responsibility shifting rather than problem solving.
This especially applies for premium tickets. You don’t want to spend more than €1,000 to wind up with some budget OTA’s telephone hotline in case anything goes wrong.
- Baggage Fees
Economy fares not including hold luggage are more and more common. In most cases, travel agencies charge much higher baggage fees than the airlines themselves. If bags are not included in your fare, airlines are often the cheaper alternative.
All tickets will be issued in booking class R. This will get you a surprisingly nice earning rate with most Star Alliance carriers. 100% to 125% is what you can expect. Here’s an example for a flight to Sydney:
- 42,778 Kilometers on Air China PhoenixMiles
- 26,584 Award Miles + 5,318 PQP on United MileagePlus
- 26,584 Award Miles + 26,580 Tier Miles on Asia Miles
- 26,580 Miles on EVA Infinity MileageLands
- 26,580 Miles on ANA Mileage Club
- 26,580 Miles on Singapore KrisFlyer
- 26,580 Miles on EgyptAir Plus
- 26,580 Miles on Thai Royal Orchid Plus
- 26,580 Miles on Aegean Miles+Bonus
- 26,580 Miles on Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles
- 26,580 Miles on Ethiopian ShebaMiles
- 26,580 Miles on South African Voyager
- 23,392 Miles on Copa ConnectMiles
- 23,392 Miles on Asiana Club
- 23,392 Miles on Avianca LifeMiles
- 23,392 Points on SAS EuroBonus
- 23,392 Miles on Air Canada Aeroplan
- 21,266 Miles on Miles&More
Source: YHBU – Thanks!
Cover Picture: © Air China