FARE ALERT: New York, Chicago, or LA to Southeast Asia from $466 Roundtrip

I receive compensation for content and many links on this blog. Citibank is an advertising partner of this site, as is American Express, Chase, Barclays and Capital One. Any opinions expressed in this post are my own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by my advertising partners. I do not write about all credit cards that are available -- instead focusing on miles, points, and cash back (and currencies that can be converted into the same). Terms apply to the offers and benefits listed on this page.

American Airlines oneworld partner Japan Airlines appears to be running a great sale out of New York, Chicago, and LA to various destinations in Southeast Asia for as little as $466 roundtrip.

You can travel now through April, and again August through November, to places like Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, and Ho Chi Minh City.

Fares are widely available on many booking engines, though cheapest in some cases by about $40 using airfare metasearch site Momondo.

Petronas Towers from the Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur

I know many readers want business class sales, it’s a long way to go in coach, but it’s clearly the golden age of air travel. A few days ago we were seeing China Southern fares like this and indeed those are still around and from more US cities.

(HT: Fly 4 Free)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »


  1. “I know many readers want business class sales, it’s a long way to go in coach, but it’s clearly the golden age of air travel.”

    I agree with all three statements.

  2. Come on now! How do a few rock-bottom fares translate into the “golden age of air travel”?

    The golden age of air travel was actually during the last recession. People like me — leisure flyers — found ways (sometimes with assistance of Gary!) to fly all over the world in business and first class using miles — usually no more than 120K miles, for 10-segment itineraries! And we found creative ways to get those miles, too.

    And when we did pay for flights, they were usually dirt cheap — so cheap that “mileage runs” actually made sense. So cheap that I could visit my friends in L.A. six times a year and never pay more than $300 rt from PHL (sometimes <$200) — and get upgraded to domestic first class 80% of the time while having only Gold status.

    There is no comparison.

    The next "golden age" will be during the next recession, when all this new capacity finds itself with tons of empty seats due to sharply decreased demand.

  3. I would more accurately describe the current situation as the “golden age of revenue coach travel.”

    If you’re OK with coach travel, it’s a pretty good situation. If you prefer premium class travel at attractive prices, it’s not such a good environment.

    It certainly makes the accumulation of frequent flyer miles for coach awards seem pretty silly. Of course, at the same time, the number of points needed for business awards has also generally increased. The would suggest that frequent flyer programs are generally less valuable than they used to be, especially since it’s now harder to rack up miles by flying cheap fares and in-flight amenities (especially upgrades) have become scarcer.

  4. If I can’t fly premium class with points, the next best thing is flying economy class in an excellent Asian Carrier at rock bottom prices. As it gets harder and harder to book premium award seats, these great economy fares will enable more people to travel.

  5. @Jay — Yeah, among the type of people who read this blog, there’s what I call a “fetish” about flying premium class. Honestly, it’s not all that good. In fact, most long haul business flights I’ve taken have been extraordinarily mediocre. It’s just more comfortable than in cattle class. That said, you get there the same time, and you typically arrive in about the same physical condition (more sleep in biz class, but more food and drink is probably a negative for your body), so what’s it really worth? Not a lot to me, but others obviously disagree.

    One thing you can’t disagree on is how much easier it is to book a deeply discounted revenue coach ticket compared to trying to find business class award inventory. I recently bought a revenue ticket to SCL for under $300 and I think just about every day for the next 330 days was available! While sometimes the summer is blacked out, most of the crazy fares you see on sites like secretflying.com are easily bookable for many, many departure days.

    And you can usually book the most direct route. Like I bought a coach ticket to South Africa for $400 last year on South African’s direct flight from DC — which is extremely difficult to find business class award seats on. Is it really worth using 160,000 miles to fly some convoluted route and add 10 hours to your trip just to fly biz class? I don’t think so.

  6. @ iahphx —

    1) “I would more accurately describe the current situation as the ‘golden age of revenue coach travel’.” Agreed, that’s a much better way to describe it.

    2) “It’s just more comfortable than in cattle class.” And in many cases, and for many of us, THAT is the important distinction, it’s more comfortable.

    I live in the SF Bay Area. Flying to Europe or to Asia is one L-O-N-G flight (10-12+ hours), and for someone with long legs, or back problems, or someone who is middle aged and who has endured 12 knee surgeries (like me), comfort can be rather important. It’s not about the free booze, or the (perhaps) better food; it’s all about the comfort.

    I can survive five, maybe six hours in Economy, but I’ll definitely feel its effects! So, yes, I have survived OAK-OGG r/t in cattle class. But at flight times of 5:40 and 4:55 respectively, my body certainly pays for it! Anything beyond that, and it’s torture. If I have the means — or the points — I’m flying Business . . . or First. Flying SFO-JFK, same thing: I’m definitely feeling it with a flight time of approximately 5:25 there; but the 6:20 flight back is torture.

  7. @Jason, totally agree with you.
    To the point when we fly Transcon coach we actually prefer a connection so we can get of the cramp seats and stretch our legs in the terminal before the next flight.

    Saving 10 hours on travel time to a far flung destination in coach is NEVER ever even occur in our mind. We have visited South Africa in 2015 and again in 2016 – first time was on QR business class via DOH. second time was on CX business class via HKG, with a break in HKG both directions too. My husband commented he did not feel any discomfort or jetlag on that trip… Of course, as we had acclimated well during our stopovers at Hong Kong. Our 3rd trip to South Africa this August the outbound would be via DOH on QR business class, and the inbound would be via HKG on CX and a stopover in HKG again, then CX F HKG-LAX again.

    Almost buy the QR latest sale LAX-AKL R/T in business couple fare at $3500 but the timing does not work.

    Yes if we have the means, be it points or $, no way we would endure coach on long flights. Our bodies would protest before we even get off the plane.

    It would be brutal to survive in the Africa-US route in coach, not when you are over middle age.

    The COMFORT with a bed for a 10+ hours flight is very important to many of us.

    We recently flew back on CX F HKG-LAX. My husband slept virtually thru the last hour before landing when I woke him up to see if he wanted to eat a bit of congee or something as he went straight to sleep before we were even at cruising altitude.

    For myself, I only ate the main meal about 2.5 hours before landing.

    Not everyone who prefers the premium cabins would do all the wining and dining so prevailing on blogs and travel forums.

    Many of us the ability to lie flat is of utmost importance and the primary reason to fly premium cabins.

    We are in the middle of finalizing a last minute booking of a TATL cruise and the post cruise land trip and return back to US in Mid to Late May. As you can imagine finding business class award esp with AA miles, is like finding needle in haystack. I did find a couple options, as my husband absolutely refuses to fly in coach for 10+ hours flight. He would be buying a business class ticket if it comes down to that! Obviously using either UA or DL program I could find seats but I want to use the most worthless AA miles instead. Thanks to 9W and that actually allows us to visit relatives and friends in YYZ, we are able to continue to fly business award tickets.

Comments are closed.