Wide Open Business Class Awards To Asia Using Delta, Air France Miles

With Asia opening back up, it’s a great time to grab some awards. SkyTeam member and all around great airline, Taipei-based China Airlines, has outstanding business class award availability from North America to Taiwan and beyond. This is from Thrifty Traveler‘s premium airfare deal alert service, via @thechrisflyer.

  • Los Angeles – Taipei
  • San Francisco – Taipei
  • Vancouver – Taipei
  • Great for connecting to places like Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Philippines, and Cambodia

You’ll find outstanding award space January through August. Here’s a look at Delta’s award calendar for February, searching (2) passengers in business class Los Angeles – Taipei. Ignore Delta’s exorbitant pricing of partner awards for a moment.

Air France KLM Flying Blue charges 105,000 for the same Los Angeles – Taipei business class award seat.

They charge 92,000 miles for Vancouver – Taipei.

Flying Blue is a 1:1 transfer partner of American Express, Chase, Citibank, Capital One and Bilt. Currently (through October 31) there is a 25% bonus on transfers from American Express to Air France KLM Flying Blue.

So transferring 74,000 Amex points to Flying Blue yields 92,500 miles, enough for business class Vancouver – Taipei. Not only do you get an outstanding product, you get it at a much more reasonable price (less than 74,000 Amex points each way).

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 »

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  1. Appreciate the analysis. I think you should note that there is also ~$100 difference in taxes and fees which cuts into the difference, though it does still leave booking thru AF-KLM the clear winner due to the 25% Amex bonus, even if departing LA,

  2. this is heavily related to the speed at which different markets are opening up and the fact that Delta partners do get lower yields and are willing to price their awards lower than Delta would.

    In other Delta news, multiple Delta employees are saying in online posts (anonymously) that Delta is asking their board for approval to buy up to 20 A350-1000s – very possibly Airbus’ attempts to get rid of the Qatar cancelled order.

    If this happens, Delta will have a massive amount of new, very efficient longhaul capacity coming in the next 3-5 years which should dramatically increase the size of DL’s international network.

  3. If Delta buys 20 A350-1000s they will probably jack up award tickets even more than the Terrorist Awards they currently display.

  4. When are we getting a post about Canada lifting the mandatory masking on airplanes (https://skift.com/blog/canada-to-lift-last-covid-mask-restrictions/)?

    Didn’t even realize it was still on — no airplane incidents reported in Canada vs. the litany of theatricals in the US when masking was mandatory. You can cover the difference between Canadians (glad to help keep everyone else safe) and Americans (couldn’t give a damn about others, all about me me me and politicians knowingly putting others at risk to pander for votes). Also per Our World in Data it has been so much more ridiculously safer to be in Canada (1,186 deaths per M) than the USA (3,137 deaths per M). That’s great info to know.


  5. @Gary Leff – I am interested if you have insight on the issues both AF and DL have pricing CI connecting interaries from North America. Within Asia you can usually get both to show at least some itineraries. North America to/from Asia, AF sometimes shows CI itineraries though it is inconsistent and not reflective of individual segment availability. DL appears to be hopeless, in my manay searches recent months I have not got a single one to price on the website, while even the best DL Diamond agents (the few that are left) only come back with additive pricing from their international pricing desk, such as SFO-TPE 120k + TPE-BKK 45k = SFO-BKK 165k. Is this a DL or AF policy to minimize/discourage partner bookings, a systems issue, a published fare issue? It doesn’t seem likely that CI hasn’t filed fares like SFO-BKK.

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