Earning the miles for award travel is only half the fun. Once you’ve got all those points redeeming them for a trip is both a challenge and an adventure. And, depending on the program where the miles live, the challenge can vary significantly in difficulty. With SkyTeam the options into Asia are getting better, but they still have some limitations. Coverage is limited though China Southern and Vietnam Airlines offer long-haul flights out of the region as well as some internal coverage within the region. And, more importantly, searching for award space on them is actually really easy!
Want to fly in the flat beds of China Southern’s new A380 between LAX and Guangzhou, China (CAN)? Turns out there is a lot of inventory out there, at least from the days I was checking. Gary notes that these are flat beds, though Delta also is charging a fuel surcharge on the flights. Still, better than not actually getting to redeem the awards, right?
With the Award Search page on Wandering Aramean Travel Tools finding China Southern or Vietnam Airlines award space is pretty simple. Just put in the airports and dates and check the results:
I’m not sure why the underlying data source is showing the flight arriving +1 rather than +2 but the inventory is accurate.
There’s even an option to set up email alerts if the inventory you’re looking for isn’t available when the initial search is performed.
While Vietnam Airlines doesn’t fly to the USA they do offer a number of other connectivity options within and to the region. Definitely something worth considering.
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Great info, Seth. Now to patch us through to more “Asia for Beginners” final destinations (BKK, HKG, SIN, Bali) using SkyTeam partners and SkyTeam stopover/open jaw rules refreshers
I can definitely put together something like that, fauxblogger. No promises on the delivery date but I’ll put in on my schedule.
My initial scan of the source, Rapid Travel Chai, suggests that both MU and CI can be supported at least partially with this infrastructure. I’ll need to confirm that the inventory really matches but I should be able to make that happen soon enough. Once I can do that I’ll add them to the main search interface.
Any chance similarly easy to search China Eastern and China Airlines, too?
We had a report on FT recently that your CZ inventory was showing 4 J seats when EF and FlyingBlue only showed 1. Unfortunately, I can’t find the thread right now to give you a test date, but it’s probably worth some serious checking.
Great, Thanks Seth.. DL blocks all F irrespective of partner, no exceptions, correct?
Using your tool I do see nice CZ J availability from CAN to south “Asia for Beginners” desinations during spring 2013
How easy is it to connect in CAN? I heard this airport is to be avoided by beginners.
Could also use Chase UR points converted to Korean Air to redeem first class. It’s a steep 160k round trip but they have a nice looking suite product. Could be fun. I can think of worse ways to blow 160k
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