As Low as $674.39 Round-Trip Between Atlanta and China — and NOT Because of Delta Agreement With China Eastern
R ound-trip flights between Atlanta and China are as low as $674.39 — including all taxes and fees — and it is not because Delta Air Lines and China Eastern Airlines have signed an agreement to expand their partnership, which will include an investment of $450 million by Delta Air Lines to acquire a 3.55 percent stake in China Eastern Airlines.
Rather, it is a result of the new partnership announced between Alaska Airlines and Hainan Airlines — and in celebration of this new partnership, you can earn double Mileage Plan frequent flier loyalty program miles when you register and fly as a passenger aboard airplanes operated by Hainan Airlines between now and Saturday, October 31, 2015.
The total airfare of $674.39 is for a round-trip flight between Atlanta and Shanghai with a stop to change airplanes in Seattle, as seen in the random example itinerary below:
At $1,460.40, the lowest airfare for flights operated by Delta Air Lines on the same dates is greater than twice as much:
These airfares appear to be good through the month of September; and then they increase to between $740.00 and $810.00 for the months of October and November. Some of them include a second stopover in Beijing…
…and speaking of Beijing, there are similar deals to that city from Atlanta — as well as to Guangzhou, Fuzhou and Chengdo, with the lowest airfares ranging roughly between $725.00 to $745.00.
For those who are based in the Atlanta area, this deal can be as good as a mistake fare, as no positioning flights are needed.
I find it interesting that customers based in the Atlanta area are getting a significant break financially on flights to China in the “backyard” of Delta Air Lines — especially as China is an important part of its international strategy; and especially when the new partnership between Delta Air Lines and China Eastern Airlines is supposed to allow the two airlines “to compete more effectively on routes between the U.S. and China, provide more travel options for customers in both countries and make joint investments in the customer experience.”
Remember that the SkyMiles frequent flier loyalty program is now based on revenue and not on the distance you have flown as a passenger — unlike the Mileage Plan frequent flier loyalty program.
So…which itinerary would you choose?
View from an airplane near Shanghai Pudong International Airport. Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.