Chicago seems to be the low fare departure airport today for flights to Asia with low fares on Hainan Airlines at $493 round trip to Shanghai and a few other cities in China like Chengdu, Fuzhou, Guangzhou and Kunming. There are a dozen other cities around China priced at $573 round trip.
Hainan Airlines partners with Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan. The transpacific flights do not book in a miles earning class for Alaska, but intra-China flights book in economy Y class for 125% Alaska Mileage Plan miles. Transpacific flights booked in Hainan E class can be credited for 50% miles with Hainan, AirBerlin or Etihad.
Departure Dates: Lowest fares are available from late August to early December with highest concentration of dates in Sep-Oct.
Google Flights Chicago – China Sat Oct 1 – Sun Oct 9 filtered for Hainan Airlines
Long haul segments between Chicago and Beijing PEK are Hainan economy class E and earns 50% miles with Air Berlin, Etihad or Hainan. Flights within China book in Hainan Y class and Y fare class earns 125% flight miles with Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan.
I see Hainan low fares from these other US airports:
Los Angeles LAX – Chansha CSX $558 (nonstop flights); $573 several other cities including Beijing.
Boston BOS – Shanghai PVG $703 (most fares from Boston are priced in $700s).
Loyalty Traveler – United/Star Alliance $558-$649 SFO to 10 Asia airports like Singapore and Bali (June 30).
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