AMAZING DEAL: $450 Business Class Tickets Between Washington And Beijing

Filed Under: American, Great Deals

Update: This fare is now dead, though see the post “10 Things You Need To Know About American’s Business Class Fare To Beijing” for more information.

Hurry up, folks! American is charging under $450 for roundtrip business class between Washington and Beijing.


You can book directly on It’s paid business class, and because of that you can use systemwide upgrades to upgrade to first class.

This won’t last long!

Update: The fare is only valid for outbound travel through May 27, 2015, and there’s a three day minimum stay. Also keep in mind you’ll need a visa for travel to China, though you can easily pick up a 10 year multi-entry visa.

(Tip of the hat to Erich)


  1. Wow.


    That is a GREAT fare sale!

    Thank you, American Airlines!

    We’re even MORE loyal to you!

  2. i just tried for coming october dates. 4000 usd.
    anyway, your base fare seem to be $0. this must be some software glitch.
    i think i heard this song before.

  3. With a $0 fare, the DOT will side with American as there was no actual price of the goods sold.

    And for that reason…..I’m out!

  4. What dates work? I can’t find anything for the whole month of June! / Oh never mind it was too good to be true

  5. according to american’s website, the seat layout on those 777’s is a 2x3x2. looks like the old business class seating

  6. Given the huge disparity (it’s like divided by a thousand), it’s likely a mistake fare than a real promotion. Still, why not give it a go if it works for you. I agree with Lucky, I don’t think this fare will exist for long.

  7. Do note Lucky’s update:
    Update: The fare is only valid for outbound travel through May 27, 2015, and there’s a three day minimum stay.

  8. Due to concerns of trying to secure a visa and the fact American made this mistake I’m not even going to try. I’ve been happy with American and feel I have been treated fairly with them. United, on the other hand, still pissed about not getting my first class ticket with the currency conversion error after how they have screwed me in the past.

  9. I have a reservation on hold from 4/26 to 5/14. Will purchase tomorrow. As noted by someone else, you can fly to PVG for less than $800

  10. I have a base fare of $40 (plus $442 in carrier-imposed fees) for a total of $482. Not true therefore that all of these have base fares of $0.

  11. @Alex assuming they let us keep the fare..the visa’s are kind of annoying depending on where you live but about a week or less turn around.

  12. I second Daniel M above. My base fare is $20. I purchased for a 2-night turnaround in April. We’ll see!

  13. I think I booked it. I had (over) $450 in vouchers thanks to Amex feeling guilty over losing lounge privileges last year, so this cost me $12. Not sure it’s ticketed yet though so I may not be out of the woods.

  14. I booked but have not received a confirmation email. It only worked if you originate in WAS and route thru ORD.

  15. Thanks Lucky (FWIW)! We just successfully booked outbound late April and returning early May – TICKETED! We’ll see if it’s honored but it was a good hunt.

  16. I just booked May 20-27th DCA via DFW and returning via ORD, no email yet!
    Total $442 with $0 base. I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

  17. Will this be honored even though I just put the reservation on hold? I have until tomorrow to purchase it. I didn’t know whether I had to have a Visa for China to use this (fly out two days after I fly in). Can someone enlighten me if this is okay for the 72 hours in China exception. If not, how long will it normally take to get a Visa (I live in San Francisco)? Thank you for everyone’s help.

  18. @ Jana — I would recommend ticketing if you want the fare. They don’t have to honor it if it’s only on hold. You would need a visa for this ticket since you’re not transiting to a third country.

  19. You guys are amazing. I just got one, outbound late April, returning early May. Fingers crossed! Whatever happens, thank you so much for what you do!

    PS I went from New York to Abu Dhabi for $234 in January thanks to a similar mistake fare.

  20. @ KoolFatKat — No. American allows holds on award tickets, but if you ticket you can’t cancel for free.

  21. @jana The TWOV is only valid if you fly to another country not back to the US. My plan is to only transit as well and probably fly to SE Asia. Not sure now, but there was same day service at the consulates.

  22. @ William Kim — If you want the ticket I’d recommend issuing it. There’s no guarantee the hold will be valid tomorrow if they pull the fare. They don’t have to honor held tickets.

  23. I’m still seeing ticket April 6th-15th for 442…. also in my rush I got a 10hr lay over in chicago so…I have that to look forward too

  24. @ Bob — This is a case where I don’t see how they couldn’t, since the fare was available directly on their site. I guess we’ll find out soon.

  25. @ John — The base fare is $20. And given that the fuel surcharges are hefty, I’m not sure how the base fare is necessarily relevant. It’s not unusual to see really low base fares.

  26. Put IAH-DFW-PEK-DFW-IAH on hold for about $1100 (could also route through ORD) while I figure out time off situation.

    It’s regrettable the fare is only good through end of May as I’d booked a few trips for second half of the year for sure. Additionally, in June DFW-PEK route gets 787 with lie-flat J so that’d been much sweeter.

  27. I have a confirmed tix April 6-10. I followed up on Expert flyer to check seat map, and the seats i

  28. Can’t replicate. Been trying for the last hour. I was able to pull up $442 in the “lowest fare” day tabs on top, however scrolling thru the actual results yield no flight with such low amount…Tried with Chrome and IE, yet neither worked. Meanwhile all the dates I want are now showing $990…sigh…

  29. If it’s ticketed and there’s a small base fare (mine was $20), can they still cancel it if it was a mistake? If so, how long do they have? I want to book my positioning flight, but only after the “cancelation time” has passed.

  30. @ Harry — In this case there’s a base fare and the ticket was bookable directly on the airline’s website for the country where travel originates, so I suspect it will be honored. We’ll find out soon. I’d hold off a bit on booking a positioning flight, though.

  31. Thanks! Just booked 5/11-5/14 for $442.00. Not sure if I’ll be able to go as I have a LOT of travel coming up but we’ll see. I’ve learned – when you’re not sure, book it!

  32. Lucky, I was struggling to price it out on, so I booked through expedia. All three flights ticketed (score!) with base rates of $20 each (to make sure it wasn’t a $0 fare). Does the fact that I booked through Expedia count against me in case they try not to honor the fare?

    Thanks again for the heads up. Heck, I’ll read your blog every day for the rest of my life if I score a couple dozen of these awesome trips in the next 50 years 😉

    In other news, are you coming to Beijing?!

  33. Went dead about 11pm e.s.t.. Just as I had an outbound held and was looking for a return. Suddenly all returns became like +$7000. No outbounds anymore now.

  34. I managed to score one right as it seemed they were slamming the doors shut. I’ll be going quite literally for April Fools weekend, if they actually honor my ticket. It’s been billed and shows as fully ticketed. Email received and everything. We shall see if they honor it. 🙂

  35. Can’t find it on AA. Got one Expedia but it now says: “Your ticket price changed from $470.00 to $4,371.58. The airline could not confirm the original price due to pricing or availability changes that occurred after we posted the latest prices on our site. Continue booking or look for a different flight. “

  36. My fare actually doesn’t have a bf. It says $0 + yada yada.
    So, I’m a little concerned. Maybe the rest of the $20 people will overshadow us $0 fares. :-/ ?

  37. Congrats to the people who got it ! I think AA MIGHT honor it. If I had been 15 minutes earlier……

  38. Thanks for the heads up on this fare and the advice to convert my reservation holds into purchases. I am receiving confirmations for them. Let me buy you a drink when I see you in May.

  39. Ticketed with a base fare of $20 for a total of $462.

    System wide cleared for both directions. (A) Got the last one out of ORD on my departure and 1 on 2 on the return according to Expert Flyer.

    We’ll see…

  40. Hi Lucky,

    Thanks to your post I was able to book two tickets roundtrip in May. I included the Travel Insurance since I assumed it was an Airline mistake and they will cancel it. Does booking the Insurance help secure the flight or did I waste more money?

  41. Had anyone else double checked expert flyer regarding seats? My confirmed seats still show available per EF

  42. i wish all you lucky souls, bon voyage and thank Lucky for this heads up.
    i tried hard but just can’t find an excuse to go in May.

  43. Booked tickets for $450 May 13th to 20th! Do you happen to know if these tickets will earn miles? Any extra because they are Business Class? EQM’s? Thanks for all the help!

  44. My first mistake fare, if it clears. I feel so alive inside. $20 base fare. $462 DCA-DFW in first, DFW-PEK in business. Same in reverse. Email confirmation of ticketing received. Last week of May. Hoping my work allows this to go, as we have a big project due June 1st.

    Should I be stuck cancelling the flight, anyone think American will hassle me about giving them the seat back, or am I likely to be stuck with fees?

  45. Ticketed for May 17th-21th DCA-PEK RT @$480 for $40 base fair. Hopefully it’ll be honored!

    Btw, can I challenge AA plat status with an A3 gold? Do I earn elite bonus during status challenge? if yes, this will be an even more amazing deal!

  46. How long should we wait to find out if AA will honor the fare? I don’t want to schlep all the way to 12th Avenue to go to the consulate for naught.

  47. Dang – already had an expensive coach trip booked to Shanghai in May so missed out. About the Visas- I got a 4 day turnaround for a 10 year Visa using I’ve used the San Francisco office (by mail) for several years. Congrats to you that got the fare!

  48. @ thyeri — Yes, if you click on the e-receipt you should see it there, assuming your ticket has been issued.

  49. Looks like you were right. I held my reservation last night in order to check at work today and it seems like my hold has been cancelled. It says: unable to retrieve. Damn

  50. @ Lucky — not taking into account positioning, this fare was amazing as you broke even as a non-elite (~21500 miles with 50% bonus for I fare) and if you are an elite customer AA would pretty much be paying you to fly as you’d get almost 36000 miles with Plat/EXP.

    @ Adam – sucks to hear! My IAH-PEK hold is still there but so perhaps they started off by cancelling DCA-PEK ones.

  51. Relevant post from someone at the points guy:

    On the phone with American customer service supervisor who is pointing me to T&C’s online and stated that any fares put on hold will not be ticketed. She directed me to the following paragraph on the T&C’s (I told her I wanted to see something specifically in writing that states fares on a 24 hour hold are subject to change):

    AA, as a policy, does not file nor intend to offer/file fares priced at zero (exclusive of any surcharge). Essentially, such fares do not make any economic sense. AA has introduced warning mechanisms to try to prevent such occurrences; however, occasionally fares such as these mistakenly get loaded into computer reservation systems that are not controlled by AA. Agents/customers should be aware that in these circumstances they are not allowed to ticket at these fares and AA will not honor fares of zero (exclusive of any surcharge). In the event
    that a zero fare (exclusive of any surcharge) is ticketed inadvertently, AA will void such ticket and may choose to waive, in its sole discretion, certain rules or restrictions of existing published fares as a gesture of good will.

    When I told her that my ticket was held with a fare of $20 and that this paragraph didn’t apply to my situation, she stated that the sentence that reads “Essentially, such fares do not make any economic sense.” — which includes $20 fares. When I told her I was not satisfied with this answer, I was directed to call their legal department through their main switchboard at 817-963-1234.

    Long story short, she’s not sure what will happen to fares that actually paid and were ticketed last night. I was told an email went out to the staff this morning and this was the procedure that was in place for these errors. The supervisor said she has been with American “a long time” and has never experienced this issue before.

  52. @ thyeri — I’d do any aisle or window seat on the “side” of the plane, ideally not in the bulkhead row.

  53. Ben, seatwise in the 2-3-2 config–what’s your experience with 9A–seatguru shows lots of room in front of the bulkhead there; Is that true? Also, is there too much noise from the lav? Would you avoid 9 A and B?

  54. @ alex — There’s not any extra room, since you have the same foot “cutout” as every other seat. That being said, it’s not a bad seat. There will be some noise from the lav and galley, but it shouldn’t be horrible.

  55. First let me start to say that service was excellent there and return with a crew led by Slack (different name but she surely didn’t slack off). They were phenomenal.

    As I mentioned earlier, my F seat was broken and I was going to request one SWU back. Well I did and American said no. They did offer 5k points. What do folks and Ben think? Settle or reply back that the amount is disappointing.

  56. DAMN!!!! Holy smokes. If I had seen this, even I would have booked this. That’s a no brainer. dammmmmnnnn.

  57. Yep it worked like a charm. I was alerted about this using FARE MONITOR through Passport Premiere. I had to change my destination from Shanghai to Beijing but it worked. Full miles credited

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