American Will Honor Ticketed ~$450 Business Class Fares To Asia

Filed Under: American

On Tuesday I posted about the amazing ~$450 roundtrip business class fares which American published between Washington and Beijing. The deal was available for several hours before it was pulled.

Not surprisingly, American has now confirmed on Twitter that they’ll honor the fare for everyone that managed to ticket their reservations, presumably thanks in no small part to the DOT regulations saying they have to do so:


Presumably those that only had their tickets on hold are out of luck.

While this took a bit longer than I would have hoped (my guess is that they talked to the DOT and their lawyers), I’m happy that they’re honoring ticketed reservations.

So, who’s headed to Beijing? šŸ™‚

  1. I’m going in late April/early May, thank you so much for finding this unbelievable fare!!! You rock!

  2. Thanks for your post lucky. I discovered at the same time.

    Now I need to find myself from west coast to DC!

    We need to start a list of whose flying to Beijing at what time, just like FT does. Let the party rolls

  3. Excellent! And on a side note, those people who put an Error Fare on hold are idiots. Only issued tickets count. No whining allowed!!

  4. I’ll be in PEK on May 19th, who’s in to go hang out?
    I’m staying only 3 days as I have to go to Kuala Lumpor.

  5. I have no horse in this race (didn’t get nor have interest in /time for one of these tickets) but I don’t see how the holds can’t count. The rule is that airlines have to give customers a way to preserve a price for 24 hours at no risk to the customer. If error fares can’t change to the customer’s detriment after booking, why should a customer not have the same 24 hour no risk rights with respect to an error fare? It would seem that AA is pretty clearly in violation of their obligation to give customers a 24-hour no-risk option here.

  6. Going the 2nd weekend in May. I think getting to the Chinese embassy in DC will be the worst part of this trip.

  7. I was able to get a cheap $950 ticket out of sfo direct to hnd and onto pek in JAL’s new Sky Suite business product (on 777-300er) from during this mess up! Really excited about trying out that product.

  8. Bgriff: Agreed.

    Although I have a bias (I have a ticket on hold), it’s disappointing that the prominent voices in the Travel Hacking community with paid tickets are saying “We got ours, so… Sorry to those that weren’t as lucky!”

    It’s not a matter of luck – it’s a matter of law. If AA does not honor the held tickets, they are breaking DOT regulations and their own contracts with customers. If AA is allowed to cancel held fares, it sets a significant toxic precedent.

    Here is why I wrote in my DOT complaint:


    AA has used 14 CFR 259.6 – a consumer protection tool – to subvert my contractual rights to purchase their advertised fare. Because AA has opted to provide a 24 hour hold, rather than a 24 hour cancellation policy, I have limited legal standing in civil court: there was no purchase. As a result, action by the DOT is my only real hope for remedying this situation.

    Please do not allow AA to flagrantly violate 14 CFR 259.6 without repercussions. Please do not allow them to leverage 14 CFR 259.6 as a tool to erode their responsibilities to consumers.

    Taking a stand on this issue will provide a strong statement of support for consumer protection, and 14 CFR 259.6. On the other hand, allowing AA to ignore the existing regulations will open the playing field for abuses by AA and other airlines.


    When Delta took their awards chart off their website – major voices in the community spoke out against them. They spoke out against a completely legal act, which did not involve reneging on any contract and did not involve a violation of consumer protections.

    Why not now?

  9. American
    TUE 19MAY
    11:20 AM BEIJING

    88 BEIJING
    WED 27MAY

    For 3 people. My wife and I and our 6yr. I like the idea of the of getting together if anyone is interested. We are staying at the Double tree in Beijing . THanks also for sharing this deal to give us a unique opportunity.
    PS. AAirline will still make some money . I have to spend a grand to fly to IAD. ha ha

  10. Going May 23rd to 31st via DFW on outbound and ORD on return. Anyone else on my flight??

    Probably going to pick up a flight to ICN or TPE since I’ve been to Beijing already…

  11. Great news!

    Mark, if you get to DC early enough it shouldn’t be too bad. It is crowded though so put on your patience shirt! šŸ™‚

  12. Thanks for posting about this! I am May 13-19 through DFW, anyone else traveling during this time?

  13. @lucky –

    Thank you for posting this so quickly for everyone who wanted to take a chance, roll the dice!

    Love the drama! It’s all included with the admission price to onemileatatime !

  14. Ben or others: Any thoughts on how to change over my AA FF# to US (I am Chairman, but wanted to book quickly the other night) without being on a 45 minute hold for an AAdvantage rep. Yes, I was quoted 45 minutes! Also, what’s the deal for Chairman’s SWUs on AA metal? I qualified this year after doing the challenge. Do I have two in my account? If so, can I see them and how would I use them to go from J to F on these flights? I just flew this bird ORD-PVG in J last month. Good, but I would really love that lie flat instead for the quick turnaround.

  15. Out May 22, back May 25. Going through DFW both ways.

    Anybody know how many blank passport pages are needed for Chinese visa? I was reading somewhere that two consecutive blank pages are needed–does that mean side by side? Wondering whether I need to add some pages to my passport. Thanks!

  16. Party in Beijing! I’ll be there May 12th to the 27th if anyone wants to meet up for an excursion to the Great Wall hit me up.

  17. @ Heather — There’s no rush in changing your frequent flyer number, so I’d recommend just waiting until hold times are shorter. You’ll get eight systemwide upgrades valid on American once the two programs integrate.

  18. I’m thinking of going to Singapore instead of staying in Beijing. If I book a round trip from PEK via star alliance, do you think I can use the 72 hour transit visa? Someone made a comment that implied they thought you couldn’t do that unless if you booked each direction to the different country on a different ticket. I guess a belief they’d see transiting via PEK in both directions so soon as a violation of the rules? I know you’re not a visa expert, but just curious about your thoughts. Thanks!

  19. @ Harry — That’s perfectly fine, as long as you’re not in Beijing in either direction for more than 72 hours.

  20. Thanks Lucky. I was actually referring to those 2 SWUs that Chairman get. Do successful trial preferred folks get them and if so useable on these flights?

  21. Awesome! Good for AA — I just hope those who booked and got the $450 fares will remember this and give AA a little extra business to show their appreciation. Loyalty is a two-way street.

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