(Sigh) Delta And United Exist Too, Ben: UPDATE On Hong Kong Fare Sale

Filed Under: American, Delta

UPDATE TO THE UPDATE, 5:25PM ET:  At this point, Delta, American and United are in the business class game with excellent fares to Hong Kong from various U.S. cities.  Google Flights seems to be the best way of surveying the terrain at the moment. Check fares from major gateway hubs for each of the alliances. Some of the great fares are available as soon as next week; others not until October. Play around and good luck!

UPDATE 5:15PM ET: Talk about whiplash! Delta no longer seems to be offering its ~$2,450 business class fares from ORD and DFW, but American has expanded its fare sale tremendously. Sub-$2,500 business class fares now appear to be available on American from nearly every oneworld and SkyTeam hub not just this fall, but from tomorrow through the end of the schedule.  And now United’s in the game, with sub-$2,500 business class fares from Detroit to Hong Kong, and possibly from other gateways as well. Developing…

Ben has a love/hate relationship with American Airlines.

He hates the food, the reliability, the soft product, and, depending on the configuration, the hard product, too.

But he loves pretending they’re the only airline that exists.

So when Ben posted earlier today that amazing fares were available from Dallas to Hong Kong on American Airlines, he neglected to mention they were available on Delta and United this autumn, as well.

$778 roundtrip economy fare on Delta/Alaska from DFW-HKG
$778 roundtrip economy fare on Delta/Alaska from DFW-HKG
$772 roundtrip airfare on United from DFW-HKG
$778 roundtrip airfare on United from DFW-HKG in economy

Delta (but not United) is also selling ~$2,450 roundtrip business class tickets from Dallas to Hong Kong.

$2,452 roundtrip business class from DFW-HKG on Delta
$2,452 roundtrip business class from DFW-HKG on Delta

For what it’s worth, Dallas isn’t the only city benefiting from the fare war. You’ll find the same ~$2,450 business class fares on both American and Delta from Chicago.

$2,450 roundtrip business class airfare from ORD-HKG on American
$2,455 roundtrip business class airfare from ORD-HKG on American
$2,460 roundtrip business class airfare from ORD-HKG on Delta
$2,452 roundtrip business class airfare from ORD-HKG on Delta

Keep in mind these unpublished fare wars tend to be incredibly dynamic. Prices could drop further, or the fare war could end within the hour. The geographic scope of the sale could expand, as it already has to Chicago.

I’d recommend playing around with ITA Matrix and seeing if any other cities and dates might yield something unexpected today, keeping a close watch on oneworld hub cities.

Bottom Line

Ben’s earlier post only tells half the story. This is a great fare sale whether you’re loyal to American, Delta or United.  All three major carriers are offering ~$770 economy roundtrip airfares from Dallas to Hong Kong.

Better yet, Delta and American are competing for sub-$2,500 business class fares to Hong Kong from both Dallas and Chicago.

While American’s routing is more direct, if you’re gaming for Delta elite status, this is a great way to maximize MQMs, particularly if you route yourself creatively through Atlanta, Salt Lake City or Minneapolis. A business class fare from Dallas to Hong Kong via Atlanta and Seattle outbound and Seattle inbound would yield 26,360 MQMs, which is a fantastic bounty.

If you’re a Star Alliance loyalist, keep an eye out on the DFW-HKG and ORD-HKG routes to see if United joins Delta and American with sub-$2,500 business class airfares (right now, United’s remain around $5,000, give or take).


  1. Thanks Nick. Your comments about Ben’s affinity for AA make me wonder if all the AA fanboys are really just in it for the game, because if you don’t particularly like what you’re winning, why do it?

  2. What kind of mileage do you get from United or Delta compared to American in economy? Is it comparable?

  3. According to the fare rules on ITA, these need to be ticketed by May 15 (i.e. today) so if you want one move quickly!

    @Adam – The AA fanboys only love them because they haven’t introduced the same revenue requirements as UA and DL, so they can still game their way to top tier status on AA (for now).

  4. @Arcanum Delta’s status is way easier to game if you’re capable of putting any kind of spend on credit cards. The “revenue” component automatically becomes waived with $25k credit card spend, which if you put any kind of effort in it at all, can be done in < 1 week. And if you aren't completely dense, you should net a profit doing it.

  5. Just booked SEA-DFW-HKG for late October for a simple milage run on AA. Cost me $3,100.00. Not bad at all, but I really wish I had seen that delta deal…

  6. @Adam, it should be obvious @Arcanum is a clown for suggesting buying publicly advertised fares offered by AA is gaming the way to elite status but I’ll state it anyway.

  7. Honestly, I do not consider these prices great. These are OK prices, but far from good. There are consistent low fares to China from YVR(provided its not a school season). Only around 2600 CAD, which is actually less than what I paid for economy when I first emigrated to Canada(four years ago).

  8. @Alexander I strongly recommend you to refund it as its not worth it. Drive to YVR, and take JAL to HKG instead. Its only around 2800 CAD(at the current exchange ratio, 1USD=1.2CAD). Even though you earn a lot less miles.

  9. @Christian Mileage Plus is entirely revenue based. For a non-status passenger, you earn 5x miles for the base price that you paid. For DL, I have no idea.

  10. Hate Delta for what they did with their loyalty program and for their CEO BUT if you have to fly international business class on a US airline, Delta is miles ahead of United and AA in terms of what they offer. Their Delta One cabin is by far the best international business class among US airlines.

  11. @Rich: Mind if I ask you the details? Can’t seem to find anything like that fare on my search.

  12. Fares on AA for LAX-HKG and SAN-HKG have been unchanged at well over $3k for a month or so. DFW-HKG at ~$3600 also unchanged.

  13. I’m glad you are here too Nick, it’s good of Lucky to offer more than just his own voice here (that is different in views from his own).

    I don’t think Lucky loves AA, in so much as he loves AAdvantage and its elite benefits (including OneWorld status) – he lets his love of the rewards here blind his distaste for actual flying part on AA lol. I can readily understand that, that’s why good frequent flyer programs can act as both handcuffs and blindfold. For someone who flies First almost always on points, for most of the year, Lucky relies on those cheap redemption rates on offer at AAdvantage to maximise his time sitting in Etihad First Apartments, etc. It’s the trade-off he’s long accepted, and his thinking has been shaped by that.

    Nick, as you aren’t trying to spend most of your year in the air in First cabins, you are less influenced by reward programs and more focussed on actual product. Hence you do see things differently than Lucky, thus providing another perspective.

    I therefore think it’s great I get to see both your perspectives here, in the one place – you get a much wider view as a result.

  14. That’s how much it is really worth. That is the price our companies paid to airlines. Cathay corporate rate is about 1.5~3 times this price depends on season .
    AA / US / DL corporate rate are normally around ~1800 to 3500

  15. > unpublished fare wars tend to be incredibly dynamic

    These fares are published, not “unpublished”. They might just not be advertised, yet published they are.

  16. Your Google Flights link currently doesn’t actually go to Google Flights; instead it points to another OMAT post.

    And as usual, prices are lousy from SFO.

  17. LOL, I can appreciate the humor in your title Nick, but lets be fair: US Domestic airlines are booooring.

    I say this after just enjoying a 15 hour flight on CX F class. 🙂

  18. @Ivan: Mileage Plus is not totally revenue based for status achievement for those of us who do not reside in the U.S. ….and yes, there are many of us who live elsewhere. Mileage accumulation IS based on revenue (ie. I receive 11 miles per dollar on UA ticketed trips) BUT status is getting more difficult to acheive thanks to MileagePlus cutting back on status miles earned on other Star Alliance carriers in Suites, First and Business classes. Hmmm….when spending $14,000 on a round-trip ticket LAX-SIN, should I stick myself in UA “First class” or luxuriate in SQ’s Suites class (and their excellent ground services) on the A380? Such a no-brainer……

  19. Did anyone have issues with AA not honoring it?

    I was going to book it through AA’s website, as I’m doing their mileage challenge to get platinum status if i log enough miles within 90 days.

    I ended up booking it through AMEX travel and the rates were exactly the same.

    This was done at approximately 8:45 PM PST.

    I get a call from AMEX travel saying that AA “doesn’t even have this flight.” So I call AA and they say we have plenty of seats left.

    Obviously the sale ended so when I go to rebook through AA’s website, the price is higher so I call back AMEX Travel and explain the situation to them, they get on the phone with AA and say “we got very lucky that AA will honor it” (Like it was a mistake fare). And then at the end she explains this is an “up fare ticket” So if they oversell business class, or if an economy member with elite status wants to move off, they’ll kick me off and I’m stuck in economy whilst paying the premium for business class (when I could have booked economy at $880 during the sale).

    Did anyone else have any issues like this?

  20. As a follow-up here’s the flight details . Booking class from SFO departing 01:04 AM is Booking code P. DFW to HKG is Booking code I.

    Is everyone else’s DFW to HKG leg booking code I?

  21. @Omied, it was not a mistake fare, the reason AmEx said you’re in luck and AA will honor it is because it wasn’t booked during the sale, probably due to an error on AmEx’s part. And don’t worry, once confirmed and ticketed, AA will not kick you out.

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