There have been several great fares to Hong Kong appearing in the last couple days. I sat down this morning before heading downstairs to FTU to see if I could tweak the deals to make them any better. I’m catching up on my bid to requalify for United Premier 1K status (76,000 miles flown or booked) but am still very far behind for Alaska’s MVP Gold status.
Fortunately, flights on partners like American and Delta qualify as long as they are both marketed and flown by that carrier (e.g., a DL flight number must be operated by Delta, not Air France). Keep in mind that adding partner flights to your elite qualification goals will raise the threshold. Alaska requires only 40,000 EQMs if you stick to their own flights but 50,000 EQMs if you include partners.
I started with an option posted by The Flight Deal for trips departing Seattle or Portland on Delta, connecting in Narita. These are fair at about 4.3 CPM, and there is availability as early as next week. If you just want to go to Hong Kong, it makes sense. But I don’t need another trip to Hong Kong right now. I just want a quick turn around for maximum miles.
One of the better solutions I found was to detour through Minneapolis in both directions, driving my CPM under 3.7 CPM for a total of 18,332 miles and only $672.80.
Booking an itinerary like this isn’t as easy as searching from Seattle to Hong Kong. It’s easier to throw some Alaska flights in there to get to Minneapolis than to rely only on Delta’s availability. To do that, you’ll need a multi-city search on an OTA like Orbitz or Expedia. But I was able to do that after a few tries.
For those who want something more adventurous, I was also able to find a more creative itinerary connecting through Beijing and Anchorage. Remember, U.S. citizens don’t need a visa anymore to visit Beijing if they’ll be there for less than 72 hours and are transiting to another country other than the U.S. I don’t remember the exact fare, but it was over 20,000 miles for about $700!