Months of Availability: Fly 4+ in China Airlines Biz for 85K SkyMiles!

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If you’re flying 12-plus hours to Asia across the Pacific Ocean, you want to do it in comfort and class. Here’s your best chance to do it using Delta SkyMiles.

Introducing China Airlines and one of the most stunning business class cabins you’ll ever see. Despite its name, this isn’t a mainland Chinese airline with a mixed reputation. Instead, it’s headquartered in Taiwan and flies directly to Taipei (TPE).


China Airlines SkyMiles

Photo courtesy of China Airlines


And we’re seeing wide-open availability to fly from the U.S. to Taipei in China Airlines business class using Delta SkyMiles. You can book three or more business class seats on China Airlines almost every single day from October into July 2020 for 85,000 SkyMiles one way, per person. And most of them have four, five, or even more seats available. The only dry spot is over the Christmas holiday season.

Every single day from March through June of 2020 has at least three business class seats available. It’s one of the biggest gluts of award availability we’ve ever seen, and it’s yours for the taking.


China Airlines SkyMiles

With three or more seats available every day from SFO to TPE, it’s never been so easy to fly a family to Asia in business class


There’s also some great availability before October, if you’re looking to travel to Asia in style sooner. Just beware that it will cost you more SkyMiles, thanks to the penalties Delta levies on late bookings with partner airlines.

Read up on the best ways to earn Delta SkyMiles, including which credit card points you can transfer

Your long flight across the Pacific will start in either San Francisco (SFO) or Vancouver (YVR), so travelers based in either city have it easy. China Airlines also flies to New York City-JFK (JFK),  Los Angeles (LAX), and tiny Ontario, California (ONT), though award space from those airports isn’t as generous.

But don’t worry if you live elsewhere, as Delta has recently made it easier to add in the connecting flight(s) you need for the same total price of 85,000 SkyMiles per person. 

To book, just head to Delta.com and type in your starting city to Taipei (TPE). You might need to play around with the dates a bit to make it work. But with this much award availability, it shouldn’t be too hard to get a connecting flight – especially if you live in a Delta hub like Seattle (SEA), Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP), Los Angeles (LAX), Salt Lake City (SLC), Detroit (DTW), or Atlanta (ATL).

If it’s pricing out higher, it’s almost certainly because the domestic flight(s) you need aren’t available – so keep playing around with it. Bonus: Your connecting domestic flight should be in first class!

Thrifty Tip: Be sure to select “Flexible Dates” as you pick your date to make sure you see all the available flights at 85,000 SkyMiles per person.


China Airlines SkyMiles


Award space is similarly wide open on return flights from Taipei to San Francisco or Vancouver, so it’s a slam dunk to book a round-trip flight in business to Taipei to go explore one of the world’s great food cities. You could do it for 170,000 SkyMiles round trip.

These rates are fairly competitive with what most other major airlines charge to fly to Asia in business class. But the ability to book this many seats at almost every day over the next 11 months is unparalleled. And using Delta SkyMiles is really the only realistic option to book a China Airlines flight for most travelers.

These China Airlines business class fares typically sell for more than $3,000 each way, so you’d be getting a lot of value out of your SkyMiles.


China Airlines SkyMiles


Unfortunately, it’s not so easy to tack on another flight onward elsewhere in Asia or Southeast Asia to your SkyMiles award ticket. Adding a final destination like HanoiBangkok or Bali will make your price skyrocket, and even Delta phone agents will typically tell you it’s not possible if you call in.

So if you want to travel beyond Taipei, your best bet is using some more SkyMiles or another currency. Or just buy a cheap cash flight on one of the many top-notch Asian budget airlines!


A Word on China Airlines Business Class

We haven’t flown this Taiwanese airline ourselves. But Thrifty Traveler reader Jared R. flew business class from Taipei to Los Angeles earlier this year and was impressed.

China Airlines’ 777 business class is extremely underrated. The reverse herringbone seats are outstanding: comfortable, private, and the elegant cabin design has to be seen to be appreciated. But it was the service and hospitality that exceeded every expectation. Warmly greeted by name as we stepped aboard, we found the entire flight crew to be kind, efficient, and eager to make our 13-hour journey as relaxing as possible.


Photo courtesy of reader Jared R.


While the food wasn’t the best (though far from the worst) and in-flight entertainment options weren’t as broad as he’d prefer, the flight was full of signature touches that set China Airlines apart: An onboard, standup bar between the cabins to grab a snack or drink; a North Face-branded amenity kit; outstanding service from boarding until well after landing; and gorgeous finishes throughout the cabin that “could have fooled me that I was flying private.”


How to Earn Delta Skymiles

Delta SkyMiles are one of the only realistic ways to book these flights. Luckily, they’re insanely easy to earn. And one of the best ways to earn Delta SkyMiles isn’t with a Delta card at all. It’s with the Platinum Card from American Express.

In addition to an unbeatable set of travel perks like lounge access and credits for Uber and airlines, you can earn up to 100,000 American Express points if you’re targeted for a big bonus through the CardMatch tool. And you can quickly transfer those Membership Rewards points directly to your SkyMiles account.



Click Here to learn more about the Platinum Card from American Express


Typically, opportunities like this close too fast to earn a credit card bonus and take advantage. But with this much award space, you may have enough time to earn the points and book.


Bottom Line

There’s wide-open award space, and then there’s this. No matter when you might want to fly to Taipei, you (and the rest of your family) can easily do it for just 85,000 SkyMiles apiece. Partner bookings like this are one of the best ways to use your SkyMiles.


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Lead photo courtesy of China Airlines

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.
The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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