Asia from £965, Sydney / Melbourne / Auckland / Brisbane from £1275 as Air China’s Business flash flight sale returns

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Every year, Air China runs a special sale around 11/11 to celebrate Single’s Day.   All European destinations are usually included, but from Germany there are always some especially aggressive deals.

(Before you ask:  “Singles Day or Guanggun Jie is a shopping holiday popular among young Chinese people that celebrate their pride in being single. The date, November 11th, was chosen because the number “1” resembles an individual who is alone. The holiday has also become a popular date to celebrate relationships, with over 4,000 couples being married in Beijing on this date in 2011, compared to an average of 700 a day.”)

I’m not sure why Germany always gets the best offers but, year in and year out, it does.  Last year there were some ex-London deals as well, albeit for £300+ more than flying from Germany, but I could not find any advance publicity for these.

How cheap is cheap?

Take a look here and see.

Air China business class sale germany

In terms of fares, we’re talking, departing Frankfurt, Munich or Dusseldorf in Business Class:

Around the €1,118 level (£965):

  • Bangkok
  • Hong Kong
  • Taiwan
  • Phuket
  • Tokyo
  • Osaka
  • Seoul
  • Singapore
  • Ho Chi Minh City
  • Colombo
  • Jakarta
  • Manila
  • Kuala Lumpur
  • Hanoi
  • Yangon
  • Busan
  • Fukuoka
  • Nagoya
  • Sendai
  • Hiroshima
  • Okinawa

Around the €1,566 level (£1,350):

  • Beijing
  • Shanghai
  • Wenzhou
  • Fuzhou
  • Hangzhou
  • Guangzhou
  • Xiamen
  • Chengdu
  • Shenzhen
  • Nanjing
  • Xi’an
  • Shenyang

Around the €1,477 level (£1,275):

  • Sydney
  • Melbourne
  • Auckland
  • Brisbane

The last four are, without a doubt, the star deals.  £1,275 to Australasia in Business Class is an outstanding deal.

You must book by 13th November (Wednesday).  As I am writing this on Sunday before the tickets go on sale on Monday, I can’t say how good or bad the availability is.  It won’t last long, however.

Travel dates for the Business Class sale are (OUTBOUND):

  • 13th December – 12th January
  • 18th January – 28th January
  • 27th March – 12th April
  • 28th June – 23rd August

You cannot travel INBOUND between 18th January – 27th January.

You will note that, as usual with Air China sales, Christmas is NOT excluded.

Air China is part of Star Alliance so you could (depending on which booking class the ticket books into) earn miles and status credit with Lufthansa Miles & More or one of the other Star programmes.  Use to find the most generous programme – you are probably looking for ‘R’ class earning which is typically 125% of miles flown.  

I know very little about Air China, so do some research on what planes are flying which route and what kind of seating if will offer.  A typical Air China business class is pictured below.

Air China business class

Some flights use brand new A350-900 aircraft with this impressive 1-2-1 layout:

Air China A350 business class

Last year reader Joel reviewed the Air China Boeing 777 business class service from Heathrow to Beijing for us – see here.

If you don’t have a credit card with 0% foreign exchange fees, your best option for paying is American Express Preferred Rewards Gold which offers triple points – 3 per £1 – when you book flight tickets in a foreign currency.  This is because the transaction triggers the ‘double points for airline spend’ and the ‘double points for foreign spend’ bonuses.  Our review of Amex Gold is here.

These deals end on 13th November.  The Air China Germany site, in English, is here.

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  1. OT – how quick the IHG free night cert show up the account after anniversary? Was looking to book a night the end of May with anniversary up till April.

    • Will appear shortly after the statement of anniversary.

      My advice: book two nights on points for the night you actually want. Then when voucher comes through: cancel one, it should go back into reward inventory but not always, then use your voucher. If flit doesn’t you’ve then still got a night booked.

  2. Monese
    3 months premium with £5 per month discount to save £15


    • If already on premium, will downgrading result in a credit back and can the code be used thereafter?

    • Thanks!

      1MONTHFREE also worth a punt. Free month of Premium.

      For anyone topping up at the Post office and PayPoint, how much are you topping up a month and how are you spreading the top ups? Do you always use the same card to top up or do you spread across cards?

      • I do 500 per time and use different Amex card each time. I got 4 to cycle through.

        • Thanks, I have three and one of my partner’s. Should be able to cycle through.

          Any rejections at the PO? I’ve had a couple and it’s made me a little apprehensive.

          • There have been warnings from @Genghis and others about the risks of falling foul of amex so while I would use Monese in this way, I would not go crazy with it. Tge benefits from Monese may yet prove to be short-lived but those from amex are definitely not.

          • How much are you topping up, BJ? I don’t want to draw attention from Amex – as you rightly say, the long term consequences of that are dire.

          • I will probably do under £1000 a month or less. The Monese middle plan with £800 may suit me. My idea is not to use it to earn loads of miles or points but just to get me to targets like 241 etc when regular spending might need a helping hand to get there. I use Curve in much the same way with non amex cards. I don’t blame people who may want to make hay while the sun shines but a steady approach to earning and burning has always worked for me so that’s how I’ll continue. And even in Edinburgh city centre running out and in to post offices and co-op every day is a pain I can live without.

          • I’m lucky that I have a small PO round the corner – makes it easy to stand out though, if visiting multiple times. I only have around 300k points in total between my partners and I, so I need a little help. It’s a shame I got into Amex churning late and only recently got a partner who was interested in the points game. Still, referrals from Plat should help us make up the gap a bit next year.

            You don’t make large Curve deposits with the government bank then?

          • Partner* not a Mormon, I promise!

          • We burn 225-270k avios per year so obviously need to earn at least that, preferably a bit more to insulate against devaluation. Our balance is usually around double that to provide a two year buffer. We pay cash for other flights taken. The government deposits you mention go into hotel points not miles for us. They are much more comfortable than running to the PO or shops.

          • You’re doing well to continue earning and burning that many Avios a year in the current climate – do you mainly use them on long haul 241s?

            Ah, I don’t have the IHG card. My only non Amex rewards card is the Virgin Atlantic Rewards + – earning some good interest on my deposits. Hoping the KLM/AF tie in works out well, as that would be more convenient than redeeming Avios for a Newcastle resident. Agreed that armchair based earning is better than trying your luck in PO.

          • 1x 241 exINV open jaw to Asia per year and 1x 1 pax out to BKK per year exEDI. Tge variation is due to peak pricing sometimes, and sometimes need 300k if my partner cannot get a cheap return cash flight from BKK. Use bot IHG and Virgin with Curve, Virgin goes to to Hilton. I am not expecting the FC AF/KLM to be good, I’ll be hugely disappointed if it is lol.

          • ” and only recently got a partner who was interested in the points game.”
            Mrs G has no interest whatsoever in points. It doesn’t stop her having multiple accounts all managed by me.

          • @Genghis – fair point! It’s a bit more fun when your partner enjoys collecting points too – more willing to shop through the BAEC Avios store etc helps too. But I see your point!

        • GoldmanBanker says:

          I thought it was £249 per transaction? so I have been doing transactions of 200 + 200 + 100

      • You must really like Asia! Thought you said 241s were best not used for Asia?

        I hadn’t considered transferring my Virgin miles to Hilton – is it good value?
        Why would you be disappointed if KLM/AF turned out to be great?

        • Shoestring says:

          because he’s dumped all his Virgin miles

        • My partner is Thai so we go visit his family at New Year, and he also has stuff he has to help with family business. Usually try to add a few days in other Asian countries like Japan or Malaysia with each trip. Focussed other travels during last few years doing road trips to get to know UK very well. Would like to do the same in Europe now: waiting for the £ to go back up but seems little chance of that now given the country is overrun with…

          • That’s lovely – it’s great you can use Avios to make those flights cheaper and more flexible.

            Mainland Europe is terrific but I have felt the sting visiting there recently. Let’s hope Boris doesn’t get the result he wants – maybe we can then work on a sensible deal or stick with the present situation.

        • 241s absolutely best used for Asia. Esp if you get F. Real treat.

          • @Polly thanks for the advice. Where would you recommend travelling to in Asia with the 241?

      • Sorry if this sounds daft, but what is the benefit of topping up monese with an Amex?

        Am I missing a trick here? Does that not count as a cash withdrawal?

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