Yesterday morning, I reported that Sichuan Airlines is launching a new flight between Chengdu and Los Angeles, with a stop in Hangzhou. It was strangely timed, since they were basically announcing the launch of an entirely new route within a week of its inaugural flight.
Well, it looks like flights on this new route are now bookable, and the fares are fantastic! You can fly from Los Angeles to Shanghai for less than $333 in coach roundtrip, inclusive of taxes and fees. The flights are searchable via Google Flights (read our guide here), and bookable on CheapOAir.
Business Class is also available with a pretty great deal, at just $1367 roundtrip. However, it looks like Expedia and Orbitz are not able to price this ticket out correctly at the moment, so you might need a travel agent to book it for you. Sichuan Airlines’ website is not registering LAX-PVG as a valid routing just yet.
If you want to terminate in Chengdu, the price is actually a bit higher, but still really cheap, at $378 roundtrip in coach.
You can also fly Business Class on this route for $1466. This fare can be booked through Sichuan Airlines’ Canadian site; just make sure you use a credit card that doesn’t carry a foreign transaction fee.
Though Sichuan Airlines’ website doesn’t show it, according to ExpertFlyer, the above Business Class ticket books into fare class “J.” This means you are theoretically eligible for Sichuan Airlines’ free chauffeur drive service in Chengdu.
These fares looks to be valid for travel through January, but keep in mind Sichuan Airlines only operates this route every Monday and Thursday. Sichuan Airlines partners with China Southern Airlines, which is a member of SkyTeam. However, these fares (N for Economy and J for Business) do not appear to be eligible for mileage accrual:
The flight is operated by an Airbus A330. Economy features seats in a 2-4-2 configuration. Business Class has a 2-2-2 configuration, with a angled flat product. These are not the most exciting products, nor are the routings exactly desirable. However, it’s a great fare, and might be of interest to those hoping to try out a new airline.
(HT: MightyTravels on Flyertalk)