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Delta is offering excellent partner availability for many routes between the US and Asia in Delta One business class during the winter, with as many as nine(!) seats available on some dates during popular school vacation periods. If Asia is in your travel plans, this winter could be a great time to visit. In this morning’s post about Chase Ultimate Rewards sweet spots, I noted that Virgin Atlantic is a good sweet spot for travel to Asia. However, thanks to the current point transfer bonus from Membership Rewards to Virgin Atlantic, you might rather consider Membership Rewards today since you could book these for 47K Membership Rewards points per person. That’s a fantastic deal, especially if you’re looking to fly the whole family.
- Excellent award availability for Delta One flights to Asia during Thanksgiving and Christmas travel periods with many dates having 4 or more seats available for partner bookings
I recently flew Delta One between Tokyo and the US and compared it to ANA business class. While I ultimately preferred ANA, I noted several reasons why Delta might be a preferable choice. The current wide open availability creates one more positive for Delta: if you’re looking to travel with a large group, it’s awesome to find this many seats available. For example, here is availability for nine seats in Delta One from Detroit to Beijing during December 2019.
With that many seats, you could literally fly the whole family to Asia for Christmas / New Year’s Eve.
Results shown above are through Virgin Atlantic. That’s probably your best bet for booking these as Virgin Atlantic charges just 60K miles each way. If you take advantage of the current point transfer bonus from Membership Rewards to Virgin Atlantic, you’d only have to transfer 47K points. Virgin Atlantic is also a Chase transfer partner and a Citi transfer partner, it’s easy to put together the miles for an award. See How to book Delta using Virgin Atlantic miles if you’re new to partner bookings.
While availability on this route is much more limited, here’s 4 seats from Minneapolis to Tokyo:
If you’re based in Seattle or can position there, availability to Beijing is amazing. Here is the outlook for nine passengers in November and December 2019.
And here is Seattle to Shanghai for four passengers.
I found more limited availability out of cities like Atlanta and Los Angeles, but you will find some seats and dates out of those cities as well.
We’ve noted in the past how partner availability for Delta One flights can be much better than what you’d expect from Delta. See our Guide to booking Delta with Virgin Atlantic miles for everything you need to know about booking flights like these — and then hop on it. Virgin Atlantic offers cheap changes / cancellations, so you have little to lose in booking, though keep in mind that once you’ve transferred your points to Virgin Atlantic, you won’t be able to transfer them back.
SEA-NRT – almost nothing. Found 2 days available for 60,000. Nothing on all other days in Nov/Dec
SEA-PVG is showing good results though. Never flown Delta Bus….would need to connect somewhere else…well..maybe a good use of Amex MR..but gasp..I only have 43k! Maybe should get the Virgin card. EDIT: Just remembered – I have plenty of Chase UR.
Hey Nick is there a way to leverage this to see if you can find flight to Mumbai or Colombo via virgin miles?
[…] Specifically flights out of Detroit, Minneapolis, Seattle, Atlanta and Los Angeles are bookable to Tokyo and to China (from Shanghai connecting options on China Eastern are good as well) for November through March. (HT: Nick Reyes) […]
[…] And this morning, the stars have aligned and you can book Delta business class awards. Nick Reyes pointed out on Frequent Miler that there’s some excellent Delta business class award availability currently available to […]
Very misleading. References Delta (yet can’t book with DL points), then you have to have 47k membership reward points as well.
Taking your kid?
Just took Delta One from DTW to PEK last month. I was a little surprised. I kind of expected a Wow factor but it is very similar to Cathey business but with a side panel/door that you can easily see over. Service and food was about the same too. Best part was the Tumi kit!
Anyone see anything great from SF?
I didn’t check SFO, but here are my thoughts:
1) Go to the Wikipedia page for SFO and see which cities Delta serves directly from there. That will give you routes to search.
2) Consider easy positioning flights from SFO. You can probably get to SEA / LAX for fewer than 10K points each way with Alaska, Southwest, or United (using Avianca LifeMiles). If you can’t find anything out of San Francisco, those options won’t add many miles / much time to your trip.
flightconnections.com is a great site for #1
Ooh, that’s a sweet! I didn’t know about flightconnections. I’ve just added it to my Tools we Use post and my post for tomorrow morning publication. Thanks!
flightsfrom.com is a similar site, with some great and helpful filters.
That does look very useful. Thanks!
nice site… the flightfroms mentioned earlier look ok — but couldn’t find a way to close the left side dialog box – lame.
Surely you should add to the header ” in the dead of winter” so I don’t get excited by the headline?
Gosh, dead of winter is exactly when I want to get away from home. Plenty of options to get from Beijing / Tokyo / Shanghai to other destinations if you’re looking to get somewhere warm from there. I’d guess that most people looking for 9 seats are looking to travel during school holidays like this.
Agree. For many places in Asia, the heat is unbearable, at least for me. Nov/Dec/Jan is a perfect time.
For what it’s worth, SEA to PEK had good availability in late September and early October. Great time to visit China.