Malaysia Airlines has had fantastic business class fares out from Bangkok for the past few months, but they were always gone before I managed to book any of them.
These fares are great if you credit the flights to American Airlines (for the miles) or qualifying for British Airways Gold (Oneworld Emerald) status.
I booked Bangkok to Hong Kong return for $259.90 (earns me
140 160 BA tier points), Bangkok to Beijing for $342.10 (earns me 360 BA tier points) and Bangkok to Taipei for $398.24 (earns me 360 BA tier points) all for December and January travel.
If your goal would be to qualify for British Airways Gold status (Oneworld Emerald), four of these Beijing or Taipei trips would earn you 1,440 tier points of the required 1,500. Remember that you need to take 4 BA coded flights as well.
I have not yet decided, whether I credit all these towards the BA, because Bangkok to Beijing return would earn me 15,696 AAdvantage miles including the business class bonus of 25% + Platinum bonus of 100%. If you value AA miles around 2 cents each, the miles earned would pretty much offset the costs of the flights.
Here are some business class return prices from Bangkok without taxes/fees that are rather reasonable on these flights. Other cities are included on the sale too.
Bangkok – Taipei $367
Bangkok – Hong Kong $217
Bangkok – Beijing $306
Bangkok – Narita $630
Bangkok – Shanghai $306
I booked one-way Bangkok to Jakarta earlier this week on Malaysia Airlines economy for $150 day before departure. The Kuala Lumpur airport was so quiet during the couple of hours I was there that it was borderline sad. The airline must be bleeding money.
These trips that I booked aren’t mileage runs. I need to go back to Hong Kong in December and then wanted to go to Harbin in January to see the ice festival. Also, I haven’t been to Taiwan for couple of years, so time to visit Taipei again or maybe do a trip to Kaohsiung where I haven’t been yet.
I booked one of these trips on Expedia, when Orbitz price was 4 cents lower, and filed for the BRG and hopefully get the price match + $50 hotel coupon thrown in.