14,000 Miles of oneworld Business Class Flying for $1300, and Where the Best Fares Are

@deovratk tweets:

Found this deal from CMB-AKL $1300 RT in Biz. Do share If this can help your readers.

Colombo, Sri Lanka has long been one of the cheaper places in the world from which to buy airline tickets — and a place where mistake fares seem to originate with regularity as well.

Just last year there was an Etihad first class mistake fare between Colombo and Dallas. One of my all-time favorites was Colombo to New York one-way for $1100 in business class without any routing or maximum mileage restrictions, which meant that folks could fly on a ton of different airlines, all over the world, as long as they started in Colombo and the ticket concluded in New York. Folks flew well over 20,000 miles one-way.

Not a mistake fare, but for quite some time there was a ~ $2200 first class one-way fare between Colombo and many cities in the US. You could fly most any way you wish with the requirement that you needed to cross the Atlantic on an American Airlines-coded flight (British Airways codeshare flights worked). Folks were flying on the Emirates A380 in first class with the shower.

When I find myself in a place like Colombo, or Cairo, I’m always half tempted to try out new airlines on a relatively cheap (compared to buying the same thing from the US or Europe) fare. I don’t generally do it since I’m often not in a place long enough to be able to leave, come back, and still enjoy the place as I had intended. But it tempts..

It didn’t take long to suss out the fare that @deovratk was referring to. I simply pulled up the ITA Software Matrix and did a month-long calendar search for lowest fares, specified the cities, and business class (and for convenience told it to price in US dollars).

And had no problem finding an itinerary like:

Here’s the fare breakdown, it includes a $400 fuel surcharge.

(The next step – of course – would be to see whether it’s possible to price this without the fuel surcharge.)

Here’s what the flying would look like:

It’s 14,000 miles of flying in business class for $1300.

Fares like this are good but not especially uncommon from Colombo.


About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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