Starting in March (and continuing through the fall) there’s really strong business class award availability on American’s Los Angeles and Chicago – Shanghai flights.
Interestingly the same cannot be said for Dallas – Shanghai, or American’s Beijing flights. So it’s not China generally, just Shanghai and just from Los Angeles and Chicago.
Availability is in both directions (although somewhat limited for Shanghai – Los Angeles). And the Chicago flight often has 6 or more seats open.
If you’re looking for business class seats to Asia using American miles, look no further than Chicago – Shanghai.
As well as Los Angeles – Shanghai, here’s a search for 2 business class passengers.
Availability isn’t limited to 2 passengers, either. Los Angeles – Shanghai is wide open for 4 passengers in business class.
So is Chicago – Shanghai:
The other direction, Shanghai – Chicago, is wide open as well. Here’s 4 passengers in business class.
Shanghai – Los Angeles is available, although dates where you’ll find tons of seats are limited. Here’s a search for 4 business class seats in May/June:
That Chicago flight is actually better than I’ve described so far. You can stick a whole family on that flight. Here’s Shanghai – Chicago for 6 passengers in business class over August/September:
Now, Chicago – Shanghai is served by an America 777 with their old angled business class [at least for now].
While Los Angeles – Shanghai is operated by a Boeing 787 with new business class seats. That’s clearly the more desirable flight.
American charges 55,000 miles each way for business class between the US and China (or indeed anywhere in the ‘Asia 2′ region). That includes US domestic flights to and from the international departure city, as well as intra-Asia flights on their partner airlines. Get ’em now before award prices go up for new tickets issued March 22 onward.