Fare Alert: Kuala Lumpur from Several US Cities From $364 Roundtrip on United/ANA

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For a decade it was unheard of to see roundtrip fares to Southeast Asia for under $600. I don’t even bother sharing fares to Europe unless they’re under $500… preferably under $400.

When I first started seeing deep discount international fares popping up last year, I worried they were mistake fares that might not be honored by the airline. But they’re not.

Major airlines are facing:

  1. Economic challenges and greater uncertainty. There’s Brexit and terrorism, and that’s all on top of issues faced by Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain.

  2. New competition from low cost carriers. Norwegian and Wow Air, and even LEVEL and Primera, are driving down transatlantic fares.

  3. Low fuel costs. Airlines are competing aggressively and are able to make money in lower revenue environments.

Copyright: zhukovsky / 123RF Stock Photo

Against this backdrop what we’re seeing are very short term deep discount fares because airlines have a hard time telling the difference between business and leisure travelers and charging them different prices.

Airlines are doing their best to figure out how to price in a way that picks up the cheap leisure travelers who won’t buy at a higher price, without offering tickets to price inelastic business travelers for less than they’d otherwise be willing to pay — and the old ways of doing it don’t work anymore. So with a quick price drop they pick up ‘excess’ leisure business without cannibalizing higher fare purchases too much.

Here’s a few itineries found with airfare metasearch site Momondo traveling on United and/or their partner and Star Alliance member ANA.

Petronas Towers from the Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur

Via Airfare Spot flights from Newark, Washington Dulles, Los Angeles, Denver, San Francisco, and Salt Lake City are available to Kuala Lumpur starting at $364 roundtrip (Los Angeles).

Newark and Los Angeles fares appear to be available January only, while other cities may have availability in April or May as well.

Travel is via Tokyo and there’s a long layover on the return. China Southern and Eastern appear to be matching out of New York.

Look, I want deals in business class too. And they do sometimes come along, I write about them when they do. But it’s hard to beat Southeast Asia roundtrip for under $400. That’s worth covering.

And you can’t beat the food in KL, either, of course.

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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  1. I need it on united metal. Bastards at united won’t let me use my dollars to fly on codeshare even if they actually don’t fly to the destination themselves. Die united die!

  2. I flew United then ANA to KL in economy last year through Tokyo (for about $900 if I recall) and I was very impressed by ANA. Decent food, comfortable (hyper-clean) plane, and *VERY* nice flight attendants. They even remembered me on the return flight weeks later, and presented me with a hand-written note signed by all of them thanking me for choosing ANA and for being so nice to *them*. About as different from United as could be. Sadly, this year I can’t take advantage of this deal. 🙁

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