Lots of First Class Award Availability to Beijing

Beijing, China
Beijing, China

Looking for a way to fly to China in style? There is currently tons of Air China First Class award availability between Sydney and Beijing, with up to 4 First Class seats available for redemption on many dates.

Air China flies daily from Sydney to Beijing. It currently serves this route using an Airbus A330 with Economy and Business Class. But during January and February 2019, Air China will upgrade its Sydney-Beijing route to a Boeing 777-300 with 8 First Class seats.

If you were to buy a ticket, you could expect to pay almost $10,000 for a return Air China First Class ticket from Sydney to Beijing. But on many dates, there are currently as many as four First Class award seats available on those flights. So there’s no need to pay anywhere near this amount! Air China’s flights on the Sydney-Beijing route operate as follows:

  • CA174 Sydney 20:40 – Beijing 04:40 (+1 day)
  • CA173 Beijing 01:40 – Sydney 15:30

How to book Air China award seats

As Air China is a member of Star Alliance, you can redeem miles with any Star Alliance airline to book award travel on Air China. The airline also partners with Cathay Pacific Asia Miles. (Note: Air China is not to be confused with Taiwan-based China Airlines, which is a member of the SkyTeam alliance.)

Using Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles, you could expect to pay 105,000 KrisFlyer miles + $102.93 to fly from Sydney to Beijing in Air China First Class, one-way.

Screenshot of Singapore Airlines website
Screenshot of Singapore Airlines website

If you have United miles, the price is only 75,000 MileagePlus miles + $97.43. (It seems that United is not passing on Air China’s fuel surcharge of $5.50.)

But the best deal is to book with Avianca LifeMiles. It costs 62,500 LifeMiles (and similar taxes) to fly Air China First Class from Sydney to Beijing, one-way. In the other direction, it costs only 50,000 LifeMiles… for some reason.

If you were to buy Avianca LifeMiles during the current sale, you could expect to pay around USD1,716 ($2,333) for the required 112,500 miles for a return First Class award from Sydney to Beijing. This is cheaper than buying a Business Class ticket on Qantas.

Return Air China First Class flights from Sydney to Beijing cost 112,500 LifeMiles
Return Air China First Class flights from Sydney to Beijing cost 112,500 LifeMiles

You could purchase enough miles for 4 return First Class tickets (you’d need 450,000 miles) during the current promo for USD6,468 (~$8,793). Even after accounting for the taxes on 4 return tickets, you’d still be paying less for a family of four than one full price ticket! The current LifeMiles promotion expires on 12 December 2018.

The easiest places to find award availability for Air China are on the United Airlines website or Expert Flyer.

Air China may not be the most prestigious airline currently gracing the skies. But in Air China First Class, you can expect a very comfortable lie-flat bed in a private suite and you’ll be looked after well as a First Class passenger. On the Boeing 777, there are two rows of First Class in a 1-2-1 configuration.

Air China Business class seats are also available.


Would you like help using your frequent flyer points?

Frequent Flyer Solutions offers a personalised service that’s designed to take the hard work out of redeeming your frequent flyer points!

Award Flight Assist can help you to find the perfect flights using your points. Just let the team know how many points you have and where you would like to go, and they’ll prepare an itinerary for you.

Click here to learn more about Award Flight Assist.


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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]