The 3 Best Ways to Fly Business Class to Asia (on a Budget)

by Global Viewpoint
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Dreaming of flying business class to Asia without the hefty price tag? You’re in luck. Over the past few years, I’ve seen some incredible business class deals from the US to Asia. Recently, I even flew business to Bali and Dubai for over 65% off. Keep reading to discover my top 3 tips on how to fly business class to Asia for cheap in 2024!

Since starting this travel blog over 7 years ago, one of my goals has been to experience luxury travel without breaking the bank. Not only have I stayed at some of the most luxurious hotels in the world, including a five-star resort in Thailand (where I’m currently writing this article from). But I’ve also flown with some pretty amazing, top-of-class airlines.

Flying to Asia can often be prohibitively expensive, but it doesn’t have to be when you’re equipped with the right tips and tricks. From leveraging travel rewards to choosing the right destinations and times to fly, I’ve uncovered some great strategies to travel as far, wide, and affordable as possible. I’ve also learned a thing or two about finding cheap business class fares.

In this guide, we’re diving into the 3 top ways to fly business class to Asia in 2024. Whether it’s Tokyo’s neon lights or Thailand’s tranquil beaches calling your name, I’ve got the insider tips to get you there in style and on budget. Let’s dive in!

Me eating a meal on an Emirates Business Class flight
Me flying Emirates Business Class

1. Sign up for the Elite Version of Going.com

For the past 4+ years, Going (formerly Scott’s Cheap Flights) has been my go-to for finding flight deals.

Going is a membership site that helps you find best-value flights from your preferred airports. By subscribing to their email alerts, you’ll get notified when deals become available. This includes mistake fares and points and miles deals that you won’t find elsewhere.

There are three versions of Going – LimitedPremium, and Elite. If you’re looking for business and first class deals around the world, you’ll want to sign up for the Elite version. Last year, I literally saved $3,000 on an Emirates Business Class flight thanks to Going. So I couldn’t recommend it more!

Here are some recent business and first class deals that have been spotted using the Elite version:

  • $500s to Mexico and the Caribbean
  • $1,200 to Latin America
  • $1,700 to Europe
  • $2,200 to Asia

As you can see, flying to Asia tends to be more expensive than anywhere else, but thanks to Going, you can definitely get there on a budget. Yes, even with business class!

Spectacular flight deal with Going from LA to Tokyo
Spectacular flight deal with Going from LA to Tokyo

2. Put your miles to good use with these top business class airlines to Asia

In 2024, there are many great airlines that fly to Asia from the Continental US. This includes Air Canada, Air France, Air India, American Airlines, Asiana Airlines, China Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Japan Airlines, Korean Air, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, and more.

With so many options, you’re probably wondering: which airlines offer the best business class service? And where can you actually find good deals? Here’s my #1 choice that I recommend:

My top airline pick for flying business to Asia using miles: Cathay Pacific

Based in Hong Kong, Cathay Pacific is one of the world’s best airlines. It’s a founding member of the Oneworld Alliance, serving more than 80 destinations in Asia, Europe, North America, and Oceania.

I’ve flown to Asia with Cathay twice from Boston, and I’m blown away by the level of service and of course, the spacious seats on their flights. The fully flat beds, gourmet dining options, and privacy partitions are a nice touch. Also, the fact that I can fly direct to Hong Kong from Boston (16 hours) makes it a really convenient entry point to Asia. I prefer it over flying to Dubai or Doha, and then having another 8-10 hour flight to Southeast Asia.

Cathay offers a solid number of flight routes from the USA. There are multiple flights per day from LAX, and many more in New York (JFK, EWR), Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco. Cathay also has reasonable mileage prices and many transfer partners. 

Cathay Pacific’s Asia Miles program is a transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards. Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles can also be earned and redeemed on flights with Cathay Pacific. You can transfer rewards points to Asia Miles from either of these programs, and find business class flights as low as 50,000 miles one-way.

Again- I highly recommend signing up for Going Elite to see each airline’s miles and points deals. While Elite members will receive alert emails for deals, you can also search for them directly on the Going website.

Cathay brings you to some amazing destinations like Hong Kong
Cathay brings you to some amazing destinations like Hong Kong

3. Fly direct to one of Asia’s most affordable and accessible airports

Not keen on flying through Hong Kong? Consider flying to Taiwan’s capital city, Taipei, instead. Not only is it an incredible travel destination with its cultural and architectural marvels, but it’s also super cheap and accessible to fly to other parts of Asia. And the best part? This airport is a hub for not one…not two…but THREE top-notch business class airlines to Asia!

In recent years, the number of non-stop flights connecting the US and Taiwan has soared. This is thanks to EVA Air, STARLUX Airlines, and China Airlines – three international airlines based in Taipei. Here’s a breakdown of each and some tips to score business class deals.

EVA Air

Based in Taipei, EVA Air is widely recognized as one of the world’s top airlines. In 2023, AirlineRatings ranked EVA 8th among the world’s best airlines and 9th among the safest airlines. It also has a solid business class with amenities that are better than most airlines (and even on par with first class in some cases).

As a member of the Star Alliance Network, EVA Air provides access to a global network and status recognition within frequent flyer programs. Here are some tips to score EVA Air business class deals:

  • EVABidDealOffers the option to choose your own upgrade price 50 hours before departure. If a ticket is eligible for an upgrade, EVA Air will send an invitation 7 days before departure.
  • Infinity MileageLands: EVA Air’s frequent flyer program is called Infinity MileageLands. It offers many ways to earn points, or miles, that can be used for booking free flights, getting cabin upgrades, and more. It’s a great way to earn and redeem miles for Star Alliance members. You can also transfer points quite easily from Citi ThankYou Points and Capital One Miles.
  • Upgrade award: Y, B, M, H, and Q (Economy) tickets can be upgraded to Royal Laurel/Premium Laurel/Business by deducting miles.

Currently, you can fly to Taipei with EVA Air from the following US airports:

  • Los Angeles (LAX)
  • San Francisco (SFO)
  • Washington, D.C. (IAD)
  • Seattle (SEA)
  • Chicago (ORD)
  • Houston (IAH)
  • Dallas (DFW)
  • Boston (BOS)
Taipei Skyline
Taipei skyline

China Airlines

In 2024, China Airlines (not to be confused with Air China) is another great option for flying from the US to Taipei. Currently, it offers direct flights from Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, and Honolulu.

With its 180-degree full flat seats and sleek cabin look, flying China Airlines business class is a comfortable and convenient way to get to Asia. It’s definitely an experience worth paying for, both in cash and with points.

Like EVA, China Airlines has a system for requesting business class upgrades. Your best bet for booking China Airlines business class awards is through Air France-KLM Flying Blue and Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, which can get you up to 50% off normal award rates. 

STARLUX Airlines

Here’s another Taiwanese airline that’s making waves in the Asian market. Founded in January 2020, STARLUX perhaps chose the worst possible time to begin operations. But it has since been gaining traction, particularly with its new long-haul business and first class products.

Though it doesn’t have the same extensive flight network (yet), STARLUX Airlines is increasingly becoming a desirable way to fly to Asia in business class. Today it provides daily flights from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), and three flights a week from San Francisco International Airport (SFO). Later in 2024, there are also plans in the works to fly to NYC and other US airports.

With its inaugural flight to the US taking place just last year, STARLUX offers an impressive business class experience. I believe that it can absolutely rival any of its Taiwanese competitors. It also has a loyalty partnership with Alaska Airlines, where you can redeem Mileage Plan miles for Starlux flights starting at 60,000 miles for business class. For US-based travelers, this is a preferable option to racking up points with Starlux’s COSMILE loyalty program.

And from its Taipei hub, you can fly directly to 16 popular Asian destinations, including Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Singapore, Tokyo, Hanoi, Manila, and Kuala Lumpur.

  • Pro Tip: To avoid having to remember all the best airlines and airports for flying to Asia, I highly recommend signing up for Going. While the free version is great for continental US economy deals, the Elite version is what you’ll need to find best-value business flights, including credit card points and airline mile deals.
Flying to Asia with Business Class top tips
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