China Airlines Award Travel

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Old Apr 18, 18, 5:23 am
  #1  
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China Airlines Award Travel

Anyone have any experience with China Airlines releasing additional business class award space after the initial one seat release? I am piecing together a business class award travel reservations for a party of two from ATL-SYD and the only way I can find a reasonable mileage price is to route through Asia on two separate award tickets on China Airlines (ATL-SFO-TPE) (TPE-SYD) or China Southern (ATL-JFK-CAN) (CAN-SYD). I can get two business seats to TPE (my preference) or CAN, but I when trying to book two award seats in business class from TPE-SYD on March 16, 2019 (yes, next year) on China Airlines, it appears, they have one seat available for each of their two flights (CI55 at 7:40 AM and CI51 at 11:30 PM). I am contemplating booking the one seat on each flight in hopes that I can change one of us to the other flight later if they open up an additional award seat in Business. We are both Delta Diamond, so no change fees, just not sure if we will in the end be flying separately to Sydney. Other option is to book two award seats on China Southern from CAN-SYD, which has availability, but after reading reviews, believe we would have a better flying experience on China Airlines over China Southern. Any thoughts on China Airlines availability or in flight service of China Airlines vs China Southern are greatly appreciated.
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Old Apr 18, 18, 1:02 pm
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Join Date: Jan 2010
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I can't offer any advice on whether CI will open up new seats or not. The one data point I can offer, is that I was able to find two Business Class seats SFO-TPE-KIX roughly 9 months before departure. So they do open two seats on at least some routes.
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Old Apr 18, 18, 1:15 pm
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The TWOV situation at CAN has been a little bit fluid recently and Chinese airports are subject to delays, especially at PEK. You might want to grab the award space and plan to purchase tickets from TPE to CAN if necessary. BTW, can we assume you're booking tickets for both people using miles from your DM account and booking the tickets separately for each fare component in miles, rather than as RTs or with the TPAC and onward travel to Australia on the same ticket (which in this case would have advantages and disadvantages). You need to be concerned that later free ticket changes will require that award inventory be available.
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Old Apr 18, 18, 2:15 pm
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I was watching SFO/LAX-TPE availability this February for a trip that month, and it was fluid, with seats released within a few weeks of travel. This was slightly after Chinese New Year, when I would expect high demand.

I flew CI in business a couple of years ago and overall had a very good experience; I think they're a great use of SkyMiles for getting to Asia.

Personally, I would book one seat in each of the SYD flights and subscribe to Expert Flyer to set an alert for an additional seat (that's how I knew of changing availability). I have no interest in flying a mainland Chinese carrier, and I'd put up with the separate flights to SYD as a worst case scenario.
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Old Apr 19, 18, 3:30 pm
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Just wanted to follow up to original post. I opted for the China Southern option as we were worried about separating on China Airlines flight option. I'll keep looking for China Airlines options. Thank you to those that provided their feedback.
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Old Apr 19, 18, 10:32 pm
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Join Date: May 2004
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So I did CI from TPE-NRT, did a lot of watching but yes, my mom and I got biz seats eventually on the right day. Plus CI is such a nice airline especially compared to the actual Chinese mainland airlines. I'd book the Taiwanese "China" airline and go from there, especially if you can hold one Econ seat just in case....
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