How I saved £3,500 on First Class Airline Tickets to Beijing

Yes, I really did save over £3,500 on First Class airline tickets to Beijing. You can too with a little planning and determination. It is quite a simple travel hack involving using airmiles, but don’t be deceived into thinking that this means you need to book hundreds of flights. This is simply not true!

Forbidden City, Beijing
Forbidden City, Beijing (Source: Pixabay)

I earn most of my miles from credit card spend. You can read details of the best UK travel credit cards in this dedicated post. To be clear, I am not suggesting that you go on a mega shopping spree. Instead, I encourage you to divert all future spending (yes, even those Starbucks coffees) onto your credit card and then pay it off religiously.

How to save on First Class airline tickets to Beijing

If you want to know everything there is to know about earning airmiles, then a good place to start would be the 14 week guide to travel hacking. This series of posts cover the many different ways to earn miles on your everyday spend just by changing a few of your everyday spending habits. Before long, you will have enough miles to book your own first class airline seats.

The Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China Source: Pixabay)

How much did my airline tickets cost?

We paid £1,113.14 plus 200,000 AVIOS and a companion voucher. This is effectively a two for one offer, although sadly you have to pay two lots of taxes! Had we paid for these tickets, the cost to book the same flights with British Airways was £2,454.57 each. For two, that comes out at a whopping £4,909.14. OMG, frankly anyone who pays that clearly has more money than sense!

For interest, the cheapest flights on Expedia for the same dates were £2,311 in First class (bizarrely for British Airways) giving a total cost of £4,622.

Whichever way you look at it, I save over £3,500 on these flights!

Yangtze Valley
The Three Gorges China Source: Pixabay)

Any top tips for Beijing?

So now, of course the only thing to do is plan my trip. I am thinking Beijing, Hong Kong and the Yangtze Valley but would love to know your top tips and suggestions. Don’t be shy, come and chat in the comments.

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About Anne

Anne is the founder and editor of Frommilestosmiles. If she isn't travelling, she is thinking of travelling or planning her next trip. She has visited over 90 countries on six continents and sampled everything from backpacking to bank bursting travel. Her mission is to help you enjoy more luxurious travel without the luxury price tag through the use of airline and hotel rewards and other money-saving travel tips


  1. Did you include the cost of the yearly Amex cards in analysis? We’ve squirreled away Avios over the last few years and have got 2 return business to Singapore for £1800 c BA. We had about 140,000 Avios but had to buy some miles. Cant see how one can get to 1st class status.

    • Hi Doug. No I did not and that is a good point. That current cost is £195 (I know, ouch right?) but even including that cost the saving is well over £3,000

  2. This is why I hoard my airline miles like a gold. They are worth it when I get to fly somewhere for just the taxes. I paid 200 bucks for a round trip to Egypt which was amazing.

    It sounds like you got an amazing deal there.

  3. You definitely got yourself a great deal on those tickets! Congrats! I am about to head to SE Asia next year and really need to figure out airfare.

  4. Oh myyyy goshhhhhh that’s a crazy steal!!!!!!!!!! I seriously need to sign up for a better rewards credit card hahaa.

  5. Beijing is a capital city one should not miss when traveling Asia! It’s the very heart of China.

  6. 3,500 is huge! You can go on another trip with that much! Thanks for sharing your tip, though here in Asia, China flights are much cheaper.

    • If you have any tips for getting the best flight prices within China just let me know as I want to fly to Yangtze and Hong Kong and so far both are looking ridiculous. I suspect it will be better nearer the time when the budget fares are released

  7. You always get the best airline deals! I need to actually look into AVIOS, I agree about putting everything on a credit card. All those points add up!

  8. Hii Anne,

    It is really an eye opening account of saving to travel more. I extensively uses Credit Cards and now will surely look for how to earn those sacred airmiles.

    Thanks / Himanshu.

  9. Wow! Saving over £3500 is a lot! Next time we’ll try doing that too! Next for sharing your tips. 🙂

  10. Wow…that is a steal….:D Anyway for me First Class tickets are a distant dream.

  11. I too have so many credit cards, but have never really used the points. Makes me wonder how you churn them out so much. SHould check for the ideal card on your related post.

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