I love coming across a good airline fare war, a common industry term used to describe competition between airlines to offer the lowest fares on specific routes. You'll find airlines introduce ultra-low fares during times of increased competition, new service, or just to gain more marketshare. It's incredibly entertaining and satisfying as a consumer to know these airlines are fighting for my business. And, the region where you'll find the most fare wars? You guessed it, in/out of Asia.
At the moment, we have a fare war taking place on flights between the US and Singapore, where a flock of new competition has led to more attractive one-way fares. The winner at the moment is China Eastern, who's offering ultra-low one-way fares from San Francisco to Singapore for just $270. It's not often you come across a 26-hour transpacific flight for less than a transcontinental flight, but at the moment, China Eastern fare is running this low fare sporadically from now until May 15, 2018 with Tuesday departures being your best bet.
Shanghai-based China Eastern, not to be confused with China Airlines, Air China, or China Southern, is the second largest airline out of mainland China. Outside of Shanghai, the airline has established secondary hubs in Beijing, Kunming, Xi'an, and Qingdao. The airline flies a fleet of 479 aircraft across 219 destination, who's fleet of Boeing 777-300ER offers a relatively superior hard product in First and Business Class. You can learn more about the airline at us.ceair.com.
How to Search and Book
My go-to tool is Google Flights, which I find to be the best option for searching fares with a 90% accuracy rate. The remaining 10% requires additional digging in order to find what you're looking for, like this promotional fare. An initial search of this flight does not show this promotional fare as being available.
However, once you select a specific date, specifically a Tuesday departure, is when you'll begin to see the China Eastern option.
While this fare is certainly enticing, my school of thought is you get what you pay for - and I would be weary of having any positive expectations from this flight. Unfortunately, I have yet to personally fly on China Eastern so I'm unable to comment on their service, however, their reputation is mediocre at best. While I would personally cough up the additional $160 to fly EVA, which is consistent;y ranked as one of the Top 10 SkyTrax airlines, I think this gives consumers a good perspective on when to find a good fare and perhaps how low fares can go.