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China Airlines is once again a great airfare bargain to Bali

plane-sunsetWhen I began researching this article I believed I had found a combination of flights that would get a person from the United States to Bali for a fair amount less than what I was finding on the meta-search sites, like kayak.com. Last week when I was researching the budget airlines to Bali I had seen that flights from Los Angeles to Denpasar were starting at almost $1,100 roundtrip, and I thought I had beaten the system, but it turns out that just when I figured this out, China Airlines comes up with a great sale that is even cheaper than my formula.

It was frustrating since this island paradise is so cheap once you arrive, but flights to Bali can kill your whole budget before you even pack if you don’t find a good deal.

The China Airlines sale

China Airlines, in case you haven’t heard of them yet, is based in Taiwan, and they’ve entered the US travel market with some stunning airfares to Asia. Perhaps they were just between promotions last week, because this week their prices are incredible and well below the competition again.

Here’s what they are currently offering:

  • Los Angeles to Bali: US$789 roundtrip, changing planes in Taipei
  • New York City to Bali: US$856 roundtrip, changing in Anchorage and then Taipei

The prices above include ALL taxes and fees, and only seem to be available through Orbitz.com (you can buy from Orbitz using our search widget on this page), and all the other airfare sites are around US$40 higher. Of course, these are for flights I was researching, and if you intend on flying on a busy upcoming weekend it will probably show a higher price.

My work around for when the sale ends

When I was looking at over US$1,000 for a flight to Bali last week I discovered that I could fly to Kuala Lumpur for around $750. When I checked kayak.com for flights from there to Bali the lowest price was US$247, so it was a bit cheaper, but barely worth all the hassle. Later I discovered that Air Asia flies this route and doesn’t appear in many of the search sites, and they have RT fares between KL and Bali for around US$97.

So if I booked from LA to Kuala Lumpur and then booked separately from KL to Bali I could do it for around US$850, and the only real difference is I’d have to pick up my bag in KL and re-check it on the Air Asia flight to Bali.

UPDATE: Someone also just alerted me that I’d need to change airports in Kuala Lumpur as well, so that long taxi ride and extra hour would have to be factored in if I were hoping to save money. Thanks, db!

I also noticed that Air Asia flights can sometimes be booked on mobissmo.com for less than on the Air Asia site itself. The difference is under US$10, but still why not book in the cheapest place possible since the seat on the flight is the same?

So for now, check your whole trip first, and if you are coming from somewhere other than LA or New York you can probably get a cheap flight to Los Angeles and then the cheap China Airlines flight from there, and usually these online travel agencies will bundle it for you to save you the trouble. But when the China Airlines promotion ends, you can look into other possibilities involving discount airlines to Bali, because they don’t all show up on all the search sites.