Malaysia Phantom Sale

When we read the press release detailing Malaysia Airlines' latest sale, we headed over to their site for a closer look. Los Angeles and Newark to India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and the Maldives, with economy class fares starting at $830 round-trip and reduced business class fares available for $3,320 round-trip were two of the deals being touted. Sounds pretty good, right? All tickets must be purchased by May 31, for departures through now and May 31, and departures from August 16 through November 30 as well. And expect a surcharge of $30 to $40 applied on weekend travel from Los Angeles.

Well, as of today, there is no mention of this sale on Is this what it feels like to be stood up? What gives? Thinking that maybe these sale fares might be available but just not mentioned directly on their website, we began to poke around.

  • Los Angeles to Karachi $920 round-trip: We found $1,569 round-trip, with tax, on Malaysia Airlines, using August 16 through August 23 as our travel dates. Plugging in the same dates on Orbitz, we did find a lower fare of $1,412 on China Airlines. And Malaysia Airlines comes in at third place, with a fare of $1, 417, which is a tad better than what we found on their website. Both fares include two very long and, we imagine, grueling connections. For those looking to cut down on travel time, Orbitz lists the best (and only) one stop-over flight with Thai Airways/Cathay Pacific for $5,714 round-trip. Hmmm, maybe making those two connections doesn't seem as long or grueling anymore.

  • Newark to Mumbai $950 round-trip: We found $2,412 round-trip on Malaysia Airlines, traveling on May 7 through May 16. A quick search on Orbitz, using the same dates, gave us a much lower fare of $1,086 round-trip with Alitalia.

  • Newark to Colombo Sri Lanka $900 round-trip. We found $2,330 round-trip on Malaysia Airlines, traveling on May 14 through May 31. Checking these dates on Orbitz gave us $1,088 round-trip with Virgin/Sri Lankan Airlines.

  • Los Angeles to Hyderabad, India $850 round-trip. Using September 12 through September 26 as our travel dates, we found $1,422 round-trip as the lowest fare. Again, we checked this exact trip on Orbitz and found $1,149 on Air India, with two stop-overs. For a tad more, $1,310, you can cut back on a stop-over with Thai Air.

We've praised Malaysia Airlines in the past for having such fantastic sales, and for being so spot-on when advertising these fares. If they say it costs $680, you can be sure that it will. So we're sure this is some sort of temporary flub. Sales are always given a prominent space on their website, and we have faith that the empty block reserved for Top Online Offers, which now reads 'coming soon', may soon house this deal. We'll definitely be keeping watch, and so should you.