MileValue is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as This compensation may impact how and where links appear on this site. This site does not include all financial companies or all available financial offers. Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit to learn more.

Note: Some of the offers mentioned below may have changed or are no longer be available. You can view current offers here.

I have a big Asia trip coming up in January. I’m going to go from Hawaii to Japan, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, and India before returning to Los Angeles.

I need to get from Japan to Thailand to meet a friend there, but I wanted to beat her to Bangkok by as little as possible, so I didn’t have a lot of date flexibility.

Since I am flying into Tokyo, I wanted to fly out of a different Japanese city, preferably one near Kyoto since that is where I want to spend several days.

The closest international airports to Kyoto are Osaka-Kansai (KIX) and Nagoya (NGO), which are both about two hours away by train. Both have direct flights to Bangkok on Thai Airways, which I discovered on Wikipedia.

Searching on

I searched for award space on because displays Thai award space, and any space I find there I should be able to book equally with all partners.

Award space was good on the Osaka-Bangkok route in First Class on a Thai 747. I’ve flown that cabin before for one hour from Phuket to Bangkok, and it was very nice.

Screen Shot 2015-12-14 at 1.47.42 PM Screen Shot 2015-12-14 at 1.47.50 PM

I couldn’t find economy or Business Class space on the Osaka flight on the day I needed to fly.

On the Nagoya route, I found Business Class award space on the two daily Dreamliner flights. I have never flown Thai Business Class or the Thai Dreamliner.

Screen Shot 2015-12-03 at 3.44.23 PM

Deciding Which Miles to Use

Thai Airways award space can be booked with any Star Alliance miles. I compared the award charts with United miles, Avianca LifeMiles, Lufthansa miles, Singapore miles, Asiana miles, Copa miles, and Aeroplan miles, all of the big eight Star Alliance miles except ANA since ANA requires a roundtrip award.

Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 9.14.50 PM

The best award option was to pay 36,000 LifeMiles and no fuel surcharges to fly Thai Business Class. Thai First Class was only 50,000 miles, but I have flown it on the 747 and A380, so I wanted to try out Business Class on the Dreamliner instead.

I went to to make the booking. I searched for the award space I had already found on and brought it up easily.

Screen Shot 2015-12-03 at 3.43.07 PM

The award costs 36,000 LifeMiles + $47, $22 in taxes and a $25 award booking fee.

Screen Shot 2015-12-14 at 1.31.47 PM

I had the option to pay fewer miles by paying more cash at a rate of $15 per 1,000 miles or 1.5 cents each.

Screen Shot 2015-12-14 at 1.31.13 PM

That’s a bad option because you can currently buy LifeMiles for 1.32 cents each. If you bought 36,000 miles for 1.32 cents each, the award would cost $522.31 all in after taxes and fees. That’s well below the retail price for nearly seven hours in a flat bed on a Dreamliner.

I paid the award taxes and fees with my Citi Prestige® Card to earn 3x points on the airfare purchase. If I hadn’t already used up my $250 Air Travel Credit in 2015, the $47 would have even been refunded to me. No worries, that credit resets for me in January. The Citi Prestige® Card comes with 40,000 bonus ThankYou Points after $4,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open

I booked the award and got an email confirmation. I went to to confirm that they saw the booking and to select a seat. It is always smart to contact the operating carrier after making an award booking to make sure they see the booking on their end. I was able to input the Avianca Reservation Code on Putting in the booking carrier’s code does not always work, and when it doesn’t you may need to call the booking carrier to get the operating carrier’s code.

Screen Shot 2015-12-14 at 12.44.56 PMSince recongnized my reservation code, I was able to select a seat. Because its Dreamliner is 2-2-2 in Business Class, I went for a middle seat, so I had aisle access and no one would have to climb over me in flight.
Screen Shot 2015-12-14 at 12.46.28 PM

Bottom Line

I will be flying Business Class on a Thai Dreamliner from Nagoya to Bangkok. I hope to sleep most of the flight and to show up relatively refreshed to meet my friend in Bangkok.

Screen Shot 2015-12-14 at 1.26.22 PM

The award cost 36,000 LifeMiles + $47. I searched on and booked with LifeMiles because they offered the best deal among Star Alliance carriers on Business Class from Northern to Southern Asia.

Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Just getting started in the world of points and miles? The Chase Sapphire Preferred is the best card for you to start with.

With a bonus of 75,000 points after $4,000 spend in the first 3 months, 5x points on travel booked through the Chase Travel Portal and 3x points on restaurants, streaming services, and online groceries (excluding Target, Walmart, and wholesale clubs), this card truly cannot be beat for getting started!

Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

The comments section below is not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all questions are answered.