I’m undeterred by battery issues and constantly on the lookout for ways to fly the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner. One Dreamliner route with fantastic award space is the All Nippon Airways (ANA) route between Tokyo-Narita and San Jose, California.
The daily flight is bookable with United or US Airways miles and may be your best gateway to Asia for the next three months.
How can you book the flight? What’s ANA’s business class product? What’s the award space picture?
ANA flies its two-cabin 787 daily from San Jose to Tokyo-Narita. The flight to Japan leaves at 1:05 PM and arrives the next day at 4:10 PM after flying 11hr5min. The flight back to the US leaves at 5:35 PM and arrives at 11:10 AM the same day after flying 9hr35min.
ANA has its fully-flat business class beds configured 1-2-1, 1-1-1 in alternating, staggered rows, so that one passenger’s feet are under another’s arm rest. I think A and F seats look the best for solo travelers, while D and G are best for companions.
Here are dozens of photos of the cabin, service, and food from The Bat.
In both directions, there is business class award space only through the end of October. November and beyond has ample award space (nearly every day) in economy, but no business class award space.
Blue and green days both have business class award space on all the calendars below.
San Jose to Tokyo
The return is the exact same picture. Through the end of October, there is great business class award space from Tokyo-Narita to San Jose. November and beyond shows only economy space.
Tokyo to San Jose
Getting to and from San Jose
This route is most convenient for people based in San Jose, but anyone can connect to it. Any United or US Airways domestic flight can be added to the international flight for no additional miles.
Alternatively, you can fly into San Francisco and out of San Jose on an award because the two airports are coterminal. Ordinarily that wouldn’t be convenient, but if you want to use your stopover in the Bay Area, it could be.
Finally, you could use a positioning flight to get in place for these United flights. Southwest flies to the most cities from San Jose.
Booking the Flights
To book the flights with United miles, search on united.com and book on united.com. Business class on the ANA 787 (plus any domestic first class flights on United and US Airways) will cost 60,000 miles each way or 120,000 miles roundtrip.
To book the flights with US Airways miles, search on united.com and book by calling US Airways at 800-622-1015. US Airways charges only 90,000 miles roundtrip in business class to Asia, one of the best sweet spots in all of the miles universe. (Unfortunately you cannot book one way for half price in miles.)
Getting the Miles
Flying to Japan is best done with 90,000 US Airways miles, and the best way to earn US Airways miles is to get the US Airways Premier World MasterCard with 30,000 US Airways miles after first purchase.
- Earn up to 40,000 bonus miles on qualifying transactions
- EXCLUSIVE: Redeem flights for 5,000 fewer miles
- Zone 2 boarding on every flight
- Enjoy 2 miles per $1 spent on US Airways purchases
- Earn 1 mile per $1 spent everywhere else
- Annual companion certificate good for round-trip travel for up to 2 companions at $99 each, plus taxes and fees
- First Class check-in
- Please see terms and conditions for complete details
Application Link: US Airways Premier World MasterCard
If you want to go the 60k United miles one way route, your best bet is to go to a Chase bank branch to get the 50k offer on the United Explorer card or to collect Ultimate Rewards on the Sapphire Preferred and Ink Bold.
ANA has excellent award space on its Dreamliner from San Jose to Tokyo from now through October in business class beds. The rest of the year, only economy class space is available.
This is some of the best space for trips to Asia this fall that you have dragged your feet on booking. Japan is part of US Airways’ North Asia sweet spot and costs only 90k US Airways miles roundtrip in business class. You can pick up 30,000 US Airways miles on first purchase with the US Airways Premier World MasterCard.