Fantastic Business Class Award Space to Asia through October

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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.

These can be turned into fully flat beds.

The daily flight is bookable with United or US Airways miles and may be your best gateway to Asia for the next three months.

image from gcmap.com

How can you book the flight? What’s ANA’s business class product? What’s the award space picture?

Flight Time

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.

Beds

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.

Staggered seats, so everyone can lie flat.

Here are dozens of photos of the cabin, service, and food from The Bat.

Award Space

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.

Where United and US Airways fly from San Jose

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.

Where Southwest flies 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.

Recap

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.





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7 COMMENTS

  1. Even though there are some 60 seats available on NH204 from FRA to HND on December 28, 2013 we’ll have to fly on LH710, instead. Why is it possible that United gets only ONE seat for miles redemption????? Any chance we can change these flights any time soon?

  2. Why they run 787s on these routes but older planes on the ORD-NRT I don’t get it. I have reward trip from ORD this fall and got stuck with the old config. Business. Oh well.

  3. Does anybody know if ANA will release more business award seats towards the departure date? I know they do so for first class but I am not too sure about the business class.

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