Award Alert: Tokyo Roundtrip Business Class From 85,000 Miles Roundtrip

United Airlines business class between the U.S. and Tokyo is wide open for award travel. Saver awards for 2 or more passengers are available nearly day through end of year out of Los Angeles, San Francisco and Denver. This deal was first spotted by Thrifty Traveler‘s premium airfare deal alert service.

Japan’s borders are currently closed through end of February. Omicron will hopefully be on the decline there at that point, and they’ll look towards re-opening. I can’t wait to return for incredible sushi.

Flights between Los Angeles and Tokyo are wide open March 4 – December 13.

Flights between San Francisco and Tokyo are wide open March 4 – December 13.

Flights between Denver and Tokyo are wide open April 17 – December 13.

United business class travel gains access to their Polaris lounges. Newark, San Francisco, Houston, Chicago O’Hare and Washington Dulles Polaris lounges have re-opened. Los Angeles should re-open prior to the start of this award availability.

United Polaris Lounge Newark

While all 3 flights are generally operated by Boeing 787-9 aircraft, the Los Angeles flight will reliably feature United’s Polaris business class seat, while the other two routes generally show their older business seat (that still, at least, has the new bedding).

United Polaris Business Class Seat

United Polaris Business Class Saks Bedding

Some ways to book:

  • United MileagePlus charges 70,000 miles each way for these flights without fuel surcharges, and is a Chase transfer partner (usually instant, though not always).

  • ANA Mileage Club charges just 85,000 miles roundtrip for this flight without fuel surcharges. They are an American Express Membership Rewards transfer partner, however transfers can take around 48 hours and there’s no guarantee that the space will still be available when those points hit your account.

  • Air Canada Aeroplan charges 75,000 miles each way without fuel surcharges, and is a Chase, Capital One, American Express and Bilt transfer partner.

  • Avianca Lifemiles generally charges 75,000 miles each way without fuel surcharges, though there are pricing quirks, and is an Amex, Citi, Capital One, and Brex transfer partner.

I wouldn’t generally bet on Cherry Blossom season this year, but summertime can be great and hopefully the course of the pandemic will shift sufficiently, and we’ll be dealing (in much better fashion) with things more seasonally after the next couple of months.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I’ll be happy — very happy indeed — to be wrong, but I’d be surprised if Japan opens its borders to travelers without quarantine before the end of the year. It’s pretty clear now that China won’t open in 2022, and I can’t see Japan opening any sooner for domestic political reasons.

  2. Japan despite economic stagnation remains a great place to live for its citizens because of its homogeneity. Even other East Asians (who “look alike”) don’t have an easy path to citizenship in Japan. Japanese mixed-use dense urban planning, public transit, and perhaps most enviably: unparalleled high degree of safety from violent crimes even past midnight in urban areas is a function of their homogeneity.

    Don’t twist my words and say racism works. Racism is despicable.

  3. I’m not too hopeful. I have changed my flights now 3 times since COVID started. I keep hoping that “this” is the time but keep getting disappointed. I now have flights for June 2022 but I doubt it will open up and I’ll have to change for the 4th time.

    I hope I’m wrong.

  4. it still show $283.87 for Tax/Fees/Charges/Airline Charges with 85K on ANA. Is the $283.87 include a fuel surcharge?

  5. Well if you can patch into another ticket to GUM. You can even go without a COVID test. No quarantine if vaccinated. (Currently transit must be airside and same day.)

  6. Very tempting, I love Japan and UA’s service. Alas Japan shows no signs of sanity in accepting tourism this year. Closing the summer olympics despite vaccinations (while most other places were open) gives you a good picture of how things are handled here.

    Maybe worth a flyer for the end of the year, I guess you can always cancel & redeposit if something more appealing materializes.

  7. Serious choice to be made here. Don’t know that I’m going to do it here or wait for the planned cherry blossoms sometime in the future, but I’ve got roughly 160,000 United miles and two possibilities. Which is better, one United business ticket or two ANA economy? Realize that I’ll need two tickets either way, so I’ll need to buy an additional United business ticket if I went that route. And I know the economics, you’re getting more value per mile in a business seat. I hear good things about ANA at all levels, but how is ANA economy going to compare to United Polaris and is it worth shelling out for Polaris?

  8. United is so Generous !!
    Next they will be offering Business Class to Australia for the Same discount.

    What a joke!!

    The world is still closed People!!

  9. Does united or Ana have any policy that you can cancel award tickets and get miles back for free now?

  10. @Mike you would need to book the United saver space (70k flights) with ANA miles to get 85k roundtrip.

  11. Thanks Gary! Booked flights for November, fingers crossed.

    Folks have thoughts on Andaz v Park Hyatt? PH has standard suite available and I can confirm with SNA if that factors in. But probably more concerned about location for a short trip. Focus would be food, maybe one or two tourist sites.

  12. Japan Airlines also has availability end of schedule. I booked to Australia for late December 2022. Hopefully they get find some common sense over the next 11 months and let us in. (And New Zealand).

  13. @C_M

    I can’t really comment comparison wise since I avoid US carriers, but ANA economy is excellent. Great food, great service.

  14. @pakmiller Thanks. I’m inclined to take the ANA economy flights as the biggest bang for the buck since I don’t have millions of miles to burn. But we’ll just have to see when I can hit the cherry blossoms – 2023 maybe.

  15. I booked for November but I know it’s not happening. Did it just to keep my miles alive.

  16. I booked a trip for September. If I have to reschedule, oh well. No penalty from what I can see.

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