Business Class Awards to Asia Wide Open for the Whole Family Using American or Alaska Miles

Business class saver awards can be a challenge using American AAdvantage miles. American rarely releases saver inventory on their own planes, and they don’t have as many partners as United does (Star Alliance is bigger than oneworld).

Finding business class awards for more than one or two people is even harder. So when there’s business class award space to Asia for a family of four that’s really notable.

Japan Airlines is adding a second daily San Francisco – Tokyo Narita flight starting March 29, 2020.

    San Francisco – Tokyo Narita, 1:35 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.+1, Japan Airlines JL57
    Tokyo Narita – San Francisco, 6:10 p.m. – 11:30 a.m., Japan Airlines JL58

This flight has award space for four passengers almost every day.

You can use the flight to connect onward in Asia, or to visit Tokyo. Last year I had some of the best sushi on the planet during a visit to Tokyo, not to mention one of the best steaks I’ve ever eaten. Go for the Olympics, or the Cherry Blossoms too.

rei masuda
With Michelin-starred Sushi Chef Rei Masuda

American AAdvantage charges 60,000 miles each way in business class between the U.S. and Japan, or more if you want to fly elsewhere. Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan can access these seats as well (and so can British Airways and Cathay Pacific which partner with multiple transferable currencies).

(HT: One Mile at a Time)

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. Question: why not use JAL miles for this vs. American or Alaska? It’s 100k vs. 120k miles. Thanks!

  2. @JK –

    Guessing far more readers on this blog have AA or AS miles than do readers with JAL miles…

  3. For me, the real question is…JL flight 61 LAX-NRT or JL flight 1 SFO-NRT also have some of the best economy seat dimensions for y (33″ pitch, 19″ wide and 34″x19″ respectively per with plenty of availability most days, available for 35k AS or AA miles. Is J a better value? Absolutely. But bringing a pillow to make up for the lack of padding in Y seats is a lot cheaper than the extra 25k mile premium per person, especially for a larger group.

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