Right now there’s great business and first class award availability on Star Alliance airline ANA from several US cities to Tokyo and back starting in August and running through the end of the current airline schedule (basically, October). That’s great for connecting onward to Asia.
Two passengers can fly from Houston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose or Seattle using miles from United (or Chase), Avianca LifeMiles, or even better Virgin Atlantic (which partners with several credit card transferable points programs).
International travel right now isn’t an option for most – especially to Asia – but come summer 2021 the world is likely to look a lot different than it does today. I’m betting that late summer and fall travel is going to be possible, and mileage trips are exactly what you want to be booking given the flexibility to cancel and redeposit miles.
This availability was flagged by Spencer Howard who has done a great job keeping up on frequent flyer award space as it becomes available while many people aren’t searching awards as much as we once were. Spencer runs a free email newsletter where he sends out award availability alerts, consider signing up.
I’m a huge fan of ANA first class, especially the food and service. The Seattle and San Jose flights do not offer first.
Here’s a search for 2 passengers in first class between San Francisco and Tokyo. It shows not just availability between these two cities, but also where there’s availability in first between Tokyo and another U.S. city – provided that there’s also saver award space on United for a connecting domestic flight to or from San Frnacisco.
- You can put the award on a 24 hour hold before transferring points
- Points transfer from Citibank, American Express, and Chase
- From the West Coast awards are just 110,000 miles roundtrip, and 120,000 from the Midwest and East Coast.
- ANA for 150,000 miles roundtrip, a Membership Rewards transfer partner but transfers aren’t instant
- Lifemiles for 90,000 miles each way
- United for 110,000 miles each way
As soon as I’m able I want to make a trip back to Tokyo for sushi and then onto Southeast Asia for laksa, prawn mee soup, and any number of other meals. And flying ANA first (or business) class is a good way to do it.