How to Fly to Japan in Business Class for ~$100 Round Trip: Part 9 – Flights to USA – Japan Airlines Business Class

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Using miles & points, I recently flew round-trip from Austin, Texas, to Japan for ~$110 in Business Class.  The retail cost was ~$11,000!  And for 3 weeks of lodging (including some fancy hotels), I spent ~$450!

Japan is a beautiful country, filled with a lot to see and do.  You’ll find everything from high-rise skyscrapers to old temples and hot springs.  I loved Tokyo’s energetic neighborhoods, shopping, and delicious restaurants.  And Kyoto is a fantastic place to ride bicycles, and to explore the bamboo forest and monkey park.

Participating in a cooking class and meeting new friends was the highlight of Osaka.  And a day trip to feed the deer in Nara was unforgettable!  Plus, Okinawa is known for its beautiful beaches and scuba diving.

Japan Trip Report

Asian Airlines Have Never Let Me Down. But This Was One of the Best I’ve Ever Flown!

Wherever you go, you’re sure to have an amazing time!

In this part of the series, I’ll share my experience flying Japan Airlines Business Class from Japan back to the US.  And I’ll tell you how you can do it, too!

How to Fly to Japan for ~$100 Trip Report Index:

Japan Airlines Business Class Flight

At the end of our trip, we flew Business Class back to the US using American Airlines miles.

Transpacific award flights will cost different amounts of points depending on where you are in Asia.  That’s because American Airlines divides Asia into two categories.

Japan Trip Report

One of Our Last Views in Japan. Always Sad to Leave!

Because we were flying from Japan, we spent 95,000 American Airlines miles and $110 in taxes & fees for each one-way Business Class flight.  That’s a great deal, considering Business Class seats can easily cost $2,500+!

If you need more American Airlines miles, you could consider cards like:

Note:   American Airlines has pulled a huge amount of saver level availability.  So you’ll have to be extra flexible if you want to book an award seat with the least amount of miles.

If you’re using American Airlines miles for your flight, an award seat on a partner airline will cost the same, no matter which partner you choose.  And the quality of the seats can vary dramatically!

Japan Trip Report

Our Business Class Seats Looked New and Modern

If you’re flying from Asia, I highly recommend trying to book Cathay Pacific or Japan Airlines.  We decided to fly Japan Airlines’ Business Class on the way home.  The seats were very comfortable!

Japan Trip Report

We Enjoyed Japan, but Were Looking Forward to Getting Home

The seats had all of the regular Business Class conveniences, including a lie-flat bed and lumbar support.

Japan Trip Report

The Massage Feature Had Me Screaming Domo Arigato!

Because I have a severe food allergy, I always bring my Chef Card with me on flights and show it to the purser (most senior airline attendant).  Chef Cards are small cards that warn others about a food allergy in pictures and in words.  You can get them in hundreds of languages.

The flight attendant returned with a page of menu items and allergens warnings of each dish.  However, I noticed that the menu guide did NOT have fish, my allergy!  It had shrimp and crab (which is shellfish, NOT fish).

Japan Trip Report

Fish Is Very Common in Japanese Cuisine – It Wasn’t Listed on the Allergen Sheet

This was concerning, because fish is so deadly to me.

I stayed away from any questionable foods, and instead ate things that were clearly NOT fish, like cheese and crackers!

Japan Trip Report

I Can Always Trust a Cheese Plate!

I also felt safe enough to eat the beef.

Japan Trip Report

The Beef Was Tasty, but I’ve Had Better. Japan Airlines Specializes in Seafood

They served chocolate pudding for dessert.

Japan Trip Report

It Tasted Much Better Than It Looked

My boyfriend tried ALL the Japanese food.

Japan Trip Report

He’s the Japanese Food Expert, So I Rely on Him to Tell Me the Quality and Authenticity of the Food

He got a bento box filled with an assortment of foods to sample!  It had gorgeous presentation.

Japan Trip Report

I Wanted to Stuff the Box Into My Carry-On

For his main course, he got fish.

Japan Trip Report

How Can Something So Pretty Be So Dangerous for Me? 🙁

Bottom Line

Flying in Japan Airlines Business Class was a real treat!

One-way Business Class flights from Japan to the US cost 95,000 American Airlines miles plus $110 in taxes & fees.  That’s a great deal for a ticket that can easily cost $2,500.  I was able to get ~4 cents per American Airlines mile ($2,500 ticket – $110 in taxes & fees = $2,300 / 60,000 American Airlines miles).

I’m always surprised by the amenities, attention to detail, and beautiful food when I fly Business Class.  But that might be because I’m only paying a fraction of the price for the ticket! 😉

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3 responses to “How to Fly to Japan in Business Class for ~$100 Round Trip: Part 9 – Flights to USA – Japan Airlines Business Class

  1. Family of 4 just got back from Tokyo and Osaka 2 days ago. I wish I would have read this before we left but it was fun reading the series all at once. A few of my comments on your posts.
    – Getting around was so easy. We took different Metros, and the Nazomi train between Tokyo and Osaka. The ticket machines are all in English so easy to buy tickets and the metro lines are all in English, with colors and numbers. We would challenge our kids to guide us.
    – Lots of good food everywhere. And if you have kids and don’t want a traditional meal, there is an Italian or pizza places just about everywhere.
    – When we were changing between cities we didn’t want to haul our luggage with kids through the metro stations or onto the metro since they were usually packed. The airport limousine buses were great. Next time we may even look into shipping some luggage like you did then we can even take the metro more to the airport and train stations with minimal luggage we have to tote. Spend some money on shipping which will save money on transportation.
    – The JAL lounge in Osaka is nice, but definitely not anything spectacular to spend more time than needed there.
    – It looks like you flew on the JAL flight form KIX-LAX, which only has angled flat seats. That was what we flew 2 days ago and it was one of the the worst business class flight we have ever been on. We knew it was angled going in but wanted a direct flight from KIX so we went with it. There was no pre departure drinks, no water bottle at the seat, and we didn’t get even a drink of water until an hour into the flight. The food was pretty bad (we had 3 different meals between the 4 of us and the steak was really the only edible main dish and our dessert was orange pudding….) and meal service wasn’t completed until over 3 hours into the flight. The bedding was horrible, a very small pillow and blanket that didn’t even come close to covering an adult. Landing meal service started 2 hours before the flight. So rest/sleep time started late and ended early. We had a long layover still at LAX and wish we would have flown KIX-Tokyo-LAX instead. I guess I had higher expectations for JAL and was let down. I would have rather of flown a US carrier business class.

  2. The photo you posted looks different from the JAL Sky Suite I just flew on from Tokyo to Dallas. Our seats were in their own separate compartment and there was a automated divider between mine and my wife’s seats. If we put the divider up we couldn’t even see each other. The food is decent on JAL, but I find Cathay’s business class food to be much better. It’s more Western than JAL’s.

    I know people keep complaining about the lack of SAAver award inventory on AA, but I’ve never had a problem. I just booked three international trips and found 100% availability for the entire month of these travels.

  3. I guess to each their own. I would not rave about this for longhaul. It’s ok for a domestic or shorthaul flight. I took it going from HND to BKK and they ran out of western meals on a flight full of Japanese pax. Plus it’s angled flat. Stick to their sky suites or the 777 in First. I got to try their first class product from NRT to LAX and that’s one of my favorite flights to date. Plus their pajamas I still wear all the time.

    But really it beats economy, so….