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Ever dreamed of visiting Japan? Credit card rewards can help get you there for a fraction of the price!
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.
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:
- Part 1 – Introduction & Planning
- Part 2 – These Are My Favorite Japanese Cities
- Part 3 – Airport Lounge Access Isn’t Just for Elite Travelers
- Part 4 – The Secret to Flying Cathay Pacific Business Class
- Part 5 – 3 Weeks of Lodging for Only ~$450!
- Part 6 – Getting Around Japan (Rail System, Metro, Bus, Etc.)
- Part 7 – Shipping and Storing Luggage in Japan
- Part 8 – Japan Airlines Sakura Lounge at Kansai International Airport
- Part 9 – Flights to USA – Japan Airlines Business Class
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.
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:
- Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® – 50,000 American Airlines miles after spending $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
- Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® – 60,000 American Airlines miles after spending $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of opening your account
- Barclaycard AAdvantage® Aviator™ Red World Elite Mastercard® – 40,000 American Airlines bonus miles after your first purchase and payment of annual fee within the first 90 days of account opening
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!
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!
The seats had all of the regular Business Class conveniences, including a lie-flat bed and lumbar support.
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).
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!
I also felt safe enough to eat the beef.
They served chocolate pudding for dessert.
My boyfriend tried ALL the Japanese food.
He got a bento box filled with an assortment of foods to sample! It had gorgeous presentation.
For his main course, he got fish.
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! 😉