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Houston to Tokyo on Business class

Discussion in 'questions. answers. conversations.' started by Steven H, Dec 26, 2017.

  1. Steven H

    Steven H New Member

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    Looking for advise on roundtrip IAH to Tokyo (or perhaps other int'l airport in Japan) on business class (April 2018), but without overly excessive fare and/or spending an extra 15-20+ hours in travel time. I have status on UA with over 1M miles at my disposal, but wonder whether there may be a better carrier. I am looking not just at flight times but quality of service. I don't mind leaving from a different airport if I must.
     
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  2. Gaurav

    Gaurav Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: Dec 26, 2017
  3. Steven H

    Steven H New Member

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    I can do either. If I'm using UA, I'd prefer purchasing econ and then using miles to upgrade so I can get the miles. I have never flown ANA. I assume ANA's 777-300ER has fully reclining seats? Their configuration is kind of weird 1-2-1. Can you use UA miles to upgrade on ANA flight and if so, is availability any good usually?
     
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  4. Steven H

    Steven H New Member

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    Other possibility is to depart out of DFW. There is a direct AA or direct Japan Airlines for about the same price. I don't know much about JA , but they fly 787-8 rather than the 777. I haven't flown on AA in years.
     
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  5. Gaurav

    Gaurav Well-Known Member

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    Japanese carriers are known for their service. I wouldn't hesitate to fly JAL or ANA. You can find Ben's trip reports following the links above.

    Availability varies, I'm not aware of any hard rules for either carrier so I would look around and see what is available.

    Mileage upgrades are usually not cost effective but could be an option if you really need the miles. You can see Star Alliance upgrade options with UA miles at:
    https://www.united.com/web/en-US/content/mileageplus/awards/upgrade/saua.aspx. make sure you verify upgrade eligibility and booking class before finalizing anything.
     
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  6. Steven H

    Steven H New Member

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    Thanks. Do not see the links for Ben's trip reports, however. When do you recommend using miles? Just for sending the family members somewhere?
     
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  7. Gaurav

    Gaurav Well-Known Member

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    Miles are good to book expensive tickets (usually premium cabins but could also be Y) when you get good value for miles. Of course it's YMMV. So if you need the miles for requalifying for status then it may make sense to pay the premium.

    Here are some of Ben's posts, though like you I can't seem to find much ANA J related content. You could just google ANA Business Trip Report, won't be hard to get an idea.
    http://onemileatatime.boardingarea.com/2016/07/08/review-japan-airlines-business-class-767/
    http://onemileatatime.boardingarea.com/2016/07/10/review-japan-airlines-business-class-777/
    http://onemileatatime.boardingarea.com/2016/10/19/ana-787-business-class-pictures/
     
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  8. MidSouth Skier

    MidSouth Skier Well-Known Member

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    I've not flown JAL but flew ANA NRT-IAH in F in October and it was fantastic. Highly recommended.
     
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  9. Steven H

    Steven H New Member

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    looking at service, flight comfort, amenities, and food, is UA comparative to JAL or ANA? Are there any others in the running?
     
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  10. Gaurav

    Gaurav Well-Known Member

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    UA would definitely be below JAL and ANA.There are other nice products like LH but then you're getting into longer itineraries which it seems like you'd prefer to avoid.
     
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    MidSouth Skier likes this.
  11. Weymar Osborne

    Weymar Osborne New Member

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    Using United miles for a direct flight would limit you to United or ANA. There would be a price premium to fly ANA but most people would say that it's worth it. If you were willing to add a connection or two that would open up a lot more opportunities. Since you can redeem United miles for any Star Alliance airline, you could add a United connecting flight and fly EVA Air, Air China, Air Canada, Asiana, ANA, or Singapore Airlines out of a larger gateway, or straight out of Houston for the first three.
     
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  12. Steven H

    Steven H New Member

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    How does one find the other routes? United site only includes UA and ANA. How do you use UA miles on other star alliance airlines? I know ANA and Singapore are good, but Air Canada, Air China, etc? Are they also better quality than UA? Does it typically cost more miles to use UA miles for a star alliance flight?
     
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  13. David W

    David W Well-Known Member

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    Try searching by segment on UA's website and piecing the award together. Or try Aeroplan's website.

    SQ doesnt release premium cabin space to partners, you'd have to search and book directly with SQ if you'd want to fly with them.
     
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  14. Weymar Osborne

    Weymar Osborne New Member

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    It is generally true that awards on partner airlines are more expensive than awards for the the mileage program's own airline.

    If you're having trouble finding availability on partner airlines it may to help to search segment-by-segment. For example rather than just searching for Houston to Tokyo, you could search for space from Houston to Los Angeles, and then Los Angeles to Tokyo or Houston to Taipei and then Taipei to Toyko/Osaka, etc.

    I forgot about this when I wrote my original reply but as David W pointed out Singapore Airlines long-haul business class awards are not bookable through any other program except Singapore's own, so your United miles aren't an option for flying them.
     
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