ASK LUCKY (and each other)


Have a travel related question? Post it here, and I’ll do my best to answer it as quickly as possible.

Anyone can post a question, but you'll get the most benefit from registering to join our forum. You'll be able to see when your question is answered, and like comments from other users.

This space is intended to be more of a community as well, so feel free to jump in and share tips!

Thanks for reading!

Best,
Ben

Japan Airlines Vancouver to Tokyo

Discussion in 'questions. answers. conversations.' started by Canuck, Feb 1, 2019.

  1. Canuck

    Canuck New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi Lucky,

    I am trying to book a family vacation to Japan in October 2019 with Business Class using my BA Avios. Currently, I see no flights between Vancouver and Tokyo available with Japan Airlines as they have a direct flight on that route.

    However, when I search Vancouver to Manilla on the British Airways website I can see 7 business class seats with a connection in Tokyo. Therefore, in my mind there must be some availability on this Japan Airlines flight from Vancouver to Tokyo given that 7 seats are showing up when I search going all the way to Manilla.

    Despite calling British Airways several times to see if I can get around this and only book directly to Tokyo, they have been of little help. I asked if I could book to Manilla directly myself to grab those seats and if it was possible for them to make the changes later but they declined.

    Do you have any advice on how to get around this situation? I am trying to find 7 seats in total for one way to Tokyo (not easy I know).

    Thank you,
    Canuck
     
    #1
  2. MidSouth Skier

    MidSouth Skier Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,689
    Likes Received:
    1,285
    Welcome @Canuck - this is what the airlines call "married segment logic". You can see the award space if you book both segments but not if you try to book just the one. That's generally because they have people willing to pay for the more desirable segment, YVR-TYO in this case, but they want to make space available to other cities as well.

    While your case seems logical, apparently the agents don't really have the ability to remove that last segment. And while 7 J seats on the same flight isn't unheard-of (obviously) it's certainly not the norm. I'd be prepared to split up into a couple of groups to make this work.
     
    #2
  3. rickyw

    rickyw Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,346
    Likes Received:
    596
    (Disclaimer: this is not normally recommended and somewhat risky)

    You could just book all the way through to Manila, if you're not checking luggage and just get off in Tokyo. This wouldn't work if you also have a return ticket back to Vancouver on the same reservation (it would be cancelled when you no show for the Tokyo to Manila flight), and also if you have checked luggage.

    Again, it's hard to recommend this since it's frowned upon and not in the spirit of the program, but it's up to you how much risk you want to take on a vacation with 7 people...
     
    #3
  4. David W

    David W Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,844
    Likes Received:
    1,617
    Did you check for the space using Alaska's website or calling AA? Could be phantom space.
     
    #4
  5. Canuck

    Canuck New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you all for the input and advice. I cannot see these award seats on Alaska's or AA's websites. However, I can definitely book them on my own on the British Airways website. With the seats available you would fly direct Vancouver to Narita but then have to transfer to Haneda for your onward reward ticket to Manilla. We would have to claim our bags in Narita and clear customs so we could just get off and not continue onward to Manilla. However, normal one way business class Vancouver to Tokyo with Japan Airlines is 75,000 Avios, but with this ticket issued to Manilla it is 95,000 Avios. I would lose out on 140,000 Avios in total since I am booking 7 passengers. I guess one should cut their losses in a situation like this as getting 7 business class seats on the same flight is NOT easy.

    I tried explaining this problem to several BA agents but they said they could not help me and one even suggested we simply not continue on to Manilla as stated above, but I would hate to do that to the airlines given we are a group of 7. I have thought about booking this online myself then calling Japan Airlines directly to see if they could amend the ticket given we would likely not continue on to Manilla and I would want them to be able to use their business class seats on that leg of the trip if we are not there.

    Do you guys have any advice? Should I just give up on trying to get the business class seats or risk the extra Avios and book the seats directly on BA's website?
     
    #5
  6. rickyw

    rickyw Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,346
    Likes Received:
    596
    If you're comfortable with the risk and you have the Avios, book it. As you said, 7 seats on a direct flight is so rare.
     
    #6
  7. David W

    David W Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,844
    Likes Received:
    1,617
    JAL awards dont show on AA's website - you have to call. For AS, are you not seeing the whole route YVR-TYO-MNL or just the YVR-TYO legs?

    I still feel like it might just be BA displaying space that isnt there. However, if youre able to book and confirm on BA, go for it. The last option would be to fly from a different airport and book a separate connecting flight to that gateway.
     
    #7
  8. Canuck

    Canuck New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am not seeing the YVR-TYO leg. BA has confirmed these 7 seats are available to Manilla from YVR. I actually saw 8 business seats direct from Dallas to Tokyo in their new Sky Suites with Japan Airlines but they are now all gone. 95,000 Avios per seat on that Dallas departure too.

    In my mind, if you are looking to fly business class on points then you should be prepared to fly out of any major city just to get the business class seat for the long haul segment of your trip.

    Because members of my family could not get their act together and make a decision on coming on the trip we lost out on those seats and I shall be forever bitter...
     
    #8