Best options for flying to Japan

Discussion in 'Questions, Announcements & Ideas' started by IanMcDowall, Dec 3, 2018.

  1. IanMcDowall

    IanMcDowall New Member

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    Hi.
    I have a friend who regularly flies to Japan and has never joined an airline points scheme or had a credit card to accrue points/avios.

    She mostly flies economy but would love be able to upgrade to Premium economy or business.

    Can somebody suggest the best options for points accruel ? The airlines she flies with most regularly are JAL and Asiana(connecting in Seoul) or Air France from Paris.
    Thanks.
     
  2. Darren0291

    Darren0291 Member

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    Hi Ian,

    i think the best option would be to apply and use the amex gold, (link below) you can then transfer the points into many different airline schemes which could then be used to book a premium/business class seat or pay for the upgrade using points.

    Personally, i use BA as from London they offer the best routes and the points aren't too bad either.

    Feel free to use my referral link for the Gold :)

    You will get;
    - 22,000 amex points instead of 20,000 points which can be transferred to loads of different point schemes
    - a brand new shiny gold AMEX card
    - 1 point earned per £1 spent, 1.5 points for every £1 spent abroad
    - an extra bonus 10,000 points if spent £15,000 within one year
    - my eternal gratitude

    http://amex.co.uk/refer/darreenhde?XLINK=MYCP

    or the BA Premium card...
    You will get;
    - 26,000 avios instead of 24,000
    - a brand spanking new AMEX card
    - 1.5 avios per £1 spent, 3 avios per £1 is spent directly on BA
    - BA Companion ticket once spending has reached £10,000 in the year
    - my eternal gratitude

    http://amex.co.uk/refer/darreetxeo?XLINK=MYCP
     
  3. JoeD

    JoeD Well-Known Member

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    Hi Ian,

    If mostly flying Economy, although I would certainly suggest signing up for various loyalty programmes, your friend isn't really missing out on that much in terms of Miles to be earned - certainly not enough, in my view, to impact who she should fly with, the main considerations should always be price and convenience.

    The 3 airlines you mention there are all in different alliances, so it makes collecting a useful amount of miles, just from flying, even harder.

    I would probably suggest crediting the JAL flights to BA Executive Club or Alaska Mileage Plan. She can can check out the best earning options depending on exact fare class (and for the other airlines too) here https://www.wheretocredit.com/japan-airlines, though of course it's important to remember not all miles are of equal value.

    If she can earn miles in other ways (from credit cards, shopping, etc) too, then that would probably be where I focused my attention in terms of racking up relatively large amounts of miles that can actually result in a 'free' long haul business class flight or whatever. Another big factor that people should think about is what sort of flights do they actually want to use miles for? - different programmes are better for different purposes.

    It's also worth bearing in mind that most programmes allow you to claim miles retrospectively from flights flown in the last 6-12 months or whatever (exact details vary by programme).

    Hope some of that helps! Let us know if you've got anymore questions etc, of course.
     
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  4. JoeD

    JoeD Well-Known Member

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    Haha, Darren - is there any question to which the answer is not 'get an amex using my referral?: :) (as much as I too do love American Express!)
     
  5. IanMcDowall

    IanMcDowall New Member

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    Thanks to both of you.

    Please correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems best to collect point on AMEX gold, open a number of different mileage plans with the airlines with the most appropriate schedules and then transfer points in to the appropriate plan when a booking needs to be made.

    Also please correct me if I'm wrong, but if she collects BA Amex premium card points, (which is what I do) then she is fairly stuck with flying with BA.
    Am I correct in saying that using BA points to buy a flight with JAL would use a disproportionate amount of points.

    Ian.
     
  6. Darren0291

    Darren0291 Member

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    Currently no! only fair if providing advice there should be a reward for my time :)
     
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  7. Darren0291

    Darren0291 Member

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    I think it really depends if she is going off-peak vs peak
     
  8. IanMcDowall

    IanMcDowall New Member

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    Usually peak times as she flies with her daughter during school holidays
     
  9. CraigS

    CraigS New Member

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    Then the Avios cost would be the same on JAL or BA. I think JAL have lower surcharges.

    Iberia are also an option for reward flights to Tokyo. 59.5K Avios off-peak each way in Business Class for MAD-NRT. (Spanish off-peak often doesn't match up with UK school holidays, other than summer...)
     

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