The Olympics are a “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity! And with real life Mario Kart on the streets of Japan, the robot restaurant, and fascinating Rockabilly dancers in the park, the Japan Olympics are highly anticipated ticket.
The Olympics only come around every four years and for most people, including myself, the costs are prohibitive. However, you and I are just not anybody! WE’RE POINTS GURUS!
THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE
The most challenging (and expensive) part of any vacation is…getting there. And the Olympics are no exception. Unfortunately, airlines are well aware of the dates and demand for the games and have adjusted the prices accordingly. Fortunately, we have points so we’re not worried about prices (at least of the flight).
Opening ceremony for the games are on 24, July 2020 and I’ve been monitoring award space from various cities have noticed a trend: Japan Airlines has been making, at least, two business class award seats available on every flight. I’ve also noticed that people have been booking those seats just as fast as they are released so let’s move fast.
I am based in the USA so I’m going to focus on US gateways. However, if you are following my site from abroad, I would recommend checking availability from your city. The availability may be even greater than it is from the states.
Anyway, traveling from the US to Japan is no easy task. The flight is 10+ hours so a lie-flat seat is necessary, yeah? I knew you would agree! Haha
Japan Airlines is a great airline and they fly to/from these gateway cities in the US:
- BOS – Boston
- ORD – Chicago
- DFW – Dallas / Fort Worth
- HNL – Honolulu
- KOA – Kona
- LAX – Los Angeles
- JFK – New York City
- SAN – San Diego
- SFO – San Francisco
- SEA – Seattle
So, let’s check out what is available as of the time of this posting…
New York – Tokyo
Chicago to Tokyo
New York to Tokyo
San Francisco to Tokyo
Did you notice First class was available on the SFO route? YEESSS!!!!
HOW TO USE POINTS TO BOOK THESE FLIGHTS
Japan Airlines is a Oneworld alliance member which means you can use miles from any of the other Oneworld members to book these flights. For example, if you have British Airway Avios…book it! American Airlines miles..book it! Alaska miles…book it! That’s not an exhaustive list but you get the point.
Be aware that if you don’t have these any miles in your airline accounts, they can be created instantly from credit card point programs by simply transferring your points from Amex, Chase, Capital One, Citi, etc.
HOW MANY MILES DOES IT TAKE?
The number of miles required depends on which program you are using but here are some examples..
- American – 60,000 miles one-way in business (80k for First Class)
- Alaska – 60,000 miles one-way in business (70k for First Class)
- Cathay Pacific – 65,000 miles one-way in business (100k for First Class)
NOTE: If you are more interested in QUANTITY than QUALITY, you can also use your miles for economy and, perhaps, do ROUND-TRIP for the same amount of miles…but be aware that 10+ hours in one seat is a LONG TIME.
HOW DO I FIND AWARD SPACE AND HOW DO I BOOK?
The easiest way to search award space on Japan Airlines is using the British Airways website.
Wait…I’m based in the US, searching an airline that’s based in the UK, to fly on a Japanese Airline? I know it’s weird but I’m here to help you sort through all these weird airline idiosyncrasies. But once you find space, call the airline you have the points with to book it.
The Olympics only happen every four years and this is an amazing opportunity to use some miles (and roughly ~$100) to attend the games rested and in style. Be aware that I’m only talking about arrival. Actually attending an event is another challenge. It’s expensive!!
Again, the Olympics take place from July 24 – August 9, 2020.
If you have points, I would encourage you to make a decision soon. Things move fast when points are involved.
If you don’t have points, don’t worry…there will be other “once-in-a-lifetime’s.” However, I would use this moment as an argument of why you need points ASAP!
So who’s booking the lie-flat bed complete with amazing service and champagne?