There’s spontaneous, and then there’s booking-a-last-minute-flight-to-Tokyo spontaneous. If you’re willing to do the latter and leave in the coming days, you could score a serious deal on a round-trip business-class fare.
American Airlines is offering round-trip February business-class tickets to Tokyo for as low as 120,000 AAdvantage miles — or 60,000 miles each way.
In many cases, you’ll actually be flying aboard its Oneworld Alliance partner, Japan Airlines.
Considering American used to price standard one-way business-class award tickets to Asia at 95,000 miles, this is certainly a deal.
Though some of the most widespread options are out of Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport (ORD), we found nonstop and/or one-stop options available at that same 120,000-mile, round-trip price point from other airports, too. There are options from New York, Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) and Miami International Airport (MIA), to name a few.
Here’s the catch: You may need to start packing your bags right now. The best availability is this week. In some more limited cases, there might be availability through February and into early March.
Airline: American Airlines (though the flight may be operated by Japan Airlines)
Route: Chicago, Miami, New York, Raleigh, San Francisco and other U.S. airports to Tokyo
Travel dates: Book now and travel this month — perhaps as early as this week.
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How to book: Directly with the American Airlines website
When to book: As soon as possible
A lot of the best award availability is aboard Japan Airlines aircraft, but you’ll find these deals primarily by booking through American’s booking channels.
So, if you have a stash of Bilt Rewards points saved up from earning on your rent every month or you earned a hefty welcome bonus with the Citi®/AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard and have been pondering the possibility of a trip to Tokyo, now might be your chance to cash those miles in for a lie-flat, business-class seat.
Now, we didn’t find any options at this award price point available on Japan Airlines’ swanky new Airbus A350-1000 aircraft that’s now running between New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Tokyo’s Haneda Airport (HND).
However, it can often cost hundreds of thousands of miles or points to fly business class between the continental U.S. and Japan, so this is certainly far cheaper.
Chicago may have the best award availability. Looking at American’s award calendar from O’Hare, you can see a plethora of dates with availability at 60,000 miles one-way in business class.
Depending on your travel dates, you may end up having to make a connection to another U.S. airport, such as DFW.
However, below is a nonstop option that departs Feb. 10 — yes, this Saturday. The flight is aboard a Japan Airlines Boeing 777, though again, you’ll book this through American’s website, with AAdvantage miles.
Leaving from California’s Bay Area? You have a few options, including nonstops to both Haneda and Tokyo’s Narita Airport (NRT); you’ll get a 777 or a 787 Dreamliner, depending on the itinerary you choose. There’s also a one-stop option from DFW if the nonstop award space runs out.
We also found itineraries that are completely operated by American, including this round trip from the New York area. You’d fly from LaGuardia Airport (LGA) and make a stop at DFW before continuing on to Haneda aboard an American 787 Dreamliner. It’s a similar story on the way back.
Maximize your purchase
Though this is a redemption, you’ll still have to pay around $50 in taxes and fees in booking your ticket. In doing so, don’t forget to use a credit card that earns bonus points on airfare purchases, such as:
We found widespread award pricing options to Tokyo at 120,000 AAdvantage miles, round trip — even from smaller U.S. airports. So, if you’re up for an ultra-last-minute trip to Japan and have a stash of AAdvantage miles you’ve been waiting to use, this could be a great opportunity.
You’ll want to book as soon as possible before this particular award space runs out.