All Nippon and Asiana Long Haul First Class Award Availability

I’m stuck flying nothing but domestically for the next couple of months, I have an India trip coming up (my first time in India!) but I’ve been still itching to at least book something internationally. So I did some research and put together a first class award to Asia, something I do at least once a year.

It’s still about six months off, but I booked it anyway just to satisfy my wanderlust. Remember that planning a vacation is what brings the most happiness. And I’m pretty happy with what I came up with, flying All Nippon, Singapore, and Thai.

I thought I’d share some of the comprehensive availability searching that I did yesterday, in case it’s useful to any of y’all in planning your own first class awards. In all cases I searched beginning mid-January for (2) first class seats, and given what I wanted I was searching Asian Star Alliance airlines to and from the East Coast ia the Pacific.

Chicago O’Hare – Tokyo Narita (All Nippon): 1/17, 1/18, 1/20, 1/25, 1/26, 2/1, 2/3, 2/8, 2/15, 2/16, 2/17, 2/21, 2/22, 2/23, 2/24, 3/2 [through June 1]

Washington Dulles – Tokyo Narita (All Nippon): Nothing [through June 1]

Tokyo Narita – Chicago O’Hare (All Nippon): 1/20, 1/21, 1/25, 1/26, 1/28, 2/1, 2/5, 2/8, 2/9, 2/10, 2/11, 2/12, 2/15, 2/17, 2/19, 2/22, 2/23, 2/25, 4/1, 4/5, 4/6, 4/7, 4/8, 4/9, 4/12, 4/15, 4/16, 4/19, 4/20, 4/21, 4/22, 4/26, 4/27 [through June 1]

Tokyo Narita – Washington Dulles (All Nippon): 1/20, 1/21, 1/26, 1/27, 2/1, 2/2, 2/3, 2/4, 2/8, 2/9, 2/10, 2/15, 2/16, 2/17, 2/23, 2/24, 4/1, 4/6, 4/7, 4/12, 4/19, 4/20, 4/21, 4/22, 4/27 [through June 1]

Seoul – New York JFK (Asiana): 2/8, 2/18, 2/26, 3/28, 4/11, 4/18, 4/25, 5/2, 5/9, 5/16 [through June 1]

New York JFK – Seoul (Asiana): Nothing [through March 31]

New York JFK – Tokyo Narita (All Nippon): Nothing [through March 31]

Tokyo Narita – New York JFK: Nothing [through April 10]

Asiana used to offer outstanding availability in first class both from Chicago and New York. But Chicago has gone two-cabin 777, and in November the JFK flight downgauges from a 747 to a 777 with a smaller first class cabin. So it becomes quite difficult to get more than one first class award seat.

ANA was once incredibly easy to get first class awards with, thinking back to 2006. Their old-style (“SuperStyle”) first class had 12 seats and most days and routes I’d find availability. When they moves to suites, eight seats on the 777, it became incredibly hard to get first class awards except for at the very last minute. Two years ago they started opening up in advance more or less in the Winter months only. I do find it odd though that Dulles – Tokyo has no flights with two first class award seats, while Tokyo – Dulles has a reasonable number of dates open.

Chicago has long been the easiest, DC the first cabin often goes out quite empty and should be even easier than it is, and there are Los Angeles and San Francisco flights as well — I didn’t check those.

Similarly for Asiana, Los Angeles – Seoul is an option for first class, and Frankfurt – Seoul has reasonable availability in first also. But again, those flights were beyond the scope of my search.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. Gary,
    When you go to India read and had the info on FlyerTalk about taxi scams (http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/india/1066507-taxi-information.html)

    We used “Your Man In India” for concierge sevices while we were there to provide car services, info on shopping, and guide services while in Mumbai. If you will be in Mumbai let me know and I will send you my contacts info
    (https://yourmaninindia.com/)

    Thanks for the info on ANA and Asiana availability !

    Jeff

  2. Gary, that is one piece of work. Thanks so much for that! I was needing to compile something similar as well pretty soon!

    Also, how did you score 2 NRT-SIN seats!! That is one route i’d love to fly…

    Thanks again!

  3. Haha, I had a shard of glimmering hope for a second there.. but then I realised after I typed it.. you must have used Krisflyer miles.. !!!

  4. ! Sorry to take up your blog Gary. Just wondering where you accumulated KF miles from. I assume when you travel domestically you’d be crediting to UA or similar, not KF! And if you were transferring from AMEX or similar.. surely it would be just before you use time, hence not worrying about expiry.

    Did it cost you around 90 000 KF miles all up?

  5. @George 2 F seats one-way NRT-SIN would run just shy of 90k SQ miles if booked online. But the whole award was a good bit more than that! Long story where I had soon-to-expire SQ miles in my account.. as you’re right I do not regularly credit to SQ.

  6. Just my note of thanks for posting your findings. I booked an OZ F award just recently for LAX-ICN… a single F seat is “fairly” easy to get on that route.

  7. Gary we are flying lax-nrt and nrt-Beijing next month in business class with Ana using us air miles. We tried getting f class but there were no awards available. Do you think it’s possible to upgrade at this point using us air miles or are we stuck? They wouldn’t waitlist us btw at the time of initial booking.
    Thx
    Jason

  8. @Jason if seats open up you SHOULD be able to get US AIrways to upgrade you, and without paying a change fee, but it may take several calls to do so. Some agents won’t know how and will say you have to cancel and rebook the whole trip. Others will want to charge a change fee.

  9. I am new to the whole travel hacking, miles and promotions, but have started steadily. The post got my attention as I am an avid reader of your blog, and wanted to understand how can i score with my flight tickets to India. I currently have 130K BA miles(BA Visa card), 20K SPG points. Should I start redeeming my miles already or accumalte them bit more and start biting on them. I am looking for an OCT trip to India. my home airport is RIC.

  10. Wow, lucky you…I’ve been trying to get an F seat from the west coast to NRT for over a month now and have been completely unsuccessful. Right now I’m booked in J on Asiana LAX-ICN, then United F ICN-NRT and eventually NRT-SFO. Of course I want to try a better experience than United F given that there are F options like ANA, Singapore, and Asiana.

    I’m looking in mid-September and everytime I call CO I get the response that there’s nothing in F, let alone Y or even J, available in either direction on any airline, regardless of departure city (SFO or LAX).

    What am I doing wrong?

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