Star Allinace member Asiana has nearly always been great for award space. I’ve long had good luck with their New York and Chicago – Seoul flights as well as Los Angeles. In fact both New York JFK and Los Angeles are good not just for business class awards but for first class, too.
And if I really need a business class award to Asia, I know I can count on Asiana from San Francisco or Seattle to have space. These are just ‘go to’ flights for using miles.
britt44 who pointed out the amazing Swiss business class award space a few days ago shares,
There is availability every day to Seoul on Asiana in both Business and First ever day through end of schedule from LAX/JFK and SFO.
Other follow on destinations from ICN are readily available as and SYD/AKL where there are options over Thanksgiving/Christmas. Air China figures in SYD/AKL flights as well.
The AKL flights don’t show on the United calendar but do show when you click on a specific date.
That’s not quite true but it’s almost true. Here’s United’s award calendar for New York JFK – Seoul:
Solid lines through dates mean that there’s economy space, and dotted lines mean premium cabin space. This search is for two passengers.
There are pockets of dates without space. But the key point here that limits things somewhat is that the ‘nonstop flights’ button doesn’t consistently work properly at United.com anymore. So not every date on the calendar that shows non-stop space available actually means non-stop space available.
For instance there may be ANA first class award space to Tokyo, and a connection to Seoul, that’s really available on a given day you click on.
Still Star Alliance award availability to Asia is outstanding right now, and not just because of the amazing EVA Air space I wrote about on Friday.
Service on Asiana is excellent. I always laugh at myself because I’ll order their cheap bi bim bap, while every Asian on the flight orders the steak. Still, it’s quite good.
Mileage costs (not counting brit44’s idea of Australia/New Zealand):
- United charges 80,000 each way between the US and North or South Asia for business class awards. Chase points transfer to United.
- LifeMiles charges 75,000 each way between the US and North Asia and 78,00 between the US and South Asia for business class awards. LifeMiles frequently sells miles cheap.
- Aeroplan charges 75,000 each way between the US and Asia south to Hong Kong, and 77,500 each way between the US and South Asia for business class awards. Membership Rewards points transfer to Aeroplan.