Delta is moving its Minneapolis – Tokyo Narita flight over to Tokyo Haneda airport at the end of October and award availability is amazing.
Most days there are 9 or more business class saver awards available, although I’ve put together calendars showing when there are 6 or more business class seats. These cost 80,000 miles per person each way.
Again, this is a calendar of availability for 6 or more business class seats but most of these days there are at least 9.
It’s not just in winter time, and when the flight is new either. Here’s the same search for April:
Delta’s big complaint about the opening up of Tokyo Haneda airport is that they have special rights at Tokyo Narita — they had built a hub there, flying from Tokyo to cities throughout Asia, something they got from the Northwest merger and that dates back to the spoils of World War II. Flying into Tokyo Haneda is more desirable if you want to go to Tokyo. And they don’t have the slots to move their whole operation to Haneda.
So now if they’re going to fly to Haneda, they don’t have the mix of Tokyo travelers and connecting passengers and they say they can’t make their Narita hub work anymore as a result. Meanwhile both American (Japan Airlines) and United (ANA) have Japanese partner airlines that offer strong connections beyond Tokyo Haneda airport.
Which is all to say that this represents a fantastic opportunity to use Delta miles to fly to Japan. But if you want to fly beyond, to somewhere else in Asia, your options will be limited (for instance, to China Eastern, China Southern, Korean, and Vietnam Airlines).
However it’s also a great place to use British Airways Avios from for short flights on Japan Airlines (and many of those flights literally have $0 in taxes and fees).
And if you don’t have Delta miles you can redeem for these flights with Air France KLM Flying Blue points which transfer from the major bank currencies, or via Korean (or other Delta partners).