Award Alert: 4 or More Business Class Award Seats to Asia From Several US Cities

I frequently highlight awards bookable with American AAdvantge miles in premium cabins because they tend to make fewer seats available than many other airlines on their own planes and because they have fewer partners through the oneworld alliance than United does through Star.

As a result it’s worth jumping when there are plenty of award seats available on long haul routes. That’s doubly true when you’re looking for more than two seats, because finding availability for four is exponentially harder much of the time and to many destinations.

Right now Japan Airlines has great availability for four or omre passengers in business class in the New Year. I initially searched the Boston route in January (HT: First Class Flyer) but noticed that Chicago and New York flights have good availability for at least four passengers as well. Availability is even better searching for just two passengers.

Here’s January availability. Notably February has pretty good availability for at least two passengers as well.


  • American AAdvantage charges 60,000 miles each way for business class, 70,000 if you connect onward to ‘Asia 2’ destinations. Note that these flights are not bookable at, you have to call.

  • Alaska Airlines Mileage plan charges 60,000 miles each way for business class, 65,000 if you connect onward to Southeast Asia destinations.

  • British Airways charges 90,000 Avios each way for business class to and from Chicago, 105,000 to and from New York or Boston, with connecting flight segments on each end charged separately. I note BA though because fuel surcharges to and from Japan, Hong Kong and South Korea are going to be much lower than you’re used to for European trips.

    Here’s the surcharge on a one way New York – Tokyo flight in business class:

Japan Airlines offers onward flights throughout Asia, and of course oneworld partners for flights beyond Tokyo include Cathay Pacific and Malaysia Airlines.

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, 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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  1. Was looking in October for a trip to SE Asia, too bad this isn’t til the new year.

    I loved JAL’s Sky Suite product in J – the hard product is absolutely exceptional, such a large and comfortable seat, and the soft product was very solid. The FA’s are so attentive and the service is absolutely flawless.

  2. @Gary, what website are you doing the search? Also would the miles be the same (70,000 one way) If my first destination is Asia2 and destination Japan (JFK–>KUL–>NRT/HND)? Lastly, how often are these availabilities (more than 2 j’s) normally for Japan Airlines (once a year)? Thanks!

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