There are certain “go-to” routes for award availability, when your favorite, most convenient or most ideal options aren’t open. One of those routes is Seattle – Tokyo on Japan Airlines. You can get to and from Seattle on Alaska Airlines, whether redeeming American AAdvantage or Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles, and you can connect onward from Tokyo to other destinations in Asia on JAL.
The Seattle – Tokyo Narita flight is operated by a Boeing 787-8 with 30 Sky Suite (Apex Suite) business class seats, an excellent business class product.
Here’s a search for awards in July, which isn’t the month with the best availability. What I wanted to do was illustrate when awards are toughest to get what availability looks like.
In general I find searching for award space around 3 months out to be as hard as it gets to find awards (the best advance space is taken, the close-in space hasn’t yet been released). And it’s not off season for Japan travel.
You’ll see both availability for two passengers in business class non-stop between Seattle and Tokyo and also space on some additional routes (where domestic connecting space is also available, so this isn’t an exhaustive set of availability for Chicago, Dallas or New York JFK flights).
There are even a handful of dates with 9 or more business class award seats available on the flight:
If you’re just flying between the US and Japan both American AAdvantage and Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan charge 60,000 miles each way in business class. Connect onward to Southeast Asia and American’s price goes up to 70,000 miles while Alaska’s up to 65,000 miles.
You can also redeem miles with other oneworld frequent flyer programs like Cathay Pacific Asia Miles and British Airways Avios, of course, and miles in other partner programs like Emirates Skywards.