In our series Award Success, this week we feature yet another redemption of Lifemiles on ANA All Nippon Airways round trip flight from Tokyo to Seoul, visiting friends over the Christmas weekend.
Revenue fares weren’t that expensive this time. Still, I decided to make use of the Lifemiles 150% bonus sale nevertheless and got one segment (HND-GMP) in Business Class rather than Economy and still ended up saving ~ 25% compared to published Economy fares.
Typical for the holiday season, there is a very high demand for flights from Japan to the surrounding countries at the moment, and ever since the country opened up again this has only increased.
Once again there was no award availability in either class of service with Japan Airlines so the only other choice for awards was ANA or Asiana going to Seoul
When I looked at revenue fares, they ranged from $530 to $770 for this particular city pair in Economy Class.
I decided to look at awards instead and found the following options issued by different programs:
- United: 9,600 miles per one way in Economy / 34,500 miles per one way in Business Class
- Air Canada: 8,000 miles per one way in Economy / 20,000 miles per one way in Business Class
- Lifemiles: 8,000 miles per one way in Economy / 15,000 miles per one way in Business Class
- Singapore Airlines: 13,500 miles one way in Economy / 27,000 miles per one way in Business Class
The required mileage varies greatly, especially in Business Class, and availability required that I book a split award, leaving Tokyo in Business Class and coming back on an A320 in Economy.
Lifemiles was the most promising among all these, only 23,000 miles in a Business/Economy Class mix and they currently had the bonus sale going on so I just paid $330 for the miles and $75.30 for taxes and fees
This time the Lifemiles posted instantly to my account. I was actually nervous about that because Lifemiles showed only one seat available. I was lucky in this case, the miles were available immediately rather than after the 8 hours wait as last time. I did use a different credit card this time around.
Availability is always an issue with Lifemiles, that’s why I don’t like to buy miles in advance. I’d hate to be surprised that there are no flights available when I finally want to book something and likewise I urge caution when buying Lifemiles in reserve.
In total, after purchasing the Lifemiles, I paid $405,30 for this ticket which is definitely a great price considering it’s one way in business class on the widebody aircraft. I’m once again completely satisfied with this redemption!
The trip to Seoul was rather last minute but I have done this route in coach many times. It usually takes ~ 2-2:30h, and that’s an easy thing to do. The return flight is an Airbus A320 and Business Class isn’t exactly worth it on a narrowbody plane.