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Inflight Experience / Seating ANA or JAL First?

Discussion in 'questions. answers. conversations.' started by Clem, Sep 20, 2017.

  1. Clem

    Clem Member

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    Hi all!
    I'm planning a trip to Japan for next year and would love to fly First class on either JAL or ANA. I'll be departing from New York.
    Ideally I would do one way on each carrier, but from my understanding ANA does not allow one way awards - or is that possible if I use another Star Alliance carrier program to book?

    Anyway, do you guys have experience with those products and which ones do you recommend? That also includes ground services and stuff like that, especially departing from Japan.

    Cheers,
    Clem
     
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  2. David W

    David W Well-Known Member

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    You can use United or Aeroplan miles to book one way flights on ANA. Award space shows up directly on either website. American and Alaska miles can be used to book one ways on JAL and you can search for space on Alaska's website.

    I would read Ben's reviews of both airlines and decide. Neither's ground services in TYO are fantastic but their on board product and food is great. JAL's seat and setup is probably slightly better, given that ANA's F is more of a cubicle where windows are somewhat blocked.
     
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  3. Clem

    Clem Member

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    #3
  4. MidSouth Skier

    MidSouth Skier Well-Known Member

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    If you're using URs for ANA, it's 10K points cheaper to book via Singapore vs. United. I get to try ANA F next month!
     
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  5. Clem

    Clem Member

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    Thanks for the hint! Enjoy :) !
     
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  6. David W

    David W Well-Known Member

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    @MidSouth Skier Did SQ impose any fuel surcharges though? I know United doesnt. I know SQ eliminated them for awards on their own flights but I'm not sure if that applies to partners as well.
     
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  7. MidSouth Skier

    MidSouth Skier Well-Known Member

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    Nothing to speak of. All taxes & fees were 93 SGD (~$68 USD). YQ was 2.90 SGD. This is for a one-way flight NRT-IAH-MEM.

    The biggest charges were:
    Japan Passenger Service Facilities Charge International (SW)
    US International Arrival Tax (US)
    which were about $18.xx apiece

    It's interesting because when I look my exact flight for next month on ITA Matrix, there are actually 2 YQ entries totaling $32.30.
     
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  8. gdis2002

    gdis2002 New Member

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    I actually just flew JAL First ORD-NRT and ANA First NRT-ORD several weeks ago. JAL we booked using AA miles. If no F is available, jump on business. About 15-16 days out start monitoring ba.com and the remaining F seats will open up. This is free to change to via calling AA as long as you have the miles. We booked ANA first via United.com from transferring our chase points - the 110k price is very steep though in my opinion.

    I would say I liked JAL better. The ANA cubes give more privacy, but I traveled with my wife and it was difficult to converse with her. Both serve top tier champagne and both had solid food options. I thought the bedding in JAL was superior to ANA. The service on both was comparable although ANA we were 3/8 vs a full first in JAL. Both had nice entertainment systems but subpar selection.

    Now... cost. I think 20k difference between JAL first and biz is very reasonable. I think the cost of using united miles on ANA first is too high. The seats were very nice but after dinner I just wanted to sleep and felt like I should cut into it to take advantage of the top tier alcohol and food. My wife is also pregnant so having the extra space and 2 bathrooms for 8 seats was very helpful. I think the experience is great to do once but for us, next time we will be saving miles and flying business (we just care about sleeping!).
     
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  9. MidSouth Skier

    MidSouth Skier Well-Known Member

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    I actually wanted to try JAL first or business but there wasn't a seat open on my date. I won't complain though. Will be flying over in Cathay business class. It's the one time I wish I wasn't flying with someone else because if space opens up at the last minute I'd love to move up to First but it's her first trip in business class so I feel like I need to stick around.
     
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  10. gdis2002

    gdis2002 New Member

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    I will say the JAL business gets very good reviews. The seats look very private (could be claustrophobic for some folks) and they do allow you to dine by ordering via the seat entertainment system outside of meal hours.

    Both ANA and JAL offer nice amenity kits and pajamas. The cabins were the exact same layouts since both are 777-300ERs.

    We didn't really have a good ground game comparison. At ORD we checked in at an American desk and used their old flagship first lounge (missed the new lounge by a few weeks). At NRT we had the ANA suite check in (very cool) and their suite lounge which was nice but not really mind blowing.
     
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  11. Clem

    Clem Member

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    Thank you all!
    How many miles does it cost to book ANA F via Aeroplan or Krisflyer? Is it much better than United?
     
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    Last edited: Sep 20, 2017
  12. MidSouth Skier

    MidSouth Skier Well-Known Member

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    ANA F (Asia-US) is 100K each way via KrisFlyer. United is 110K. You can't use MileagePlan miles on ANA. But it looks like when you use MP miles for flights on AA it's only 50K. If that's correct, that's a pretty darn good value.
     
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  13. Clem

    Clem Member

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    I meant Aeroplan, sorry (edited my post afterwards). Looks like Aeroplan is 105k, so they're all roughly in the same ballpark.
     
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  14. Clem

    Clem Member

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    One more question here: I also figured that through Avianca, those ANA tickets price at 90k miles which is even better than SQ. Doest anyone know if this is reliable? The website is so slow that I'm having trust issues, and I don't want to move a bunch of points there for no reason, hah!
     
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  15. David W

    David W Well-Known Member

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    If the seats come up on Lifemiles's website and on other websites, the space should be there and bookable. Lifemiles always sells miles at a discount - there is a promo going on now.

    Where are you transferring miles from?
     
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  16. Clem

    Clem Member

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    Well the only transfer partner is SPG, so I would do that. But all things considered, I don't have a ton of SPG points right now so I'll keep those for my JAL award (since I would book either through JAL or Alaska, and the only transfer partner for those 2 is also SPG). So I'll probably either by the miles on LifeMiles or just go and transfer UR or MR to SQ for my ANA ticket.
     
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  17. MidSouth Skier

    MidSouth Skier Well-Known Member

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    #17