Keep British Airways Avios active and Japan domestic redemption

I needed to book a ticket from Sapporo CTS to Tokyo HND one way on specifically Japan Airlines. I wanted to see which program would cost the least for an award ticket.

Asia Miles won’t even allow a one-way ticket with JL, so it would cost 15,000 roundtrip.
American Airlines charges 7,500 AAdvantage miles, not too bad.
United charges 6,000 miles one way, but they partner with ANA, so no good there.
Lastly, I remembered I had these unused British Airways Avios and they only cost 4,500 miles, plus $2.06 USD in taxes/fees. This was the winner!

But one of the side benefits of using the BA Avios was that I can keep my miles from expiring. As long as you earn/redeem Avois once every three years, the expiration date gets pushed back, so this was a good way to keep my Avois active since the expiration was coming up in 2013. So my suggestion is if you’re looking for a short flight sometime, not only are BA Avios a cheap redemption, you can keep your other miles active by doing so.

In case you’re wondering, I needed JL because I was continuing on a Cathay Pacific flight from HND to HKG so I wanted to make sure they can interline and my friend was on the same two flights.

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3 Responses

  1. But were you are able to find a flight you needed? I found several options for October in early Febryary but by mid-Feb they were all gone!!! Though plenty of availability for closer dates in 2013 (Spring/Summer). How could this happen?

  2. Hi Alex,

    I found a flight on the same day I needed, not the exact time, it was one hour earlier which is still ok for me. I flew Japan domestic twice within the past few months.

    Award inventory is a bit weird, usually if you book way out or way close the inventory is better. The time in-between the airline will usually try to sell those seats for revenue if they can, and then release the seats for award redemption as it gets closer to departure if there’s a light load.

    For Japan domestic flights, I’ve found usually the best time to book is 2 months out (60 days), as seats for domestic only flights usually get released at that point.

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