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With United’s MileagePlus devaluation pricing Star Alliance first-class awards to Asia out of reach of many frequent flyers, American’s AAdvantage program has been a saving grace. But premium-cabin award availability on Cathay Pacific and Japan Airlines can be hit or miss, making it difficult to find seats for more than two people.

Well, today, perhaps due to an error when loading new fares, JAL award space is almost wide open from now through the end of March. (Thanks for the heads-up, One Mile at a Time!) You can redeem just 62,500 American AAdvantage miles (plus taxes and fees of less than $100) for a one-way first-class ticket between North America and Japan or Korea. Or you can connect in Tokyo and head to another country in Asia for just 5,000 more miles each way. (You can read about TPG’s first-class JAL flight here.)

Here are some flights we found:

Three first-class award seats on New York (JFK) to Tokyo (Narita).
Three first-class award seats on New York (JFK) to Tokyo (Narita).

You can book three first-class seats from New York (JFK) to Tokyo (NRT) on October 29; just in time to celebrate Halloween in Shinjuku.

Three first-class award seats on New York (JFK) to Tokyo (Narita).
Three first-class award seats on Los Angeles (LAX) to Tokyo (Narita).

Here’s a flight between Los Angeles (LAX) and Tokyo (NRT) on the same date, with three open seats. You can also book up to four seats in premium economy on the same flight, making this a great option for larger families.

Three first-class award seats on Chicago (ORD) to Tokyo (Narita).
Three first-class award seats on Chicago (ORD) to Tokyo (Narita).

And you’ll find the same three first-class seats open on JAL’s direct flight from Chicago. JFK, LAX and ORD are all American hubs, making it easy to connect from cities throughout the US (for the same number of miles).

Three first-class award seats on San Francisco (SFO) to Tokyo (HND).
Three first-class award seats on San Francisco (SFO) to Tokyo (HND).

Three seats are also available on October 29 from San Francisco to Tokyo’s Haneda airport, which, while not as ideal as Narita for connections, is definitely the better option if Tokyo is your destination.

Two first-class award seats on San Francisco (SFO) to Tokyo (HND).
Two first-class award seats on San Francisco (SFO) to Tokyo (HND).

You can even book that same SFO-HND flight this summer — two first-class seats are available on June 19 (and many other dates as well).

Two first-class award seats on New York (JFK) to Tokyo (Narita).
Four first-class award seats on New York (JFK) to Tokyo (Narita).

Or, if spring is more your scene, you can get a whopping four people to Tokyo in JAL first class in March (with only eight seats in total, that’s half the cabin). Regardless of when you want to go, you should be able to find at least one first-class seat on each of JAL’s flights from North America. Your best bet is to find available flights using the British Airways site, then call AAdvantage at (800) 882-8880 to book. Be sure to reserve flights quickly (AA offers courtesy holds) — this kind of availability surely won’t last.

For more on Japan’s capital city, check out Destination of the Week: Tokyo, 10 Reasons I Love Tokyo, TPG’s Andaz Tokyo hotel review and How to Use Airline Miles for Award Travel to Tokyo.

H/T: One Mile at a Time

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®

Earn 50,000 miles after $2,500 spent within the first 3 months. The sign-up offer alone is worth up to $700. If you're a frequent American flyer but don't have status, additional perks that come with this card like first free checked bag on domestic AA itineraries, preferred boarding on American flights can be extremely valuable.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after making $2,500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening*
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  • New: Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent at restaurants*
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  • New: Earn a $100 American Airlines Flight Discount after you spend $20,000 or more in purchases during your cardmembership year and renew your card*
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees*
  • First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to four companions traveling with you on the same reservation*
  • Enjoy preferred boarding on American Airlines flights*
  • Receive 25% savings on inflight food and beverage purchases when you use your card on American Airlines flights*
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
17.74% - 25.74%* (Variable)
Annual Fee
$99, waived for first 12 months*
Balance Transfer Fee
3% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

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