After the multiple British Airways award chart devaluations I've had a little over 50,000 Avios languising in my BA Executive Club account, with no use for them. British Airways Avios can still provide decent value on short intra-regional flights on oneworld carriers, such as Qantas within Australia, Cathay Pacific or JAL within Asia, and theoretically American Airlines within the U.S. and to the Caribbean, at least if there was more saver award availability on the convenient nonstops and in business class.
For Asia, I used to advise clients to leverage Alaska Airlines miles to build in a stopover, for example Hong Kong if flying Cathay Pacific First Class or Cathay Business Class, or Tokyo if flying JAL First Class or JAL Business Class. The problem is that it's become very challenging in many cases to use Alaska Mileage Plan miles for Cathay Pacific First Class and JAL First Class, especially for two people. Cathay First Class of course is not available for two people on routes to/from the U.S., in advance (only closer to departure, if still available). But beyond that issue, which affects all partners, Alaska's award chart opens up a day later than American AAdvantage, and almost a month later than British Airways and Cathay Asia Miles.
Plus, there are many times when Alaska doesn't have access to all the award availability other partners, such as AAdvantage and British Airways. For this reason, if wanting to fly even JAL First Class on a specific date, you're better off booking with AAdvantage miles, and paying the slight miles premium to do so.
But what if you want several days in Tokyo before going somewhere else in Tokyo? You'll need to book a separate award, since AAdvantage doesn't allow a stopover of >24 hours. That's where British Airways Avios come in. The nice thing is that you can fly JAL Business Class several places from Tokyo, for a fairly reasonable amount of Avios:
- Shanghai in JAL Business Class = 15,000 Avios one way
- Hong Kong in JAL Business Class = 20,000 Avios one way
- Manila in JAL Business Class = 20,000 Avios one way
- Bangkok in JAL Business Class = 37,500 Avios one way
- Ho Chi Minh City in JAL Business Class = 37,500 Avios one way
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