Cheap Experience Japan Fares and earn fast United EQS for Premier Status

IMG_7343

Japan is very accommodating to foreigners by offering discount airline fares as well as discount train tickets for those who have a foreign passport. However its good to keep in mind the above mentioned discount air and train ticket requires a visitors visa which us SOFA status members do not get. So its good for all those non military foreigners in Japan.

However All Nippon Airlines, a member of star alliance, has their own program called Experience Japan which offers any segment between two Japanese cities for 10,800 yen ($90 USD). The only requirement is you hold a foreign passport and have a ticket going to and from Japan.

When you book you enter you passport info as well as your incoming or outgoing ticket info. The trick is I am always traveling so lets say I have a Peach Airline flight from Naha, Japan to Hong Kong, which is $50 USD. This is the ticket I enter for trips before my HK trip. I always use my next off island trip as my qualifying segment for the $90 fare. Some times you have to call ANA USA to book when the website doesn’t like your credit card. They will ask for an incoming flight to Japan, I usually give them the return flight for my last trip. I even used my PCS fight as my incoming segment.

 

So between a trip to Singapore and a trip to Hong Kong you would use the Singapore to Japan Flight for the incoming to Japan and then the Japan to Hong Kong segment as your trip away from Japan.

 

So save those ticket stubs!

 

There are ways to get around this requirement. For example you could book a trip from Naha to HK Happy Peach Plus ticket which allows me unlimited changes, just simply move the flight forward as needed. Some people have gone as far as booking $1000 fully refundable Y fares and simply canceling them. This is a bit risky as I’m always paranoid that they will check for a physical ticket on the day of travel. It hasn’t happened yet, but they always mention it when booking.

okinawa to sapparostaticmap

The flight from Naha to Chitose is ANA 1694 it is 3 hr 20 min long covering 1392 miles. The $90 USD is far cheaper than the 34,400 yen ($288.57 USD) they want when booking a regular discount domestic flight.

ana full fare ana full fare

The best part is the ticket is coded as a full fare Y class. So if you give them your United Airlines Mileage Plus Number you earn 150% of miles and segments. Using your United MP number one round trip Experience Japan Flight counts as 3 segments! last year my 9 round trips to mainland and my 4 segments on United when visiting the USA were enough to get me Silver Premier Status.

ana bonuseqm ana

Earn 150% of segments and miles using United MP on ANA Experience Japan Fares.

The other nice thing is these fares are booked in ANA USA office in USD so using the American Express Business Gold I earned 3x membership points on top of the United Miles.

bus gold

ANA charging as CID Sales gets me 3x points

You also get to fly to obscure airports using this method. I was able to fly to Kobe direct which is cheaper than fly to KIX and take a train to Kobe. Its just less of a mess to transfer so many trains.

 

Downside of the Experience Japan Fare is they are non refundable or changeable. I had my leave abruptly canceled from Naha to Iwakuni via Haneda. Each of the 4 segments at 10,800 yen each cost me $360. However we had a flight canceled due to typhoon and I got all my money back.

-Derp

2 Responses to Cheap Experience Japan Fares and earn fast United EQS for Premier Status

  1. Pingback: Typhoons and Star Alliance Silver | The Derp Report

  2. Pingback: How to Spend Amex Points in Okinawa | The Derp Report

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *