Confirmed: Free GoGo WiFi on JAL from HND to OKA


Yup, 3x AmEx Platinum (Plain, MB and Business) would cost $1,375 a year but AmEx is the only company besides Barclay to waive annual fees for military regardless of when they get the card! With three platinum cards I get $600 a year incidental travel expenses reimbursed (I chooses United), three Global Entry applications waived every 5 years, and the best part is I get GoGo inflight wireless (10 flights for the business card). I was able to take advantage of this on my most recent flight from Tokyo Haneda to Okinawa Naha.IMG_2554


Although it was spotty at times, it appears there is quite the coverage over large routes over the ocean. It would of been nice to use for my flight from NRT to LAX for 9 hours, but the 777 with Magic V AVOD on JL062 did not let me use it, it only gave me an option to roam on T-Mobile. However this 767 from HND to OKA JL065 had a much easier menu where I clicked on use “JAL internet Certificate”


and then logged into my GoGo account. So you can always check r/churning on Reddit where ever you are in the world or even study your FMF notes!


Let me know what luck you have on other JAL flights!


$3,398 JAL flight for 25,000 points and $81.80

jal price ba points

I don’t know why JAL wants to charge $1,699 a seat to fly on this 2 am redeye from Haneda to Ho Chi Minh City on a Boeing 787, but the 2691.13 mile flight will only cost 12,500 Avios Miles. I’m still only halfway thru spending $20,000 on my Chase BA Card for 100,000 Avios Miles. so at this redemption rate of 13.6 cents per mile, this deal is worth potentially $13,600 in travel on JAL. Thats not bad on $20k spend.

So I decided to fly with a buddy to Tokyo using Experience Japan on ANA, then this flight, and then return on China Eastern to Oki making full use of lounge food and showers on our hotel free transit days. More to come on sleeping at airports and saving money by using the airport as a hostel and the lounges as mess halls.


Okinawa Staycation with Points

This post goes out to all my brothers and sisters trapped on base. I have a colleague that is planning on hosting his parents in a few weeks and we were looking at the many hotel options on this humble island. After years working on base, living in the BOQ or the “towers” you some times forget that Okinawa is home to some pretty heavy hitting hotel chains. For example there is a tier 4 Ritz Carlton in Nago, There is the brand new Hilton resort by American Village. There is even the Busena Terrace, a $5,700 a night hotel where Bill Clinton stayed with his 7 counterparts; Italian Prime Minister Giuliano Amato, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Russian President Vladimir Putin, U.S. President Bill Clinton, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori, French President Jacques Chirac, Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and European Commission President Romano Prodi during the 2000 g8 summit in Nago:

TAS05:NAGO,JAPAN. JULY 22. G8 leaders wave to the camera prior to summit talks on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa, on July 22. The leaders are (L-R) Italian Prime Minister Giuliano Amato, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Russian President Vladimir Putin, U.S. President Bill Clinton, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori, French President Jacques Chirac, Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and European Commission President Romano Prodi. (ITAR-TASS photo / Sergei Velichkin, Vladimir Rodionov) ----- ÒÀÑ05 ßïîíèÿ, Íàãî (Îêèíàâà), 22 èþëÿ. Ïåðåä íà÷àëîì óòðåííåãî çàñåäàíèÿ ëèäåðû âîñüìè âåäóùèõ ñòðàí ìèðà (ñëåâà íàïðàâî) ãëàâà ïðàâèòåëüñòâà Èòàëèè Äæóëèàíî Àìàòî, ïðåìüåð-ìèíèñòð Âåëèêîáðèòàíèè Òîíè Áëýð, ïðåçèäåíò ÐÔ Âëàäèìèð Ïóòèí, ïðåçèäåíò ÑØÀ Áèëë Êëèíòîí, ãëàâà ïðàâèòåëüñòâà ßïîíèè Èîñèðî Ìîðè, ïðåçèäåíò Ôðàíöèè Æàê Øèðàê, ïðåìüåð-ìèíèñòð Êàíàäû Æàí Êðåòüåí, êàíöëåð Ãåðìàíèè Ãåðõàðä Øðåäåð, ïðåäñåäàòåëü Åâðîïåéñêîé êîìèññèè Ðîìàíî Ïðîäè. Ôîòî Ñåðãåÿ Âåëè÷êèíà è Âëàäèìèðà Ðîäèîíîâà (ÈÒÀÐ-ÒÀÑÑ)

They love Clinton so much the replicated his boyhood home on a Golf Course in Nago! If you get the base fever and want some off base time, I’ve summed up all of the major point based hotel chains in Okinawa.

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$1,974.74 Ritz in Kyoto for $95


Thats right, Kyoto Ritz gives you soap with solid gold flakes in it! It takes two months to make a bar and it has a fragrance to remind you of Kyoto. So that pretty much sums up the height of Japanese hospitality in Kyoto. This is the gold standard, the bar that shows what can possibly be achieved in terms of hospitality in the world. The best part was I got it all without spending a dime at the Ritz. (just $95 with Chase).

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How I used my Verizon Phone on KDDI AU





It’s been two years since I’ve been on island so it was time to renegotiate my contract with my wireless carrier.  If you slack off and don’t renegotiate you end up stuck with the same phone and plan for another two years! They give you only the anniversary month to negotiate otherwise it will auto renew with the same price and same phone. Before you would have to pick between month to month or to sign another 2 year contract. However the good people at AU KDDI informed me of a new policy where you can cancel without fee after 27 consecutive months with the company if you have PCS orders. This means if you have 3 year orders, you can show PCS orders to cancel your contract at 36 months without a cancelation fee. Before this you would have to do month to month at a higher rate or you would need to sign two years and then get hit with a fee t the end of 36 months to break the second 2 year contract.

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Earn United Miles Faster on ANA

I have been on a kick on mixing and matching award programs among the alliances. I posted on booking JAL flights using avios miles. Now I want to show how you can earn more award miles for cheaper flying ANA using your UAL MP number. For example these are some routes I flew this year on ANA using my United number:

Route Award Miles Bonus Miles Total Miles PQM PQS
ANA 994-Y class 984 738 1,722 1,476 1.5
ANA 633-Y class 457 344 801 686 1.5
Tokyo-Iwakuni Kintaikyo
ANA 1871-Y class 484 363 847 726 1.5
ANA 1781-E class 252 63 315 378 1.5
ANA 3730-Y class 740 370 1,110 1,110 1.5
ANA 1740-Y class 740 370 1,110 1,110 1.5
Naha-Osaka/ Kansai

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How to Spend Amex Points in Okinawa

balogo logo

I had my 4th AD referral for the year this weekend for AmEx Platinum. This means 7,500 points for me and 40,000 points for them (after $3k spend). For those who use my links, thank you!, and for those who don’t but got the idea from me or my blog, you are robbing me (or any AmEx member really) of points, and should feel really ashamed that you just threw out $75 (at least) to whomever could of sent you a referral.

So if you get the inkling to go platinum, hit me up, I’ll buy you dinner! The reason for the generosity is because AmEx points are valuable to get off Okitraz for nearly free! The trick is to use British Airways Avios Miles to book on Japan airlines.

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United Club Credit Card: Waved $450 annual fee per SCRA


I called Chase today and inquired on upgrading my Explorer card to a Club card. They first explained that I was covered under the SCRA which includes the waver of the $450 annual fee. So why would I not do it? I think they are trying to take a lot of business away from Amex Platinum by also going above and beyond the SCRA and waiving annual fees for baller credit cards. Additionally Chase prides itself in hiring veterans by advertising a tally on exactly how many veterans they hire. Maybe they read this blog and are using me as some sort of military viral marketing shill. Anyways, I’ll take it!

So I did this as a conversion of an existing account to another (a product change). This has the benefit of not hitting my credit with an inquiry as well as maintaining the age of the account. Since your credit score is based on average account age, you will not lower it with a new account. Downside is you don’t get the sign up bonus. In the case of this card, was a measly $100 statement credit. Not worth opening a new line of credit for that.

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


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.

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