How To Save An Amazing £5,894 On Business Class Flights To Japan

OMG I am so excited! I have just booked business class flights to Japan and saved £5,884 on the cost of flights. We plan to visit Kyoto and then fly to Sapporo to ski one of the most renowned resorts in the country. In 2014, we skied in Hakuba near Nagano (1998 Winter Olympics anyone?) and it was flipping amazing, so I’m literally bouncing with excitement. But, how did I save £5,894  on the cost of flights?

Niseko mountains
Mount Yotei, Niseko – how amazing does that look?

My business class flights to Japan

I’ve booked flights from Manchester to Osaka via London with British Airways. I paid a total of 150,000 AVIOS and £1229.54 in taxes and fees for two people. Ouch, I know!!! Sadly, fees and taxes in the UK are outrageous but I would have paid this much to fly economy class! I also used a companion voucher so I saved half the AVIOS on the full price of the flight.

The cash price for those tickets was £7,123.54 meaning I saved £5,894 by using AVIOS. In this case, each AVIOS was worth 3.92p. Now that’s a pretty impressive return!

Kyoto street scenes
Lady wearing Japanese traditional dress in Kyoto – I cannot wait to visit this city!!!

How to earn more AVIOS

To find out all my tips and tricks on earning AVIOS, you may wish to check out the following posts.

The Best UK Credit cards for travel hacking gives you the lowdown on the best Credit cards to use for miles. Be warned, the rules on cards changes frequently so please check the terms on the credit card site before you sign up.

Five ways to earn more airmiles shares other great tips for you to bag more miles. You may need to change your spending habits but it it so worth it when you turn left.

Is the British Airways companion voucher worthwhile? This post explains the benefits of the British Airways companion voucher which is a godsend. It takes a long time to save 150,000 miles if you aren’t a frequent flyer so this perk is invaluable.

How to book your reward flight

As many of you will know, figuring out ways to earn more airmiles is only half the battle though. Then you have to find flights which can be a royal pain in the ass. I’ve recently discovered a feature on the British Airways mobile app which really does make it easier to search for flights so I’m going to show you what I did.

  1. Open the British Airways app and click on the toggle in the top right corner. That brings up a menu where you can select reward flights.
  2. BA reward flight finder
    Reward flight finder
  3. On the reward flight screen you have two options. Select the top option which is Reward Flight Finder and highlight the months you want to travel in. This allows you to be flexible with dates and increase your chance of success.
  4. British Airways app
    Reward flight finder search by month
  5. Fill in the other information and select the city you would like to visit. You then get a screen like this one. Thank god I booked those flights as availability as dwindled further since I booked the flights yesterday.
  6. BA app flight selection
    Flight selection
  7. As you can see there is not lots of availability for Osaka but at least I can see at a glance what is available. I don’t have to put in specific days and keep changing the dates to try and find availability so this saves tons of time.
  8. BA apps flight confirmation
    Pick your flights
  9. Select the flights that suit you best and press continue. This takes you to this booking screen where you complete the booking.
  10. Flight booking on BA app
    Book your flights

Top tips for booking business class flights to Japan

  1. Be flexible on dates – if you have very specific dates in mind, don’t be disappointed if there is no availability.
  2. Be flexible on destination – I find it’s helpful to have a shortlist of three potential destinations so you don’t set your heart on one place only to be disappointed. I was desperate to return to Japan but as you can see there’s little availability even though I booked eight months ahead.
  3. Book early – if you leave it until the month before you want to fly, you will have much less success than if you book the day flights become available. Flights are usually available to book around 355 days ahead of departure.
  4. Do not procrastinate – if you see flights that suit you, book them. I had found the ideal flights to Tokyo on Friday and I delayed booking long enough to have a conversation with my husband only to find they had gone by the time I returned to the booking process.
Niseko mountains
Niseko ski resort

Do you you have any tips for Japan or booking reward flights?

Sharing is caring so jump on in and share your tips. Given the speight of cuts on credit  cards it is harder than ever to earn lots of miles so the more we can share our tips, the better. It is definitely still possible to earn miles as my balance indicates but perseverance pays.

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About Anne

Anne is the founder and editor of Frommilestosmiles. If she isn't travelling, she is thinking of travelling or planning her next trip. She has visited over 90 countries on six continents and sampled everything from backpacking to bank bursting travel. Her mission is to help you enjoy more luxurious travel without the luxury price tag through the use of airline and hotel rewards and other money-saving travel tips


  1. Ummm….did you want to properly name the app?

  2. Great tip for using the app, thanks, Anne.

    I first thought you had booked a 78 day trip and was both really jealous and astonished… then saw that was for London to Osaka and now I’m just plain envious.

    Have a fun and fabulous time!

    • Ha ha sadly I’m going for eleven days but unfortunately by the time I came to do the screengrabs for the post the availability had slipped further. When I win the lottery I will probably doing a longer trip than 78 days but nevertheless I’m very excited about Osaka

      • I really should start doing the lottery… then I might be able to enjoy this miserable existence in the style I would like to be accustomed to!


        • Ha ha yes I can see what a terrible miserable existence you have been living!!!!! Snap out of those post holiday blues and book another trip, that’s my advice lol 😂

          • Ha ha… next one is currently booked, but with a loft extension in planning stages at the moment, it might be a tent in Somerset for next year! 🙂

          • Priorities, priorities….Jason would like a new kitchen but I like holidays more than the idea of a new kitchen! I’ve booked quite a few recently. It’s an addiction!

          • ROFL

            She Who Must Be Obeyed needs to becomes She Who Is Better Paid!

            I just tag along for the ride whilst trying to juggle finances, opportunities and maximising both!

            (Yeah, okay, so the US was my idea… but Ikos and the loft are hers!)


          • Ha ha lol! My annual bonus is due soon and I’m expecting it to pay my latest indulgence although I really need to start focusing on buying the kit for our Everest base camp challenge! Instead of booking more holidays and buying clothes. Still, think of all the extra Airmiles from that spend…

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