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Refundable, upgradeable (to biz) fare, US to Japan? (trans-pacific versus via Dubai?)

Refundable, upgradeable (to biz) fare, US to Japan? (trans-pacific versus via Dubai?)

Old Dec 22, 17, 1:57 pm
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 242
Refundable, upgradeable (to biz) fare, US to Japan? (trans-pacific versus via Dubai?)

Someknowledgeable folks on the Emirates forum thought it might be worthwhile to ask this question here (additionally).

... so far the replies there support this as being a fairly good idea.


Interested in travel US to Japan, outbound in early Feb (go see some of the Olympics in Korea as part of this trip?) and return in late September. The main reason for doing this is to initiate a RTW trip FROM Japan to Japan... with segment one (Japan to US )in mid February, then complete the rest of the RTW (US, to Europe, to Asia, ending in Japan) in September. The return portion of the initial ticket then gets us home from Japan at the end of the RTW.

Emirates has an interesting option: JFK => DXB => KIX for only $2542 (in coach), fully refundable, free changes permitted with upgrade to business class for only 70,000 Skywards miles - - we can obtain these from our huge stash of Membership Rewards miles).. Of course, it means coming home from Japan "the long way" (via Dubai... but a stopover is permitted). With the business class RTW fare at about $6600 per passenger, the two trips together cost less than just purchasing a business class RTW Skyteam US to US (and allows us to break up the trip into two trips and experience Emirates and Dubai... or some other non-Skyteam airline).

Is there any "regular" (i.e., flying across the Pacific) airline that can get us to Japan with such a resonable upgrade cost (in miles) and dollars (for a fully refundable coach fare)?

It feels like this is a mildly crazy way to fly around the world (more like 1 2/3 circumnavigation... crossing the Atlantic twice and the Pacific once).

Other thoughts?

Thanks in advance for any replies.

Rex, in Indiana (SDF my home airport), retired leisure traveler
SkyMiles gold for 2017 (60k MGMs); about 750k current balance
Membership Rewards, about 800k current balance
Aadvantage, about 180k current balance
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Old Dec 22, 17, 10:28 pm
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 78
My parents booked SFO-HND JAL first class for 80k AAdvantage miles and $5.60 in fees. They booked a return in business class from NRT-BOS using only 60k AAdvantage miles plus $39 in fees. They also got a 10k mileage reduction since they used their AA credit cards. Hope this helps!
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