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45,000 Mileage Run JAL Y/C/P, AA F, UA J

45,000 Mileage Run JAL Y/C/P, AA F, UA J

Old Jun 5, 16, 8:56 am
  #1  
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Join Date: May 2013
Location: Seattle
Programs: AA Exec Plat; Hilton Gold, United 1K, Delta Platinum Medallion
Posts: 96
45,000 Mileage Run JAL Y/C/P, AA F, UA J

I have been flying AA for job interviews since I was in my last semester for my MBA at University of Wisconsin. I also had taken a trip to South Africa in January. I was sitting at 65,000 EQM's for AA and really wanted to hit Executive Platinum on American. When I woke up and saw on Flyertalk that there was a AA/JAL mileage run from TPE-Japan-SJC for $150-$190 I jumped on it and just started booking trips so I could get enough miles for Executive Platinum. I figured I needed to do 3 trips. I was disappointed with my choice of layover in SJC once I saw there were other cities available but I just stuck with my choice.

Positioning Trip: ORD-SFO-KIX-TPE (UA)
Trip #1: TPE-KIX-LAX-SJC (1 NIGHT)-LAX-KIX-TPE (1 NIGHT)
Trip #2: TPE-KIX-LAX-SJC (1 NIGHT)-LAX-KIX-TPE (1 NIGHT)
Trip #3: TPE-KIX-LAX-SJC (1 NIGHT)-LAX-NRT (1 NIGHT)
Positioning Trip: NRT-LAX-SFO-ORD

Take-off out of SFO and great views
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Had seat 1L on SFO-KIX on 787-800. Everything has been discussed on here, the one surprising thing was how good the steak was. It was tender, flavorful, and a good size portion.
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I then flew from KIX-TPE on Jetstar Asia. The ticket was $114.00. I didn't pay to choose a seat. When I landed in KIX I followed the international transit signs but was unable to go through even with my boarding pass I had received checking in online. Because it was a "low-cost" carrier they told me I was required to go through immigration and customs and then go check-in. I had 2 hours so this was ok. When I got to Jetstar Asia it was packed and every person had multiply boxes and bags. The agents did not look very pleased. When it was my turn the agent quickly processed everything and then asked if I would like to sit in the exit row. I asked the charge and she said today it is free for you. I said thanks and went on my way. The seat was great with lots of room.
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When I landed in TPE there were no lines at immigration so I was out of the airport and to my hotel in 25 mins. I stayed at the City Suites Gateway which is near the airport for US$58.00. It was clean, comfortable, and included breakfast.
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Last edited by Droundtheworld; Jun 5, 16 at 9:35 am Reason: Getting pictures to work.
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Old Jun 5, 16, 9:39 am
  #2  
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Join Date: May 2013
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Trip #1

I woke up at 6:00am and was very hungry. I watched TV which had some English movie channels until 7:00am when breakfast was open. It was very busy at 7:00 so I made a mental note t not show up right away. It was a good breakfast. Had espresso, coffee, croissants, salad, different steamed buns, and 7-10 entrees which changed every morning. I went back to my room to see if I could get any more sleep but I was wide awake. My flight from TPE-KIX was at 12:15 so I figured I would get ready and head to the airport. I wanted to see if I could use the Cathay Pacific lounge. A cab from the airport to the City Suites is around 165 and from the hotel to the airport it is a flat 200. US$1.00=32 so the cab rides were around 5.00.

The airport was very busy. Was glad I had priority check-in because the economy line was very very long. I walked up to the business class line and the agent typed away and then called someone. I thought, great..they are going to hassle me about the low fare. She hung up and said she was sorry but she couldn't issue me the boarding pass from KIX-LAX because the flight was very full and there is a change they will be giving me a new seat. She wrote out a lounge invitation for their VIP lounge and said have a nice flight. Security took almost :40 mins to get through. I then walked to the Cathay Pacific lounge which was very nice. The Cathay lounge agent took the invitation card and let me in the lounge. I learned for the next visits if you are OneWorld Sapphire or Emerald to not give them your lounge invitation card. They let me in the next visits without it. Then I could get access to the VIP lounge that JAL uses right before my flight. The Cathay lounge was very nice. The coffee barista/bartender was great at giving me suggestions and wanting to make drinks. The best was the strawberry mojito.

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I had 45H which was an exit row. The legroom was great but I really missed having the footrest I had on other flights. The TPE-KIX was on a 787-800 and was the same aircraft onto LAX. There was a hot towel after takeoff and then a meal which was ginger pork. This meal was not very good. I learned to eat in the Cathay Lounge before the flight. The middle group of 4 seats also had a lot of legroom.

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When I landed in KIX I didn't have a boarding pass onto TPE which made going through the transit very difficult. There was free WI-FI but they couldn't decide what they needed to let me through. I finally showed them my tripcase itinerary and they let me through. I went to the lounge and asked about my boarding pass. They said check-in had not closed so they could not give me a boarding pass yet. That an agent would come and find me. The lounge was nothing special. The curry was good, the beer machines were cool, but nothing really stood out as fantastic. 1 hour before the flight an agent came up to me and bowed. She said I am so sorry but the flight to Los Angeles is very full today and was overbooked. I thought to myself they aren't going to let me on the flight. She then pulled a boarding pass out of her folder and said so we had to upgrade you to business. I am so sorry. JAL boards their flights :20-:30 mins to departure. I still had time to relax in the lounge. Economy was 100% full while business was 30% full. In the back cabin there were only 8 people out of 24 seats full. One of those was a baby that cried the entire time (good thing for my Bose Q25's). JAL does not do predeparture. After takeoff they come through with Champagne, water, mimosas and hot towels.

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They then do drinks/appetizer. It was pickled vegetables and a crab cole slaw.

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For salad it was a beef tongue salad with honey mustard.

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The didn't have the order from the seat on this flight. They had a little station set up with drinks and snacks though which was very nice.

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The seat was very comfortable in a relaxed/reclined state. If you pressed the bed button and let it go it was very awkward. It was close to the ground and slanted. I instead would go into the lounge option then mess with it until I was almost flat and it was much more comfortable.

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Landed in LAX and customs was empty. I exited Tom Bradley and walked to the AA terminal so I could use PreCheck. Then went to Admirals Club before I took the bus over to the American Eagle terminal that my flight to SJC was leaving from. I had been upgraded on all of my LAX-SJC flights for all 3 trips at the 72 hour mark.
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Last edited by Droundtheworld; Jun 5, 16 at 11:17 am
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Old Jun 5, 16, 9:39 am
  #3  
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Join Date: May 2013
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The SJC-LAX-KIX-TPE flight was pretty uneventful. When I check in at SJC I was given all of my boarding passes. Once in LAX I proceeded to the OneWorld Business lounge and asked the JAL agent if there were any seats with an open seat next to them. She said that the flight was not very full and while she couldn't promise she could put me in row 53 in a group of 4 seats that are all open. The seats stayed open and I had a row of 4 that I was able to lay down and sleep. It was great. The seats had good recline and a little footrest that was really nice.

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The main meal was a honey mustard chicken which was very good. The ice cream was always rock hard and took a while to thaw. The worst part about the service was that once you received your meal tray it took over a hour to get it picked up.

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The arrival service was asparagus fried rice.

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The 737-800 from KIX-TPE I had the exit row 45H (window seat). The plane was nice and had a video screen. The meal was ginger pork again and had some weird purple stuff over the rice which tasted funny.

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Customs was busier this time but still made it out pretty quick. Grabbed a cab to the City Suites and got some rest before I did the same thing over the next morning.

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Last edited by Droundtheworld; Jun 5, 16 at 11:35 am
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Old Jun 5, 16, 9:40 am
  #4  
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When I checked in for this trip JAL had changed my seat from 45H to 24H on the KIX-LAX flight. I was not happy that they kept changing my seat. The agent offered 22H, but that is all she could do. On certain flights from TPE-KIX where economy is nearing 100% they will turn the rear cabin of business class rows 7-10 into economy seats. I have read a couple people mention they were upgraded on this leg. It is only available for full fare Y or frequent flyers. On the next two trips this happened on both TPE-KIX flights and I was given 7H. They kept the curtain open during the flight and we received an economy meal. That was fine with me, I was just happy to have a nicer seat for the 3 hour flights.

After check-in instead of going through security here I took the skytrain to terminal 1 (where the Cathay Pacific lounge is). It is a little bit of a maze to get to Terminal 1, but it is well marked and takes a lot of distance off walking. I was able to get through security/immigration in Terminal 1 and the lounge was to the left after immigration and was much easier to get to this way.

The VIP lounge that JAL uses was very basic. They had a very good comfortable massage chair that you must try. The food/drink selection was minimal. They must have a Costco because all of their liquor was Kirkland brand.

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When I landed in LAX I was amazed how many A380's were lined up.

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The cabs I used in TPE to the City Suites all had a Hello Kitty image that projected onto the ground at night. Kind of funny.

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Legroom on the 787-800 at row 7

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When I checked in at SJC for the return trip to NRT the agent was unable to print my NRT-LAX flight. I was excited that maybe I would get upgraded again. When I got to LAX and went to the business class lounge I was upgraded but to Premium Economy. I forgot this was a 4 class airplane. Seats were comfortable. Lots of storage space. Nothing else really special about it though.

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Sushi in NRT at the airport

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When I landed in LAX I went to the United teminal for my flight to ORD. The airport was under MAJOR construction. I understand how difficult it is to not have ceilings and such. I don't understand filth though. There were magazines, soda bottles, crumbs, and just dirt everywhere. It was not a good image for United. Especially since they are saying they trying to get Flyer Friendly.

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Last edited by Droundtheworld; Jun 5, 16 at 12:09 pm
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Old Jun 5, 16, 11:38 am
  #5  
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Join Date: May 2013
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Posts: 96
Thanks for reading my first trip report. I apologize for some of the pictures being upside down. They are correct on my computer so I am not sure how to fix them. If you have any questions please let me know.

Here are the trip stats:
23 Flights
11 Days
8 Airports
787-800
787-900
737-900
737-800
A320
Base Miles 41,299
Bonus Miles 43,603
Total Miles Earned 84,902
Total Spend on Flights=US$487.00
Total Spend on Hotels=US$410.00

Earned Executive Platinum on trip #3 and the KIX-LAX leg. JAL flights only posted to my AA account Sunday evenings. Not sure if this is the norm, but the flights up until the 21st posted on the 22nd. The trips from the 22nd till the 26th posted on the 29th. I was dissapointed I wasn't able to use the JAL first class lounge in NRT or the Qantas first class lounge in LAX. Oh well. This was a great deal and I had a lot of fun.

Last edited by Droundtheworld; Jun 5, 16 at 12:18 pm
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Old Jun 5, 16, 6:59 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
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Posts: 2,978
Originally Posted by chgodrew View Post
Thanks for reading my first trip report. I apologize for some of the pictures being upside down. They are correct on my computer so I am not sure how to fix them. If you have any questions please let me know.

Here are the trip stats:
23 Flights
11 Days
8 Airports
787-800
787-900
737-900
737-800
A320
Base Miles 41,299
Bonus Miles 43,603
Total Miles Earned 84,902
Total Spend on Flights=US$487.00
Total Spend on Hotels=US$410.00

Earned Executive Platinum on trip #3 and the KIX-LAX leg. JAL flights only posted to my AA account Sunday evenings. Not sure if this is the norm, but the flights up until the 21st posted on the 22nd. The trips from the 22nd till the 26th posted on the 29th. I was dissapointed I wasn't able to use the JAL first class lounge in NRT or the Qantas first class lounge in LAX. Oh well. This was a great deal and I had a lot of fun.
How did you upgrade SFO-KIX? JAL miles? I also got in on the deal and am flying it the end of the month.
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Old Jun 5, 16, 8:07 pm
  #7  
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Originally Posted by BThumme View Post
How did you upgrade SFO-KIX? JAL miles? I also got in on the deal and am flying it the end of the month.
I flew non-rev from SFO-KIX and NRT-LAX. My dad works for United.
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Old Jun 6, 16, 2:55 am
  #8  
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Originally Posted by chgodrew View Post
The cabs I used in TPE to the City Suites all had a Hello Kitty image that projected onto the ground at night. Kind of funny.

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Indeed Thanks for your report
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