air france business
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Think of it like a buffet that charges by weight…

You’re not seeing double – the same exact flights you were going to pay more than 125,000 points for can be booked using just 63,000 points round trip. Amen to that! Even for flights on the same airline, the type of points you choose to use can make all the difference in how many you’ll need – and this is an amazing example of how some points are simply better than others. Here’s how to fly business class between the US and Europe in either direction for just 63,000 points round trip, thanks to a clever tip from Richard Kerr.

a large tower with a fountain and Eiffel Tower in the backgroundThe Points You Need

You’ll ultimately need Japan Airlines Mileage Bank points, but if you don’t have any don’t stress – yet. You can convert Barclaycard Arrival Premier Points and Starwood Preferred Guest Points or Marriott Rewards Points into Japan Airlines Mileage Bank Miles easily. If you’re currently sighing, wishing you had any of the three types of points you could covert, you should’ve read this article two years ago. Oh well. It’s never too late to start earning lucrative Marriott, SPG, Japan Airlines or Barclaycard Arrival Premier Points.

What You’re Booking

Air France has an beautiful business class cabin, with some of the best food and beverage you’ll find served on any airline. Using Japan Airlines Mileage Bank Miles, you can book flights in Air France Business Class for just 63,000 points round trip between the US and Europe – in either direction. This is an awesome opportunity because neither Air France nor JAL care where you fly, only how far you fly. Think of it like a buffet that goes by weight, rather than items. Any flights under 8,000 miles in total round trip distance are just 63,000 points. If you whack things up to 10,000 miles of total flight distance, you’ll pay just 65,000 points!

a seat with headphones on itHow To Browse Routes is an invaluable tool, showing you exact distances for any possible itinerary. You simply plug in airport codes like JFK-CDG-LHR and select “distance”. You’ll get a break down of the total distance for all segments. You could play around with different airports in the US and Europe to add in stopovers and routings, like this example, stopping in Paris, Rome and London for just 65,000 points round trip in business class. It’s under 10,000 actual miles – so it counts!

What That Really Means

New York to Paris round trip is under 8,000 total miles of distance. For that matter, so is Detroit, Washington DC and Boston. But alas, a trip to Paris, with a side trip to Greece is still under 10,000 miles of round trip distance. That means you could fly from New York to Paris in business class, enjoy Paris for a few days, move on to Rome for a few days and then fly back to NY via Paris for just 65,000 miles and less than $200 round trip. That’s like… amazing.

a fountain in front of a buildingHow To Find Business Class Seats

The hardest but easiest (weird, right?) way to book this amazing points redemption is to create a Japan Airlines Mileage Bank frequent flyer account online. You’ll need one to book these flights anyway. By selecting “Air France” on the partner airline booking site, you can search day by day on the Japan Airlines website for flights on their partner Air France. It’s far easier to find “saver” level seats on the Air France website, but you’d need to call Japan Airlines to ask if they can book each seat you find. If you just searched for the Air France flights on the JAL website, you’d be able to book online without talking to anyone.

Good To Know

One way tickets are allowed, you can enjoy up to three free stopovers and you cannot combine airlines. You must fly on Air France to achieve these rates. This deal is for Air France, so even if you find something cool on KLM or Delta which are Air France partners you’re out of luck. Also, you must book at least four days in advance. Enjoy! And really, you should – this is fewer miles than most people pay for economy!

HT: ThePointsGuy

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. Great article! Is there any reason I would see availability on the Air France site but not on JAL?

  2. I followed your link to the Arrival card, but the Q&A doesn’t say anything about using the Miles for airline transfers, just gift cards or travel credit.

    1. I had the same problem. Use incognito mode and google ” ‘name of card’ miles transfer” and you will find the answer. The 2 points earned on that card per $ spent sounds good, but the ratio for transfers unfortunately is not 1 to1. You can get around 1.17 -1.18 points per dollar spent transferring to JAL. This would be great if there was a sign up bonus, cest la vie, but for everyday spend it still beats the shit out of the 2/3 points per dollar spent on SPG after 8/1/18.

  3. Good to know. JAL must have done something because these awards used to price out at ~$1000 in fees and taxes.

  4. FYI this is over. JAL award chart for partner flights including Air France now shows that all business class flights over 6,000 up to 20,000 miles got bumped up by around 20,000 award miles per ticket. For example

    Old award:
    6,001-8,000 miles WAS 63,000 NOW 80,000
    8,001-10,000 miles WAS 65,000 NOW 85,000

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