Award Flight Booking Strategies: Tokyo to Taipei
Booking last minute flights can be expensive. Using frequent flyer miles can save you a significant amount of money since award flights have a flat rate price. With miles, the cost is the same if you book 10 months in advance or 10 hours in advance.
While in Tokyo, we hadn’t selected our next destination yet. We could have stayed longer or went somewhere else. Around midnight, we decided to go to Taipei the next day and began searching for the cheapest options for direct flights.
- Option 1: 10,000 British Airways Avios + $30.50 // One World: JAL
- Option 2: 12,500 Singapore Krisflyer miles + $32.11 ($43.40 SGD) // Star Alliance: EVA Air
- Option 3: $280USD Cash Flight // Star Alliance: EVA Air
When I say an impulsive trip, I mean an impulsive trip. We booked the flight 11 hours before having to depart. As soon as we decided to go to Taiwan, I started looking at our options for getting there. I was looking at which miles had the best deal and what was available (using awardace.com). The other caveat, we wanted only a direct flight.
After some research, this was a very demanding request to fulfill. A last minute booking for 4 people, but we made it happen!
Option 1: 10,000 British Airways Avios + $30.50 // One World: JAL
This was the best option. There was only one seat available that one of us took, it flew from Haneda (Tokyo) to Songshan Airport (Central Taipei). Both of these airports are close to the city so they add a lot in convenience while saving in auxiliary airport transportation fees. You can book this online at the British Airways site.
From Tokyo, there’s a morning flight from HND to TSA. We booked one ticket with this method.
Option 2: 12,500 Singapore Krisflyer miles + $32.11 ($43.40 SGD) // Star Alliance: EVA Air
I happened to be sitting on a lot of Singapore miles since I had a previous long distance booking fall through. With Singapore Airlines, you can only book Singapore Airlines award flights on their website. To fly with any other their partners, you have to call and verify availability. I used United.com to see Star Alliance flight availability, but keep in mind that all Star Alliance Partners don’t have the same access to award availability…but it never hurts to check.
You have to call to find availability and make the booking. After making the call, they had 2 seats available with EVA Air around 1pm departing from HND and arriving in TSA. We used 25,000 Singapore Krisflyer miles and $64 for 2 seats.
Option 3: $280USD Cash Flight // Star Alliance: EVA Air
This was the most expensive option. Since the JAL flight was too early, we had to purchase a ticket with EVA Air ticket to match up with the other 2 tickets. The cash price at the time was $280.