Japan Domestic Travel? Use United Airlines Miles (on ANA) or British Airways Avios (on JAL)
There are certain sweet spots on various award charts and if you are taking domestic flights in Japan then you might want to surely check these sweet spot award redemption for flying on ANA Airlines using United Airlines miles or Japan Airlines (JAL) using British Airways Avios.
Using United Airlines Miles:
United Airlines charges only 5,000 miles for an award flight for a distance of 800 miles or less when travelling solely within Japan. For more than distance of 800 miles it charges only 8,000 miles. Also the pricing is based on distance between source and destination on not "segment" based. This is a steal if there is award availability.
ANA Airlines also charges 5,000 miles for one way award for a distance of 600 miles or less but it's distance calculation is based on segments and thus may not be as useful as United Airlines redemption. Also ANA pricing varies based on the season where as United has a fixed pricing.
See the sample availability for Osaka (ITM) to Haneda (HND) airport and you will see amazing price of just 5k miles for the award although the cash price might be upwards of $100+. Also it is easy to book the flights online on United Airlines website and taxes are $0+.
Using British Airways Avios:
British Airways Avios charges only 4,500 miles for distance of 650 miles or less and there is minimal taxes and fees (~$2-$3) when booking flights on Japan Airlines (JAL). For distance of 651 miles to 1150 miles it charges 7,500 miles.
Japan Airlines has zone based redemption for domestic travel as well. Here is the award chart. Also the redemption starts at 5,000 miles (during promotion period) and is based on zone of travel. British Airways Avios is much easier to accumulate through multiple transfer partners such as Chase Ultimate Rewards, Amex Membership Rewards, SPG, Citi ThankYou Points and Diner's club where as Japan Airlines only transfer partner in USA is SPG.
You can see the sample availability for Osaka (ITM) to Haneda (HND) airport which you can book for just 4,500 British Airways Avios. Also it is easy to book the flights online and taxes are ~$2+.
So if you are travelling to Japan make sure you use this options to get around Japan rather then spending $100+ for short haul flights.
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