Delta Secrets – Low Business Class Award To Tokyo

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Delta won the best redemption promotion at the Freddie Awards but they are still one of the most difficult programs to find international business class low level awards. The program weakness is exacerbated when looking for business awards to Asia. But I will give them a nod for having good partners and plenty of ways to get to French Polynesia at the low level business class award.

I often search for Delta low level business award availability to Asia but generally don’t find low level availability on first pass. Instead, I generally get a high cost redemption option from Delta’s award booking enhancement engine.

But with a little creativity you can find low award level availability to Asia. Here is just one example of how a little ingenuity can save you 100,000 Delta SkyMiles and get you to Tokyo in business class with SkyMiles.

In this example, we will search for two low level business class awards from Los Angeles to Tokyo, Japan.

Delta Award Pricing From LAX To NRT

For our sample dates, the Delta award pricing on the LAX to NRT route is a whopping 220,000 Delta SkyMiles. I checked and flying Delta from LAX to HND prices out at the same 220,000 mile price for these dates. This is a huge outlay of Delta SkyMiles when the low level award only costs 120,000 Delta SkyMiles.

a screenshot of a flight schedule

LAX To NRT Is 220k In Business

Since our desired date wasn’t available, we selected the Delta Award availability calendar. Surely, we’d find a low level award in the month of our search. To our dismay, we couldn’t find a single day when the low level business class award was available on the LAX to NRT route.

a screenshot of a travel calendar

No Delta Availability At Low Level

Delta Partner Award Pricing From Tijuana To Tokyo (NRT)

Instead of paying the astronomically high award prices from Los Angles, you can fly out of Tijuana, Mexico for only 120,000 Delta SkyMiles in business class. The flight is operated by AeroMexico on a Boeing 767 and is a non-stop flight to the Tokyo (NRT) airport.

a screenshot of a flight schedule

TIJ to NRT For Only 120k In Business!!!

Maximum Permitted Mileage (MPM) To Tokyo From LAX

The MPM from Los Angeles to Tokyo is 6,549 miles. To look up the MPM for a specific route, you can navigate to Expert Flyer, Travel Information, and then Maximum Permitted Mileage.

a screenshot of a mileage
MPM Is 6,549

The difference in miles from TIJ (5575) vs LAX (5,451) is only an extra 128 miles. So you still have ~970 miles to use if you decide to start your journey in Los Angeles. But since Delta requires a connection to get to TIJ, you’ll have to take the flight from LAX to MEX to TIJ. This flight is 2,982 miles, which would put your flight over the MPM allowed for this routing.

a map of the ocean

Difference Is Only 128 Miles

How Do Get To Tijuana From LAX

You could fly from LAX to TIJ, but the connecting flights through MEX, GDL and other airports are not cheap. If you can’t fly into TIJ for a reasonable price, try flying into SAN from LAX on British Airways Avios points. British Airways Avios points are the best points to use for short haul flights. Plus you can now pick up British Airways Avios points with the current credit card offer.

Alternatively you could drive from San Diego. The Tijuana airport is only a 24 mile drive from San Diego airport. The TIJ airport is on the US / Mexican boarder.

Bottom Line

Finding international business class low level awards on Delta can be frustrating. But if you add their partners to the gimmicks it can create real value.

If you are frustrated with your Delta miles, consider our Award Booking service. We are always happy to help you maximize your miles with a dream award booking.

a close up of a boat

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Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or suggestions expressed on this site are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed.

About The Weekly Flyer

The Weekly Flyer writes about travel from a business traveler perspective. He travels the world every week accumulating points and miles along the way.

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  1. Frustrating, indeed, and a bit sad that you need to resort to these sorts of tricks to redeem miles. Say what you will about the UA merger, at least their miles are still worth something. Using UA miles on the date you show (9/7) I see nonstop Y and F (probably what I would redeem given for a premium cabin TPAC) at the low level and 1-stop low level biz. Very glad I don’t fly delta much.

  2. I’ve made repeated attempts, including clearing cookies first, to find the 50K + 50K BA cc offer, and I still haven’t found it to be available. Right now I am considering it to be in the same class as the Loch Ness Monster ie numerous reported sightings, but no where to be seen when you search for it…..

  3. Sept 7 actually also has availability at low in both biz and coach on the nonstop LAX-HND, which might be preferable if Tokyo is the final destination. If you’re just connecting, probably makes sense to check out partner hubs.

    Neat trick with Tijuana, though, although not the greatest place to be on the ground these days.

  4. Hi Alohastephen – Yes and here are the results

    Hi Matt – Thanks for the note. It is indeed available on that date as well as the 4th. When I checked the LAX-HND yesterday, neither were available on DL metal. But is good for someone to pick up now if they want them.

  5. When someone writes an paragraph he/she retains the image of a user
    in his/her brain that how a user can be aware of it.
    So that’s why this article is great. Thanks!

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