How to fly business class to Japan using Qantas and Velocity points?

Hi All

I want to fly Business Class to Japan for my family of three (myself, wife & 18 yr old son) in October 2025. Our first trip to this amazing country. Everyone who travels there raves about it.

I read Brandon Loo’s excellent article about his trip using China Airlines going there (via Taipei) and ANA for his return. I am thinking of replicating it using Qanats FF points for China Airlines and Virgin Velocity for ANA. I have a few questions if anyone can shed some light:
1: Is there another option I should be looking at? My wife works in the airline game and we can depart from any port in Aust. I have looked at EVA ex Brisbane; I have looked at Qantas ex Melb/Syd; I am not keen on Jetstar. I want a ‘true’ BC experience and both China Airlines and ANA appeal to me, but open to suggestions
2: When do China Airlines and ANA open reward seat bookings? How far out can I book? I have read conflicting stories about ANA for example only opening up weeks out from departure date
3: What are people’s experiences finding reward seats on these airlines? What do people use eg, AwardFares; ExpertFlyer. Any others?

A bit there I know, but I thought I’d reach out to this excellent community and see what comes back.

Thanks in advance all

Hi @markevans

I’m no expert on booking award flights to/from Japan (in fact I did it for the first time just a couple of months ago) so I can’t answer all your questions, but here are some thoughts that spring to mind from reading your questions…

  • You have omitted some fairly major options which will give you a “true Business Class experience” – Singapore Airlines (via Velocity FF), JAL (via Qantas FF), Cathay Pacific (Qantas FF) … even Malaysia Airlines (via Qantas FF). In my experience it’s easiest to find availability on Singapore Airlines, even if you have to take the more expensive option of converting your Velocity points to KrisFlyer. In fact if your dates are not flexible, I would genuinely consider that option, so you have access to the Singapore Airlines and other Star Alliance flights before Velocity members do.

  • As I’ve said ad nauseam on this forum… beggars can’t be choosers. While it’s wonderful to have the luxury of choosing between airlines, realistically if/when seats become available, grab them – especially if there’s availability for three people on the one flight! Australia-Japan is a very high-demand route and business class availability is rare. Grab what you can, when you can.

  • The good news is that business class on any major East Asian or South East Asian airline will probably be pretty good. Japanese airlines are renowned for their excellent service, as is Singapore Airlines, EVA, China Airlines etc etc. Again, if you see something available, waiting to see if something better will come along is a recipe for tears. If something better does come along, just book it and pay the cancellation fee for the first flight (in that order!).

  • I’ve used and fairly extensively; I’ve never bothered with the others you list.

Given that there are three of you, my strategy would be to convert your Velocity points to KrisFlyer points and book on Singapore Airlines as soon as they open reward seat bookings, 355 days before the flight. Subsequently, if something “better” (eg. ANA or China Airlines) comes along you could cancel your first booking. But if nothing does come along, at least you have your flights booked.


Hi @sixtyeight thank you for your detailed response. Yes we had a good experience when we flew overseas last year. It was to Singapore; I had some Velocity points I had to use and I converted them over to KrisFlyer and we were able to successfully book 3 x BC seats on Singapore Airlines there and back. And I have to say, I do love the BC experience with Singapore.

Can I ask, with your trip, how many points were required and where did you fly into from Singapore to Japan?

Thank you

Hi @markevans

My experience with Japan so far is that I have booked (but not flown yet) flights from New York to Melbourne via Tokyo. What I’ve booked is JAL first class from JFK to HND (I believe this will be on their brand new A350 first class), then Qantas economy from NRT to MEL. The second, economy, flight is a placeholder/fallback which I’m expecting/hoping to cancel when something better comes along!

It’s cost me about 187,000 Qantas points (149,000 for the JFK-HND first class flight and the rest for the NRT-MEL economy flight) but that will change if/when I change the second flight to business or first class.



Says oneway Singapore to Japan 52k KF miles in business saver and 70k KF miles in business advantage.

From AU east coast to Japan via Singapore costs 100.5k and 130k in business saver and advantage.

Google flights tells me Singapore Airlines fly into Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka and Nagoya. My guess is Tokyo would have the most flights.

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