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Bay Area gets its first Boeing 787 Dreamliner flight

All Nippon Airways (ANA) today announced the new nonstop service between Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC) and Narita International Airport (NRT) in Tokyo will start January 11, 2013.  (ANA announced in 2011 that the flight was coming, but did not commit to a firm start date until now.) The inaugural flight will bring the first Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft to the Bay Area. Good news: ANA is a partner in the Star Alliance, so United MileagePlus members will be able to earn and burn miles on the route.

The new flight will depart San Jose at 11:45 a.m. and arrive in Tokyo at 4:10 p.m the next day.  The return flight will leave Tokyo at 5:35 p.m. and arrive at SJC at 10:10 that  morning.  The service is expected to start with five flights per week, excluding Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The afternoon arrival in Tokyo is timed to allow connections to destinations throughout Asia, including Beijing, Hong Kong,Shanghai, Singapore, Taipei, Delhi, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Bangkok, and Manila.  The new route will be available for booking August 30.

ANA will use its new Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft on the Tokyo Narita-San Jose route.  Built mainly from carbon fiber composite material, the 787 features increased fuel efficiency and passenger comfort- with larger windows, better cabin pressure and larger overhead bins. ANA was the launch customer of the 787, ordering 55 of the aircraft in 2004 and taking delivery of the inaugural aircraft this year.

American Airlines operated a Tokyo-San Jose route from 1990 to 2006.

Would you use SJC instead of SFO for your flights to Tokyo? Is a chance to fly the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner enough to get you to switch? Please leave your comments below!

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Business class SFO-London, July-Aug: just $2008 roundtrip

(Photo: Angelo Angelo / Flickr

If you’ve got a hankering to check out London before, during or after the Olympics, get this: British Airways launched a sale last week with fares of just $2012 ROUND TRIP (all in) on nonstops between SFO (plus all other US gateways) and London Heathrow. Both United and Virgin Atlantic have matched this astoundingly low business class fare.

How astounding, you may ask? Well, get this: Economy class round trips during July and August now range from about $1300 to $1900 round trip. So why not pay the small premium for business class (which normally runs in the $5,000 to $8,000 range)?

Not only do you get the nice business class deal (and a big seat), but you get the bonus miles for flying up front. For example, in business class on United, you earn a whopping 16,104 Mileage Plus miles for the SFO-LHR roundtrip, plus the additional bonus based on your status. When flying coach, you earn 10,736 Mileage Plus miles roundtrip.

When I checked today, United was slightly undercutting BA with a $2008 roundtrip fare. Here’s the evidence:

Screenshot of United fare matrix today

 

Screenshot of United fare matrix today

These are the lowest roundtrip business class fares I may have ever seen from the West Coast to Europe. It makes me wonder if the Olympics are going to be a boom or a bust for the travel industry. What do you think? Is $2000 round trip business class enough to make you jump? 

If this information was helpful to you, please subscribe to The BAT via e-mail- and tell your friends about it, too!

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