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Is British Airways about to announce flights to Osaka?

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According to reports in the Japanese business newspaper Nikkei (which is a credible source, it now owns the Financial Times), British Airways is about to announce a 4x weekly service to Osaka.

This would be a good result if true.  Tokyo is generally a decent route for Avios availability but you will struggle during the peak cherry blossom season.  There are currently no Avios Club World seats available between 23rd February and 3rd April for example.

Osaka is very convenient for Kyoto.  If you were only planning a short trip to Japan, taking in Tokyo and Kyoto, flying through Osaka would not be too bad.  The best option would be to fly into Tokyo and out of Osaka after visiting Kyoto.

(Here is my Conrad Tokyo review, here is Anika’s ANA InterContinental Tokyo review and here is my The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto – which is amazing – review.)

Nikkei reports that services are due to start with the global Summer timetable change, which is 31st March.

If true, getting an Avios seat during the first few days should let you catch the cherry blossom.  The season usually runs from the last week of March into the first week of April.

That said … it varies.  Nature is awkward like that.  We took a family holiday in Tokyo over Easter last year and caught it perfectly.  Cherry blossom season was running late (we flew on 8th April) and were told all the hotels had been sold out two weeks before, with nothing to see.  We got very lucky.

The photo above is one that Anika took when she was also in Tokyo last year doing our review of ANA business class – she flew in on 6th April.

Anyway …. nothing is confirmed yet.  I’ll let you know if / when a BA press release turns up.  The Nikkei article is here.

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  1. OT, I used the spend 600 get 200 back on my Platinum card for two shows in Vegas in October. instead of showing as £613 on my account it has split into two 498 and 115, anyone else had this? I’m concerned that this wont track as an over 600 spend and i wont get my 200 statement credit.

    • Michael Blume says:

      I am interested in this scenario too.

      Also, a related question. If you save the offer to both supp and main card, can you spend 1200, half on each card and get 2 x 200 back? The terms say one offer per card rather than account, and the offer has appeared in both dashboards separately…

      • Yes, offers are specific to each card, not guaranteed that both cards will get the offer though they usually do

        No way to split 1200 over two cards though (at least online), needs to be two spends of 600+

      • Yes, £600 on each card will both trigger the offer. On that note, anyone have a tip for a superb hotel for 2 adults and 2 kids in midtown NYC which I can prepay for £301 per night !? Need a 2 night stay in April….

        • Look at the CasaBlanca: No. 1 on Tripadvisor (part of the small ‘Library Collection – 4 hotels in Manhattan and take spots 1, 2, 3 and 6 on Tripadvisor). Free continental breakfast, 24hr tea, coffee, soda, cookies etc and cheese and wine between 5-8pm. Not stupidly expensive. Next to Times Square. Am booked to go in January and can’t find any negative reviews, everyone raves about it.

        • Thanks Nicky, I looked at the Giraffe hotel in same group. Annoyingly its not bookable on amex travel online though. might give them a call

        • Spurs Debs says:

          I’ve booked hotel giraffe for beginning of April. Really helpful sorting my two rooms out and no resort fee! Should be in your budget.

        • Yeh that whole chain looks decent. Only issue us i want to book via amex travel to get the 200 off 600 spend offer. These hotels arent loaded on to Amex travel website though

      • fivebobbill says:

        On the first question, won’t be a problem. Have just made my 600 (£637) up with 4 different Amex “experiences”, got an email as soon as I went over £600 and the £200 credit appeared in my account a few days later.

        As to the second point, the offer is per card, not account, so yes, if it’s on the supplementary card you can get the £200 twice.

      • Yes I have it on my supp card and was waiting till I seen the credit post on my main card before using the supp card. Iv just noticed it’s saying ‘redeemed’ in my offers section so now for the supp card. 1200 spend and 400 back can’t be bad for Vegas shows!

  2. OT (no bits today): my wife has the SPG Amex and points have gone out of the account for August and September. She called Amex earlier and they said that the linking to the new accounts was meant to be done by mi-September however the project has over-run, and that it will probably be a few more weeks to sort it all out. They said there’s nothing they can do at their end, but it looks like points from the SPG Amex won’t be hitting accounts until perhaps mid-October at the earliest. Rather frustrating as want to shut her card down but won’t do it until the points have been transferred properly.

    • I’m in exactly the same situation and was told similar over Live Chat. However, they also requested that I provide them with my new Marriott / SPG number (the new number following account merger). I was assured that all outstanding points (Aug + Sep) would be transferred over when points from my October statement are sent (for my account: 27th-ish Oct).

  3. OT: Another Hertz / Amex question. With the Amex Platinum hire car insurance, can I decline all insurances including the basic CDW and theft protection cover, not just the super cover?

    The Amex wording is “Cover applies only when rental agency allows refusal of their insurance”, so I think that means if Hertz let me decline a cover option, I can and Amex will apply. Am I right?

    • You can, but there are legal requirements country-by-country as to what insurance MUST be included. You cannot decline that.

  4. OT – I am travelling back from Barbados next month to LGW south and unfortunately have to go straight to work. Do you know if there is a lounge after arrivals that I can have access to a shower and maybe some sustenance before joining the rat race back to London?

    • No, the BA arrivals lounge in the Sofitel closed a couple of years ago and there are no independent options.

  5. OT: anyone have contact details (email) for someone senior at Like global CEO or UK CEO. Have been dealing with a complaint with them for over a week with no luck.

    • Shoestring says:

      Mr Marco Corradino Chief Operation Officer
      [email protected]

    • I have the email address of the global CEO if Rob/Anika wants to connect us. Not going to post publicly.

      • Shoestring says:

        I’ve got the Chairman’s – happy to post publicly! 🙂

        • Shoestring says:

          tbh the email pattern is obvious enough, so you just need the names

          Fabio Cannavale – Executive Director and Group CEO
          Marco Corradino – Executive Director and CEO
          Laurent Foata – Non-Executive Director
          Marcello Distaso – Non-Executive Director
          Roberto Italia – Non-Executive Director
          Anna Gatti – Non-Executive Director
          Marco Corradino – Chief Operation Officer and Co-Founder
          Sergio Signoretti – Chief Financial Officer

        • Lady London says:

          er… has fallen under the control of an Italian group then?

        • Shoestring says:

          Yes, a couple of years ago now – all on wiki

        • Not sure what you mean by “fallen”.

          It was purchased by Bravonext some time ago (after the british emperor turned out to indeed have no clothes).

        • Marco and Fabio run the business. Not much point emailing a NED.

        • Shoestring says:

          True enough, poor form provided the Execs sort out the issue. I think with the IB 90K problems, people were firing emails at non Execs as well and getting quick results – IB deserved it for their lies, obfuscation and general poor customer service.

  6. I had a great visit to Japan last month with 2 Rtn F class on 241 voucher and avios. I’ve seen Tokyo but I much preferred out of Tokyo so Osaka would be great. I really enjoyed Hiroshima and would definitely go back there. I also stayed at the Conrad Osaka and the ANA IC in Roppongi and enjoyed them both.

  7. Booked my first long haul business Avios redemption to Japan (via Seoul, Korea) thanks to this site. Fly in November – very excited! Thanks as always to Rob, Anika and all the regular commenters.

  8. Will Avery says:

    Shame. If only the Yen was affordable. Last time I checked hotels in Tokyo were at least double what they were when we visited 2014 :(:(. Kyoto will be even worse…for us peasants.

    • Indeed. Ritz-Carlton in Kyoto was £1100 per night for a standard room (facing a wall) when we were there, such is cherry blossom pricing ….

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