Part 1: San Francisco to Tokyo
Tokyo to Taipei
Taipei to San Francisco
One of the benefits allotted on United Airlines award bookings is the addition of a free stopover. Naturally, I chose Taiwan as my stopover due to my relatives. So after touring Tokyo and the East Coast of Japan for 10 days, which included formidable stays at the Tokyo Park Hyatt and the Kanazawa Crowne Plaza, it was time to head over to Taiwan on ANA business class.
|~66 lbs: heavy checked bag filled with gifts for my relatives. I would have had to pay an overweight baggage (>22 kg) fee had I not been flying in business class.|
|Like entering a heavenly gate, the name says it all.|
|Too good to pass up|
|Inari, rolls, and onigiri|
For short to medium-haul intra-Asia routes, carriers are known to skimp out on amenities and seating. This definitely wasn't the case with ANA for this 4-hour flight. With a 60" seat pitch and a video screen larger than the one on my LAX-HND route, these seats rank amongst the best for intra-Asia business class travel.
|I think she's jealous.|
|By far superior to the lounge food; I should have known better.|
While this flight segment was a complimentary addition to my award itinerary, it would have normally cost 10k and 20k award miles for economy and biz, respectively. Normally, I would say that it's not worth expending twice as many award miles to sit in biz class instead of economy for a 4-hour flight. But as always, there are exceptions to the rule and this is definitely one of them. ANA never ceases to amaze me with their quality of service and food when slated against U.S. carriers. This route has also got to be one of the most convenient non-stop intra-Asia routes in terms of airport location. HND is twice as close to the center of Tokyo as NRT, and TSA is in the drop dead center of Taipei, making your travel effortless. If you have 20k United miles to spare, save them for this.
Next up: Taipei to San Francisco in business class