On Sunday, December 2, history was made when San Diego International saw their very first non-stop flight from Asia, land and depart on their short single runway near downtown. The Boeing 787 made this flight possible and in addition, one of the largest cities in America finally received their first transpacific non-stop flight. You can read all the details about why San Diego hasn’t had non-stop flights and why the 787 makes it possible in my previous post, SAN finally goes nonstop across the Pacific.
Although I was not able to attend the ceremony because I accidentally planned a trip to Hawaii at the same time, I’ve been assured that it was a good ceremony at SAN with a water cannon salute and ribbon cutting ceremony. JAL is serving SAN 4 times a week until this spring when the service is upgraded to daily service to NRT. Timed perfectly for travelers, not only will this connect SAN directly with Tokyo, it’s timed well for connections to 18 other destinations across Asia.
The non-stop flight will only be served by a 787, for it’s the only aircraft that can take off from the short SAN runway and make it safely across the pacific without a fuel stop. This means that this is one way to guarantee a flight on the 787, especially when trying to redeem miles to Tokyo and beyond. JAL is housed in the updated Terminal 2 at SAN and travelers on JAL have access to the American Airlines Admiral club, a short walk from the gates.
The flight will operate four times weekly (Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday) until March 2, 2013, when it becomes a daily flight. Japan Airlines will utilize the 787 Dreamliner, with 42 business-class seats and 144 economy seats.
San Diego (SAN) 11:30 a.m.
Narita (NRT) 4:30 p.m.
Narita (NRT) 5:10 p.m.
San Diego (SAN) 9:45 a.m.
Currently award space on this flight is WIDE open! Being a new flight JAL is still trying to figure out how many seats will be bought and how many they can afford to give away for award seats. Although AA does not show JAL award availability, BA does! I searched a number of days on BA.com and was easily able to find seats in both economy and business! If you choose to redeem miles, it will cost you 60,000 Avios miles each way in Business and 30K in Econ. However, BA is tacking on ~$350 in fees, taxes, and surcharges for this trip so be aware that this may not be your best choice. AA only charges 25K (Oct. 1-April 30) or 32.5K (peak season) in economy and 50K in business.
The OneWorld is really building up in SAN and with the launch of this flight, it now means that ONLY OneWorld can take you nonstop from San Diego across both the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans! For your next trip across the Pacific, consider this option when trying to route to and beyond Japan. Not only is it an exciting new route, but it’s on the newest airplane in the sky!
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