With all of the articles about the trip I took to New York back in mid-February out, it’s time to continue catching up with the trip reports that I am slightly falling behind on. And, the next in line is a series of reports about my late February, early March spotting trip to Sapporo.
Another Year, Another Winter Spotting Trip to Sapporo
After a very successful winter spotting trips to Sapporo in 2013 and 2017, it was time to visit the airport during winter time in 2018 again. And, hopefully, from now on, it will be an annual tradition.
Just like the other two times, I went with a couple of friends, and we decided to go for three weekdays with the hope of catching – among others – the JASDF 747s which will soon retire and which can often be seen doing practice rounds on weekdays at Chitose Air Base where they’re based.
Booking JAL Flights with Avios
To get to Sapporo, I decided to burn some of the British Airways miles that I bought earlier through promotions on Groupon Spain and Vente-Privee and book JAL both ways. Each of the flights cost just 4,500 miles and about 2 dollars in taxes which makes Japanese domestic awards one of the best uses of Avios miles in my opinion.
As for the aircraft types, while originally, I booked one way on the 777-300 and another on the 767-300, I ended up changing the flight time of the return flight, and so I ended up with a 777-300 both ways.
Luckily, I was able to upgrade into Class J which offers better seating on both of the flights. And, I will be reviewing the Tokyo – Sapporo flight to show you what Class J is like and why it’s a great deal for the less than 10 dollars it costs to upgrade.
Having recently become a British Airways Silver member, I also had a chance to visit JAL lounges at both Haneda and Sapporo. While I won’t be writing about the Haneda one again since I reviewed it fairly recently, I will be publishing a post about the one at New Chitose airport.
Choosing a Place to Stay Near New Chitose
With the flights booked, the one other thing that I needed to arrange (my friend was taking care of the rent-a-car – thanks for that!) was the accommodation.
After spending some time looking at hotels near the airport, and most of them costing around $50 or $60 per night, I decided to just go with the one that the two friends I was traveling with were staying at – Crowne Plaza ANA Chitose.
Even though it was on the pricier side at about $75 per night, the price difference was well worth it for the convenience of all of us staying in one place (and the added comfort of the better hotel).
While this will be a shorter series with just one flight, lounge, airport hotel, and spotting report each, hopefully you will enjoy it.
I will be posting the four articles (and adding the links to those articles here as usual) over the next several days, so stay tuned!