The men’s Rugby World Cup is held every four years and this year’s host
In this guide, I outline when and where Australia is playing, which flights you can find award availability on, and how to maximise your points for hotel redemptions during the tournament.
When and where is Australia playing in the 2019 Rugby World Cup?
Australia has four pool games, all spread apart by a week or so each.
- 20 September against Fiji in Sapporo
- 29 September against Wales in Tokyo
- 5 October against Uruguay in Oita
- 11 October against Georgia in
Then Australia may be in:
- 19 or 20 October quarter finals in Oita
- 26 or 27 October semi finals in Yokohama
- 1 November bronze final in Tokyo
- 2 November final in Yokohama (fingers crossed!)
You can find more information on the game schedule here.
How can I use my points to travel to the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan?
Excluding Jetstar (which has an inferior Business Class product), there are eight nonstop services from Australia to Japan which feature lie-flat Business Class seats. I’m not going to go into them here, as you can get that info in the guide here.
I searched for at least one Business Class award seat on all of these services in both directions between 19 September and 12 November 2019 (encompassing the tournament). Here is what I found…
Travel to Japan
|Route||Carrier||Date||Business Class seats available|
|Sydney - Tokyo||Japan Airlines||15 October||5|
|28 October||5 (+7 in Premium Economy)|
|30 October||1 (+3 in Premium Economy)|
|Perth - Tokyo||ANA||30 September||1+|
I’m surprised at how much availability there in Japan Airlines’ excellent Business Class from Sydney, especially in the leadup to the final. The Apex Suite is very private and you’ll enjoy delicious food on this day flight.
This redemption will cost you only 50,000 Asia Miles or 78,000 Qantas Points (jumping to 90,000 from 18 September 2019) + ~$180 in taxes one-way—a good redemption.
ANA is launching direct services between Perth and Tokyo on 1 September, just in time for the World Cup. You can find plenty of award availability on this service in both directions. It’s an overnight flight on the way there and during the day on the way back.
This is not the best-value redemption—a one-way flight will cost you 83,000 KrisFlyer miles (increasing to 94,000 if you book after 16 April) + a hefty $270 in taxes departing Australia and $300 coming home.
Note that the United website (which I used to search for seats) does not show me how many seats are available, so that’s why I’ve put 1+ in the tables above and below.
By the way, I found no Business Class availability on ANA’s other Australian service (Sydney – Tokyo) in either direction.
Travel back to Australia
|Route||Carrier||Date||Business Class seats available|
|Tokyo Haneda - Sydney||Qantas||11 November||1 (Premium Economy only)|
|Tokyo Narita - Brisbane||Qantas||11 November||2|
|Osaka - Sydney||Qantas||9 November||4|
|Tokyo Narita - Perth||ANA||23 September||1+|
Flying back to the East Coast is more limited. There is space on some Qantas flights, but only if you hang around in Japan for at least a week after the final (which may not be a bad thing!).
On the Tokyo Haneda – Sydney service, you’ll be on a Boeing 747, with the older-style Skybed II seat. Given it is an overnight flight and some passengers prefer this bed to the A330 below, even though you’ll be in a 2-2-2 configuration, you’ll probably be sleeping most of the time anyway.
On the Osaka – Sydney and Tokyo Narita – Brisbane services, you’ll be in Qantas’ flagship Business Class.
Flying one-way on any of these Qantas services will cost you 50,000 Asia Miles or 72,000 Qantas Points (jumping to 82,000 from 18 September 2019) + ~$220 in taxes.
As mentioned above, there is ample availability on the ANA service to Perth, but it doesn’t come cheap.
Where should I stay during the 2019 Rugby World Cup?
Given that Australia placed second in 2015 and third in 2011, coupled with the fact that most of the award availability will get you to Japan in time for the finals, I’m going to focus on hotel availability in Tokyo-Yokohama during that time. For the sample
You can use 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night for a stay at The Westin Tokyo, Tokyo Marriott Hotel or Sheraton Grande Tokyo Bay Hotel (at Disney Resort, a bit out of the way). If you book for four nights, you’ll get your fifth night free.
If you have access to Hilton Honors points, you can use 80,000 of them for each night at the Hilton Tokyo Bay (again, at Disney Resort). If you’ve got a cool 2.2 million points, then you can stay at the upscale Conrad Tokyo. If you have Silver status or above, then you’ll get your fifth night free.
Lucky enough to have access to World of Hyatt points? All five Hyatt-affiliated properties have availability during these dates for 25,000-30,000 points per night. My picks are the Park Hyatt Tokyo (in the top 1% of Tokyo hotels according to TripAdvisor), the Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills (which Keith loved) and the Hyatt Centric Ginza Tokyo (where I thoroughly enjoyed a stay six months ago).
Given Tokyo (and Japan in general) has expensive accommodation, I’d expect prices on Airbnb to be very high during this period. If you do end up Airbnbing, be sure to pick up 1 Qantas Point per $ spent along the way.
The 2019 Rugby World Cup is less than six months away. However, there is a surprising amount of Business Class award availability on flights to get there.
Luckily, those with access to
If you are keen to travel to Japan for the tournament, be sure to book soon as these seats are likely to get snapped up quickly.
Finally, for tips on how to get around Japan and what to do there, check out our Japan destination guide.
How do you plan to travel to the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan? Share in the comments below.
Supplementary images courtesy Rugby World Cup, ANA, Marriott and Disney.