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AAdvantage Award on JL / JAL / Japan Airlines (master thread)

Old Jan 13, 2024, 10:48 pm
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
Last edit by: JY1024
GUIDE to redeeming AA miles for Japan Air Lines awards:
  • JL awards are now shown show and can be booked on aa.com
  • AwardNexus (free to FlyerTalk members for basic searches) will also reveal, and (for a fee) alert, on JL award seats
  • AA awards on JL must be MileSAAver (AAnytime awards are only available on AA marketed and AA operated flights)
  • There are no onerous fuel or carrier-imposed surcharges using AAdvantage miles for awards using JL
  • JL initially releases awards to AAvantage members 330 days out at 10:00 am JST time (18:00 PDT, 17:00 PST). Note, JL award inventory is released to members of other FFPs 360 day out and updates award and revenue seat award availability once daily ~09:30-12:00 Pacific time
  • JL may release 0-2 F and 0-4 J award seats initially; until taken they remain available up to three months from release
  • No further seats are likely to be released until shortly (~14 days) prior to scheduled departure - but the last F seat will be retained for sale, not released into award inventory
  • No stopovers are allowed on AA awards. Connections may be as long as 23:59.
  • Only JAL Mileage Bank members can waitlist awards
  • All awards for domestic Japan will default to Economy (including international F or J award with domestic segments); these can often be upgraded at reasonable cost at the ticket counter in the Japan connecting airport
  • If JL & QF are showing availability, but AA can't see it, try calling the Australia AA center as it may be a point-of-sale issue

For 2012-2015 posts, please see
ARCHIVE: AA Award on JL / JAL / Japan Airlines (master thd)
For 2016-2023 posts, please see: https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/amer...16-2023-a.html

For further information, see:
HELP DESK: MileSAAver / SAAver award questions, assistance
oneworld and Other Airline (Partner) Awards info, rules 2014 on

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AAdvantage Award on JL / JAL / Japan Airlines (master thread)

Old Apr 22, 2024, 1:26 pm
  #511  
 
Join Date: Mar 2024
Posts: 28
I've been monitoring AA for JAL availability for March of 2025. I check every day from every served airport (DFW, BOS, ORD, LAX, SFO, JFK, SEA) and nothing has opened up in the past few weeks. I assume all the flights are getting booked by the partners who release award space 360 days out. I will keep checking every day at 8PM EST, but I'm starting to lose hope. I also realize it's nearing peak season. Am I doing something wrong here, or are spots just extremely difficult to come by these days?

Last edited by Phil_or_Kill; Apr 22, 2024 at 2:29 pm
Phil_or_Kill is offline  
Old Apr 22, 2024, 2:10 pm
  #512  
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: So Cal
Posts: 979
Originally Posted by Phil_or_Kill
I've been monitoring AA for JAL availability for March of 2024. I check every day from every served airport (DFW, BOS, ORD, LAX, SFO, JFK, SEA) and nothing has opened up in the past few weeks. I assume all the flights are getting booked by the partners who release award space 360 days out. I will keep checking every day at 9PM EST, but I'm starting to lose hope. I also realize it's nearing peak season. Am I doing something wrong here, or are spots just extremely difficult to come by these days?
Check at 8PM EST
brodielayne is offline  
Old Apr 22, 2024, 2:15 pm
  #513  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 1,382
Originally Posted by Phil_or_Kill
I've been monitoring AA for JAL availability for March of 2024. I check every day from every served airport (DFW, BOS, ORD, LAX, SFO, JFK, SEA) and nothing has opened up in the past few weeks. I assume all the flights are getting booked by the partners who release award space 360 days out. I will keep checking every day at 9PM EST, but I'm starting to lose hope. I also realize it's nearing peak season. Am I doing something wrong here, or are spots just extremely difficult to come by these days?
I hope you meant 2025. Donít expect to find JFK. Generally JAL and CX get them first. Then BA. AA gets the scraps, if any left over at 330ish.
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nas6034 is offline  
Old Apr 22, 2024, 2:22 pm
  #514  
 
Join Date: Feb 2022
Posts: 33
Originally Posted by Phil_or_Kill
I've been monitoring AA for JAL availability for March of 2024. I check every day from every served airport (DFW, BOS, ORD, LAX, SFO, JFK, SEA) and nothing has opened up in the past few weeks. I assume all the flights are getting booked by the partners who release award space 360 days out. I will keep checking every day at 9PM EST, but I'm starting to lose hope. I also realize it's nearing peak season. Am I doing something wrong here, or are spots just extremely difficult to come by these days?
That's Sakura season. If you really want to visit in March and don't want to pay cash then your best bet is booking economy and rolling the dice with close-in availability. Or try and book through CX but it's too late for that.
kestrel98 is offline  
Old Apr 22, 2024, 2:35 pm
  #515  
 
Join Date: Mar 2024
Posts: 28
Originally Posted by brodielayne
Check at 8PM EST
Oops, fixed

Originally Posted by nas6034
I hope you meant 2025. Donít expect to find JFK. Generally JAL and CX get them first. Then BA. AA gets the scraps, if any left over at 330ish.
Yes I meant 2025. Good to know on JFK front.

Originally Posted by kestrel98
That's Sakura season. If you really want to visit in March and don't want to pay cash then your best bet is booking economy and rolling the dice with close-in availability. Or try and book through CX but it's too late for that.
I thought early April was the prime season, so was hoping Iíd still be able to find availability in early/mid March. Canít book through CX, has to be AA unfortunately- thatís where all my points are.
Phil_or_Kill is offline  
Old Apr 22, 2024, 6:07 pm
  #516  
 
Join Date: Mar 2024
Posts: 28
I'm checking the AA site right now at 8pm EST, and the AA site still doesn't have the next day (March 20 2025) open to search. Am I missing something? Do I have to call?
Phil_or_Kill is offline  
Old Apr 22, 2024, 8:36 pm
  #517  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: USA
Programs: DL PM - IC RA - HHonors Gold - Hertz Gold - AA - US - CO - Choice Privileges
Posts: 1,731
Originally Posted by nas6034
I hope you meant 2025. Donít expect to find JFK. Generally JAL and CX get them first. Then BA. AA gets the scraps, if any left over at 330ish.
Indeed. Availability on BA 355 days in advance. Nothing via JFK but flights enough via ORD. I have 350,000 BA miles -- @ 120,000 BA miles and $250 the price is a good option. BA flights US - LHR have a $970 surcharge so not a good option. Historically, the hard part is the TYO-US flight so book TYO-US first and then sort out how to get there...
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Old Apr 22, 2024, 9:25 pm
  #518  
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Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Shanghai
Posts: 42,881
Originally Posted by view-with-a-room
Historically, the hard part is the TYO-US flight so book TYO-US first and then sort out how to get there...
The close in approach has yet to let me down on the TYO-US front (10 years and counting). Sure, I've ended up in suboptimal gateways a handful of times, but that's not the end of the world, especially when you consider that AA has been trying to get us accustomed to dropping 450k miles (nearly v8x the cost of our JL biz class awards) on more convenient itineraries..
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moondog is online now  
Old Apr 22, 2024, 10:26 pm
  #519  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Programs: AA Executive Platinum, Marriott Lifetime Titanium, IHG Platinum
Posts: 1,635
Originally Posted by Phil_or_Kill
I'm checking the AA site right now at 8pm EST, and the AA site still doesn't have the next day (March 20 2025) open to search. Am I missing something? Do I have to call?
The calendar will let you select 3/20 after midnight, but you still won’t be able to use the departure date box until after 1 am. And still may not be able to put anything on hold until even later.
Phil_or_Kill likes this.
WannaTheater is online now  
Old Apr 23, 2024, 11:44 am
  #520  
 
Join Date: Feb 2022
Posts: 33
Originally Posted by Phil_or_Kill
I thought early April was the prime season, so was hoping Iíd still be able to find availability in early/mid March. Canít book through CX, has to be AA unfortunately- thatís where all my points are.
Early and mid-march are better yes, but you'll still be swept up in the spring travel surge.
kestrel98 is offline  
Old Apr 23, 2024, 1:15 pm
  #521  
 
Join Date: Apr 2024
Posts: 4
Question regarding T-14/later upgrades. If I book 2x PE on JAL through AA, as we get closer is there a chance I will be able to upgrade to J/F seats with points/cash? If so, what do upgrades typically run for points/$'s? PE is 50k and I've seen J for 60k, so would it be fair to expect just another 10k points per seat to upgrade? Thanks!
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Old Apr 23, 2024, 1:35 pm
  #522  
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Posts: 12,846
Originally Posted by FirstClassMustache
Question regarding T-14/later upgrades. If I book 2x PE on JAL through AA, as we get closer is there a chance I will be able to upgrade to J/F seats with points/cash? If so, what do upgrades typically run for points/$'s? PE is 50k and I've seen J for 60k, so would it be fair to expect just another 10k points per seat to upgrade? Thanks!
Technically speaking you cannot "upgrade" a JL award, the only thing you can do is cancel your existing PE awards, get a refund for the miles/taxes, and rebook the new awards in business class.

And all partner awards including JL are currently at fixed pricing, from the US<>Japan 50k is the PE price and 60k is the business class price. So to do what you're talking about would in fact be an extra 10k miles each.

If you book 2x PE awards now, and later 2x J awards become available, I would first put the new J awards on hold at aa.com. Then pull up your old reservation and cancel it. You will probably then have to call AA to get the miles redeposited. Then go back in and ticket the new on-hold reservation.

Alternatively you should be able to call AA and accomplish the cancellation, miles redeposit, and rebooking in one call. But again it's important that you don't use the term "upgrade" when you call as that will just confuse lesser experienced agents and probably elicit some nonsense responses. What you want to do is "change" your existing PE award to business class.
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JJeffrey is offline  
Old Apr 23, 2024, 1:47 pm
  #523  
 
Join Date: Apr 2024
Posts: 4
Originally Posted by JJeffrey
Technically speaking you cannot "upgrade" a JL award, the only thing you can do is cancel your existing PE awards, get a refund for the miles/taxes, and rebook the new awards in business class.

And all partner awards including JL are currently at fixed pricing, from the US<>Japan 50k is the PE price and 60k is the business class price. So to do what you're talking about would in fact be an extra 10k miles each.

If you book 2x PE awards now, and later 2x J awards become available, I would first put the new J awards on hold at aa.com. Then pull up your old reservation and cancel it. You will probably then have to call AA to get the miles redeposited. Then go back in and ticket the new on-hold reservation.

Alternatively you should be able to call AA and accomplish the cancellation, miles redeposit, and rebooking in one call. But again it's important that you don't use the term "upgrade" when you call as that will just confuse lesser experienced agents and probably elicit some nonsense responses. What you want to do is "change" your existing PE award to business class.
Awesome thank you for the info. I though the cancellation dance might be the move but was having a hard time finding confirmation on the possibility of upgrades. Will bare that in mind.
FirstClassMustache is offline  
Old Apr 24, 2024, 2:22 pm
  #524  
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: So Cal
Programs: AA Platinum, DL Silver
Posts: 2,909
A350 DFW

Soooo excited, found the A350 and in late Dec of all days. NYE in Tokyo it is !!

What are chances they change DFW and take a way the A350? It was chosen as the 2nd city/fight for a reason I assume..

Dont feel quite as safe as if it was JFK but crossing fingers nothing changes.

I tried to find a JL page on choosing seats but cant seem to find anything..

I noticed its not a straight wall where the A side is by itself like CX. Looks like in 2A there is a wall right next to you as 2D enters their seat from the right aisle. 1D enters from the A side. So I was thinking 2A but then I realized if the middle seat goes out empty it would be easier to make the bed in the middle and keep the window as the seat if I was in 2K...

All that said does anyone know if they are following the similiar pattern of pouring Salon with the entire left side getting first dibs. I was last to get Salon in 2K as they worked both A seats and the middle first. Possibly better to just select 2A then if the pouring order is the same as the 777.
happiest_at_40000 is online now  
Old Apr 24, 2024, 2:38 pm
  #525  
 
Join Date: Jun 2021
Location: DFW
Programs: AA EXP, BAEC Silver, IHG Platinum
Posts: 362
Originally Posted by happiest_at_40000
Soooo excited, found the A350 and in late Dec of all days. NYE in Tokyo it is !!

What are chances they change DFW and take a way the A350? It was chosen as the 2nd city/fight for a reason I assume..

Dont feel quite as safe as if it was JFK but crossing fingers nothing changes.

I tried to find a JL page on choosing seats but cant seem to find anything..

I noticed its not a straight wall where the A side is by itself like CX. Looks like in 2A there is a wall right next to you as 2D enters their seat from the right aisle. 1D enters from the A side. So I was thinking 2A but then I realized if the middle seat goes out empty it would be easier to make the bed in the middle and keep the window as the seat if I was in 2K...

All that said does anyone know if they are following the similiar pattern of pouring Salon with the entire left side getting first dibs. I was last to get Salon in 2K as they worked both A seats and the middle first. Possibly better to just select 2A then if the pouring order is the same as the 777.
Are you flying to or from Tokyo? Salon is only catered on outbound flights from Japan. I think you should be good - don't think JAL will take away the A350 here, since DFW is a big destination for them for onward AA connecting traffic.
ghsbass0406 is offline  

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