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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 Dec 23, 2023, 4:16 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: WA, US
Programs: lots of little things
Posts: 705
Originally Posted by bwaltens
Essentially, my wife and I will be flying to Japan from Austin from Feb 3-11. I have premium economy/economy awards booked.

But now I have the miles to get business awards.

Iíve never flown business long-haul and I donít want to miss the opportunity.

It seems when Iíve looked the past few days, there has been some flights from various places that have a seat or two available at the 60k miles rate. But few and far between, and not on the dates I need.

I know Iíve read that this is common with JAL. ButÖis there any way I can be proactive on this? Iíve been checking obsessively. It seems like JAL awards arenít available on Expertflyer, or I would set up alerts there.

Specifically looking to book from Austin to Tokyo on Feb 3 and ideally Osaka to Austin on Feb 11
Have you kept looking? Widespread ORDHND JL biz 60K available in Feb but starting on the 5th of YoY have minimal flexibility. Position to ord should be pretty cheap.

The return is plentiful HNDORD then as well, or all the way HNDSAT 2/10 or 2/12 among others. Just not the 11. SAT should be next to perfect for AUS- based.
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Old Dec 23, 2023, 9:32 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Oct 2023
Posts: 13
Forutnately, thanks to a good samaritan on the thread, I was able to snag availablity through OHare earlier this week! Even had success adding the Austin to Chicago leg over the phone (though had to hang up and try again once). Thanks everyone, and looking forward to our first time in lie flat!
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Old Dec 24, 2023, 8:01 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Philadelphia, LAX, Paris
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Posts: 3,326
Originally Posted by moondog
Just do a calendar search for premium awards. If you spot 60k, that's business, while 80k is first.
New to AA premium travel search as my ExecPlat status was all domestic + 1 TATL flight - my international travel is 98% United and Star Alliance due to my 2MM status with them and therefore my wife is also a 1K even though she flies no more than 25,000 miles a year!

But I want to fly JAL Biz and F using award miles for my wife, and either points or cash for me since I have heard so much good things about JAL. Probably routes are LAX-HND-LAX, PHL-Tokyo (HND or NRT)-PHL, LAX-KIX-LAX, with beyond destinations as BKK, SGN, MNL, and KUL.

QUESTION: by calendar search, you mean calendar search for premium awards on AA.com?

Finally, is there a point transfer scheme to a JAL account which could work like I could do with their competitor ANA (in which AMEX points can be transferred to ANA or SQ for booking)?

Thanks so much in advance.
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Old Dec 24, 2023, 8:54 am
  #4  
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Originally Posted by sapguy
QUESTION: by calendar search, you mean calendar search for premium awards on AA.com?
Basically, yes, but you should limit your initial searches to routes that JL flies nonstop, and do one search at a time. Then you can hone in on 60k and 80k dates and optimize both intra-US and Intra-Asia components.
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Old Dec 24, 2023, 9:04 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: PHL
Programs: AA EXP
Posts: 515
Originally Posted by sapguy
New to AA premium travel search as my ExecPlat status was all domestic + 1 TATL flight - my international travel is 98% United and Star Alliance due to my 2MM status with them and therefore my wife is also a 1K even though she flies no more than 25,000 miles a year!

But I want to fly JAL Biz and F using award miles for my wife, and either points or cash for me since I have heard so much good things about JAL. Probably routes are LAX-HND-LAX, PHL-Tokyo (HND or NRT)-PHL, LAX-KIX-LAX, with beyond destinations as BKK, SGN, MNL, and KUL.

QUESTION: by calendar search, you mean calendar search for premium awards on AA.com?

Finally, is there a point transfer scheme to a JAL account which could work like I could do with their competitor ANA (in which AMEX points can be transferred to ANA or SQ for booking)?

Thanks so much in advance.
First, from PHL you are going to have to connect through other gateways which JAL serves - BOS, JFK, ORD, SAN, SFO, LAX, SEA. You may be able to find PHL-TYO awards (I booked PHL-SFO-HND-SGN for instance) but often youíll need to book from one of the other gateways to TYO.

Second, you can search by a month at a time on AA.com. Do the search for a specific day, and then there is a link to the right of the day(s) where you can view a month at a time - it shows you the dates awards are available and the lowest amount of mileage needed for each day.

Finally, none of the major transferable points currencies transfer to JAL. Marriott points do, however itís at a 3:1 rate.
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Old Dec 24, 2023, 12:26 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Philadelphia, LAX, Paris
Programs: UA 1K/2MM, SPG/Marriott Lifetime Titanium, Lifetime HHonors Diamond, Hyatt Globalist, AA Exec Plat
Posts: 3,326
Originally Posted by moondog
Basically, yes, but you should limit your initial searches to routes that JL flies nonstop, and do one search at a time. Then you can hone in on 60k and 80k dates and optimize both intra-US and Intra-Asia components.
Thanks for your input. Will give it a try
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Old Dec 24, 2023, 1:22 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Philadelphia, LAX, Paris
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Posts: 3,326
Originally Posted by CMTinPHL
First, from PHL you are going to have to connect through other gateways which JAL serves - BOS, JFK, ORD, SAN, SFO, LAX, SEA. You may be able to find PHL-TYO awards (I booked PHL-SFO-HND-SGN for instance) but often youíll need to book from one of the other gateways to TYO.

Second, you can search by a month at a time on AA.com. Do the search for a specific day, and then there is a link to the right of the day(s) where you can view a month at a time - it shows you the dates awards are available and the lowest amount of mileage needed for each day.

Finally, none of the major transferable points currencies transfer to JAL. Marriott points do, however itís at a 3:1 rate.
I am based out of both PHL and LAX so can start my trip to Tokyo from either cities.

Thank you for your very useful tip of using the link to the right of the day(s) where I can view a month at a time! I can now see Business/First award for 60K one-way LAX-HND in Biz Class, although many are 1-stop to ORD as the non-stop LAX-HND is priced at ridiculous amount of points!

Interestingly enough, searches for PHL-HND seems to yield far better hits for 60K or 80K one-way in Biz Class, but it's through LAX and on AA metal 788 and not on JAL metal!

I will continue to search and would of course welcome your suggestions and advice. In the meantime, I have compiled this list of JAL flights available through AA.com from LAX, ORD, DFW, and SFO, and includes NRT and KIX as destinations from LAX so that I can refine my search for 60K-80K Biz class award seats - please let me know if I am missing anything:
  1. LAX-HND: AA 8453 (JAL) L: 12:30PM, A: 5:30PM non-stop 789
  2. LAX-NRT: AA 8407 (JAL) L: 11:50AM, A: 4:40PM non-stop 788
  3. LAX-KIX: AA 8414 (JAL) L: 13:15PM, A: 6:50PM non-stop 789
  4. ORD-HND: AA 8404 (JAL) L: 10 :20AM, A: 2:55PM non-stop 789
  5. DFW-HND: AA 8481 (JAL) L: 10:45AM, A: 3:25PM non-stop 773
  6. SFO-HND: AA 8400 (JAL) L: 12 :55PM, A: 5:20PM non-stop 789
  7. SFO-NRT: AA 8410 (JAL) L: 12:10PM, A: 4:20PM non-stop 788
Thanks again
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Old Dec 24, 2023, 2:07 pm
  #8  
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Originally Posted by sapguy
I am based out of both PHL and LAX so can start my trip to Tokyo from either cities.

Thank you for your very useful tip of using the link to the right of the day(s) where I can view a month at a time! I can now see Business/First award for 60K one-way LAX-HND in Biz Class, although many are 1-stop to ORD as the non-stop LAX-HND is priced at ridiculous amount of points!
I've been seeing results like this too (i.e. AA metal offered and/or connections via ORD/DFW to places like SFO and LAX that have nonstop flights of their own). There seems to be a bit of married segment logic going on here. Still, I prefer to keep my initial searches as simple as possible (e.g. JL gateway airports only); if they want to show me connecting itineraries, that's fine but I'm doing my part to limit the number of variables I introduce into the equation.

ETA: On your way back to the US, the married segment thing can work out in your favor (e.g. you might see the TYO-LAX-DFW for 60k when searching for TYO-DFW, even when TYO-LAX is priced sky high standalone). Also, I use TYO for Tokyo because it covers both HND and NRT (e.g. you probably won't see NRT-BOS in any results if you use HND as your origin).

Last edited by moondog; Dec 24, 2023 at 2:19 pm
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Old Dec 24, 2023, 2:11 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: So Cal
Posts: 933
Originally Posted by sapguy
I am based out of both PHL and LAX so can start my trip to Tokyo from either cities.

Thank you for your very useful tip of using the link to the right of the day(s) where I can view a month at a time! I can now see Business/First award for 60K one-way LAX-HND in Biz Class, although many are 1-stop to ORD as the non-stop LAX-HND is priced at ridiculous amount of points!

Interestingly enough, searches for PHL-HND seems to yield far better hits for 60K or 80K one-way in Biz Class, but it's through LAX and on AA metal 788 and not on JAL metal!

I will continue to search and would of course welcome your suggestions and advice. In the meantime, I have compiled this list of JAL flights available through AA.com from LAX, ORD, DFW, and SFO, and includes NRT and KIX as destinations from LAX so that I can refine my search for 60K-80K Biz class award seats - please let me know if I am missing anything:
  1. LAX-HND: AA 8453 (JAL) L: 12:30PM, A: 5:30PM non-stop 789
  2. LAX-NRT: AA 8407 (JAL) L: 11:50AM, A: 4:40PM non-stop 788
  3. LAX-KIX: AA 8414 (JAL) L: 13:15PM, A: 6:50PM non-stop 789
  4. ORD-HND: AA 8404 (JAL) L: 10 :20AM, A: 2:55PM non-stop 789
  5. DFW-HND: AA 8481 (JAL) L: 10:45AM, A: 3:25PM non-stop 773
  6. SFO-HND: AA 8400 (JAL) L: 12 :55PM, A: 5:20PM non-stop 789
  7. SFO-NRT: AA 8410 (JAL) L: 12:10PM, A: 4:20PM non-stop 788
Thanks again
JFK,SEA,SAN are other options.
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Old Dec 24, 2023, 2:12 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: May 2003
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Originally Posted by brodielayne
JFK,SEA,SAN are other options.
Not for me! Hate JFK, and SEA, and mildly OK with SAN.
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Old Dec 24, 2023, 2:21 pm
  #11  
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Originally Posted by brodielayne
JFK,SEA,SAN are other options.
BOS and YVR too.
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Old Dec 24, 2023, 2:34 pm
  #12  
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Originally Posted by sapguy
Not for me! Hate JFK, and SEA, and mildly OK with SAN.
I don't care for JFK or SEA either, but I'll put my JFK beef aside if I'm able to score F on JL's new A350 (preferably from Tokyo because the catering is really solid there).

https://www.jal.co.jp/jp/en/inter/se...A350-1000.html
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Old Dec 24, 2023, 4:16 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
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Posts: 1,101
Everyone is certainly entitled to their preferences but I don’t understand the anti-JFK sentiment now that JL has moved to T8. T1 is indeed awful but glad JL is out of there. I could see the difficulty with connecting given the lack of AA JFK flights.
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Old Dec 24, 2023, 4:37 pm
  #14  
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Originally Posted by lrdpenn
Everyone is certainly entitled to their preferences but I donít understand the anti-JFK sentiment now that JL has moved to T8. T1 is indeed awful but glad JL is out of there. I could see the difficulty with connecting given the lack of AA JFK flights.
Maybe it's the getting to / from the airport. Or the zillions of steps needed once there.
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Old Dec 24, 2023, 9:58 pm
  #15  
 
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Originally Posted by JackMackey
Maybe it's the getting to / from the airport. Or the zillions of steps needed once there.
There's no JFK-PHL flights, so getting from PHL to JFK can be pretty painful - it's a two hour drive, or via train its minimum three transfers.
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