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JAL (and ANA) not generous with Business/First Class Awards in 2023?

JAL (and ANA) not generous with Business/First Class Awards in 2023?

Old May 10, 22, 7:45 am
  #1  
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JAL (and ANA) not generous with Business/First Class Awards in 2023?

Hi. I recently redeemed BA Avios to secure two JAL business class ORD-HND round trip for April 2023. I thought I started looking as soon as these awards were released, but I noticed that there weren’t much First class awards available on BA or point.me websites. I also checked ANA award space and found similar results, and actually had even less business class availability there.

Is there a good reason both JAL and ANA are not releasing as many first class (and both first class and business class for ANA) for 2023? I heard form someone who travels in premium class a lot that both first and business class seats are fairly full on man of the flights he has taken recently. Is this because of greater demand/still diminished supply?
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Old May 10, 22, 9:30 am
  #2  
 
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Originally Posted by psoque View Post
Hi. I recently redeemed BA Avios to secure two JAL business class ORD-HND round trip for April 2023. I thought I started looking as soon as these awards were released, but I noticed that there weren’t much First class awards available on BA or point.me websites. I also checked ANA award space and found similar results, and actually had even less business class availability there.

Is there a good reason both JAL and ANA are not releasing as many first class (and both first class and business class for ANA) for 2023? I heard form someone who travels in premium class a lot that both first and business class seats are fairly full on man of the flights he has taken recently. Is this because of greater demand/still diminished supply?
Can't speak to JL but I believe NH is still releasing 1F 1J at 355 days out as usual — was able to find HND/NRT-JFK F/J awards (which are usually the most popular US routes and the first ones to go) for April 2023 when booking a few weeks ago
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Old May 10, 22, 9:36 am
  #3  
 
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All airlines around the world, not just ANA and JAL, went through a very difficult time financially past few years due to the pandemic. It will be nothing surprising to see airlines want to see their seats occupied by paid revenue tickets, rather than seats occupied by award miles. Airlines are eager to get as much cash flow as possible as we come out of the pandemic and travel demand starting to return. The general conses is that ANA and JAL are the airlines that can attract cash paying passengers in their premium cabin. Where U.S. airlines pretty much gave up on international first class on many routes, ANA and JAL say Tokyo - New York City and Tokyo - Los Angeles are routes where there is still demand for first class and they can sell first class seats and first class being financially profitable.

Also today most airlines use revenue management software for their ticket sales, including award seats. The revenue management software uses past ticket sales data to predict how to set the availability of different fares, including the availability of award seats. But past few years during the pandemic faced a situation that never happened in international air travel. Under such a situation, the revenue management software fails to predict the proper ticket availability for the flights. American Airlines revenue management said on MSNBC business TV program that pre-pandemic close to 90% plus of their seats and fares were controlled by the revenue management software, and less than 10% of the situation required human intervention to adjust fares and seat availabilities. Where human intervention is required when the revenue management software is not predicting the ticket sales trend of the specific flight favorably to the airline.

In the current situation of international air travel coming out of this world wide pandemic which we have never experienced before, it is highly likely airlines are requiring far greater cases of human intervention on flight reservations because the revenue management software is not predicting ticket sales accurately. But most likely airlines do not have enough manpower (employees) in the revenue management department, because airlines never needed that many people in their revenue management department to do more manual work in their reservation system.

In general Japanese companies tend to be more conservative in their business approach than compared with their U.S. companies, it is a cultural thing. Because of all the above situations, I am not surprised to see that at this moment ANA and JAL are setting award seat availability on the conservative side.

As a reference, I am an American Airlines AAdvantage member so I am looking at international award availability for the second half of this year. Last year during the pandemic I easily found an international business class award for 60,000 miles each way. But now same international award miles are 300,000 miles each way when I looked up for a trip this autumn, five times more miles. It looks like it is not just ANA and JAL which is being stringent on award seats.
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Old May 10, 22, 10:25 am
  #4  
 
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Originally Posted by psoque View Post
Hi. I recently redeemed BA Avios to secure two JAL business class ORD-HND round trip for April 2023. I thought I started looking as soon as these awards were released, but I noticed that there weren’t much First class awards available on BA or point.me websites. I also checked ANA award space and found similar results, and actually had even less business class availability there.

Is there a good reason both JAL and ANA are not releasing as many first class (and both first class and business class for ANA) for 2023? I heard form someone who travels in premium class a lot that both first and business class seats are fairly full on man of the flights he has taken recently. Is this because of greater demand/still diminished supply?


I've noticed that if you go through a dummy booking via the JAL website and see that only 1A/K are blocked/taken on the F seatmap and every other seat is available, one F award seat will eventually open up. The downside is that there's no set time on when it'll open up for booking. It could happen at 7am or it could happen at 10pm. As to why they release so little at a time, I'd say it's because of the pandemic and how airlines (even more so with foreign airlines) have lost tons of traffic. Availability could go up once travel returns to normal or it could stay limited.
xjaehyun is offline  
Old May 20, 22, 7:38 pm
  #5  
 
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It's slim pickings for sure on both.

I was able to snag JFK-HND in F yesterday for a mid-July departure (cancelled my 6/25 SFO-NRT F award so maybe that one will open up now?).
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