Via DestinationDavid and JALPak on Milepoint come several mileage offers related to American Airlines’ joint venture with Japan Airlines.
- 50% off mileage redemption, San Francisco – Tokyo Haneda, for travel between November 1, 2011 and February 29, 2012. That makes makes business class roundtrip 50,000 miles and coach roundtrip 30,000.
- The same offer on Vancouver – Tokyo Narita
- Double miles on American codeshare flights operated by Japan Airlines and booked into a high fare class (K fare or higher) for travel between November 1, 2011 and February 29, 2012. Registration required.
All of these are of limited usefulness, yet still interesting for what they signify.
Winter is very much off-season for travel between the US and Japan. And the reduced mileage offers, while great for folks in or near San Francisco or Vancouver are appealing, don’t include connecting options to more attractive climates. You cannot for instance include connecting flights on JAL to South Asia. So it’s a way to bump up traffic on flights that tend to have plenty of open space.
I’ve noticed tons of business class availability on the San Francisco – Haneda flights during this timeframe. And of course the San Francisco flights tend to have great award availability generally, this is true for Cathay Pacific’s San Francisco – Hong Kong flights as well. These offerings tend to have to survive on origination/destination traffic only. While there’s plenty of domestic feeder traffic provided by American for the Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York flights that isn’t true of San Francisco.
With American becoming closer to Japan Airlines, it still strikes me interesting that they offer bonus miles on paid Japan Airlines travel that’s booked as an American codeshare. I suppose if I were booking higher-priced flights on JAL, double miles would make booking an AA code worthwhile, even though I tend to dislike booking codeshares generally, as they’re often difficult to work with — neither airline has full control over the reservation much of the time, and seat assignments can frequently get tripped up as well. Perhaps the better integreation between American and Japan Airlines will make codeshares work more smoothly.