American Airlines Promos on Japan Airlines: Double Mileage Earning and Reduced Award Redemption Prices

Via DestinationDavid and JALPak on Milepoint come several mileage offers related to American Airlines’ joint venture with Japan Airlines.

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.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I’m willing to bet this has less to do with AA and more to do with JAL. It comes on the heels of the Japanese tourism board announcing 10,000 free flights for essay contest winners to drum up tourism to the country. After the earthquake, tsunami, and meltdown they’ve had a huge hit in tourist traffic. With the restrictions on this offer it strikes me as a nice targeted incentive to promote travel to Japan.


  2. I agree with Dan. I think this is a way to stir up tourist traffic after Fukushima and all the radiation that has been found in parts of Tokyo.

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