Japan Airlines First Class Award Space to Australia for the Whole Family

Japan Airlines has a fantastic first class product. Getting to Australia on miles, let alone for more than two passengers, is hard. So while there are only a subset of readers who will use this, it’s worth knowing when Japan Airlines award space becomes available for four or more passengers in first class between Tokyo and Sydney.

Award availability is wide open between Tokyo and Sydney after the peak Australian summer period.

In fact there’s award availability for four passengers which is half the cabin (some dates may have more space than that, and of course availability is even better for two passengers) nearly every day in both directions in April.

I don’t have a super pretty calendar of this for you because Award Nexus was erroring out doing BA.com searches this morning. But this calendar still gives you an idea.

Availability in JAL first to Sydney happens like this from time to time, first class opened wide up on the same route last August and in February. There’s not a lot of first class demand but JAL puts the Boeing 777-300ER on the route in high season.

American AAdvantage charges 60,000 miles for a one-way award between Australia and Japan. This is an award that didn’t go up with the March 22 AAdvantage devaluation.

Now, this may be of limited use to many of my readers although a not insignificant number of readers are actually based in Australia (and I have family there). American Airlines doesn’t let you route via Asia on a single award ticket between the US and Australia. Instead you’d have to book one award US-Asia and a second award Asia-Australia.

Alaska Airlines is a new partner of JAL and we should soon be able to redeem Mileage Plan miles for Japan Airlines. I’d guess we’ll be able to route US – Australia via Tokyo.

Japan Airlines miles are actually quite reasonable for this at 100,000 miles roundtrip.

Update, edited for clarity: As a general matter JAL does add fuel surcharges to awards, but only $2 to $4 for flights in and out of Japan (and not to Emirates awards currently though they have in the past).

Starwood Starpoints transfer but not instantaneously in fact it can take some time for the transfer so I wouldn’t use this route if you don’t already have JAL miles in your account (as the space could be gone by the time you get the points).

Cathay Pacific AsiaMiles, an American Express and Citi ThankYou Rewards transfer partner, charges 70,000 points one-way or 120,000 miles roundtrip plus fuel surcharges.

Search for Japan Airlines award space using the BA.com British Airways website, note that American’s website doesn’t show JAL award space.

(HT: MileValue)

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 InsideFlyer.com, 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. JAL’s first class is smashing. In January, I enjoyed F from JFK to NRT, a couple of nights at the Andaz and then onward to SYD in F. F Lounge is solid, but not Lufthansa or Thai solid. And PH Sydney was fantastic as well.

    This was an old US miles routing, so no 2 awards required.

  2. Gary,

    Was there not, at some point this past winter, discussion of eliminating fuel surcharges in Japan, or at least making fuel surcharges zero on account of market conditions?

  3. @jfhscott – apologies for the confusing way I wrote about this in the post. I meant to suggest that the program adds fuel surcharges where those apply to a paid ticket. I did not mean that they apply to these flights. I’ve edited to clarify, because YQ on JL flights in and out of Japan is $2 – $4.

  4. It looks like if you book directly with JAL using JAL miles (from an SPG xfer), LAX-SYD is 85K each way in F or 70K in C, so no 2 awards required.

  5. Just took this NRT-SYD flight. Was a great flight, but not ANA great. IMO half of the benefit of flying JAL first is usually having most of the first class cabin open since they don’t usually Op-Up or open too much space last minute. Because only 2 of us on the red eye, the service was fantastic.

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