On top of a new Star Alliance program devaluation, oneworld member Japan Airlines Mileage Bank — one of the surprisingly most useful frequent flyer programs out there — has announced their own devaluation.
Americans care about the JAL program because:
- You can transfer Starwood points to JAL
- JAL has a reasonable distance-based award chart
- They partner with airlines like Emirates (and can be a cheaper way of getting Emirates awards than even Alaska Airlines) in addition to their oneworld partners.
Fortunately, the devaluations aren’t bad.
Awards business and first class awards on JAL itself rather than on partner airlines will be going up in price effective November 2015. That’s nearly a year’s notice.
Here’s the new US-Japan pricing:
Business class goes from 80,000 to 100,000 miles roundtrip (one-way awards will be half the cost of roundtrip), while 80,000 mile awards will still be offered on certain days. First class goes from 110,000 miles roundtrip to 140,000, again continuing to offer 110,000 mile roundtrips on certain days. These prices remain a fantastic value.
This does not change JAL’s distance-based partner award chart which will allow me next year to book New York JFK – Dubai – Bangkok in Emirates first class for 77,500 miles one-way.
Meanwhile, JAL is reducing the advance reservation requirement for awards from 4 days to 2 starting in April.
Also starting in April, award tickets booked or changed by phone will incur a telephone service fee.
The award chart devaluation is truly modest, and offered with substantial advance notice, in contrast to how things are done elsewhere such as United and United and United as well as American and Delta and Delta and Delta.
That’s why JAL’s Mileage Bank remains a part of my devaluation plan B.
(HT: Frequent Flyer Bonuses)