Wide Open Japan Airlines First Class Awards For Fall 2021

At the end of the current Japan Airlines schedule first class awards are wide open for two passengers on the New York JFK – Tokyo Haneda route.

You cannot yet book this space using American Airlines AAdvantage miles. Their booking calendar doesn’t extend past 331 days into the future. You can book these seats using miles in other oneworld frequent flyer programs, however.

For instance you can redeem British Airways Avios now for these flights. However BA’s pricing for long haul first class is exceptionally high at 140,000 miles each way. Fuel surcharges, though, are just $3.20 each way.

If award space remains available when the American AAdvantage booking window opens, you can spend 80,000 miles each way for JAL first class between the U.S. and Tokyo or 110,000 miles each way connecting onward in most of Asia.

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. @ Gary — I am seeing “cabin is not operated on this flight” when searching using Avios. What am I doing wrong?

  2. There are rumors that Japan is going to let tourists from around the world in for the Olympics and all the will require is a negative covid test. If this happens its likely covid will be well seeded going into the fall. There is a significant degree of skepticism about the vaccine in Japan and they haven’t been hit extremely hard with the virus so if enough people don’t take the vaccine and they got tourists from around the world including countries where covid will still be raging its going to be an issue. Again these are rumors but something to keep in mind.

  3. One cannot travel to Japan. Even the Olympics are tentative. Don’t build people up for a big let down.

  4. @Gary Leff – JAL has a very strange release pattern for F awards. This “Wide Open” availability will definitely not be wide open by the time AA has access to them. You can track this and confirm. JAL will release F awards in the AA window but they seem to cut back to max 1F only by that time and the awards are only available on a daily rotating basis one day a week. FlyerTalk has a thread that describes the rotating pattern.

    Also, evidently JAL changed the class code they use to book F awards after 4/1/20 (I think it used to be Z and now it is A?) and while AA has updated their system to be able to book JAL F awards past April 1st, BA and AS have not updated and cannot book JAL F awards departing on or after 4/1/20 (which is why @Gene is seeing the “cabin is not operated on this flight” message when searching on BA).

  5. 4 /5 years ago we flew JAL first using AA miles. This was before AA showed JAL on the AA web site booking system.

    By using my JAL membership I was able to see that JAL put up 2 first class award seats every day as their award calendar opened. I was able to call the AA award desk and book those seats using AA miles – on the day that JAL made them available.

    If you see availability on JAL it’s well worth a call to the AA award desk and ask if they can book the seats.

  6. My wife has a sister who lives in Japan and is married to a Japanese national. We are U.S. citizens. Her sister has stage 4 cancer. It is impossible for her to travel to Japan as travel is restricted to husbands, wives and children. I doubt this will change for a long, long time.

  7. I tried to use Asia Miles to check for any slot for first class, unable to find any from Sept to Oct 2021.
    maybe not yet open for Asia Miles perhaps?

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