A few months ago I was lauding American Airlines award space to Asia because partners Cathay Pacific and Japan Airlines were releasing tons of award space in Business and First Class at the last minute. Yesterday I checked in on Cathay Pacific award space and found it greatly diminished at the last minute (though not non-existent.)
Today let’s check in on Japan Airlines premium award space at the last minute.
American Airlines awards to Asia are way under-priced compared to United and Delta awards. For one way awards, American charges:
- 25,000 miles in economy to Japan, Korea, and Mongolia from October to April each year
- 32,500 miles in economy to Japan, Korea, and Mongolia the rest of the year
- 35,000 miles in economy to the rest of East and Southeast Asia
- 50,000 miles in Business Class to Japan, Korea, and Mongolia
- 55,000 miles in Business Class to the rest of East and Southeast Asia
- 62,500 miles in First Class to Japan, Korea, and Mongolia
- 67,500 miles in First Class to the rest of East and Southeast Asia
Taxes to East Asian countries are low, mostly in the $50 to $100 roundtrip range. There are no fuel surcharges on any American Airlines awards from the United States to Asia. There is no phone fee for booking Japan Airlines and Cathay Pacific flights by phone. There is a $75 fee for ticketing an American Airlines award within 21 days of departure, which is what this post focuses on.
Japan Airlines serves the United States with 777s and 787s. Japan Airlines First Class on its 777-300ER is a world class flat bed enclosed in a suite.
I haven’t flown the product personally, but everything looks top notch and Asian airlines have the best service in my experience.
Japan Airlines made the terrible choice of putting angled beds on its original 787s. Its new 787s feature fully flat beds and the old ones are being retrofit.
Where JAL Flies
Japan Airlines flies from seven American cities to three Japanese cities with connections throughout Asia.
I searched yesterday for award space through November 14 on all the routes to Tokyo in First and Business Class.
Here is all the First Class award space. It appears on just 3 of about two dozen flights.
Japan Airlines last minute award space also isn’t as strong as a few months ago.
Some credit card offers in this post have expired, but they might come back. If they do they will appear –> Click here for the top current credit card sign up bonuses.
This is a shame because it is very cheap to book with American Airlines miles, and right now the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® MasterCard® and CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World MasterCard® are each offering 50,000 bonus American Airlines miles after $3,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open. Don’t be thrown off by the word “Platinum.” Both cards have no annual fee the first 12 months, and then $95.
Get both cards and meet the $6,000 total spending requirement to have over 106,000 American Airlines miles, enough for a roundtrip in Japan Airlines Business Class.