JAL Awards Now Bookable On American’s Website

Filed Under: American, American AAdvantage

There are lots of things that contribute towards a great frequent flyer program. Obviously award redemption rates and award availability are both important, but there’s also something to be said for the ease with which you can search and book award seats.

American’s website is fairly good when it comes to searching award availability. Their website is my favorite for searching space for the airlines that they do display, given that you can search nonstop award availability on any partner that they display for a month at a time (at least this is the case when you’re using the old version of their website — the new version of the website is awful).

The catch is that American doesn’t display all partner airlines online. Fortunately this is something they’ve been working on. In May they added online award bookings on Etihad, and now they’ve added yet another partner to aa.com.

You can now book Japan Airlines awards on aa.com

American Airlines has just added award redemptions on Japan Airlines to aa.com.

That’s quite a positive development, and means there are only a few airlines remaining that they don’t display availability for online.

Japan Airlines is one of my favorite AAdvantage partners, so I’d consider this to be good news.

Japan Airlines 787

Redeeming American miles on Japan Airlines

American has a zone based award chart, with the same pricing for all partners. Here are the one-way award prices for some popular markets in which you can fly Japan Airlines:

  • US to Asia 1 (which includes Japan) — 35,000 miles economy, 60,000 miles business, 80,000 miles first
  • US to Asia 2 — 37,500 miles economy, 70,000 miles business, 110,000 miles first
  • Asia 1 to Asia 2 — 20,000 miles economy, 30,000 miles business, 40,000 miles first

Here’s everything you need to know about earning American miles through credit cards.

One other option worth mentioning is redeeming Alaska miles for travel on Japan Airlines. They have lower redemption rates and even allow stopovers, so you could fly from the US to Japan, have a stopover, and then continue to somewhere else.

Here’s everything you need to know about earning Alaska miles through credit cards.

Japan Airlines 787 business class

The double edged sword of online award bookings

While I’m generally excited about this development, I do think it’s worth mentioning that making award availability easier to search makes the research process easier for everyone, though it’s arguably not good for savvy consumers.

That’s because it means that these limited award seats can more easily be found by more people, and that increases the competition for these seats.

Most people don’t even realize you can redeem American miles on Japan Airlines, and for that matter wouldn’t even know how to search space themselves.

So there’s a tradeoff between the space being easier to search, and there now being more competition for those seats.

Japan Airlines 777 first class

Bottom line

All things considered I appreciate an airline that makes it easy to redeem miles through their website, so I commend American for this move. However, it’s not all good news, as there will no doubt be more competition for these seats now.

Are you happy to see American add Japan Airlines redemptions online?

(Tip of the hat to @xJonNYC)

  1. When I search, I get the awful new AA dynamic mileage pricing matrix including the “Coming soon” calendar…grr.

    From DFW.

  2. Ben — have you noticed any patterns with respect to JAL award space and when that space opens up? I sometimes see space 8+ months out, but it’s fairly limited. Does JAL typically open up more seats as the departure date nears?

  3. That this is a double-edged sword is a key insight. My preference is for these things to be as hard to book as possible, so the masses just let their points rot, preserving access to the inventory to the die hard points whores who bother with KVS and Expertflyer.

    Also helpful is that 3/4 of phone agents have no clue how to book any of this stuff either, generally insisting that either there is no space available or that the airline in question is even a partner. (Two different AA agents recently insisted that China Southern was not an Advantage partner). If you know that you know better than they do, and that you will eventually succeed if you just keep calling, you can always get the space you want. Most plebians are sufficiently discouraged by this all to just give up however.

  4. Definitely good news. I want to apply for the Alaska miles visa signature card and start earning Alaska miles.

  5. Yes, not so good. Awards will be held on AA for 5 days while they get their AS miles in order!

    I do, however, appreciate the “balanced” post @Lucky. One of your best in my opinion. QR and EY are good additions since they can’t also be booked on AS.


  6. Overall not good.The problem is that JAL now release seats 360 days out and AA at 331.F awards between Australia and the world are basically now snapped up by QFF members as they are online on the QFF site.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *