In late September, Japan Airlines formally announced that they’ll be launching flights to Seattle as of March 31, 2019. The airline will operate the route daily using a Boeing 787-8, with the following schedule:
JL68 Tokyo Narita to Seattle departing 6:00PM arriving 11:00AM
JL67 Seattle to Tokyo Narita departing 2:20PM arriving 4:30PM (+1 day)
JAL is using their most updated version of the 787-8 for the route, featuring just 186 seats, including 30 business class seats and 156 economy seats. In business class JAL has Apex Suites, which are among my favorite business class seats out there, so this will be an excellent product.
Anyway, this new flight is bookable as of today, for anyone who is interested in taking it. More importantly, award availability is wide open — I see two business class award seats and at least four economy award seats on just about every single flight between March 31 and the end of the schedule (which runs through October as of this point).
This is a phenomenal way to redeem miles for travel in an exceptional business class product. Generally speaking your best bet is to redeem Alaska Mileage Plan or American AAdvantage miles.
If redeeming Alaska Mileage Plan miles:
- A one-way business class ticket to North Asia costs 60,000 miles, and you can have a free stopover in Tokyo
- A one-way business class award to South Asia costs 65,000 miles, and you can have a free stopover in Tokyo
If redeeming American AAdvantage miles:
- A one-way business class ticket to North Asia costs 60,000 miles, though no stopovers are allowed
- A one-way business class award to South Asia costs 70,000 miles, though no stopovers are allowed
Regardless of which airline you book through, you can include positioning flights to Seattle on Alaska Airlines at no extra cost.
Seattle is seeing a lot of transpacific growth in 2019, as Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, and Singapore Airlines are all adding flights there. This should also be great news for those looking to redeem miles, since this will open up lots of new award options.
Japan Airlines has one of my favorite transpacific business class products, so this is a great opportunity to fly with them.
Anyone plan to redeem miles for this new JAL route?