Japan Airlines Will Open Reservations 360 Days In Advance

Japan Airlines has just announced that they’ll be changing the start date for reservations for international flights.

As of April 1, 2019, Japan Airlines will start accepting international reservations 360 days in advance, rather than the current 330 days. This will apply to both revenue and award tickets.

The airline explains that this is because inbound demand from overseas countries has been on the rise every year, so this will enable people to plan their travel further in advance, including hotel reservations and other tours.

This change also comes just before Tokyo hosts the Olympics in 2020, when people will want to lock in reservations in advance even more than usual. Similarly, given the April start date, this will allow people to lock in flights for Japan’s very popular cherry blossom season, which typically starts in April.

In November 2017 Japan Airlines updated their international passenger service system, which created the framework for them being able to accept reservations further in advance. They’ll be updating their domestic system soon, which should then similarly allow bookings to be accepted further in advance.

Just a couple of days ago I wrote about when airlines open their award “calendars,” so this date change potentially has some interesting implications. Previously JAL was among the latest airlines to open their calendars, while now they’ll be among the first.

This means that Japan Airlines Mileage Bank members will have a “head start” when it comes to booking Japan Airlines awards. To look at a few of Japan Airlines’ popular partners:

  • British Airways Executive Club opens their calendar 355 days out
  • American AAdvantage opens their calendar 331 days out
  • Alaska Mileage Plan opens their calendar 330 days out

As you can see, British Airways members will have a leg up over American and Alaska members when it comes to snagging Japan Airlines award seats in advance.

Comments

  1. Will have to test in April but it may be possible to book some JAL awards with FlyingBlue 360 days out. No F though.

  2. Ugh. I was counting on JAL via Avios for the olympics but I know they’re gonna be taken up in the 5 days. Maybe now I transfer everything to JAL…

  3. I’m expecting my olympics flights to be stupid expensive. Considering flying to nearby for much cheaper before getting a separate final hop.

  4. That’s awesome. I have family in Tokyo who have a decent size home so I’ve been wanting to buy a ticket for the 2020 Olympics!

  5. As a follow up to Check Lesker’s comment, will those of us using avios or aa miles be any in disadvantage? 360days out, we can still call AA and have them search for a seat that opens up right? Once the schedule opens, their availability awards to partners remains the same. It’s not that they are *only* opening awards to mileage bank members @360 days, is that correct?

  6. @TheMonkeyTech – WRONG. No, AA can’t and won’t search that far ahead. Their system only sees 330 days out, period, and nothing exists in their system beyond that. By the time 330 days rolls around, all JL premium cabin seats will be long gone. This is a complete disaster for anyone who was hoping to use AA miles for travel on JL. It is effectively the end of JL availability, game over. The blogs will downplay it because they want to keep getting credit card referrals, and they don’t like bad news because it makes it harder for them to make money getting people to click their referral links, but this is a major disaster.

  7. Called AA this morning–my 15th call to them to book to Australia. I am inside the 330 days and guess what? AA has no seats with Cathay, Qantas or AA to release for award travel. Guess again what–and AA CSR’s have no idea–zero–when or if any AA award travel seats will be released. No idea. “You just have to keep calling”. So now I’m playing roulette to get seats overseas and nobody at AA knows a damn thing. It is infuriating and I wonder why I even bother with AA. Hopeless, they really don’t care.

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