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Possible/Worth it to change award?
Hi – my wife and I are going to Tokyo this fall and took advantage of saver level awards after watching our miles get devalued over the course of the past few years.
On the way home we are flying ANA First Class booked with United + UR… had considered Korean Air for less but valued the direct flight and the day the award was available.
On the way to Tokyo we are using American Miles to fly business on JAL (in a 777-300er). According to ExpertFlyer there are 5 open seats in JAL first for that flight but no award space available. While their business looks really nice, if award space opens up close to the flight:
1) Does American allow you to redeem more miles and switch to first?
2) Is JAL first worth the extra miles vs business?
3) Expertflyer doesn’t seem to allow us to search award space for JAL or set alerts – does anyone else have this problem and should I periodically check BA’s site for availability?
1) Yes, with American as long as the origin and destination airports remain the same, you’re allowed to make changes. In this case it should just be some more miles and maybe a little more in taxes.
2) First is pretty much always better than business. But I’ve not flown either so maybe someone else can comment.
3) Yes, BA is the place to go for looking for space. Though you might able to find it on Alaska as well.
[USER=184]@MidSouth Skier[/USER] is spot on with her answers. I’ve not flown JAL business or first but I hear that F is absolutely fantastic so I would definitely go for it if the space becomes available. You wont be disappointed if you remain in Business class though. JAL awards do show up on Alaska, just search segment by segment. Alaska’s search also shows AA saver award space, if you need that as well.
The flights are direct from ORD to NRT and back so no need to worry about changing connecting flights. I guess it’s only 20k a person difference in American miles for a 12.5 hour flight which seems reasonable. Given how hard it’s gotten to use the miles if availability for 2 pops up we’ll probably jump on it before they get devalued even more. I know we’ll have a great time in Business but it will be fun to get JAL first and ANA first comparison in the same trip.
Two seats might not be available at the same time. You may want to have a discussion about whether you’re willing to fly in separate cabins in case a second seat does not open up.
I was monitoring space on that flight awhile back for a friend’s flight in October. Never did see more than one business class seat though I stopped looking once my friend booked it. Can always hope they’ll open up space at the last minute.
Yeah we jumped on the seats when a site (I think it was this one) posted that JAL had released a large amount of seats (2 a day or so) through September back in January. They went really quickly. I felt fortunate to snag two business seats on a day that worked for us. I don’t really expect more than one First seat to open up unless it’s the week before departure… I’ll keep an eye on upcoming flights to see if that happens – I’ve heard Cathay does it but not sure about JAL.
I wanted to follow up on this. We were monitoring BA’s website for the flight and the first seats opened up for award availability. Jumped on it and grabbed the last two!
I did notice that AA opened up quite a bit of biz saver space on their own metal for this route.