Japan Airlines (JAL) have introduced a new product called the “Japan Explorer Pass” which allows customers to pre-purchase between 1 and 5 sectors of travel within Japan for a fixed fee regardless of sector length.
Japan Explorer Pass Cost
The cost of the pass is $90/£58/€81/¥10,800 per sector (which seems a bargain to me!) and sectors can be booked up to 72 hours prior to the scheduled departure time. That makes the pass extremely flexible.
Japan Explorer Pass Routes/Carriers
The pass is valid for travel on domestic flights operated by JAL and JTA (Japan Transocean Air) but, importantly, you don’t have to fly JAL to Japan to be eligible to purchase a pass.
From the route map JAL have provided it really looks like you can book flights to most (all?) major destinations in Japan (click to enlarge):
Japan Explorer Pass Booking
I decided to try out a dummy booking for a few days time (18 December) to see what availability was like….and the choice was surprisingly good:
And the price came out to exactly what the Japan Explorer Pass promises:
Compare that to what Kayak.com shows JAL are asking for the exact same flight for those not using the JAL Explore Pass:
This could be a huge money saver for visitors to Japan.
Japan Explorer Pass Eligibility
The Japan Explorer Pass is not available to residents of Japan but is offered to:
- residents outside Japan (including Japanese customers with permanent residences in overseas)
- customers holding international air tickets to and from Japan
For the time being, reservations are limited to JAL’s Americas, UK and Hong Kong websites…
…but the airline has confirmed that sales will be progressively expanded to all 26 regions which JAL serves with multilingual services.
Japan Explorer Pass Notes
- Ticket will be issued with an equivalent amount in the currency of the country of sale.
- These fares include the Japan Consumption Tax of JPY800 per sector.
- Passenger Facility Charge will be added to fares for flights departing from and arriving at Haneda, Narita, Chubu and Kitakyushu Airports.
- Reservation change is not permitted after ticket purchase. All tickets are non-refundable.
- Seat are limited and may not be available on all days or on all flights.
- Fares and Rules are subject to change. Please go through the Terms & Conditions below before purchase.
For anyone thinking of visiting Japan this could be a very affordable way of seeing a bit more of the country and, with bookings open up until 72 hours before departure, it would appear to give travelers a fair bit of flexibility too.