You Can Now Book Japan Airlines (JAL) Awards On AA.com


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One of the few things that American Airlines has improved over the past few years is the ability to book partner awards though AA.com.

There was a time (in the not too distant past) where Alaska Airlines and British Airways were just about the only partners whose awards could be reliably booked via the American Airlines website – now we have 17 different partner airlines to choose from on AA.com.

The latest addition to American’s online stable is Japan Airlines (JAL) and although it doesn’t yet appear in the list of airlines that can be booked with AAdvantage miles on AA.com

…it doesn’t take more than a quick award flight search (on a route which JAL operates) to find the new awards:

JAL is an airline I happen to like quite a bit, its Business Class is solid and although I don’t really understand why some people get so excited about the Champagne served onboard, JAL First Class can be a very relaxing place to pass a flight.

More importantly, AAdvantage awards on JAL can offer great value.

The screenshot posted above shows that Business Class awards between New York and Tokyo can be booked for just 60,000 miles each way (not bad considering the length of the journey) and there are multiple other options that are well worth considering.

Example One-Way Business Class Awards

  • Hawaii – Japan: 52,500 miles
  • Continental USA & Canada – Asia Region 1*: 60,000 miles
  • Continental USA & Canada – Asia Region 2*: 70,000 miles
  • Europe – Japan: 75,000 miles
  • Asia Region 1* – Asia Region 2*: 30,000 miles
  • Asia Region 1* – Middle East: 40,000 miles
  • Asia Region 1* – South Pacific: 40,000 miles

Example One-Way First Class Awards

  • Continental USA & Canada – Asia Region 1*: 80,000 miles
  • Continental USA & Canada – Asia Region 2*: 110,000 miles
  • Europe – Japan: 90,000 miles
  • Asia Region 1* – Asia Region 2*: 40,000 miles
  • Asia Region 1* – Middle East: 50,000 miles

*Region Definitions:

Asia Region 1

  • Japan
  • South Korea

Asia Region 2

  • Brunei
  • Cambodia
  • China
  • Hong Kong
  • Indonesia
  • Malaysia
  • Myanmar
  • Philippines
  • Singapore
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam

I know that some people will see the addition of JAL awards to AA.com as a negative as it means that more people will now be able to access them with ease (making them scarcer) …but I don’t really care about that – I’m happy to see JAL awards on AA.com.

I’ve never enjoyed the experience of searching for award availability on the JAL website or, worse yet, the British Airways website, while I find AA.com incredibly easy to use.

As long as the older version of the AA.com award search remains visible (and usable) it’s easy and quick to see a whole month’s worth of award availability with just a few clicks of a mouse.

Sadly the search isn’t entirely foolproof.

AA.com doesn’t allow users to limit the search to specific airlines so, on routes where more than one American Airlines partner is offering award availability (like the Tokyo London route shown above), the 30-view will show award availability across all airlines.

When you drill down to the results you may well find that it’s not actually JAL that’s offering award availability on the date you selected:

Still, this is still the best search option available for anyone looking for JAL award availability so I suspect that even those looking to use other currencies (like Alaska Miles) will be heading to AA.com to find awards.

Bottom Line

Ignoring the fact that JAL awards may now become slightly harder to find (we’ll have to wait and see just how much harder it becomes to find them) I’m pleased to see the airline added to the list of partners whose awards can now be booked on AA.com – how do you feel about it?

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