Update: Still plenty of availability at 2AM EST!
JAL, an American Airlines partner and One World member, has released a lot of its awesome First Class Suite availability, that must be bookable with AA miles. While you can’t search it on AA.com, you can search on the British Airline website, but only if you enjoy death by a thousand cuts. A much better, and probably more reliable way to search for availability is on JAL website. It is a little confusing though, so this little guide will show you how not to waste you time with the British Airline website.
First, go to the JAL website (choose the Americas if it doesn’t land you properly). Click JAL Mileage Bank tab, and sign up if you have not already. You will receive your number immediately, and will be able to do your dummy booking in no time. JAL does not require you to have any miles in your account to do the search.
Next, click: JAL International Award Ticket Reservation
Pick your cities and choose First. JAL flies from New York, Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Vancouver.
Since I’m based in New York, this is where I start. YMMV, obviously. You can only book the flights with the circle. The flights shown with a diamond thingy are waitlisted and can’t be booked with AAdvantage miles. Unfortunately, you can’t tell JAL how many seats you want at this point, you have to wait for JAL…
… to tell YOU! The number 1 below means there is only one seat available for each flight. A bummer, unless you are a loner, like me.
If you need two seats, keep looking and you might get lucky. And btw, it goes without saying that you won’t need to pay the fuel surcharge with AAdvantage miles.
Remember that since you’re using AAdvantage miles, you don’t have to fly roundtrip. You are booking two separate flights anyway, so feel free to play with the departure and arrival cities until you find a match. Don’t play too long, though, because these awards will be gone soon!
I only checked flights to Tokyo (I don’t have the whole day, you know), but it doesn’t really matter where in Japan you land. Domestic JAL flights cost peanuts anyway, both in terms of Avios and cash.
So, here you have it. Write down your flights and feed them to an AA agent. A one-way award ticket will cost you 62,500 miles, and since you can’t book JAL over the phone, they should waive the $25 fee. And you can always put your reservation on hold for 5 days.
HT to One Mile at a Time: A lot of bloggers have written about it, but I think Lucky was first.
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