Japan Airlines has a fantastic first class product. Getting to Australia on miles, let alone for more than two passengers, is hard. So while there are only a subset of readers who will use this, it’s worth knowing when Japan Airlines award space becomes available for four or more passengers in first class between Tokyo and Sydney.
Award availability is wide open between Tokyo and Sydney after the peak Australian summer period.
In fact there’s award availability for four passengers which is half the cabin (some dates may have more space than that, and of course availability is even better for two passengers) nearly every day in both directions in April.
I don’t have a super pretty calendar of this for you because Award Nexus was erroring out doing BA.com searches this morning. But this calendar still gives you an idea.
Availability in JAL first to Sydney happens like this from time to time, first class opened wide up on the same route last August and in February. There’s not a lot of first class demand but JAL puts the Boeing 777-300ER on the route in high season.
American AAdvantage charges 60,000 miles for a one-way award between Australia and Japan. This is an award that didn’t go up with the March 22 AAdvantage devaluation.
Now, this may be of limited use to many of my readers although a not insignificant number of readers are actually based in Australia (and I have family there). American Airlines doesn’t let you route via Asia on a single award ticket between the US and Australia. Instead you’d have to book one award US-Asia and a second award Asia-Australia.
Alaska Airlines is a new partner of JAL and we should soon be able to redeem Mileage Plan miles for Japan Airlines. I’d guess we’ll be able to route US – Australia via Tokyo.
Japan Airlines miles are actually quite reasonable for this at 100,000 miles roundtrip.
Update, edited for clarity: As a general matter JAL does add fuel surcharges to awards, but only $2 to $4 for flights in and out of Japan (and not to Emirates awards currently though they have in the past).
Starwood Starpoints transfer but not instantaneously in fact it can take some time for the transfer so I wouldn’t use this route if you don’t already have JAL miles in your account (as the space could be gone by the time you get the points).
Cathay Pacific AsiaMiles, an American Express and Citi ThankYou Rewards transfer partner, charges 70,000 points one-way or 120,000 miles roundtrip plus fuel surcharges.
Search for Japan Airlines award space using the BA.com British Airways website, note that American’s website doesn’t show JAL award space.