The true energy of factors and miles isn’t simply utilizing Delta SkyMiles to fly Delta or AAdvantage miles for a free flight on American. It comes if you leverage the partnerships between totally different airways to e-book flights which may appear out of attain – and save miles within the course of.
Working example: You need to use your American AAdvantage miles to fly to Tokyo and onward on Japan Airways, the most effective carriers on the planet. And with flights in enterprise class for simply 60,000 AAdvantage miles every means – and an additional 20,000 to fly in First Class – you possibly can’t ignore this chance.
Whether or not you guide a regular seat in financial system or splurge for top notch, you will get more room and benefit from the lengthy flight by reserving with Japan Airways, lovingly referred to as JAL. Learn on to find out how you are able to do it.
All About Japan Airways
So why the fuss about Japan Airways? Why undergo the difficulty quite than simply discovering a flight on American, which you already know?
Once you’re flying 10-plus hours throughout the Pacific Ocean, spacious seats are key. And nobody provides you extra room to stretch out than JAL. Even in financial system, you’ll get extra legroom and a wider seat than you’ll discover on any competing airways.
JAL calls these “Sky Wider Financial system” seats, they usually reside as much as the identify. At 19 inches broad, these seats are considerably broad than what American itself flies on most of the similar routes, the place you’ll get 16 inches to 18 inches of width. It might not sound like a lot, however belief us: You’ll treasure that additional area. It means you don’t have to scrunch inward to keep away from rubbing shoulders together with your neighbor.
You additionally get 34 inches of legroom – probably the most of any airline flying throughout the Pacific. For a lot of airways on even these long-haul flights, you’ll get 31-32 inches at most.
Up in enterprise class, these aren’t simply seats: They’re SkySuites. Not solely do you get a lie-flat mattress with countless legroom in your personal little cocoon of privateness, however you’ll even be consuming excellent chef-curated meals with impeccable service. And at simply 60,000 AAdvantage miles to fly one-way from the U.S. to Japan, this might simply be the perfect enterprise class seat out there at that worth.
After which there’s Japan Airways First Class. Whereas not the most recent or glitziest first-class cabin on the earth, JAL nonetheless delivers in First Class with spacious and cozy seats, a number of the greatest meals you’ll eat within the air and excellent service. And for those who’re into sipping free champagne (let’s be trustworthy, who isn’t?), JAL serves probably the most costly bottles out there within the sky: Cristal. And all that for simply 80,000 AAdvantage miles every approach.
You possibly can hop on a JAL flight from eight totally different U.S. hub cities to Tokyo. And when reserving via American Airways, you’ll be able to usually join from any U.S. airport with AA service to certainly one of these JAL outposts for a similar quantity of miles.
We don’t have to inform you why it is best to go to Tokyo – it’s one of the crucial widespread cities on the earth. Learn our information to Tokyo, however think about hopping on a shinkansen high-speed practice right down to Kyoto or farther south.
Thrifty Tip: Unsure which of Tokyo’s two main airports to fly into? Head for Tokyo-Haneda (HND) when you can – it’s a lot nearer to the town than far-flung Tokyo-Narita (NRT).
The Fundamentals of Reserving JAL
It’s straightforward to ebook a few of American Airways’ different companions utilizing AA miles. Even Qatar Airways was just lately added to the web reserving engine. JAL makes you’re employed for it.
You possibly can’t merely head to AA.com and sort in your dates to tug up flights on JAL utilizing your AAdvantage miles. However these award tickets are nonetheless bookable by way of American. Consider it as a hidden secret.
At simply 35,000 AAdvantage miles every method, flights in financial system are fairly straightforward to seek out. In case you’re aiming for enterprise class at 60,000 miles every means or first-class for 80,000 miles, you could have to be versatile. Discovering these seats might be spotty and unpredictable. Usually, one of the best window appears to be just some weeks earlier than departure – however that doesn’t imply you possibly can’t lock in these seats earlier.
Discovering Japan Airways Award Seats
We use a two-step course of to zero in on the flights that work.
Begin with Alaska Airways, one other companion of each American and JAL. Head to AlaskaAir.com and enter a date that might work in your travels and certainly one of JAL’s U.S. hubs. Don’t fear but about your connecting flight inside the U.S. if it’s essential work in a flight to that departure metropolis – we’ll deal with that later. Remember to click on the “Use Miles” field on the homepage earlier than beginning your search.
You’ll get some preliminary outcomes for that one date, however right here’s the place Alaska is useful: Click on the Calendar view.
This manner, you possibly can pull up a full month of availability of award area for JAL flights. That’s not out there on another websites. And for those who’re attempting to find a seat in enterprise or firstclass, this long-term view is important to discovering the award ticket you need.
Right here’s a take a look at enterprise class awards for the remainder of February 2019. The clean squares imply that date is obtainable for the reserving class you need. As you’ll be able to see, it’s comparatively straightforward to snag a enterprise class seat for the subsequent few weeks.
Farther out into the spring, it’s not fairly really easy.
Click on by way of on the date that seems to work and ensure it’s, in reality, a Japan Airways flight that’s obtainable.
Now, simply because Alaska Airways can see this award area doesn’t imply you’re going to have the ability to guide it together with your American AAdvantage miles. It’s time to double-check. For that, we head over to British Airways at BA.com. If British Airways can see the identical seat you discovered on Alaska, you need to virtually all the time have the ability to ebook it via American.
Log in or create an account, and click on “E-book a flight with Avios.” That is the half the place you enter your connecting flight from your house airport if it is advisable get to the JAL outpost. Enter your own home airport, your vacation spot in Tokyo, and the date you discovered via Alaska.
With some luck, you’ll get a display like this. The seats you discovered ought to be obtainable! If not, head again to Alaska and 0 in on one other date that works.
Write these flight numbers down. You’ll want them for the ultimate, and most enjoyable, step.
Reserving Your JAL Flight with American Airways
You’re truly going to wish to select up your telephone and make a name to make this journey occur.
Armed with the flight quantity – or numbers – you now know can be found, ring up American Airways at 1-800-882-8880 and ask to make an award reserving. When you get an agent on the telephone, clarify that you simply’d wish to make an award reserving on an American companion airline that isn’t out there on-line. Give that agent the date and flight quantity(s) that you simply discovered above.
Most AA brokers are fairly expert and gained’t have an issue discovering the flights you need. In the event that they strike out, you could have to prod them in the best course. Listed here are the fare courses brokers have to seek for when making an attempt to ebook JAL awards.
- Financial system: T
- Enterprise: U
- First: Z
In case your agent continues to be struggling, don’t be afraid to hold up and name once more. Some brokers are higher than others, in any case. As soon as they’ve discovered the fare, they’ll deduct the factors out of your account and cost the charge to one in every of your playing cards – simply $5.60 in case you’re leaving the U.S., however barely extra when departing Japan. Make certain the agent doesn’t attempt to cost you a $40 telephone reserving payment – these are only for itineraries that may also be booked on-line.
As soon as that’s settled, you’re completed! It’s time to pick your seat and begin planning your journey.
Incomes American Airways Miles
Along with partnerships like JAL, the most effective half about AAdvantage miles is how straightforward they’re to earn. Actually, it’s by no means been simpler.
The AAdvantage Aviator Pink World Elite Mastercard at present has an impressive bonus. You possibly can earn 60,000 AAdvantage miles by making a single buy – regardless of how a lot – and paying the cardboard’s $95 annual charge. Meaning you might purchase a pack of gum, pay the charge and have sufficient miles to fly to Tokyo in enterprise class.
Apply Right here (for full disclosure, this brings you straight to Barclays and never certainly one of our affiliate hyperlinks)
Need much more AAdvantage miles? You’re in luck, as a result of American has partnered with two totally different banks to supply co-branded bank cards. You may additionally add to your stash with the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Choose Card, which is providing 50,000 miles after spending $2,500 on the cardboard within the first three months.
To study extra concerning the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Choose Card, go to the Airline Credit score Playing cards part of our Prime Credit score Playing cards web page.
It might appear daunting, however workarounds like these aren’t troublesome – they usually’re value the additional effort. There are few higher methods to make use of AAdvantage miles than to hitch a extra snug journey on an awesome airline like Japan Airways.
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Editorial Observe: Any opinions, analyses, evaluations, or suggestions expressed on this article are these of the writer’s alone, and haven’t been reviewed, authorised, or in any other case endorsed by any card issuer.