Japan Airlines: Wide Open Business Class Availability throughout Asia till the end of 2022

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Japan Airlines has an incredible amount of Sky Suite Business Class Saver Award availability through the end of 2022.  Flights are available out of Seattle, Los Angeles, Dallas, Chicago, Boston and New York to most if not all of JAL’s route map.  In most cases there is availability of 2-4 seats.

The JAL Sky Suite III

Japan’s borders are closed to visitors through the end of February, so this might seem like an awkard time to be planning travel, and it is.  It’s important to be aware that any travel right now, especially international, is somewhat speculative and should be treated as such. That said, I’ve never seen JAL Sky Suites this wide open and all of the award fares are easily cancellable. There is almost daily, multi-seat availability bookable from the multiple US airports that JAL services to almost their entire Asian and Pacific route map.

New York City to Singapore?  Here’s availability for four using Alaska Mileage Plan in September (which has the option of a free stopover in Tokyo):

Are you a newly-minted AA Quadrillionare because of your end-of-year charity activity with SimplyMiles?  How about Dallas to Delhi, 23 hours in JAL Business, for 70,000 AAdvantage miles?  Here’s availability in September for four seats:

Same thing on AA for Dallas to Delhi

The list goes on and on.  I couldn’t come up with a city combination from the US to Asia serviced by JAL that didn’t have ample availability.  JAL operates 777 and 787’s out of the US in both their older Sky Suites I + II (Apex Suites) and the newer Sky Suite III, which is on 787’s only.  Upgraded Points has a terrific post that breaks down all of the different options by route.

How to Book

There are multiple ways to book these JAL flights:

  • Alaska : 60K one-way to North Asia one way (with the option of a free stopover in Japan or possibly Seattle)
  • Alaska 65K one-way to South Asia, plus add a free stopover each way
  • American60K one-way to/from North Asia (no stopover)
  • American70K one-way to/from South Asia (no stopover)
  • JAL : Has the best rates at 50K one-way to Japan, but they don’t partner with any transferrable currencies (outside of Marriott) so miles can be tricky to come by.

Quick Thoughts

From the actual seats, to the catering and service, JAL has some of the most enjoyable Business and First Class product out there.  I’ve loved every experience.  I’ve never seen business availability on JAL this wide-open for such a long window.  If you’re planning ( or hoping for?) a trip to Asia this year, the flexible cancellation rules of both AA and AS make this a great option.

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Speck

Is anyone suddenly having difficulty pulling up JAL award availability on the AA website? Flights and awards that were plentiful yesterday seem like they all disappeared…

Jeremy

I had a first award on hold from LAX-HND on 12/19 on AA. Canceled the hold to try and book on AS, but it didn’t go back into inventory

Kevin

Hi, just a heads-up about an experience I had last week. I tried to book JAL First from SFO-HND-ITM (osaka) with a stopover in Tokyo. The Alaska site logic allowed me to put it together but it errored out when I tried to purchase. I tried several times, ultimately just booked the one-way SFO-HND. Then I chatted with a very helpful and diligent Alaska agent who tried to add the HND-ITM segment but it wouldn’t take. She conferred with the JAL liaison who said JAL was not allowing stopover itineraries to be ticketed right now. Given how many times I tried and failed on the website (using different dates), I’m inclined to believe they were telling the truth. If anyone *is* able to use Alaska miles to book a JAL itinerary with a stopover right now, that would be great to know!

Kevin

Oh wow, thanks for the update! I was looking for late October. Maybe I’ll chat with them again. Perhaps it was a brief glitch in the system.

Aviv

Any tips for subsequently upgrading a bus class award to a first class seat?

Speck

Can anyone confirm if transit/layovers are allowed for foreigners? Both now/after February?

rick b

Yes. I just flew via Tokyo to Thailand a month ago. In fact, at this point pretty much any trip to SE Asia will take you via Tokyo. No one else seems to be flying.

Ron

I can’t see any availability towards the end of December. None whatsoever. Availability seems to dry up around Dec 15. Is that a function of JAL has not load any availability or what else?

Doug

As someone who already has a flight booked to Japan in July (first leg of an ANA RTW trip), I think the chances of Japan opening up anytime soon is slim to nil.

Drew

And even if they do open their borders, you’ll most likely have to quarantine for 10-14 days, which is the proper thing to do for a pandemic.

BonvoyedAgain

Removed

Last edited 3 months ago by BonvoyedAgain
Victor

In the AA Website, I am checking the same DFW-DEL Route in Sep 2022. I am unable to see any JAL Availability. Does JAL availability actually show in the AA Booking website or do you have to call?

Ab Ram

+1 The 70K seen there is possibly a QR award. Don’t see any JAL listed

Art_Czar

I was under the impression that AA no longer allows members to route US-India awards via Asia 1 or Asia 2.

YY Fung

Not really thru end of2022. The award only opens up to 12/14 Wed now thru AS.
If I see any 12/16 onwards, I would change my spring break to those Christmas!

Jim Lovejoy

Originally I thought it was because Alaska will only allow you to book 331 days in advance.
However BA allows booking 355? days and advance, and availability dries up with them after mid December too.

James

The AA option appears to be available out of SFO as well (eg SFO to NRT). How does JAL business compare to ANA business?

Drew

Simular but JAL only serves one obligatory meal in business. If you want another meal like breakfast, you have to ask for it. At least that’s how I remembered it, pre-pandemic.

Jimbob

My family did AA over and JAL back both in Business Class and my wife is from Japan. We both found AA hard product to be at least as good and the service was better, which was shocking as I have had too many bad AA experiences to count. Just one trip so can’t draw a lot of conclusions, but I would not dismiss AA out of hand. As Drew says, similar.

Ben

What’s the best way to book this with Chase or Amex points? BA is charging 95,000ish Avios for DFW-NRT. Any good sweet spots for transpacific flights with the oneworld programs that parter with Chase/Amex/Cap One?

Gene

The BEST way is with 60,000 AA miles purchased for $250. 😉

Pablo

Did you purchase on the AA site?

Gene

SimplyMiles, last month…

Billy Bob

In like Flynn.

Matan

Hey! Not as cheap as the mentioned currencies, but I often use Asiamiles (Cathay Pacific) transferred from Amex since I usually have a healthy stash of MRs. I just booked a 1 way in May from SFO to HND. I believe it was 75k.

WrightHI

<i>The list goes on and on. I couldn’t come up with a city combination from the US to Asia serviced by JAL that didn’t have ample availability. </i>

Reminder that HNL is a US airport.

Kalboz

Anything for using United miles?

Kalboz

Thanks!

Jay

Noooo my hidden secret is out! 😉

Eric

Anything to South Korea with JAL?

Jay

I see availability to GMP

Speck

The options I’m seeing to ICN are:
– Flying to Japan either through JFK or ORD
– Might have to fly into NRT and transit to HND or can fly straight into HND
– and then from HND to GMP

Last edited 3 months ago by Speck
Drew

Transiting between NRT and HND is not an option because you will not be allowed to exit the airports without a 10-day quaratine.

Speck

Oh snap! Thank you for letting me know. I was close to booking haha