April and May are a great time to visit Asia (especially Japan during the cherry blossoms) and AA and JAL are running joint reduced mileage award promotions. For those with AAdvantage miles, from April 6, 2012 to May 31, 2012 you can fly to Asia on American or Oneworld partner JAL in coach roundtrip for 40,000 miles. Normally these awards cost 50,000-70,000. Unfortunately business and first class awards are not included. You can fly from anywhere in North America (US, Canada, Mexico, Bahamas, Bermuda, Caribbean and Alaska but not Hawaii) and Asia, for just 40,000 miles plus taxes and fees up to $271 (not including an award processing fee).
However, the system is not pricing these awards out correctly. Initially the awards price out at 40,000 miles, but at final check-out it shows the normal saver amount, in my example, 50,000 miles. It seems like their systems are not fully synched so I recommend calling AA (and asking them to waive the phone booking fee since it’s their error.) If you want to book JAL flights, you will have to call anyway since they are not bookable online.
Hopefully this is fixed soon. I’m currently writing from Hong Kong and I highly recommend anyone who is itching for a trip and doesn’t mind longhaul flights in coach, to take advantage of this promotion and visit Asia. I did Beijing, Shanghai and Xian in January and Tokyo last June. Feel free to check out any of my trip reports for inspiration and let me know if you end up taking advantage of this offer!