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American Airlines and JAL Promo: Reduced Priced Awards to Asia

by on March 31, 2012 · 32 comments

in American, JAL, Oneworld

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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.

The awards show up at 20,000 “Special Saver” in the calendar

However, at the end it mis-prices to the standard saver award level

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!

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • Rich A

    Bummer, no business or first reduction!

  • Duc

    Can I buy one way ticket for 20,000 miles though?

  • ASen

    Is it anywhere in Asai? or just Japan?

  • thepointsguy

    Appears to be so

  • thepointsguy

    Anywhere in asia

  • Duc

    I just called AA and they told me that it has to be a round-trip ticket
    Plus there is no availability from May 20th to May 31st
    So good luck finding some tickets

  • Mario

    That’s a bit of a hike in Y. Nevertheless, a phenomenal deal considering Delta charges 40000 miles for a domestic trip.

  • JA

    I find AA availability to be very poor as of late, so good luck finding seats!

  • Johnny

    I have a lot of BA points can I use them to take advantage of this on AA?

  • Marc

    I got excited when I saw the headline, I was hoping they were bringing back the promo they ran for SFO-HND and YVR-NRT this past winter. Not as good a deal, but at least it is broader in terms of airports. JAL was releasing more seats for that promo close in, so keep checking if you can do a shorter notice trip.

  • TravelShooter

    Possible Sunday question, or if someone can answer now:

    I have 33K AA miles.
    I want to take advantage of 40K Asia rt promo.
    I have lots of points sitting with various Chase & Citi credit cards.
    Are there any AA-related point redemtion promos currently.
    I already know that Chase Sapphire Preferred offers 20% discount on point transfers.

    Also a tip: I just transferred all my Chase Freedom points to Chase Sapph. Pref.
    so that they would enjoy 20% discount, too.

  • http://michaelwtravels.blogspot.com/ Michael W Travels

    Awesome deal! I wish the offer was good until the end of June. Oh well.

  • PJ

    you mixed up Chase with Citi : two different worlds AA is Citi Sapphire Preferred is Chase. points from CHase does NOT flow into AA on the one world alliance camp.

    your cheap solution is to apply Citi AA and get in 30K really quick . if you can meet SPEND ( not too high) before the 1st statement cut you got a chance.. or get 7K trasnfeered from somebody and pay a fee. do keep in mind tho: AA’s fee @271 does bring up the total cost not far away from United which normally costs 65K . Or your friend can transfer 7000 points to you for a fee and you pay him back with UR rewards ..UR points has no expiration and works as 100 % trasnferrable to other chase UR accounts or trasnfer partners.

    Chase 20% discount works this way: UR points in the Sapphire Preferred can be used as cash each [email protected] when you use UR to buy travel items.. well 50K can get 2 round trip SFO-NYC non stop which often cost about $1200 when you WILL someday need it.. A Hyatt stay @8K is cheaper than Motel 6 around .. so why bother with paying with points ?

  • Heybull111

    What are the stopover rules going from SFO, can I stop over in an Asian city in route? Thank you

  • TravelShooter

    Yikes, I tried correcting Chase Citi, but “Save edit” tool not working!

    Thanks for info.

  • Xen

    Hi ,
    I am flying from Kansas city to Mumbai in April end and have booked award flight (outbound business and inbound economy). They charged 67K for one way business and 45K for economy. So does this mean I may get something less than this with this promotion? And I am travelling AA+Etihad on flight.
    Appreciate any information you could provide if that is goin to save any of my miles. I checked with AA and they have no idea what I am talking about this promotion.

  • BartNY

    I think you can get 3k miles by signing up for Netflix ! Only 4k more to go…

  • Ram Kashyap

    I am not able to find any sort of availability from the North East to Mumbai/Bangalore/Chennai. Any better idea to check availability for these routes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kenny-Huang/501757084 Kenny Huang

    wow i am in HK too! which nice hotel r u staying at this time?

  • Adam

    no stopover allowed, must be RT and all on AA to qualify. I got seats but had to call and they wouldnt wave the 25 booking fee. For 40k outta the East Coast I think it’s a great deal..Economy or not. I went to Toko in May of 2011 and loved it. Can’t wait to go back this May. Hotels are super cheap right now also.

  • Sean

    I found returns from PVG over Memorial Day weekend.

  • Adam

    correction on the RT comment. You should be able to do an open-jaw but the problem is getting AA flights. I wanted to fly in to HND but there wasn’t a AA or JAL flight back to the US from SFO.

  • Sean

    I hope they do this again next year, when JAL is flying SAN-NRT (nonstop 787 service begins December 2012)

    I’m gonna pass on this one

  • John

    I just booked a trip to Japan through American Airlines with reward miles a week and a half ago. Do you know if I have a chance to cancel my previous booking and make a new booking under the current 40k miles/rd trip fare assuming the seats and flights are the same?

  • thepointsguy

    You can always call to ask, but they’ll probably charge you a reticketing fee

  • dee seiffer

    I am in Kyoto right now, having just taken the bullet train today from Tokyo. My daughter is at Kyoto University for her junior year. So, we planned our visit during Sakura (cherry blossoms). I can only tell you about the hotel situation here until April 11, but there are no hotel rooms to be had in Kyoto. I had to book months ago and my first choice of hotels were full already. It would be a good idea to check for hotel rooms before you commit airline miles if you are thinking of coming during Cherry Blossoms.

    Also, when I was booking my daughter’s return trip (NRT – JFK) for late July/early August, there were only 3 days out of a month that had any coach seats for miles… and they wanted 50,000 miles for one way. I went ahead and spent the 62,500 miles to bring her back first class.

  • Precision123

    how much are fees and taxes all together ? 271+25 ?

  • dee seiffer

    I couldn’t figure out a way to do it between JFK – NRT. I was trying to use my BA miles instead of my AA miles to get my daughter back and forth a couple of times. In my experience, since BA flies to NRT (via London w/ >$700 in fees, 21 hr flight), it wouldn’t let me use the BA miles on an AA flight (direct between JFK & NRT, $50 fee, 14 hr flight)

    I’d love to hear an expert’s opinion of how to do it.

  • thepointsguy

    You sometimes have to call to book AA awards. Or you can trick the system by making it search for another date that has no BA available routing and then searching +- 7 days from there and you should be able to have the online engine pull the partner space

  • Adam

    out of TYS 75$ (the included the 25 ticketing fee)

  • mark

    you may want to blur your aadvantage number in the second photo

  • Chris

    If i were to fly LAX-NRT-Manila thru AA and JAL would that still cost me 40k AA miles if i call for booking?

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