You Can Now Book Japan Airlines Awards Using Flying Blue Websites
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Most airlines using Flying Blue as their loyalty program (most notably Air France and KLM) are members of the SkyTeam alliance, but some of the program’s partners are not. One example is Japan Airlines, a Tokyo-based carrier that belongs to the Oneworld alliance. While it’s not uncommon for airlines to have codeshare and frequent flyer agreements with airlines in other alliances, it’s fairly rare that you can book award flights between cross-alliance partners online.
Earlier this year I wrote about the amazing award flight opportunities when using the Japan Airlines Mileage Bank award engine to book Air France-operated flights — to the tune of 63,000 JAL miles for round-trip business from the US to France. During a search this morning of the Flying Blue website, it appears the opposite is now possible. I found a result I’ve never seen before with Flying Blue: the ability to use miles to book Japan Airlines flights online.
Here’s an example of a nonstop flight from Osaka (KIX) to Los Angeles (LAX):
It appears Flying Blue adds the same fuel surcharges to JAL flights as you would see when booking through British Airways. Tokyo-Narita (NRT) to Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) incurs an unwelcome $185 in fees in addition to 46,000 miles for a one-way economy award through Flying Blue:
In my searches, I found that any space available on the British Airways search engine displayed for Japan Airlines on the Flying Blue Engine as well. For Tokyo to Dallas on the same date, British Airways requires a more tolerable 30,000 Avios but the same $185:
This opens up some interesting possibilities. If you really want an oddball award ticket, here’s an Air France-issued, Japan Airlines- and Delta-operated, mixed cabin itinerary from Tokyo to New York-JFK connecting in Dallas. I also do not recall many mixed cabin options ever showing on Flying Blue, so this certainly caught my eye (in addition to the fact that it’s a single ticket with a JAL flight connecting to a Delta one):
Tokyo to New York is also pricing at 46,000 miles in economy, so it appears that flights from Japan to anywhere in the contiguous US is the same amount of Flying Blue miles on Japan Airlines:
Short haul flights within Asia are also possible, but domestic flights operated by JAL do not appear bookable online after trying 5-6 different routes.
There’s one major downside here: it appears that only economy award flights are available online. No matter which route and date I searched, Flying Blue never displayed a Japan Airlines business class seat, even when other Oneworld search engines (like British Airways and Qantas) show JAL business space available.
Flying Blue shouldn’t be your first stop if you want to book award flights on Japan Airlines. Using Alaska miles and American miles don’t carry fuel surcharges on JAL flights and charge reasonable mileage amounts for these tickets. However, those currencies can be difficult to come by, while Flying Blue is a transfer partner of Amex, Capital One, Chase, Citi and Marriott (and even runs occasional transfer bonuses). There isn’t spectacular value at stake with JAL now on Flying Blue’s different websites, but I am never going to complain when another airline partner is added to online capabilities, especially if business class results are added in the near future.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,650
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
- Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
- Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.