Japan Airlines postpones its ‘free round-trip flights’ contest due to coronavirus

May 3, 2020

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Update as of May 5, 2020: Due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has halted travel worldwide, Japan Airlines has temporarily stopped accepting applications for its Win a Trip with JAL promotion, as reported by No Mas Coach.

The promotion offered up to 100,000 complimentary seats on JAL domestic routes to up to 50,000 visitors to Japan during the summer of 2020 in conjunction with the Tokyo Summer Olympics. The Games have been postponed until summer 2021.

According to the FAQ on JAL’s website, those with tickets already may still use them, but any tickets provided as part of the campaign cannot be changed. 

As a reminder, Japan has closed its border to U.S. citizens for the time being. And that’s in addition to the standing Level 4 travel advisory issued by the US State Department urging U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel.

JAL says it will announce when it will start accepting applications again on its website once decided.

Japan Airlines (JAL) recently announced its Win a Trip with JAL promotion, which will offer up to 100,000 complimentary seats on JAL domestic routes to up to 50,000 visitors to Japan this summer — although passengers won’t get to choose the exact destination. If you plan to visit Japan this summer, here’s what you need to know to take advantage of this promotion.

Related: Your guide to attending the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo

You must be visiting Japan between June 1, 2020 and October 31, 2020, and be available to travel on the complimentary domestic flights between July 1, 2020 and September 30, 2020. All domestic flights will depart from and return to Tokyo Haneda (HND), Osaka Itami (ITM) or Osaka Kansai (KIX).

Applications will open in late February 2020 to all JAL Mileage Bank members who reside outside Japan. When you apply, JAL will show you four possible destinations. If you don’t like these destinations, you can refresh your search to see four different destinations. If you plan to travel with others, you should apply together as a group of up to four people to ensure you can travel to the same destination on the same dates.

When you apply, you’ll be able to choose from three or five departure and arrival time slots. You’ll also be able to find sightseeing tips and information on local specialties. Once you apply, JAL will tell you which destination you’ll go to within three days of your application.

If you plan to take advantage of this promotion, be aware of the following important details:

  • There is a limit on the number of applications per day
  • There is a limit on the number of new searches per day
  • Passengers must be JAL Mileage Bank members (Overseas Region members only)
  • Residence must be outside Japan — passenger must hold a passport issued by a country other than Japan, or a Japanese passport holder with the right of permanent residence of a country other than Japan.
  • When boarding, you may be asked to present proof that you visited Japan during the specified period (such as a copy of an international flight ticket or eTicket)
  • Flights depart from / return to Tokyo (Haneda) and Osaka (Itami / Kansai) only
  • You cannot apply again if you cancel (for personal reasons) after the application is complete
  • There are a limited number of seats available for Win a Trip with JAL, so in some cases no destinations will be shown

If you’re traveling within Japan during other periods — or want to select your destination — domestic flights in Japan can often be booked on budget carriers for very little cost. Or, if you want to fly on Japan Airlines, you can purchase a JAL Japan Explorer Pass or use American Airlines miles to book domestic flights in Japan for just 7,500 miles each way on most routes. Alternatively, you could also get great value using United miles to fly on ANA.

Visiting Japan soon? Check out the following guides while planning your trip:

Featured photo by yongyuan/Getty Images.

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