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How to find AAdvantage Award Seats on Japan Airlines

Yesterday I wrote about the 50% reduced mileage awards from San Francisco and Vancouver to Tokyo.  This is a really great offer.   Especially the Business class redemptions: It’s just 50,000 AAdvantage Miles  round-trip to Tokyo!

You can fly round-trip from San Francisco or Vancouver to Tokyo in Japan Airlines Business class for 50,000 miles instead of the usual 100,00 miles.   To explain what a great value this is for your miles,  50,000 miles normally gets you a round-trip ticket in coach.  

Speaking of  coach, you can fly round-trip in Economy class for just 30,000 miles (that’s only 5,000 more miles than you’d usually spend on a one-way ticket to Tokyo).

Here’s the link to the San Francisco to Tokyo Haneda reduced mileage promotion.
Here’s the link to the Vancouver to Tokyo Narita reduced mileage promotion.

If you’r trying to find availability on Japan Airlines, besides calling American to book the award, here are a few other ways to find award inventory on Japan Airlines:

KVS Tool

For a price, you can purchase and download KVS which will allow you search timetables, fares and award inventory for just about any airline. It’s an amazing piece of software, unfortunately, it only works on Windows. If you have a Mac, you’ll need to to either have a version of Windows running on your computer, or you’ll need to use something like Crossover (a paid app) to get it to work (you can also try Wine, the free opensource alternative to Crossover, but the last time I tried using it with KVS it was really buggy).

Use the British Airways site

It’s free but it does require a little more effort. If you’re not already a member of the British Airways frequent flyer program, Executive Club, you’ll need to join.

After you join, sign in go to the Executive Club tab and select “Spending your BA Miles”.

From there you’ll see a “Make a booking” link. You’ll have to first try a search from this page. You’ll get a message that British Airways doesn’t fly that route, but you’ll also get a link that will allow you to search partner airlines. Select this link.

After you’re directed to this new page, you’ll have to enter your search again, and once more you’ll get an error telling you that British Airways doesn’t fly between these two cities (they must really want their frequent flyers to try BA first), but at this point you’ll see a red “Include Partner Results” button that you can (finally) select to perform your search.

It’s a hacked way of looking for inventory, but it works and it’s free.

Award Nexus

If you’re a member of FlyerTalk, you can use their Award Nexus tool to search for award seats. The basic service will give you enough points that you’lll be able perform several searches, if you run out of points, you can make a donation and receive more points. You have to be a member of FlyerTalk to use this.

Another option is to pay someone else to do it.  If you’re trying to book an $8,000 Business class award for just 50,000 miles, despite the small cost, it’s still a great value.

Points Pros
Lucky over at One Mile at Time is an expert and he has a service that will take care of it for you:

Can’t find any award space?
Do you have to be flexible by a month?
Having trouble booking the award seats you might find with the airline?

Let us use our expertise to assist you throughout the booking process. We’ll find you seats when the airlines say nothing is available while making sure you get the most value out of your miles and points.

The Cranky Concierge
Brett Snyder is the man behind The Cranky Flier. He too has a service that will take care of it for you:

Cranky Concierge is the unique air travel assistance service started by the founder of The Cranky Flier (winner of 10+ travel blog awards since 2007).

Sign up and our staff of airline dorks will personally monitor your flights, watching for problems like delayed airplanes and weather at your destination. Cancellation or missed connection? Your concierge is already researching alternatives and can help you get rebooked.

We also have a full range of services to help you plan trips and we can even book flights, hotels and car rentals.

What doesn’t work

Expert Flyer

I’m a subscriber and a fan of Expert Flyer, but unfortunately their online tool doesn’t search Japan Airlines awards and upgrades.

Qantas website

You can often use the Qantas award booking tool to find award seats on oneworld member airlines. I’ve tried, but I can’t get it to display Japan Airlines awards.

If you know of any other way to look up award inventory on Japan Airlines, please share you tips in the comments section.

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  1. You may have figured this out already, but award inventory on JL can be looked up on BA.com instead of Qantas.com.

  2. does the BA site still work? when i look at it, the wording has changed on the site from what you post above and it didn’t give me an option to search the partner (JAL) site when i got the error after trying to search for the flight i wanted.

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