US Airways Dividend Miles has been adding several footnotes to their award chart lately, some of which make sense, and some of which don’t. They’re also not always consistently enforced, so that only makes them more complicated to some.
One of the recent updates which left me puzzled was the following footnote on US Airways’ award chart:
“Awards booked on Japan Airlines are valid for the next 90 days starting from the following day of the Award Ticket issuance. Reservations for domestic JAL Award Flights within Japan must be made no earlier than 0930 Japan time, two months prior to travel.”
That’s a rather odd restriction, given that American AAdvantage doesn’t have a similar policy. I reached out to a contact at American for clarification, and they confirmed that it was in fact an error — the chart has already been updated to reflect that. The 90 day restriction applies to wholly domestic travel within Japan. All other Japan Airlines award travel is valid for one year from the date of issue.
I know many people have issues redeeming US Airways miles for travel on Japan Airlines, though that’s unrelated to this. The issue is that Japan Airlines awards have to searched on a separate screen, so that availability won’t come up if they’re just searching in the standard award “system.” If US Airways reservations agents look up award availability in the “normal” system, Japan Airlines flights will show zero availability.
Beyond that, there are still some glitches with redeeming Dividend Miles. Sometimes there are just communication errors between systems whereby certain flights just can’t be seen by Dividend Miles agents, and there’s nothing that can be done.
That being said, there should be no widespread issue with booking for travel on Japan Airlines, and it’s good to know that the 90 day rule for international Japan Airlines travel was in fact an error.