In late August, Japan Airlines announced that they’d begin Boeing 787 flights between Dallas and Tokyo Narita. American and JAL have a joint venture between the US and Tokyo, so this would complement American’s existing flights in the market.
The route would be operated by a Boeing 787 featuring JAL’s new business class product, which looks fantastic. It’s fully flat and quite private. While I haven’t had the chance to fly it myself, I’ve heard great things about it.
Shortly after the new route was announced I noted how award availability was wide open on the flight, as there were four business class award seats available most days. That made it a great option for redeeming AAdvantage miles between Dallas and Tokyo, as American charges just 50,000 AAdvantage miles for an award between the US and “Asia 1.”
It’s worth noting that JAL’s flight between Tokyo Narita and Dallas launched today, November 30, 2015.
On the same day the flight launched, JAL has announced that the Dallas to Tokyo flight will be transitioning from 4x weekly to daily as of March 22, 2016. As of that date the route will also operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays in both directions.
While the additional frequencies haven’t been added to the schedule as of the time of this posting, I suspect we’ll see good award space on those flights once they’re loaded.
In the meantime, I think it’s worth noting that Japan Airlines continues to be very generous with releasing business class award space on the flight between Dallas and Tokyo. Many flights have four business class seats available.
I’d argue this is one of the best ways to redeem miles for business class travel between the US and Asia, given the excellent hard and soft product offered by JAL, and the fact that the flight leaves from Dallas (which can be accessed nonstop from just about anywhere in the US).
If you’re looking to redeem miles for travel to Asia in business class, this flight is tough to beat. Especially before the March 22, 2016, AAdvantage devaluation, when the cost of this award will be going up from 50,000 to 60,000 AAdvantage miles (though frankly even the devalued cost isn’t that bad, in my opinion).
Award availability on this flight is great as is, so should get even better over the coming days when the additional 3x weekly frequencies are loaded.
I’ve flown Japan Airlines first class, Cathay Pacific first class, and Cathay Pacific business class, so it’s about time I try Japan Airlines business class. I’m thinking this is the route on which I’ll do it.
Have you flown JAL’s new business class? If so, what was your experience like?