Alaska Mileage Plan Cuts JAL Premium Economy Awards

Alaska Milage Plan is one of my favorite frequent flyer programs, thanks to their unique array of partners, the ability to do a stopover even on a one-way award, and much more.

One of the other things that sets Alaska Mileage Plan apart from many other U.S. frequent flyer programs is that they allow award redemptions in premium economy on many of their partner airlines. Historically American AAdvantage, Delta SkyMiles, and United MileagePlus haven’t allow premium economy redemptions.

Presumably this is because in the past they didn’t offer a premium economy product themselves, and the concept of premium economy has been growing a lot the past several years. Now American and Delta are both introducing premium economy, so it’ll be interesting to see if they allow premium economy redemptions on partner airlines (Delta has already introduced premium economy redemptions on Virgin Atlantic, and perhaps that will be extended to other partners in the future).

Anyway, as of last December it’s possible to redeem Alaska miles on Japan Airlines, which I’m very excited about. They have one of the world’s best first class products, and being able to do a stopover in Japan enroute to Southeast Asia is awesome.

When Alaska first introduced mileage redemptions on Japan Airlines, you could redeem for premium economy. The cost was 40,000-45,000 miles one-way between the U.S. and Asia, depending on what part of Asia you were traveling to.

JAL-787

However, it looks like Alaska Mileage Plan has recently cut Japan Airlines premium economy awards. Alaska’s award chart for travel on Japan Airlines now looks as follows:

Alaska-JAL-Award-Chart

This is something that has been going on for a while now. Originally Alaska started showing Japan Airlines premium economy award space at the business class price, and now they seem to have cut it altogether, best I can tell. I’m not sure what exactly happened, though, and haven’t been able to get a clear answer.

Fortunately it looks like Alaska hasn’t cut premium economy redemptions on any other airlines.

(Tip of the hat to Andrew B)

Comments

  1. Credit is usually known for spam, but I can’t agree more with him. First they don’t tell us about the massive devaluation last year, but now this too?! But anyways Ben where do you see JAL F and J awards? I tried searching for LAX to NRT for numerous dates, I only saw Y and premium Y, I never saw any premium cabin awards. Did you find those out of certain cities? Thanks!

  2. Hopefully it’s a glitch of some sort?

    @RD JAL F is kind of touch sometimes. I did see some last minute availability when I looked back in January though but that was for NRT-JFK. You might want to also search for SFO-HND, and if you dont mind extra flying, ORD/JFK-NRT and JFK-HND as well. If using AS miles, you can include domestic AS segments to position.

  3. Yeah, but airlines can achieve the same thing just be tweaking availability. So announcing it is a more honest and open way of doing it. And it may be a JAL decisions and not an Alaska decision.

    Alaska is improving some aspects of its plan at the same time. Perhaps mentioning those improvements would present a more balanced picture?

  4. I think I noticed this before the blog pointed it out. I kept trying to do first class JAL to Tokyo then stopover and business class onto Hanoi but it kept forcing me to pick first and premium economy. Today it’s forcing me to do first and coach. Can someone here explain if typically they would be see first to business on this route or did you always have to call in to book first to business on this itinerary? First time here with JAL redemption on Alaska. Thanks!

  5. @David W I use AS website to look for the flights and I absolutely don’t mind extra flying but it was from AS’s website I didn’t find anything so I’ll try those other routes and see if I strike any luck. Even with J awards. Thanks for the info!

  6. nevermind, pls delete the post I just made a moment ago. For some reason my original post wasn’t showing up, then suddenly it did!

  7. +1 for @Steven. No JAL F -> J is bookable, even on phone. Even though the AS website shows partner J on the intra-asia segment. Frustrating 2 say the least.

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