Here’s a fantastic opportunity to fly business class (or premium economy) to Japan using Qantas Points from this September.
Japan Airlines (JAL) today began taking bookings for its new Melbourne to Tokyo route, with the airline releasing up to four business class and four premium economy award seats on most flights.
As JAL is a oneworld member, these seats can be booked using Qantas Points – and I think this is a fantastic use of Qantas Points.
Just a few weeks ago, I flew in business class with JAL from Sydney to Tokyo, and I really enjoyed the experience – especially the dining and customer service. I think JAL offers the most attractive way to fly to Japan using Qantas Points, and you can read the full review of my recent flight and what to expect in JAL business class, here.
The very comfortable JAL business class “Sky Suite”
The new daily Melbourne-Tokyo flights will kick off on 2 September and will be operated by an advanced Boeing 787 Dreamliner, just like the Sydney route. Flights will depart Melbourne at 12.05 am and return from Tokyo at 10.30 am.
It looks like business class award seats are available on Mondays to Thursdays from Melbourne to Tokyo, and Tuesdays to Fridays on the way back. Premium Economy seems to be available throughout the week.
Award seats can be booked from 4 September all the way through to next April, except for a blackout period from 21 December to 8 January.
To book the seats, you’ll need to call Qantas, because they cannot be booked on the Qantas website.
Before calling Qantas, the easiest way to check that seats are available on the days you want is through the British Airways website, here. To search, you’ll need to join BA’s frequent flyer program, but as Australians aren’t eligible, you’ll have to provide a UK address or just make one up (you’ll get your login instantly).
Note that Qantas call centre staff sometimes have trouble finding JAL seats. I think that’s because they have to search for them slightly differently to other airlines. If you have any problems, ask the customer service agent to get help from their manager or a colleague.
You’ll need 78,000 Qantas Points in business class and 63,000 Qantas Points in premium economy each way, plus a modest fee (I paid $148 for business class Sydney-Tokyo). Clearly using your points for business class is much better value than premium economy.
Qantas may charge you a telephone booking fee, but if you explain that the flight wasn’t bookable online, they may waive the fee for you (it’s worked for me in the past).
This is a great opportunity to fly up to four people to Japan both during the beautiful autumn period and winter ski season. I suspect these seats will get snapped up quickly, so don’t delay.
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