Qantas brings Japan Airlines reward flight bookings online

Qantas brings Japan Airlines reward flight bookings online

Qantas Frequent Flyer members can now book Japan Airlines flights using frequent flyer points through the Qantas website, rather than having to call and book over the phone.

This upgrade allows travellers to book flights solely between Australia and Tokyo – such as Japan Airlines’ flights from Sydney and Melbourne to Narita Airport – or more broadly across the world, such as within Asia or onwards to Europe.

The number of points needed is slightly higher than when booking Qantas flights of a similar length, so between both those Australian cities and the Japanese capital, you’re looking at 78,000 Qantas Points for business class, 63,000 Qantas Points for premium economy or 42,000 Qantas Points for economy, one way.

In return, Japan Airlines offers plenty of reward availability, especially out of Melbourne if you plan ahead – so while Qantas releases very few business class and premium economy reward seats to frequent flyers on international flights, Japan Airlines makes these available far more frequently.

On Sydney-Tokyo flights specifically, Japan Airlines’ Boeing 787 business class Sky Suites also offer all travellers fully-flat beds, direct aisle access, and in the window seats, privacy on-par with first class…

… whereas Qantas’ Boeing 747s flying to Tokyo are fitted with the airline’s last-generation Skybeds – mostly fully-flat, except on the Roo’s oldest jumbo where these are angled-flat, and without direct aisle access for all:

On Melbourne-Tokyo flights, however, Qantas offers its latest Business Suites (below) aside JAL's Sky Suites, so you might also consider this option to save a few points, if you can find availability:

Making your Japan Airlines flight booking using Qantas Points

Just as you’d do for Qantas and all its other partner airlines, you can book your reward flight by keying in your desired travel itinerary on the Qantas website, and selecting the “Use points – Classic Flight Rewards only” option too.

For example, we’ll search for a one-way flight from Melbourne to Tokyo early next year:

You’ll have the best chance of finding a suitable flight by clicking into the date box and selecting the “flexible with dates” option too…

… which means you’ll see a calendar of reward flights over a one month period when you get to the next screen:

For best results, at the top of this page, click to enable searching for premium economy, business class and first class flights too, as we did, and then click ‘go’ – otherwise, you'll only see economy flights:

Keep in mind that this calendar shows not just Japan Airlines flights, but also those of Qantas and other partner airlines like Cathay Pacific, and may require connecting flights which aren’t always in the cabin you hoped for.

That means you’ll still need to click on a specific date to see what’s available. Choosing January 31 2019, for example, shows that JAL’s Melbourne-Tokyo flight can be booked in business class and premium economy.

Pleasingly, Qantas’ own Melbourne-Tokyo flight on the same day could also be booked in business class using Qantas Points, or in economy:

The next step is as easy as clicking the flight and seat you want and proceeding to the following screen where you’ll check the details of your journey, before completing your reservation.

Japan Airlines was the last remaining member of the Oneworld alliance to require telephone bookings to secure reward flights using Qantas Points, following Malaysia Airlines’ reward flights being added to the Qantas website in September 2017.

Qantas also plans to bring China Eastern reward flights online around the middle of 2018, and Jet Airways reward flights to the website at a later date.

Chris Chamberlin
Chris Chamberlin is a senior journalist with Australian Business Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!
 

31 comments

  • downdata

    downdata

    13 Apr, 2018 11:04 am

    Crazy how it costs almost 80k QF points to redeem a one way flight in J on JAL whereas with AA miles and Asia miles its only 40k.
    Member who gave thanks

    pkjames

  • Stanley Raj

    rsjones

    13 Apr, 2018 02:38 pm

    Hi I am keen to know how i can change from QF points to AA or Asia miles currently Iam using a Qantas Amex ultimate card but keen to explore other options for getting value for miles or dollars spent on credit cards with good reward programs.
    No member give thanks

  • PaulST

    PaulST

    14 Apr, 2018 08:54 am

    You can't transfer QF points to AA or Asia Miles I'm afraid.
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  • hutch

    hutch

    13 Apr, 2018 05:37 pm

    Of course the problem is that is significantly easier to get QF points in Australia
    No member give thanks

  • Doubleplatinum

    Doubleplatinum
    Banned

    14 Apr, 2018 08:05 am

    No what's crazy is someone trying to compare apples and oranges.
    No member give thanks

  • downdata

    downdata

    14 Apr, 2018 08:48 am

    Im guessing you are implying QF is not an airline, unlike CX and AA. That or QF does not have a FF program, unlike CC or AA?
    No member give thanks

  • wanderingvan

    wanderingvan

    13 Apr, 2018 11:13 am

    That's a welcoming improvements, Japan is one of my favorite stopover and destination. I often put it in too hard basket when I want to use QFF for booking JL flights.

    "This upgrade allows travellers to book flights solely between Australia and Tokyo – such as Japan Airlines’ flights from Sydney and Melbourne to Narita Airport – or more broadly across the world"

    Please clarify Chris that does this mean we can book SYD/MEL to NRT only but then NRT to the rest of JL network on Qantas website?
    No member give thanks

  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    13 Apr, 2018 11:44 am

    You can book any Japan Airlines reward flight as availability allows: the article just gives examples relevant to Australian travellers.

    (If you wanted to fly Sydney-Tokyo-Frankfurt with JAL, you could. If you wanted to only book a Singapore-Tokyo flight with JAL, for example, you could too.)
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  • wanderingvan

    wanderingvan

    13 Apr, 2018 12:55 pm

    Thanks Chris, this brings up all sort of possibilities.

    No member give thanks

  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    13 Apr, 2018 01:04 pm

    Only thing to note though is that many of JAL's long-haul flights depart from Haneda, whereas JAL only flies into Narita from Australia - so you'd have to change airports. Not really an issue if you're planning a Japanese stopover, but if you're in transit your options at Narita are limited, unless you plan a very long transit and an airport change.
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  • PaulST

    PaulST

    14 Apr, 2018 08:56 am

    A good point for newbies! I flew into HND with QF and then BA out of NRT 2 years ago with a 6hr layover. The problem was that I had to sit at the BA check-in desk for a few hours until it opened and I could check-in my bags.
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  • Austin Taylor

    Austin

    16 Apr, 2018 09:12 pm

    Agree. An easy mistake. QF used to fly to NRT but I gather the on-ground costs made HND a better choice. QF25 also gets in at 5.30am, making connections better, rather than a late arrival and overnighting in a tiny Japanse Hotel.
    No member give thanks

  • anonymous

    anonymous

    13 Apr, 2018 11:43 am

    Great news. The next step is for Qantas to allow reward bookings originating from any city in the world. After that happens I think QF’s reward booking website will become the best among all oneworld airlines.
    No member give thanks

  • sillytraveller

    sillytraveller

    13 Apr, 2018 12:07 pm

    Excellent!! I now can spend my Qantas points.
    Valued information.
    No member give thanks

  • Jim Jovanovski

    ASimpleMind

    13 Apr, 2018 12:24 pm

    Three questions:
    1) Is the Melbourne-Narita return leg with a Dreamliner and if so is it fitted with fully flat beds in business class?
    2) If there is a longish layover between Narita and next overseas destination (say 8 hours between flights and on the ground waiting at Narita), are we able to exit the airport even though baggage may be checked through?
    3) Five members in my family...2 on Platinum and 2 on Gold (the 5th being baby infant without status)...are we able to access the JAL First Lounge?
    Cheers and thanks
    No member give thanks

  • Neil

    barecub

    13 Apr, 2018 01:02 pm

    1 - yes - JAL started this service in September 2017

    2 - yes - I"ve done this twice in the last 12 months by indicating "transit" as the reason on your immigration form
    > first time I stayed at one of the airport hotels, and it was included in my booking and paid for by the airline
    > second time my partner and I took train into Tokyo, and stayed at hotel at our own cost, then back to airport next morning after a meal at our favourite izakaya and full night sleep in a proper bed

    3 - last time I looked, the rules of lounge access permit each P member to have 1 guest if traveling on same flight, and P has access to First Lounge (both lounges are Narita are fine in my opinion) and if baby is a baby they will probably look the other way
    Member who gave thanks

    ASimpleMind

  • wanderingvan

    wanderingvan

    13 Apr, 2018 01:01 pm

    I don't know the answer to Question 1
    Q2 - Yes if you are travelling on Australian Passports, bear in mind NRT is a long way from Tokyo downtown so factor that in if you want to visit.
    Q3 - Not sure for JL first lounge, you won't have any trouble for your family going to Qantas F Lounges though.
    Member who gave thanks

    ASimpleMind

  • patrickk

    patrickk

    13 Apr, 2018 01:06 pm

    Dear simple, the answer to your three questions
    1) theJAL website can answer that, part 2 will be yes as they are new planes;
    2) is yes,
    3) is yes as the 2 plats can bring 2 in each and babies are allowed with a parent.
    Member who gave thanks

    ASimpleMind

  • eminere

    eminere

    13 Apr, 2018 03:18 pm

    "Japan Airlines was the last remaining member of the Oneworld alliance to require telephone bookings to secure reward flights using Qantas Points"

    Wow good to know. I never knew flights on all the rest of the OW alliance were bookable online.
    No member give thanks

  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    13 Apr, 2018 03:26 pm

    Yeah, there have been lots of IT upgrades over the past few years at the various airlines (most recently Malaysia Airlines, and now Japan Airlines) to enable this.

    There are a still a couple of oddities in the system such as not being able to book a journey beginning in Doha on the Qantas website (requiring a phone call), but other Qatar Airways reward flights are available online (such as Sydney to London via Doha, or Sydney to Doha return, as the ticket doesn't begin in Doha and thus can be booked online).
    No member give thanks

  • wanderingvan

    wanderingvan

    14 Apr, 2018 09:13 am

    Oddities also extend to any trip beginning in Vietnam. You can book HGK-SGN or SIN-SGN one way or return for example but you can't book any trip starting in SGN, HAN or DAD where CX, MH and Jetstar fly to.

    Interestingly, Jetstar has its own extensive network in Vietnam but you can't book then unless it's part of the routing originate from outside the country. You would think Qantas has more say in Jetstar IT set up than other OW airlines.
    No member give thanks

  • hutch

    hutch

    14 Apr, 2018 10:53 am

    The issues described with Jetstar within Vietnam, might have something to do with its ownership structure... Not oneworld.
    No member give thanks

  • Rohit

    Rohit

    13 Apr, 2018 04:02 pm

    If your only points currency is QFF, indeed this makes life much easier. However, if you are the proud owner of any AmEx cards, you may consider transferring points to Cathay Pacific Asia mile program and fly the same route on JAL metal for 80k points return in J. Hard to beat that IMO.
    No member give thanks

  • Scepticalflyer

    Scepticalflyer

    12 May, 2018 04:24 pm

    I have a JMB account and Asia Miles Account. Asia Miles was quoting 120,000pts return - and couldn't do an instant booking? Not sure if I was looking at the wrong part of the search engine? Booking through JMB requires fewer points, however to transfer via AMEX you devalue 50% by going through SPG. Am I missing something?
    No member give thanks

  • PaulST

    PaulST

    13 Apr, 2018 07:50 pm

    Fantastic! I was literally planning on researching flights via BA's website and calling the QF call centre tomorrow!
    No member give thanks

  • Tony Guttmann

    tonyg4074

    13 Apr, 2018 10:37 pm

    Can one request upgrades on a JAL flight using Qantas points on the Qantas web site?
    No member give thanks

  • PaulST

    PaulST

    14 Apr, 2018 08:57 am

    I'm afraid not. You can only upgrade with QF points if you're flying on QF metal and a QF flight number.
    No member give thanks

  • puppy79

    puppy79

    14 Apr, 2018 05:12 pm

    this is so silly you cannot transfer existing qantas points to say aa or enrich or asia miles or jal mileage bank.
    Member who gave thanks

    wanderingvan

  • wanderingvan

    wanderingvan

    15 Apr, 2018 12:07 am

    It would be silly if you can transfer your FF point from one airline to another. What would be the whole point of the FF program then.
    No member give thanks

  • Ingo Reisch

    Crane62

    23 Apr, 2018 06:50 pm

    Great news, the more options the better. Whilst not directly linked to the JAL topic, I have noticed that Qatar has vanished from QF's program when looking for flights into Europe. Overall, I find that there is a real lack of available flights in Business and First. Somehow it seems that since QF stopped flying via Dubai there are less EK award flights offered.
    I used to be able to get 1 or 2 seats into Europe very easily, however since last year October I believe it is much harder and consequently have moved to Krisflyer, which seems much easier and has plenty of flights into AU and into Europe's main destination.....not just London.

    Another irritating experience is that when searching for a flight in First/Business QF offers these half baked options at full point count. When you click on the info symbol it often highlights that the longest flight is in fact not in First, but Cargo Class.

    Love some feedback.
    No member give thanks

  • Scepticalflyer

    Scepticalflyer

    12 May, 2018 04:21 pm

    OK so I have booked award flights from CTS to MEL in J for 78,000 pts per person. For Qantas metal, looking at 90,000 pts per person so JAL requires fewer points - not more? Is there a trick to seat selection as I enter details on JAL site and cannot select seats?
    No member give thanks

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21 Sep, 2018 07:10 am

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