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JAPAN AIRLINES: Fancy First Class, Sydney to Tokyo on points?

JAPAN AIRLINES: Fancy First Class, Sydney to Tokyo on points?

One impact of Japan Airlines switching aircraft from a 787 Dreamliner to a Boeing 777 on its Sydney/Tokyo route from 31 May is that the route will now carry First Class seats. Now, that on its own is useful, but redeeming Qantas Frequent Flyer Points for these First Class seats is even more tempting!

Four class layout

JAL’s First Class cabin on the 777 is made up of eight suites in two rows of 1-2-1. There are 49 Business Class Sky Suites in a 2-3-2 configuration, Premium Economy 40 seats, arranged 2-4-2, and 147 Economy seats in 3-3-3. That middle seat in the Business Sky Suites is quite private, partly because of the way it is set forward.

a diagram of a plane
JAL Boeing 777 seat plan [Japan Airlines]

Flight Schedule

The flight codes and times remain the same as before the aircraft change:

  • JL52 departs Sydney 8:15 am, arrives Tokyo/Haneda 5:05 pm.
  • JL51 Departs Tokyo/Haneda at 7:20 pm, arrives Sydney 6:10 am +1 day.

Redeeming points

JAL is a member of the OneWorld alliance, so you can redeem Qantas Frequent Flyer points for seats on these flights, and you can do that via the Qantas booking engine.

Qantas has made some improvements to its booking and redemption engine lately by all reports, so all you need is plug-in your preferred dates (after 31 May), use the ‘Reward Seats’ and ‘Airline’ filters (located on the left hand side), and see what comes up. Select ‘Other’ under the Airline option pop-up.

Use the multi-city function if you want to see multiple days of availability to display (Reward Seats filter is to the right on this screen)

Be quick though – doubtless rewards hawks will be on this like, well, rewards hawks!

a screenshot of a calendar
Multi-city screen [Qantas]

How many Points?

Using Classic Rewards, you have quite a few class and redemption levels to choose from. Here are the standard redemption rates one-way:

Expect about AU$103 in taxes/charges to apply to those in addition to the points

a lounge area with chairs and tables
JAL First Class Lounge at Haneda Airport [JAL]

2PAXfly Takeout

If you are planning to travel to Japan – why not do it in style with JAL using points to pop yourself in the First Class cabin. You will be able to use the excellent Qantas First Lounge in Sydney and the JAL First Class lounge Designed by Ryu Kosaka from Aoyama Nomura Design (A.N.D.)

Japan Airlines has opened a First Class Entrance at Haneda Airport, prior to an adjacent security and immigration checkpoint. You will find it next to security lane 10 on Level 3 of Terminal 3. Opening hours are 6:30 am to 11:30 am, and again from 2 pm to 7 pm. That later time is perfect for your departure to Sydney.

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