JAL updates award rules, moves to a more consistent chart

Starting with redemptions issued on October 1, 2012, JAL will be implementing new rules related to frequent flier awards. This policy affects awards on itineraries including JAL and one other partner. The new rules aim to remove a number of variable conditions which depended on the partner which might be involved in the award. The rules associated with multiple partner awards are not changing at this time.

As part of the changes all awards will now be calculated on a "Total Sector Mileage (TPM)" basis, meaning that the actual distance flown (including surface sectors) will define the award cost. The new rules will also remove the ability to redeem for one-way awards (currently available on Iberia and Royal Jordanian) and will allow a single surface sector (open-jaw) to be applied with all partners. This surface sector is permitted in addition to the point of origin and final returning point being different, meaning that two open jaws can be booked from a practical standpoint. Additionally, all itineraries will now permit two stopovers (the surface sector counts as one) as part of the trip; one of those is what would normally be defined as the destination. Finally, most awards will be limited to a maximum of six segments (some carriers are even more limited).

Details from the company are included in this chart (old on the left, new on the right):


The new award chart looks like this:


There are definitely some sweet spots on that chart, such as New York CityLondon on British Airways or American Airlines for 63,00 points in Business Class. There are also some absolutely brutal numbers, like RTW awards, which will not be so appealing.

There is a 90-day lead-time on these changes so plenty of time to consider what they mean and look at what’s best for you in terms of the options available.

As an added bonus, these redemption charts are also now included in the Frequent Flier Redemption Options calculator on the Wandering Aramean Travel Tools site.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


  1. Actually, the RTW in F is a better deal than most *A options – 330K for up to 50k traveled is quite good.

  2. Agreed on the RTW point. That’s almost as good as the old CO F RTW redemption rate.

  3. And the 210K in J class beats out the old CO J RTW rate by 10,000 miles. Not bad.

  4. In my mind, the best news (which you didn’t mention) is that they’ll be moving EK over to this distance-based chart. Most long distance flights will see a massive improvement in value! 🙂

  5. I didn’t explicitly name EK but they are included in the “all partners” bit which are moving to distance-based. Their F awards will be more reasonably priced; I have no idea how accessible the inventory is there.

    As for the RTW prices y’all are excited about, remember that the rules also say only 6 segments and 2 stops. These really aren’t traditional RTWs in a useful manner. I’d be careful before getting too excited there.

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