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.