JAL Is Bringing First Class Back to Australia: How to redeem it with points


Tom Goward | 24/01/2020

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Japan Airlines is set to return its First Class product to Australia later this year by changing from the current Boeing 787-9 to the larger Boeing 777-300ER on the Sydney-Tokyo route. While the 787 stops at Business, the 777 is fitted with Japan Airlines’ excellent JAL Suites. (Check out our JAL 777-200 business class review here)

The change is set to take place from September 1 on the daily JL51 service from Tokyo Haneda to Sydney, and from September 2 on the return JL52 flight back to Haneda Airport. This will make JAL the only airline to offer First Class non-stop between Australia and Japan.

Japan Airlines B777-300ER First Class

There are just eight open suites across two rows in First Class, which is set up in a 1-2-1 configuration.

Even though there are no sliding privacy doors on the aisle-side, the seats transform into fully-flat beds of around 2m in length.

The centre pairs feature a retractable privacy panel which allows for conversation between pairs travelling together or a more secluded feel when flying solo. Plus guests can dine with a companion in a single suite.

How to Book an Award Seat

Booking an award seat on this route will set you back 50,000 JAL Mileage Bank miles for a one-way flight. Unfortunately, not many Australians collect these miles. You can get around this by transferring 150,000 Marriott Bonvoy points to Japan Airlines Mileage Bank for a one-way redemption.

Another option is to use 60,000 American Airlines AAdvantage miles. If you don’t have enough miles you can purchase more or transfer from Marriott Bonvoy at a 3:1 ratio. (Check out our expert guide to buying AAdvantage miles for cheap flights)

For a more accessible option, you can spend 129,300 Qantas Points for a one-way redemption. Alternatively, you could book a Oneworld First Class round-the-world redemption for 455,000 Qantas Points.

It has been reported that tickets and award availability will be released at 1pm AEDT on January 31. If you are interested, get in fast as availability is limited and expected to disappear quickly.

Other Cabins on the JAL B777-300ER

In Business, travellers will find the same Apex Suite with an additional seat squeezed into the middle. Despite the 2-3-2 configuration, the middle seat still gets direct and uninterrupted aisle access through JAL’s ingenious layout (you can see a similar cabin design onboard Oman Air’s B787 Apex Suite). This means that the Business cabin will now have an extra 5 seats, making for 49 Sky Suites in total.

Premium economy travellers will also find an additional seat in the middle, changing to a 2-4-2 configuration with 40 passengers. Economy is also receiving additional seats, changing to a 3-3-3 layout with 147 seats.


Tom Goward

Tom is a Hobart-based writer with a passion for aviation and travel.




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