2020 Summer Olympics Travel News

2020 Summer Olympics Airline Awards – Now Use AA.com to Book JAL Awards

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Written by Charlie

In time for the 2020 Summer Olympics, you can now book JAL awards with American Airline miles directly on AA.com – no more searching and calling.

When awards become bookable online with our favorite mileage programs, it always makes it much easier than trying to deal with phone reservations! For something as big as the 2020 Summer Olympics, the ability to book awards online on one of Japan’s home airlines is a great thing indeed!

2020 Summer Olympics Airline Awards – Now Use AA.com to Book JAL Awards

While this is definitely not something that is just about the Olympics, I did want to highlight it in that aspect since many people are looking for airline awards that they can book to Tokyo for the Olympics. For sure, airline award availability will be tight this time around but having more ways to use your airline miles will be helpful.

Not Good News for People Hoping to Call To Book to Avoid the “Masses”

This is not helpful for anyone that was planning on using American Airline miles for JAL for the Olympics before this new development. That is because having to call in to book awards is always going to keep availability more open than anyone being able to just book it online. Before this, you would have need to search on British Airways website and then call American Airlines. No longer as now the “masses” can book JAL awards directly online with AA.com

Award Availability for JAL with American Airlines Miles

As you may expect, business (60,000 miles one way from the US to Japan) and first class (80,000 miles one way from the US to Japan) award availability is going to be tighter now – especially when the airline booking calendar opens for the 2020 Summer Olympics.

However, economy should still not be that bad (available for 35,000 miles one way from the US to Japan). It will likely come down to this – do you want to go to the Summer Olympics at all and likely in coach or would you only make the trip if it was in business or first class? For me, I would value just being at the Olympics at all, no matter how I got there so economy would be just fine.

Using American Airlines Miles for JAL Awards for the 2020 Summer Olympics

jay awards with american airline miles

I will have a guide about booking with different miles for the Summer Olympics later this month but, for now, here is what you need to know about booking JAL awards with American Airline miles – now that you can do it online.

JAL awards with American Airline miles

JAL availability on AA.com is very good – in economy

Why book JAL with American Airline miles? First of all, since JAL is a Japanese airline, you are going to get to fly non-stop from the US to Japan – a big win! Second, the teams and participants from the US in the Olympics will be flying US airlines (like United Airlines) so flights to Japan from the US will not have as much award availability on dates they are flying.

The third point is simple – Asian airlines as definitely better than US airlines when it comes to quality of food and even service. Even flying economy with JAL will still be an ideal way to get to Japan given the typical service from JAL crews.

JAL awards with American Airline miles

For 70,000 American Airline miles round trip in economy, you can fly non-stop from the following continental US cities to Japan:

  • Boston
  • New York
  • Chicago
  • Dallas/Fort Worth
  • San Diego
  • Los Angeles
  • San Francisco
  • Seattle

That gives you a lot of departure points from the US with JAL! Considering that the actual cost of tickets around the Olympics will likely be quite high, being able to use just 70,000 American Airline miles for roundtrip economy travel on an airline like JAL is really a pretty good deal!

Of course, if you can find and swing the 120,000 AA miles for business class on JAL, you will be much better off! But, again, just getting to the Summer Olympics will be enough for many people.


JAL awards have always been bookable with American Airline miles – the real news here is that you can now do this online. With phone hold times with American being an issue at times, this cuts out one whole step in the booking process and makes it incredibly easier to book awards for the 2020 Summer Olympics.

You will not be able to book JAL awards with American Airline miles until at least August 25 (if you wanted to arrive right near the beginning of the Olympics) so that gives you plenty of time to earn some miles with credit card bonuses if you don’t have enough already.

Best Credit Card Right Now?

This credit card from Barclays will give you 60,000 American Airline miles after your first purchase and after you pay the $99 annual fee. That will give you miles in time for booking awards for the 2020 Summer Olympics.

HT: JonNYC on Twitter

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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.