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Sunday, February 7, 2010

Rumor: JAL has decided to stick with AA

Either Japanese media have nothing to write on other than stirring up the Japan Airlines bidding war or JAL keeps flip-flopping, every other week we see reports saying JAL has picked Delta or American Airlines. This time the rumor said JAL has picked AA as their US partner. So is this true? Only the writer/reporter and JAL executives know.

According to FNN news and Asahi.com, JAL has decided to stick with AA for now. And guess who's behind this? The new CEO Dr. Inamori! Inarmori thinks it is too risky to switch to the Skyteam when JAL is focusing on its own restructuring. There will be extra costs and temporary revenue drop if JAL were to switch alliance. This is definitely not helping to achieve ETIC's goal of returning JAL to profit in three years. JAL will announce its decision by the end of this week. After that JAL and AA will apply for ATI on US-Japan routes.

On the other hand, Yomiuri Daily News, who said JAL will announce picking DL on Feb 1 last time (which is by the way wrong if you didn't know), reports that on Feb 6 JAL tore the rumored agreement signed with DL earlier and JAL will make a final decision after Feb 8.

So two different stories. Both indicate JAL is not sticking to the rumored agreement the former JAL management signed with Delta. But one said JAL has made its decision, at least preliminarily, and the other one doesn't mention it. Who do you believe?

Even way, I don't really care as long as I don't have to force to fly on AA/DL on my transpacific flights! And I said it on FT, and will repeat it here, please don't allow members of either of the US program use upgrade coupons (equivalent of JAL's upgrade points) or miles to upgrade on JAL flights. Given the ridiculous amount of miles and coupons AA/DL give out, this is not in JMB members' best interests. AA had not one but two double elite qualifying miles (EQMs) campaign last year. Even the deep discounted economy tickets on AA flights earn 100% miles and 50% EQMs, discounted Y earns 100% miles and 100% EQMs. WIth the campaign, you earn at least 100% EQMs! To give you an idea, one LAX-Europe roundtrip on discounted AA Y ticket could qualify for OW Ruby during the campaign. And for JMB members, you have to fly a lot more to get JMB Crystal (OW Ruby). Two LAX-NRT-HKG roundtrips on K fare (the cheapest US-Asia fare that will earn 70% miles and qualifies for advanced seat selection and upgrade) won't even get you OW Ruby! You will still be 3,860 Fly On Points short to become an OW Ruby (Geeze making the calculation makes me angry!). So NO, I don't want AA members to use points to upgrade on JAL flights and i don't want AA elites to pre-assign all exit row seats on my flight (the number of exit row seats in Y is down from 7 or 9 to only 6 when JAL switches from 744 to 773).

Anyways, please make the announcement ASAP. I am annoyed by all these rumors already! And thanks for the translations, kebosabi!

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