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Monday, February 13, 2012

JAL to release updated (FLY ON? JMB?) program contents in early March

When Japan Airlines (JAL) announced the discontinuation of the upgrade points and the change in FLY ON status qualification back in December, they promised us an improved FLY ON program to allow us to accumulate and redeem mileage more easily. And details of such program update will be announced in due course time. So when is the due course time? Apparently it's early March 2012 :)
JAL has recently updated the FLY ON program change announcement page and stated they will inform JMB members of the contents of the future program in March. In the Japanese version, it states "2012年3月上旬頃" which means early March. So I will just believe the Japanese version for the obvious reasons and assume an update is coming in early March which is just a few weeks away.

Below is the original announcement in December 2011

Going forward, we plan to improve our in-flight service, especially seat specifications and contents of services in higher classes such as First Classes and Executive Classes. We consider it necessary to review the Mileage Program from the long-term point of view so that mileage award may be exchanged, maintaining the satisfactory quality in order to offer high quality cabin space and upgraded seats to members. This discontinuation of UGP is one of the ways to improve contents of the FLY ON Program in order for members to accumulate and redeem mileage more easily. We will inform the contents of our future program to our JMB members in due course of time. 

And this is the current updated version

Going forward, we plan to improve our in-flight service, especially seat specifications and contents of services in higher classes such as First Classes and Executive Classes. We consider it necessary to review the Mileage Program from the long-term point of view so that mileage award may be exchanged, maintaining the satisfactory quality in order to offer high quality cabin space and upgraded seats to members. This discontinuation of UGP is one of the ways to improve contents of the FLY ON Program in order for members to accumulate and redeem mileage more easily. We will inform the contents of our future program to our JMB members in March. Please visit JAL's website for further information. We appreciate you having used UGP up to now and appreciate your kind understanding.

It is unclear whether this is just an updated FLY ON program with benefits to make up for the discontinuation of the upgrade points and to justify the harder qualification requirements, or even a complete overhaul of the JAL Mileage Bank program! Given the whole announcement is about the FLY ON program changes, I say it is more likely just changes in the FLY ON program itself. 

But I won't rule out the complete overhaul given JAL now has a JBV with AA and is planning one with BA too and both of them offer 100% redeemable miles to its members. But if JAL follows this path, I can foresee miles devaluation coming just like the recent changes in BAEC. I definitely don't want to see my hard earned JMB miles to depreciate :( So for the selfish reasons, please just be a FLY ON program enhancement :P

So let the speculation begins! :D I hope whatever the changes are, it will benefits loyal JAL passengers and reward people who flies on JAL most (if not all) of the time (yea that's me :P)


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