ALL JAL Global Club members will be awarded at least Oneworld Sapphire status


JAL Global Club non-elite member status from April 1 2010
JAL Global Club non-elite member status from April 1 2010. Picture by Japan Airlines.

Japan Airlines has announced the modifications to the Oneworld elite status of the JAL Global Club (JGC) members from April 1. ALL JGC members will get at least OW Sapphire status. Yes! Even those who did not take any flight in the previous year!

Before the change, JGC members who have attained service status or have accumulated 20,000 Fly On Points (FOPs) in the previous year are awarded OW Sapphire status. All other JGC members were awarded OW Ruby status. The major difference is Ruby members don't have lounge access!

From April 1 2010, all JGC members without status will be awarded Oneworld Sapphire status! So no more requirement of 20,000 FOPs or JMB status! Once you join the club, you will be OW Sapphire as long as you renew the membership. JAL is probably doing this to match ANA's Super Flyer Club. The new membership cards will be mailed out in late March through early April.

I guess this is good news to some people. But I don't know how long this can last. So theoretically you only have to fly enough to attain JMB Sapphire in one year and then somehow accumulate 5,000 miles to pay the renewal (for overseas member without JALCard), you can remain "elite" forever. This is too good to be true. I wish JAL had at least have kept the 4 JAL Group flights requirement.

For details of the change, you can refer to JAL website.



  1. Hello JAL-Pak,
    I saw this news and several JGC (just JGC) members emailed me they are very happy to not require to take any flights to keep the Sapphire status. They can go further with other airline companies to fly instead JAL....
    one of my friends stated "GOOD, JAL !!! I will fly more with ANA !!!" hahaha....

    Other guy also mentioned to me , This deal may be one of restructuring involved, may be close sakura lounges out side JAPAN and the members need to visit to other lounges when they fly from foreign airports from April or later...

    Cheers !!!

  2. Hi Taro,

    This is sad...I think JAL makes the mistake of extending the benefits a bit too far. They could have at least kept the 4 JAL Group flights requirement but they decided to match what ANA has been doing with SFC...Maybe we should look at AA's program after the ATI get approved. Since we are locked in to JGC and AA has a crazy program which might be better for US-based travelers like us.

    JAL has spent quite a lot of money to revamp some of the European lounges. Some of them are still under renovation. But I think it makes more sense to use other carrier lounges if there's only one daily JAL flight. Maybe more Oneworld carrier lounge like the one at LAX in the future. That would means better/bigger lounge for everyone. But that also means no more lounge hooping :P

    By the way, how was the meeting with the account manager?


  3. hello jalpak:

    could you please tell me that how to become a JGC mamber, i am crystal at the moment, i flew around 31000 mails last year.

    i did my studies,according to the JAL website, i have to fly 50000 miles per year,

    but i just could not understand that if i flew 50000miles pre year, and i will become sapphire JGC? but i saw jal website, there is a JGC crystal, how come?

    this is to say, i got 50000miles, and i am sapphire JGC, but how to

    become JGC crystal? flew 30000miles to get it?

    i am new to JAL, but so confused by the system.

    thanks very much.


  4. Hello Jal-pak ,
    Yeah... We have to look new carrier during this year , true,... though ...
    It implicates JAL will reduce International Flights and utilize Code Shares in O.W., as you know ...
    JAL may be focus on profitable routes only and others will be given to others in O.W.

    As my exp. with CX in Feb. 2009,
    I could tell you as following,
    1. CX long haul flight with J-class is much better than JL
    Seat : Flat
    food : better : only SFO-HKG and HKG-NRT I know...
    Cabin Service ; Same level ( CX stuff seems more busier than JAL )
    2. CX long haul = JL SFO-NRT at Y class
    no much difference between and if we could take PY , then JL is better
    3. CX regional / short haul = JL regional / short range in ASIA
    This maybe both J/C and Y and if JL has PY then JL PY is better than CX
    4. Service center (JL and CX)
    I talked with CX service center regarding my return flight from HKG to SFO,
    I told them terrible story such no- AVOD working, Flood on the floor, Quite cold in Y seat near galley...
    But he said sorry and sorry to express apoloziaize and told him transfer the miles to my account on JL, they said no with term of the condition.

    Pls., remember I got GOLD MPC and this is the fact I discussed with MPC serv. center yesterday...
    They did not give me any compensation miles.... sigh....

    regarding meeting with JL Exe. and sale rep.,
    i could not find out any room for me yet and postpone till i will come back ASIA trip from the next week,
    suppose to come back by end of march.

    Cheers !!!

  5. Taro,

    We have yet to see what reductions JAL will make. So far there are not much that affects me (fingers crossed). They are supposed to submit the restructuring plan to court by June. We should know more by then. And Haneda is going to expand in Oct which I am really excited about. Even with the suspensions, there might be more options to fly to China as there are talks about having shuttle service between HND and shanghai and beijing.

    The best way to deal with those problems is to file a complain with the ISM during the flight. At least you know CX will do a follow up (at least internally). Now all you get is just a sorry from MPC representative and don't even know if your complaint has been forwarded to the right department or not.

    Have a pleasant trip to Asia (I supposed it's a business trip again which makes me more jealous :P)


  6. Ivan,

    You need to attain JMB Sapphire status or above to get invited to join JGC. Once you join JGC, it's subject to annual renewal. So the JGC Crystal cards shown on JAL website are for members who joined JGC when they were JMB Sapphire or above but only flew enough in the previous year to attain JMB Crystal status.

    So I am sorry you can't join JGC yet. Just fly more this year to attain JMB Sapphire and you will get the invitation when they send you your JMB Sapphire card :)


  7. On the JAL website it states that if I apply for a JAL credit card I will be qualified for JAL global club, does this mean that if I apply for the JAL credit card I can attain JAL global club without flying ?

  8. If you qualify for JAL Global Club, you can keep it as long as you have the qualifying JALCard(s) and keep paying for the renewal. If you live outside Japan, you will have another option which is to pay 5,000 miles renewal fee every March.

    But of course, you have to attain JMB Sapphire or above once first. Otherwise holding the JALCard will get you no where :P

  9. Just a general question about airlines in general, at the priority check in and boarding counters do they scan your elite card to see if you an elite or just let you pass through ?

  10. If I ring up JAL saying that I plan to do a bunch of flights on their airline what are the chances of them giving me complimentary oneworld sapphire status ?

  11. Is there anyway that I can purchase redeemable mileage on for JAL ?

  12. Gerald,

    Someone tried on FlyerTalk and JAL refused to give them complimentary status. Unless your company has a contract with JAL which include complimentary status/status matching, it is close to impossible to just ring them up and get any JMB status (But if you are a CEO of big company, a celebrity, etc, it would be a different story :P)


  13. Jim,

    JAL does not sell JMB miles like AA does. But there are ways to buy JMB miles indirectly through a third party program, e.g. hotel loyalty program, and transfer points from that third party program to JMB miles.