Japan Airlines has made a change in their flight reservation system allowing tickets to be booked 360 days prior to departure (currently 330 days) effective April 1st 2019.
This change is valid for international routes and includes both award and revenue tickets in a move that can be seen to align oneworld carriers closer to each other following the recent anniversary conference.
Japan Airlines is one the the few carriers that has the 330 days advance purchase restriction even though the Japanese market has it’s own characteristics and until not too long ago it wasn’t even possible to buy domestic air tickets for more than a few weeks out.
JAL has published a press release about the upcoming changes:
Japan Airlines (JAL) will be changing the reservation start date for international flights from the conventional 330 days to 360 days prior to departure. As inbound demand from overseas countries has been on the rise every year, this new rule enables customers to book and issue tickets for flights 360 days ahead; meeting the needs from overseas visitors who wish to plan their trips to Japan in 2020 as early as possible, including hotel reservations.
The carrier renewed its international passenger service system in November 2017, which enabled these changes to take place and equal efforts will be carried out for domestic flights going forward. JAL will continue to take on the challenge to improve its products and will strive to enhance customer convenience through the expansion of new services.
Effective Date: April 1, 2019 at 10:00AM (Japan time)
This will improve customers planning ability and also make it easier to book tickets connecting to/from other oneworld partner airlines including code share flights.
Generally speaking 360 days should be a firm rule across all carriers so it’s possible to combine them far in advance while planning a trip. It really doesn’t make much sense when single airlines in an international alliance keep difference advance ticketing rules.
Glad to see Japan Airlines actually improving something here. It seems like that during the most recent conference commemorating oneWorld’s anniversary the airline CEO’s recognized they need to step up to the plate in order to compete. All the infighting such as Qatar Airways constant threat to leave the alliance doesn’t help either.