American Airlines AAdvantage has just added Japan Airlines to their list of airlines for which you can book award ticket online through the AA website.
When an award is not bookable on the American AAdvantage website, then they will waive the call center fee typically associated with having to call in and setting up a reservation manually but it definitely takes time.
Now it’s possible to search and book JAL awards online, which is a great development:
The award chart of American AAdvantage for international Business Class flights is actually not bad, considering most airlines have very low fees associated with an award reservation. First Class has gone up significantly though, since the charts have been revised some time ago.
In this case I searched for a Japan Airlines flight from Bangkok to Vancouver:
Unfortunately, I recently cleared out my AA account for another award but at least the option exists now and should save members time when looking to book an AAdvantage award involving Japan Airlines.
I like award bookings on JAL because they usually have a fair amount of seats available and the fees for awards is very low and I much prefer the transit in Tokyo compared to Hong Kong, which has become a delay haven.
Members still have to call in for a variety of award flights, including on Cathay Pacific, in order to get that reservation set up and ticketed. The good thing when calling the agent is that you can select flights that are sometimes not available through the online selection even when using multicity, for example when you want to build in a very long layover of a little under 24hr.
In case there is a technical error with booking these flights I suggest you state your case to the customer service agent and request the phone booking fee to be waived. Take screenshots of possible error messages!