JAL to Launch Seattle – Tokyo Dreamliner Flights

Sep 26, 2018

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Japan Airlines (JAL) is making a comeback after nearly three decades away from Seattle International Airport, the Puget Sound Business Journal reports.

The new route will be announced Wednesday, according to sources close to the airlines, although a press release appears to confirm the new flight. JAL will fly a Boeing 787-8 between Tokyo-Narita (NRT) and Sea-Tac (SEA) starting March 31, 2019. Flights will operate on a daily basis and the schedule is as follows:

  • JL68 Tokyo (NRT) 6:00pm Departure → Seattle (SEA) 11:00am Arrival
  • JL68 Seattle (SEA) 2:20pm Departure → Tokyo (NRT) 4:30pm Arrival

JAL will face competition from both SkyTeam and Star Alliance carriers on the route — Delta and ANA each operate a daily flight between Sea-Tac and Narita. There are currently no nonstop flights between Tokyo-Haneda (HND) and SeaTac — however, the Puget Sound’s Business Journal source says that JAL intends to switch from Narita to Haneda in 2020.

JAL is part of the Oneworld alliance and partners with Alaska airlines — meaning you can use American and Alaska miles on the carrier. The flights don’t seem to be loaded into the calendar yet so you can’t yet book them with either miles or cash. But keep an eye out because when new routes launch there’s usually solid premium cabin availability

One-way economy awards will cost 30,000 Alaska miles or 35,000 American miles (or 32,500 miles during off-peak dates) while a one-way business award will run either 60,000 Alaska miles or 60,000 American miles. The Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard is currently offering a 60,000 mile-sign up bonus after spending $3,000 in three months while the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature credit card is offering a 30,000 mile sign-up bonus after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days.

There are 88 economy seats on this 787-8, which TPG contributor Katie Genter reviewed, writing that it was “hands down the best economy hard product I’ve experienced.”

The seats were well padded and comfortable for both working and sleeping.
JAL economy seats on the 787-8. Image by Katie Genter / The Points Guy.

JAL has outfitted its 787-8s with the fantastic Sky Suite Business seat — a product that has also received great reviews.

This flight will allow for a myriad of connections on Alaska through its hub at Sea-Tac and JAL will codeshare with Alaska on the route. The airline last flew between the two cities in 1992, then operating its 747 on the route.

Featured image by JT Genter/The Points Guy.

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