JAL Temporarily Suspends Free Flights Campaign

To coincide with the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, JAL Japan Airlines announced a summer free flights promotion. For the travel period of July 1st to September 30th, you could request a free flight on JAL to one of their domestic destinations.

Because of the novel coronavirus outbreak, the service has temporarily been suspended.

Details of the Promotion

In the hope that the promotion will come back again, and it looks like it will, here’s the specifics of the promotion:

  • During the specific travel period, JAL will award 50,000 round trip tickets inside of Japan
  • When you apply, JAL will show you four potential destinations.
    • Then, JAL will let you know within 3 days of your application which destination you’ve been awarded
  • Flights depart/return from Tokyo Haneda and Osaka Itami / Kansai only
  • Share your journey with friends and family
    • You can apply for up to 4 people at a time
  • Choose from three or five departure / arrival time slots and find sightseeing tips and information on local specialties when you apply, making it easy to plan your trip.

Why has it been suspended?

I thought this was a pretty unique promotion, and have to give kudos to JAL for running it. The Olympics would bring in hundreds of thousands of tourists, but most of them would only see Tokyo. This way, they could explore a little bit more of the country and bring their tourism dollars to places they would not normally have thought about.

Why did they stop accepting applications? It wasn’t because of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics being rescheduled, but because the outlook of the restriction for travelers entering Japan during this summer is unclear due to the spread of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

There’s not a real date that they have to reopen the campaign, but the good news is that if you DID get in earlier and got a ticket, you can still fly. They aren’t voiding tickets awarded from before. 

What does Summer Travel in Japan look like?

Currently, Japan is not allowing entrance to citizens from the following countries:

Asia Brunei, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Macau, Malaysia, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Viet Nam
Oceania Australia, New Zealand
North America Canada, United States
Latin America and the Caribbean Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Panama, Peru, Saint Christopher and Nevis
Europe Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Vatican
Middle East Bahrain, Iran, Israel, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates
Africa Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Mauritius, Morocco

For those who do arrive from those countries (Japanese citizens) you’ve got to remain in a 14 day quarantine at a location not of your choosing. It’s not a great time to travel to Japan right now. 

Hopefully the travel restrictions will be lifted soon, and we’ll be able to get out an enjoy this gorgeous country.

Did you have Summer Travel planned to Japan or elsewhere?

Author: Jon Nickel-D'Andrea

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