JAL cuts fares to Japan from U.S.

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TOKYO -- Japan Airlines reduced the cost of its JAL Value Fares for travel to Japan from its U.S. gateways, effective April 1.

JAL Value Fares' three seasons are peak (June 29 to Sept. 2 and Dec. 14 to 26), shoulder (March 22 through June 28, Sept. 3 to Oct. 28 and Dec. 27 to Jan. 6) and basic (Oct. 29 to Dec. 13 and Jan. 7 to March 21). Weekend -- Friday, Saturday and Sunday -- and weekday levels also apply.

As an example of the new rates, a roundtrip ticket from Dallas/Fort Worth to Tokyo for travel on April 2 (weekday, shoulder-season fare) costs $950, which is $100 less than last year's fare.

Travel on that route on a peak-season weekend costs $1,250. Children ages 2 to 11 pay 75% of the adult fare.

JAL Value Fares have no advance-purchase requirements, although tickets must be paid for within seven days of the reservation. The minimum stay required is three days and the maximum is four months.

Meanwhile, as of April 1, JAL began selling seats for $100 below its JAL Value Fares for customers who book and purchase their tickets via its Web site, at www.japanair.com, before May 1; after that date, travelers will save $50 by booking through the site. In addition, JAL Mileage Bank members will earn bonus miles when purchasing on line.

The new JAL Value Fares and special Web fares apply to flights from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Dallas/Fort Worth, New York and Chicago to Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Fukuoka, Sapporo and Okinawa.

In other news, the airline said it will roll out new seats in first and business class as well as improvements in services for economy class.

Later this year, the airline will debut what it said are ergonomic sleeper seats in the first class cabins of certain 747-400 aircraft flying from Tokyo to London. The leather seats, which will feature a silver console with a table and drawer, may eventually be added to different routes and aircraft types.

Starting in October, legroom in business class on New York and London routes will grow by more than 50%. The seat pitch will be increased by an average of 15 inches to 62 inches, the angle of maximum recline will increase to 152 degrees and legroom will be increased by 55%.

In the summer of 2002, new bed-style seats will be introduced in business class, allowing the seat to fold out into a bed with a maximum recline of 170 degrees.

Starting this summer, economy class cabins on 747-400 aircraft flying Pacific and Europe routes will offer a self-service area where passengers will be able to help themselves to refreshments. In addition, all classes will receive an upgraded entertainment system.

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