The ‘End’ of JGC Training: The True Aim Revealed in JAL Global Club’s Revamp [Column]

“Becoming an Advanced Member Without Rigorous Training”: Capturing the Middle Tier

Let’s delve into what JAL aims to achieve with this change.

The criteria for membership has been revised to “Life Status Points,” where until 2023, each domestic flight on JAL earns 5 points, and international flights earn 5 points for every 1,000 segment miles. This allows individuals who previously couldn’t join the JAL Global Club based on their flight history to have a chance to qualify. For example, a so-called “business traveler” who has flown only once a month domestically for 25 years, who couldn’t meet the JAL Global Club criteria before, will now qualify through their domestic flight history.

This is just one instance, but it significantly narrows the gap for the ‘middle tier’ of customers who have used both domestic and international flights, but not frequently enough to join the JAL Global Club every year.

Narita International Airport Sakura Lounge

Although there is a required annual fee for the JAL Global Club card, the benefits such as lounge access, priority baggage return, and mile bonuses make it worthwhile for users who have flown with JAL to a certain extent.

Membership in the JAL Global Club also has advantages for JAL. It increases touchpoints with passengers who have been choosing JAL, making it easier to encourage further use. In competitive scenarios, this heightens the likelihood of passengers choosing JAL over other airlines.

“The ‘middle tier’ capture strategy plays a significant role in the new ‘JAL Life Status Program.'”

“Increasing ‘FLY ON Points’ Campaigns: Easier to Become a ‘Diamond’ Member?”

What catches the author’s attention in this overhaul is the “FLY ON Points.” As mentioned earlier, “FLY ON Points” are not only used as criteria for joining the JAL Global Club but also serve as an annual benchmark for providing service statuses (like lounge access, priority baggage return, and mile bonuses) to JAL Mileage Bank members who frequently fly on JAL Group and oneworld Alliance airline flights.

With this revamp, “FLY ON Points” will no longer be used as criteria for joining the JAL Global Club but will continue to be utilized as the standard for service status.

The author speculates that detaching “FLY ON Points” from the JAL Global Club membership criteria will eliminate the need to consider long-term impacts such as an increase in club members, allowing more flexibility in offering campaigns like double points.

By detaching the membership criteria from the JAL Global Club, campaigns like “5 times the FOP for specific low-traffic routes” or “10,000 bonus points for 10 flights” could be introduced. This would make it easier for users to aim for “JMB Diamond” and “JGC Premier,” expanding their chances to access the top-tier lounges (JAL First Class Lounge, Diamond Premier Lounge). This would be a win-win situation for both JAL and its users.

Unlike other airline alliances (like Star Alliance, which ANA is a member of, or SkyTeam), oneworld has an “Emerald” status above “Sapphire” which allows access to higher-tier lounges for elite members. In major cities like London and New York, the lounges available vary by status (there are also lounges specifically for first-class passengers).

Therefore, even after securing the JAL Global Club membership for virtually permanent access to the advanced lounges, obtaining the highest “Emerald” status provides additional benefits like access to even higher-tier lounges, offering a significant advantage over other airline alliances.

JAL (Airbus A350-900 aircraft)

The author focuses on this aspect, aiming to fly as much as possible with JAL and oneworld member airlines. Currently a JMB Diamond member without undergoing the rigorous “training,” the author hopes to continue having access to the top-tier lounges and is mindful of how much “FLY ON Points” can be accumulated through flights.

The flexible campaigns for “FLY ON Points” are expected to capture a wide range of users, including those similar to the author.

The “End” of Rigorous Training for JAL Global Club Membership and Anticipation for Future Strategies

Previously, even individuals who had never flown JAL could meet the membership criteria through relatively short-term intensive “training,” becoming privileged “elite members.” With the current program overhaul, the criteria for joining the JAL Global Club, a semi-permanent membership organization, are now ideally based on a lifetime of use of JAL Group services.

This revamp, favoring lifelong users as “elite members,” marks a critical shift toward privileging true “regular customers.” Whether JAL can continue to be an attractive airline for its “regular customers” remains to be seen, and their future strategies are worth watching closely.

This article was generated using automatic translation by GPT-4 API.
The translation may not be accurate.
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