[Click above for the video review.]
Airline: Japan Airlines
Flight Number: JL58
Class: Business Class
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER
Delivered: June 2004
Flight Duration: 8 Hours 35 Minutes
Distance: 5,124 Miles
After a wonderful flight from Manila, we were looking forward to be flying with Japan Airlines (JAL) longhaul. We’ve always had very good experience with JAL in business class prior to the pandemic and we were very excited to see if there has been any changes since then. As some of you may know, I am a fan of the Apex Suite seat which JAL has installed on their long haul configured 787s and 777-300ERs. The airline has done some minor upholstery updates to the seat, but for the most part it was still very comfortable for lounging and sleeping. In terms of the service, we noticed that a lot of the ground staff and in-flight crew were new, but that did not detract from the service. The flight attendants we interacted with were charming and offered excellent service during the meals. Now for the catering, which I think is the real star with JAL. I might be a bit bias because I love Japanese food, but I found everything that I ordered onboard to be fresh, tasty, and beautifully presented.
What I liked:
The JAL First Class Lounge at Narita- Our Oneworld Emerald status gained us access to JAL First Class Lounge at Narita Airport. The downstairs bar and lounge were closed during our visit, but it will most likely open soon since Japan has reopened its borders again. The main lounge (with massage chairs) and dining room is upstairs and offers high quality made to order food and beverages via smartphone app.
The Catering – The catering out of Narita was amazing on this flight. The meals were restaurant quality and tasted delicious. I also love the dine on demand service.
The Friendly Service – The crew we interacted with were very friendly and eager to please. They were proactive in offering us drink refills and checked on us from time to time if we needed anything.
The seats – JAL has the Apex Suite for their business class seats laid out in a 2-3-2 configuration. Despite the dense abreast layout, these seats are very comfortable for lounging, and sleeping and all business class seats have direct aisle access.
What I didn’t like:
The IFE – The IFE offered plenty of content, but I just wasn’t a fan of having the browse through all the content using the tiny remote instead of the big screen.
No personal air nozzles – Sadly another pet peeve of mine is an aircraft’s lack of personal air nozzles, but the crew was nice enough to keep the cabin temperature cool during the flight.
It’s fine, I guess…
The Amenities – JAL does not do pajamas in business class, but they do offer slippers and loaner cardigans. The Sony noise canceling headphones is not the best, but sound quality was acceptable. The Maison Kitsune business class amenity kit was also barebones basic. A walk-up snackbar was setup near galley mid-flight with some very good pre-packaged snacks. The lavatories offered toothbrushes and mouthwash and spotlessly clean with Toto washlets.
I love Japan Airlines! We’ve had great food and service from the airline before the pandemic, and we found the service and food offerings to be consistent with our previous flights with them. Pair that with the Apex suite seats, which are one of best business class seats in the industry and you have a winning combo. We look forward to flying with JAL again real soon!
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