Business Class Japan Airlines OneWorld Trip Reports

Japan Airlines Business Class Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner | Tokyo Haneda to San Francisco

[Click above for the video review.]

Airline: Japan Airlines
Flight Number: JL2
Route: HND-SFO
Class: Business Class
Aircraft: Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner
Registration: JA863J
Delivered: Feb 2016
Flight Duration: 8 Hours 35 Minutes
Distance: 5,160 Miles

After a delightful stay in Tokyo, it was time to journey back home. Our flights with Japan Airlines (JAL) has generally been very good and our previous experiences in business class were always positive. I am very fond of JAL’s Sky Suite product (Apex Suite seat), which is installed on their 787s and 777-300ERs that are used in long-haul flights. Although these seats may not be groundbreaking anymore, they are still extremely comfortable for lounging, relaxing, and sleeping. Despite seeing several new staff members who were still in training among the ground crew and in-flight, the service level remained top-notch. The flight attendants were charming and provided exceptional service during meal service. In my opinion, the highlight of flying with JAL is the catering. As someone who loves Japanese food, I may have a slight bias, but I found everything I ordered during the flight to be fresh, appetizing, and presented beautifully.

What I liked:

The JAL First Class Lounge at Haneda Airport – Our Oneworld Emerald status gave us access to the JAL First Class Lounge at Haneda. It offers plenty of comfortable seating options (including massage chairs), and scrumptious, freshly prepared Japanese cuisine. This lounge is undoubtedly one of my favorites and we make it a a point to visit when we are flying via Haneda.

The Dining Experience – The food served during the flight from Tokyo was nothing short of exceptional. The meals were of restaurant quality and tasted incredibly delicious. I also greatly appreciate the dine-on-demand service. The Japanese meal I ordered was fresh and elegantly presented, while my companion’s wagyu sirloin was expertly prepared and scrumptious. For the pre-landing meal, we opted for the junwakei chicken which was a delightful way to conclude the flight.

The Exceptional Service – The flight attendants we encountered were extremely friendly and eager to accommodate our needs. They were proactive in offering us drink refills and regularly checked in to ensure we had everything we needed.

The Business Class Seats – JAL’s Apex Suite seats are arranged in a 2-2-2 configuration for their business class. Despite the slightly dense layout of the seats on the 787, they were still very comfortable for lounging and sleeping, and each business class seat offers direct aisle access.

What I didn’t like:

The In-flight Entertainment – The in-flight entertainment offered an decent selection of content, but I found the experience of browsing through it all using the small remote rather than a larger screen to be less enjoyable.

Lack of Individual Air Nozzles – Unfortunately, the aircraft lacked individual air nozzles which is a personal issue for me. However, the flight crew was kind enough to maintain a cool cabin temperature throughout the flight.

It’s fine, I guess…

The Amenities – JAL does not provide pajamas in their business class, but they do offer slippers and cardigans (for loan). The Sony noise-cancelling headphones provided were of decent sound quality, although not the best. The Maison Kitsune amenity kit was basic and minimal. The duvet and pillow were acceptable, and they also offer Airweave mattress pads. On the other hand, the lavatories were impeccably clean, stocked with toiletries, and even equipped with Toto washlets.

Overall impression:

Japan Airlines has always impressed us, even in economy class. The consistency of their food and service is what sets them apart and makes them a favorite airline of ours. The Apex Suite seats, which I consider among the top in the business class, are just the cherry on top. Good job, JAL! Another enjoyable flight.

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