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Anonymous25 Apr 2010
I recently travelled ORD-NRT in JAL First. Undoubtedly one of the most pleasant travel experiences in 30 years. New cabin design allows privacy without the lavatory cubicle approach. Seat is wide and comfortable in seat position and when the foam pad is added at bedtime with full linens makes for a great night’s sleep especially since JAL keeps the cabin cool enough to actually enjoy having the duvet. Food is amazing in the amount of choices from full meals to all kinds of lighter options, all beautifully prepared and presented. Steak was cooked just as it would be in a restaurant and I expressly made my request a little unusual to see if it could be accommodated, Wines always a treat with JAL as they are very imaginative and quality-conscious. Champagnes include a 1997 Salon which blows away any of their competitors. Fortunately no other passenger seemed to know, so I had a bottle just for me. Bathrooms, as always, absolutely spotless – JAL polishes them between every use. Crew were gracious – nothing was too much trouble – a good mix of young and more experineced crew members. They were aways around during the whole flight, without hovering. I have always felt very pampered on JAL – for this flight Captain and ISM (or CSD) came to introduce themselves in the lounge before departure. Of course bag very first off in NRT. All in all exactly what the First Class travel experience should be – cannot rate them highly enough – thank goodness they were spared the fate that almost befell them in changing alliances.25 Apr 2010
Thank you for this interesting report nevereconomy. I am curious to know about the experience on the ground also. Does JAL create a really good premium airport experience for F passengers at departure and arrival respectively?
Interesting expression “lavatory cubicle approach”. You obviously are not impressed with the “suite” layout, and I for one strongly agree. I have tried various degrees of “compartmentalisation” of F seats and I really prefer the traditional open cabin layout which gives a much more spacious and pleasant feeling (with a reasonable degree of privacy of course). The most important aspect of the F seat is in my view that it provides a really comfortable bed experience. I think the “suite” hype may be something of a fashion thing and I increasingly hear and read critical comments about it.25 Apr 2010
The onground experience is wonderful if you are one of their VIP flyers – own private lounge area and escort to/from plane. For regular First passengers you just make your own way, though I followed VIP and escort which helped get through the gate crush! Lounges very variable – Narita new lounge is really nice – good food choices, though can get crowded. Other locations often small and not much on offer.
Until recenlty Singapore had check-in for First at CIP terminal with buggy ride to gate – all very nice and relaxing, but First no longer available on the SIN-NRT route. Hong Kong you get the buggy ride to immigration on arrival. Everywhere the premium bags always are first off.26 Apr 2010