JAL business form HK to TokyoBack to Forum
Last Monday, i flew my first business flight on JAL.
Check in was efficient at HK as no queue, but not friendly.
Being a 0940 flight, getting through security at HK was a mess but not too bad.
Headed to the Cathay lounge (the Pier i think at gate 5). JAL were insistent i must use plaza premium wherever that is and gave me a voucher for. Cathay lounge was quite quiet and we got a nice booth – i was not impressed with the minimal food on offer but the staff were friendly and it was a nice space (I actually think BA lounges are superior in offerings). Luckily the flight was from gate 6 and so we could see when boarding from the lounge. I assume JAL pay less if use Plaza Premium (I know BA also tries to send people there and i always ignore and head to Cathay lounge).
We walked straight onto the plane and was a 767 and i thought i was in the stone ages. The plane was clean but just looked old and i have never seen such an old fashioned business class with lumpy tvs and just looked awful – I am not a fan of Cathay but their interior is miles better as is ba club suite – actually i would prefer old ba club world.
No pre drinks but took orders. I ordered the beef.
Took off and then got told no beef despite being emerald and my friend next to me who had no status got beef. Crew very apologetic and gave me western fish which was ok but they saw i didnt eat much. They then got me an asian meal which was not to my taste. Lastly they got a curry from economy which was nice (my friend said the beef was dry). Clearly there were food issues but the staff were very proactive and well above cathay – i would rather have the food i like in the first place. i found weird though that whatever time the flight is, the meal is the same. Lots of ice cream.
Bed was ok but i did not find comfortable v BA or Cathay!
I asked for water and no bottles of water – Cathay leave before you get on. Entertainment was appalling v Cathay.
So i have to say whilst i was excited about my first JAL trip, I was very disappointed and wishing i had booked Cathay – their business class product – planes, seat and meal are far better despite inconsistent service.
Baggage arrived promptly!
Back on HK Airlines and i actually am glad i am on over JAL as i am sure it must be better on the A330! Update to come as could be famous last words (but their business with flat bed is a third of a price of cathay / jal and so i will bear that in mind). I recommend Cathay over JAL by a million miles!
1 user thanked author for this post.16 Jul 2023
Looks like JAL provided one of its regional aircraft for this flight, christ.
(HKG-TYO would/might be classified as regional seeing as the flight time is not a lot more than 4 hours)
CX flies many times a day on this route and the A350s and B777-300ERs it deploys may feature its long-haul layout.
JAL’s seat plan for the B767 shows that its configuration is not one which JAL would provide on long-haul routes nowadays.16 Jul 2023
As an aside …
Popular Vlogger Noel Philips today released a YouTube re his recent CX flight Hong Kong to Tokyo (NRT).
Aircraft was an A350 with long-haul configuration.
Business class seating was four across 1-2-1.16 Jul 2023
Christ for reference
Its the Wing at gate 5 The Pier is gate 64ish.
I was in the Wing 1st lounge twice last week and both times food on offer was plentiful plus of course a full menu to order from. There is always plentiful food available in the Wing and the offering varies with the time of day of course. Perhaps you were in the Wing business lounge ?
JAL has a lot (27 in service) of those old 767s which vary in age from 15 to 22 years. I agree less than optimum.
It sounds a poor offering all round but at least the crew tried hard to please
With their bonus and salary increases one hopes as that as well as doing a decent job the Cathay teams will be happier about it – not that the Cantonese crew have ever in my view shown a lot of outward enthusiasm rather unlike the other Asian crew.17 Jul 2023
Agree with Cwoodward, i was in the Wing F a week ago and yesterday and it was full menu service. yesterday morning the airport was absolutely rammed with check in lines snaking round. good for HKG, although trying to get a seat in the F lounge was a little musical chairs as it was so busy at 07.0017 Jul 2023
Looking at the mentioned Noel Phillips You Tube flight review CX flight Hong Kong to Tokyo (NRT), I believe he was using the CX business class lounge and not the F lounge. I do like Noel’s reviews and style, but on this occasion he did not appear to have undertaken much research about the HKG lounge offerings and overall, the review was not as informative as his other reviews. By his own admission he was flying CX for the first time in many many years, which for a blogger of his reputation I found quite interesting.
To be fair to HKIA, it is deserving of a review in it’s own right.17 Jul 2023
My experience with JAL is limited, but I have never really been impressed, CX in my opinion is far better. The last time I flew JAL was in 2018 on a 767 in J from Vancouver to Narita, the aircraft was tidy, but the seat was very narrow, and very exposed, the lack of privacy, and the overall experience was disappointing as was the IFE. The crew were good, likely excellent in the eyes of anyone who enjoys an overly fawning type of service, which is of course a cultural thing, and the food was of good quality.17 Jul 2023
I should add that JAL was much the same price as Cathay – maybe HKD 1,000 cheaper but i think on some days Cathay was cheaper,
Not expecting much from my Hong Kong Airlines a330 flight – but was very cheap at HKD 3,300. The flat bed and cabin looks modern from photos – but photos can be deceptive.
I see they have no IFE – assume they didn’t pay the bill. Lounge closes at 6pm and so no use for a 955pm flight. Hopefully it will be a comfortable seat at least where can do some work – I do not expect much in the way of food and drinks!
Perhaps it will be like ryanair except with a spacious cabin!17 Jul 2023
Re Hong Kong Airlines A330.
I am sure Forum readers would like to know how the flight went.
If its business class then surely there would be some complimentary catering.17 Jul 2023
I will update in the coming days and try and take some photos – it is strange as none of my friends ever use as they all go Cathay or occasionally HK express.
I would hope there would be some catering but it says no IFE and no blankets and minimal cabin interaction due to COVID – maybe they have not updated their website!17 Jul 2023
It was the sky suite 2.
Would it have been The Deck I went to as it was opposite gate 6? You go up the escalator and then the entrance is in front of you and the buffet is opposite and to the left some dining tables and terrace? Looks like i should have gone to the Wing first which must have been nearby.18 Jul 2023