Japan Airlines B777-200 (W14)

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  • Anonymous
    Guest

    I arrived at Haneda Airport Terminal 1 at about 8:20am for my 10:30am flight to Osaka Itami Airport. I was travelling with JAL in Class J on JL113 in April 2016. I arrived on the 'Friendly Airport Limousine' bus – for those that aren't familiar, I would suggest (at least trying) to book this in advance. When I arrived at Shinjuku Bus Terminal at 7:20am, the earliest departure available was 8:10am which I was told was also nearly fully booked (whilst I brought a 8:10am ticket, thankfully they took pity and let me take a 'no show' seat on the 7:30am departure!). After arrival I managed to find the JAL Global Priority check-in, which OneWorld emeralds and sapphires can use. The check-in agent was incredibly polite and must have thanked me 10 times during the check-in process. There seemed to be a problem adding my BA FF number but it was printed on my boarding pass in the end. My bag was priority tagged. The agent told me I could use the priority security channel – however, I didn't bother as there was no queue in the normal channel and I was through in a minute or so.

    LOUNGES

    As I had the time, I visited both of the Sakura Lounges although they were very similar. Both were quite large, with good runway views and not very busy. On entrance to the lounge you can scan your own boarding pass and a screen states which lounge you are eligible to use (Sakura = business and there is a separate First lounge). The Sakura lounge was fairly empty and there were plenty of places to sit. Japanese lounges also seem to cater well for solo and business travellers and I was impressed with the number of single seats with small desks with accompanying powerpoints.

    The food and drink selection was limited. In terms of alcohol there was only a bottle of whisky and some Japanese beers on draft. There was a coffee machine, various teas, a soda fountain and some tomato juice, water and milk in a fridge. The only food was some dried snack mix. This was adequate for a domestic flight and given the price of the ticket – it would be interesting to see how the first lounge compared.

    When walking between the lounges I was intrigued by the machines where you scan your boarding pass and then use the touch screen to add your FF number, change seats and even upgrade. Upgrades to first class were available for Y8,000 when I booked, however, all of the seats had been sold when I checked.

    BOARDING AND INFLIGHT

    Boarding was from gate 16 and was already underway when I arrived at just after 10:10am. I went straight to the priority line – you scan you own boarding card, although ground staff are available to assist should you need it. The airbridge split onto 1L and 2L. The aircraft was a 777-200. A sign pointed to 1L for first and J class, although 2L was almost immediately infront of my seat. However, it was interesting to walk through the white leather seating of first class to see what I was missing! I was sitting in seat 11A which is the second row of the second business cabin. I think this is a good seat as it is very near to the door but does not have the traffic and noise from the galley in the same way as the exit row infront. J class seating configuration is 2-4-2 rather than 3-4-3 in economy. The seat was black leather bound with 2 inseat controls and plenty of legroom. The tray table is in the armrest. I thought this was a very comfortable seat for a short domestic flight and much better than the seats used for BA Club Europe and other European business products.

    Doors were closed at 10:22am and the airbridge came off almost immediately. The flight was very busy, with only the odd seat available. Blankets were brought round at about 10:25am.

    One of the most interesting things about this flight was how the crew dealt with hand luggage. First of all, there is a small metal step built into the seats to enable the crew to reach into the lockers. Secondly, it was not possible to close one of the lockers without turning a bag – instead of just doing this, the crew member quietly asked everyone around if it belonged to them, asked the relevant passenger if she could move it, bowed to the passenger, moved the bag and then bowed infront of the passenger again. It's funny how this small incident was so reflective of Japanese culture!

    Push back was at 10:30am exactly. Take-off was just after 10:45am.

    Wi-fi was available on the flight. At about 11am the there was a drinks service. I went for the JAL kiwi drink, which I enjoyed. The flight attendants have laminated sheets showing pictures of all the drinks, which is helpful when you're not a Japanese speaker. The rest of the flight was uneventful.

    ARRIVAL

    The flight landed at 11:33, so the flight was just over 45 minutes. There were fantastic views on our approach of both the Osaka skyline and of Osaka Castle. My bag arrived within a couple of minutes of arrival at carousel 4 and the vending machines for tickets for the airport bus were almost directly outside.

    In summary, I enjoyed this short flight with JAL and I've been impressed with the service both on international and domestic flights. I look forward to travelling with JAL again soon.

    Review courtesy of Seatplans.com. Original review by user Aspirational Flyer can be found here

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