Japan Airlines B777-300ER (W83) First

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  • Anonymous

    Flight from NRT-LHR

    Check-in is very well staffed so there are no queues though this being an award ticket from my BA Executive Club Avios, it took them a long time to decipher the booking, though this was no worse than a similar experience on Star Alliance.

    The lounge is spacious, calm and very understated. The section I was in was all designated a quiet zone requiring guests to use a booth if you need to make a phone call. However, there is a PA made for every single departure, in 2 languages, which, if making conversation, you would need to stop until it is over. This happens about every 2 minutes. Also, food may only be consumed in the dining room so you cannot have a drink in an armchair with a piece of sushi. It is, however, spotlessly clean and maybe that is the reason. The toilets are dazzling!

    Boarding seemed to be very swift but I suspect that is mostly down to the cultural standards of the passengers.

    The seat is very large, if again a bit understated. In fact it can be a bit difficult to get comfortable because it is so large. There is lots of storage and the TV is huge. It’s when it’s a bed that it comes into its own. It’s easily the largest and most comfortable bed I’ve known, partly down to the memory foam mattress that is supplied.

    The crew were charming and made themselves ever present. At times they would simply stand at the curtain almost waiting to be asked to serve. On the other hand I was surprised that their English was fairly limited, accent being a particular issue. There were native English speaking crew on board but they were never in first.

    Food and beverage were a mixed bag. I was never offered a boarding drink, not even juice and I didn’t see any used glasses in the rest of the cabin. As we pushed back they did advise that it would a long taxi so handed me a plastic bottle of water! The wine was good, including the Japanese offering (and I do mean wine not Sake). On the other hand about 40 minutes before landing I asked for a glass of Champagne and was told there was none left so got what I presumed was Prosecco from economy. Considering neither First nor Business were full I find that a bit suspicious. The food was beautifully presented and of a very high quality but even the Western menu is very exotic, for example the Western amuse bouche contained sea urchin and one Western main was Beef cheeks in consommé with Matsutake mushrooms and Daikon radish. I chose the fillet steak to be told there was none on board leaving only the beef cheeks or cod. The breads were coconut curry, chestnut, ginger or rice powder; yes, breads! The cheeses were fabulous and I presumed all imported from Europe but no, they are from Hokaido.

    In summary a very comfortable flight but maybe not suited to Westerners who are fond of familiar food and service.

    I enjoyed your review immensely FR, in particular your comments on check-in, lounge, boarding, seat, crew and food and beverage.

    Well done.

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