BACKGROUND Japan Airlines operates a daily direct flight between Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport and Tokyo’s Narita International Airport. JL 740 departs Delhi at 2020 and arrives in Tokyo at 0710.
CHECK-IN I was the first person to check-in at the Japan Airlines counter at Indira Gandhi International Airport’s Terminal 3 where the staff was happy to grant my request for a window seat. Since I was flying business class, I had access to Plaza Premium Lounge on the fourth floor, where I headed to since I had a few hours before boarding.
BOARDING I made my way to gate 3 shortly before boarding was announced. Gates opened at 1920 and business class passengers along with families with children were invited to board first. I was seated in 11K that was a left-facing diagonal seat, which had an amenity kit, headphones, a blanket, slippers and a pillow placed on it. The air hostess offered to take my jacket as I sat down on my seat. I placed my purse in the stowage section ahead of my seat and my laptop bag in the overhead compartment. I kept a book and my phone’s charging wire on the side table to my right, beside the window. A warm towel was offered after a few minutes. The flight was delayed and finally took off at 2100. An air hostess came by and introduced herself, before handing me the dining menu soon after take-off.
THE SEAT A 17-inch touch screen monitor is available at each “Sky Suite III” seat — this can also be operated by the entertainment controller at hand. Amenity kits include an eye mask, ear plugs, a dental kit and a moisture mask. The dining table slides out from the left of the seat, while on the right is additional storage, a headphone hook and a vanity mirror. I plugged my phone for charging into the USB port on my right — there is also a three-pin power socket and a headphone jack. The reading light with four levels of brightness was convenient during take-off when the cabin lights dimmed. Seat controls include a massage, fully flat and upright options as well. There is a moveable armrest which I pushed up so I could spread out to sleep. Centre seats offer partition options for increased privacy. A purple, dark blue and white colour theme is followed through the cabin. Seats are configured as 1-2-1 in business class.
WHICH SEAT TO CHOOSE? Business class seats are divided between two cabins. Choose a seat in the first cabin to exit the aircraft sooner. If travelling with a companion, the middle two seats make sense.
THE FLIGHT The meal service that operates as Bedd — Sky Auberge by JAL, began immediately after the seat belt sign was switched off. The wine list that evening was curated by Kenichi Ohashi and Motohiro Okoshi, renowned Japanese wine experts. For dinner there were Japanese, Western and Hindu meal options. I was offered a Hindu meal because it had been requested for in advance. As a starter, I was served chicken tikka that was well spiced and perfectly tangy, some salad and bread. For mains, a meal of black dal, rice and chicken tikka masala was served. The Japanese meal had dishes like simmered turnip with minced chicken sauce, deep-fried yellowtail with black vinegar sauce, miso soup and chicken teriyaki on the menu. The Western menu begins with cocktail shrimps and then goes on to grilled salmon/beef for mains. For dessert, the espresso cheesecake I had was decadent. The drinks menu includes Japanese spirits such as sake, shochu and Japanese malts. I watched a movie along with my meal and slept until the crew began preparing for landing. Since I only woke up half an hour before landing, the air hostess has kept some fruits and a tea cake beside my seat. I filled my immigration slip, wore my shoes and fastened my seat belt before landing.
ARRIVAL The flight arrived on time at 0710 at Tokyo Narita International Airport’s Terminal 2.
VERDICT A convenient and luxurious way to fly between the two capital cities. The timing of the flight is befitting for business travellers who wish to dive into a day of meetings upon arriving in Tokyo.
PRICE Internet rates for a midweek return business class flight between Delhi and Tokyo in April started from JP¥1,28,092/₹75,000.