I'll be doing NRT-SFO next week in First. Decided to do First instead of J since it was only a US$600 difference.
Anyway, when I checked out the seat map in First, I noticed that it was sort of 'staggered'. ie Seat 1A is window, then 2C is aisle, then 3A window and then 4C aisle.
What's going on? How's the catering, service etc...?
Jul 10, 01, 12:05 pm
Guy Betsy, next week JL is flying its 'retro-fit' F version, except for 19JUL, which will have a solo sleeper seat (at this moment). I would choose NH if they don't have sole seats -- suit type flat bed. Their Sky Sleeper double seats do not go flat, the foot rest does but not the back.
Don't raise your expectations too high. I had ORD-NRT, NRT-HKG so far this year in F. Their NRT lounge is very modest, nothing comprable to The Wing. Flight attendants are probably very nice. Food was OK. They may hand out those pajamas like CX does but unlike CX, they will recollect them toward the end of the flight. Entertainment is paltry, compared with CX .... etc.
I was, wrongly, raising expectations that JL would be a nice addition to oneworld but after taking those flights earlier this year, I really don't mind if they don't join it. Their business class is also far, far inferior. But they say they will revamp them soon.
Jul 10, 01, 12:31 pm
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by Chiangi:
I was, wrongly, raising expectations that JL would be a nice addition to oneworld but after taking those flights earlier this year, I really don't mind if they don't join it. Their business class is also far, far inferior. But they say they will revamp them soon.</font>
WRT business class between JL and CX, I would disagree with you. Having flown 6 CX segments (1 trans-pacific) last year, and 4 JL segemnts (2 trans-pacific) two years ago, I would consider them pretty close, with JL the edge in long-haul service, and CX intra-Asia segments. I seem to remember:
1. JL had better food, specially if you went for the Japanese meals
2. You can plug in a video player into their in-seat screen and watch other movies than the programmed ones
As far as having inferior lounges in NRT, does anyone really have a good lounge at NRT ? I've been to both CX and JL BUS lounges there, and CX's lounges outside of HKG are all pretty pathetic.
And as far as having JL join Oneworld, this means we can finally get to China without having to depart from Australia or Europe.
[This message has been edited by hsi.chang (edited 07-10-2001).]
Jul 10, 01, 8:40 pm
NRT is THE hub for JL's international services .... It's a UA hub, too. I guess UA has a pretty good lounge there. I find their partitioned desk section and buz. class shower cabins better than CX's at the Wing,which I meant to be the HKG lounge, not any other, sorry if I confused you.
[This message has been edited by Chiangi (edited 07-10-2001).]
Jul 10, 01, 10:32 pm
I'm booked on JL in First on 19JUL between NRT and SFO ! Chiangi - what exactly do you mean by 'retro-fit'?
Do you have any info on the new JL Business Class?
Jul 11, 01, 8:15 am
That wouldn't be bad, Guy Betsy. What they call retro-fit is just old type seats that do not recline fully.
Oh, btw, don't forget to check out one of the lavatories, which is a bit fancy.
Jul 18, 01, 12:19 pm
I flew NRT-JFK about a month ago. I was the only Westerner in F. I thought the seats were great and arranged in such a way as I felt I had more privacy than BA,CX or SQ. The service was great. I ate the Japanese food which was good but quite exotic. The sandwiches (snacks) were also very good. I referred to the lavatories in a recent post which were the nicest I have been in. They included a window that frosted over at the touch of a button, music that started when you closed the door and a real mirror with "make" up style lighting.
[This message has been edited by speedbird001 (edited 07-18-2001).]
Jul 18, 01, 11:20 pm
It's been about a year since I flew in F from KIX to LAX and I thought they were a slight step down from ANA. And the seats were nowhere near as good as SQ. I haven't taken CX in a few years so I can't compare them yet (but I hope to try later this year).
The lav's in the F lounge at KIX have remote controls for the bidet!
Jul 20, 01, 9:17 am
I must have been on the oldest B747-400! Flight JL 002 was operated by JAL's 100th B747! The seats though individual, are old, brown and tattered. Meals were 'ok' - I found the connecting flight from HKG on CX in First miles better than the longhaul from NRT to SFO.
Entertainment system was a bit tatty.
FAs say a new refit is due in the autumn including J class which will have almost like seats like in Virgin ... where the leg is lower than the head - part!
But I don't think I will be taking them for a while. Last time I took them way back in 86 was much better.
Jul 30, 01, 11:51 am
While on the topic, then how is JL biz/1st product comparable to what QF/AA/AY offer in biz or first? The reason I am asking is that so far the main comparison was made to CX which is a wonderful airline but which I sadly don't use often, and JAL has some resonably cheap front cabin fares ex - South Pacific but I wouldn't want to waste my money if the flight wasn't up to standard. Any input?
Aug 9, 01, 3:59 pm
I recently flew JFK-GRU (Sao Paulo) in F on JL. While I don't have a ton of int'l first class experience, I was extremely impressed with the service. The food was excellent and the service extremely attentive. I especially liked that when I selected a bottle of wine, they opened it in front of me and let me taste it before pouring (maybe this was a function of the cabin being only half full - 6/12). The lavatories were nice - a little larger than usual, and a full-length mirror, I think.
The seats (Sky Sleeper duo) were OK, a little less comfortable than AA, but the large pillow and duvet made up for that.
One aspect I particularly liked was the cabin configuration -- front section of 744, with 3 rows, 2 seats on each side. There was a large open area in the middle, which made the cabin seem very spacious. (I'm sure the fact that it was half full helped). A sharp contrast to the cramped F cabins on AA's 767s, even with the sleeper seats.
Aug 15, 01, 11:03 am
Just noticed JAL has pics of new seats yet to be introduced.
You will be directed to a Japanese web site. Down below there are three Internet Explorer logos. The first is First Class. The second is Executive Class (152-degree recline), which will be available first on NRT-JFK in Oct. 2001, and the third Executive Class - nearly flat (170 degrees) bed scheduled for introduction in summer 2002 on NRT-JFK, NRT-LHR.
Aug 15, 01, 2:30 pm
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by ijgordon:
I especially liked that when I selected a bottle of wine, they opened it in front of me and let me taste it before pouring (maybe this was a function of the cabin being only half full - 6/12).</font>
This is standard procedure on JAL (and ANA), even when the cabin is full. Usually at least one flight attendant on JAL has taken a sommelier course. Many of them are often quite knowledgeable about wines and enjoy discussing them.
Aug 25, 01, 7:48 pm
I don't care for Japanese food. How were the western meals. Was there a choice of western meals?
Also don't understand the message about the F/C seats. The press release says they are changing from one kind of flat bed seat to another. One message implied the current F/C seats do not go flat out.
Aug 29, 01, 3:41 am
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by JIMCHI:
I don't care for Japanese food. How were the western meals. Was there a choice of western meals?</font>
Yes, you can choose a western meal.
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Also don't understand the message about the F/C seats. The press release says they are changing from one kind of flat bed seat to another. One message implied the current F/C seats do not go flat out.</font>
As far as I know, JL currently has two types of seats for their F service: cocoon suit that goes flat and two-seater that does not go completely flat. There may be more. Their NRT-JFK services, when there are two per day, have each of these.
Sep 10, 01, 7:05 am
Wow. I am surprised. I took JAL in F from JFK-NRT about 10 years ago and was extremely impressed with the quality of the food, WINE, liquor, service, etc.
Total feeling of being pampred.
"Which wine do you recommend?"
"Well, sir, why do you try a few of them and let me know which one you prefer?"
"More caviar, sir?
One time, some food spilled on the floor and two FA's competed to get down on their hands and knees to clean up the crumbs (never in the US, must be against union regs).