Japan Airlines Call Centres

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Old May 4, 17, 12:01 pm
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Japan Airlines Call Centres

Has anyone had similar experience?

I called JAL call centre in Japan and most of the time the ones answering the calls speak very poor English which is, no offence, not understandable.

Yesterday, I called the US call centre of JAL and spoke to several agents. I have never experienced such horrible customer service, consistently bad from all of them. I made an award reservation with Cathay Pacific for JAL flight and wished to change to another flight due to a sudden aircraft change. I called Cathay Pacific which said they could not help so I called JAL subsequently. The agent told me, "No, we won't help." I asked her whether there is a department in JAL responsible to talk to Cathay Pacific, she said, "No, we don't know. This is call centre only. If CX won't help you, too bad for you sir, I am afraid" I was then transferred to a supervisor. He said, "Have you listened to what my agent told you. No. That's what I can advise you right now." He ended the call by saying to me "Good luck Sir!"

I could not ever imagine this is JAL's level of service. Is it an outsourced call centre?
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Old May 4, 17, 12:45 pm
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Originally Posted by ma930407 View Post
Has anyone had similar experience?

I called JAL call centre in Japan and most of the time the ones answering the calls speak very poor English which is, no offence, not understandable.

Yesterday, I called the US call centre of JAL and spoke to several agents. I have never experienced such horrible customer service, consistently bad from all of them. I made an award reservation with Cathay Pacific for JAL flight and wished to change to another flight due to a sudden aircraft change. I called Cathay Pacific which said they could not help so I called JAL subsequently. The agent told me, "No, we won't help." I asked her whether there is a department in JAL responsible to talk to Cathay Pacific, she said, "No, we don't know. This is call centre only. If CX won't help you, too bad for you sir, I am afraid" I was then transferred to a supervisor. He said, "Have you listened to what my agent told you. No. That's what I can advise you right now." He ended the call by saying to me "Good luck Sir!"

I could not ever imagine this is JAL's level of service. Is it an outsourced call centre?
US call center is not outsourced. Unfortunately, the JAL agents are right. No point of calling JAL since there's nothing they can do. This is a CX booking so you need to talk to CX. It's almost like you bought an iPhone 7 from Amazon but you are calling Apple to switch your Amazon order to an iPhone 7S. There is nothing Apple can do with your Amazon order.

Also, since this is only an aircraft change, there's no ground for any kind of exception handling at all as long as schedule and cabin of service remain the same.

Last edited by JALPak; May 4, 17 at 12:50 pm
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Old May 4, 17, 5:34 pm
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As a counterpoint, the last time I spoke to JAL's US call center, the service was nothing short of excellent. The wait time was atrocious (I called during the east coast lunch period), but once I got a representative on the line they very quickly helped me with my issue.

In your case though, it seems like your problem is with the CX agent who told you they couldn't help (though CX's terms may not offer any flexibility in the case of an aircraft change).
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Old May 4, 17, 8:57 pm
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I typically find agents based in Japan are much easier to talk to than the ones in US (even with JAL Sapphire membership). The level of customer service is just different.

I would recommend email if it is a non-urgent inquiry.
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Old May 5, 17, 7:01 pm
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I find JAL's call centers to be the weak link in an otherwise great airline. Wait times are horrible, even at the elite lines. And if there is any issue where there is a "gray area," i.e. it's not clear how the rules should apply in a given situation, the agents always interpret the rules in JAL's favor, to the detriment of the customer (even for long time elite members). And if you do dare to ask for a waiver of any fee or rule, you can forget it. Waivers are never, ever granted, even for long time Sapphire members.

The agents are very polite and say all the right things, but if you ask for anything out of the ordinary, the response is always "I'm very sorry, but we can't do that."

To be fair, it's not just a JAL thing. My experience with ANA is the same.
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Old May 6, 17, 2:11 am
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Originally Posted by Unimatrix One View Post
I find JAL's call centers to be the weak link in an otherwise great airline. Wait times are horrible, even at the elite lines. And if there is any issue where there is a "gray area," i.e. it's not clear how the rules should apply in a given situation, the agents always interpret the rules in JAL's favor, to the detriment of the customer (even for long time elite members). And if you do dare to ask for a waiver of any fee or rule, you can forget it. Waivers are never, ever granted, even for long time Sapphire members.

The agents are very polite and say all the right things, but if you ask for anything out of the ordinary, the response is always "I'm very sorry, but we can't do that."

To be fair, it's not just a JAL thing. My experience with ANA is the same.
It is not even a JAL and ANA thing, that's just the way customer service works in Japan. Usually, it does also work extremely well. Though sometimes you get some frustrating "computer says no" moments.

My only gripe ever with JAL call centers has been waiting time, which can be long at times. Don't call during lunch hour time, or around 17:30 to 18:30 when most offices officially end working hours. Seems each and every JAL passenger in Japan picks up the phone to call at those hours...
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Old May 9, 17, 9:34 pm
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The rules are there to include sapphire members. You ask for a waiver. It would be against the rules to do so.
maybe you should fly with an airline that waives charges for sapphires instead
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Old May 10, 17, 4:43 am
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Angry

After talking for several times to CX, CX helped send a request to JL for changing flights. I waited for another week. Then CX told me that, "it is Japanese culture that everything is done very slowly with so many documentation and little flexibility. Originally they have orally agreed to change your flight. But after all the documents to and from JL, JL told us NO."

I also send emails to JAL to explain the circumstances, both through the US page and the Japan page. I have not received any reply from the US side after 1.5 weeks. For Japan side, they replied after 1 week saying that JL cannot contact CX (when I asked whether there was specific department which did the liaison) and ONLY CX can contact JL, and with the standard phrases that thank you again for contacting Japan Airlines and sorry to learn your frustration and disappointment.

I have always got good experience with JL inflight. But I am entirely frustrated by its rigidity this time!
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Old May 10, 17, 5:08 am
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Originally Posted by ma930407 View Post
After talking for several times to CX, CX helped send a request to JL for changing flights. I waited for another week. Then CX told me that, "it is Japanese culture that everything is done very slowly with so many documentation and little flexibility. Originally they have orally agreed to change your flight. But after all the documents to and from JL, JL told us NO."

I also send emails to JAL to explain the circumstances, both through the US page and the Japan page. I have not received any reply from the US side after 1.5 weeks. For Japan side, they replied after 1 week saying that JL cannot contact CX (when I asked whether there was specific department which did the liaison) and ONLY CX can contact JL, and with the standard phrases that thank you again for contacting Japan Airlines and sorry to learn your frustration and disappointment.

I have always got good experience with JL inflight. But I am entirely frustrated by its rigidity this time!
As I have told you already, an aircraft change does not entitle you to special handling and JL won't touch the CX award reservation. So don't waste your time on asking JL for help as they are just following the rules. JL is not like CX. They won't bend their back backward just to please you. That's one of the many reasons I prefer JL over CX. Your only hope is to deal with CX.

By the way what kind of aircraft change is this? SS2 to 767?

Last edited by JALPak; May 10, 17 at 5:13 am
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Old May 10, 17, 7:33 am
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JALPak is 100% right. If the ticket was booked by CX using Asia Miles, then CX have every authority to make changes as they see fit. If CX want to change it, it's completely up to them. They don't need JL's permission.

It seems to me that CX are the ones being inflexible here and trying to blame JL.
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Old May 10, 17, 9:06 am
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I'm assuming there's no award space on the flight OP wants to switch to as otherwise there would be no reason CX needs to contact JL. At this point your only option is to hope space opens on the desired JL flight and then call up CX and explain the situation.
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Old May 11, 17, 12:19 am
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Originally Posted by ma930407 View Post
After talking for several times to CX, CX helped send a request to JL for changing flights. I waited for another week. Then CX told me that, "it is Japanese culture that everything is done very slowly with so many documentation and little flexibility. Originally they have orally agreed to change your flight. But after all the documents to and from JL, JL told us NO."

I also send emails to JAL to explain the circumstances, both through the US page and the Japan page. I have not received any reply from the US side after 1.5 weeks. For Japan side, they replied after 1 week saying that JL cannot contact CX (when I asked whether there was specific department which did the liaison) and ONLY CX can contact JL, and with the standard phrases that thank you again for contacting Japan Airlines and sorry to learn your frustration and disappointment.

I have always got good experience with JL inflight. But I am entirely frustrated by its rigidity this time!
what airline allows you for a free change when there's an aircraft change? neither CX nor JL does it to their paying passengers anyways.
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Old May 11, 17, 3:30 am
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I've called the Singapore hotline before and the agent sounds like he's from Hong Kong. I assume the nearest call center is Hong Kong.
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Old May 11, 17, 4:17 am
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Originally Posted by lcpteck View Post
I've called the Singapore hotline before and the agent sounds like he's from Hong Kong. I assume the nearest call center is Hong Kong.
Yes, calls from SIN are routed to HK.
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Old May 11, 17, 4:20 am
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Originally Posted by kaka View Post
what airline allows you for a free change when there's an aircraft change? neither CX nor JL does it to their paying passengers anyways.
Don't think change fee is the main problem here. Probably the lack of award availability is what stops OP from changing to his preferred flight/aircraft.
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