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JAL longhaul: declining service levels, higher fares

JAL longhaul: declining service levels, higher fares

Old Aug 31, 19, 6:17 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Nov 2014
Programs: JGC - 1 star
Posts: 83
JAL longhaul: declining service levels, higher fares

Dear all,


I'm sad to share that recently JAL is showing a drastic change in strategy with a steady decline in service levels in long haul economy class and at the same time are asking higher fares.

A few examples:
-Toothbrushes are no longer readily available in the lavatories
-The seatback controllers are being removed. So get used to getting your seat tapped by the passenger sitting behind you and having to resort to your smartphone for entertainment when the touchscreen isn't working properly
-The cabins are getting dirty. I got bit by bugs on my last two flights.
-The smiles of the cabin crews are gone.
-JGC people who take several flights per year are no longer eligible for renewal with 5000 miles unless they fly a lot each year. This is unforgiveable. I see that some see it as "freeloading", however at JAL's fare levels, this is not exactly freeloading.
-The Air Mos Burger idea was great and tasty, but my clothes goth dirty, plus great option for a snack but as a full meal??

The fares are through the roof. They are now often priced double of the cheapest option for Europe-Japan itineraries.

An email to the customer service about all of this was radically ignored, not even a reply.


I also noticed that AY no longer uses JAL lounges in NRT? I was directed to the QF lounge.
During the works at the non-Shengen lounge in HEL, JAL passengers were directed to a non-AY lounge.
Is there a dispute going on between JAL and AY?

I also noticed that AY have upped their game recently. Better service in the cabin, improved catering in the lounges, etc...
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Old Sep 1, 19, 12:55 am
  #2  
 
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I am confused by this post.

1. Are you able to request toothbrushes seating in Economy even though it's not available in the lavatory? Were you declined? It may just be the case all the toothbrushes got used and it was not replenished quickly enough.
2. The last time I sat in international economy in February there is a controller, so I am unsure which aircraft has it removed. However, I can hardly see removing seat back controllers a decline in service level. If the screen isn't working, speak to the FA?

4. When I fly I always see smiling cabin crews.
5. I think you need to go re-read the rules. You are still allowed to renew with 5,000 miles. What's changed is for renew w/o using miles. I am actually quite surprised that they didn't remove the 5,000 miles rule as it's a generous way to keep your oneworld Sapphire status.
6. I don't feel the meal quantity for either Japanese airlines in Economy was adequate to start with, whether it was a full meal or an Air Mos Burger. Not sure how that qualifies as a downgrade when it's been like that for years.

8. Based in US, e-mail to Japan Airlines often take up to 8 weeks to get a response. If I want an immediate response, I would call (and call Tokyo not LA as that would log me hours of wait time for most part).
9. At the moment, there is a lounge refurbishment at the JAL lounges in both HND and NRT. At NRT, if you are not taking JAL you will be directed to another airline lounge due to lack of space. It's been discussed here for a long time, did you read those threads? If there are works at HEL as well, then it's understandable if you are not flying AY you get directed to another lounge.
10. Feel free to take your business to AY. As a passenger you always have the rights to vote your wallet somewhere else.
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Old Sep 1, 19, 5:51 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
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The toothbrushes aare still available. Though they tend to only put them out a bit after the first meal service. If they are not there, just ask.

I find the cabin crew as smiling and welcoming as always.

I know portion sizes is a very personal thing, and one person's too small is another's too big.. I find the Air Mos burger a good size for a second meal. Soup Stock Tokyo is another favourite of mine, probably even a lighter meal than the burger. But it is fine for me.

The Sky Wider II seats seems to rely fully on the touch screen. I have yet to have problems with it, but yeah the punching of the pax behind can be slightly annoying. But even the seats with the controller has a touch screen, so you get that on the older versions as well. Though quite rare it is really something that can be noticed.

Bed bugs is a problem that all airlines struggle with from time to time. Even the cleanest cabin can suffer, as they are brought in by the passengers. Make sure sure to report it, so JAL can get a chance to treat the cabin.
​​​​​​
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Old Sep 1, 19, 3:47 pm
  #4  
 
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And PS the size and concept of the Air Series servings is nothing new. It has been around for years. Just slightly different Mos burgers each time. Next one up is Yoshinoya.
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Old Sep 1, 19, 4:08 pm
  #5  
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Originally Posted by coolfish1103 View Post
I am confused by this post.

1. Are you able to request toothbrushes seating in Economy even though it's not available in the lavatory? Were you declined? It may just be the case all the toothbrushes got used and it was not replenished quickly enough.
2. The last time I sat in international economy in February there is a controller, so I am unsure which aircraft has it removed. However, I can hardly see removing seat back controllers a decline in service level. If the screen isn't working, speak to the FA?

4. When I fly I always see smiling cabin crews.
5. I think you need to go re-read the rules. You are still allowed to renew with 5,000 miles. What's changed is for renew w/o using miles. I am actually quite surprised that they didn't remove the 5,000 miles rule as it's a generous way to keep your oneworld Sapphire status.
6. I don't feel the meal quantity for either Japanese airlines in Economy was adequate to start with, whether it was a full meal or an Air Mos Burger. Not sure how that qualifies as a downgrade when it's been like that for years.

8. Based in US, e-mail to Japan Airlines often take up to 8 weeks to get a response. If I want an immediate response, I would call (and call Tokyo not LA as that would log me hours of wait time for most part).
9. At the moment, there is a lounge refurbishment at the JAL lounges in both HND and NRT. At NRT, if you are not taking JAL you will be directed to another airline lounge due to lack of space. It's been discussed here for a long time, did you read those threads? If there are works at HEL as well, then it's understandable if you are not flying AY you get directed to another lounge.
10. Feel free to take your business to AY. As a passenger you always have the rights to vote your wallet somewhere else.
1. -Toothbrushes can be requested of course. However, previously it was not necessary to request them, they were readily available.
2. -The controllers are being phased out on the B787 fleet. I was on flights in June and July and they were gone. It is a decline when the peopel behind you are tapping on it constantly, especially the younger crowd.
4. -Yes the cabin crew used to smile, not anymore since a couple of months. We'll see if those were summer blues.
5. -You are right I apologise for this. The communication I got by email was not clear, it mentionned only about the automatic renewal, but to me the 5000 JGC renewal is also an automatic renewal. So I thought that this option had vanished and was furious about it. Shame that customer service didn't get back to me to correct me, as this lead me to dismiss JAL as a favorite flight option and I booked my next flights with AF and KLM.
I will put back JAL as my favorite flight option. They need to be clear when they communicate such things. The 5000 mile renewal option is important in my opinion, because this loyalty extends to much more than individuals. This is the reason me and my entire family choose JL over any other airline, and some of us influence bigger (government) accounts.
6. -It's been like that for years but a point deserving to be repeated until they get it. The main meal is usually good, it's the second meal that is not adequate.
8. -8 weeks is ridiculous, as is their lack of a 24 hour call centre in Tokyo. When London closes, I need to call the U.S. office and they give me half answers and can't take bookings.
9. -Thanks for letting me know. I would have preferred that the check-in staff in NRT would have mentionned it to me rather than having to read it on a forum. The QF lounge wasn't too bad.
10. -AY is still not on par with JL services but I was pleasantly surprised on their last flights, cabin crew were smiling, they stopped their annoying and pushy duty free ads and the A359 is growing on me even when compared to the 8Y B789's. Definitely a push in the right direction in terms of quality for AY.

Last edited by Flanker2; Sep 1, 19 at 4:16 pm
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Old Sep 1, 19, 4:19 pm
  #6  
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The Air Series are great. I have seen them all, Soup Tokyo, Mos, Yoshinoya and quite frankly I loved each one of them.
I don't fancy the quantity of those meals though. It wouldn't kill them to put a decent sized salad on the side as stomach filler.
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Old Sep 1, 19, 7:25 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Japan
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Originally Posted by Flanker2 View Post
Dear all,


I'm sad to share that recently JAL is showing a drastic change in strategy with a steady decline in service levels in long haul economy class and at the same time are asking higher fares.

A few examples:
-Toothbrushes are no longer readily available in the lavatories
-The seatback controllers are being removed. So get used to getting your seat tapped by the passenger sitting behind you and having to resort to your smartphone for entertainment when the touchscreen isn't working properly
-The cabins are getting dirty. I got bit by bugs on my last two flights.
-The smiles of the cabin crews are gone.
-JGC people who take several flights per year are no longer eligible for renewal with 5000 miles unless they fly a lot each year. This is unforgiveable. I see that some see it as "freeloading", however at JAL's fare levels, this is not exactly freeloading.
-The Air Mos Burger idea was great and tasty, but my clothes goth dirty, plus great option for a snack but as a full meal??

The fares are through the roof. They are now often priced double of the cheapest option for Europe-Japan itineraries.

An email to the customer service about all of this was radically ignored, not even a reply.


I also noticed that AY no longer uses JAL lounges in NRT? I was directed to the QF lounge.
During the works at the non-Shengen lounge in HEL, JAL passengers were directed to a non-AY lounge.
Is there a dispute going on between JAL and AY?

I also noticed that AY have upped their game recently. Better service in the cabin, improved catering in the lounges, etc...
Here's my data point. I flew HND-LHR in late July in Y (JL43) and back in PY in early Aug (JL42)

1. Toothbrushes available on both legs and refilled throughout the flight
2. This is airplane type dependant. Seatback controllers on JL43 are still there, on JL42 in PY they were a different type, but since the seats are the shell type, I didn't feel the tapping from the person behind me at all.
3. Seemed clean to me, much better than Alaskan or Hawaiian that I flew in early June.
4. The Japanese staff seem to smile a bit more than the outstation crew, better than other airlines. I travelled with 3 kids and they were really patient and went above and beyond with them (drinks, food, snacks, general chit chat).
5. Air Mos burger was cool to see, but a bit meh to eat IMO. Portion size is too subjective, for me it was fine.
6. I agree that fares are higher vs. the competition even on the cheapest class of fares, but you get what you pay for. Everything from punctuality and dependability to customer service and food.
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Old Sep 1, 19, 9:23 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
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Originally Posted by Flanker2 View Post
1. -Toothbrushes can be requested of course. However, previously it was not necessary to request them, they were readily available.
just ask for it if not available.

Last edited by Tokyoite; Sep 3, 19 at 3:54 am
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Old Sep 1, 19, 9:26 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
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Shifting from JAL (as JGC) to AF and KLM.....tell us how that goes.
Um...what was the expected outcome of this post? JAL don't read FT!
Fares...Olympics and what not, demand is high.
The rest....likely one-off incidents.
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Old Sep 2, 19, 1:48 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
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Originally Posted by Flanker2 View Post
1. -Toothbrushes can be requested of course. However, previously it was not necessary to request them, they were readily available.
2. -The controllers are being phased out on the B787 fleet. I was on flights in June and July and they were gone. It is a decline when the peopel behind you are tapping on it constantly, especially the younger crowd.
4. -Yes the cabin crew used to smile, not anymore since a couple of months. We'll see if those were summer blues.
5. -You are right I apologise for this. The communication I got by email was not clear, it mentionned only about the automatic renewal, but to me the 5000 JGC renewal is also an automatic renewal. So I thought that this option had vanished and was furious about it. Shame that customer service didn't get back to me to correct me, as this lead me to dismiss JAL as a favorite flight option and I booked my next flights with AF and KLM.
I will put back JAL as my favorite flight option. They need to be clear when they communicate such things. The 5000 mile renewal option is important in my opinion, because this loyalty extends to much more than individuals. This is the reason me and my entire family choose JL over any other airline, and some of us influence bigger (government) accounts.
6. -It's been like that for years but a point deserving to be repeated until they get it. The main meal is usually good, it's the second meal that is not adequate.
8. -8 weeks is ridiculous, as is their lack of a 24 hour call centre in Tokyo. When London closes, I need to call the U.S. office and they give me half answers and can't take bookings.
9. -Thanks for letting me know. I would have preferred that the check-in staff in NRT would have mentionned it to me rather than having to read it on a forum. The QF lounge wasn't too bad.
10. -AY is still not on par with JL services but I was pleasantly surprised on their last flights, cabin crew were smiling, they stopped their annoying and pushy duty free ads and the A359 is growing on me even when compared to the 8Y B789's. Definitely a push in the right direction in terms of quality for AY.
1. Like I said, it may just happened that the toothbrushes all got used and were not replenished quickly enough. Other have presented data points where toothbrushes are still available in Economy lavatory, so it's not a you must request save $ move.
2. I still cannot understand the concept of a downgrade when controllers are phased out. I actually disliked the controllers cause it's very easy to press a call button when you don't need the FA or a sudden volume change. Maybe the best solution is to keep the controllers but mount them on the seat in front of you.

4. If you feel the cabin crew is not performing (whether smile or toothbrush) for your given flight, drop a complaint.
5. Enjoy your flight on AF/KLM. Do report back if you feel they are above and beyond JAL relative to price paid.
6. I agree the meal is not adequate, but it has always been like that. It's not a recent downgrade experience.

8. I agree 8 weeks are ridiculous and I have voiced my complaint to them, but that's also not a recent downgrade experience. I simply neglect the LAX office now and call Tokyo.
9. It's mentioned in front of the lounge with a big sign before you enter the lounge at Narita, along with the First Class relocation sign to 4th floor. I was also not informed about the First Class lounge change on my recent flight leaving Narita at check in, but it's not difficult to find with signs or ask at the lounge.
10. I believe JAL will also be using 35K in their international flights. Hopefully the seating are still the same layout.
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Old Sep 2, 19, 3:16 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
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Originally Posted by Flanker2 View Post
1. -Toothbrushes can be requested of course. However, previously it was not necessary to request them, they were readily available.
2. -The controllers are being phased out on the B787 fleet. I was on flights in June and July and they were gone. It is a decline when the peopel behind you are tapping on it constantly, especially the younger crowd.
4. -Yes the cabin crew used to smile, not anymore since a couple of months. We'll see if those were summer blues.
5. -You are right I apologise for this. The communication I got by email was not clear, it mentionned only about the automatic renewal, but to me the 5000 JGC renewal is also an automatic renewal. So I thought that this option had vanished and was furious about it. Shame that customer service didn't get back to me to correct me, as this lead me to dismiss JAL as a favorite flight option and I booked my next flights with AF and KLM.
I will put back JAL as my favorite flight option. They need to be clear when they communicate such things. The 5000 mile renewal option is important in my opinion, because this loyalty extends to much more than individuals. This is the reason me and my entire family choose JL over any other airline, and some of us influence bigger (government) accounts.
6. -It's been like that for years but a point deserving to be repeated until they get it. The main meal is usually good, it's the second meal that is not adequate.
8. -8 weeks is ridiculous, as is their lack of a 24 hour call centre in Tokyo. When London closes, I need to call the U.S. office and they give me half answers and can't take bookings.
9. -Thanks for letting me know. I would have preferred that the check-in staff in NRT would have mentionned it to me rather than having to read it on a forum. The QF lounge wasn't too bad.
10. -AY is still not on par with JL services but I was pleasantly surprised on their last flights, cabin crew were smiling, they stopped their annoying and pushy duty free ads and the A359 is growing on me even when compared to the 8Y B789's. Definitely a push in the right direction in terms of quality for AY.
Would that not be the AY check in staff that should let you know that the AY used lounge is changed to the QF lounge? (I realise that this will probably be mostly JAL people contracted by AY, yet AY manages the process and information)
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Old Sep 2, 19, 3:29 pm
  #12  
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Originally Posted by CPH-Flyer View Post
Would that not be the AY check in staff that should let you know that the AY used lounge is changed to the QF lounge? (I realise that this will probably be mostly JAL people contracted by AY, yet AY manages the process and information)
Technically AY but the check-in desks are manned by JL staff in NRT.


I hate flying KLM so imagine how pissed I was at JL about the JGC communication (though it was a misunderstanding).
I haven't tried AF for a while so can't wait to try them out.

You get what you pay for, but the AF-KLM option was 690 EUR vs. over 1300 EUR for JAL/AY/BA. The cheapest option was EY with 615 EUR for your reference.
On this trip, it was unlikely that I would have chosen JL anyway, the value wasn't there.

I will add one rant.
JAL has this weird prehistoric yield management strategy where you need to have a minimum 5-day trip to book a decently priced ticket.
Anything shorter than that and they will empty your bank account.
This worked in the 1990's and 2000's, but other airlines are really competitive on these short trips, especially the ME3 and AF/KLM.

Also, whatever happened to the option to book a TGV from ZYR?
The pre-system changed website displayed those, nowadays you only find them through shady OTA's.
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Old Sep 2, 19, 5:26 pm
  #13  
 
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Originally Posted by Flanker2 View Post
Technically AY but the check-in desks are manned by JL staff in NRT.
JAL people that get their instructions from AY.

If an aircraft has not been properly cleaned, do you contact ISS or Sodexo who supplied the staff, or the airline responsible for setting the SLA? Same here, the AY sets the standard for check in flows.

While JAL will inform passengers of the available lounge, and mostly have small maps ready to hand to passengers to find said loubges; I find that most airlines don't inform you of your lounge option unless you specifically ask. Very much true for European airlines.
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