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Old Dec 3, 14, 5:37 am   #46
  
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That was a great report - Thanks for sharing!
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Old Dec 3, 14, 8:17 am   #47
  
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Wonderful comparison, thank you. Seems like JAL would be a clear winner if you account for award cost and availability.
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Old Dec 3, 14, 10:16 am   #48
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Originally Posted by Thunderroad View Post
You're welcome! I'll add that, thanks to your very informative TR, I just this evening jumped on JL F award seats for my wife and myself when I saw them available for an Asia trip we'll take in a few months. So thanks again!
Lucky you! Enjoy!

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Originally Posted by evinrude View Post
thank you for this awesome trip report tng11! The head-to-head comparison format is definitely unique, but I kinda prefer your old TRs for their depth
Thanks evinrude! I would love to do another one of those comprehensive reports - but maybe only where the destination/product hasn't been done to death already.

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Originally Posted by thebob6 View Post
That was a great report - Thanks for sharing!
Thanks thebob6!

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Originally Posted by agp423 View Post
Wonderful comparison, thank you. Seems like JAL would be a clear winner if you account for award cost and availability.
Thanks agp423! I would agree if you're south of the border, considering an Asia award on US/AA is significantly cheaper than UA. But north of the border, it's hard to generate large amounts of US/AA miles while Aeroplan points can be generated like Monopoly money - and ANA is probably one of the best products to burn those miles on (there's YQ but it's still worth it IMO.)

Another factor to consider is it's considerably easier to get 2 JL F award seats far out. I've never seen more than 1 NH F seat available far out for awards - only close in will you see 2, and there's no reliable release pattern for NH (I've seen F7 cabins not release an additional seat even the day before departure.)
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Old Dec 10, 14, 10:09 pm   #49
  
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Originally Posted by JALPak View Post
JAL switched to Airweave long time ago. The one you had definitely is not a Tempur-Pedic one.
is airweave better than tempur-pedic?
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Old Dec 11, 14, 9:08 am   #50
  
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Great report and good format, thank you.

I think my conclusion from reading this can only be: Must fly them both!
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Old Dec 11, 14, 9:09 am   #51
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Originally Posted by dkjb3t4 View Post
is airweave better than tempur-pedic?
This is up to your personal preference but the Olympics athletes used the same airweave dual used in JAL F and the price is way more expensive than Tempur.
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Old Dec 13, 14, 6:40 pm   #52
  
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I loved your trip report, tng11. You have a fine style of writing accompanied by ample wit and lovely photos -- especially your food photos and the accompanying descriptions.

Based on your report, it sounds like I should be saving up my SPG points for JAL ... soon!
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Old May 9, 15, 6:38 pm   #53
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As an update, I flew JL F ORD-NRT-CGK in mid-April and just stepped off of NH F NRT-IAD today.

Overall, I still think JL F is the better product. The lounge for JL F is better (discovered the sushi bar this time around), the onboard catering is better and higher quality (the Western and Japanese options this time were outstanding), and the service on both segments were fantastic with a great, proactive crew who were friendly and interactive.

Contrast to NH F, where I found the food merely "decent" this time, and I find the cubicle design a bit cramped. Crew was great, but was reserved compared to JL. The ground service was somewhat of a disaster - having arrived at NRT at 6:20 coming off a TG flight, there was no NH staff anywhere to be found to print off my boarding pass. They couldn't do it at the lounge either and I eventually had to wait for the concierge who showed up at 9:30 to get my boarding pass (I was starting to get worried something went awry with my booking as the other agents couldn't check me in.) Eventually all was good, and they retagged my bag for my connecting flight to YYZ (the TG agent couldn't see the last segment and I gave up fighting.)

One big brownie point I'll give to NH is for their cabin temperature. The cabin was noticeably cooler than JL - which I found "hot" at times and was sweating despite only wearing a t-shirt and shorts. In a full cabin on ORD-NRT, that wasn't so easily fixed. But when my NRT-CGK flight only had 2 passengers, no problem asking to dial the temperature back down a bit.
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Old May 10, 15, 2:07 pm   #54
  
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Originally Posted by tng11 View Post
In a full cabin on ORD-NRT, that wasn't so easily fixed. But when my NRT-CGK flight only had 2 passengers, no problem asking to dial the temperature back down a bit.
Yes, and if you ask them to turn it down, they will usually tell you they will (to save face), but they will not do it.

That is the only drawback to flying a Japanese carrier - the onboard temp!

And ANA has got to get rid of that hideous office cubicle. Whoever decided to close off 3 windows with a wall needs to get the sack.

If I recall, the JAL suite concept also covers one of the four windows. Also poor design.

The JAL Japanese meal seems to have been cheapened down with that new "starter" tray and the 5 dishes, which replaced the classy bento-box set-up they had before. Not a good move.
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Old Oct 13, 15, 8:12 pm   #55
  
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Outstanding trip report and thank you for putting the time in to put it all together. I am a newb to this forum and have been reading far too many post on a daily basis. Your review of the product makes it quite easy to make an informed decision on which metal to fly and I agree that looking at it from the outside I have to give JAL the nod. Looking forward to cashing in some miles for my next trip to Asia.
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Old Oct 14, 15, 6:38 pm   #56
  
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Thanks for revisiting your superb original TR with this useful update.
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Old Oct 16, 15, 10:39 am   #57
  
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Thanks for a fantastic comparison TR. I am hungry now.
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Old Oct 21, 15, 5:49 pm   #58
  
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Originally Posted by tng11 View Post
As an update, I flew JL F ORD-NRT-CGK in mid-April and just stepped off of NH F NRT-IAD today.

Overall, I still think JL F is the better product. The lounge for JL F is better (discovered the sushi bar this time around), the onboard catering is better and higher quality (the Western and Japanese options this time were outstanding), and the service on both segments were fantastic with a great, proactive crew who were friendly and interactive.

Contrast to NH F, where I found the food merely "decent" this time, and I find the cubicle design a bit cramped. Crew was great, but was reserved compared to JL. The ground service was somewhat of a disaster - having arrived at NRT at 6:20 coming off a TG flight, there was no NH staff anywhere to be found to print off my boarding pass. They couldn't do it at the lounge either and I eventually had to wait for the concierge who showed up at 9:30 to get my boarding pass (I was starting to get worried something went awry with my booking as the other agents couldn't check me in.) Eventually all was good, and they retagged my bag for my connecting flight to YYZ (the TG agent couldn't see the last segment and I gave up fighting.)

One big brownie point I'll give to NH is for their cabin temperature. The cabin was noticeably cooler than JL - which I found "hot" at times and was sweating despite only wearing a t-shirt and shorts. In a full cabin on ORD-NRT, that wasn't so easily fixed. But when my NRT-CGK flight only had 2 passengers, no problem asking to dial the temperature back down a bit.
I feel the opposite of your JL v NH assessment. I've found service and food (Western) to be better on NH and I like their NRT and esp HND F lounge more (noodle bar and massage chairs)...but the best part of this discussion is that we're talking about two really superb first-class experiences in the air. For my money, the F&B and service on these two airlines are the best out there. Thanks for the head-to-head!
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