Review of Japan Airlines flight Nagoya Tokyo in Premium Eco

Airline Japan Airlines
Flight JL 3084
Class Premium Eco
Seat 1H
Aircraft Boeing 737-800
Flight time 01:10
Take-off 22 Oct 15, 15:10
Arrival at 22 Oct 15, 16:20
JL   #12 out of 132 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 135 reviews
NGO85
By 2579
Published on 14th November 2015
Background:

This series will cover a recent trip back to the US that required me to be in the greater Los Angeles and Boston areas.

Part 1 – NGO-NRT [JL 3084, Boeing B737-800, ClassJ] – You are here
Part 2 – NRT-LAX [AA 170, Boeing B777-200ER, Business] – http://flight-report.com/en/report-12253.html
Part 3 – LAX-BOS [B6 288, Airbus A320, Economy] – http://flight-report.com/en/report-12303.html
Part 4 – BOS-NRT [JL 7, Boeing B787-800, Business] – http://flight-report.com/en/report-12421.html
Part 5 – NRT-NGO [JL 3087, Boeing B767-300ER, Economy] – Coming soon

This report will cover my first ever flight on JL metal (I feel so dirty) as well as a brief look at JL’s “premium” domestic product: ClassJ.


Pre-flight:

I casually took the train to NGO after an early lunch at home. Unlike NH, JL does not segregate the check-in areas for domestic flights based on your final destination.

photo 1

I walked up to the premium check-in line, both agents were busy, but before I could turn right to look down to the economy side a JL agent was running towards me. She took my suitcases and rolled them back to her station. She was very friendly and spoke English to me. She checked my bags through to LAX. I originally had a middle seat, so I asked her if she had any window or aisle seats left since JL does not let you select seats for the domestic segments of an international itinerary. She only had one aisle seat left so I took it. She handed me my boarding passes and told me that I’ll need to go to the gate to get a new boarding pass for my AA flight. She also was very clear in pointing out my tight connection at NRT (65 minutes) so told me hurry through immigration on arrival.

photo 2

With about an hour until boarding, I took a stroll through the shops upstairs before heading to the observation deck. Midday, the airport is always fairly quiet.



Outside it is a little bit hazy, but sunny.

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On the domestic side, just two JL B737s hanging out. I’m really surprised to see the NU B737-400 in the “Sakura Jinbei Jet” special livery again; it will be doing the afternoon trip down to OKA.

photo 7photo 8

The JAL Express B737-800 will be my ride up to Narita this afternoon.

photo 9

Peaking over at the international side, a 9C A320 with sharklets is arriving from PVG. More interesting is the party going on in the background. The DreamLifter is here, but she brought some Russian friends today! My first time ever seeing Antonov An-124s in person before.

photo 10

Antonov An-124-100s looking good in the late afternoon sun. I couldn’t see what they had loaded into the plane that was kneeling. All three of these planes took off before my plane.



CA A320 getting ready to leave for PVG. I know I’m in the minority, but I really like the CA livery.



MU B737-800 getting backed up.

photo 17

MU B738 lifting off for service to PVG.

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NH Dash8-400 getting ready to leave for Akita (AXT). It taxis off to the runway before lifting off for the northern tip of Honsh?.



A NH B737-500 lands from Kumamoto (KMJ) and taxis to the terminal.

photo 23photo 24

A rare KE B737-900 landing from Busan (PUS).



IBEX CRJ-700 arriving from Sendai (SDJ).

photo 28

6J B737-800 arriving from Naha (OKA).

photo 29

NH B767-300 getting ready to leave for Sapporo (CTS).

photo 30

NH Dash8-400 arriving from Matsuyama (MYJ).

photo 31

NH B737-500 getting ready for service to NRT.

photo 32

Final tail line-up on the domestic side as I head inside.

photo 33

Security was deserted and I’m quickly on the other side.

photo 35

FIDS.

photo 34

Airside at NGO.

photo 36

I’m not going to waste my time stopping in the Centrair Global Lounge (ClassJ does not give you access to the lounge, but having a ticket in business class on a connecting flight does) so I’ll show some other parts of the terminal before boarding. Computers that are free to use.

photo 37

Kid’s play area.

photo 38

My bird basking in the sun while the NH B763 lifts off for CTS in the distance.

photo 39




——————————-

Japan Airlines, JL 3084
Equipment: Boeing B737-800 [JA343J, delivered May 2012]
Departure: 15:10 (ATD: 15:16)
Arrival: 16:20 (ATA: 15:59)
Flight time: 0:43


Boarding was called on time and priorities were strictly observed. Pre-boarding was followed by JL elites, OW elites, and then general boarding. There is no special boarding for ClassJ.

photo 40

Down the jetbridge we go.

photo 41

Fuselage shot.

photo 42

Smiling FA greeting passengers in the galley. On the right were some children’s books, postcards, and headphones (these were in the seatback so not sure why they were here).

photo 43

ClassJ is in the really awkward 2-3 configuration on the B737s and yours truly gets the aisle seat in Row 1.

photo 44

Seat pitch in the bulkhead is good. What is not good is the fact that I am essentially positioned directly in the aisle of the galley so everyone boarding after me hits me in the knee, elbow, and/or face with their bags while boarding. I was leaning as far right as possible during this process to avoid this issue, but it was to no avail. At least most of the Japanese passengers apologized while doing so.

photo 45

Brief seat tour while boarding. Left armrest has the seat controls and the foldout tray table.

photo 46photo 47

The right armrest had a little tray for drinks, had the controls for the audio, and had a little space for storing small personal items. Power outlets were located on the front of this center console (not shown).

photo 48

Seatback pocket for the bulkhead that has headphones preplaced.

photo 49

The bulkhead also had this rack containing various JL literature.

photo 50

As soon as boarding was done, the front door closes. The FAs walk through with blankets and newspapers. I decline a newspaper, but take a classy red ClassJ blanket (this one is ‘Made in Japan’, economy only gets ‘Made in China’).

photo 51

As we push back and taxi to the runway, the safety video comes on.

photo 52

We turn onto the runway and immediately go. A pretty smooth takeoff, only a little bumpy as we cleared through the cloud level. The FAs bolt into the galley and close the curtain. So now I can show the view from my seat.

photo 53

Seatback contents.

photo 54

Safety card for this JL B737-800.

photo 55photo 56

JL Skyward magazine.

photo 57

The FA saw me taking pictures at this point, immediately runs into the closet and presents me with the following with a smile. A mint condition Skyward magazine (showing the English side), a postcard of a JL B737-800, and the JL sticker pack. I like AV souvenirs, so the crew gets an A+.

photo 58

Drink service starts. I ask for a cup of coffee.

photo 59

The overhead monitors came down and played news.

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I quickly drink my coffee so I request a second cup as they bring the cart back to the front galley. She pours me a new cup with a smile.

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A trip up to the clean lavatory.

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The ridiculously long seatbelt. This thing almost went down to my feet even when it was fastened. They must have assumed I was normal sized American.

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I spent the rest of the time just napping. The ClassJ seat wasn’t exceptionally spacious, but the extra seat width and recline are noticeable. The landing into NRT was fine and we touched down really early, but had the typical 15-minute taxi back to the terminal.

We pulled into a remote stand and the stairs were quickly positioned. Heading out through the galley, the two FAs wished passengers farewell. We funneled out onto the bus offering some tarmac shots.



I scored a window seat on the bus. I was little concerned about the tight connection time, but figured I’d live dangerously in exchange for some spotting. A pair of JL B788s.

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AA B772 and CX B772. The AA B772 will be my plane to LAX.

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The rest of the AA operations: AA B788 (to ORD) and AA B772 (to DFW) with NH B788 in final approach.

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Close-up of the AA B788 to ORD.

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Zipping by a JL B77W.

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Pulling into the drop-off, the signage was clearly marked for international connecting flights.

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I bolted up the stairs and through security and immigration in less than 10 minutes even though only one agent was working at immigration. So I’ll leave off this series as I funnel into NRT before my flight to LAX.
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Verdict

Japan Airlines

7.3/10
Cabin7.0
Cabin crew9.0
Entertainment/wifi8.0
Meal/catering5.0

Nagoya - NGO

9.0/10
Efficiency10.0
Access8.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness10.0

Tokyo - NRT

8.9/10
Efficiency9.0
Access7.5
Services9.0
Cleanliness10.0

Conclusion

My first time on JL metal. Not that much different than NH on a short flight with respects to service. The English ability of this crew was better than the average NH crew, but that is obviously highly variable. The ClassJ product is not really that premium feeling. NH has a better premium product, but JL often sells ClassJ for only ¥1000 ($8) extra, so that might be worth it for the wider seat with more pitch. Standard catering and literature.

Cabin comfort: Full cabin and a not so comfortable 2-3 configuration. The seat is nicer than Y, but nothing to write home about. Not as good as a US F product. The NH Premium class product is much stronger. My seat was not the best since I got hit by everyone boarding, but any other seat wouldn't have this problem. I won't penalize them too much for that small caveat. I will knock them for a poor 2-3 configuration (who wants a middle seat in a premium cabin?) and fairly thin seats.

Crew: Good English ability, very friendly boarding and deplaning. They happily served me a second drink with a smile. Gave me souvenirs, so that is always a plus. Never engaged in conversation though, but it is a short flight so I don't hold that against them.

Meal and catering: Complimentary drink as expected. No food in sight, not even candies. You don't get any enhancement in catering by being in ClassJ.

Entertainment: Newspapers offered and the standard seatback literature. Overhead monitors played news. No window :( Overall, the standard offerings for a domestic flight.

On-time performance: Perfect.

Information on the route Nagoya (NGO) Tokyo (NRT)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 6 reviews of 2 airlines on the route Nagoya (NGO) → Tokyo (NRT).


Useful

The airline with the best average rating is Japan Airlines with 8.1/10.

The average flight time is 1 hours and 11 minutes.

  More information

12 Comments

  • Comment 150837 by
    kongawa 1 Comments

    Hello! I am new here but I really enjoyed your concise report. Just want to mention that I think the CX aircraft in NRT is a 772 and not a 773

    • Comment 328763 by
      NGO85 AUTHOR 1622 Comments

      Welcome to the site!

      Yes, you are correct, the registration is B-HNB. Good eye, I wasn't aware that CX had any more B772s floating around in their regional fleet. I saw the RR logotype on the engines and just assumed it was one of the regional B773s. She's an old lady, the 18th 777 into service.

  • Comment 150846 by
    Numero_2 SILVER 9057 Comments

    Another routing begins ! You have been very busy the past few months !

    This report will cover my first ever flight on JL metal (I feel so dirty) -> Do you ? ;)

    since JL does not let you select seats for the domestic segments of an international itinerary. -> That's very odd from JL.

    Two Antonov on NGO tarmac on that day (!!!), lucky you !

    I know I’m in the minority, but I really like the CA livery. -> Does it brings you back souvenirs from the old good time of CAAC ? ;)

    It seems that JL applies the same boarding sequence as SQ does : Elites from their own FFP first, followed by alliance's elites.

    JL domestic ClassJ service is similar to ANA's economy one ! lol

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Comment 328775 by
      NGO85 AUTHOR 1622 Comments

      Merci Clement^^

      Another routing begins ! You have been very busy the past few months !
      - Yet another routing to Europe will start soon ;) October was a bad month, I was never in Japan for more than 7 days between trips.

      Do you ? ;)
      - I had to take a shower in the Sakura Lounge at NRT :) My conversion to the dark side begins...

      That's very odd from JL.
      - That is not completely true, my mistake. If you buy the ticket directly from JL's website, you can access the domestic segments. This was booked through a travel agent so I could only pick seats on the international segments. I think the domestic and international segments have different reference codes?

      Does it brings you back souvenirs from the old good time of CAAC ? ;)
      - I was in the Communist mood after seeing those Antonovs, which had almost the same livery as CA, lol^^

      Elites from their own FFP first, followed by alliance's elites.
      - NH is the same, NH Diamonds are always called before *A Golds.

      JL domestic ClassJ service is similar to ANA's economy one ! lol
      - I was served a drink! Better service than that last NH NGO-NRT report :) It is not a very compelling product and one I would not pay for in the future.

    • Comment 328896 by
      NGO85 AUTHOR 1622 Comments

      Thanks for your comments!

      The early afternoon at NGO is always pretty quiet so the An-124s were a welcome surprise. I just wished I was able to stay and watch them take-off. Those would have made for some great shots.

      The seat I got was only bad during boarding (and I guess take-off and landing too since I'm right in front of the FAs). It was better than having a middle seat!

      You are right, there should be something small to eat to make the premium cabin's service different. There is no special service for ClassJ as it is, but a small snack (otsumami or chocolates) would be nice.

      The upgrades for ClassJ start at $8, but can quickly rise depending on the route up towards $40-50. I didn't pay for this seat since it was booked as business class, but I don't think I would spend the money on it out of pocket.

  • Comment 150894 by
    Rl 777 810 Comments

    Thank you for sharing another FR with us!

    Great spotting shots from NGO! Damn, must've been really nice to see two An-124s at the same time! I guess I'm in that minority as well, I find the CA livery to be pretty classy.

    That seating configuration is really awkward, you were unlucky to get that aisle seat in row 1.

    I expected something to bite on like a very small snack or something but unfortunately nothing like that was served even in ClassJ.

    I guess it could be worth it if you want slightly better comfort for a few extra dollars (if you get it for a few extra dollars).

    See you on the next one!

  • Comment 150931 by
    jetsetpanda 2296 Comments

    This report will cover my first ever flight on JL metal (I feel so dirty)
    - There is always confession to alleviate you of that feeling. :P

    I originally had a middle seat, so I asked her if she had any window or aisle seats left since JL does not let you select seats for the domestic segments of an international itinerary.
    - That is one major drawback. It's just as bad as BA not allowing you to pre-select seats if you are not an elite member of their program.

    My first time ever seeing Antonov An-124s in person before.
    - That is one big guy.

    On the right were some children’s books, postcards, and headphones (these were in the seatback so not sure why they were here).
    - A prelude of things to come? Maybe they wanted to appeal to the child in you. ;)

    What is not good is the fact that I am essentially positioned directly in the aisle of the galley so everyone boarding after me hits me in the knee, elbow, and/or face with their bags while boarding.
    - That is awful. You might as well board last but then again if you need overhead bin space you might run out of luck. No win outcome in this situation.

    I think they should serve a small packet of something along with your beverage on a flight like this.

    Thank you Michael for another great report with excellent pictures. See you around.

    • Comment 328897 by
      NGO85 AUTHOR 1622 Comments

      As always, thank you for your comments Adan!

      That is one major drawback. It's just as bad as BA not allowing you to pre-select seats if you are not an elite member of their program.
      - You have to buy the ticket from JL's website directly in order to access the seatmaps for domestic flights. I think there are different booking codes for the domestic and international segments. At least AA lets you use your JL reference number to pick seats on their website. It's not as bad as BA that charges you for seat selection.

      A prelude of things to come? Maybe they wanted to appeal to the child in you. ;)
      - It's a nice gesture from JL to have stuff for kids, it's how US carriers used to be back in the day. I happily took my sticker pack that the FA gave me.

      That is awful. You might as well board last but then again if you need overhead bin space you might run out of luck. No win outcome in this situation.
      - I had a carry-on with me and a tight connection so I wasn't going to roll the dice with overhead bin space.

      I think they should serve a small packet of something along with your beverage on a flight like this.
      - Anything should be done to distinguish the service in ClassJ from economy. As it is now, it follows the US carrier premium economy strategy of offering a slightly more comfortable seat. Whereas NH's premium product is actually premium. A small snack (bag of otsumami, candies, etc.) would be a good way to make this distinction in service.

  • Comment 151301 by
    KévinDC TEAM GOLD 4865 Comments

    Jumping all over the place with these reports again, haha. Here I am expecting to see a HKG-TPE in J after the BOS-HKG, but I find a JL domestic Class J, LOL. Well I can't say this product is particularly enticing. The 2-3 configuration is weird, but I guess it is nice to have a wider seat than in regular Y. 1H is a seat to avoid with the awkward protruding causing people to bump into you, although the positive side is the unlimited legroom for tall people. Onboard service is nothing to write home about. I guess if the upgrade price is really low, as they often seem to be on these Japanese domestic sectors, it might be worth it, or as a connection to a long-haul premium class flight (as seems to be the case here).

    Beautiful NGO spotting as always! Love it. Thanks for sharing!

    • Comment 329297 by
      KévinDC TEAM GOLD 4865 Comments

      It's my goal in life to confuse the crap out of you Kevin :)
      - You're doing a mighty fine job of it sir :-P

      I like to mix the series so that the reports all don't feel the same.
      - I hear ya, keep 'em guessing.

      It usually runs ¥1000, but can skyrocket to ¥5000 depending on the route and demand.
      - That's barely $8...I'd definitely pay that to upgrade. Even ¥5000 ($40) isn't that bad, on a longer flight anyway.

    • Comment 329404 by
      NGO85 AUTHOR 1622 Comments

      It's true, JL has a more practical premium product, which models the US Y+. Whereas NH targets the real J market offering a real premium product. It is interesting that they have opted for different approaches and we'll see who's strategy wins out.

    • Comment 329159 by
      NGO85 AUTHOR 1622 Comments

      It's my goal in life to confuse the crap out of you Kevin :)

      I like to mix the series so that the reports all don't feel the same.

      It's not really a compelling product when compared to NH's premium product. With the huge influx of B738s into NHs fleet to displace the B735s, the premium class cabin will become standard in the domestic fleet thus crushing ClassJ, which is simply a US Y+ model (albeit economically practical). There is no service improvements for ClassJ, not even priority boarding. It usually runs ¥1000, but can skyrocket to ¥5000 depending on the route and demand. when I was looking at the OKA mileage run, it was only ¥1000 and for a 2 hour flight that is a no-brainer when offered a wider seat for $7.50

      1H sucked, but it was better than the middle seat I was originally assigned. On the rerun, ClassJ was oversold and I got stuck in Y (so terrible, right?).

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