Review of Japan Airlines flight Tokyo Beijing in Business

Airline Japan Airlines
Flight JL025
Class Business
Seat 4K
Flight time 04:10
Take-off 26 Dec 15, 17:20
Arrival at 26 Dec 15, 20:30
JL   #25 out of 115 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 146 reviews
By 2656
Published on 21st January 2016
This is the third leg of my five-segment flight from Los Angeles to Taipei:
1. American Airlines, AA5941, LAX-SFO, First Class
2. Japan Airlines, JL1, SFO-HND, Business Class
3. Japan Airlines, JL25, HND-PEK, Business Class [This report]
4. Dragonair, KA997, PEK-HKG, Business Class -
5. Cathay Pacific, CX474, HKG-TPE, Business Class -
6. Hong Kong Airlines, HX253, TPE-HKG, Business Class -
7. Thai Airways, TG601, HKG-BKK, First Class -
8. Thai Airways, TG614, BKK-PEK, First Class -
9. Air China, CA887, PEK-LAX, First Class -

I had a 9-hour adventure in Tokyo and went to Tsukiji fish market, Ginza, Tokyo Station, Imperial Palace and Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden. A lot of time was wasted on staring at the subway map figuring out how to get from A to B. I'm glad to make it to all these places under such time pressure.
photo 1 Tokyo-003

It was then time to check in at Haneda for my flight to Beijing. There was no line for business class check-in, but it must have taken the agent more than 10 minutes to figure out my ticket. She seemed to be unable to find my reservation at first. Luckily I printed out my itinerary from and provided her with my e-ticket number. After that, it still took her a while to issue me a boarding pass. My multi-segment and multi-carrier itinerary was probably too confusing for computer and human alike.
photo DSC07063

The Sakura Lounge looked very new, modern and spacious, but I checked in late and spent a lot of time shopping for Japanese snacks at the souvenir shop, so I only had 10 minutes to spend at the lounge. One nice feature of the lounge is lockers for personal belongings. I didn't have to worry about my bags when I went out for food, etc.
photo DSC07067

Food offering ranges from western soup and salad to Chinese dim sum and Japanese curry. It was already boarding time. I didn't have time for more food.
photo DSC07065

JL25, Boeing 767-300ER
photo DSC07064

Skyrecliner, not as comfortable as Sky Suite, but much more comfortable and spacious than first class seats in the US. Slippers could be found in the seat pocket, while amenity items such as eye mask, ear plugs and toothbrush were handed out by flight attendants in a basket.
photo DSC07070

2-2-2 configuration
photo DSC07074

Cabin view
photo DSC07080

Rice crackers, natto (fermented soybean) and my favorite kiwi juice
photo DSC07081

I always choose Japanese meal on JAL. Very nice presentation.
photo DSC07087
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Japan Airlines

Cabin crew8.5

JAL Sakura lounge


Tokyo - HND


Beijing - PEK



Yet another great experience with Japan Airlines. Seat was comfortable enough for a 4-hour short haul flight. Flight attendants were courteous and efficient. Food was tasty - I could be biased because Japanese food is my favorite. Check-in took a while, but my complex itinerary was to blame. I will definitely fly JAL again.

Information on the route Tokyo (HND) Beijing (PEK)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 8 reviews of 3 airlines on the route Tokyo (HND) → Beijing (PEK).


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

The average flight time is 4 hours and 5 minutes.

  More information


  • Comment 155583 by
    Abyssin 262 Comments

    Thank's a lot for this report.

    Love your photos.....

    As usual JAL is on top, I'm wondering why we do not have more Fr about them ? May be because Jal is a little bit expensive and mostly used by Japanese.

    Looking forward to read the next reports, cheers !

  • Comment 155597 by
    SKYTEAMCHC GOLD 8248 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this report with us.
    Nice lounge !
    The cabin , although not the latest, is quite confortable for such a flight and has indeed a lot of space.
    The food looks great and yummy and as you said the presentation is beautiful and typical.

  • Comment 155894 by
    NGO85 1622 Comments

    A little out of order in my responding, but thanks for sharing this FR!

    My multi-segment and multi-carrier itinerary was probably too confusing for computer and human alike.
    - For award tickets on NH, I normally spend 15-20 minutes at check-in with an agent. The NH/JL computer systems are prehistoric and need desperate help. They don't have their domestic and international operations linked very well at all.

    The Sakura Lounge at HND is nicer than the one at NRT (this is also true with NH).

    For a 3-hour flight, these seats are more than adequate. Was there PTV or only overhead monitors? I think NH uses a 2-1-2 on their B763s into PEK, but cabin comfort is probably about the same between the two carriers.

    Interesting that they used a black tablecloth on this flight. The single tray service is very standard for regional routes in the 1-3 hour range. The JL meal looks visually much better than what other carriers offer (as should be expected).

    • Comment 333233 by
      dw55 AUTHOR 45 Comments

      That's a joke for such an advanced country!
      There is a 10.6 monitor stored under the armrest, but I didn't get to use it.
      Interesting that you point that out. I looked back to my previous flight from SFO and found that black tablecloth was also used on that flight.
      The unfortunate standard of ice-cream was served after dinner :)

  • Comment 155955 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 5331 Comments

    I'm not surprised the agents had difficulty with your ticket. To add to what NGO85 has said about JL's ancient computer systems, to complicate things even more, I've found that the AA booking system does not communicate well with JL's systems. It's almost impossible to change or view assigned seats only for JL flights booked through AA, and I was recently unable to check in online for a JL operated AA codeshare. I had 3 legs with the 1st on JL and the last 2 on AA, and JL agents could only print out the JL BP even though the flights were booked as a connection. Glad they were able to figure it out for you without too much trouble!

    So it looks like you had a domestic Business class cabin on this 767, though the seat pitch looks better than typical domestic configurations. I guess the JAL Sky Suites only do the longer regional routes like SIN. Seats looks perfectly comfortable for a 4 hour flight.

    JL's Japanese meals always look so good! yum. Thanks for sharing!

    • Comment 333348 by
      dw55 AUTHOR 45 Comments

      I guess I can add JL's system doesn't communicate with CX/KA's system either. I was hoping they could issue BPs all the way to TPE, but I had to do it one by one.
      My neighbor on 4H moved to 4G, making it even more comfortable for me :)
      JL's meals are great in both taste and presentation.

  • Comment 156823 by
    socalnow GOLD 980 Comments

    Thanks for the report Dw55.

    I had a 9-hour adventure in Tokyo and went to Tsukiji fish market, Ginza, Tokyo Station, Imperial Palace and Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden.
    -Excellent use of time! I plan my award tickets the same way. I feel like I'm getting something for free when I do a stopover like this. Well played.

    The Sakura Lounge looked very new, modern and spacious...
    -I agree, it's a fantastic J lounge. I was able to use it flying HND-GMP on KE in F of all things. Upstairs has a nice area to watch the aircraft movements...for next time.

    I always choose Japanese meal on JAL. Very nice presentation.
    -It is lovely. Far superior looking to the ANA meal I had in J on the very same route.

    Thanks again and happy flying.

    • Comment 334289 by
      dw55 AUTHOR 45 Comments

      Exactly, planning is another fun part of traveling. I could do it all day just to come up with an optimal routing that would maximize my flight and layover experience.
      I'll make sure to leave enough time to check out upstairs next time!
      That's surprising. I've never been on ANA. I always thought ANA is superior.
      Thanks for reading!

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