Review of Japan Airlines flight Singapore Tokyo in Economy

Airline Japan Airlines
Flight JL712
Class Economy
Seat --
Flight time 06:45
Take-off 16 Jan 16, 08:20
Arrival at 16 Jan 16, 16:05
JL   #12 out of 132 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 135 reviews
KévinDC
By GOLD 8066
Published on 10th May 2016
Hello! Welcome to the next report in this series of flights between the U.S. and Oceania. After a good experience in British Airways Club World on the 5th freedom Sydney - Singapore flight, we had a good sleep on our overnight layover at the newly renovated T1 Transit hotel.

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For this next flight, we'll be flying from Changi to Narita to catch an AA Transpacific flight back to the US. This flight is the only long-haul flight in Economy of the routing.

Here is the full routing:

Washington Reagan National DCA ✈ Dallas - Fort Worth DFW : American Airlines, B737-800, Domestic First class [HERE]
Dallas - Fort Worth DFW ✈ Hong Kong Check Lap Kok HKG : American Airlines, B777-300ER, Business Class [HERE]
Hong Kong Chek Lap Kok HKG ✈ Singapore Changi SIN : Cathay Pacific, B777-300, Business Class [HERE]
Singapore Changi SIN ✈ Sydney Kingsford Smith SYD : British Airways, B777-300ER, Premium Economy [HERE]
Melbourne Tullamarine MEL ✈ Sydney Kingsford Smith SYD : Qantas Airways, B737-800, Business Class [HERE]
Sydney Kingsford Smith SYD ✈ Christchurch Airport CHC : Qantas Jetconnect, B737-800, Business Class [HERE]
Queenstown Airport ZQN ✈ Auckland Airport AKL : Air New Zealand, A320-200, Economy Class [HERE]
Auckland Airport AKL ✈ Sydney Kingsford Smith SYD : LAN Airlines, B787-9, Business Class [HERE]
Sydney Kingsford Smith SYD ✈ Singapore Changi SIN : British Airways, B777-300ER, Business Class [HERE]
Singapore Changi SIN ✈ Tokyo Narita NRT : Japan Airlines, B767-300ER, Economy Class [THIS REPORT]
Tokyo Narita NRT ✈ Chicago O'hare ORD : American Airlines, B787-8, Business Class [HERE]
Chicago O'hare ORD ✈ Washington Reagan National DCA : American Airlines, B737-800, Domestic First Class [HERE]

Passport control is always a breeze at Changi.

Some shots of T1 as we headed to the lounge.



Because our flight to Narita was early in the morning, neither of the two oneworld lounges in T1 (QF and BA) was open. We were therefore invited to the SATS Premier Lounge, which is located between the two aforementioned oneworld lounges on the mezzanine level.

As much as I had enjoyed both the Qantas and British Airways lounges, I was really not impressed with this contract lounge. The orange tones were unpleasant to the eye, especially at an early hour, and I found the food offering to be lackluster by Asian standards. But, let's look on the bright side…by U.S. lounge standards, it was great! Haha

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Food was meh, but it is always nice to have hot food options–something you don't always get in the U.S.

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Because the security screening is done at the gate in SIN, we left the lounge about 10 minutes prior to scheduled boarding time.
I love how quick and efficient security is in Singapore; it's never a hassle and the agents are always genuinely friendly and helpful. So basically, like the opposite of the TSA :-P

Here is our bird at the gate. I'm not a big fan of JL's rebranding–just too much white. I do like that they went back to the iconic Crane logo, though.

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Boarding began with Business class, then oneworld Emerald and Sapphire. We were among the first in the Economy cabin, which allowed for some clean cabin shots.

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I liked the warm toned of the cabin–it was a nice change from generic blues and grays.

My seat for the next 6 hours or so, looks comfortable

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View of the cabin from my seat

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Each seat is equipped with a PTV that can be displayed in 5 languages.

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The seat felt nice and roomy for Economy, and I love the 767 for its 2-3-2 configuration. The seat pitch was very generous; definitely above average for Economy.

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I estimated that it felt like 34" and seatguru confirms this (though seatguru is not always accurate).

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Let's take a look at the IFE

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There is a decent choice of movies, including new releases.

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The headphones are decent for Economy.

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Seatback pocket contents

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The airshow is nice and modern…the moving map is always important to an AvGeek :-)

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Boarding was quick and efficient and pushback was a few minutes early. The notorious Singapore humidity always makes airplane windows foggy when sitting at the gate.

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As we taxied, the safety video played. What's up with the 90's computer animation? Maybe NGO85 can tell us. What a weird looking video for an airline from the most technologically advanced country in the world.

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Nice view of a local A380

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We're next in line after this MH 738 lands

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Takeoff



Shortly after takeoff, the purser came back from Business to introduce herself and welcome me onboard. She told me not to hesitate to ask if I needed anything. How lovely! I didn't see her to this with anyone else so I'm assuming this may be protocol for oneworld Emeralds. Either way, it was a very pleasant surprise and brought a smile to my face.

There was a hot towel service before lunch.

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The drink menu from the seat-back pocket. Quite extensive

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Japanese beer for the aperitif

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Nice view as I sip my beer :-)

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The meals are delivered shortly after.

That is one good looking tray for Economy! Nice presentation.

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The choices of mains were chicken (Western) or Fish (Asian). I chose the Asian fish curry dish. It was really good for airplane food in Economy class.

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Haagen-Dazs Ice cream for dessert.

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View of the full cabin mid-flight

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Amenities in Economy class lavs–classy.

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I watched Mission Impossible - Rogue Nation mid-flight

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About an hour and a half before landing, a pre-arrival snack was served.

Service started with an oshibori again.

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Nothing terribly exciting, but a nice gesture on a short flight.

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Coffee in a crane branded cup

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A little over an hour left before landing

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Cool little volcanic island with a small town

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Then we make a left turn to head back towards land and Narita airport

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We landed ahead of schedule

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We taxied past the AA 788 that would be taking me to Chicago

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We parked next to this beautiful Air Tahiti Nui A343

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Thanks for reading and see you soon for the next segment onboard the AA 787!
See more

Verdict

Japan Airlines

8.8/10
Cabin8.5
Cabin crew9.0
Entertainment/wifi8.5
Meal/catering9.0

SATS Premier Lounge

4.9/10
Comfort5.0
Meal/catering5.0
Entertainment/wifi4.5
Services5.0

Singapore - SIN

10.0/10
Efficiency10.0
Access10.0
Services10.0
Cleanliness10.0

Tokyo - NRT

7.9/10
Efficiency9.0
Access7.5
Services7.5
Cleanliness7.5

Conclusion

A very good flight on the JAL 767. Although this segment was booked in Economy, I had reasonably high expectations for Japan Airlines and they did not disappoint. The newer generation JAL "Sky Wider" Economy seats are comfortable--the seats do actually feel wider than normal 767 seats, and the seat pitch at 34" is quite generous. The Main meal was among the best meals I've ever had in Economy. Flight attendants were great! From the purser's personalized greeting, to the attentive service from the rest of the crew throughout the flight, the JAL cabin crew more than lived up to my expectations.

Information on the route Singapore (SIN) Tokyo (NRT)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 18 reviews of 6 airlines on the route Singapore (SIN) → Tokyo (NRT).


Useful

The airline with the best average rating is Singapore Airlines with 8.7/10.

The average flight time is 6 hours and 56 minutes.

  More information

16 Comments

  • Comment 347767 by
    jules67500 GOLD 4499 Comments

    Hi Kévin !

    Shame that both Oneworld lounges were closed as this one is far from being good.

    Nice pitch. I also like the 767 and its 2-3-2 configuration.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Comment 347856 by
      KévinDC TEAM GOLD AUTHOR 4857 Comments

      Hi Jules! Thanks for your comments :-)
      Yes, definitely a shame that the QF and BA lounges were closed--the SATS lounge sucked, haha
      767s are great in Y--very comfortable configuration.
      Looking forward to an English translation of your LH W Reports ^^

  • Comment 347785 by
    indianocean SILVER 6322 Comments

    Hi Kevin,

    I've read and heard that you made a very good job two weeks ago for the FR meeting. Congrats.

    Now you will have time to write and publish the last legs of your trip. Can't wait to read them.

    The SATS lounge is bloody awful and has no soul. Good thing the catering wasn't bad.

    I'm surprised JAL still uses B767 on such long-haul and international flights. I'd bet on B777 or B787.
    The cabin looks nice though.

    JAL considers top tier OW members as special guests even when they fly Economy and that's a very good thing. I like that. I never had this kind of attention as ST Elite Plus.

    Nice tray but I don't know I expected a better one. At least, it was appetizing.

    Thank you for sharing Kevin.

    • Comment 347857 by
      KévinDC TEAM GOLD AUTHOR 4857 Comments

      Thank you Bernard! It would have been nice to see you in DC! Next time :-)
      I'm so behind in publishing reports...who knows when I'll finish the series, hahaha. Nah...I'll try to crank them out asap
      Bloody awful is accurate! That orange and super bright lights just assaulted my eyes (and good taste haha). Just not a pleasant atmosphere overall.

      JAL and ANA have some pretty new 767s still in the fleet and have done a good job with the products onboard. I think a 6hr flight like this is a perfect mission for a 767, being that 767s dominate TATL routes which are about the same length.

      Good to know I was a "Special Guest" ^^ They sure made me feel like it! I've had some "special treatment" experiences as a ST Elite Plus, but it was not as consistent as it has been on OW. CX had treated me like a king--can't say I don't love it haha

      To me the tray is really pretty--there's something visually appealing about it. Maybe I like red, and squares, LOL

      Thanks for your comments!

  • Comment 347923 by
    KL651 TEAM 4431 Comments

    Thanks for this FR.
    Wow once again JL's service level in Y is pretty impressive.
    The pitch is great and I agree that the first almost look like what you get on some airlines in J class.

    Too bad they don't have a better lounge. Isn't there a CX one open in the morning?

    • Comment 347955 by
      KévinDC TEAM GOLD AUTHOR 4857 Comments

      I was certainly impressed by JL in Y! As you know I don't fly Long-haul in Y very often, and when I do it's usually with U.S. carriers, so I guess I have low expectations ^^

      The CX Skyview lounge is open in the morning, but it's also a contract lounge, so it's not accessible to JL pax, as it isn't technically a oneworld lounge :-/

  • Comment 347959 by
    Rl 777 810 Comments

    Thank you for sharing this FR with us!

    The cabin looks great, I like the colours used in the cabin. Seat pitch looks great, QR's 788s had 3 inches less in Y.

    The IFE looks good, I'm a big fan of the red and black combo in the cabin.

    Absolutely fantastic aerial shots!

    Nice work on the new website :).

    Have a good one, see you!

  • Comment 348057 by
    jetsetpanda 2296 Comments

    Thanks Kevin for sharing another fantastic leg of your series with superb shots as usual.

    JL Y seats are like Y+ on other carriers. Add to that the phenomenal service aboard and you got a winner. Not only is the seat pitch quite generous for Y but the meal is equally so. It just amazes me how many components are packed into that tray plus ice cream to put the cherry on the cake. This has to be one of the best Y cabins in the world (in addition to SQ, TK and OZ).

    I have booked a Y award with JL from HND-SFO at the end of Nov. and look forward to experiencing the comfort of the seats and the lounges (First & Sakura). Unfortunately the meal service on that red eye will be a snack and breakfast (one of the worst combos IMHO).

    • Comment 348197 by
      KévinDC TEAM GOLD AUTHOR 4857 Comments

      Thanks for your comments Adan! You're right, considering that the pitch is 34" it is pretty much Y+ on U.S. carriers. I think 2-3-2 configuration with 34" pitch is probably as good as it can get in Y. Except for maybe JAL's 2-4-2 787 config--those seats seem really wide.

      I've heard good things about the JAL First Lounge in HND. There will be a visit to the NRT First lounge in my next FR, but it's not as good as HND's.

  • Comment 348818 by
    NGO85 1622 Comments

    Thanks for sharing Kevin!

    "something you don't always get in the U.S.”
    - Not the worst of food options, and probably on par with JL’s offerings in the business section of the JAL Sakura Lounge in NRT.

    “some clean cabin shots.”
    - They have the same polka dot pattern on the antimacassars in the B737s and it doesn’t sit well with me. I guess they are making up for the all white exterior of the plane ;)

    “I estimated that it felt like 34”"
    - definitely better than the B767s they use on the domestic routes, which can’t be more than 30”

    “What's up with the 90's computer animation?”
    - Just wait for the MS-DOS looking news that they put on domestic flights. They probably think it is cute, or they just got a really big discount on its production... I really didn’t care for Magic, I always thought it was light on content.

    “That is one good looking tray for Economy!”
    - That might even be more quantity than NH. The meals don’t disappoint on NH/JL in Y. They pre-arrival snack is a little meh, when compared to the sandwich that UA gives out on the same route (and you don’t ever want to be compared to UA catering…).

    Overall, an excellent flight on JL. The recognition by the purser to the toothbrushes in the lavatory, there is a high level of standards that just don’t exist in other parts of the world. Other than an ancient plane and a lackluster pre-arrival snack, everything else looks good for Y.

    • Comment 349291 by
      KévinDC TEAM GOLD AUTHOR 4857 Comments

      Thanks for your comments!

      "They have the same polka dot pattern on the antimacassars in the B737s and it doesn’t sit well with me."
      - Normally I don't like a cabin that is too busy, but the pattern and colors go well together IMO.

      "They probably think it is cute, or they just got a really big discount on its production"
      - Yeah, I was thinking maybe they must think the whole retrp-tech thing is cute--but it's a fail lol

      "there is a high level of standards that just don’t exist in other parts of the world."
      - Indeed, very impressed by the high level of service. It just doesn't feel like cattle class on JAL.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  • Comment 349020 by
    ashleyyau 212 Comments

    Finally it’s here! Thanks Kévin for sharing this report with nice pictures!

    “I do like that they went back to the iconic Crane logo, though.”
    - HAHAHA I hold a different view from you. I like the Tsurumaru one very much because it is more reflective on the spirit and culture of Japan.

    The refurbished cabin looks nice and stylish especially the antimacassar design! Good seat pitch (a norm for Japanese carriers on international routes? :P) But the IFE UI looks a bit old-fashioned. BTW is the IFE touch screen?

    The meal looks tasty (ok not the cake lol)! I can now understand your feelings when you comment on my NH flight report :D Glad to see ice-cream was provided (maybe due to its flight length) And the crew services are nice.

    Generally it is a very good Y flight experience. Personally I think both JL and NH have very good Y product but in a very different approach i.e. food and cabin. Hope I would have chances on flying JL in the future^^

    • Comment 349299 by
      KévinDC TEAM GOLD AUTHOR 4857 Comments

      Thanks for reading!

      I like the crane logo, but I don't like the all white livery and the lettering style. Yes, the IFE interface was a bit old school. Yes, it was touch screen and it worked well. Overall a very good Y product indeed. Thanks for your comments!

  • Comment 349057 by
    WanWan 18 Comments

    may favaorites part : "The meals are delivered shortly after. That is one good looking tray for Economy! Nice presentation "
    Agree !

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