Review of Japan Airlines flight Osaka Tokyo in Business

Airline Japan Airlines
Flight JL3002
Class Business
Seat 6A
Flight time 01:20
Take-off 11 Mar 18, 08:00
Arrival at 11 Mar 18, 09:20
JL   #7 out of 122 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 119 reviews
socalnow
By GOLD 1298
Published on 6th April 2018
Greetings Flight Report community and thanks for stopping by. I plan to share a series of flights that provided a chance to try several First Class products and lounges that were new to me and also enjoy some familiar but fantastic experiences along the way. A while back I had enough Krisflyer miles in my account to wait list for SQ25. This is a tough nut to crack for us mere mortals. (Rewardflying uses Jedi mind tricks to secure space on a whim.) I went about searching the SQ award engine for the rest of the year and wait listed on the only 4 dates (that could possibly work with my schedule) where even wait listing was available. I wait listed for both JFK-FRA and JFK-SIN. Fast forward several months and the magic email arrives telling me I have 48 hours to confirm my booking but only on the JFK-FRA segment. I'll take it!

If I'm going to be in FRA and flying Star Alliance I will all too sad not to drop in on my German friends and their spectacular lounges. The problem is I cannot book LH F through Krisflyer until space opens two weeks prior to departure. This date would come after my 48 hour window to book SQ. In comes the trusty Star Alliance member Asiana and their ever present F availability. I booked JFK-FRA-ICN on SQ and OZ as a place holder until LH comes calling. The SQ change fees are so very minimal it was worth it to me to have something. Worst case scenario is 10 hours in an OZ A380 suite. Concurrently I place flight alerts on Expert Flyer for just about every LH flight heading east form either FRA or MUC. The two week window arrives and the emails start flying in. Well, not really. FRA-PEK, FRA-PVG and, most interesting to me, MUC-PVG all offer O class space. Munich piques my interest as I have never done LH F from there and I know they have a new F lounge as well as a remodeled F lounge. Oh and expert Flyer was showing F8 for MUC-PVG.

I can't leave the table while I'm up so I start looking for where to go after PVG on this ticket. I would like to get to Tokyo but the connections don't work without an 8 hour wait. International to International MCT at PVG is 2 ours, just FYI so the other options didn't allow enough time. What about Osaka? I do like Osaka a great deal for night time food and adult beverage consumption. Plus, it's closer to Tokyo… Great, let's add PVG-KIX and book this thing! The Krisflyer rep on the phone had me hold to verify this was a legal routing but I'm confident. Shortly I have an email confirming JFK-FRA-MUC-PVG-KIX. What fun!

Now to get to JFK. I had a little snafu, you may have read about, with a ticket issued by American Airlines. Due to a date error i wasn't able to use it when I expected. I think I will try to use these miles/ticket to get to JFK. Then, in a somewhat miracle fashion, the points blogosphere blows up with news of AA releasing a lot of F and J space on the LAX-JFK transcon routes. Normally this is none. OK, this was meant to be. I look up my date and low and behold it's there. F space from LAX-JFK that fits perfectly. A call to AA and a super agent even waived all the fees. She siad technically I'm upgrading to a higher class of service so she can waive the change fee on the award ticket. Never mind that the city pairs had changed… I had to kick in 20k extra miles but i was excited to try the new AA F experience with new lounges and dining.

There is now one hole. TYO-LAX. I suppose you know how that ends. ANA of course. My favorite redemption, for 110k Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles, I booked NRT-LAX-NRT with the outbound to complete this mission and the return to begin another adventure in November. Enough talk, let's fly.

Behold the visual representation courtesy of gcmap.com:

photo map

Carrier, route, equipment, class, lounge, and procurement method:



American Airlines - LAX-JFK - A321T - First - Flagship Lounges and Flagship First Dining - Advantage Miles

Singapore Airlines - JFK-FRA - A380-800 - Suites - Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse - Krisflyer
Lufthansa - FRA-MUC - A320 - Business - First Class Terminal (Bonus Porsche Experience)- Krisflyer
Lufthansa - MUC-PVG - A340-600 - First - First Class Lounge(s) - Krisflyer
ANA - PVG-KIX - 767-300ER - Business - Air China Lounge (Bonus Osaka Night Walk) - Krisflyer
Japan Airlines - ITM-NRT - 767-300ER - Business - No Lounge(Bonus walk around Narita) - Cash (This Report)
ANA - NRT-LAX - 777-300ER - First - Suites Lounge(s) - Virgin Atlantic Flying Club (Coming Soon)

JL3002 ITM-NRT



After napping for a few hours I sprung out of bed excited for today's flights. Visiting an airport for the first time is a great motivator for an avgeek. I had done cursory research on a bus that left from a depot very near my hotel that goes virtually directly to ITM. Google Maps to the rescue again and about 15 minutes and many turns through alleys and shopping streets i was at the bus depot. Buying a ticket was easy and the bus only made one stop. Turns out the one stop was right by my hotel! Oh well.

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About 30 minutes later we're approaching ITM on a bright Sunday morning.

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The bus stopped about equidistant from the ANA and JAL check in counters. I walked on tot eh JAL side of the airport and entered the check in lobby. It was rather busy but I had a mobile boarding pass so I went straight to security. Ther was only a brief wait and I was through. I was never asked for ID, an odd feeling for a US based flyer.

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Air side was much quieter. It was so easy to get in I was now rather early. I strolled about and checked out the JAL equipment at the various gates.




I spotted a JAL Sakura lounge and popped in to check it out. This nice lady said no, without an onward connection in J or F from NRT I am not entitled to use the lounge. Apparently a connection on ANA in F doesn't carry any clout in a JAL lounge. Who knew ;)

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I located my aircraft for this morning parked at gate 19.



Signs detailing the boarding process were posted. Protective bags were on offer to insulate your purse or coat should you ahve to store them under the seat or in the overhead. What a thoughtful Japanese touch.



There was a JAL service center across from our gate on an otherwise deserted pier.



Some more spotting before boarding.
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Boarding started very near departure as is the norm here.

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I was aboard quickly and seated in the full J cabin. As a n aside I had a non-window seat at the time of ticketing but set an alert on Experflyer for a window. A week or so before departure I received a notice and moved myself to 6A my most preferred seat in the cabin.

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It's a fairly standard staggered 767 lie flat J product but one of the newer versions.



The tray table.



The foot well.

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Seat information card.

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Almost full flight but boarded and pushed in a blink.

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Some views on taxi at this one runway airfield.



Excellent views on climb.



The seat belt sign was turned off very early in the climb so I took the opportunity to visit the lav before the cart was in the aisle.

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Aircraft and crew placards found in JAL equipment.

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Out over Ise Bay a good look at NGO. I thought I was looking at Kansai (KIX) but member Numero_2 pointed out that KIX has two runways. Thanks for the education.



Service commenced quickly with a choice of beverage. I opted for water and coffee. No refills were offered. The service was the same in economy. No snack of any kind.

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The moving map was the only feature available with the AVOD, in horrible resolution. This was disappointing and I can't for the life of me figure out why. yes it's a short flight so you won't finish a film but what's the harm in turning it on?

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A shot of Fujisan.

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Approaching Narita heading northwest.

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Vectoring for a Southeast approach to 16L.



Parking spot at gate 65.

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Walking around Narita.



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Verdict

Japan Airlines

6.5/10
Cabin8.0
Cabin crew8.0
Entertainment5.0
Meal/catering5.0

Osaka - ITM

9.0/10
Efficiency9.0
Access9.0
Services9.0
Cleanliness9.0

Tokyo - NRT

9.0/10
Efficiency9.0
Access9.0
Services9.0
Cleanliness9.0

Conclusion

The Ground Service: N/A.

The Lounge: No access. Knew this going in but wanted to try my luck. Just like flying from LAX-DFW in AA F I don't get Admirals Club access.

The Cabin: Quite the opposite from the 767-300ER from last night. This is a new cabin with full flat seats. I was rather appalled at the resolution of the moving map otherwise it's a good seat.

The Crew: The flight leader was serving my side and she addressed me by name. I was surprised they didn't offer to top off beverages on their way back by after serving Y.

The Food and Beverage: Rather poor offering. I expected it to be like a LAX-SFO in F experience. Full bar available, a snack basket or something, but no. Coffee, juice or tea.

Overall: It's a short flight so I understand the service limitations to some extent. Drink refills, a packaged snack, and access to the AVOD would have been appreciated.

Thank you for reading and happy flying.

Related

8 Comments

  • Comment 439908 by
    Numero_2 SILVER 7802 Comments

    Thanks for sharing !

    Very good cabin for this short domestic flight, especially for a 767.

    "Out over Osaka bay a good look at KIX." -> In fact it's Chubu Centrair (NGO), KIX has two runways.

    "The service was the same in economy." -> It's quite poor for a "premium" class...

    • Comment 439935 by
      socalnow GOLD AUTHOR 689 Comments

      Greetings Numero_2 and thank you for the note.

      "In fact it's Chubu Centrair (NGO), KIX has two runways."
      -Thank you for the correction, I have updated the report. I'm embarrassed I didn't come to that conclusion on my own. I should know the geography better.

      "It's quite poor for a "premium" class..."
      -My thoughts as well. I've been served hot satay on MH flying SIN-KUL. SQ serves a snack as well on a shorter flight than ITM-NRT.

      Thanks again and happy flying.

  • Comment 440186 by
    Kolia GOLD 436 Comments

    Thanks for this nice report ;)

  • Comment 440365 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 4314 Comments

    The 2 reports on 767 J experience on the the Japanese carriers show you can't have it all, haha. One ANA, there was a old (though comfy) cabin, but you got good service on a shorter international flight, and on this domestic flight on JAL, you have a nice Intl J cabin, but almost non-existent service. The whole concept of domestic Business in Japan seems like an even more watered down version of domestic US premium cabin service with no lounge access and even more basic service.

    "Apparently a connection on ANA in F doesn't carry any clout in a JAL lounge. Who knew ;)"
    - Huh, imagine that LOL

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Comment 440554 by
      socalnow GOLD AUTHOR 689 Comments

      Thanks for the note KévinDC.

      It is quite a contrast, these two segments. It was my first time flying domestic in Japan so I didn't know what to expect. I did have expectations and they were not met. Suffice it to say it will be the last time I fly in a premium cabin on a Japanese domestic flight.

      Happy flying.

  • Comment 440369 by
    Rewardflying GOLD 379 Comments

    Hi Christian. Thanks for the Japanese view of dueling 767’s. JL looks like Aa’s And ANA’s look like 1980. Not sure what you paid but I bought Jetstar the other day KIX-NRT for $65 with a front row seat.

    Pretty sure I had lunch at that Marond cafe my last visit. Thanks for the memories!

    • Comment 440555 by
      socalnow GOLD AUTHOR 689 Comments

      Greetings Mark and thanks for the note.

      "JL looks like Aa’s..."
      -Except JAL has in seat AVOD (presumably).

      " Not sure what you paid but I bought Jetstar the other day KIX-NRT for $65 with a front row seat. "
      -Absolutely the way to go. I bought JAL out of curiosity for the product/experience in J on a domestic flight. I won't need to do that again.

      Thanks again and happy flying.

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