Greetings Flight Report community and thanks for stopping by. This is the remnants of a trip that was mangled by “Super Typhoon” Mangkhut, cancelled, and then resurrected on a whim. I'll spare you the details of my fretting and weather watching in the days leading up to departure but suffice it to say they were abundant. I canceled my original award ticket and the entire trip for that matter. Until I resurrected it the next day.
Carrier, route, equipment, class, lounge, and procurement method:
Check in and a trip to VIP Lounge #36….or #39….or?
Terminal 1 at Shanghai Pudong airport houses mostly Sky Team Airlines and a couple One World and non-alliance carriers. I used to think T2 was the nicer of the two terminals but I think they are both equally average.
Check in with JAL was fast and friendly.
I don't really know what lounge I was in. I think it was probably #39 as it wasn't the MU #36 lounge, I walked past that one on the way in. There was a person stationed before the elevator to the lounges but I didn't stop to check in with them, I assumed the agent was there if you needed assistance.
The lounge was far nicer than expected. It was quite large with many different seating options including private cubicles There were several beverage and snack stations and a cooked to order noodle bar. Let's have look around.
The highlight of the food and beverage offerings was the noodle bar with made to order noodles and an assortment of dumplings available.
I requested the shredded pork noodle soup and picked a plate of kimchi and BBQ pork. All of the items were perfectly fine. I can eat noodle soup for all of my meals so I'm a happy camper when a noodle bar is available.
A look at the other food and beverage stations.
No one will confuse this lounge with The Pier in Hong Kong but it did exceed my expectations for a contract lounge at a Chinese airport. It may be faint praise but it's something other than a complaint.
Boarding was organized and in typical Oneworld fashion half of the passengers are in the premium lane.
This 787-8 featured the older style angle-flat J seats.
I like the bulkhead, seat 7A, in this configuration as there is plenty of space to get up from the window seat even if the seat next to you is fully reclined. The engine and wing views are excellent too.
A look at the seat controls, IFE remote, stored IFE screen, and headphones.
Service was excellent starting from the greeting at the door and including a personal greeting by name from the purser. The menu was already positioned in the seat pocket.
In an unusual twist of fate we departed PVG on time with no ATC shenanigans.
I deployed the IFE and moving map as service was beginning.
Out over the East China Sea.
The quintessential oshibori is delivered warm and fragrant.
Looking across the aisle from 7a.
The meal was delivered with the beverage of my choosing, the Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve. There was not a separate bar service.
The presentation of the meal is excellent and the variety of flavors and textures are a hallmark of Japanese cuisine. There's Yuba and okra with shrimp, fruit, pickles, shrimp paste and veggie roll and grilled chicken, stuffed shiitake, eel, and smoked salmon. I enjoyed a taste of each item and found some to be more favorable than others.
The main for the Japanese selection was steamed white fish and mushroom rice. The fish was remarkable tender and the yuzu chili sauce was a nice enhancement to an otherwise mild fish.
Dessert was offered and I accepted a mango mouse.
Overall the meal was of good quality and certainly more interesting than something I would expect on a flight in the US at breakfast time.
I made a trip to the lav after breakfast. It is spacious and well appointed.
A look around the cabin at cruise.
Soon we were starting the decent into Narita.
The flight touched down on time and we taxied to the terminal 2 satellite and parked next to a Nok Scoot 777 bound for DMK.
Shanghai - PVG
Tokyo - NRT
The Ground Service: Check in was quick and courteous.
The Lounge: Expectations were exceeded by virtue of being quite low. I was pleasantly surprised by the lounge in terms of varied and ample seating as well as a good selection of food including made to order noodle dishes.
The Cabin: The seat on this 787-8 is a dated previous generation J seat. It's perfectly fine for this type of mission, day time short flight, but I would not enjoy a long haul flight in this product.
The Crew: Kind, generous, and gracious service was in abundance as had bee my experience flying with Japan Airlines.
The Food and Beverage: Above average here in that there was interesting option on a <3 hour breakfast flight. Not every flavor or texture in Japanese cuisine agrees with my culinary sensibilities but on the whole I was quite pleased.
Overall: Japan Airlines is very consistent in offering a high quality experience in their premium cabins. While the hard product on this aircraft doesn't represent the best JAL has to offer I still enjoyed my time on board.
Thank you for reading and happy flying.
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