Review of Japan Airlines flight Shanghai Tokyo in Business

Airline Japan Airlines
Flight JL872
Class Business
Seat 7A
Aircraft Boeing 787-8
Flight time 03:00
Take-off 18 Sep 18, 09:00
Arrival at 18 Sep 18, 13:00
JL   #11 out of 123 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 121 reviews
socalnow
By GOLD 1354
Published on 5th November 2018
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:



Delta Air Lines, LAX-PVG, A350-900, Business, Delta Sky Club T2, NRSA

Japan Airlines, PVG-NRT, 787-8, Business, VIP Lounge, Alaska Mileage Plan (This report)
Japan Airlines, NRT-LAX, 777-300ER, First, JAL First Lounge (Plus bonus Qantas LAX F Lounge), Alaska Mileage Plan

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.

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Check in with JAL was fast and friendly.

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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.

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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.

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The highlight of the food and beverage offerings was the noodle bar with made to order noodles and an assortment of dumplings available.

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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.

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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.

JL872 PVG-NRT



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.

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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.

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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.

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The quintessential oshibori is delivered warm and fragrant.

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Looking across the aisle from 7a.

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The meal was delivered with the beverage of my choosing, the Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve. There was not a separate bar service.

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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.

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Dessert was offered and I accepted a mango mouse.

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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.

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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.

See more

Verdict

Japan Airlines

7.9/10
Cabin7.0
Cabin crew8.5
Entertainment7.5
Meal/catering8.5

Lounge #69

7.3/10
Comfort7.0
Meal/catering8.0
Entertainment7.0
Services7.0

Shanghai - PVG

7.3/10
Efficiency7.0
Access8.0
Services7.0
Cleanliness7.0

Tokyo - NRT

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

Conclusion

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.

Informations on the route Shanghai (PVG) Tokyo (NRT)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 8 reviews of 3 airlines on the route Shanghai (PVG) → Tokyo (NRT).


Useful

The airline with the best average grade is with /10.

The average flight time is 2.0 hours and 48.0 minutes.

  More informations

9 Comments

  • Comment 473909 by
    ThomasDutch 41 Comments

    Nice report :). and btw you are definitely correct on the lounge you were using!

  • Comment 473941 by
    pokcay 61 Comments

    Thanks for the report! Trying out JAL J class is one of my bucket list. Their food presentation is always on point!

  • Comment 473942 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 4403 Comments

    Thanks for another beautiful report. Glad you were able to make the trip work despite the WX issues. JAL, along with CX and QF are some of the main reasons I stick with oneworld. I'm also pleasantly surprised by that lounge...whatever number it is, lol. the seats are great for regional flights like this, but a TPAC would not be pleasant and wouldn't be the kind of experience you'd expect from JAL. Though I don't think they're running many of these 788s with the old seats on TPAC...like 2 routes maybe? Maybe more, no idea.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Comment 474064 by
      socalnow GOLD AUTHOR 708 Comments

      Hi Kevin and thank you for the note.

      " JAL, along with CX and QF are some of the main reasons I stick with oneworld."
      -High praise that occasional alliance flights make up for the misery of AA :P

      "Though I don't think they're running many of these 788s with the old seats on TPAC...like 2 routes maybe? Maybe more, no idea."
      -YVR and SAN last I checked. The new SEA flight will have the Apex. It's odd that a carrier as well regarded as JAL would send this configuration on a TPAC. Perhaps it's even more odd that a 787 ever saw these seats at all...

      Thanks again Kevin and happy flying.

      • Comment 474562 by
        KévinDC TEAM SILVER 4403 Comments

        "High praise that occasional alliance flights make up for the misery of AA :P"
        - Haha, I know...it's kinda sad. Nevertheless, I'm keeping a close eye on UA as it seems they're actually improving, which I never thought possible, whereas AA has been stagnating after a few years of going in the right direction and it seems lately that they're having more and more service issues

        "YVR and SAN last I checked. The new SEA flight will have the Apex. It's odd that a carrier as well regarded as JAL would send this configuration on a TPAC"
        - Ah, that's what it is! I knew about SAN, but didn't know about YVR. I know they used to run these on BOS...how miserable on such a long flight.

        "Perhaps it's even more odd that a 787 ever saw these seats at all"
        - It really is. JAL did a great thing by putting in 2-4-2 in Economy, but I don't know what they were thinking with the old angled lie flats on a brand new plane.

  • Comment 474150 by
    Rewardflying GOLD 399 Comments

    Hi Christian, as nice report as always.

    Nice lounge isn't it? PVG and PEK are opposite ends when it comes to lounges it seems.

    How'd you snag 7A? I thought they blocked those seats. Did you pre-assign or get it at checkin? Terrible seat for a new aircraft however. Looks they are finally changing San Diego to apex from these angle flats early next year.

    Glad to see you got the Japanese meal, now you need to try international! Got a kick out of their monthly beef preparations.

    happy reward flying!

    • Comment 475864 by
      socalnow GOLD AUTHOR 708 Comments

      Hi Mark and thank you for the note.

      "Nice lounge isn't it? PVG and PEK are opposite ends when it comes to lounges it seems."
      -Color me surprised. I was not expecting a perfectly respectable business class lounge. The lounge JAL uses in PEK is of very poor quality. PEK does get the better JAL seat...

      "How'd you snag 7A? "
      -I went on theJAL site and selected it. I have been able to select it on prior trips too.

      "Glad to see you got the Japanese meal, now you need to try international!"
      -Always go with the airline "local" cuisine in J. In F that's not my policy...

      Thanks again Mark and happy flying next week with QR and SQ!!!

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