Review of Japan Airlines flight Tokyo Singapore in Business

Airline Japan Airlines
Flight JL711
Class Business
Seat 8K
Aircraft Boeing 777-200ER
Flight time 07:50
Take-off 10 Nov 18, 18:00
Arrival at 11 Nov 18, 00:50
JL   #12 out of 133 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 136 reviews
socalnow
By GOLD 1604
Published on 11th December 2018
Greetings Flight Report community and thanks for stopping by. This is a trip of odds and ends. In July I needed a way home from Tokyo so I booked the best value in miles and points: ANA First Class with Virgin Atlantic Flying Club points. The catch is that they require a round trip booking so I had to "park" the USA -> Tokyo leg somewhere until I could flesh out a trip to use it on. I happened to find availability on November 9th so that's where it sat. The onward journey came as a result of the "90,000 Iberia Avios Promotion" that offered an insane number of Avios for buying 10 airplane tickets. I played along and ended up with 90,000 Avios for buying +/- $300 in travel. The catch, if you can call it that, was that the Avios had to be redeemed by 12/1/18. I used these Avios to book JAL NRT-SIN-HND with the NRT-SIN portion coupled with my ANA NRT-LAX. I "parked" the SIN return for a future trip. I began to look at ways to get back and my AA mileage balance was sufficient to consider Cathay Pacific First. I know they run sporadic F on regional flights so I began looking for one of those. I checked the usual suspects of SIN, BKK, and MNL and could not find any F being offered at all on the day I needed. Somehow I considered Jakarta and it all lined up perfectly. I booked CGK-HKG (overnight in HKG)-LAX-LAS in CX and AA First. The final piece was positioning from SIN to CGK. I quickly and, probably foolishly, booked First with Singapore Airlines for this portion of the trip just to have a taste of their tremendous First Class experience.

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



All Nippon Airlines (ANA), LAX-NRT, 777-300ER, First, Star Alliance First Class Lounge, Virgin Atlantic Mileage Club
Japan Airlines, NRT-SIN, 777-200ER, Business, No Lounge Review, Iberia Avios (This Report)
Singapore Airlines, SIN-CGK, 777-300, First, The Private Room and T2 First Class Lounge, Krisflyer
Cathay Pacific, CGK-HKG, 777-300ER, First, Pura Indah First Class Section, American Advantage
Cathay Pacific, HKG-LAX, 777-300ER, First, The Wing, The Pier, The Centurion, American Advantage (Coming Soon)
American Airlines, LAX-LAS, 737-800, First, Qantas First Lounge, American Advantage (No Report)

Narita Airport Transit T1 -> T2



I have a tight-ish connection of my own making upon arrival at Narita. At virtually any other airport in the world I wouldn't expect to succeed or even attempt an international to international transit between separate terminals in 90 minutes. However, this is Japan and I, probably quite foolishly, put full faith in Japanese precision and operational prowess to allow such a transit. I was lucky this time and there were no issues. I helped myself by researching the process and knew exactly where to go on arrival, after clearing the transit security. One of the two bus locations was nearby where I excited transit security and even walking up as a bus was departing the wait for the next one was 10 minutes on the dot.



I did have time to pop into the Sakura lounge and have some water and use the facilities. It was rather crowded so I wasn't able to make a proper review.



JL711 NRT-SIN



Boarding was beginning as I arrived at gate 96 and I was on board shortly.



I selected seat 8K. It's the bulk head seat in the second business cabin. I was hoping that 8K would benefit from a larger foot well which is a common feature for aircraft in this configuration. I think it might have but I can't say for certain.



A water bottle, menu, and slippers were positioned at the seat. An oshibori was delivered shortly along with a welcome aboard.

photo 20181110_004707photo 20181110_005311

The menu was as follows.



I take a trip to the lav to change into my ANA jammies from my inbound flight. With a block time of 7.5 hours this is a longer than average regional flight.


Ophoto 20181110_030626
r push back from the gate was timely with a 34L departure to the northwest. The initial climb included a sweeping turn back over the airfield and over Tokyo Bay. Unfortunately JAL doesn't dim the sidewall lights, or any lights for that matter, on a night time departure so the glare on the windows makes pictures impossible.

photo 20181110_012237photo 20181110_013000

I plugged in the noise canceling headphones and browsed the IFE selection.



Service started promptly with an oshibori and offer of a beverage. My new JAL business class ritual is to enjoy sake tasting so I asked to try two of the sakes and I also requested some water. The sake(s) were served with some Japanese rice crackers.

photo 20181110_014934photo 20181110_015145

Meal service is on a tray but is hand delivered and properly coursed. The highlight for me is the beautiful first course presentation, in JAL marketing speak, "Crimson Sky - Selection of seasonal colorful delicacies." This being a long regional flight it appears the selection has larger portions and perhaps more "upscale" components.



The main course, Dainomono, is a bit of a let down after the beautiful appetizer presentation. I find the pork encrusted in egg to be neither the best of an egg or the best pork option. Love the miso soup and pickles.

photo 20181110_023127

Service throughout the meal is prompt and personal. This flight has many connecting passengers who started their travel day many hours ago so sleeping en lieu of a meal is not uncommon.

The "some assembly required" dessert of rice wafers stuffed with matcha milk flavored white kidney bean jam is a heck of lot tastier eating it than reading it.

photo 20181110_024155

The meal finishes with an oshibori and top up of the Perrier.

photo 20181110_032149

I take a quick walk to stretch my legs before attempting a nap. The lighting is changed to "mood" setting.



The increased bulkhead foot well. Maybe?

photo 20181110_031139

The nap is successful as I do not wake up until we are starting decent into Changi.

photo 20181110_074645

I am offered a drink and snack, even at this late stage of the flight, which I appreciate. I request water and coffee.

photo 20181110_070059

Soon the familiar array of moored ships comes into view marking our close proximity to Singapore. That window glare, ick!

See more

Verdict

Japan Airlines

8.3/10
Cabin8.0
Cabin crew8.5
Entertainment/wifi8.0
Meal/catering8.5

Tokyo - NRT

8.8/10
Efficiency9.0
Access9.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness9.0

Singapore - SIN

8.8/10
Efficiency8.5
Access8.5
Services9.0
Cleanliness9.0

Conclusion

The Ground Service: None offered. The airport operator, however, can be commended for efficient transit security and transportation among terminals.

The Lounge: Really crowded, didn't get a chance to fully explore/appreciate.

The Cabin: The flat bed with direct aisle access and additional bulk head space make for a good seat. The cabin is fresh and new looking and the mid cabin lavs are spacious.

The Crew: Excellent service was provided. I was addressed by name, all service items were hand delivered, and plates and glasses were immediately removed when no longer needed.

The Food and Beverage: I'm a fan of the selection and quality of the Japanese meal on JAL regional flights. A good sake selection makes it even better.

Overall: I am happy with the application of my Iberia Avios. I was able to get where I wanted to go, when I wanted, all with great comfort, style and safety.

Thank you for reading and happy flying.

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

2 Comments

  • Comment 479842 by
    KévinDC TEAM GOLD 4952 Comments

    Woo Hoo, you made it! Good thing the transit process was quick and efficient, as most things are in Japan.

    "At virtually any other airport in the world I wouldn't expect to succeed or even attempt an international to international transit between separate terminals in 90 minutes."
    - For sure, except maybe Changi

    "It was rather crowded so I wasn't able to make a proper review."
    - Hah, yep, this time you had to rough it in the crowded J lounge :-P

    That appetizer is everything! It looks amazing. The main would look good in any other context, but following the presentation of the 1st course it looks meh.

    These new cabins are great, maybe not as nice as the Apex Suites, but great for a "regional" flight. It's nice that JAL runs this product on NRT-SIN considering the flight time is similar to most East Coast TATL flights.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Comment 480064 by
      socalnow GOLD AUTHOR 924 Comments

      Thanks for the feedback Kevin.
      "For sure, except maybe Changi"
      -Absolutely Changi, how could I forget the best!?!
      " Hah, yep, this time you had to rough it in the crowded J lounge :-P"
      -Everyone in Oneworld has status and some lounge access so they're all crowded, but point taken ;)
      "That appetizer is everything! "
      -Really lovely fatty tuna and caviar. A feast for the eyes and mouth.

      Thanks again Kevin and happy flying.

Login to post a comment.