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:
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.
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.
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.
O 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.
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.
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.
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.
The meal finishes with an oshibori and top up of the Perrier.
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?
The nap is successful as I do not wake up until we are starting decent into Changi.
I am offered a drink and snack, even at this late stage of the flight, which I appreciate. I request water and coffee.
Soon the familiar array of moored ships comes into view marking our close proximity to Singapore. That window glare, ick!
Tokyo - NRT
Singapore - SIN
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.
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