Review of Japan Airlines flight Tokyo Chicago in First

Airline Japan Airlines
Flight JL10
Class First
Seat 2A
Aircraft Boeing 777-300ER
Flight time 10:30
Take-off 08 Oct 19, 11:00
Arrival at 09 Oct 19, 07:30
JL   #13 out of 142 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 145 reviews
Rewardflying
By GOLD 1587
Published on 19th April 2020

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The rainy night in Tokyo turned into a sunny morning. After a quick breakfast at the Hilton Narita, it was off to the airport for one of the best first class experiences you can have, Japan Airlines.  


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This is the 4th floor JAL Salon lounge that opened in April of 2019. The 3rd floor renovation had not been completed when I visited. 


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The lounge is U shaped, inverted. It consists mostly of dining tables. When you enter to the left you are at the sushi station. 


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Then make a right turn to more dining tables. 


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Then another right to, more dining tables. 


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Further to the back of the lounge are these phone booths???


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Then a typical lounge type room in the back that has windows, the only part of the lounge with window views. 


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In the hallway are some private cubicles for seating. 


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And in the back are lockers. 


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It didn’t take me long to realize having breakfast at the Hilton was not one of my better decisions on the day. But that decision was influenced from the last time I was at the JAL F lounge where I wasn’t impressed with the food. I hadn’t realized the new lounge was open. Food is mostly made to order. Here is the sushi menu which appears to change monthly.


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And the table menu. 


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In the back were elevators to take to down to the 3rd floor. I did not see any private resting rooms in this lounge. I’d only allocated time to visit the lounge for a quick few photos and a cup of coffee.

Then it was off to the gate for a late morning departure to Chicago.  


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First and Business class customers (along with JAL/Oneworld elites) were allowed to board simultaneously. 


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Today’s ship a 12 year old 777 #JA737J.


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The crew has assembled paper airplanes for each first class passenger. Mine was blue. 


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Over in 2K would be some sort of dignitary. He boarded last with an entourage of people / bodyguards. The FA’s made a fuss over him as well. Today the F cabin would be full. 


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2C got a yellow plane.


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A quick peak back into the mini business class cabin. 


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5E might be the most private seat on the plane. On the other hand it might be the most claustrophobic seat on the plane.


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Amenities were stacked at the seat and pajamas were passed out. 


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Lavatories were stocked with essentials. 


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Time to depart. We were behind a JAL 787 and before Finnair A350. 


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With a passing glimpse of an ANA A380. 


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Today’s menu beginning with the wine list.. 


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.


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.


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Then food, which shall it be? Japanese or International. Socalnow has raved about the Wagyu beef out of Tokyo. That had been my plan. 


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Alas, time for a new plan.


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Let the service begin!


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Sakai was my lovely flight attendant. 


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Attention to detail. Saki carefull and graciously placed the JAL napkin on my lap.


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A beautiful dish. 


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I was thrown off by the new egg yolk cream presentation. This is much preferred to the traditional caviar garnish in my opinion. 


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After caviar, How predictable.


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The beef cheeks were fabulous. Yes that is them under the mushrooms. This was gourmet dining, portion wise too.


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I tried the red bean dessert. While Japanese food culture isn’t known for desserts, this was fabulous.  


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Time for bed as I was tired, no make that exhausted.  


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So here was my chance for Wagyu beef, even if it was only a bite size piece. The Brochettes and Soba noodles were perfect before arrival. I enjoyed this with a glass of Royal Blue Tea (not shown). 


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Up next are the newer European A350 operators, British Airways, Air France, Virgin Atlantic and SAS. Who will win that throwdown!

See more

Verdict

Japan Airlines

8.6/10
Cabin9.0
Cabin crew9.0
Entertainment/wifi8.0
Meal/catering8.5

JAL First Lounge

8.4/10
Comfort8.5
Meal/catering9.0
Entertainment/wifi7.5
Services8.5

Tokyo - NRT

8.0/10
Efficiency8.0
Access8.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness8.0

Chicago - ORD

6.8/10
Efficiency7.0
Access7.0
Services6.5
Cleanliness6.5

Conclusion

I’ve always like the JAL first class seats. Are the the most private, no. Are they the most comfortable, maybe. Do they turn into the most comfortable bed, the Airweave mattress sure does help.

Food/Amenities: Every bite of food from both meals on this flight was delicious. And the amuse bouche was beautiful to look at. The only issue was portion. The main entrée was small. Salon and Chateau LaGrange made up for those shortcomings.

IFE: JAL doesn’t have the best monitor (anymore) in the sky. Emirates and the new ANA monitor are significantly better in every regard. While I had a wifi certificate I ended up not connecting.

Flight Attendants: Sakai was such a lovely flight attendant. Service was impeccable and she was super friendly and well spoken in English. After the Emirates FA disappearance it was almost annoying that Sakai constantly walked the cabin back and forth for hours to make sure anyone (it was full) who wanted something would get it immediately. One of the best FA’s I’ve ever had.

Information on the route Tokyo (NRT) Chicago (ORD)

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


Useful

The airline with the best average rating is Japan Airlines with 8.1/10.

The average flight time is 11 hours and 46 minutes.

  More information

6 Comments

  • Comment 551914 by
    PresRDC1 8 Comments

    That beef cheek and mushroom dish looks amazing. I've had the wagu filet on JAL many times. It is excellent, but the beef cheek fish looks so much more interesting. Need to find a way to fly JAL when it is on the menu rotation.

    • Comment 551916 by
      PresRDC1 8 Comments

      And I wish they would offer a less fancy dessert option like a cake. The red bean fancier is good taste, but I don't like the texture.

      • Comment 552188 by
        Rewardflying GOLD AUTHOR 494 Comments

        Hi PresRDC1, thanks for reading and commenting on my report.

        That beef cheek and mushroom dish looks amazing.

        -And it was! Hope you get to try it sometime.

        And I wish they would offer a less fancy dessert option like a cake.

        Well you could fly EK and get a small bowl of fruit, much like you might get on United Airlines!

        Thanks again! Happy RewardFlying.

  • Comment 552119 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 5273 Comments

    Great report as always. While the ground experience can be lacking for First class, that is more than made up in the air. Like you said, the seats aren't the best or most private, but the service is always impeccable and the catering high end and well-presented.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Comment 552183 by
    Razza_Pr 215 Comments

    Hello, Rewardflying, and thank you for this Flight-Report.

    Then another right to, more dining tables.

    Wonder if there’s a Japanese philosophy incorporated there somewhere, something about accommodating to your guests..

    Further to the back of the lounge are these phone booths???

    Underrated feature. More lounges need this. You never know when you have to phone a Dubai-based airline to ask them to compensate you to the tune of $130

    Here is the sushi menu which appears to change monthly.

    The section on the right appears to show that the sets change weekly, (with tamago set to appear on 3 of the other weeks listed), but the schedule is for the month. Of course top sushi restaurants change their menu daily, depending on what’s available at the Tsukiji Fish Market. Activities have had to move to Toyosu Market, wherein there’s an observation level for the visitors, but it’s not as immersive as going there at 4am with a sushi chef to see them buy their ingredients of the day. Have you ever tried?

    Amenities were stacked at the seat and pajamas were passed out. 

    Absolutely loving the pattern on that bag. It looks like Batik

    Time for bed as I was tired, no make that exhausted.

    The following photo must’ve been what your vision had been like after the glasses of Salons

    Up next are the newer European A350 operators, British Airways, Air France, Virgin Atlantic and SAS.

    SAS, but no Turkish? Colour me surprised!

    Thanks again for this. Cheers!

  • Comment 552190 by
    Rewardflying GOLD AUTHOR 494 Comments

    Hi Raza_Pr, Thanks for your comments.

    Wonder if there’s a Japanese philosophy incorporated there somewhere, something about accommodating to your guests..

    -Maybe, it is a very attractive lounge with the only obvious drawback of no natural lighting.

    have to phone a Dubai-based airline to ask them to compensate you to the tune of $130

    -HaHa, good one!

    Have you ever tried?

    -Visited Tsukjiki a few years back. Bucket-list the new one!

    >SAS, but no Turkish? Colour me surprised!
    Haven't been able to find TK A350 yet. They (used to) fly it out of LAX, but no award space I could find. Plus flying the wrong way 4 hours to catch a J flight isn't something I like to do, now to fly in F, different story. Hoping they put the A350 on ORD route at some point. I had 2 flights bokked this summer on their B787, both have been cancelled. Had FJ A350 too, no doubt it I will cancel, my flight to Sydney to catch this has already been cancelled. Probably wait untill all this blows over before making any other reservations, (expect maybe QR 351, ET 359 and CX 359 for next year:) ).

    Stay safe Raza_Pr!

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