Review of Japan Airlines flight Chicago Tokyo in First

Airline Japan Airlines
Flight JL009
Class First
Seat 2A
Aircraft Boeing 777-300ER
Flight time 12:45
Take-off 27 Nov 14, 10:45
Arrival at 27 Nov 14, 14:30
JL   #22 out of 119 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 145 reviews
docvic
By 6207
Published on 27th November 2014
It took less than 30 minutes from downtown Chicago to O'Hare airport by car, the shuttle driver said it only happened on Thanksgiving day. When I arrived at the terminal 3, the counters were not open yet for check-in, I walked around and took some pictures.


There is a separate First class check-in counter. I was served by a middle age white male staff, he greet me first, and extended both hands together to receive my passport. I was very impressed by this gesture, he was serious and polite, after answering few routine questions,I told him I had a hand bag, I noticed he picked up a hand bag tag and filled in all information needed on the backside. When he was done with computer and my check-in luggage, he left his seat and walked around the counter, he came to me in front and handed me the passport and boarding pass, explained to me where the first class lounge is, and one more thing, he put the tag on my hand bag in person. I have to admit that this level of personal service was way above my expectation, what a truly first class check-in.
photo IMG_4156photo pass

The fast track was OK, it took me about 15 minutes to go through the security.
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Japan airlines uses American airlines flagship lounge, not the Admirals club for its first class passengers. The lounge is very average, only 2 hot foods available, no shower facilities.


The boarding gate is right next to the lounge, taking less than a minute to walk there.


This was my first leg of flights to Taipei, I had a connecting flight at Narita for Taipei. The second leg of flight will be a separate report.
Upon boarding the plane, pre-departure drinks orange juice or champagne was offered, I also put on JL pajama before take off.
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Here are pictures of the cabin. The seat was really comfortable, it come with a proper size of back pillow, I didn’t really need to adjust anything. All function bottoms are well visible. The table was sliding one, it was not hided some where hard to find, I just needed to pull it toward me when needed, and push away to the screen when I was done with it. There are three side compartments with plenty of space to store personal items, The place to hang the earphone is on top of the side reading light. I found alI these designs are very thoughtful and friendly.


Flight left on time, the take off was smooth.
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When the seat belt light went off, the cocktail service started. I ordered Champagne Salon 2002. The dinner I ordered was Japanese meal.


I took the time to walk around the cabin while they made the bed for me, and took some pictures.
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Snack bar
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Two bathroom are available and are little bigger in the first class cabin, but there are no window. One thing they upgrade in the first class bathroom was cotton towel for hand drying rather than paper towel.


The entertainment system is a new generation, featuring a 4 inch touch screen control, and a 17 (19?) inches LED screen. The films selection was just average, but I enjoyed very much the new clear big screen.
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Turndown service
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The amenity kit came in a different package from my outbound flight to Chicago. it is on the R side of picture, sorry I forgot to take a picture on its own.
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After a long nap, I woke up and ordered something to eat.


Before landing, I ordered some light meal again, and for some reason I didn’t like the meat, one of the flight attendant noticed I ate so slowly and asked me if anything wrong, I simply replied I didn't like the food, she immediately suggested me to order other dish and took my meat dish away. I then had a simple pasta, which tasted much better.
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The landing was clean and soft, we left the aircraft on first class cabin door. It was a long walk to the transfer area. where it ended my first leg of trip to Taipei.
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Verdict

Japan Airlines

9.3/10
Cabin10.0
Cabin crew10.0
Entertainment/wifi8.0
Meal/catering9.0

American Airlines Flagship Lounge - 3

2.8/10
Comfort2.0
Meal/catering2.0
Entertainment/wifi5.0
Services2.0

Chicago - ORD

8.9/10
Efficiency9.5
Access9.0
Services9.0
Cleanliness8.0

Tokyo - NRT

10.0/10
Efficiency10.0
Access10.0
Services10.0
Cleanliness10.0

Conclusion

Although the first class cabin was full on this flight, 8 passengers on board, the high level of service provided was consistent with my last JL flight. JL deserved a big applause.

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

The contributors of Flight-Report published 9 reviews of 3 airlines on the route Chicago (ORD) → Tokyo (NRT).


Useful

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

The average flight time is 13 hours and 13 minutes.

  More information

5 Comments

  • Comment 123420 by
    Caribel 113 Comments

    It is good to read the level of service was to your liking.

    Certain details betray the cost cutting moves in the catering area. No Kobe beef offered. The sushi had razor thin fish morsels. No specification if Japanese rice was served. No pairing of different sake regions with dishes. Ramen noodles instead of udon. No Japanese fruits offered, some Japanese home grown grapes and apples can fetch 100 euros per kg. No handmade chocolate truffles. When a menu does not specify the farm or grower assume frozen.

    The lack of current movies selection indicates JAL avoids paying a premium for current releases titles.

    Finally, when traveling international first class the lounge manager has authorization to get any special requests for you. Do not feel limited to what is present at the lounge.

    Thanks for the detailed report!

  • Comment 123462 by
    SKYTEAMCHC GOLD 8236 Comments

    Thanks for this report that once again shows that JAL offers a solid product both hard and soft.
    The catering is really superb , and as a non specialist like Caribel , I must say that it impresses me. The seat also looks very comfortable offers the right level of privacy and is up to high standards .
    Your different reports made me want to try JAL.

    Hope to read you again soon on Flight Report

  • Comment 123499 by
    jetsetpanda 2294 Comments

    Thank you for sharing another lovely report. It's too bad that the quality of the lounge does not quite match that of the experience onboard.

  • Comment 124528 by
    Echika 4 Comments

    Thanks for the report, I enjoyed it so much!!

  • Comment 151912 by
    757Fan 590 Comments

    Great report! JAL looks fantastic in First Class. The food looks delicious!

    Thank you for sharing.

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