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“Broken seat upgrade to First Class, usual fine service in lounge and on flight”
Review of Japan Airlines (JAL)


Reviewed 5 July 2022

I took the early morning 8:05 am flight from Bangkok to Tokyo Narita. I arrived at the airport at around 5:20 am before check in opened at 5:35 am. I lined up for the First Class check in line based on OneWorld Emerald status eventhough I was booked in Business Class. The line was not moving as the first passenger in line seemed to have a complicated issue that took a lot of time so one of the Business Class counters took over checking in those in the First Class line.

I had reserved seat 5A which is a window seat in the first row of Business Class. On check in, I was told the seat had a problem with the partition between the window seat and the aisle seat and that it could not move up all the way. As the flight was pretty full and I was pretty sure all the window seats were taken already, I said I was fine with my seat. Business and First passengers can use the priority lane security entrance on the main floor and did not have to go up one floor to go through security like the other passengers. I was quickly past security and passport control and in the Sakura Lounge at Suvarnabhumi airport.

Instead of the usual self serve buffet, Sakura Lounge is now on an order system where you go up to staff and order your food items or drinks. At the meal counter, you could order chicken curry, donburi set, sausage and egg set, salad, corn soup, Japanese gozen or fried chicken, more than enough food and plenty of choices for breakfast. Service, as usual for JAL, was very efficient. There is a lot of seating in the lounge and plastic dividers have been placed between seats for Covid-19 protection.

The flight boarded on time. On boarding, I discovered the partition between my seat and seat 5B was completely taped down in the open position so that there was no privacy at all from seat 5B. I went up to the purser to mention this as it was a different situation than check-in had explained to me. After checking briefly, the purser came back to me to offer a seat in First Class instead since this flight did have a small first class section with 8 seats and there was a single unoccupied seat.

Business class is configured 2X2X2 and First class is configured 1X2X1. The First class seat was much more spacious than the business class seat, with neat storage compartments all around the seat and a foot rest that could double as a second seat for a companion to have a join meal in the seat. The First class seat had beautiful wood trim all around, a very large video screen, and a shelf under the video monitor that can move toward the seat as a large table. There is also ample storage space under the food rest for a carry on bag.

On this medium haul flight, the toiletries bag and menu were the same in First and Business class and only the blanket was different with First having a warmer textured blanket.

Service, as always on JAL, was excellent. Lunch was served during the flight and I selected the Japanese meal with the bento box of various starters, followed by soup, rice and the duo of mains of grilled flatfish miso yuan style and grilled pork saikyo style. It was delicious, filling and visually extremely appealing.

I have always enjoyed my JAL flights and this one was no exception. An upgraded super comfortable wide seat, excellent food and service - another great flight experience.

Date of travel: June 2022
    • Seat comfort
    • Customer service
    • Cleanliness
    • Food and Beverage
    • Legroom
    • In-flight Entertainment
    • Value for money
    • Check-in and boarding
1  Thank VancTraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Reviewed 5 July 2022

I definitely expected a lot more from JAL. My mom was on the flight from NY JFK to Seoul S.Korea and had the connection in Haneda. JAL canceled the flight without any reason (no weather or problem with the plane) and let my mom know at the boarding gate! She checked in her bags already and was waiting for her flight and was notified that her connecting flight was canceled and the one that they booked for her was now 15 hours overnight stay at the airport. When I got on the phone with customer service, they told me the flight was canceled 10 days ago but they did not send us any email regarding the changes to the flight. They refused to get her any hotel or meal to compensate for the changes to the flight. My mom is 65 years old, does not speak Japanese or English, and is now stuck at the airport for 15 hours without any help from the airline. Absolutely ridiculous experience and will never take JAL ever again.

Date of travel: July 2022
Thank 724beek
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed 3 July 2022

JAL is usually one of the best airlines in the world. I've flown several times in Business and also First class. Wonderful! But now, after flying a round trip with them to Jakarta and back, I wouldn't be very excited to fly them until Japan changes its quarantine rules for tourists: EVERY SINGLE JAL FLIGHT WAS DELAYED both to and from USA and to and from Asia.
This isn't really JAL's fault: the Japanese govt isn't allowing JAL to leave a single passenger in Narita overnight, so if even one connecting flight from JFK/ORD/LAX/SFO/SAN/SEA/YVR/DFW is delayed, then ALL of the connections to BKK/CGK/SIN/KUL/MNL/HAN are delayed so that every single passenger gets on their connecting flight. Same thing on the way back to USA. My delays were: SFO-NRT 90 min delay; NRT-CGK 3 hours delay: CGK-NRT not delayed; NRT-SFO 1 hour delay, causing me to miss my connection from SFO to JFK.
In addition, the intra-Asia flights on the 787-800 features slanted beds in Business Class (NOT FLAT) which is not competetive with the other airlines-- Garuda, Singapore Air, Malaysia Air, Cathay, ANA.
Lastly, JAL weirdly serves only a tiny snack after take off on the 7 hour flight CGK-NRT, which departs at 06:35AM. 5 hours into the flight the main meal is served. I hadn't eaten anything before the flight because I (like everyone else on the plane, right?) got up at 3AM, got to the airport about 430AM, went through immigration and customs etc... before boarding at 6AM. When were we expected to eat? I wish I'd have known this ahead of time.
Ummmm also I tried calling JAL's USA number at least 15 times before the trip began and.... busy busy busy busy. Ridiculous.
Pro: Seat and food on in Business class on the 777-300ER for SFO-NRT and return was excellent!

Date of travel: June 2022
    • Seat comfort
    • Customer service
    • Cleanliness
    • Food and Beverage
    • Legroom
    • In-flight Entertainment
    • Value for money
    • Check-in and boarding
Thank jcaulum
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed 2 July 2022

My first flight from DEL to Haneda was with economy class, it was very uncomfortable! No leg space at all, food was Japanese style and very limited. The service wasn’t the best as well.

When I landed in Haneda I asked to upgrade to Economy seat with more leg room for my next flight. First of all, the language barrier is a huge issue! I have been told all leg room seats are reserved and I had no choice to pay more for economy premium.

The seats in economy premium are okay, I can’t say they are that comfortable but I got enough leg space.
You also get a small bag with some goodies for the rest of your flight. Food was okay, not better than regular economy.

My main issue was that I saw a lot of unreserved leg room seats in economy so I don’t understand why I was been told that they are sold out.

My experience with ANA was definitely much better!

Date of travel: June 2022
1  Thank ShaniC92
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed 27 June 2022

I can't say enough obout this airline. After getting canceled and ran around by Delta, we finally got rebooked on JAL. Going from Seattle to Manila. Their economy seats are better than Delta premium comfort. The food is better. I wish I'd known about JAL prior. I'll use JAL anytime I get the opportunity. They EARNED my money with their customer service and amenities. Thank you JAL. This should be the industry standard. Finally, a company that actually cares about their customers. On my connection to another airline, they had a rep to personally escort us to the next flight so we wouldn't miss it. Amazing service. Even if it is more expensive, it's worth every penny.

Date of travel: June 2022
Thank 188merleb
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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