Time for another trip report. A few months ago I had an amazing experience flying Japan Airlines First Class from Tokyo to London on the Boeing 777-300ER.
The service was fantastic all round, we had a slight technical issue before take off and had to return to the gate, but it was fixed quickly, wonderful views of MT Fuji on take off and amazing Champagne.
As always here is the short 5 minute video versionhttps://youtu.be/0rYdE-6JVtM
And then the classic written trip report for you to enjoy.
Thank you for watching or reading
Japan Airlines Flight 43
Depart: Tokyo (HND)
Arrive: London (LHR)
STD: 11:30am (ADP: 12:37pm)
STA: 2:20pm (ATA: 3:40pm)
Aircraft: Boeing 777-346ER
FF: 30th May 2008 (8.5 YRS OLD)
Deliv: 24th Jun 2008 (8.4 YR IN SERVICE)
Flight Time: 12h 03M
Meal Service: Lunch & More
I had arrived in Japan a few days earlier and enjoyed the Thai Airways A380 business class product. I had flown all the way to Japan just to enjoy the first class service and cabin that Japan Airlines offer.
I picked a hotel close to Haneda airport so that I could take the short subway ride to the airport early in the morning and enjoy the lounge and take some pictures.
It was a short walk from my hotel to Keikyu Kamata Station and the train arrived quickly.
When arriving at Haneda I took an elevator upstairs and a short walk to the check in area.
Check in was incredibly quick, there was no one waiting when I went to check in, I was greeted from a far and checked in with lightning speed.
I was directed to the fast track security line and informed where the first class lounge would be.
I decided to go straight to the lounge and not waste anytime looking around shops, even though this airport does have some amazing shopping.
A quick walk around the airport and I found the entrance to the lounges which are upstairs,
The first class lounge has a nice look from the outside
I was greeted and welcomed and told to really enjoy my stay at the lounge.
Once you leave the front desk, you turn right and walk down a nice hall way.
and then enter the main part of the lounge with seating and food options
First I grabbed a quick beer from one of the automated beer machines, I do love these, They pour the perfect beer nearly every time.
There was a good selection of self serve champagne and spirits
The food options in the lounge were just OK for a first class lounge and could have been a little bit better,
I decided to have a freshly made Rye Galette, which was pretty good.
And then I hit up the spicy beef curry,
At this point in the day, the first class lounge was fairly packed and most of the good seats were taken, I ate my food at the window overlooking the runway and then I decided to relax in the Red Room at the back of the lounge, which was empty.
This entire area was fantastic, no one around and very relaxing, there was a games room
Old aircraft equipment from JAL aircraft
and some pretty amazing light shades
Also the alcohol selection was much better,
With Laurent-Perrier being served and it was very chilled,
I spent the rest of my time relaxing in here alone until it was time to head to the gate for my flight.
Overall I had a very relaxing time in the lounge,
Just before leaving I took a quick look at the private shower and bathrooms in the lounge
It was a short walk from the lounge to my gate and I was able to see our plane from the window before departure.
Today I would be flying on a Boeing 777-300ER which had registration JA738J
This was a four class configured aircraft with First, Business, Premium economy & economy
It's first flight was on the 30th May 2008 and it was delivered to Japan airlines on the 24th June 2008.
Making the plane about 8.5 years old at the time.
People had started to loiter around the gate area.
The agents working the gate did a fantastic job of policing the boarding process, at first they called first class and one world emerald card holders to line up.
They then went down that line and pulled all the people out with real first class tickets out and moved them to the front of the line for boarding in front of any Emerald card holders.
This is how more airlines should handle priority boarding.
Boarding was called right on time and a quick walk down the ramp I was able to turn left
I arrived at my first class suite seat 2A.
I have always wanted to try the first class on Japan airlines and the seat definitely looked as impressive as I thought it would be.
The next photo I took with my gopro gives a better view of the seat with the wider lens
I quickly settled into my seat and was instantly greeted by a friendly flight attendant who asked me what I would like to drink before departure, I went with some Champagne
I was also given a free WIFI pass to use on the flight
I was then given a hot towel shortly after receiving my Champagne
I then checked out some of the first class seat features.
It had plenty of seat controls to find the perfect position
and some quick preset buttons
There is also plenty of storage space on the side of the seat
Everyone is also given some Bose noise cancelling headphones to use
And pajamas were also given out
The amenity kit is created by Loewe
It had some pretty good items in it, including mouthwash, men's fragrance, tissues, ear plugs, lip balm, toothpaste and toothbrush and a moisture mask, and more overall it's a great kit
We then pushed back right on time, however after the tug had pulled away, we did not move for a bit.
I then noticed that we were returning to our gate and the captain made an announcement that something was wrong with the plane and we had to fix it before we could leave.
The announcement was in Japanese with a quick English translation just informing us there was a problem with the aircraft that needed to be fixed before we could leave, I never did find out what was really wrong with the plane.
The problem was fixed rather quickly after two engineers came onto the aircraft and did something, we then closed the doors and pushed back again about one hour after our scheduled departure time.
The safety video was playing during our push back
One thing I always love about the ground crews in Japan is the customary waive goodbye, and without fail we had the awesome send off
Today we would be departing from 34R
We lined up and got ready for take off
Take off was nice and smooth and we had some great views of the city on the climb out
We also had some fantastic clear views of Mt Fuji on the way out, It was spectacular.
As we reached our cruising altitude I was then given another hot towel,
and then handed a copy of the food menu and wine list, both of which were very extensive
Lets take a look at the wine list first.
From my knowledge Salon only produced a rather limited amount of the 2004 of which Japan airlines bought a good size amount.
The back up Champagne was also a great choice,
I was also impressed that a 17 year old Suntory Hibiki was being offered.
There was also a good selection of White & Red wines to pick from
And a look at the first class food menu
As with most Japan airlines flights you always have a Western option and Japanese option.
I decided today I was going to stick with the Western side of the menu
JAL also looks to be very proud of its coffee that is served, I decided to give this a try later in the flight
Very soon after making my food choices the crew started the drinks service and I was looking forward to enjoying the Salon 2004.
I was served my Champagne with a small Amuse Bouche
And also given some mixed nuts and wasabi peas, though the presentation of the nuts looked a little sad on the small plate.
I then enjoyed a few more glasses of Champagne before moving onto my Caviar service.
Just before I received my Caviar I was given a Smooth Fondant of salted mullet roe with turnip.
I can't say it was exactly to my taste, but it was ok
The Caviar then arrived and it was fantastic, with a slightly different presentation over other airline caviar services I have had. The Egg was not chopped and more blended with yolk this time.
Still delicious though, I enjoyed the service with a bit more Champagne.
I really enjoyed the Caviar service on this flight, it was very well put together, but not as good as Cathay Pacific's service
I asked for a break before my next meal and the crew were more than happy to wait, about forty five minutes later my Kuroge Wagyu Beef Fillet arrived and it was cooked just right.
The beef was fantastic and one of the best airline steaks I have ever had, very enjoyable
I then finished the Salon Champagne and they had no more to offer so I switched to the alternative
At this point we had just started to head into Russian airspace and it being December the weather outside was -68 F , which is around -55 C which is incredibly cold and this was displayed on the moving map
After watching the ice cold land go past for a bit it was time to enjoy the cheese plate.
The cheese plate was really good with 5 cheese's to enjoy and included fresh honey, strawberries and a olive in bread
The food has been wonderful on the flight and I could not eat a bite more and decided to relax at my seat for a while.
Just after the lunch service the crew passed by with another smaller Amenity Kit for Men
This contained plenty of moisturizing items and oils to keep your skin hydrated during the flight, I thought this was a nice touch.
I took a look at the moisture mask, which is suggested to use during the flight if you are going to sleep
I had to try it on and take a picture even though I was not going to use it
At this point I decided that I would go and change into my Pajamas as we had about nine hours to go and sitting in my jeans was becoming uncomfortable, So I went and changed.
After a quick change, I checked out the IFE and it worked really well and had some great options.
We were now deep in Russian air space and continued to go further north, so far north in winter that the sun had started to set on route
The sun was setting, so I decided that it would be a good time to catch up on my sleep
The friendly crew were very welcoming and made up my bed for me
I decided to try out the soft mattress pad and it was very comfortable,
I sat back in my bed and watched the sun slowly set whilst watching a few movies and TV shows
I woke up after a few hours and the sun was slowly starting to rise again as we had now started tracking South, I decided now would be a good time to try the coffee that JAL advertised a lot.
For airplane coffee, it was really good and the cakes that came with it made it that much more enjoyable
I did really like the coffee mug
The flight was very smooth and we had clear skies as we flew along, With about 2 hours remaining the crew asked if I wanted anything else to eat, I decided to eat some Ramen before we landed and had it with about one hour of flight time remaining.
At this point the sun had risen and it was daylight outside again,
Our approach into London was quick and we passed through a bit of cloud cover and circled just one time before being called in to land.
This has been a flight I had wanted to try for a really long time, the seat, the service were all very impressive and I really enjoyed it. Comparing it to the Cathay Pacific service I had taken a few months earlier from Hong Kong, I would say that Cathay Pacific beats Japan airlines by just a tiny bit in terms of the food, but Japan airlines has the better Champagne selection in my view.
I make videos about my airplane travels.