nelsony
Topic Author
Posts: 180
Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2011 7:21 am

Mini RTW Part 2 Japan Airlines first class Tokyo to New York

Sun Jun 18, 2017 6:25 am

Welcome back!

This is one of the flights I was really looking forward to because I had read so many good things about Japan Airlines.

Please forgive me, the pictures are not complete because most of the photos I took on my phone were deleted. I only manage to find a few photos on my Canon camera.

My itinerary:
- Manila to Hong Kong with Cathay business http://www.airliners.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=1366051
- Tokyo to New York with Japan Airlines first class <<< You are here
- New York to London with British Airways first class
- London to Melbourne with Qantas first class

Here we go!

Tokyo to New York
December 20 2015
Japan Airlines JL 6
11:10AM - 10:05AM
777 First Class
Seat 1D


After arriving at Narita International I made my way through check-in. Japan Airlines First Class passengers has a dedicated First Class check-in, where no less than two agents welcome you into the zone before directing you to a free desk.

It was a smooth process and the agent was very friendly and polite. She instructed me to follow the sign and use the priority security for First Class passengers.

Within 2 minutes I cleared Narita security and made my through customs and immigration, which does not have a dedicated priority lane for First Class.

Lounge
I arrived around 9AM and the First Class lounge was bustling! The lounge did not feel as exclusive as other airlines but there was a comprehensive self service alcohol counter, the machine beer dispenser.

The lounge offers complimentary massage and shoe shine service, however when I was there, the message wait time was over 1 hour and 45 minutes and the shoe shine was not open.

I took pictures of the buffet but it was lost. So here are some pictures I managed to dig up. Although the lounge did not have the exclusivity of other First Class lounges and felt more like a business class lounge, the sushi bar was a nice touch!

Naturally I skipped the buffet of omelettes, Tokyo curry, rice, sausages etc and headed straight to the sushi bar, I love sashimi and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try it at the lounge. I went back three times!
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Eventually boarding was called and I headed to the plane.

The flight
When I got onboard there were three flight attendants to welcome me. They were very formal and one showed me to my seat, 1D.

Although Japan Airlines calls this a “suite”, the seat is not as private as the “suites” you see on Emirates, Singapore Airlines and Etihad. But really I liked the seat it was really wide and comfortable.

I took a photo of the empty seat on my left, as you can see, there is plenty of room.

Here is a photo of the private cabin with only eight seats.
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As soon as I settled one, I was asked if I wanted champagne, of course I did! It is Salon Champagne 2006! How can I say no?
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Eventually the other passengers boarded and six seats would be occupied today, including a VIP passenger who was brought onboard by a JAL ground member. I knew he was VIP because when we landed in JFK, he was collected by JAL ground crew, and the VIP passenger was also separated from the rest of us at JFK baggage carousel. JAL agents also cordoned off a specific area at the carousel with red tape, collected the VIP passenger’s luggage and then he was taken through a fast lane. To this day, I have no idea who he is.

Anyway, despite having six passengers, the JAL crew were faultless and the service did not suffer. Menus and amenity kits were handed out. The crew asked me if I wanted to change into my pyjamas, and I said not yet, so she didn’t bring me my PJs. Later I was worried I would miss out so I had to ask for the PJs and she apologised. lol

Takeoff was on time and once we were at cruising altitude the crew sprung to action. The crew get down and speak to you at eye level, which was a nice touch. The champagne kept flowing.

Next a crew member came to take my order and I chose the Japanese menu but wondered if I could have the caviar from the Western menu. She said she had to check to see whether other passengers are having it and let me know. A few minutes later, she returned and confirmed I could have the caviar!

I chose the Japanese menu because when in Rome... and I thought they would excel at this considering I’m leaving from Tokyo.
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Let the feast begin!

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Five seasonal delicacies
From left to right...
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Simmered Yellowtail & Radish in Soy Sauce - Egg Cake - Scallop & Sea Urchin dressed with Mustard Vinegar Miso

Simmered Conger Eel rolled with Yuba - Simmered Taro with stir fried Duck & Welsh Onion

Owan
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Japanese clear soup with steamed prawn mousse & grated turnip

Seafood
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Boiled Matsuba snow crab with citrus vinegar jelly & pickled radish
Cold steamed egg custard with smoked potato potage
Pureed welsh onion soup accompanied with caviar

Dainomono
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Wagyu beef fillet sukiyaki accented with black pepper (top center)

Hanmono
Steamed Koshihikari rice with Japanese (bottom left) peppered flavoured young sardines (below), which was really strange. It wasn't crunchy, it was soft and chew-ish like snake lollies but salty.

Steamed egg (center)

Tomewan
Miso soup (bottom right)
Japanese pickles (above the miso soup)

Sweets
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Roppongi Pudding
Dekopon Orange, yuzu & coconut sorbet
Ryugin’s specialty - Japanese style baked pistachio cake

I was so full by the end of it and I am so glad I had it. This is one of the best meals I have ever. A cabin crew came to clear my table and suggested I also have the Sugaloabo Mont blanc! She insisted I have I said “Sure!”
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Sugaloabo Mont blanc

For those who are interested, my seat mate next door had the Western menu and these are the pictures.
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After that the three crew members brought out a tray of Japanese snacks and suggest I have one of each while I watch my movie, I couldn’t say no! Lol
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After that feast, I went for a walk and checked out the business cabin and economy. I came back and started working on my notebook. Only problem I had was charging, the JAL charge didn’t have enough power to change my Asus ROG. So every time Windows loaded, it would shut down.
This was the second time I couldn’t charge my notebook on the plane. The first time was on Virgin Australia’s 777.
The JAL crew tried to reset the system but it was no help. I have subsequently learned from a friend that when that happens, I might have to take the battery out and just run the computer on A/C.

Conclusion

The crew addressed me by as Mr. last name and were very formal, but I said just call me by my first name. We started to talk and gradually the crew became more relaxed and they were joking and laughing. They even told me I was their favourite passenger! But I bet they say that to everybody lol
Although at the baggage carousel, the three First Class crew members broke away from the JAL crew and walked over to me, I heard my name called out and turned over and saw the three lovely ladies. We exchanged goodbyes, well wishes and a few bows. I have never encountered that, normally crew members just ignore you once the flight was over.

Well there was Aki, the Cathay Pacific First Class crew who chased me down at baggage claim to give me my sunglasses that I had forgotten and left onboard. That was an amazing touch.

Anyway this JAL flight is one of the best experiences in First Class I have ever had, the catering was A+ and I am so glad I chose the Japanese menu out of Tokyo because I rate it as one of the my best onboard meals ever, and the crew were A++. I can’t wait to fly JAL again!
 
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ClassicLover
Posts: 4154
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2004 12:27 pm

Re: Mini RTW Part 2 Japan Airlines first class Tokyo to New York

Sun Jun 18, 2017 2:07 pm

This is an awesome report! I am so glad you had the Japanese meal, because I would have done the same. I have heard great things about JAL First Class and I would love to try it. The meal looks out of this world!

The kneeling down thing to take orders happens on some other airlines too - I've even seen it done on British Airways. Looks like I am going to have to try to fly JAL First Class as soon as possible. Thanks for the read!
I do enjoy a spot of flying, especially when it's not in economy!
 
ba319-131
Posts: 8201
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2001 1:27 pm

Re: Mini RTW Part 2 Japan Airlines first class Tokyo to New York

Sun Jun 18, 2017 3:06 pm

Nice read and pictures, thanks for sharing, JAL look great here in F class!

Nice to see the Japanese food option though I would have had to go western, not a fan of Ann the fish etc, just does not work for my palate.

Best Wishes

BA319-131
111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
 
nelsony
Topic Author
Posts: 180
Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2011 7:21 am

Re: Mini RTW Part 2 Japan Airlines first class Tokyo to New York

Mon Jun 19, 2017 5:24 am

ClassicLover wrote:
This is an awesome report! I am so glad you had the Japanese meal, because I would have done the same. I have heard great things about JAL First Class and I would love to try it. The meal looks out of this world!

The kneeling down thing to take orders happens on some other airlines too - I've even seen it done on British Airways. Looks like I am going to have to try to fly JAL First Class as soon as possible. Thanks for the read!


Thanks ClassicLover, I booked this with frequent flyer points and I think it really value for money! The champagne Salon is $600 a bottle so I made sure I had a few glasses to get my monies worth haha.

The Kyo-Kaiseki is definitely worth trying, I believe if you fly 1. Japan Airlines 2. out of Tokyo 3. meal prepared in consultation with Michelin 3 star chef, it would be a missed opportunity not to try the Japanese meal.

Plus its makes taking photos more exciting!
 
nelsony
Topic Author
Posts: 180
Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2011 7:21 am

Re: Mini RTW Part 2 Japan Airlines first class Tokyo to New York

Mon Jun 19, 2017 5:26 am

ba319-131 wrote:
Nice read and pictures, thanks for sharing, JAL look great here in F class!

Nice to see the Japanese food option though I would have had to go western, not a fan of Ann the fish etc, just does not work for my palate.

Best Wishes

BA319-131


Thanks for commenting :)

Yes I highly recommend JAL, it is fantastic, it doesn't have a suite with doors or showers like Emirates but the service and food make up for it.
I have to admit, some of the items in the Japanese meal were not my taste but I was glad to try it.
 
TravelR
Posts: 99
Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 12:42 pm

Re: Mini RTW Part 2 Japan Airlines first class Tokyo to New York

Wed Jul 26, 2017 2:11 am

Trip report is great. I like the presentation of the food and looks of a generous quantity. Camera shy huh? The sashimi in the lounge seems quite healthy at only 164 calories!
You can never travel too much in your life!
 
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hirofumi
Posts: 225
Joined: Tue May 03, 2011 4:21 am

Re: Mini RTW Part 2 Japan Airlines first class Tokyo to New York

Sat Aug 05, 2017 2:59 pm

Great report - glad you had fantastic crew to take care of you! Normally JAL crew are a bit on reserved side so it's good to hear they walked up to you even after the flight. Surely does make one feel special! Did you like the way the caviar (in the first course) was presented? I wonder if it's better to just have it traditional way (with blini and sour cream etc) rather than having to eat together with another seafood dish.
 
lychemsa
Posts: 1747
Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2009 8:39 pm

Re: Mini RTW Part 2 Japan Airlines first class Tokyo to New York

Sun Aug 06, 2017 2:02 am

I flew JAL in F in 1976 from Tokyo to San Francisco. In those days there was no F lounge nor flat beds. The Japanese menu for me was awful and even the croissants were stale. They gave me a JAL dressing down. The Western menu does not look all that great for F?
 
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readytotaxi
Posts: 4538
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2006 2:09 am

Re: Mini RTW Part 2 Japan Airlines first class Tokyo to New York

Sun Aug 06, 2017 1:34 pm

Nice report,great photos.So much nicer when a menu has a picture of the food and they are well laid out,but better than a boring western airline menu.
So many courses no wonder you where stuffed. JAL staff do seem warm and friendly, a great way to spend 12 hours. Thanks.
you don't get a second chance to make a first impression!

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