3 nights in Sapporo passed and we had to make our way back to the airport to catch our flight to Osaka. The airport bus stop was pretty near the hotel. It was not crowded at all on the streets in the morning.
After another 75min airport limo ride, we arrived at New Chitose's domestic terminal where our JAL flight would be departing from. Chitose airport has a ramen alley which has a concentration of various famous ramen stalls in Hokkaido.
We tried one of the most famous ramen in Sapporo, Ebisoba Ichigen Sohonten. There was a queue for seating but it moved fast and the wait was about 15min. Unique to this stall, the ramen is made of shrimp flavoured broth. It was totally satisfying and worth the wait,
Checking in at the JAL check-in counters. There are machines that spits out luggage tags, but totally useless if you do not have a JAL member card with RFI chip or a 2D barcode of your mobile boarding pass. Hence, we would need to be bag-tagged at the desks.
Printed boarding pass. I would be flying Class J on this sector. JAL offers First Class (selected routes only), Class J and Economy on its domestic flights. On my flight to Kansai, First would not be offered. Class J is basically a larger seat with economy service and benefits (equivalent to premium economy) and only costs 1000yen more than regular economy. A pretty good deal on a 2hr flight.
Doing some plane spotting, with lots of ANA aircraft at the northern wing.
JAL operated from the southern wing, but there was only a single B772 bound for Haneda at the gates.
AirDO, being an ANA partner, also operates from the northern wing.
Departue lounge seating area. There is a food court as well as a few shops after security checks as well.
Gate being prepared. Departure was rescheduled by 5min due to the late arrival of aircraft.
Our baby Boeing B737-800 arrived.
KE A330 from Seoul taxiing to the international terminal.
Boarding commenced, and with no english announcements made, we just followed the queue. There are no priority boarding for Class J passengers. Priority boarding is only available for JAL and OneWorld elites, and those requiring assistance.17 October 2017
Sapporo New Chitose (CTS) - Osaka Kansai (KIX)
Class J (Premium Economy)
Flight Time: 1H55M
Boarding the 8yrs old B737-800 aircraft.
Yes, this aircraft is equipped with wifi internet access. JAL offers complimentary wifi internet access on its domestic routes on wifi equipped aircraft. Surfing the internet from 30,000ft, checked!
There is a counter at the entrance, offering brochures, sweets and earphones for economy class passengers.
Details of aircraft, pilots and crew-in-charge.
Class J is fitted in a 2-3 configuration on the domestic B737-800s. A photo of the seats at the first row 2-seater. The seats are leather-cladded with headrest, legrest and decent recline.
Seat pitch is about 38", similar to international premium economy standards.
Sweets from the entrance counter. IFE channel and volume controls at the side of the armrest.
Mechanical recline and legrest adjustment buttons.
Boarding in progress. Due to the full flight, we were seated at the 3-seater side of the Class J cabin. There are no curtains or dividers between Class J and Economy.
Out the window.
Other than the bigger seat, Class J passengers were provided with a better quality headphone and a Class J blanket. Economy passengers were offered a different coloured blanket upon request. Other than these, inflight service is similar to Economy.
Inflight magazines and sales, wifi access instructions and safety card.
Radio channels are available.
Other the the free wifi internet access, videos can also be streamed via wifi to your devices.
Safety video was played via dropdown monitors. All 20 seats in Class J are filled up. The 145 seats in Economy seemed totally full as well.
Taxi to the runway. T'Way arrived from Korea while EVA Air is departing for Taipei.
Takeoff from Rwy19R.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddGQyISSnvs
Beverage service started soon after. On JAL domestic flights, only beverages are served in both Class J and Economy. Meals are served only in First Class. A wide range of non-alcoholic beverages are available. There is no dedicated crew serving Class J and service was totally similar to Economy.
Got a cup of JAL Original Sky Time kiwi juice. It tasted alright though my friend commented that it is a bit too artificial tasting.
We were cruising only at a low 26k feet, I suspect due to strong headwinds at higher altitudes.
When the crew passed by with the drinks cart again, I requested for a cup of coffee. It was served with sugar and creamer pack, and a wet towel.
Visit to the lavatory, which only had the necessary amenities.
JAL postcards were available at the magazine rack at the bulkhead.
Drop-down monitors showed some short features, followed by the flight map.
Spent the rest of the flight surfing internet on my mobile devices. Soon we were descending into Osaka Kansai.
Landing in Osaka Kansai Rwy06L slightly behind schedule.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IXFGqqte-rM
Quite a lengthy taxi to the terminal.
Turning into the gate at the domestic section of the terminal.
A look at the Class J seat.
Baggage delivery was pretty swift.
A comfortable domestic flight on JAL though inflight service was minimal. Ticket prices were very good compared to ANA and the 1000yen extra for Class J was worth it for the additional comfort level. Crew were generally pleasant and courteous, as expected of Japanese carriers, and interestingly, other then the obligatory beverage service, they made some efforts in selling the inflight sales products, "modelling" items down the aisles every 15min, something which is not expected on a full-service carrier. In conclusion, JAL's Class J is just a domestic premium economy product with economy service, and any expectations of true premium service would have to be adjusted accordingly.
As we only had less than 24hrs stay in Osaka, we overnighted at Star Gate Hotel Kansai Airport, which is a train stop away at Rinku Town. The hotel offers rather big rooms by Japan's standards, and spectacular views from the rooms.
After checking in, we went to the nearby Rinku Premium Outlets for some shopping.
Had a sumptious dinner at Ootoya in Rinku town.
Night view from the hotel room.
My past and future travels - http://www.ba97.com/ba97/calendar/report.asp?handle=ycp81