Review: Japan Airlines First Class, SYD to NRT to JFK

Written by | featured, review

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Singapore Airlines First Class Lounge, HKG
Singapore Airlines First Class, HKG to SFO

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For the purposes of this blog, I am just going to combine my JAL First Class flight from SYD to NRT with the NRT to JFK leg. They were different flights separated by three to four days in Tokyo’s Park Hyatt, but it really doesn’t really make sense to write separate reviews. First and foremost, just like the Qantas crew, the JAL flight attendants were lovely. I understand that they are at work and are instructed to be friendly and accommodating, but I was really impressed by how personable they were. Or maybe they were just THAT effective at laughing at all my jokes! JAL doesn’t run a first class cabin on may routes anymore, perhaps just NYC, LHR, LAX, SFO, Jakarta and more recently SYD plus a few other cities. However, they do appear to release first class mileage saver award seats more and more frequently.

With that being said, I boarded the 777-300ER after departing the Qantas First Class Lounge in SYD. When I arrived at the gate the pre-boarding crew was already looking for me and calling out my name. The other first class passengers had already boarded and I was the tardy one. Once on the plane, the amazing flight attendants politely asked if they could hang up my jacket and offered me a large set of pajamas. The quality of the JAL pajamas was immediately noticeable compared to previous flights on around-the-world 2016. I settled into my seat and made sure to take the customary first class seat pictures as well.

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The meal service on the JAL flight was quite nice. I had the salmon ochazuke, or at least thats what we would call it in Hawaii. I will probably scan in a few pictures of the menu once I finish posting all my hotel and airline reviews. There was wifi on the flight, but it was not an unlimited package so I opted not to go live. Instead, I figured I should take a nap since I had gotten up very early at the Park Hyatt Sydney in order to get to the airport and enjoy take pictures of the Qantas First Class Lounge. Another passenger was watching the last season of Downton Abbey on his laptop which got quite a bit of attention from the crew since the new season was not out yet in Japan.

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Overall the crew made the journey seamless, enjoyable and a very positive experience in my mind. I should have written the review sooner because many of the details are lost upon me. However, the amount of personal attention the crew gave to each passenger was unforgettable. Upon departure from the aircraft, both the flight attendant that had taken care of me and the purser personally thanked us for choosing JAL. Simply amazing. That was done again at the conclusion of my NRT-JFK flight as well. Which brings to mind, when I originally boarded my NRT – JFK flight there appeared to be a dignitary sitting in 1A. His assistant was banished sitting in business class and would have to run up to the front of the plane every now and then to assist her boss. Needless to say, the boss sitting in 1A was afforded every courtesy including the 90 degree bow from the entire crew. The hospitality of Eastern carrier crews is definitely something to write home about even though its likely part of the script.

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Last modified: November 12, 2016

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Review: Japan Airlines First Class, SYD to NRT to JFK

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