After spending a couple days in Tokyo, it was time for me to move on to my next country, Singapore. In my search for a flight, I was able to come across a cheap business class flight deal through Alaska Airline Mileage Club program.
Check out the full review below to see what it was like!
This flight was the third of seven that took me all the way around the world over ten days. I was able to book all 7 flights for $1,600!! Check out the full walkthrough and details of how I booked this journey here!
I got to Narita International Airport early to check out what the Japan Airlines lounge is all about. At Narita Airport, they have two Sakura Lounge’s. One in the main area of Terminal 2 then another satellite lounge in the extension of Terminal 2. I only had enough time to really explore one lounge and decided to check out the satellite lounge and I’m glad I did.
After showing my boarding pass and passport, I made my way down the stairs to the Business Class lounge. Immediately, you’ll find the business center area which has plenty of seating and private cubby’s to get work done while on the road. There is also a printer and copier available.
After passing through the business center, I got into the heart of the lounge. There is plenty of seating in a wide variety of settings. You can chose to sit near the window in a bar like seating arrangement, you can sit on mini-couches, or nice single seater chairs. Finally, there are three massage chairs towards the back of the lounge and if you’re lucky enough to sit in one, you likely won’t leave it.
After taking a walk around the large, and rather quiet lounge, i checked out the food.
The food selection was nice including multiple hot and cold options. Hot items included rice, curry, dumplings amongst other traditional Japanese foods. Cold options included salad, sandwhiches, and sushi.
There was also a wide variety of beverage choices including juices, coffee, tea, soft drinks, liquor, wine, and beer.
In all, the lounge is a great choice before your flight if your gate is in the satellite terminal. It stayed relatively quiet and during my stay and didn’t get too crowded. I was very pleased to start my trip off with this lounge experience.
Boarding was seamless through the Business Class line. Two lines were available for Business Class at the gate. Boarding started approximately 30min before departure time. The agents at the desk went through the lines for Business Class and checked passports and boarding tickets and “pre-screened” you so all you needed at the counter was your boarding pass. A nice convenience. After checking my ticket, I was off to the jetway. Once on the plane, I was greeted by a flight attendant and helped to my seat.
JAL has multiple iterations of their Business Class product. They have Skysuites versions I-III. On the Boeing 777-200 ER, I had the newest iteration, Skysuite III. This features a 1-2-1 layout which is comparable to the other highly competitive International Business Class carriers. My seat for this flight was 2K. Most of the business class cabin was empty so I had a lot of spots to choose from, even last second. 2K is a window/aisle seat all in one.
The window seats don’t alternate like some other carriers including Emirates. This unfortunately means that you’ll never be right up against the window.
The seat includes an amenity kit, slippers, headphones, blanket, and pillow.
The blanket and pillow were plenty comfortable offer good support and kept me cozy.
The slippers I didn’t use but the headphones I tested out and weren’t very impressive.
I was also able to quickly run to the back of the plane and check out what the premium economy and economy seats looked like.
The seat does lie flat and I found it to be comfortable to sleep in. The seat is a tad low to the ground and the foot well can be a bit narrow but in all, it didn’t affect my ability to rest comfortably on the flight.
The seats, although a bit more snug, had a great sense of privacy to them. The large shield on the left hid me from everyone else in the cabin. Since I was in seat 2K, the galley curtain was right in font of my seat but I didn’t find it to be bothersome. The flight attendants were very respectful of my privacy.
And now we get into the amenity kit! It is handed out in a small plastic sleeve and inside is a beautiful drawstring bag. The quality of the fabric is notable and the design is sleek and modern.
The amenity kit includes a toothbrush, toothpaste, ear plugs, moisture mask, and eye mask. JAL recently announced new business class and first class amenity kits by ETRO which will be offered on select routes.
Finally we address the restroom. The restroom is decently sized without much else. There is one fun surprise…
It wouldn’t be a Japanese airline if it didn’t have a shower toilet and bidet!!
In all, the seat is very nice and offers a lot of space and privacy. Lets move to the entertainment system!
The entertainment screen is large and very responsive. The menus are simple and not difficult to navigate.
The movies ranged all genres and found there to be plenty of content to keep you entertained on your flight. The headphones weren’t the best so I advise you use your own if you can.
There was also a large selection of music to chose from.
Games were also included if you chose to play. I didn’t come across any TV shows.
Internet was also available for sale. I didn’t try it out but it seems a bit pricy.
Starting the flight, we were given rice crackers and a drink.
The menu is at your seat when you arrive. The drink menu is vast…
The food menu is pictured below.
In the spirit of trying new things and embracing the culture, I went with the Japanese bento box as my appetizer. It was served in an ornate wooden box (that was actual wood) with an assortment of food inside.
The dish was served cold and you can see a full listing of each type of food above in the menu. I’ll be honest and say I wasn’t a fan of every piece of food but i enjoyed the authentic and diverse selection of food in the dish.
For my main course, I had the “Dainomono” which included braised beef brisket with miso sauce. It also included a small Yellowtail teriyaki steak.
Served with it was freshly steamed rice, Miso soup, Japanese pickles and green tea.
You can see the dish prepared below. I was able to go into the forward galley and watch the flight attendants make my dinner! Definitely a very fun experience and I saw first hand that the rice is freshly steamed on board! Can’t get more authentic than that!
The main dish was very flavorful and tasty. The yellowtail was tender and juicy. The miso soup was also great and I can’t say enough about the rice. I think that’s a great touch and something that sets JAL apart.
I was spoiled on the flight and had both dessert options. To be fair, the pre-arrival selection was between ice cream or a Chinese rice dumpling.
My main course dessert was a “Hojicha” Tea Swiss Roll with some coffee. It was absolutely delicious! Very flavorful and had a great consistency.
We landed in Singapore around 1am local time and the pre-arrival options were a Chinese rice dumpling or ice cream. I went with the safe pick here and chose ice cream.
In all, the meal service on this red-eye flight was solid. I had some fun trying out the Japanese box and had a great entree with my braised beef shitake mushroom and teriyaki Yellowtail steak. The pre-arrival meal was a bit weak but then again, we are landing at 1am.
The service on board was second to none. The flight attendants were extremely professional and catered to your needs perfectly. They did not bug me too much and serviced the cabin at appropriate times. Dishes were cleared in a timely manner and they always greeted you with a smile.
You can clearly tell they enjoy flying and I am very grateful for them allowing me into the galley to watch them prepare my meal.
WOW. I am thoroughly impressed with Japan Airlines Business Class.
The seat is comfortable but cozy and tiny in certain spots. There is plenty of storage but the low seat and narrow foot well may be bothersome to people.
I thought the food service was excellent and they cater a very traditional menu if that’s what you chose but also offer a standard western menu if you’re looking for something a bit more familiar.
The service was top notch and some of the best I’ve ever experienced in the sky.
To top it all off, I spent $230 for this seat through Alaska Mileage Program and it’s certainly something I will look for again. Looking a the cash price of the ticket, it’s listing for $3,500 USD!
Have you flown Japan Airlines Business Class? Did you have a similar experience? Share below!