After arriving into Los Angeles from my Virgin Australia flight from Melbourne I had a layover of around 4 hours before my flight to Tokyo. I had planned to just transit but I had to exit the airport and go and purchase a camera battery as mine had died and I didn’t bring a spare one with me.
Passengers in First Class and Oneworld Emerald members are able to access the Qantas First Class lounge before the flight. However, I had quite an unpleasant experience accessing the lounge, I’ll explain more on that in a later post.
Boarding started on time and priority boarding was being enforced which is good to see as many Oneworld carriers don’t quite get that part right.
For this flight, the only window seat available was 1A. Out of 8 seats, only 4 were taken and they were all window seats so there was a lot of privacy on the flight.
Each suite has a length of 78.5” and a width of 33”.
Each suite has luggage storage under the IFE screen, it’s interesting to note that the cabin also features overhead bins so there’s a heap of storage if your bags won’t fit under the seat.
As I sat down I was introduced to the crew that would be looking after me. The crew served me an orange juice, hot towel and a wifi voucher. They crew were very friendly and attentive, the Japanese hospitality is something else as the crew would bow to you after helping.
The suite has an abundance of storage. On the left of the suite, there’s a compartment that can hold various things, it’s quite deep as well.
Also on the left of the seat is where the headphone port and personal light is located.
Below the headphone port and personal reading light is where the seat controls are found. The first panel houses the basic seat controls for seating positions.
The second panel has more advanced seating controls.
Awaiting at your seat is a pair of comfortable slippers and a small shoe horn.
The weather in Los Angeles was beautiful! If only I had time to stay for a few days…
Below you’ll see Qantas’s new Hanger and it’s also where Virgin park their 777’s before using them for the night departures.
You might notice that the suite has 2 controls for the IFE. I was quite confused why there’s 2 but the one on the left is the newer touch screen controller.
Shortly after takeoff, the meal service started. Obviously, due to age I couldn’t consume the ‘Salon 2004’ which is one of the most expensive champagnes served on board any airline but surprisingly the crew already knew my age. I’m assuming because of the incident with the Qantas lounge which will be explained later on.
Instead, the crew recommended that I try the ‘Royal Blue Tea’ which is a famous tea drink served on JAL. I’m not a big tea drinker but thought I’d try it to see what it was like. Just tasted like plain old English Breakfast tea but only cold…
To start off, I had the Shiitake Mushroom and Salmon Amuse Bouche.
After that the crew brought around a snack basket which I thought was a bit weird considering the meal service just started.
For the bread I chose Garlic which is my default when flying.
The second Amuse Bouche consisted of a Tandoori Lobster and Mango Yogurt Sauce.
For the appetiser, I chose the Caviar which was a little salty for my liking but alright.
And for the main, I had a US Prime Rib and it was cooked medium. It was a little dry but the pepper sauce did help.
And for the dessert, I had the Passionfruit tart, Strawberry cheesecake and a Jasmin Cream with Pear.
After feeling very full I decided I would have a little nap and the crew brought around a brand new Porsche Design Amenity Kit and a set of Pyjamas.
The kit’s are pretty well stocked and I found the products to be high quality.
The crew also handed me a Shiseido Men’s Skin kit which was a very nice touch.
Possibly the coolest thing about sleeping in First on JAL is the fact that you can choose the firmness of your mattress. There’s a choice of either a hard or soft mattress, I chose the soft one and it was quite comfortable.
As the person on the opposite window was also going to sleep, the crew put up the divider in the middle suites and it was private.
The bed was comfortable but I’d still have to say Cathay First Class wins on overall bed comfort. I got around 5 hours of sleep.
When I woke up the crew quickly came to ask me if I would like something to eat and drink. I just chose a water and decided to try the Ramen noodles which were brilliant.
Here’s a few more pictures of the suite:
The seat provides In-seat power and interestingly It didn’t fit an Australian port but the crew happily provided me with an adapter.
There’s also USB power.
JAL use T-Mobile wifi and it’s what Etihad and a few other carriers use. The WIFI voucher is for the whole flight and is worth $16.80 USD.
For most of the flight, I was working and found the WIFI to be consistently fast.
At the front of the cabin (past the curtain) were a few pralines to choose from.
The bathrooms aren’t the biggest for First Class but thery’re not tight and confined.
Inside you’ll find a toothbrush set and mouthwash.
You’ll also find a Bidet (Japanese Toilet) which us Westerners find interesting 😉
The thing that impressed me the most with the flight was the attention to detail from the crew, everything was done with a bow, they talk softly and quietly and they seem to always be happy and love their jobs.
In the galley is also a selection of reading materials available.
Our descent into Tokyo was smooth and before you knew it, we had landed at Narita.
As we taxied it was great to see all the different types of airlines and aircraft.
I loved my experience on JAL First! The hard product is a little older than others but it’s still quite great. What really made the flight special was the meal service and the crew.
Would I fly it again? For sure!