AIRLINE REVIEW – JAPAN AIRLINES BUSINESS CLASS
AIRLINE – JAPAN AIRLINES
CLASS OF TRAVEL – BUSINESS
AIRCRAFT – 767-300
ROUTE – TOKYO TO HONOLULU
ScrubySnacks is no stranger to Japan Airlines, having regularly experienced its impressive Economy Class during the comparatively short voyage from Hong Kong to Tokyo and vice versa. This time, in the quest of catching some much needed shuteye, ScrubySnacks decided to sample JAL’s Business Class offering from Tokyo to Hawaii.
Keen to try out Japan Airlines’ 767-300 aircraft, we were pleased to find that the new JAL Sky Suite II product on board comprised of a fully-flat bed and direct aisle access from every seat, thanks to the 1-2-1 seat configuration. The seats were immaculately presented, upholstered in a sleek black and burgundy coloured fabric. The clean lines and slightly retro features were warmly welcomed, reflecting the Japanese design components that we have come to expect and love.
Charging facilities for personal electronics were easy to find and there was no shortage of storage space with a handy under screen shelf, neat folding table, spacious personal mini cupboard, side table and shoe storage shelf all within easy reach.
The wide touchscreen entertainment system was sensitive and simple to use with plenty of options to keep us entertained for the duration of the flight, although perhaps not as many new releases as other airlines may offer.
For added comfort and support, a fabulous firm memory foam cushion was available, which cleverly prevented us from sinking down into the usual back-straining slumped position. Particularly pleasing on a personal note, was the soft, fuzz-free black coloured blanket provided. From experience, most airlines offer a light coloured static-infused covering, which never fails to deposit a fine coating of fuzz upon any surface of travel garment, which must be painstakingly removed, piece by piece, once the captain has made the ‘30 minutes to landing’ announcement.
Also provided was the wonderfully comfortable dark grey, plush cotton loungewear, along with a pair of grey towelling slippers and shoe horn. This tool proved very handy when it was time to squeeze our swollen feet back into our seemingly shrunken shoes – something that no one ever looks forward to.
FOOD AND BEVERAGE
A glass of champagne, fermented soy beans and rice crackers were offered shortly after take-off, which as a welcome drink may be perceived as a little overdue. However, it did offer a welcome break having already thoroughly enjoyed the full assortment of beverages at the Sakura Lounge before boarding.
The dinner menu offered a choice of Japanese or Western delicacies, and when asked for a combination of both, the crew very willingly obliged. The generously sized meal comprised of a fascinating array of fragrances and flavours.
The ‘Western’ starter included a Spanish spinach omelette, radish and chicken with basil mayonnaise, stewed mackerel and eggplant in an oregano tomato sauce, octopus potato salad and cold sweet potato soup. For the main course, the Japanese option was deep-fried lotus root cake, pan-fried cuttlefish with shark fin sauce and steamed rice, accompanied by a warming miso soup. Desert was a custard pudding with whipped cream and seasonal fruits. All in all, the meal was very filling and strangely delicious.
The cabin crew were extremely well presented, polished and polite, ensuring that the meal was served as requested, and that our wine glasses were always topped up.
Promptly after the meal service, lights were dimmed, darkening the cabin and enticing us to assume the lay-flat position for the relatively short remainder of the journey.
Light snacks and chocolates were available in the galley to satisfy any mid-flight munchies and around an hour before landing, a substantial breakfast of fruit and a prawn-filled croissant was distributed and subsequently devoured with no complaints.
One thing that certainly did not go unnoticed was the abundance of steaming hot, wet towels that were handed out – one on boarding, one after each meal, and one after we were awoken from slumber, each leaving us with a feeling of being continuously refreshed and cleansed.
During a mid-flight visit to the washroom, it was refreshing to see that a toothbrush kit and miniature sachets of mouth wash had been lovingly laid out on the side counter which was a very nice touch.
The Japan Airlines Sky Suite II is a fantastic product and it was a shame that the journey wasn’t a little longer for ScrubySnacks to fully appreciate the comfort of the lay-flat bed offering. The overall cabin cleanliness, crew presentation and attentiveness was very well received. The little touches in the washroom and the immaculate presentation of the meals reflected that genuine hospitality the Japanese are so famous for.
Not all JAL aircraft offer the new Sky Suite product, so you may wish to check which aircraft you will be traveling on before you book. Also, if you happen to have any specific dietary requirements, make sure that arrangements are made well in advance with the airline beforehand.
Check out and compare ScrubySnacks’ other airline reviews:
British Airways Review – Club World (Business Class)
American Airlines Review – Business Class (Long haul)
Hong Kong Airlines Review – Business Class
British Airways Review – World Traveller (Economy Class)
Cathay Pacific Review – Economy Class