Trip Report – JAL SKY SUITE- My Favorite Business Class Flight – Tokyo (NRT) – JFK

I really liked the JAL SKY SUITE and JAL service that much, despite a 2-3-2 layout, it was hands-down the most comfortable and spacious business class I’ve ever flown. I haven’t flown Cathay’s new business product yet, but in my opinion this beats out their old business as well as Singapore’s current business offering (hard product). I originally opted for an aisle, but after reading some reviews, decided to go for the window seat which was extremely private thanks to the divider screen yet still maintains a direct aisle path. I’m really happy that I choose the JAL SKY SUITE over ANA’s staggered business which is a standard business product on many airlines.

This is the final part of a six part trip report from my travels to Japan:

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Upon boarding view – pillow, duvet, slippers, PJ sweater top, Panasonic noise canceling headphones. The PJ top is not yours to keep and is washed after you use it.

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Even though they were closed, the flight attendants lightly touched each overhead compartment to ensure they were fully shut…

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OK, let’s start with everyone’s biggest concern with JAL’s SKY SUITE business class – the 2-3-2 layout and being “too close to your neighbor”. This couldn’t be further from the truth. I loved my spacious window seat with a direct aisle access cut-out and large 23 inch TV (same as in First). The suite set-up reminded me of similar first class set-ups on several airlines. Forget about being too close, you have a ton of privacy (even in the window seat). In fact, if you don’t like the privacy you might even get a little claustrophobic…but I loved it.

I had window seat 12A and my neighbor was in 12C, here’s how it looked from my vantage point:

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You can see that with the privacy screen up (for takeoff) my neighbor was right there and you can even see her book in the second photo…granted a little strange at first.  Here’s the view from in front of our row – my seat is the unoccupied window seat:

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Divider down:

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A few more 777 cabin pics to provide perspective:

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Later in the post you’ll see that when it was time to use the bed, the suite became even more private.

JAL now with 2 JFK flights per day, in-flight Wifi and pricing…

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These pictures don’t do justice to the clarity of both the 23″ LCD tv and the companion MAGIC-V remote. The remote allows multiple functions including browsing the media titles, reading news (updated throughout the flight), playing games, listening to music, shopping, viewing the flight path and maps, ordering food, and of course controlling your TV. Crisp as a new iPad and you could zoom in and out on the remote using common gestures. I caught multiple movies on this flight: Gravity, Escape Plan, Jobs, and Captain Phillips.

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Outlet, USB input, and TV connectors / seat controls:

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Most comfortable headphones ever, these felt great – soft, comfortable, and noise canceling…

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JAL BEDD – “A luxurious flying restaurant in the Sky”. Essentially you order your first meal from an extensive menu (multiple chefs create their own dishes that you can choose from – Western and Japanese). You can then order multiple snacks with your remote throughout the flight up to two hours before landing (orders were accepted on our flight up to 45 minutes before landing). You can also order water, juices, cocktails, coffee, tea, and dessert from your remote.

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Instead of bread that’s normally reheated and hard, the JAL selections were soft and fresh. Also interesting to note, there were three separate flight attendants assisting with meal service just in my business sub-section. Look how perfectly cooked the steak is…medium rare in-flight! Related – Trip Report – SWISS Business JFK-Zurich(ZRH) A330 – Best Fillet In-Flight?

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Hmm…I didn’t realize how many snacks I ordered from the convenience of my seat until I went through the pictures in preparation for this report. I guess I got very hungry! Note the out of stock message that appears if you select something which is no longer available.

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Time for some sleep…fully flat, extremely comfortable with a  great duvet and pillow:

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A note on the amazing service – there was always a flight attendant walking the aisles. In fact, since I was up and not sleeping, they constantly kept asking me if I needed anything. At one point during the flight I asked a flight attendant in the galley for an additional bottle of water upon walking back from the bathroom. I asked “Do you need my seat number?” and received the response “I know your seat Mr. Adam”!

Toto toilets…

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Sky Gallery, magazines, and more snacks…

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I really do think this is my favorite business class flight…and I’ve flown almost all the major carriers in business. Again, I loved the privacy and the roominess of my suite, the huge tv, touchscreen food and snack ordering, and of course the amazing service. Needless to say, JAL’s SKY SUITE was 100x better than AA’s soft and hard First Class product on the outbound (and even cost fewer miles). It was also much nicer than my last JAL business trip in 2010 with their SHELL FLAT (not really flat) NEO product. For those of you looking to book your own flight, note that this was a 777. JAL currently operates one 777 and one 787 (completely different cabin and not as nice in my opinion) per day to JFK.

Need help booking an award flight? Consider Juicy Miles for all your award booking needs.

A few business class trip reports:

…or maybe you’re just into First – 3 Extravagant Flights You’ll Never Be Able to Afford…Unless You Have Miles with full reviews

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Comments

  1. Very nice post! Does the Chicago flight also have WIFI or is it specific to your flight to JFK? I have a similar trip coming up using Dividend miles. Also looking forward to hearing about your stay at the Hyatt Regency Tokyo, still looking for a place to stay in Tokyo for my trip. Any suggestions?

    • @Craig – Yep and as Teja mentioned BA.com is one of the easiest free ways to check availability. Let me know if you need any help.

  2. Wow, looks like you were hungry! That steak looks great though.

    I’ll have the chance to fly Japan Airlines in business from NRT to LAX soon, this makes me look forward to it that much more.

  3. So they don’t have free WiFi for business class on 777?

    Do you know if the 787s have a complete WiFi rollout already?

    How are the seats? Full lie flat?

  4. I flew that same r/t route for work a few weeks ago and agree a great product – suggest the front most business class seat- that row is a fully private row and thus very quiet.

  5. Hey, I just saw this and had a follow up question. I imagine the IFE was catered to Japenses tastes, but was there any programing for western eyes? Also, was there a charger port on the seat?

    • @Ven – Actually, the vast majority of the programming was Western based. There were Japanese options but mostly major new Hollywood releases. Yes, charger and USB input at the seat, there are some pictures within the report!

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