Japan Airlines finally upgrading 767 business class product

Japan Airlines may well take the cake for having the most pathetic transpacific business class product of any airline on their 767s. They fly their 767s to Vancouver and Honolulu, and the planes are equipped with recliner seats with just 47 inches of pitch. So they’re basically regional business class seats in some cases serving longhaul routes.

The good news is that Japan Airlines has announced that they’ll be reconfiguring some of their 767s with fully flat beds. They’ll be debuting them on the Tokyo to Vancouver route in December 2013, and in 2014 will start operating them to Honolulu and select longhaul destinations in Southeast Asia.

The new product will be staggered in a 1-2-1 configuration, with a total of 24 seats in the cabin. That’s a capacity reduction of 20%, given that the current business class cabins have 30 seats. As you can see below the new product looks very nice, though, and should be a huge improvement over the old product.

While Japan Airlines hasn’t yet updated their seatmaps with the new product, they have generally excellent business class award availability between Tokyo and Vancouver next year, and seem to release two business class award seats per flight.

(Tip of the hat to Gary)

About lucky

Ben Schlappig (aka Lucky) is a travel consultant, blogger, and avid points collector. He travels about 400,000 miles a year, primarily using miles and points to fund his first class experiences. He chronicles his adventures, along with industry news, here at One Mile At A Time.

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Comments

  1. looks like the LX/SN/OS/AC new product … my favorite flat seat config (i like it more than the CX/AA/DL ones because everyone face straight forward instead of angled, and it’s a lot less claustrophobic than CX’s cubicle)

  2. now if they would just lower the temp a few degrees so its not like flying in a sauna .

  3. Does AA award availability for JAL flights track what’s available for redemption via BA/Avios?

  4. I think Jetstar takes that particular crown with 38 inch pitch in their business class between SYD and HNL.

  5. @Jon – not an entirely fair comparison given JQ is a LCC and their ‘J’ product is only supposed to be a premium economy product.

  6. @ Lucky– Now that JAL will be flying its 787’s again as of Saturday similar to other carriers, when will we see your first 787 trip report? Or will you wait to see if the battery fix works? 😉
    PS The Helsinki idea was brilliant to stir up your followers!

  7. Lucky, when I look at the seat maps, the Japan Airlines flight Vancouver to Tokyo shows a 2 2 2 configuration on the 767, but the press release looks like it is a 1 2 1 configuration.

    Are you sure that ALL flights 2014 YVR-NRT will be in the new 767 configuration? Or is it just for a promotional period in December?

  8. @ Greg — JAL hasn’t updated their seatmaps yet for the new product, so you wouldn’t see it reflected there. It should be operating the route for all of January assuming there’s not a big delay in the reconfiguration.

  9. These new seats are being showcased in downtown Vancouver (HSBC building- 885 W Georgia St) till next Fri (Dec13’13). Come up to Vancouver to check them out!

  10. Hi Ben,

    How can you tell which 767’s have the new business class seats? I am looking at flights from NRT-HAN and unsure.

    Thanks!

  11. @ Bryan — You want the one with just four seats per row on the seatmap in business class.

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