Japan Airlines First Class Tokyo Narita to Jakarta

In September of 2012 I wrote about Japan Airlines’ new first and business class product, which looked quite nice. I had flown their slightly older first class product between Tokyo and New York in 2012, and I wasn’t quite as blown away as I was by ANA’s first class. It was a solid product nonetheless, though.


Japan Airlines’ older 777-300ER first class

Anyway, as I wrote about several weeks ago, Japan Airlines finally finished reconfiguring all their longhaul 777-300ER aircraft with the new first and business class product. And while the “shell” of the seat as such hasn’t changed, the finishes do look much nicer.

Japan Airlines also now has wifi on all their 777-300ER aircraft.


Japan Airlines’ new 777-300ER first class

The longhaul destinations on these 777s include the following:

  • Chicago
  • London
  • Los Angeles
  • New York
  • Paris

One route I actually overlooked is Tokyo Narita to Jakarta. Japan Airlines’ only destination within Asia to which they offer first class is Jakarta, and they fly a 777-300ER there.

Admittedly I’m a bit spoiled, but one of the reasons I usually fly Cathay Pacific over Japan Airlines when flying to Southeast Asia is that I’d rather not do a 6-7 hour flight in a regional business class product.

This route is awesome for that, since it means you can get all the way to Southeast Asia in longhaul first class. The flight operates daily with the following schedule:

JL725 Narita to Jakarta departing 10:55AM arriving 4:55PM
JL726 Jakarta to Narita departing 9:25PM arriving 6:35AM (+1 day)

Narita-to-Jakarta

There are a few exciting things about this route:

  • Tokyo Narita to Jakarta is ~3,600 miles and is blocked at eight hours, making it further than most flights from the east coast of the US to London
  • For 67,500 American AAdvantage miles you can fly from the US to Tokyo Narita to Jakarta, and then onwards from there within Asia if you want to
  • The route has a ton of first and business class award availability, often 4-5 seats per flight

JAL-Availability

To kind of put this into perspective, I want to try Japan Airlines’ new first class on a trip I have to Colombo soon, so I’d be flying from New York to Tokyo Narita on Japan Airlines. However, from there it would be roughly 10 hours of flying in regional business class products to get to Colombo.

Instead I could fly Tokyo Narita > Jakarta on Japan Airlines, and then Jakarta > Kuala Lumpur > Colombo in Malaysia Airlines business class, all for the same mileage.

Yes, admittedly that’s the “long way,” but it’s all part of the job. ;)

Anyway, I tend to think of this as the “hidden” intra-Asia first class route, so hopefully someone else can benefit from the availability on this route as well.

Comments

  1. Sameer Sultan says

    Nice information provided there Ben!

    I had read about a direct turn you did on the Singapore-Colombo-Singapore sector in CX where you traveled to Colombo without a visa. Last week I wanted to do a direct turn on EK Dubai -Karachi – Dubai for a personal reason but the airline refused it issue a ticket stating a visa is required though I catogarically mentioned I won’t be attempting to clear immigration in Karachi!

    Just wanted to have your thoughts on this whether the airline is right or I missed some point there.

    Cheers! Keep Flying high!

  2. says

    @ Sameer Sultan — Well Sri Lanka allows a visa on arrival, so it wouldn’t have been a big deal for me either way. In your case they’re correct. If you’re coming from and returning to the same place you’re not technically in transit, since that point becomes your “turnaround point,” so you would need a visa unfortunately.

  3. Sarah says

    Great post. I’m going to try this type of routing when I book my next flights to Vietnam. I tried to search your blog but I can’t seem to find any trips to Vietnam. Have you ever been? Please provide link to trip report if you have visited. Thanks!

  4. Anita says

    I would love to fly this product to japan next year
    Can I do a stop over on award ticket in Hawaii for 3 days? Help a newbie out! Thnks

  5. says

    @ Sarah — Last time I was there was before I started the blog, so don’t have any trip reports unfortunately. It’s a great country, though, hope you enjoy!

  6. says

    @ Anita — American does let you do a stopover at your transoceanic gateway, so if you can route to Asia via Hawaii then that’s possible.

  7. Tom R says

    Another great option to get to SE Asia rather than depending on the devalued MileagePlus awards.

  8. Nguyen says

    @ Sarah – I am heading to Vietnam in May.. Your best options to Vietnam in F is probably CX. They have 2 flights daily from HKG to SGN. MH also fly to SGN, but on a 737. Take a look at JL as well, they fly daily on a 767, so no F.

  9. steve says

    Lucky – But if you look @ early 2015 or 2014… you would find that JAL only serves 2 class cabins on the NRT_CGK-NRT flights

  10. Lantean says

    Two questions:
    How is the availability from NYC to NRT?
    Will you finally have drinks with your loyal readers when you’re in NYC?
    Thanks.

  11. says

    @ Lantean — Fairly good, it’s generally a bit better out of Chicago, but they do release space out of New York as well. Yes, will host a get together the next time I’m in NY!

  12. metatron says

    I thought you’ll be using this chance of going to Jakarta by trying GA new F class. I’m quite curious about that. Oh one more thing, prepare yourself for the massive traffic jam in Jakarta as it will start even before you leave the airport. Good Luck!

  13. Joel says

    Waiting for US to join OneWorld – I can then run something like MEL-SYD-HKG-NRT-GUM-NRT-CGK-SIN-SYD on US Airways that encompasses QF F on the A380 SYD-HKG, JL F on the 77W as you mentioned, and BA F on the 77W SIN-SYD, all for 40k US miles in F only. Hopefully US doesn’t charge fuel surcharges on the BA flight!

  14. Andrew says

    Have you heard anything about business class on the JAL 787? Booked on the 787 from NRT-JFK because the timing works better for me (connecting from KIX), but I could try to get on the morning flight on the 777-300ER in business.

  15. says

    @Lantean availability is pretty good far out.i booked myself 2 seats JFK-NRT-HAN.i could have done CX too but I already have 3 flights coming up with them in F so decided to try something new + NRT-HAN is operated by a 787( i can live with 6 hours in shell flat neo even that it’s angled only).

  16. says

    @ Andrew — It’s an angled product on the 787, so the 777 has a much better hard product. If you can swing it I’d try to take that instead.

  17. Mike S. says

    @ Joel
    You are assuming US will be using their present award chart and you can find an agent that will book that intra south pacific routing. Even if you cannot get F, J for 30K is also good.

    Someone on FT mentioned they got a similar routing from a US DM agent with the NRT-BKK-SYD (and reverse) segments on TG F, so it is possible.

  18. Arcanum says

    Having just finished my ORD-SIN run with JL/CX last night, I’ll throw in my 2 cents since I considered this option. First off, it’s worth noting NRT-CGK uses the old F configuration, not the new product. Also, the timing is suboptimal since ORD-NRT arrives in the afternoon while NRT-CGK leaves in the morning, requiring an overnight at NRT.

    FWIW, I ended up routing ORD-NRT-PEK-HKG with NRT-PEK on the JL 787 in J and PEK-HKG-SIN in CX F. I did an overnight in PEK, where getting a transit visa was surprisingly easy – took all of 2 minutes. To comment on Andrew’s question, the 787 J product was surprisingly nice. It’s angled flat, yes, but as close to fully flat as I’ve ever experienced. With the usual nose-up of the plane in flight, my head was only slightly raised, maybe 5 degrees or so. There was no sliding/wedgie formation. The experience was nothing like the old LH/old OS/old TG angled flat seats I’ve tried.

    Oh, and the load in J on NRT-PEK was 2/42, so if you want a private cabin on the Dreamliner it’s a good route!

  19. says

    @ hkairlinenews — That flight is a 787 without a first class cabin unfortunately. And yep, you can expect a Kuwait Airways report soon. :)

  20. Joel says

    @Mike S – Speaking from experience, yes, have done a 30k routing before. Definitely, hoping that they won’t gut their award charts any time soon!

  21. Greg says

    @lucky

    HELP, I guess I should use your booking service. I could not find a single F award seat JFK-NRT on JAL?

    You say there is some availability JFK-NRT, for some reason I could not find it. Any suggestions for a search method. I used BA.com and Japan Airlines website without much luck.

  22. Confused says

    “For 67,500 American AAdvantage miles you can fly from the US to Tokyo Narita to Jakarta, and then onwards from there within Asia if you want to.”

    Since you’re transiting Asia Zone 1 to get to Asia Zone 2, wouldn’t this take two awards?

  23. Mitchzmagic says

    You should do the JL flight to CGK but I would suggest trying the all new First Class product on a GA 777 on the same trip!

  24. says

    @ Confused — You’re actually allowed to route from the US to Asia 2 via Asia 1. It’s one of the exceptions to not being able to route via a third region.

  25. says

    @ drex — Not on an American award, but once they join SkyTeam there should hopefully be some options for redeeming miles.

  26. OberBoberGrober says

    Is the 767 HKG-PVG also regional biz class? It’s a 2-2-2 confirm which suggests a nice biz clas.

  27. Shanghai9 says

    I did 726 (CGK-NRT) connecting to the JFK flight last month and it was indeed a great use of AA miles. Some things to note:

    – This route probably has the lightest load of any JL flight with an F cabin. I was the only F passenger.
    – The lounge used in CGK is awful. It’s small, windowless and stuffy and the food is bad. And, yes, this in the separate F lounge.
    – There is not a full dinner service on the flight because of the departure time, although the Japanese breakfast is extensive and you could always ask for it in the evening (or the Western breakfast, but it’s very breakfast-y).
    – Service was phenomenal as was the food. IMHO, the Japanese airlines do food head and shoulders above all others.
    – Not a proper amenity kit, but they will bring you a basket of goodies that is more than adequate.
    – Pajamas offered. They even offered me a pair of new ones as a souvenir (and fetched me a JAL shopping bag to put both pairs in).

  28. Shanghai9 says

    Also, I was transferring in CGK and it was a bit strange. I went to the transfer desk upon deplaning. I was coming in on an SQ flight and was unable to check in for the JL flights. One of the women behind the desk took my printed itinerary and passport and, it turns out, went to the general check-in counter. I waited at the transfer desk for at least 30 minutes before she returned with my boarding pass and escorted me to the lounge. One perk was that the check-in person was able to print my boarding pass for my NRT-JFK flight and put me in the window seat, which had been blocked.

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