Introduction: Flying Halfway Around The World For Half A Day
Review: China Airlines Business Class 777-300ER Los Angeles To Taipei
Review: China Airlines Lounge Taipei
Review: China Airlines Business Class A330 Taipei To Singapore
Review: Singapore Changi Airport Transit Hotel
Review: British Airways Lounge Singapore
Review: SATS Premier Lounge Singapore
Review: Japan Airlines Business Class 767 Singapore To Tokyo
Review: Royal Park Hotel Tokyo Haneda Airport
Review: Japan Airlines First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda
Review: Japan Airlines Business Class 777 Tokyo To San Francisco
I left the Royal Park Hotel Haneda Airport at around 8PM, plenty early for my 12:05AM flight to San Francisco. Perhaps the only redeeming quality of the hotel is that it’s connected to the international terminal, so it’s super easy to get between the hotel and the airside terminal.
I already had my boarding pass for my flight to San Francisco, so I headed straight towards security and immigration. It couldn’t have been more painless, as I was through both security and immigration in less than five minutes.
From there I made a right turn, and then immediately saw the escalators to the Japan Airlines Lounge, located across from gate 112. I was excited to check out the Japan Airlines First Class Lounge Haneda Airport, as previously I’ve only used the Japan Airlines First Class Lounge Tokyo Narita Airport. Furthermore, the lounge was renovated just a couple of years ago.
The exterior of the lounge was very similar to the one at Narita Airport, with horizontal wood panels.
At the reception desk I was welcomed by four polite JAL employees. Upon scanning my boarding pass, they pointed me right towards the first class lounge. The lounge has both a first and business class section. While I was flying business class to San Francisco, I could use the first class lounge on account of my top tier oneworld Emerald status.
I was blown away by the decor of the lounge from the moment I walked down the hallway towards the first class section. To me, the Narita JAL Lounge feels a bit shabby, while this one is gorgeous.
Halfway down the hallway was a small business center with a few computers, as well as well as some individual moon-shaped private chairs.
I’d say the lounge has four distinct “main” areas, and the above business center area led into the first main area.
This was a large area with more traditional lounge seating, along with a long counter by the window overlooking the taxiways.
The chairs themselves were beautiful, and they had individual pillows and ample outlets.
The next section was the dining area, which was probably the largest part of the lounge. There were plenty of individual tables, along with a square, center communal table, with a tree growing out of the middle of it.
While the other room had carpet, this one had a pretty cool tile design. I’ll talk more about the food selection a bit later.
The next section of the lounge was similar to the first one, and had more traditional lounge seating. In this section all the seats were dark brown.
I loved that each seat had a small adjustable table, as it was perfect for placing your laptop while working. I also liked that there were partitions between each row of seats.
Along the window in this area were chairs with ottomans, which were extremely comfortable.
This section of the lounge also had a self serve drink selection, including liquor, soft drinks, juice, and beer machines.
Past this area was the snazziest area of the lounge, called the Red Room. This is possibly the most gorgeously designed area of any lounge out there, in my opinion. It’s separated into four zones.
The first zone is the Library Room, with all kinds of travel artifacts, books, etc.
Then in the back left corner is the Gallery Room, with several travel items from the “good old days,” including vintage aviation art, suitcases, etc.
In the back right corner is the Play Room, with chess and other games. The walls are covered with flight route maps, which any aviation geek will appreciate.
Then lastly is the Bar Room, with self serve Laurent Perrier champagne, as well as sake.
There’s also a huge display case with more champagne.
While I think the all around most gorgeous lounge in the world is Cathay Pacific’s First Class Lounge in Hong Kong, I think these particular rooms are the most gorgeous parts of any lounge I’ve been to.
There’s also a shoeshine service in this part of the lounge. In theory that’s a lovely feature, but it almost makes the entire area uncomfortable, which is why no one seems to use it. The person doing shoeshines is so attentive and always just standing there and observing the whole area, that it makes it awkward to sit there.
For that matter, the area is beautiful in the sense that it feels like a museum, and I’m not sure it actually feels inviting or comfortable, if that makes any sense.
Now let’s talk about the food in the lounge, located back in the dining area. The self serve food area is extensive, and consists of several self serve areas. The centerpiece of the dining area is the teppanyaki grill, where a chef prepares an incredible beef dish.
However, other than the made to order beef, I found the selection a bit underwhelming. Don’t get me wrong, it was fine, but it doesn’t really compare to the other top first class lounges out there. I’ll let the pictures of the selection speak (mostly) for themselves.
So I thought the buffet as such was rather limited, and also lacked cohesiveness. Individually a lot of the things were fine, but the selection just seemed like a little bit of everything.
The one part of the food offering that was fantastic was the made to order beef dish.
You simply go up to the chef and tell him what kind of sauce you want, and then he hands you a buzzer.
My dish was prepared within about five minutes.
It was spectacular, and I almost wanted to order a second one.
The drink selection was pretty good, though, including the famous Japanese beer machines.
One of the other unique features of the lounge is that it has a spa. I had no problem securing a reservation for just about anytime I wanted. I figured I’d get my massage sooner rather than later, so I made an appointment for 8:45PM.
The lounge has legitimate massage rooms, though the treatments are just 10 minutes long. You leave your shirt on, and then they place a towel over your shirt, and the massage consists mostly of hitting pressure points. It’s a lovely way to refresh, though it’s not to the level of the hour-long massage you’ll get in the Thai Airways First Class Lounge in Bangkok, for example.
Next to the massage room were three massage chairs, which I briefly used as well.
I spent a couple of hours getting caught up on work, and then I decided to shower before my flight (I hadn’t showered in the hotel). The shower rooms were one of the underwhelming aspects of the lounge. While the shower itself was fine, the shower room didn’t have a toilet. I find that to be rather annoying, especially in a first class lounge.
Lastly, back near the entrance of the lounge was a smoking room.
I left the lounge at 11:20PM, in anticipation of the 11:35PM boarding time for my flight to San Francisco. Fortunately my flight was leaving from gate 112, which was right across from the lounge.
The gate area was still fairly empty.
JAL had set up separate signs for first & business class, and as a oneworld Emerald member I could board with first class.
Watching how Japanese airlines board has to be one of my favorite things ever, as it’s so reflective of the service culture in the country. They have about 10 gate agents, and several of them are responsible for holding up signs to help people form queues, even though there are already signs indicating where each cabin boards.
Boarding was scheduled for 11:35PM, and at 11:34PM the gate agent made an announcement, apologizing profusely that boarding for the flight will be delayed… until 11:37PM. Man, you’ve gotta love when an airline makes a habit of boarding exactly at the scheduled time, and not a minute later or earlier. Nowhere else in the world will you get an apology when boarding is delayed by two minutes.
JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda bottom line
The JAL Lounge at Haneda Airport really impressed me. It’s significantly nicer than the JAL First Class Lounge Narita Airport. It’s much more modern, the design is practical and beautiful, the Red Room is really neat, and Haneda Airport is easy to use.
I’d say this ranks up there as one of my four favorite oneworld first class lounges, along with the Qantas First Class Lounge Sydney, Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge Hong Kong, Qatar Airways First Class Lounge Doha (I’m excluding multiple lounges from one airline, though).
If you’ve visited the Japan Airlines Lounge Tokyo Haneda, what was your experience like?