Japan Airlines Is Cutting Free Massages In Their First Class Lounge

There are quite a few airlines out there that offer complimentary massages in their lounges. It’s always a treat to get a massage on a connection between long flights, given how tight bodies can be after sitting for so long. The quality and length of these massages can vary greatly.

Probably the best airline lounge massage in the world is in the Thai Airways First Class Lounge Bangkok, where passengers receive an hour-long full body massage in a private room. But there are even more accessible lounges that also offer massages. For example, the Amex Centurion Lounge Dallas offers complimentary 15 minute massages, which are great as well.


Amex Centurion Lounge Dallas massage chair

While it was never my favorite, Japan Airlines has offered complimentary massages in their first class lounges at both Tokyo Narita and Tokyo Haneda. The massage is just 10 minutes, but I’ve always found it to be great (and since it’s Japan, there’s no expectation of tipping). Keep in mind that oneworld Emerald members also got access to these lounges, so there was no requirement to actually be flying first class in order to get a massage.


Japan Airlines first class lounge massage room

Well, unfortunately it looks like Japan Airlines has cut the complimentary massage feature in their lounges at both Haneda Airport and Narita Airport. Instead they’re apparently increasing the number of 3S Takumi medical massage chairs that they have available in the lounge.


Japan Airlines first class lounge massage chair

In the past my strategy was to get a 10 minute massage and then sit in a massage chair, so I viewed the two as being complementary, and not substitutes.

As much as I think Japan Airlines’ first class product is one of the best in the world, I don’t think their lounges live up to the onboard product. I prefer the Haneda lounge to the Narita lounge in terms of the decor, but even so, there’s not all that much that sets the lounge apart.


Japan Airlines first class lounge Tokyo Haneda

Did you ever get a massage in JAL’s first class lounge, and if so, are you sad to see this perk be discontinued?

(Tip of the hat to View from the Wing)

Comments

  1. Damn and I’ve got a JL F flight booked in 5 months. Not the end of the world but disappointing 🙁 …

  2. Dang..the massages shall be missed..I used to get a massage in the JAL F lounge in Narita’s main terminal and then on my way to boarding stop by the JAL F lounge in the satellite and get a second massage for good measure..I never understood how such a technologically advanced country like Japan (with automated beer machines at that) couldn’t figure out an online system to cap the massages at just one per day

  3. I had a massage at the NRT lounge 18 months ago. The idea of a preflight massage is great. The massage itself, not so much.

  4. It’s all Credit’s fault. Last week we visited the Narita First Class lounge and the showers were all booked, so he demanded a sponge bath along with the massage. All we got was a a demo of AKIDO and I had nothing to do with the whole debacle in the first place.

    They also took away a lot of first class award space on routes to/from the USA . Sorry Guys. We’ll try in Seoul next time. Cheers 😀 😀

  5. I echo jfhscott on this one – the massages were a nice feature, but not the great. Their sushi is ok, and I love the chef that cooks beef in the HND F lounge for dinner. That HND F lounge has great avgeek themed decor back in the Red Suite. The showers don’t compare to say Qatar’s J, but elegant design throughout.

    Skip the massage, get to the plane early, and have another glass of Salon on board. May be wrong, but this has got to be one of the priciest bottles of bubbly served on flights? Lucky, thoughts?

  6. CP,

    From memory the NRT F lounge has sushi but the HND lounge does not.

    That said, I think the HND lounge is nicer. I particularly like the secluded library area with champagne while you get your shoes shined.

    Then again, the new HND international terminal is wonderful. NRT is starting to look old, dated and jaded.

  7. No problem. I enjoyed their automatic massage chair last week in their First Class lounge in Narita. Good enough for me.

    Lucky, JAL First Class must be in your TOP 5 and not TOP 10. Truly an amazing flight from NRT to ORD last week for me.

  8. Just Flew F out of HND last week, got my shoes shined and a nice but short 10 min massage…but it was very good. Lounge is fine, nothing over the top but I spent way too long there…couple hours tops will do it. Not a big loss but I had to wait over an hour so obviously people took advantage of it. Thanks for the heads up Ben!

  9. “That said, I think the HND lounge is nicer. I particularly like the secluded library area with champagne while you get your shoes shined.”

    Really great sake selection in there as well.

  10. The message was actually available also to passengers with business class access.. I tried this last August and as you said, it compliments the massage chairs. Sad to see it go.

  11. I was in the JAL Sakura biz lounge just over a week ago and received a 10 minute comp. massage, so I don’t think it was limited to just F passengers.

  12. Used it over a dozen times, sad to see it go.
    That, the shoe shine service, and the library/champagne area were the stand outs vs. the business class lounge.

    Reading comments about the Sushi bar- that is at the Narita F lounge, not Haneda.

  13. Sadly, sushi has also been downgraded in NRT. Last time I went through they were enforcing a strict 3 pieces per order rule, which was new and different from the technical set order that never used to actually be enforced. Luckily, they were not enforcing the one order per guest rule that they had also posted. Amaebi was still up to par, but the maguro is now a smaller (thinner) piece and akami instead of toro.

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