Japan Airlines

Great Deal: JAL Business Class Awards Wide Open Between NYC and Tokyo!

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Japan Airlines presently operates two daily flights between Tokyo and New York, though they’ll be adjusting that service starting in a couple of months, which is great for award availability. It’s probably easiest to explain what’s changing by showing a side-to-side schedule comparison:

Presently JAL operates the following flight daily using a 777-300ER:

JL6 Tokyo Narita to New York JFK departing 10:50AM arriving 10:45AM
JL5 New York JFK to Tokyo Narita departing 1:15PM arriving 4:25PM (+1 day)

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My 7 Favorite Airlines I Flew For The First Time In 2016

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One of my big focuses of 2016 was reviewing as many new airlines as possible. Given that I’ve flown most of the world’s best first class products, this came primarily in the form of trying more business class products. Furthermore, with so many airlines having devalued their award charts, often the sweet spot for award redemptions is shifting from first class to business class.

At first I figured I’d miss products like Cathay Pacific first class, Emirates first class, Lufthansa first class, etc., which almost began to feel like second homes.

However, I’ve found it so enjoyable to try new airlines. In many ways, airlines reflect the cultures of their respective homes, so even if you’re not visiting a country, flying a country’s airline gives you a good taste of that destination. I’ve enjoyed flying new airlines so much, and my goal for 2017 is to review even more new airlines than I did this year.

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Incredible Japan Airlines First Class Fares To The U.S.

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Japan Airlines offers one of my favorite first class products in the world. They have a solid hard product, though it’s the service and food that sets them apart.

At the moment Japan Airlines has some great roundtrip first class fares for travel from Seoul to New York (unfortunately the same fare isn’t valid in the other direction, originating in the U.S.). The fare is ~$2,850 roundtrip in paid, full fare first class. That’s an incredible fare, given that this is a full fare ticket, so should be changeable/refundable at no cost.

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9 Reasons To Be Excited About Redeeming Alaska Miles On JAL

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Yesterday Tiffany posted about how it’s now possible to redeem Alaska Mileage Plan miles on Japan Airlines. While the partnership between Alaska and Japan Airlines was first announced in May, we were told that reciprocal mileage redemptions would only be possible in late 2016.

Many of us were caught off guard by this redemption opportunity being added, given that Alaska didn’t provide any further updates or timeline for adding JAL as a partner, but rather the awards just suddenly became bookable.

Tiffany did a great job summing up the ability to redeem Alaska miles on JAL, though I wanted to write a follow-up post about this new option, because I’m really excited, as I think this is the best new partnership that Alaska has added in a long time. Why am I so excited?

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Japan Airlines Awards Now Bookable Through Alaska Mileage Plan!

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Earlier this year Alaska Airlines and Japan Airlines announced a partnership, with a reciprocal frequent flyer relationship and a codesharing agreement.

Some of the mileage earning and redemption rules were published right away, including:

• Alaska Mileage Plan earning rates for travel on Japan Airlines
• Japan Airlines Mileage Bank earning rates for travel on Alaska
• Japan Airlines Mileage Bank redemption rates for travel on Alaska

After months of anticipation, we finally know the Alaska Mileage Plan redemption rates for travel on Japan Airlines. There are some surprises in the chart, but the prices in general are at least as good as we’d expected!

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JAL’s San Francisco Flight Gets A Very Nice Schedule Change

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I recently took Japan Airlines’ flight between Tokyo Haneda and San Francisco, which I enjoyed. Japan Airlines has among my favorite business class products in the world.

There are a few things that make this flight unique:

— It’s JAL’s only flight to the mainland US operated out of Tokyo Haneda Airport, rather than Tokyo Narita Airport; the former is considerably closer to the city
— The flight between San Francisco and Tokyo Haneda typically has a good amount of award availability, so it’s great for people looking to redeem miles
— The route has had the worst schedule of any JAL flight to North America

More specifically regarding that last point, the schedule for the flight has been as follows:

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Review: Japan Airlines Business Class 777 Tokyo To San Francisco

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I’ve flown JAL first class several times before, so was very excited to finally try their business class. I was even more excited after my recent flight on Oman Air, where I got to fly in the Apex Suite that they have, which is the same product that JAL offers in business class. The window seats in an Apex Suite configuration are my favorite business class hard product out there (though the non-window seats aren’t among my favorites).

I boarded through door L1, where I was greeted by the cabin manager and one of the flight attendants. I walked through the two rows of first class, and then the one row of business class immediately behind it. At that point I was past the second door, where the main business class cabin started. JAL’s 777 business class consists of a total of 49 seats, spread across seven rows (with one row in the forward cabin, and six rows in the rear cabin).

At first the cabin almost felt a bit claustrophobic, due to the high privacy partitions of the seats, combined with the overhead bins being down.

On Japan Airlines’ 777s, business class is in a 2-3-2 configuration. The center seat in each row is a bit further forward, while the two aisle seats are further back. In theory the center seats would be most similar to the window seats in this configuration, given that you have a lot of privacy when the partitions are raised. Still, it seems rather claustrophobic, given that you have partitions on both sides, rather than windows on one side.

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Review: Japan Airlines First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda

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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.

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Review: Japan Airlines Business Class 767 Singapore To Tokyo

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I’ve flown Japan Airlines first class several times before, so was super excited about finally trying their business class product, on both their 767 and 777.

I boarded through the forward door, where I was greeted by the cabin manager and a very friendly flight attendant. Upon presenting my boarding pass I was pointed down the near aisle.

Japan Airlines’ 767 business class product consists of a total of 24 seats, spread across six rows in a 1-2-1 configuration. The seats are in a staggered configuration, and are a slightly modified version of the Vantage-style configuration you’ll find on Austrian, Brussels, Delta, etc.

Overall it’s a fairly sleek cabin, as there’s only so much you can do on a 767, given that the cabin isn’t that wide. For example, I don’t know of any airlines that have a reverse herringbone configuration on the 767.

I eventually found my seat, 5A, located in the second to last row of business class. As you can see below, the window seats alternate between being closer to the window and being closer to the aisle.

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Review: SATS Premier Lounge Singapore

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After being kicked out of the British Airways Lounge at 11PM, I headed to the lounge Japan Airlines actually uses for their passengers at Changi Airport — the SATS Premier Lounge. As luck would have it, the SATS Premier Lounge was located right next to the British Airways Lounge.

This contract lounge is used by many airlines, including Turkish, Air China, Uzbekistan, etc.

It’s worth noting that this is also a Priority Pass lounge. The following US credit cards offer Priority Pass memberships, and are a better value than paying for a membership outright, in my opinion:

— The Citi Prestige® Card comes with a Priority Pass membership, and you can take two guests or immediate family members for free
— The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN also come with a Priority Pass membership, though only the cardmember can access the lounge for free; additional guests cost $27 each

In my case, I got in just by presenting my Japan Airlines mobile boarding pass. Past the reception desk was a hallway leading into the rest of the lounge.

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Introduction: Flying Halfway Around The World For Half A Day

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My blog goal for 2016 is to review as many new premium cabin products as I can, especially in business class.

So far this year I’ve reviewed Finnair business class, Air India first class, Iberia business class, LAN business class, Oman Air business class, Air France business class, Avianca business class, Aeromexico business class, Air Canada business class, and South African Airways business class.

Coming up I have reviews of SAS business class, Air Tahiti Nui business class, Fiji Airways business class, Royal Air Maroc business class, China Eastern business class, Saudia business class, Pakistan business class, and Swiss first class.

I have so many more airlines I want to review, though only so much time I can spend flying around to try different airlines (good problem to have… I know!). With that in mind, a couple of weeks ago I found myself with a few days where I didn’t need to be anywhere in particular, so I figured I’d try to review two more business class products that have long been on my list.

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Earn Double Alaska Miles For Travel On Japan Airlines

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As of this past week, Alaska Airlines and Japan Airlines have launched a partnership, which includes codesharing as well as a reciprocal frequent flyer agreement.

As of now it’s possible to earn and redeem Japan Airlines miles for travel on Alaska, and it’s also possible to earn Alaska miles for travel on Japan Airlines. As of later this year it should be possible to also redeem Alaska miles on Japan Airlines, though no exact date has been set yet.

I’m especially excited about that, since Japan Airlines has incredible first & business class products, and Alaska Mileage Plan allows stopovers even on one-way awards. This means it’ll be possible to fly from the US to Tokyo, have a stopover, and then continue from Tokyo to other destinations in Asia, all on one award.

For those Alaska flyers looking to fly Japan Airlines, there’s presently a promotion to celebrate the launch of this partnership. Mileage Plan members can earn doubles miles for travel on select Japan Airlines flights between July 7 and September 30, 2016.

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Details Of The New Alaska & Japan Airlines Partnership

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In early May, Alaska Airlines and Japan Airlines announced that they’d launch a partnership as of June 29, 2016.

I love Alaska Mileage Plan, largely thanks to the variety of partner airlines they have. It’s a great way to earn a mileage currency which can be accrued and redeemed for travel on airlines spanning the alliances.

At the time we knew that there would be a reciprocal frequent flyer relationship, as well as codesharing agreement, pending government approval. That seems to have been successful, as the partnership will indeed be launching as of tomorrow. Here’s the information we have so far about their reciprocal frequent flyer agreement:

— Alaska Mileage Plan earning rates for travel on Japan Airlines
— Japan Airlines Mileage Bank earning rates for travel on Alaska
— Japan Airlines Mileage Bank redemption rates for travel on Alaska

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Japan Airlines 777 Business Class In 10 Pictures

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Hello from back in the US! Over the past few days I’ve flown China Airlines 777 business class from Los Angeles to Taipei, China Airlines A330 business class from Taipei to Singapore, Japan Airlines 767 business class from Singapore to Tokyo Haneda, and then finally Japan Airlines 777 business class from Tokyo Haneda to San Francisco.

In this post I’ll be sharing my initial thoughts on the last flight, along with 10 pictures. A full trip report will follow.

Japan Airlines’ 777s feature Apex Suites. I love the window seats in this configuration, as they’re ridiculously private, almost as private as industry leading first class suites. I’ll take a window seat in an Apex Suite over a reverse herringbone seat any day, though if I were in a non-window seat I’d choose a reverse herringbone seat instead, as I explained in a previous post about my favorite business class hard products.

The service was Japanese perfection, as I’ve come to expect from JAL. The crew was friendly, professional, attentive, and so precise. Japanese precision just makes me smile every time. For example, boarding was supposed to start at 11:35PM. At 11:34PM the following announcement was made:

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