March 1, 2015

Review: Japan Airlines Boeing 777 First Class, Tokyo-Jakarta

Exploring Borneo Flying First Class on Japan Airlines and Qantas

Aurora Executive Lounge, Terminal 2 (ARN)
Finnair Business Class, Stockholm-Helsinki
Finnair Business Lounge Non-Schengen (HEL)
Finnair Premium Lounge (HEL)
Finnair Business Class, Helsinki-London
Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge (LHR)
American Airlines Flagship Lounge (LHR)
British Airways Galleries First Lounge (LHR)
Japan Airlines First Class, London-Tokyo
Hilton Narita
Cathay Pacific First & Business Class Lounge (NRT)
American Airlines Admirals Club (NRT)
Qantas International Business Lounge (NRT)
Japan Airlines First Class Lounge, Main Terminal (NRT)
Japan Airlines First Class, Tokyo-Jakarta
Pura Indah Business Class Lounge, Jakarta (CGK)
Malaysia Airlines Business Class, Jakarta-Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge, Domestic (KUL)
Hilton Kuching
Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge Kuching (KCH)
Hyatt Regency Kinabalu
Shangri-La's Rasa Ria Hotel
Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge, Kota Kinabalu (BKI)
Malaysia Airlines Business Class, Kota Kinabalu-Kuala Lumpur
Top Attractions in Malaysia
Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge, International (KUL)
Qatar Airways Business Class, Kuala Lumpur-Doha
Qatar Airways Al Mourjan Lounge (DOH)
Al Maha Lounge (DOH)
Qatar Airways Business Class, Doha-Dubai
Emirates First Class Lounge Concourse A (DXB)
Emirates Business Class Lounge Concourse A (DXB)
Qantas First Class, Dubai-London
British Airways Galleries Lounge Concourse C, South (LHR)
British Airways Business Class, London-Stockholm


Flight: JL 725
Departure from Tokyo Narita (NRT): 10:55
Arrival in Jakarta (CGK): 16:55
Equipment: Boeing 777 300 ER
Date of flight: January 21, 2015
Flight duration: 8h
*This is an award travel, First Class flight #25

Japan Airlines First Class Tokyo-Jakarta caviar service

Narita Airport Terminal 2

I arrived at Narita Airport Terminal 2 about three hours before departure since I wanted to make sure I would be able to visit as much lounges as possible. I actually spent the previous night at the Hilton Narita, one of my favorite airport hotels in the world, and getting to the airport with their complimentary shuttle went smoothly.

A very beautiful Ikebana, arranged by Koryo Shohtohkai School displayed inside Terminal 2.

Check-in

The first class check in counters were located at Zone L. A friendly agent helped me with the process and shortly after, I was given my boarding pass. I was also told that I could use the Fast Track located behind the check in area although I had to wait for a few minutes since it wasn't open yet.

Japan Airlines Fast Security Lane, Narita Airport Terminal 2

Immediately after immigration and security control is the Japan Airlines First Class Lounge where I spent most of my time before boarding. Of course, I also visited the lounges of Cathay Pacific, American Airlines and Qantas.

Aircraft, Boeing 777-300ER

The beautiful Boeing 777-300 ER

Boarding, gate 92

At 10:25, boarding started at gate 92, with a separate queue for first and business class passengers.

Suite 2A

Welcome to my suite, 2A!

After being escorted to my seat by one of the crew, the Inflight Service Manager came to introduce herself and informed me that I was the only passenger in the cabin ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜Š

First Class Cabin

Japan Airlines First Class Cabin, Tokyo-Jakarta

Japan Airlines First Class Cabin, Tokyo-Jakarta

Shortly after settling in, I was offered something to drink, either a glass of orange juice or champagne, and without hesitation I chose the glass of champagne. A hot towel was offered as well followed by newspapers and magazines, and I ended up reading Time. After a short while, I thought I'd change into pajamas.

Japan Airlines First Class blanket

Dining

I was also presented the menu and I thought I'd order the western meal (again)

Japan Airlines First Class menu and wine list

Japan Airlines First Class menu

Japan Airlines First Class western menu

Japan Airlines First Class western menu

Japan Airlines First Class Japanese menu

Japan Airlines First Class Japanese menu

Shrimp, vegetables and walnut ? plus a glass of kiwi juice

Japan Airlines First Class Tokyo-Jakarta table setting

Japan Airlines First Class Tokyo-Jakarta amuse bouche,

Marinated octopus, tomato and olive
Carrot Puree with sea urchin and Beet consomme Jelly


Japan Airlines First Class Tokyo-Jakarta fresh bread

Japan Airlines First Class Tokyo-Jakarta personal screen

Japan Airlines First Class Tokyo-Jakarta caviar service ๐Ÿ˜‹

Soga, the inflight manager from Osaka who served me the caviar informed me that I had to eat the Cauliflower Veloutรฉ first followed by the caviar and then the shrimp as the last. I guess it had something to do with the way the taste of one meal would affect the other.

The salad which tasted phenomenal ๐Ÿ˜‹

As for my main course, I had the Roasted "Wagyu" Beef Fillet with stuffed Boston Lettuce & Truffle Flavored Potato Ecrasรฉ. I have to say it was one of the best main courses I've had in first class ๐Ÿ˜‹

And then came my dessert: Japanese Chestnut Mont Blanc with Passion Fruit Granitรฉ

The food was phenomenal and I really have to commend JAL for this. It is obvious that they are really working hard to make sure that they offer world class meal on board by collaborating with some of the world's best chefs as advertised on the menu.

First Class Amenity Kit

After enjoying my dessert (I was offered coffee or tea but I declined), Soga came to give me the first class amenity kit by Loewe containing Shiseido skin care products (I asked for the female version which was no issue), some pens and postcards as well as the famous Jean-Paul Hevin macaroons. Lovely ๐Ÿ‘

Time to Sleep

Then it was time to sleep. The turndown service was done by Nakayama, the crew working in the first class cabin. I actually slept really well, thanks to their really comfortable mattress and I woke up with just about two hours before landing.

JAL First Class Bar

Japan Airlines First Class Tokyo-Jakarta bar with bottles of mineral water and snacks

Second Meal

With about one and a half hour before landing, Nakayama came to my seat to ask if I wanted to order something from the menu and I chose Soba and a cup of green tea.

Japanese Soba with grated yam

Japan Airlines First Class crane

My Japan Airlines family of first class cranes 

While clearing my plate, I asked Nakayama if I could keep the JAL first class crane and she said it was okay. Surprisingly, she came back with 3 more and minutes later, gave me the Origami crane that was displayed in the bar. She told me that she made it herself ๐Ÿ‘ I asked if it was difficult for her to make those and was told that they have been doing Origami as kids so it was not that hard for her to make the crane.

Business Class Seat

After changing out of my pajamas, I decided I'd have a look at the business class cabin and took a picture of an empty seat.

Toilet & Lavatory

During my last visit to the lavatory, I took a picture of this and asked Soga and Nakayama if they have lots of passengers from Brazil, referring to "lixeira". I was told that they used to have a flight to Sao Paolo from New York before.

Landing in Jakarta Airport

View before landing in Jakarta

We arrived at Soekarno Hatta International Airport about 40 minutes ahead of schedule and as a first class passenger, I was the first one to leave the aircraft. From the jet bridge, I could already see a young lady holding a card with my name written on it. She welcomed me and then left me to her colleague who gave me my boarding pass for the Jakarta-Kuala Lumpur flight I would be taking later. Very impressive. He asked for my JAL Tokyo-Jakarta boarding pass and was told that it would be needed for immigration purposes. He escorted me to the lounge being used by Malaysia Airlines before saying goodbye. I've always thought that Thai Airways is the only airline offering this service to their first class passengers. I was wrong. On the other hand, I wonder why they didn't offer this service in Haneda when I arrived from London flying in first class the other day.

CONCLUSION

Again, Japan Airlines delivered only the best: the service was impeccable and the food was phenomenal. The very nice gesture of Nakayama giving me 3 more cranes and her own Origami crane was incredible. Also, my request to have the female version of the Shiseido instead of the male version granted by Soga was just awesome. The arrival service in Jakarta Airport was also impressive. The fact that JAL has planned to replace their Boeing 777-300 with their Boeing 787-9 on this route starting July 1, 2015 means that they are cancelling first class service. I am just so happy that I was able to fly on this route before that change and that I was able to experience one of the best first class service in Asia flying on Japan Airlines. To Soga, Nakayama and all the crew of Japan Airlines on this flight, Arigato and Sayonara ๐Ÿ™‡