WHERE: SINGAPORE TO HANEDA (JAPAN)
DURATION: 7 hours
Japan Airlines has a reputation for amazing inflight service so how did they go?
Okay we were on a new 777-300 with the new sky suites. My first impression was wow there’s a lot of seat in business class.
When we got to our centre seats 10D & 10G, I realised these seats were designed for small Japanese customers, not a 6ft male!
In typical Japanese style the suite is compact yet well designed. There’s a small storage compartment which you can fit your phone and wallet, the normal charging outlet is at table level. The seat is not very wide however the cushioning of the seat is really comfortable when seated but laying down is another story. I'll get to that shortly.
The downside was amount of leg room when you go to bed mode. Yes, it’s flat but I think they made it for a 5”8 person. As a 6ft person I had to squeeze my legs in to a triangular space which is fine when you are facing a certain way on the side, but when you turn over there is no space for your knees and your legs can’t go into triangular space for your legs.
My seat went up then under the tv unit - it felt weird being up so high. Steve’s seat went down and under the tv (and my legs). Yes, it’s a efficient use of space but I’m not a fan of it or the herringbone layout.
The inflatable seat belt is another issue it’s heavy and sits over your legs when you you sleep, if it wasn’t so heavy it wouldn’t be an issue. Now to the cushioning. It's comfy as a seat, but when in bed mode for some reason it’s damn uncomfortable. My leg and arm went numb during the sleep and Steve had the same issue.
The cabin was too cold at the start of the flight and ended up being too stuffy in the last few hours of the flight, so either their aircon needs some attention or their cabin manager needs some training.
It was a midnight flight arriving into Tokyo at 05.50am next day, so supper and breakfast was served.
Supper was a green papaya and prawn salad and pork belly egg noodles. It was two small serves on one plate but the weird part was the cutlery was handed to you. No napkin. No table cloth. Which didn’t seem very Japanese or very premium.
Both dishes were delicious. It was just in the presentation that didn’t work for me. The design of the dining table was clever as it folded down and twisted towards you. The downside was you had to have your seat fully upright to use the table so that’s an issue if you wanted to be a bit more comfortable.
Most customers slept. I only saw one crew member attending to this section. She was pleasant but nothing to write to the airline about.
Breakfast was all served two hours before landing and there were two options. Western and Japanese. I went for western and wish I had the Japanese because it looked great. It was served as bento and had lots of small dishes. What put me off ordering it was the salted fish.
The western breakfast was not great, as it was a frittata dish served with broccoli. Really! For breakfast! and tomato which was its saving grace. Steve felt breakfast wasn’t terrific, but it was okay to get something in the stomach.
The amenities pack was basic in presentation and I loved the face mask, but I can’t see myself using it inflight. Loved the sleepers and the headphones however the cheap red plastic bag they came in was the cheapest of cheapest plastic that you put your fruit and vegetables in at the supermarket - again, not very premium.
The entertainment system was great with a good size screen - mind you as the suite is so compact it made the screen look big.
After flying to Singapore on Qantas in business class on one of their domestic aircraft the Qantas suites are double the size had a great sense of space and storage - against Japan Airlines where I felt squashed in like a sardine.
Would I fly them again? Yes, but I hope the next version of their business suite is a bit bigger.