Japan Airlines operates three daily flights from Singapore to Tokyo, with two overnight flights to Tokyo Haneda, and a day flight to Tokyo Narita. The overnight flights are great for those who wish to catch some sleep before arriving refreshed in Tokyo the next morning.
Operating out of Singapore Changi Terminal 1, passengers travelling in Business Class can opt to use the SATS Premier Check-In Lounge, where boarding passes will be issued and check-in bags tagged, prior to clearing immigration.
The check-in lounge was pretty much empty when I arrived, and given the number of check-in desks available, I would imagine them being able to handle a decent crowd during the peak periods.
Instead of having to exit the lounge on the landside, it is possible to head directly through to a dedicated immigration channel to the airside, or transit area. The process was almost seamless, with a quick inspection by the immigration officer and I was let through.
After having my fill at the lounges, I headed straight for the gate in good time for boarding. The boarding situation for Japan Airlines was a little confusing, as they accord their top elite tier passengers boarding ahead of Business Class passengers. However, once these passengers were let through things started to get smoother.
For this flight, Business Class seats onboard this Japan Airlines’ B777-200 were arranged in a 1-2-1 reverse herringbone configuration, which is a pretty dense layout. As this flight was scheduled to depart at just past two in the morning, passengers were scrambling to settle in for the flight.
On the seat were some amenities, such as slippers, headphones and a blanket. The seat itself was pretty narrow, although the armrest next to the aisle could be lowered for additional space.
Here’s a closer look at the amenities.
You’d be pleased to know that there’s a storage compartment for your personal effects, plus a vanity mirror as well. The panel below the compartment houses a 3-pin power socket, a USB port, and the port for your headphones. On the console, I also found a little meal order sheet, which allowed me to indicate when I preferred to have my meal. I elected to have them wake me up prior to landing for my breakfast.
On the opposite surface, you’ll find a not-so-modern looking IFE control, as well as a reading light that can be adjusted to your preference.
The seat controls were well within reach, and were intuitive to use.
Even though I secured a bulkhead seat, there wasn’t much advantage in terms of available space compared to the other seats, other than being able to disembark first upon arrival. The front of the seat tapers towards a small foot well, which the lower half of the seat will recess into when in bed mode.
The tray table can be lowered by unlatching it from the side panel, and I found it fairly sturdy when deployed.
Here’s a look at the menu for the flight.
All literature can be found in the seat pocket ahead of the seat controls.
Once the boarding process was complete, we were on our way. After pushback and a short taxi to the runway while watching the safety video, we departed on schedule.
At cruising altitude, the cabin crew served some light snacks that I had requested before turning in for the night. Thankfully the snacks weren’t too heavy as it was getting late and I definitely didn’t want to sleep on a full stomach.
The seat can be deployed into a lie-flat bed with the touch of a button. The seat essentially slides forward and lowers itself such that your feet will fit in the little cubby at the front, beneath the IFE screen. While I found the bed a little narrow, it was fine for flights of 7 hours or less.
Under 2 hours prior to our arrival into Tokyo Haneda, the cabin crew commenced the breakfast service. I had chosen the Japanese meal, and I was very impressed. Everything was so beautifully plated and so full of colour! I was very glad to wake up to this sight.
At the top of descent, the cabin crew started to prepare the cabin for arrival. We touched down ahead of schedule, and in Japanese precision, we disembarked with no delay.
Overall, the fight was very pleasing. I didn’t have much opportunity to interact with the crew given that this was a redeye flight, for found them to be generally warm and friendly. The seat was definitely not industry-leading, but more than adequate for the medium-haul flight. I was most impressed with the meal, and I must say that you can’t go wrong with the Japanese selection on Japan Airlines!