We arrived nice and early to catch the redeye flight from Tokyo Haneda to Singapore on Japan Airlines. The check-in row for Business Class passengers wasn’t too crowded, and we were processed expeditiously.
As we were a little hungry, we proceeded straight to the Sakura Lounge for a bite before heading to the gate. I will cover the amenities and offerings of the Sakura Lounge in another post, but it goes without saying that with an amazing spread (including the popular katsu curry) and full shower facilities, you’ll be sure to board your flight feeling full and refreshed!
The Japanese carriers are pretty strict on timing, and boarding was expected to commence punctually. Also, in true Japanese style, the boarding process was absolutely orderly.
Arriving at the gate, we formed up in the Business Class queue. Not long after JAL’s most loyal frequent flyers were invited to board, Business Class passengers were called forward at the gate.
This B777-200 aircraft operated by Japan Airlines features the Sky Suite III, with seats arranged in a 1-2-1 reverse herringbone configuration. We were able to snag the pair of seats in row 8, which also happens to be the bulkhead row too.
On our seat, the crew had already placed the headphones, bedding, a cardigan, and a pair of slippers. All these items were neatly packaged in plastic bags for hygiene purposes.
Now let’s run through the key features of the seat. The seat shell wraps around the seat like a cocoon, which provides a fairly decent amount of privacy. The armrest by the aisle can also be lowered to provide additional space.
On the centre console, you’ll find the IFE controller, a reading light, a storage compartment, and power outlets for your devices.
There is also a small divider in between the middle seats, which is not adjustable.
Here’s a look at the storage compartment with the door open. You can hang your headphones on the hook if you wish, and there’s also a vanity mirror available.
The seat controls are fairly intuitive, and can be used to adjust the seat recline to accommodate various seating positions. The seat can also be fully reclined to form a lie flat bed, which I will cover more of later.
The tray table is stowed in a vertical position, and can be easily lowered for use.
Finally, you have the literature pocket, with the usual safety card, the menu and some seat instructions for your reference.
Japan Airlines has named its Business Class menu “Bedd”, which is an interesting choice. That being said, it is what’s printed in it that really matters. This being an overnight flight, meant that breakfast would be served just before landing.
As we pushed back from the gate, the cabin lights were gradually dimmed, and the safety video was being shown. The crew also came around to offer a refreshing towel to all passengers.
Notice that unlike some airlines that have chosen to remove the overhead compartments over the centre of the cabin to create a roomier feel, Japan Airlines has decided to retain them.
After an on-time departure out of Haneda, I started to tune in to explore the features of the IFE. The selection was decent, and the system was also pretty responsive.
I decided to squeeze in some sleep before the meal service. Here’s how the seat looks in bed mode. No one can really complain about having a lie-flat bed in the sky. Width wise, this is relatively narrow, but still acceptable for this medium-haul flight. The little cubby for my legs was also spacious enough to accommodate a range of sleeping positions.
Before landing, the crew commenced the breakfast service. I could choose between the Japanese or Western breakfast. Of course, being on a Japanese carrier, I opted for the former. Breakfast was a lovely bento box, featuring salt-grilled sea bream with steamed rice, paired with Japanese pickles, scallops and seaweed with mustard vinegar miso, and simmered chicken with mushrooms and vegetables. Everything went very well together.
The menu also features some light snacks that you can order throughout the flight, such as sweets and cup noodles.
Before long, we were already arriving into Singapore just before sunrise. Overall, this was a very decent redeye flight, given that most passengers were expected to be asleep for most of the journey anyway. The seat was fairly comfortable, even in bed mode, and the cabin appeared to be very well maintained.
The highlight would have to be the meal service. It was great to see Japan Airlines maintain such high standards for their inflight catering, and perhaps it helped that this flight departed out of its base in Tokyo.