Flight Review: JAL Business Class Sky Suites Tokyo to Shanghai


In December 2017, I took Japan Airlines from Tokyo Haneda to Shanghai Pudong. The flight, JL 85, was on a Boeing 777-200ER and featured Japan Airlines’ latest business class seat, the Sky Suites III. Japan Airlines is a bit peculiar with their business class seats, as they have a total of 7 different types.

Introduced in 2016 on their 777 planes, the Sky Suites III is a reverse herringbone seat configured in a 1-2-1 plan, so that all passengers have direct aisle access. This flight, in particular, was one of the newly configured 777-200ER planes with a 3 cabin configuration: Business, Premium Economy, and Economy. This plane has a total of 42 Business class seats, 40 Premium Economy seats, and 154 economy seats.

After hanging out in the lounge, I boarded the flight and went to my seat at 9A, an inward-facing seat on the left side of the plane. The seat was purple in color and featured a black headrest with white vertical lines. The seat measured 20.1 inches wide and reclined into a fully flat 78 inches bed. Waiting for me on the seat were headphones, slippers, and a blanket. Unfortunately, there was no amenity kit, as this was a relatively short flight of about 3 hours.

On the wall of the left side of the seat, there was a reading light and the remote control for the in-flight entertainment. A small storage space with a mirror opened up next to the remote, which was big enough to store items such as phones, wallets, or passports. Underneath this storage space was multi-region power sockets as well as a USB socket. There was a small table space next to the window.

Below the small table on the left was the touch button seat control and a small rack for the in-flight magazine and shopping guide. In front of the seat was the large 17-inch monitor, featuring Japan Airlines’ MAGIC-VI entertainment system. Underneath the monitor, at the end of the seat, was a small ottoman, which was the foot resting area when the seat is fully reclined.

Shortly after boarding, the flight took off smoothly. The flight attendants then began to distribute the food menu. Japan Airlines’ pride themselves on their food offering. Each flight offers a choice of Japanese or Western menu. For this flight, I opted to go with their Japanese menu.

To maximize space, the tray table for the Sky Suites III is pulled down from the wall next to the monitor screen. After setting up my table with a black tablecloth, I started my meal with a glass of Charles Heidsieck champagne. The Japanese option for the day was a mix of Japanese small appetizer dishes: pickles, poached mushroom, simmered vegetable and chicken, and seafood. The main course was a simmered salmon topped with a grated radish sauce. The dish also came with freshly steamed rice wrapped in aromatic paper, as well as a bowl of flavourful miso soup.

The meal was really delicious, and I must say that the Japanese flavors were really captured and apparent in the dishes. I even had a second helping of the miso soup! I slowly ate my meal while watching a movie on the monitor screen. Japan Airlines’ MAGIC-VI in-flight entertainment system offered a good range of Western and Asian movies, TV shows, and music. There were several new movies, as well.

After the wonderful meal, I had Haagen Dazs ice cream as well as a latte as a dessert. Japan Airlines’ pride themselves on their in-flight coffee service, JAL CAFE LINES. They feature good quality beans and brewing processes that have been carefully researched. Although I am no coffee connoisseur, I must say that the latte I had was delicious and did not taste like some freeze-dried or powdered version, which is unfortunately prevalent and common on many flights.

I landed at Pudong Airport in Shanghai shortly after 5:00 pm. Overall, the flight was very solid, and the service on Japan Airlines was excellent as usual. I definitely look forward to taking more flights with Japan Airlines again!

You can read my other Business Class reviews on Japan Airlines.

Find out how to get a free flight upgrade and if you want to pick up a travel bargain, you should read our 7 sensational secrets that all travellers should know (but probably don’t).
Review by our friend Lenard Lim.