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Transport : Airlines

In early August 2018, I was able to review my flight on JAL Japan Airlines in their Business Class Sky Suites, from Southeast Asia, Bangkok (BKK) to the US via Tokyo Narita Airport (NRT). I broke the trip by having a stopover in Tokyo. This is my impression of the Bangkok to Tokyo leg of the flight.

Japan Airlines has two daily flights from Bangkok to Tokyo. I took the redeye flight in order to maximize my time in Tokyo. The flight, JL 718, left Bangkok at 11:30 PM and arrived in Narita Airport at 7:45 AM in the morning.

The flight is operated by a new 789, and the seat configuration on this plane was the JAL Sky Suite I, which featured 6 seats a row in a 2-2-2 staggered format, where all seats had direct aisle access. I was seated in 2H, which was the 5th seat from the left.

Waiting for me in my seat when I boarded was a small pillow, a wrapped blanket, a pair of slippers, a small amenity kit in a cloth pouch, and a Sony noise-cancelling earphones. There was also a slip for the passengers to indicate if they want to be woken up for breakfast, and giving them options for their breakfast choices.

I find that this is one of the small things that airlines everywhere can and should do for redeye flights. I really hate it sometimes when you get on a flight very late at night, and they mechanically serve you a “dinner”, and by the time the lights go out, it is already 2 AM. Japan Airlines got this aspect right and afforded me more time to sleep.

My seat was quite spacious. It was 25.5 inches by width and 74 inches by pitch. The seat could be reclined into a fully flat bed, which I did when I slept. The seat controls, remote control, reading light, power supply and storage space were all on the right side of the seat. I had a large TV screen in front of me, powered by the entertainment system on Japan Airlines, which is called MAGIC and is quite decent. It offered a good choice of Western and Asian entertainment options.

The flight itself was fairly full, and service began with a hot towel and cold drink. Shortly after, we took off. I decided to sleep as soon as possible and managed to do so. I was woken up about 1.5 hours before landing to be served my breakfast selection, the Japanese option.

JAL’s food catering is quite good in general, and the Japanese set did not disappoint. It had salmon, rice, and a good selection of Japanese appetizers and miso soup. I also had their mango juice and later, a cup of coffee.

We soon landed in Narita, and I was off to the city. The flight was good, and allowed me a comfortable amount of sleep. I highly recommend Japan Airlines business class for their service and thoughtfulness for redeye flights!

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Review by contributor Lenard Lim.