Japan Airlines Flight 005 New York to Tokyo


It is a very short walk from the Air France lounge to gate 3, which was the boarding gate for Japan Airlines (JL) 005 from New York JFK to NRT.  Boarding began 45 minutes before the 1:15pm scheduled departure time.

Flights on any airline that have a single-digit flight number impress me.  A flight number like that usually means that the flight is one of the airlines’ oldest and most important flights plus it is easy to remember.

I find that Asian carriers usually have a well organized boarding process.   Japan Airlines 005 was no exception.  When I arrived at the gate five minutes before boarding, people were already starting to line up.  Japan Airlines had three cordoned off boarding lanes.  One each for first class, business class and economy.  Boarding began with the call for those needing assistance or with small children.  There were not many who came forward.  Next, they asked for first class passengers and OneWorld Emeralds to board through the first-class lane.

First Class Cabin and Seat

I was one of the first to board.  There are only eight first-class seats on this 777-300 aircraft arranged 1x2x1.  When I got to my seat, 1A, I was impressed.

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Seat 1A

It was a semi-enclosed suite.  The seat is 33 inches wide and converts to a bed that is 78 inches long.  In addition to the seat, which was very comfortable, there is a sideboard for storage, an ottoman and a large TV screen in front with a table that moves forward for eating and working.  There is also a table recessed into the sideboard that is extracted for the meal service.

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Front of seat 1A with backpack stowed beneath the ottoman.

The ottoman comes with a seat belt so that a guest can sit there and join for dinner if you wish.


JL provides a Loewe amenity kit in a corduroy case, Bose noise cancelling headsets and, of course, slippers and a shoe horn.



The amenity kit contained everything needed to take care of any personal needs that might arise during the flight… lip balm, tissues, brush, toothbrush and toothpaste, a moistened face mask for those wanting to avoid germs, ear plugs, eye shades, eau de toilette, and a sanitizing wipe.

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JL first class Loewe amenity kit contents

The seat controls were easy to access and understand.



There was a control next to the seat.  The seat position was also controllable from the  handheld remote for the video system.  The remote is stored in a recessed compartment on the sideboard.  A/C and USB power outlets were in a compartment near the video screen.

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Power outlets and Bose headsets

After giving me a few minutes to get situated in my surroundings, the flight attendant came by to welcome me on board, introduce herself, and  offer a moist towel and a pre-departure beverage.

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Champagne before takeoff

I settled in and was really looking forward to the flight.  Flight 005 is scheduled for 14 hours and 10 minutes to cover the 6,736 miles between JFK and NRT.

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Ready for departure from JFK

The flight departed the gate on time.  The route was north over Canada and then Alaska.

JL 005 initial flight path

When the flight leveled off at cruise altitude the flight attendant offered beverags.  I chose another glass of champagne.  It came with a salty seafood snack and an amuse bouche.



This was the menu for the flight.

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First Meal Service

The dinner service started with caviar.

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JL caviar service

Then an appetizer.20160109_130946-1

Next was the prime beef fillet.

Beef fillet main course

I ordered the beef medium rare, and it was prepared as ordered.  It was one of the best steaks I’ve had on a plane.

I selected a cherry crumble cheesecake for desert along with a desert wine.20160109_145835

After dinner I watched a movie from  JL’s selection of New Releases and then asked the flight attendant to convert my seat into a bed while I changed into the JL PJs.

Sleep Mode

Seat 1A as a bed

The flight attendant brought a mattress pad covered in a sheet to put on the seat and added the deliciously soft and comfortable quilt on top.

Meanwhile I used the large handicapped-accessible bathroom in first class to change.  The bathroom had plenty of room and the flight attendants kept it clean so there was no hesitation in changing clothes there.

Changing in the bathroom
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Snug in bed

I slept for about four hours.  When I woke up I stayed in my PJs and watched another movie.20160109_125520Having PJs is a plus because it makes sleep more comfortable and it keeps clothes fresher.

Mid-Flight Refreshments

There is a snack bar set up in the galley in first class.  You can help yourself to a snack and refreshments of have the flight attendant serve you.

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Light snacks in the first-class galley

Arrival Meal

I slept through the mid-flight light meal.  I awoke in time for the pre-arrival meal.  I had the four cheese spinach tart with red bell pepper sauce and guava panna cotta.20160110_004632

Compared to my first-class flight on Cathay Pacific, I liked the Japan Airlines seat better, but the overall food and beverage service on Cathay Pacific was superior.  Japan Airlines had the better pajamas however.

For only 67,500 American Airline miles including the first-class flight to JFK and the business-class flights from NRT to HKG and HKG to Phuket, this flight was a bargain and a truly enjoyable experience.