I was looking forward to this trip because it was my first ride on a Japan Airlines 787. And I love 787s because of the electronically dimmable windows and higher cabin pressure. It was a Japan Airlines 787 daily double as the flight from Tokyo to Boston would be on a 787-9.
I’ve flown Japan Airlines in economy on several occasions, and was impressed with the service and comfort. This was my experience flying Japan Airlines first class about one year ago. Japan Airlines 777-300 First Class New York to Tokyo – Part 2
This flight, JL 708, was scheduled for six hours and five minutes to cover 2,889 miles from BKK to NRT.
Japan Airlines was one of the first airlines to fly the 787-8. This version has 42 angled-flat seats in business class and 144 seats in economy. That’s not many passengers on a widebody aircraft. American and Delta (maybe United too) are putting almost as many people on A320 and 737 series aircraft.
Japan Airlines 787-8 Business-Class Cabin
Business class is divided into two cabins. I sat in a bulkhead row in the forward cabin.
Generally I prefer window seats to admire the views. But when business class is configured 2-2-2, as on this flight, I usually choose a seat in the center section to ensure no one steps over me to get up or vice versa.
Bulkhead rows are perfectly acceptable in business class because people don’t use the bulkhead row as a passageway as often happens in economy.
This seat’s only risk is having a baby next to you as the bulkhead accommodates bassinets. It is a small risk.
Notice the curtains at the entryways to the cabin. The flight attendants (FAs) kept them closed during flight to dampen any light, noise and commotion from the galley.
The Japan Airlines 787-8 Business-Class Seat Features
The seat dimensions are 60 inches in pitch and 22 inches in width. The seat is angled flat not lie flat. On this short (relatively) five-hour flight to NRT I did not try the angled flat position: however, others report that it is uncomfortable. These days a fully lie flat seat is required in business class. At some point Japan Airlines will update the interior of its 787-8s to include this now required feature.
The seat controls are located on the armrest on the outside They have three preset positions, adjustable lumbar support, and massage functions.
The pocket under the middle console serves as the only storage available at the seat.
The tray table is stored in the console between the seats. It can be easily extracted and positioned although doing so requires removing any items placed on the console.
The audio-video screen in the bulkhead rows flips up from a compartment between the seats.
The drawback to having a flip-up screen is it must be stowed for takeoff and landing thereby reducing useable viewing time.
A reading light is located overhead and also on a head-high flexible stem.
Individual ventilation outlets are located next to the overhead ight.
When I boarded each seat had a small pillow and blanket.
On this flight Japan Airlines did not provide an amenity kit as such. Instead, the FAs let each passenger select from a basket of “goodies.”
In addition, dental kits and mouthwash were available in the business class lavs.
The magazine pocket was stocked with slippers and a very handy shoe horn.
Noise cancelling headsets.
Business-class passengers were also offered a kind of over shirt rather than pjs.
The AV system is more than adequate. There’s the usual selection of movies and tunes plus live news and decent flight-following options but no heads-up display.
Food and Beverage Service
Pre-departure drinks were offered as usual.
After takeoff more beverages and snacks were offered.
One meal was served on the flight.
I selected the roasted chicken entree and a glass of Chateau Simard merlot.
Bread pudding was the desert.
Before landing I sampled one of the Japan Airlines Anytime Snacks, Champon de Sky noodles.
The FAs did an impeccable job with the service and the food was very good although Japan Airlines was not putting its best foot forward on this short flight.
Arriving at NRT we parked at the main terminal, and I visited the Japan Airlines First Class Lounge before the next highly anticipated flight – a new Japan Airlines 787-9 to Boston. Japan Airlines First Class Lounge Tokyo, Japan (NRT) Main Building
I was overall very pleased with the relatively short 787-8 flight to NRT. The FAs provided outstanding service, and for this flight the seat was roomy and comfortable. Others report that the angled lie-flat seat is not good for sleeping. It was clear though that the 2-2-2 seating arrangement would not provide much privacy if you had a seatmate. For couples, that’s probably a plus not a problem.