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.

Japan Airlines 787-9 Sky Suite, Tokyo, Japan (NRT) to Boston, MA (BOS)

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.

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JL 708 BKK-NRT projected flight path

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 (2-4-2) 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.

Forward business class 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.

In business class on the JL 787-8 no one can recline into you because of the shell construction of the seats.  Still the extra room in front of this seat is appreciated.

This seat’s only risk is having a baby next to you as the bulkhead accommodates bassinets.  It is a small risk.

Bulkhead window seats. I would have thought Japanese would be more careful with their feet.

Notice the curtains at the entryways to the cabin.  The flight attendants (FAs) kept them closed during flight to dampen 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.

Japan Airlines 787-8 seats 1D (right) and G. Myseat was 1D.

The seat controls are located on the armrest.  They have three preset positions, adjustable lumbar support, and massage functions.img_3578

The pocket under the console serves as the only storage available at the seat.

Side pocket storage and video controller

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 flip up from a compartment between the seats.img_3605

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.img_3581

Individual ventilation outlets, I love those, are located next to the overhead light.img_3617


When I boarded each seat had a small pillow and blanket.IMG_3572 (2)

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.”

Ear plugs, sleep mask, and eye refresher

In addition, dental kits and mouthwash were available in the business class lavs.img_3613

The magazine pocket was stocked with slippers and a very handy shoe horn.img_3582

Noise cancelling headsets.img_3579

Business-class passengers were also offered a kind of over shirt rather than pjs.

With only one button, I’m sure this “jacket” is meant to be worn over clothes.

Audio-Video System

The AV system is more than adequate.  There’s the usual selection of movies and tunes plus live news, games, and decent flight-following options but no heads-up display. IMG_3588


Food and Beverage Service

Pre-departure drinks were offered as usual.IMG_3586

After takeoff more beverages and snacks.img_3587

One meal was served on the flight.

Grilled king prawn and scallop appetizer

I selected the roasted chicken entree and a glass of Chateau Simard merlot.  img_3596

Bread pudding was the desert.img_3599

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 fanciest foot forward on this short flight.

NRT Arrival

Arriving at NRT we parked at the Terminal 2 Main Terminal, and being an American Airlines Executive Platinum and OneWorld Emerald, 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

Overall Impression

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.