As part of the series about my recent trip to Japan, here is a quick post on the flight from Haneda Airport to Naha, Okinawa.
Other posts about this trip:
United Airlines Polaris Lounge, Chicago, Il – Lounge Review
Flight Review – ANA First Class 777-300ER, Chicago, IL to Tokyo, Japan (HND)
Tokyo Hotel Review – The b Akasaka-Mitsuke Hotel
The Ritz Carlton Tokyo – Hotel Review
My First Sakura Season -Photo Review
Shinjuku Walking Tour
Mt. Fuji Tour Review
Japan Airlines Diamond Premier Lounge Tokyo, Japan (HND)
Flight Review – Japan Airlines 777-300 Economy Class, Tokyo, Japan (HND) to Naha (Okinawa), Japan (OKA)
Hacksaw Ridge and Shuri Castle World War II Battle Sites
Japanese World War II Underground Naval Headquarters Tour
Flight Review – Japan Airlines 777-300 Economy Class, Naha to Tokyo, Japan (HND)Hotel Review – Royal Park Hotel, Tokyo Haneda (HND)
Lounge Review – ANA First Class Lounge Tokyo, Japan (HND)
Flight Review – ANA First Class 777-300 Tokyo, Japan (HND) to Chicago, IL (ORD)
I chose Japan Airlines for the flights to/from Okinawa. I entered my American Airlines frequent flyer number to earn a few American Airlines miles and qualifying dollars for the flights. Japan Airlines is terrific airline on international routes. I’ve flown first class and economy on the 777-300ER and business class on 787 -8s and 787-9s. Skywider economy seats on the 777-300ER are an incredible 19 inches wide and have 34 inches between seats. Food and service on those flights are also outstanding for economy class. How would a domestic flight on a 777-300 compare?
Japan Airlines Flight 921 Tokyo, Japan (HND) to Naha, Okinawa Prefecture (OKA)
Flight 921 was scheduled to depart at 16:10 from Terminal 1 Gate 10, which is next to the escalator to JAL’s Diamond Premiere Lounge.
Normally, boarding gates and procedures are very organized in Japan. Boarding seemed somewhat chaotic for this flight.
In the lounge I asked about an upgrade and was put on the waiting list. The gate agent said I was No. 10 on the list but business class was full.
Japan Airlines 777-300 Domestic
Domestic JAL 777-300s seat 500. That’s more than on most 747s and even Emirates three-class A380s. This 777 sits only 17 fewer passengers than an Emirates two-class A380!
JAL packs the business cabin with 78 seats arranged 2-4-2. These seats have 38 inches of pitch and are only 18.5 inches wide. That is the same width as the terrific Skywider economy seats on JAL international 777-300ERs and Delta’s new A220-100.
Those in economy on this 777-300 can only envy the lucky ones in business class. To accommodate 422 seats, JAL arranges economy 3-4-3 and restricts pitch and width to 31 and 17.3 inches, respectively.
I had a window seat in Row 17 on the starboard side in the economy cabin immediately behind business class.
Despite their size, these seats were comfortable. Leather seats in economy class on widebodies are atypical in my experience. There is a decent amount of space under the seats.
Amenities were seatback IFE and earbuds. Unfortunately, the video screens were inoperative.
As far as ingress and egress, I prefer aisle seats. Yet, I almost always choose a window seat for the view. Without being able to look outside you might as well be in a tunnel instead of cruising at flight level 350. Window seats are also good for views on the ground.
Pushback was on schedule and afforded a good view of HND Terminal 1.
The flight itself was uneventful. Flight attendants offered a beverage service of beer and soft drinks accompanied by a light snack. I did not partake in refreshments and have no phots. There was a WiFi card in the seat pocket. Japan Airlines provides free WiFi on most domestic routes. I couldn’t connect and later learned WiFi is not available on flight to Okinawa.
The highlight of the flight was the view of Mt. Fuji. Flights to and from Naha, Okinawa usually travel along the east coast of Japan. To be in a position for a good view, choose a window seat on the starboard side to Naha and on the port side to Tokyo. Weather was almost as good as on the Mt. Fuji tour.
The flight arrived at dusk. I was a little surprised at Naha’s size and modern architecture. Naha is not as quaint as I pictured from the Hattori Hanzo scenes from Kill Bill.
Comparing Japan Airlines domestic and international flight, it is clear that seats and service differ greatly. That is probably due to differences in the domestic and international markets. To compete in these disticnt markets Japan Airlines created two companies, JAL international and JAL domestic. Internationally, Japan Airlines rises to the occasion as it battles with outstanding Asian carriers like ANA, Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific. All of these airlines are Skytrax five-star award winners. Domestically, JAL’s goal seems to be primarily about cost as it strives to match low cost carriers like Jetstar and Skymark.