This review recounts my journey from Guangzhou to Tokyo Haneda aboard a 767-300 on Japan Airlines. I give JAL high marks for its shorthaul economy class service.
This flight occurred in 2016 as part of my larger trip to Europe via Asia. After a very nice two days in Guangzhou, I took a cab back to the airport. Midday traffic from the Park Hyatt was light and I arrived about two hours prior to departure, where I found the check-in desks empty. Upon request, I was granted a bulkhead aisle seat in economy class.
Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport is architecturally beautiful, but it was a steamy summer day outside and the airport seemed to have no air conditioning inside. While not quite at sauna levels, it was very warm inside the airport.
I visited the Premium Lounge prior to boarding, using my Priority Pass card to gain entry. Boarding began 45 minute prior to takeoff, exactly as indicated on the boarding pass. Due to my lack of status on JAL or oneworld, I did not enjoy priority boarding and actually found myself one of the last to board.
Japan Airlines (JAL) 088
Guangzhou (CAN) – Tokyo (HND)
Sunday, June 19
Depart: 02:30 PM
Arrive: 07:45 PM
Duration: 04hr, 15min
Aircraft: Boeing 767-300
Seat: 15G (Economy Class)
My seat was well-padded with excellent legroom…what more could I ask for in economy class?
From my seat, I could look see into business class. JAL uses a staggered lie-flat seat in business class it calls the “JAL Skyluxe Seat”.
After takeoff, hot lunch was served. No choice for economy class passengers, but the portion was quite substantial. Lunch included chicken with rice, salad with shrimp, noodles, and Häagen-Dazs ice cream. Not bad at all.
I used the IFE system for the rest of the flight. I watched a movie called Spotlight and played a few rounds of Sudoko. Cheap headphones are provided.
I must give JAL credit for keeping restrooms so clean, even in economy class. I used the lavatory prior to landing and it was very clean.
We landed on-time at Haneda, where I had to make my way to Narita for my connection to Jakarta.
No complaints about this relatively short flight in economy class. I used 12,500 Avios to pay for this 1,794-mile flight. Taxes were only $12. Had I known the seats were lie-flat, I would have paid double the points for business class. This flight is currently being operated by a 787, but this aircraft remains in the JAL fleet.
Service was excellent in economy class, but interactions with crew were limited.
This was a nice first flight on JAL, but the true treat would come the following day, when I experienced JAL First Class for the first time.