Japan Airlines 737 Business Class Taipei (TPE) to Tokyo (NRT)

JAL 737 parked at the gate

Flight Review

Japan Airlines 737 Business Class Taipei (TPE) to Tokyo (NRT)

Departure City: Taipei

Arrival City: Tokyo

Flight Duration: Approx. 3 hours

Product reviewed: Business

Date flown: March 2016

As you may have guessed from some of our other posts, we are big fans of Japan Airlines.  This was our first opportunity to try their business class product. We were a little sad its not the same business class product as in there B777, but still excited nonetheless to try it out! As it is a smaller plane compared to the B777, no first class is offered only business and economy.  We were concerned that none of the flight attendants would speak English, however all of the flight attendants spoke English.  We also weren’t sure if food would be offered, but once again JAL ceases to impress us and offered a great spread (hint, hint American Carriers – you need to step your game up). Japan Airlines does also have a lounge at Taipei International, which we will cover in another post! (We were also extremely disappointed we missed the grand opening of a Plaza Premium Lounge, but another reason to go back and check it out).

Check-in:

Check-in proceeded smoothly, JAL offers a business class check-in line to expedite the process. We had two layovers with our final destination being Washington D.C. and had no issue with our bags.  The one thing that was disappointing about this airport is there is no expedited security line for travelers flying business or first. Allow yourself some extra time for security, it probably took us about 30 minutes to get through.

The boarding area to JAL

Boarding:

I have to say, I was a little disappointed with JAL’s boarding process for this flight. Normally, boarding proceeds in a very orderly manner and there isn’t much confusion of who’s supposed to be where and what class is boarding.  However, the boarding for this flight was a little bit of a cluster (although not nearly as bad as some of my other experiences with American carriers). Regardless, we were promptly boarded and seated and ready to enjoy our flight.

Seat:

 Overall, the JAL business class seat is very spacious and comfortable.  The seat supports reclining with a foot rest that goes up, ample reading light and a OK entertainment system.  I do have to admit after having flown on JAL’s B777 in first class, they have one of the best entertainment systems. I expected something halfway decent on their business class product, however I was disappointed.  The picture quality was not great, and was difficult to see things at times.

Don’t mind my reflection!

What’s more important as mentioned above, the seat was very comfortable and offered ample leg space.  Something that is very important for both Jeff and I (plus room to store our small bags too). Also, we love the JAL slippers, can’t go without the slippers (although, they need to offer a larger size, I could barely keep them on my feet).

Food:

Once again JAL does not disappoint with their food offerings.  Another thing to mention about each time I’ve flown/eaten with JAL is that you don’t not leave hungry. I love to eat and never disappointed by their meal service.  Make sure you bring your appetite.

 

The dining service began with beverage and nut selection of your choice (there is more offered than what is shown here).

Zensai – Soy simmered short-necked clam ginger flavor, prawn & potato “sushi style”, Salmon & Welsh Onion roll, Egg roll, Skewered duck, Flower-shaped carrot, green soy bean, grilled “himetake” bamboo shoots

Zensai

Simmered Sea-bass with salted rice malt, steamed rice

Overall, the food was very tasty and will not leave you hungry. What impresses me most is that the food is actually what it says it is.  I know it sounds like I’m stating the obvious, but compared to American Carriers this is like gourmet dining in comparison (i.e see American Airlines First Class LAX to DCA for comparison – longer flight, worse food and service).

Overall:

JAL’s B737 Business class product does not disappoint, while the hard product is very important.  The soft product is even more important to someone to us.  JAL has consistently offered an amazing soft product, the customer service is always top notch, the food is delicious, and overall just a great experience. I do think the hard product on this flight could use an upgrade (i.e. the not that great entertainment system). Also the seat itself, while comfortable, I think could use an upgrade compared to their business B777 product (granted smaller plane, and I wouldn’t expect a lay-flat product, but I think it could be nicer). We would definitely fly on JAL’s business class product and look forward to in the future.

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