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Japan Airlines (JAL) is the flag carrier of Japan and is based out of its hubs in Tokyo; Narita International Airport and Tokyo International (Haneda) Airport. Founded in 1951, it became the official airline of Japan in 1953 and now flies to 33 international destinations.
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Japan Airlines operates a fleet of 121 passenger planes, consisting of Boeing 737-800, Boeing 737-300, Boeing 767-300ER, Boeing 777-200, Boeing 767-200ER, Boeing 777-300, Boeing 777-300ER, Boeing 787-8, Boeing 787-9 aircraft. Airbus A300 and McDonnell Douglas MD-81 and MD-90-30 airplanes are also part of its fleet.
JAL offers four cabin classes: Economy, Premium Economy, Executive and First.
JAL Economy Class seats have an average pitch of 81 – 83 cm. Most have seat-back screens and complimentary headsets are provided.
Larger than their Economy Class counterparts, Premium Economy seats have a 99 cm seat pitch, as well as leg rests with foot rests, foldable tray tables that can accommodate a laptop, power outlets and seat-back on demand entertainment system.
JAL refers to its Business Class cabin as Executive Class. Executive passengers enjoy up to 160 cm between seats, some fully reclining and all equipped with leg and foot rests, privacy screens and work tables with power points.
All First Class seats fully recline, have maximum privacy, extra storage, larger monitors, power outlets, telephones and more. JAL First Class passengers are guaranteed the upmost in luxury air travel.
International flights are offered a choice of Western-influenced or Japanese-style meal selections, as well as a good selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages at no extra charge. Complimentary mineral water is served throughout your flight. Watch a selection of movies on seat-back monitors or enjoy audio (with complimentary headsets on most flights.)
Premium Economy Class
Passengers may choose from quality Economy Class meals, with extra snacks provided and beverages provided. Noise-cancelling headsets are provided to enjoy a range of entertainment or some silence.
Mouthwatering menu items rival those of Western and Japanese fine-dining restaurants. An excellent wine, beer and spirit list is available. Many flights even offer a self-service buffet and snacks from noodle soup to ice cream. Personal screens offer a great selection of movies and audio channels.
JAL provides some of the best food one can find in the air, with a range of gourmet Western and Asian dishes. A selection of fine wines and sakes, a la carte menu available any time and freshly cooked rice on request pleases all taste buds. Movies, games and audio channels for every preference are available, along with noise-cancelling earphones and privacy screens.
JAL offers three check-in options:
- Airport Check-in: the traditional form of checking in.
- Advance Check-in: avoid standing in lines by checking in 24 hours in advance on the JAL website. You may change assigned seating and download your boarding pass. A visit to the JAL airport counter is required if you are checking baggage.
- Airport Kiosks: swipe your passport or credit card and follow the instructions to change seating and print boarding pass. If you’ve already checked in online you are able to print boarding pass only.
Passengers are permitted one piece of carry-on baggage not exceeding 10 kg and l + w + h not exceeding 115 cm. In addition to the one hand luggage item, you are allowed a purse, laptop, pillow, etc.
Certain routes and aircraft differ in baggage restrictions, however the standard checked baggage allowances are as follows:
Economy and Premium Economy Class passengers are permitted 1-2 pieces of checked baggage not exceeding 20-23 kg each (variance depends on aircraft and route) with l + w + h no more than 158 cm each or 273 combined total. Confer with your Flight Centre agent or the JAL website for specific route allowances.
Executive Class travellers may have two items of checked luggage not exceeding 30-32 kgs each (variance depends on aircraft and route) or 30-64 kg in total. The l + w + h should be no more than 158 cm per baggage item.
First Class passengers are allowed two checked baggage items weighing no more than 32 kg each of 40-64kg total. The l + w + h must not exceed 158 cm.
If travelling with a child under the age of 2, an additional checked baggage item that does not exceed 10 kg and dimensions not over 115 cm (l + w + h) is permitted. Special items like musical instruments or sporting gear is generally permitted if included in the regular baggage allowance, or will be subject to a surcharge.
Alliances, Clubs & Lounges
Japan Airlines is a member of the One World Alliance. JAL’s exclusive Sakura Lounges are found in London Heathrow, Tokyo Narita International, Tokyo Haneda Airport, Osaka Kansai and 12 other international airports. Access is available to First and Executive guests of JAL or other One World members, JMB Diamond, Sapphire and Crystal, JGC Premier and JAL Global club members.
The Last Word
JAL has a record of excellence for safety, service and efficiency. Its logo is a crane with wings that create a circular motif. It was designed in 1958 by a San Francisco creative director who was studied the crests of Samurai families for inspiration. The logo can be seen in connection with Japan’s national football team and the Japan Football Association as Japan Airlines is an official sponsor of both.
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