, 2023-01-09 15:42:54,
Flying between Europe and Japan is strange at the moment. With the reciprocal travel bans over Russia after its latest invasion of Ukraine in February, flights from Europe fly east through Europe and over the Caucasus, while flights to Europe also fly east — over the Pacific to Alaska, over Greenland and east of Iceland. It adds a few hours, and it’s timetabled over what is now the long polar night.
Flying from Tokyo Haneda to London Heathrow — thanks to just over 100,000 frequent flyer points and about $350 in fees and charges — in Japan Airlines first class just before the northern hemisphere’s winter solstice, I had a luxurious amount of time to contemplate just why the JAL experience is one I’ve happily repeated on miles several times now, and would do so again.
Part of it is the seat. It’s not a suite, but it’s a lot more comfortable than some of the suites I’ve been fortunate enough to try. JAL’s seat is a wide, almost infinitely adjustable armchair that allows you to take many positions in seat mode, covered in a buttery leather with warm wood-effect panelling on the table and the arm console.
It’s just the right combination of browns, tans and beiges to feel very premium Japanese, without resorting to anything obvious. It’s very well thought through, all the way down to the cocktail table surface being inclined at a couple of degrees to account for the angle of attack of the aircraft in cruise.
In bed mode, it’s one of the…
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