I redeemed a First Class award ticket from HKG-NRT-LAX (Hong Kong to Narita on Cathay) and (Narita to Los Angeles on Japan Airlines) using 67,500 American Airlines miles. This was my second time ever flying International First Class and I was hooked my first time despite writing a blog post on Why Flying International First Class Doesn’t Make Sense. The flight time from Narita to Los Angeles on Japan Airlines (JAL) was clocked in at 11 hours.
Introduction to Taipei, Hong Kong, and Tokyo
LAX Airport Korean Air KAL Skyteam Business Class Lounge
EVA Air LAX-TPE 777-300ER Economy Class
Taipei Garden Hotel Review
Sheraton Grande Taipei Hotel Review Part 1
Sheraton Grande Taipei Hotel Review Part 2
The Westin Taipei Hotel Review Part 1
The Westin Taipei Hotel Review Part 2
W Taipei Hotel Review Part 1
W Taipei Hotel Review Part 2
The Sights and Sounds of Ximending in Taipei
The Sights and Sounds of Taipei Main Station
The Sights and Sounds of Taipei 101
The Sights and Sounds of Shilin Night Market in Taipei
The Sights and Sounds of Shida Night Market in Taipei
The Sights and Sounds of Liaoning Night Market in Taipei
The Sights and Sounds of Tonghua Night Market in Taipei
The Various Eats in Taipei Taiwan
Taipei Airport Cathay Pacific First and Business Class Lounge
Cathay Pacific TPE-HKG A330-300 Business Class
TurboJet Ferry Hong Kong International Airport to Macau
The Westin Macau Resort Hotel Review
Scam City: Macau Edition
TurboJet Macau Outer Ferry Terminal to Kowloon Hong Kong
W Hong Kong Hotel Review Part 1
W Hong Kong Hotel Review Part 2
Le Meridien Cyberport Hong Kong Hotel Review
The Sights and Sounds of Kowloon Hong Kong
The Sights and Sounds of the Star Ferry in Hong Kong
The Sights and Sounds of Central Hong Kong
The Sights and Sounds of the Mid Levels in Hong Kong
The Sights and Sounds of Victoria Peak in Hong Kong
The Sights and Sounds of Lan Kwai Fong in Hong Kong
The Various Eats in Hong Kong
Hong Kong Airport Cathay Pacific The Wing First Class Lounge
Hong Kong Airport Cathay Pacific The Bridge Lounge
Hong Kong Airport Cathay Pacific The Cabin Lounge
Cathay Pacific HKG-NRT 747-400 First Class
Hilton Narita Airport Hotel Review
First Inn Kyobashi Tokyo Capsule Hotel Review
The Sights and Sounds of Shibuya in Tokyo Japan
The Sights and Sounds of Harajuku in Tokyo Japan
The Sights and Sounds of Shinjuku in Tokyo Japan
The Various Eats in Tokyo Japan
Narita Airport Main Building JAL First Class Lounge
Japan Airlines NRT-LAX 777-300ER First Class
I was excited to finally fly a long-haul international first class product and what better way than to try it on Japan Airlines newest First Class seat called the JAL SKY SUITE 777. First Class boarding began for JAL Flight 62 (JL 62) from Narita International Airport’s Terminal 2 at 4:20pm, 1 hour prior to the scheduled 5:20pm departure. First Class boarding had its own exclusive dedicated boarding door.
The Japan Airlines Boeing 777-300ER First Class cabin was in a 1-2-1 configuration with every seat having direct aisle access.
JAL’s First Class Sky Suite aboard the Boeing 777 was a complete beauty with spacious and comfortable seating.
There were three wood panels that could be lifted up for extra storage space. The left panel had room for personal belongings. The middle panel could also store a small personal item such as a phone. The right panel contained a universal power adapter with storage space for electronics.
JAL First Class pajamas were also handed out by the flight attendant along with a LOEWE amenity kit and a Shiseido Facial Kit (not shown).
The First Class flight attendant offered a pre-departure beverage and I chose Dom Perignon 2004. This was my first time ever having Dom Perignon and it honestly tasted like every other champagne since I’ve always had ‘bad’ in-flight champagne. (like American Airlines offering sparkling wine passed as champagne).
I just had to take an obligatory picture of the bottle of Dom Perignon 2004 next to my champagne glass. (That’s what all bloggers do right?)
The flight attendant handed out the BEDD “Sky Auberge by JAL” in-flight dining menu and it reads as follows:
Your exclusive restaurant in the sky.
Far away the classiest of its kind, JAL dining sets a new standard for in-flight meals with tempting new menus created by dedicated chefs for a thoroughly unforgettable dining experience.
Meet the stars of our in-flight meals, inspired personalities who assure you of only the freshest and finest cuisine during your flight. A dream team of talented, top-class chefs and a gourmet artist create specialties made only with premium ingredients. Your own in-flight auberge is so complete we christened it “BEDD” – for bed, dining, delicious and dream – to subtly remind passengers in First Class and Business Class that they can transform their seats into snug beds after a satisfying repast.
Zatsuki – Clam and Bamboo Shoots with Japanese Pepper Miso Sauce
Kobachi – Simmered Conger Eel & Eggplant, Steamed Chicken & Yam Julienne with Vinegar Jelly, Steamed Abalone dressed with Liver Simmered Spring Vegetables
Choko – Broad Bean & “Udo” Vegetable dressed with Sesame Cream
Shiizakana – Simmered Prawn Smoked Mullet Roe Grilled Chicken Cake topped with Sea Urchin Skewered Braised Duck
Mukouzuke – Sea-breamed & Squid “Sashimi” Style
Dainomono – Grilled “Wagyu” Beef Fillet with Green Miso Steamed Rockfish with “Sakura” Leaf
Soup – Japanese Clear Soup with Prawn Mousse Ball
Hanmono – Steamed Rice with Bamboo Shoots or Steamed Rice (We are pleased to offer freshly steamed Koshihikari rice).
Sweets – Japanese Wafers wih Soybean Flour Cake, Green Tea Ice Cream & Sesame Sable
Rich Onion Gratin Soup Flan topped with Fresh “Uni” Sea Urchin (stir to mix “Chilly” & “Warm”)
Spring Bamboo Shoots & Bigfin Reef Squid, coated with Spicy Japanese Pepper Sprout Sauce
Foie Gras Mousse Tarte with Framboise Sauce garnished with Cherry Blossoms
“The Luxury of Caviar” Indulge in Caviar – Taste of Favorite Caviar Condiments topped with Crystal Chips Cauliflower Bavarois with Consomme Gelee
Warm Tarte – Kaleidoscope of Spring Shellfish “Hamaguri” & Littleneck Clams, Scallops… Aroma of Dried Sakura Shrimp (Sniftner of “Hamaguri” Soup)
“Spring Greens Fair” Medley of Fresh Spring Vegetables Fava Bean Cream, Ginger & Orange Gelee dotted with Vibrant Flower Petals of Every Hue
Main Dish (Choice)
“Kuroge-Wagyu” Fillet Consomme Style served with Nagaimo Potato Poelee (Enjoy the Myriad Textures of 15 Different Spring Vegetables served with Kaffir Lime-scented Sauce & “Wasabi”)
Beef Cheeks stewed until Tender in Red Wine accompanied by Apple Puree scented with Japanese “Sansho” Pepper & Sweet-as-strawberries “Amela” Fruit tomatoes
Poelee of Salmon, Lightly Smoked to be Savored together with Fresh Seasonal Vegetables mingled with Pine Nuts – Spring Vegetable Sauce Duet, Mimolette Julienne
Assortment of Artisanal breads
Lemon Grass & Mint, Cherry Blossom, Ginger, Rice Powder (Please enjoy Japanese rice powder bread).
Fresh-from-the-oven Warm, Fizzy Strawberry Tarte with an Indulging Scoop of Pistachio Nut Ice Cream
A La Carte
“Otoriyose” in the Sky – Soy-marinated Sea-bream Carpaccio on Steamed Rice in Iki Island Style Soup
Seared Japanese Amberjack “Tataki” Style from Hokkaido
Chinese Pancake with Beef & Sweet Bean Sauce
Fried Shrimp dressed with Mayonnaise
Jellyfish dressed with Sesame Sauce
Roasted “Wagyu” Beef Sandwich
Deep-fried Pork Cutlet Sandwich
Tokyo Curry Lab. X Japan Airlines
Japanese Vegetable Keema Curry with Steamed Rice
Boiled Spring Vegetables & Iberico Raw Ham Salad
Chinese “Ramen” Noodles in Soy Sauce Flavored Soup
Japan Hot “Udon” Noodles with Edible Wild Plants
Japanese Cheese Selection
[Goat Cheese] Fermier
[Bloomy Rind] Sakura
[Firm Cheese] Moritaka Farm 24 months Old Cheese
[Washed-Ring] Mattone Rosso
[Blue Cheese] Kobayashi Farm Blue
Assorted Seasonal Fresh Fruits
Chocolate – Jean-Paul Hevin “Fleure” exclusive for Japan Airlines
This menu is created by renowned fine cuisine producer and chef – her home ground is Paris – Fumiko Kono
“FUMIKO’s Japanese Set Plate”
Sea-bream dressed with Sesame Sauce
Egg Roll with Japanese Pepper Leaf Cherry Blossom Flavored Lotus Root
Japanese Clear Soup with “Nanohana” Vegetable
“FUMIKO’s Western Set Plate”
Pistachio Curry with Prawn & Zucchini Orange & Carrot Mousseline
Blanc-manger of Fromage Blanc & Fresh Herb With Acacia Honey Syrup
Spread Bread (Maison Kayser)
Here is the BEDD “Sky Auberge” by JAL Wine List:
Today’s wines have been specially selected for “JAL FIRST CLASS” passengers by Ms. Fumiko Arisaka, who has been presiding over Japan’s leading food and wine information journal “Vinotheque”, for more than 20 years.
In addition, she translates foreign wine publications, writes books on wine and also acts as a judge at many wine competitions and tastings. She is one of the leading wine journalists in Japan.
Please enjoy the wines that have been carefully selected by Ms. Arisaka, with the help of the JAL cabin crew who are also qualified members of the Japan Sommeliers’ Association.
Aperitif/Cocktail – Tio Pepe Dry Sherry, Martini Rosso Sweet Vermouth, Martini Extra Dry Dry Vermouth, Campari, Lejay Crème de Cassis, Plum Wine, Martini, Mimosa, Kir Royal, Kir, Bloody Mary
Whisky – Chivas Regal Royal Salute 21 Years, Suntory Hibiki 17 Years old, L&G Woodford Reserve
Spirits – Bombay Sapphire Gin, Absolut Vodka
Brandy/Liqueur – Remy Martin X.O. Premier Cru, Cointreau, Bailey’s Irish Cream
Port Wine – Graham’s Tawny Port 30 Years
Champagne – Champagne Salon 2002, Champagne Dom Perignon 2004
White Wine – Austria – Schloss Gobelsburg Riesling Gaisberg 2012, Japan – Arvga Branca Vinhal Isse’hara 2013
Red Wine – Bordeaux France – Chateau Rauzan Gassies 2004, Bourgogne France – Nuits Saint Georges Les Vieilles Vignes 2008, California – Kenzo ESTATE “rindo” 2008, New Zealand – Kusuda Martinborough Pinot Noir 2011,
“The Passion of Japan”
Premium Japanese Sake – Junmai Daiginjo – Hakurakusei, Kamosi-Bito-Kuheiji Junmaidaiginjo Kanochi
Premium Japanese Shochu – Mori Izo, Kanehachi
Premium Japanese Tea – Royal Blue Tea “Queen of Blue”
Soft Drink – JAL Original Drink “SKY TIME”, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola Zero, Sprite, Ginger Ale, Oolong Blended Tea, Cold Green Tea, Still Mineral Water, Sparkling Mineral Water
Fruit Juice – Orange, Apple, Tomato, Grapefruit
Japanese Tea – Japanese Green Tea “Sen-cha”, Roasted Japanese Tea “Houji-cha”
Selection of Tea – Darjeeling, Orange Pekoe Ceylon, Early Grey imperial, “Marco Polo” Flavory Tea, “Bourbon” Herbal Tea Non-Caffeine
Coffee – Coffee from JAL Café Lines – Grand Cru Café, Espresso, Cappucino, Decaffeinated Coffee
After the flight reached cruising altitude, the flight attendant offered a ‘large’ steaming hot wet towel, similar to the one I had when flying International First Class on Cathay Pacific. You can actually see the steam come out which was pretty cool.
Japan Airlines offers in-flight Wifi called “JAL SKY Wi-Fi” onboard the 777-300ER. The 1 Hour Plan is $11.95 ($10.75 with a JAL Card) and the 24 Hour Plan is $21.95 ($19.75 with a JAL Card).
The one hour plan doesn’t make sense at all since it costs a mere $10 more for a 24 hour plan. The flight was 11 hours long, so that pretty much makes it $2/hour to use the onboard Wifi which is a complete bargain. The WiFi connection was great and I didn’t lose connection to the internet at any point during usage.
I looked over the menu several times and it was quite an easy decision. I’ve had many in-flight Japanese meals before and I really wanted to try out caviar on an international first class flight, so I chose the Western Menu.
The flight attendant asked if I wanted some more Dom Perignon 2004 and I said “Yes, please.”
Dinner service began an hour after take-off with the amuse bouche, three bite sized hors d’oeuvres.
The flight attendant offered bread from the bread basket and I chose the Lemon Grass and Mint which came with olive oil, salt, pepper, and butter as condiments.
A second round of amuse bouche consisted of a Rich Onion Gratin Soup Flan topped with Fresh “Uni” Sea Urchin (stir to mix “Chilly” & “Warm”), Spring Bamboo Shoots & Bigfin Reef Squid, coated with Spicy Japanese Pepper Sprout Sauce, and Foie Gras Mousse Tarte with Framboise Sauce garnished with Cherry Blossoms.
As a choice of hors d’oeuvre, I chose “The Luxury of Caviar” with condiments such as Crystal Chips Cauliflower Bavarois and Consomme Gelee.
This was my first time having caviar ever and I didn’t know how to eat it, so I asked the flight attendant for help. The flight attendant advised me to squeeze the lemon on the caviar first. Then she told me I could eat it by itself or with the other condiments.
As the main dish, I chose the “Kuroge-Wagyu” Fillet Consomme Style served with Nagaimo Potato Poelee and a Myriad Texture of 15 Different Spring Vegetables served with Kaffir Lime-scented Sauce & Wasabi.
For dessert, I had a Fresh-from-the-oven Warm, Fizzy Strawberry Tarte with an Indulging Scoop of Pistachio Nut Ice Cream.
After dessert, I had the flight attendant make my bed which she lined with a memory foam mattress pad. With my head on the pillow and tucked into the warm comforter, I was able to sleep for a solid 7 hours before the pilot announced that we were in final descent for Los Angeles.
I was so exhausted from My Crazy Adventures in Tokyo that I forgot to wake up for the pre-arrival meal. When I woke up, I saw two chocolates with the words “Bon Appetit”. I had realized I missed the entire a la carte menu and “FUMIKO’s Japanese Set Plate” which I wanted to try sometime during the flight.
Overall, the service onboard JAL’s First Class ‘Sky Suite 777’ was great from start to finish even though I slept the majority of the flight. I love how Japanese flight attendants bow like every time you ask them for something. (They must bow like 1,000 times a day when speaking.) In addition, the seat itself was awesome with all the storage compartments and it was really comfortably spacious. Best of all, the seat turns into a completely lie flat bed with a mattress pad.
Honestly, the food was nothing to write home about. I chose the Western menu solely because of the ‘Caviar” and I was disappointed. I should never go out of the way again to try caviar because it’s really nothing special. The wagyu steak was good, but it really tasted like any other beef served on a plane (this is airplane food after all). In all honesty, I should’ve had the Japanese meal because you simply can’t go wrong with Asian food, especially on a Japanese airline. Next time I won’t make the same mistake.