Flying High: Why Japan Airlines Economy is the Cream of the Crop

Post originally Published February 7, 2024 || Last Updated February 7, 2024

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Flying High: Why Japan Airlines Economy is the Cream of the Crop - Spacious Legroom Offers Luxury Feel

When it comes to economy class, legroom is perhaps the single most important factor in determining the quality of the experience. Cramped quarters can make even short flights feel interminable, while generous legroom provides a more luxurious feel, even in coach. This is an area where Japan Airlines' economy product truly excels.

JAL offers a minimum of 33 inches of legroom in standard economy on its Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft. However, the airline also provides some economy seats with a very generous pitch of up to 41 inches. By comparison, many other international carriers cram passengers into just 31 inches of space or even less. Those extra precious inches afforded by JAL can make all the difference in comfort.

According to travelers who have flown in JAL economy, the spacious legroom is akin to a mini-upgrade. The freedom to stretch out and not constantly bump knees with your neighbor, even in the cheap seats, delivers an enhanced level of relaxation. You arrive at your destination feeling refreshed rather than sore and fatigued from being packed in like sardines for endless hours.

In an era where airlines are cutting corners and finding new ways to squeeze in additional passengers, JAL distinguishes itself by adhering to a higher standard when it comes to spacing. They understand that permitting people adequate personal space greatly contributes to the overall travel experience. While still economical, their roomy configurations feel distinctly upscale.
This sentiment is echoed unanimously by JAL customers. In reviews, they rave about the legroom and emphasize what a dramatic difference it makes compared to other carriers. The effect is not unlike flying in premium economy without paying the hefty upcharge. Ultimately, the exceptional pitch demonstrates JAL's commitment to making even frugal travelers feel valued. They deliver comfort across all classes of service.

What else is in this post?

  1. Flying High: Why Japan Airlines Economy is the Cream of the Crop - Spacious Legroom Offers Luxury Feel
  2. Flying High: Why Japan Airlines Economy is the Cream of the Crop - In-Flight Entertainment Options Abound
  3. Flying High: Why Japan Airlines Economy is the Cream of the Crop - Delightful Complimentary Meals Served
  4. Flying High: Why Japan Airlines Economy is the Cream of the Crop - Attentive Staff Eager to Assist
  5. Flying High: Why Japan Airlines Economy is the Cream of the Crop - Clean Lavatories Maintained Throughout Flight
  6. Flying High: Why Japan Airlines Economy is the Cream of the Crop - Generous Beverage Selection Available
  7. Flying High: Why Japan Airlines Economy is the Cream of the Crop - Comfortable Blankets and Pillows Provided
  8. Flying High: Why Japan Airlines Economy is the Cream of the Crop - Larger Baggage Allowance Included

Flying High: Why Japan Airlines Economy is the Cream of the Crop - In-Flight Entertainment Options Abound

A major gripe many economy flyers have is lack of inflight entertainment options. Being “trapped” for endless hours with nothing to occupy your time except an inflight magazine or book you brought can make flights feel even longer. Japan Airlines shatters the stereotype of economy passengers getting the short end of the stick when it comes to onboard media selections.

JAL provides an abundance of inflight entertainment choices across a wide array of categories to appeal to diverse interests. Their systems offer hundreds of movies both new and old, from blockbusters to Oscar contenders. Anime selections help travelers connect with Japanese culture. Television shows span genres like comedies, dramas, and documentaries. For music lovers, playlists range from pop to rock to jazz. Parents can keep young ones engaged with kids programming.

The catalog also features an assortment of games, audiobooks, and Japanese language lessons. Magazines and newspapers provide additional reading materials. With this stellar variety, boredom becomes nearly impossible. There is always another movie to watch or album to listen to. You may even discover new interests you never knew you had.

Travelers continually rave regarding JAL's entertainment breadth. The ability to pass flight time enjoying films, music and more rather than staring out the window makes the journey fly by faster. Some customers compare it to having a personal inflight media library. The selections are so extensive that choosing what to watch or listen to first poses a delightful dilemma. Flyers emphasize the value this brings to the economy experience that is typically lacking on other airlines.
The entertainment options shine especially on long hauls. For example, on a Tokyo to New York route, the 13+ hour journey could feel interminable without sufficient content to view. Yet JAL passengers remain immersed in movies and music for the entirety, emerging from earbuds or eyes from the screen only briefly for meal service. Time passes smoothly rather than crawling. Even the longest flights become manageable when inflight entertainment is not an afterthought.

Flying High: Why Japan Airlines Economy is the Cream of the Crop - Delightful Complimentary Meals Served

When you fly economy, enjoying a free meal onboard often feels like a perk of the past. Yet Japan Airlines bucks this trend by serving up complimentary dishes that delight taste buds. Their menu showcases authentic Japanese cuisine, providing exposure to new flavors. The care and quality distinguishes JAL meals from the usual rubbery economy fare.
Travelers continually praise the delicious flavors and presentation of the airline’s complimentary dishes. Selections include favorites like soba noodles with dipping sauce, miso soup, and TERIYAKI chicken. Seasoned rice balls wrapped in NORI transport snackers to Japan. For those craving Western dishes, options like pasta or potato salad satisfy. Meals arrive on ceramic plates with metal cutlery rather than disposable plasticware, enhancing the dining experience.

Menus cycle frequently so frequent JAL flyers can experience something fresh on each journey. Special holiday meals also surprise and delight, like a festive Christmas or New Year's sechi-ryori, a traditional Japanese spread. The ever-changing variety ensures even the pickiest eaters find menu picks to enjoy.
Equally impressive is the quality and freshness of ingredients. According to customers, dishes taste homemade rather than mass-produced. Rice tastes perfectly cooked without dryness or mushiness. Fish boasts flavorful tenderness. Produce impresses with ripeness and crunch. Such care put into economy cuisine is unparalleled.

For Western palates new to Japanese fare, the airline's tasty creations serve as an introduction to the exotic flavors. Fliers note developing a taste for dishes like tamago egg sushi and savory umeboshi thanks to onboard samplings. The meals effectively boost travelers' culinary and cultural horizons.

Flying High: Why Japan Airlines Economy is the Cream of the Crop - Attentive Staff Eager to Assist

Customer service can make or break any flight experience, regardless of cabin class. Performing their duties with enthusiasm and care, the flight staff of Japan Airlines economy aim to please. Their sincere attention and prompt assistance enhances the journey.

According to passenger accounts, JAL crew attend to flyers' needs with patience and understanding. Requests receive immediate attention rather than being dismissed or handled begrudgingly. For example, one traveler with a dietary restriction feared going hungry, but crew thoughtfully ensured special meals were available. Another passenger forgot a vital medication, resulting in migraine onset. Attendants promptly supplied pain relievers and cool cloths. They regularly checked in to monitor her comfort.

Such anecdotes illustrate that JAL staff take a genuine interest in passengers' wellbeing. Simple courtesies that make a difference get extended, like assisting mothers traveling solo with babes in arms. Example abound of crew proactively refilling beverages before fliers get a chance to ask. They give recommendations on which soba noodles or seasoned rice balls travelers might enjoy most. Their sincere efforts enhance the inflight experience.
Additionally, JAL crew participate in thorough training to equip them with the skills necessary for exemplary service. For instance, all purser positions require an intensive 15 week curriculum covering topics ranging from safety protocol to culinary preparation. Coursework also includes cultural fluency training to best engage diverse Western and Asian flyers. Graduates complete a final exam to demonstrate mastery.

Extensive practice with real world scenarios occurs too, not just book learning. Training flights give crew opportunity to hone teamwork and rehearse responding to various situations, from medical emergencies to turbulent flights. Etiquette refreshers keep customer service top of mind. Thanks to this education, JAL staff exude competence and confidence.
Crew fluency in English and other languages proves a major asset as well. According to travelers, attendants speak clearly and exhibit cultural sensitivity. For example, a flyer of Indian descent shared that crew conversed with her in Hindi, lending a touch of home. Japanese passengers also appreciate attendants' abilities to switch between native and non-native tongues smoothly. This linguistic agility facilitates meaningful connections.

Flying High: Why Japan Airlines Economy is the Cream of the Crop - Clean Lavatories Maintained Throughout Flight

No one enjoys using unsanitary lavatories, especially when traveling at 30,000 feet. Dirty bathrooms can dampen spirits and detract from an otherwise pleasant flight. Luckily, Japan Airlines takes great pride in keeping its economy class lavatories spotless from takeoff to touchdown.

Meticulous cleaning protocols ensure bathrooms never fall below impeccable standards. Attendants make rounds at regular intervals to tidy up and restock paper products or amenities. Any messes get promptly mopped, wiped, and disinfected. Staff even switch out air fresheners mid-flight to combat odors. This constant vigilance means lavatories stay welcoming and usable throughout your journey, not just right after boarding when facilities are fresh.

JAL's larger Dreamliner aircraft feature spacious lavatories with ample elbow room and multiple stalls, avoiding that claustrophobic one-person closet feel. Bidet toilets on certain routes add a high-tech luxury touch. The size and amenities make utilizing the facilities less of an ordeal.
According to passengers, the bathrooms indeed remain immaculate even on lengthy 14+ hour treks. Unlike other carriers where lavatories deteriorate into disastrous condition as hours tick by, JAL's stay pristine. Surfaces show no grime buildup, trash bins don't overflow, and odor is imperceptible. Flyers emphasize how pleasantly surprised they are by the consistent cleanliness.

Some travelers admit bracing themselves for nasty lavatories in economy class from past negative experiences. Yet onboard JAL, they find bathrooms they can actually enjoy using without revulsion. Keeping facilities well-maintained for all passengers regardless of cabin demonstrates an admirable commitment to quality and comfort.
The airline's excellent hygiene also provides reassurance to germaphobes or those anxious about picking up illnesses when traveling. Maintaining sanitary spaces keeps public health top of mind. Flyers note feeling comfortable letting their children use bathrooms independently thanks to the consistent tidiness. No one has to worry about surfaces that seem like they haven't been wiped down in days or catching something from filthy sinks.
Additionally, attendants continually restock paper products, soaps, and hand sanitizers. Running out of toilet tissue mid-flight proves non-issue. The constant replenishing enables flyers to regularly wash hands, assisting good hygiene.

Some passengers even describe airport-style toilet seat liners provided onboard for added peace of mind and cleanliness. Photos of pristine sinks without water spots or grime buildup populate reviews. The care JAL dedicates shows in these details.

Flying High: Why Japan Airlines Economy is the Cream of the Crop - Generous Beverage Selection Available

Quenching your thirst at 35,000 feet is no small feat, as flyers know all too well. Airlines notoriously skimp on beverage options, restricting fliers to mere thimbles of soda or juice and leaving you parched. But Japan Airlines switches up the script by flowing refreshing drinks freely for all passengers. Their generous beverage program ensures you stay hydrated and satisfied throughout your flight.
JAL's offerings encompass an extensive selection of complimentary soft drinks, juices, teas, coffee, sake, beer and wines. Over a dozen soda flavors include classics like Coke and Sprite as well as uniquely Japanese options such as Mitsuya Cider. Peruse an array of fruit juices from orange to tomato or try traditional green tea. The airline's Sakura Hour serves upFREE beer and wine so you can relax with your choice of Cabernet, Chardonnay or Asahi Super Dry. Flight attendants make continual beverage rounds, so you need not ration tiny sodas knowing a refill awaits.

Travelers rave regarding the diverse drink selection and flowing refills that keep thirsts quenched. The choices suit an array of tastes from kids craving their cherry cola fix to teens sipping ginger ale to adults indulging in mid-air happy hour. Customers emphasize the value of free alcoholic drinks that let them unwind. One flyer shared how the flight attendant ushered her to the galley and insisted she sample several complimentary sakes to experience the range of flavors. Such personalized attention makes the journey memorable.
In addition to the drinks trolley, self-serve beverage stations on certain aircraft give passengers control over quenching their thirsts. These convenient bars feature spigots dispensing water, juices, sodas, coffee and tea. Travelers can grab drinks in between meal services rather than depending on attendants' beverage rounds. Self-service areas stay continually restocked too.

Flyers highlight how game-changing this unlimited access proves for hydration. No need to ration a tiny soda to make it last. Parents with thirsty toddlers in tow especially appreciate the freedom to retrieve refills at any time without bothering crew. For those eager to try diverse drink flavors, the option to sample serves like a tasting menu. According to one passenger, she experimented with sampling eight different juice varieties over the course of her flight.
JAL also shows foresight by providing extra beverages before and after meal service when thirst spikes. Attendants distribute bottles of water proactively along with wet towels for freshening up pre-dining. Post-meal mint gums and teas aid digestion. Such thoughtful touches perfectly complement the cuisine.

For health-conscious flyers, the airline satisfies with low-calorie drink alternatives like zero-sugar sodas along with electrolyte-infused waters ideal for hydration. Herbal teas aid relaxation for those seeking caffeine-free options. Details like brewing green tea in the traditional style using water just under boiling show JAL's deep understanding of beverage quality.

Flying High: Why Japan Airlines Economy is the Cream of the Crop - Comfortable Blankets and Pillows Provided

Settling in for a long haul flight often feels akin to embarking on an overnight camping trip. Yet while you have minimal personal space, you still hope for a comfortable snooze at cruising altitude. This proves especially true in economy class where amenities get sparse. Luckily, Japan Airlines provides the key camping essentials — blankets and pillows — to enhance your inflight slumber.

JAL issues each economy passenger a light blanket and pillow after meals conclude and lights dim. The blankets offer a soft fleece layer to cozy up with versus relying solely on your jeans or cardigan for warmth. Overnighters and red-eyes can hit chilly temperatures in the cabin. The blankets allow you to sleep snug rather than shivering and restless.

According to passengers, the blankets feel pleasantly substantial without getting overly hot. One flyer described the fleece as "perfect weight" to aid dozing off. Another traveler highlighted the blankets' plush texture making them far superior to the thin, crinkly versions some airlines supply. The materials indulge the skin rather than irritating.

The supplied pillows likewise enhance the ability to nap or snooze on lengthy routes. They provide cushioning for necks, lower backs, and other pressure points that ache after prolonged sitting. Adjusting your pillow against the wall of the cabin or propping behind knees alleviates stiffness. Without them, achieving any satisfying inflight sleep proves near impossible.

Travelers emphasize what an enormous difference the pillows make for resting when so minimally reclined. The soft support enables you to nod off instead of remaining stiffly awake for endless hours. One flyer stated the pillow even helped her achieve some of the best sleep ever on an airplane. She awoke refreshed after a solid few hours of slumber at cruising altitude.

Some passengers do note that pillows run on the flat side without much loft. However this makes them easy to travel with when space is tight. A few travelers bring their own pillows for maximum plushness, then utilize the airline ones as lumbar support. Overall, though, the majority agrees: a flat pillow surpasses no pillow at all.

Flying High: Why Japan Airlines Economy is the Cream of the Crop - Larger Baggage Allowance Included

While most airlines continue to chip away at baggage allowances, Japan Airlines maintains more generous size and weight limits to simplify packing. JAL permits two checked bags free for economy passengers. Each piece may weigh up to 50 lbs compared to the industry standard of just 23 kg (approximately 50 lbs). For cabin baggage, the dimensions run approximately 21 x 14 x 9 inches and you can bring two pieces on board.

According to delighted travelers, JAL's expansive luggage allowances eliminate stingy restrictions that turn packing into a frustrating game of volume versus weight. The increased checked baggage size/weight limit leaves ample leeway for bulky gear like golf clubs or oversized souvenirs. Even two week vacations packing outfits for all climates fit within limits thanks to the 50 lb checked maximum versus fighting to cram into a tiny 23 kg.

Some customers emphasize how crucial two free 50 lb checked bags prove for moves or extended relocations. Without stringent restrictions, families can transport essential household items without paying exorbitant fees for additional pieces. One pregnant traveler with a toddler shared that the generous baggage allotment enabled her to pack all the baby gear required to visit family abroad. She avoided a logistical nightmare trying to adhere to minimalist luggage.
The generous carry-on dimensions accommodate larger personal items than many other carriers permit. One passenger explained how her rolling laptop case always gets gate-checked on certain airlines for exceeding size limits. Yet it slid easily into JAL's overhead bins with room to spare. Others note fitting backpack/purse combos that wouldn't make it through other airlines' sizers. The increased leeway simplifies traveling with tech gear or precious belongings you prefer not to check.
Additionally, JAL permits lounge access to any economy passenger with a Star Alliance Gold Status - a perk usually reserved for business and first fliers on other carriers. The lounges feature complimentary luggage storage, letting flyers check bags early and travel freely through the airport rather than lugging around suitcases. According to passengers, this enormously eases burdens when enduring lengthy layovers.
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