CA228 From Canada, joined Mar 2005, 92 posts, RR: 0 Posted (7 years 1 month 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 19995 times:
Flight: JL 012 YVR-MEX
Aircraft B747-400 (Magic I; 2-class configuration - Seasons Business Class in nose section, Y class in 3 sections in main deck)
Service: hot towel service (after take-off), drinks + nuts; lunch; duty free, water every 30 minutes
The airfare between YVR and MEX is not cheap on JAL, and I could not find discounts on Expedia and the likes (The fare was around $800 including tax); which explains why the load is so low on this flight. I guess the fares for the direct flight from Asia to MEX must be $$ and it is profitable on cargo and business class, since there were about a dozen Seasons Class pax on board and the airline has operated to MEX for decades. Fortunately I claimed this flight on points.
The flight from Tokyo is scheduled to arrive in Vancouver at 10:03. Check-in opens at around 8:50AM. JAL serves to MEX 2x weekly on Mondays and Fridays; on both of these days the flight to MEX is the only JAL flight out of YVR. Check-in was fast and efficient. Only about 15-20 pax boarding the flight from YVR; the remaining (estimated load of about 100 pax total) came from NRT.
JAL flight attendants arriving at YVR, assembling to head to security check. Note that the FA's servicing latin america are all attractive young japanese ladies, except 1 tall lady to the right who is the spanish interpretor on certain inflight announcements. She was not serving Y class, though. Also, there is no male FA.
3) Awaiting boarding
The aircraft being cleaned from the NRT-YVR leg. Catering is by Cathay Pacific Catering Services (CLS)
FA's for China Eastern's A330 service to Shanghai
All transit pax from NRT are not allowed to leave the transit area, so it is sealed and pax originating from YVR to MEX are not allowed to enter the gate area until the NRT transit pax have all boarded. This allows NRT transit pax not to have to clear Canadian customs. There is free bottles of water for NRT transit pax. You can see how few pax are from YVR to MEX as there are very few people waiting outside of the transit lounge.
Greeted with a"Ohayo!"
First section of Y class on main deck
Second section of Y class
Third section of Y class
JAL has a no photo policy while the aircraft is on the ground or on take-off or landing, so I was very politely told by an FA to turn off the camera after these shots (also written in their safety cards and in the inflight magazine). However, I snuck a few more ...
Downtown Vancouver and Richmond
NHK news is played on main screen. Hot towel service also started.
Drinks and JAL snack
Japanese TV programming
Meal service: choice of beef or pasta with alfredo sauce. JAL does not offer printed menus. Instead, the FA's show you a picture card of the 2 meals, with the name of the main dish in Japanese, English, Korean, and Chinese. There is also a drinks card which list all the drinks available, and you point to the FA the drink you want.
Note that the hot meal item is securely fastened to the tray
Drinks - the drink on the left is the JAL Skytime drink, which is a citrus lemonade - wonderful. Highly recommend you try.
The FA is closing the blinds using a long stick to reach without bothering pax. Also if pax is sleeping during meal service, FA will put a sticker on the pax's TV screen to advise them to call the FA for meal when they awake. That is unthinkable service on North American airliners!
With such a low load, I can take some cabin pictures facing the seats!
More japanese tv
Instructions for Japanese pax on how to fill out Mexican custom forms
These pax began their journey from NRT and are enjoying a deep sleep
Arrival video for Mexico City - narrated in English with Japanese subtitles to guide pax through customs at MEX, and to highlight tourist sights in Mexico City
Mexico city (if anyone knows where the plane is flying over, please feel free to let me know)
Again, I was very politely told by the FA after sneaking a few shots that it is "prohibited" to take photos of the aircraft while it is ont eh ground
Baggage carosel for the JAL flight - there are Japanese ground staff approaching the JAL pax to help them locate their luggage.
This is the only shot of the aircraft I can get in MEX. MEX is a horrible airport for spotting because the windows are blinded by these obstructive blinds.
Arrivals Hall at MEX
That's it for this flight. If you enjoyed this report, I will post the remainder of my flights on this trip:
a) JL 11 MEX-YVR (which continues to NRT)
b) AC 33 and 34 YYZ-YVR-YYZ on 777-200LR (the domestic segment of the Sydney Australia - Vancouver - Toronto route)
Twolz2rn From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 454 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (7 years 1 month 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 19740 times:
Great report! I've always thought this was an odd flight, but I've also wanted to try it! Do you know how full the flight was from NRT-YVR?
Quoting CA228 (Thread starter): does not offer printed menus. Instead, the FA's show you a picture card of the 2 meals, with the name of the main dish in Japanese, English, Korean, and Chinese. There is also a drinks card which list all the drinks available, and you point to the FA the drink you want.
Linglesou From Australia, joined Apr 2009, 123 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (7 years 1 month 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 19363 times:
Hey mate, really enjoyed the report! Great pictures too!
Wait, was that hot meal held down with a magnet!? That's pretty cool! The sticker on the screen and the stick for closing the blinds is fantastic! Seems quite a cleverly Japanese thing to do - I like it alot!
Yes - I've noticed that while the FA's are extremely friendly and quick to notice passenger needs, they are also very rule abiding and observant so the minute they noticed me taking pictures while the plane is on the ground, they very politely told me (i.e. with a big smile and soft gentle voice) to turn off the camera. While the plane is in the air, you can take all the photos that you want. So for anyone flying JAL who wants the FA to take a photo of you in the cabin, ask them while the plane is airborne and they'll be more than happy to do it.
Quoting Twolz2rn (Reply 3): I would also think since the flight only operates twice per week, it must be a popular destination with JL crews.
Probably. the FA told me that they spend 1 night in MEX and work the outbound flight the next morning back to Vancouver, if they arrive at the hotel (which I assume is the JAL-owned Hotel Nikko by Chapultepec park in Mexico City) around 8pm, and then have to arrive at the airport the next morning by 9 AM for Vancouver, then they don't see Mexico City at all. But I assume they get to spend a few more days in Vancouver which is not bad either.
The NRT - YVR legs are generally quite full, as JAL offers very competitive fares between Vancouver and Manila, Delhi, China and Hong Kong. The check-in line for the NRT flights are generally quite long, and there are quite a few Southeast Asian and Indian pax.
I also forgot to add a correction - the meal choices were actually curry chicken (not beef as I mentioned) and pasta with alfredo sauce. The curry chicken was actually quite nice. I was hoping that there would be a japanese choice, but I guess the chicken was the oriental option.
Airbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4402 posts, RR: 48
Reply 9, posted (7 years 1 month 17 hours ago) and read 18193 times:
good to see the high density 744 still serving well on the MEX flights. It's JA8087 if I see correctly on your pics. I used to work a lot with this particular aircraft in the past, when it still served to AMS several times a week usually.
Good meal for Y class and a 4½ hour flight! And good for you to have a light load on the flight. The picture policy does actually not excist officially, but the crew are busy with their tasks while still on the ground. They can not leave an eye for you all the time, when taking pictures, and therefore they prefer you not to do so on the ground. I've noticed the same on a few domestic flights in Japan.
So I guess the fare is alright for this flight on a nice widebody, good cabincrew, good food, good groundservice everywhere, from check-in into the baggage reclaim area. That's what you get extra on JL, and what you will miss on others, even on some bigger names nowadays...
"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
The "magnet" is actually a heating element. JAL uses a system where the entrees are heated inside the tray cart. The metal contact points below the entree dish connect up to the cart's electric heating system. The chilled items stay chilled while the entree is heated. From a F/A standpoint, it's easier than loading racks of hot entrees into a cart and individually placing them on each tray set up. However, if the cart heating system fails...
EddieDude From Mexico, joined Nov 2003, 8217 posts, RR: 42
Reply 12, posted (7 years 1 month 11 hours ago) and read 17641 times:
Quoting CA228 (Thread starter): Mexico city (if anyone knows where the plane is flying over, please feel free to let me know)
I want to say that the second picture is one of Las Lomas de Chapultepec, one of the city's wealthiest and nicest neighborhoods. It is located on the west side of the city. The area on the bottom of the picture seems to be the third section of the Bosque de Chapultepec which is like the Mexico City equivalent of Central Park.
The third picture is right above the Colonia Nápoles, a neighborhood southwest of the center. Those two sports venues are the Estadio Azul, home to the Cruz Azul soccer team of the first division of the Mexican professional league, and the Plaza de Toros or bullfighting ring. I understand that bullring is the largest in the world.