Topic Author
Posts: 100
Joined: Tue May 08, 2001 8:48 pm

Asia Trip, AA, JL, KA Part I

Tue Feb 19, 2002 11:40 pm

I have been reading trip reports on for a year and now it is time to do my very first one. I appreciate any positive or negative comments on my trip report.
Before I go into the details of my flights, let me give you some background of my trip. In this trip, I went to Hong Kong, Shanghai, Kyoto and Tokyo with my friend in 18 days, from 1/18 – 2/4/02. My family is in HK, and I spent 1/3 of the time there. The airlines I flew were American, JAL and Dragonair. In this report, I will focus more on the inflight service and seating comfort.

1/18 AA Eagle 4020
Depart CMH (Columbus, OH) at 8:15am
Arrive ORD at 8:45am
Aircraft: EMB 135 or 145?
Seat 8B

Since the flight left at 8:15 in the morning, I had to wake up at crack of dawn around 3:30am. We left home around 5:30am and took a taxi to Port Columbus. As you can imagine, there were not that many people in the airport this early in the morning. We checked in our flights and went through the security without any problem or delay even though the Federal Government started checking every piece of passenger luggage on that day. Port Columbus is a very boring airport, not much interesting aircrafts except I saw a Delta Olympics 767 that day. We waited at the airport for 2:30 hours until we boarded our AA Eagle Embraer flight (I don’t know exactly which model: EMB 135 or EMB 145 since they both look almost the same except the numbers of windows.) I took this route on AA countless time, and it wasn’t anything special to me. The flight was uneventful and we were served beverage and pretzel in the flight. Upon arriving in ORD, I saw the AA Retrojet B737-800. I have to say that it is the coolest airline color scheme I have ever seen!

1/18 JL 9
Depart ORD at 12pm
Arrive NRT at 4:05pm
Aircraft: 747-400
Seat: 62G Aisle Seat

We took the airport train from the AA terminal to the International Terminal. There wasn’t much going on in the International Terminal in the morning except there were a couple of Spirit Airlines flights going to FL. From what I saw in the flight departure and arrival monitors, most of the international flight came in the afternoon. We shopped at the Duty Free shops and walked around the Terminal for a while before we went inside the gate. When we were ready to go through the security, a Lufthansa agent told us to get a new boarding pass at the JAL check-in counter instead of using the AA issued boarding pass. So we went to the JAL counter. At the counter, I noticed that Lufthansa staff did all the check-in work for JAL. We boarded the plane as scheduled. The flight was at least 90% full, and the majority passengers were Japanese. Once I walked in the cabin, I was amazed of how small and cramped the seats were. The colors of the seat were in different shades of beiges and because of the light colors, you could see minor stains on the seats. Besides that, the cabin was very clean and in impeccable condition. The flight took off on time, and I could see the take off in my personal IFE. This was my first time ever seen the actual take off in the IFE, and I think it was so cool!! Go back to the seat condition, I have to say that the seat was very very narrow and the seat pitch was very tight (not even 32” ). There was no movable headrest. By the way, I am 5’7” and 160lbs. I doubt that Calista Flockhart would be able to fit in the seat. Except the poor seating condition, everything was excellent in terms of FA services and meals. I flew quite a few prestigious international airlines range from SIA, Swissair and Cathay, I have never seen such hardworking and friendly cabin crews. The flight attendants, consisting of Japanese and Hong Kongese, always wore a sincere smile on their faces from the beginning to the end of the flight. They never stopped smiling, not even a second!! They worked very hard too. They made countless round of beverage services after the light was turned off. The meals were excellent also. After the plane took off, we were served a hot towel and a packet of Japanese rice cracker and drinks after the hot towel. An hour later, the lunch was served. The following was the lunch menu:

Chicken “Saltimbocca” Style
“Gyu Don” Braised Beef “Sukiyaki” Style on Steamed Rice

Green Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing

Baileys Irish Cream Pudding

Japanese Delicacies

I chose the braised beef, and it was delicious. The meal was served in plastic tray, containers, metal cutlery with plastic knife and the presentation was pretty nice. Inspite of the fact that the food containers were all in plastic, they were not your typical flimsy plastic ware. The food containers were all made by Noritake, a famous Japanese porcelain company. After the lunch, a bottle of Evian was passed out to every passengers. I watched a couple movies, Shrek and The Princess Diary, in my personal IFE. The movies selections were pretty good, just like Cathay or AA 777. The headphone was made by Sony, and it was far better than other airlines’ headphone. As the flight flew over Alaska, the cabin light was turned on again, and the flight attendants started serving snack. The snack was a tuna sandwich and consommé soup, and they were delicious also. Finally, another light lunch was served 3 hours prior the arrival. Here was the lunch menu:

Penne Bolognese

Green Salad with Classic Caeser Dressing

Prepared Fresh Fruits

Roll and Butter

Again, the food was delicious! The landing was uneventful except the plane swayed quite a bit when it touched down. The aircraft was parked at the remote parking near Terminal 1. I can’t tell you how excited I was to have a remote parking spot because I could get close to look at the plane that I flew!! We were bused to Terminal 2 and a gate agent was standing by the entrance door to greet passengers. She was also holding a list of passengers who needed to connect other flights and directed them to the appropriate gates. I think this was a very nice touch!

This ends my part 1 report, and I will continue the other flights in my journey later. Hope you enjoy it so far!!

Posts: 4006
Joined: Sun Jul 09, 2000 3:41 pm

RE: Asia Trip, AA, JL, KA Part I

Wed Feb 20, 2002 12:18 am

Pretty good for a first time trip report!  Big thumbs up
Proud to be an Assyrian!
America West
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Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2001 6:54 am

RE: Asia Trip, AA, JL, KA Part I

Thu Feb 21, 2002 9:17 am

Yes, I agree. Big grin

Port Columbus is a very boring airport, not much interesting aircrafts except I saw a Delta Olympics 767 that day.

You saw a Delta 767 at CMH?
Topic Author
Posts: 100
Joined: Tue May 08, 2001 8:48 pm

RE: Asia Trip, AA, JL, KA Part I

Thu Feb 21, 2002 8:41 pm

Yes, I saw Delta 767 at CMH quite often. Please correct me if I am wrong, but I think they use it to fly to Florida.
America West
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Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2001 6:54 am

RE: Asia Trip, AA, JL, KA Part I

Fri Feb 22, 2002 7:19 am

Hmm... The only Delta planes that fly from CMH to Florida are Delta Express 737's. The biggest planes that come to CMH (on scheduled flights) are 757's. Delta uses those quite often to fly to CVG and ATL. America West and United are the only other airlines that bring in 757-200's.

RE: Asia Trip, AA, JL, KA Part I

Fri Feb 22, 2002 8:30 am

Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Richard Silagi

If this is the plane you saw, its a 757-200.
Posts: 148
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 1999 2:49 am


Fri Feb 22, 2002 12:51 pm

hey Cactuscmh !

it is so nice to read how good the service on JAL was ! thanx. I quite often choose JAL whenever possible and I always admire the hard-working JAL crew. Much better than other European Airlines !

But why does JAL never rank as a best airline ? Often "The Beest Airlines of the Year" is something like swissair or Lufthansa... .
Topic Author
Posts: 100
Joined: Tue May 08, 2001 8:48 pm

RE: Asia Trip, AA, JL, KA Part I

Fri Feb 22, 2002 11:28 pm

Nwairlines, this is it! This was the Delta Olympic color I saw in CMH. I have to apoloize for the mistake I made. When I saw this Delta plane, I couldn't see the 757 pointy noise. That's why I said it was a 767.
Topic Author
Posts: 100
Joined: Tue May 08, 2001 8:48 pm

RE: Cactuscmh!

Fri Feb 22, 2002 11:48 pm

Hello SRA330-223!
Thanks for your response. I totally agree with you. I also wonder why JAL isn't ranked as high as SIA or Emirate. One reason I can think of is that they don't have those innovative and fancy business and first class seatings like SIA and Cathay have.
I flew JAL from NRT to HKG 3 or 4 years ago and I got a free upgrade to business class. I wasn't very impressed with the service and product because it lacked some of the business class services like pre-takeoff drink, amenitie kit and flight attendant addressed you by name. Also, I had a Hong Kongese FA serving me that time, and she wasn't as friendly and hardworking as the FAs I had this time.
Would you mind if you can tell me more about your flight with JAL in terms of service and seating comfort?
America West
Posts: 1151
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2001 6:54 am

RE: Asia Trip, AA, JL, KA Part I

Sat Feb 23, 2002 10:28 am

It's too bad it WASN'T a 767.  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

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