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mel
Topic Author
Posts: 1066
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 1999 5:13 am

Tokyo-Boston Via JAL 787 In Y-class (pics+vid)

Fri Sep 13, 2013 3:39 am







Hi everyone, it has been a few years I have posted a trip report so I might be a little rusty.

Here is a trip from Tokyo to Boston on the 787. It was actually the end of a round-the-world trip where I flew the 787 a total of four times, but if I included all segments of the trip in this report, the damn thing would never end.

At the checkin counter I requested a window seat, but because I had checked in fairly late, the only window that was left was an actual window seat, but the area of the aft fuselage where the window does not exist. Why do you do this Boeing? Oh well... I still preferred this over sitting in a middle or aisle seat, as I thought I could still lean forward or aft and get steal the view temporarily for the passenger sitting in front, or behind. So that ended up working fine, although it limited the amount of window shots I could take. The checkin agent was very apologetic about the lack of window in that row.

































Over at the gate, I was wondering around Terminal 2 taking photos of various British Airways, American, JAL, Scoot, and FInnair photos parked at the gate... and actually made it to the Boston gate fairly late -- during final boarding stages. So I grabbed some photos of the plane at the gate, and on the jetway, and boarded at last minute.









The JAL 787 actually looks horrible from an exterior perspective. It really has zero design cues on it, from a paint perspective. Just the JAL crane and some boring black titles. So the plane really doesn't do anything for me from the outside.













Inside, it was kind of shocking to see that Business Class did *NOT* have a lie-flat product. This is becoming the norm among well-respected international carriers, and you'd think JAL would fit the mould and install such seats, but no. The seats looked comfortable, however... and the JAL onboard service makes up for the inferior seat. The load factor was roughly 80%, with only 1 or 2 empty Business Class seats.

We pushed back ontime, taxied over to runway 34L and were ontime in taking to the skies. This day was actually the inaugural trip to San Diego for JAL, and I'm pretty sure we taxied past that aircraft as it sat remote until the afternoon.

Onboard, the service was fantastic (typical of a Japanese carrier). The first Economy meal served was one of the best I've ever had. The variety, the flavour of the food, the service -- all impeccable. A few examples of how good the service is:
- Haagen Daas ice cream is served for dessert in Economy
- they separate portions of the meal from one another, even in the entree dish the saucy portions are physically separated from the rice using a small paper tray under the meat portion
- chopsticks, and toothpick are given. 2 spoons are given (1 for the ice cream)
- they give you a dip for the veggies
- the napkin is actually a full-sized heavy napkin
- individual bottled water is given for each passenger on each tray
- miso soup is served as a side dish

Some of the negative aspects of the airplane (yes, the 787 has some)
- I felt the airplane did not handle continuous light turbulence overly well. It's difficult to judge this, but I've traveled over 2 million miles, so I am actually able to compare/contrast planes quite well. I find the 777 actually handles turbulence much better. The wing on the 787 just seemed a bit stiffer, similar to the CRJ-200 and how it deals with turbulence poorly.
- the lav doors on the 787 open kind of strange, and when they close -- they slam shut very loud. If you are sitting next to, or close to a lav -- this is a major problem. And this is a problem that should have been easily identified during testing stages.
- I find there is a constant electrical-type hummmmm noise throughout the cabin constantly during flight. This can also be annoying, though earplugs will help reduce this noise.
- I also find the window seat that is missing a window to be a huge design flaw. I realize they do this for certain reasons (hiding electrical wiring or something like that), but it is a flaw.
- specific to JAL, the entertainment boxes that chew up your legroom is also a mistake. Airlines should be able to find the space under the floor to hide this stuff -- similar to what Air Canada does. Taking up my already confined legroom with an unnecessary box is a huge pain.
- also specific to JAL - the headrests are not adjustable. The simply stick out on each corner of the seat, but you can't cram it any tighter so as to avoid any head bobbing from left to right. Also the IFE content did not have many "north american" TV selections. It was mainly catered towards Japanese content, but I fully understand why. JAL caters more to its own market rather than those abroad.
- the cabin humidity is supposed to be noticeably better, but I couldn't tell a difference. I mean really, you are essentially comparing humidity levels of roughly 5% on a "traditional" airliner to roughly 15% on a 787. A 15% humidity is still extremely low if you think about it.





































Overall, it was a pleasure to fly another airline's 787. I've done ANA, United, and JAL so far, and will probably do British Airways next. JAL's service level is top notch. We arrived and departed ontime. I got great photos of the flight -- what more can you ask for?

here is a video from the whole flight:
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=...=vb.224250590949581&type=3&theater





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theaviator380
Posts: 682
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2013 8:44 pm

RE: Tokyo-Boston Via JAL 787 In Y-class (pics+vid)

Fri Sep 13, 2013 2:20 pm

Good TR.

JAL looks decent with their Y product. I still don't understand > plastic stuff for serving food??? doesn't look appealing to me all. I guess most exciting and interesting part of journey was KFC food  

Cheers.
 
cytz_pilot
Posts: 391
Joined: Sun Dec 05, 1999 3:34 pm

RE: Tokyo-Boston Via JAL 787 In Y-class (pics+vid)

Fri Sep 13, 2013 5:02 pm

Thanks for posting this great report! Despite not being able to get onto the observation deck you got some fantastic photos of NRT.

Quoting mel (Thread starter):
Why do you do this Boeing?

Sorry you were stuck in the non-window row, I'd be pissed at that too. The reason there's no window in that particular spot is because it's where rear fuselage joins to the forward fuselage. It's the problem with modular aircraft, I suppose.  
 
PieterBoth
Posts: 139
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2010 5:49 pm

RE: Tokyo-Boston Via JAL 787 In Y-class (pics+vid)

Fri Sep 13, 2013 9:24 pm

Nice trip report! Couldn't believe JAL serve a KFC as a meal on board, I was shocked! Do any other airlines do this and serve branded fast food on their flights? Not sure I like the idea!
Also, agree, the JAL livery is probably one of the worst out there, it's so bland!
 
okapi
Posts: 162
Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2006 11:15 pm

RE: Tokyo-Boston Via JAL 787 In Y-class (pics+vid)

Fri Sep 13, 2013 11:35 pm

Hi Mel! Great report and stunning pictures. I agree with you on the rather dull JAL livery. On the other hand, the interiors are like what anyone would expect from a Japanese airline, clean and tidy.
Bad luck for the lack of window. It reminds me of the last row on an easyJet A319 I flew on some time ago.
Were there different meal choices available on that particular flight? I too am impressed by the KFC meal on a plane! Maybe they could think about a logo Jet  !
Cheers!
 
virtual
Posts: 26
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2007 1:14 am

RE: Tokyo-Boston Via JAL 787 In Y-class (pics+vid)

Sat Sep 14, 2013 1:47 pm

The 2-4-2 layout in Y on JAL looks much more comfortable than BA's 3-3-3 layout on their 787s.
 
User avatar
airbuseric
Posts: 3565
Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2005 1:24 am

RE: Tokyo-Boston Via JAL 787 In Y-class (pics+vid)

Sun Sep 15, 2013 3:23 am

Hi,

good to see this JAL flight covered here in YCL. Great cabin, and food. The KFC meal is definitely nice, especially to the US where a majority of people love these fastfood chains, and the meal is a original touch for an inflight meal. Better then what US airlines would serve you so why not...  

JAL's livery might be dull or boring to many, but instead it's clean and stylish. Like what suits this Japanese company very well. It's about the product and service given, not about the colours on an aircraft fuselage.
"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
 
ha763
Posts: 3201
Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2003 5:36 pm

RE: Tokyo-Boston Via JAL 787 In Y-class (pics+vid)

Sun Sep 15, 2013 10:28 am

Thanks for the trip report!

KFC is also very popular in Japan with 1200 or so outlets. Plus, the Air KFC was also served on European flights. JAL likes to partner with known brands to create limited time services. This was the seventh time JAL has partnered with a fast food company to offer a branded meal service under the Air series (they are now up to number 10).

JAL's livery has been rather boring for decades now. However, they do like to use that blank space for special promotional decals like these:


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Ryotaro Shinozaki
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Andrew Hunt - AirTeamImages



I suspect JAL will announce that the 787's (and the 777-200ERs) will be getting new JAL Sky Suite type seats in fiscal year 2014. JAL is working on the 777-300ERs and 767-300ERs and likely will be done by the end of fiscal year 2013.
 
The777Man
Posts: 6142
Joined: Sun Jul 04, 1999 4:54 am

RE: Tokyo-Boston Via JAL 787 In Y-class (pics+vid)

Mon Sep 16, 2013 8:21 am

Hi Matt!

Great to see you post trip report ! It's been too long !

Quoting mel (Thread starter):
Inside, it was kind of shocking to see that Business Class did *NOT* have a lie-flat product.

That is shocking! I can't believe the would do that on a new plane that they will fly mostly long haul with.

Quoting mel (Thread starter):
Onboard, the service was fantastic (typical of a Japanese carrier). The first Economy meal served was one of the best I've ever had. The variety, the flavour of the food, the service -- all impeccable. A few examples of how good the service is:
- Haagen Daas ice cream is served for dessert in Economy
- they separate portions of the meal from one another, even in the entree dish the saucy portions are physically separated from the rice using a small paper tray under the meat portion
- chopsticks, and toothpick are given. 2 spoons are given (1 for the ice cream)
- they give you a dip for the veggies
- the napkin is actually a full-sized heavy napkin
- individual bottled water is given for each passenger on each tray
- miso soup is served as a side dish

Very impressive! ANA also has great service in Y.

Quoting mel (Thread starter):
Some of the negative aspects of the airplane (yes, the 787 has some)
- I felt the airplane did not handle continuous light turbulence overly well. It's difficult to judge this, but I've traveled over 2 million miles, so I am actually able to compare/contrast planes quite well. I find the 777 actually handles turbulence much better. The wing on the 787 just seemed a bit stiffer, similar to the CRJ-200 and how it deals with turbulence poorly.
- the lav doors on the 787 open kind of strange, and when they close -- they slam shut very loud. If you are sitting next to, or close to a lav -- this is a major problem. And this is a problem that should have been easily identified during testing stages.
- I find there is a constant electrical-type hummmmm noise throughout the cabin constantly during flight. This can also be annoying, though earplugs will help reduce this noise.
- I also find the window seat that is missing a window to be a huge design flaw. I realize they do this for certain reasons (hiding electrical wiring or something like that), but it is a flaw.
- specific to JAL, the entertainment boxes that chew up your legroom is also a mistake. Airlines should be able to find the space under the floor to hide this stuff -- similar to what Air Canada does. Taking up my already confined legroom with an unnecessary box is a huge pain.
- also specific to JAL - the headrests are not adjustable. The simply stick out on each corner of the seat, but you can't cram it any tighter so as to avoid any head bobbing from left to right. Also the IFE content did not have many "north american" TV selections. It was mainly catered towards Japanese content, but I fully understand why. JAL caters more to its own market rather than those abroad.
- the cabin humidity is supposed to be noticeably better, but I couldn't tell a difference. I mean really, you are essentially comparing humidity levels of roughly 5% on a "traditional" airliner to roughly 15% on a 787. A 15% humidity is still extremely low if you think about it.

Interesting comparison.

I was very disappointed in my 787 experience especially with the 3-3-3 seating which makes it VERY cramped side ways. At least you were on JL that only has 8 across which seems much more comfortable.

Thanks again for an excellent report and please post one soon again!

The777Man
Boeing 777s flown: UA, TG, KE, BA, CX, NH, JD, JL, CZ, SQ, EK, NG, CO, AF, SV, KU, DL, AA, MH, OZ, CA, MS, SU, LY, RG, PE, AZ, KL, VN, PK, EY, NZ, AM, BR, AC, DT, UU, OS, AI, 9W, KQ, QR, VA, JJ, ET, TK, PR, BG, T5, CI, MU and LX.. Further to fly.. LH 777
 
MSS658
Posts: 2453
Joined: Sat Oct 16, 2010 8:16 am

RE: Tokyo-Boston Via JAL 787 In Y-class (pics+vid)

Sat Sep 21, 2013 10:00 am

Hi


Interesting TR about the 787, was going to log it next year but plans changed!
Great pics as well


Greetings
Marc
Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
 
nethkt
Posts: 1025
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2001 10:27 am

RE: Tokyo-Boston Via JAL 787 In Y-class (pics+vid)

Mon Sep 23, 2013 6:33 am

Gotta love all your hi-def professional pics. Very well done as usual.

I found the KFC meal is a hit or a miss.
But as JAL puts Japanese preferences over international's KFC is a nice product to JAP pax for a change.
However, fried chicken is better consumed immediately and not re-heated in my opinion.

Thank you once again.
Net-hkt
Let's just blame it on yields.

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