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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Sampling oneworld Premium Services: Japan Airlines New York JFK First Class Lounge

Entrance for JAL First Class Lounge and Sakura Lounge at New York JFK Terminal 1
Entrance for JAL First Class Lounge and Sakura Lounge at New York JFK Terminal 1

[Note: JAL has permanently closed the JFK lounges on October 31 2014. Eligible passengers are now invited to use the Air France lounge instead]

Finally, it's time to enjoy the Japan Airlines (JAL) First Class Lounges at New York JFK Terminal 1. JAL only operates First Class Lounges at 4 airports, Tokyo Narita, Tokyo Haneda, Frankfurt and New York JFK, so I was really excited to visit this lounge. However, I also didn't expect too much out of the JFK lounges, it is built long time ago and a renovation is long overdue. But then will JAL spend money on this lounge or will they just move to AA's terminal like they did at Chicago? So far nothing has been announced just speculations on some people's parts. Also Terminal 1 has a lot of state of arts technologies that helps airlines minimize delays and save on fuel.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Free monorail ticket and present campaign for overseas members

Let's Take Monorail from Haneda! Monorail Ticket Present Campaign for overseas JAL Mileage Bank members
Let's Take Monorail from Haneda! Monorail Ticket Present Campaign for overseas JAL Mileage Bank members. Image from Japan Airlines

Japan Airlines (JAL) has launched yet another Thanks to 25 million JAL Mileage Bank (JMB) members campaign targeting just the overseas members called "Let's Take Monorail from Haneda! Monorail Ticket Present Campaign". The first 2,500 qualifying overseas JMB members who present the voucher at the designated counter can get a free one-way Tokyo Monorail ticket and a lottery ticket to win some original prizes.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

JAL and BA expand their codeshare agreement to cover additional European cities

JAL and BA codeshare routes from London
JAL and BA codeshare routes from London. Image from Japan Airlines

Japan Airlines (JAL) and British Airways (BA) announced today that they have reached an agreement to expand their codeshare agreement to cover additional cities in Europe. Rome, Milan, Bologna, Amsterdam, and Warsaw will be added to the list of codeshare flights from October 28 2012. Reservation and sales have started today.

JAL announces the 2nd round of campaign for the 25 million JMB members celebration

Thanks to 25 Million JAL Mileage Bank Members Promotion
Thanks to 25 Million JMB Members Promotion. Image from Japan Airlines

As promised, Japan Airlines (JAL) has released the 2nd round of campaigns for the Thanks to 25 Million JAL Mileage Bank (JMB) Members! Promotion. Most of them are targeted towards the Japan region members. Only two hotel related campaigns are for overseas members. And even for the ones targeting the Japan region members are a bit disappointing to be honest. Below are the list of new campaigns announced today.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

JAL and AA will add the new Dallas Fort Worth - Seoul Incheon service to their joint business

American Airlines (AA) has just announced the new Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) - Seoul Icheon (ICN) service together with a couple of new flights to Lima, Dusseldorf and Dublin. The new ICN service will be AA's first service to South Korea. The new DFW-ICN flight will commence on May 9 2013 and will be part of AA and JAL's joint business agreement. This means they will be sharing profits and costs on this route.

The JAL/AA joint business has helped AA in the recovering process. Last week, AA announced unit revenue in the Pacific entity has increased 13.3% for the first 9 months of 2012. This is above the overall 8.0% increase in the international unit. AA cited the joint business with JAL as one of the reasons of this increase. 

For more details of the new AA service, you can refer to the AA Press Release

How did JAL design the new SKY SUITE and SKY WIDER seats?

Staff from JAL cabin product design department tried out the new SKY WIDER seat
Staff from JAL cabin product design department tried out the new SKY WIDER seat. Image from Japan Airlines

Japan Airlines (JAL) official Facebook page has posted some stories of the design process for the new business class and economy class seats which will first roll out to the Tokyo Narita - London Heathrow route in early January 2013. You can see how much attention to details that the design team paid even when they are designing for the Economy Class seats!

Monday, October 22, 2012

JAL Arashi Jet 2012 took off! [Updated]

JAL Arashi Jet 2012. Image from Japan Airlines
JAL Arashi Jet 2012. Image from Japan Airlines

[Update: Added video at Osaka Itami Airport]

Airlines (JAL) has finally officially announced the JAL Arashi Jet 2012, the 3rd edition of the special Arashi livery. The special livery looks just like what the leaked photos I reported earlier today. This year's theme is "Japan and our skies", which is printed in Japanese in the forward section of the fuselage under the "ARASHI JET". JAL picked Arashi again as their spokespersons because of their wide demographic fan base which covers both young and older generations of men and females. JAL hopes to stimulate travel demands with the help of Arashi once again.  

Is there a new JAL Arashi Jet coming soon?

[Update: JAL has announced the JAL Arashi Jet 2012 and the commencement flight has already took off]

Is a new Japan Airlines (JAL) Arashi Jet coming soon? Someone snapped a couple of pictures of what looks like will be a new JAL Arashi Jet at Tokyo Haneda (HND) and uploaded to Japanese website Fly Team. In the past 2 years, JAL has been painting some of their planes with the special Arashi liveries. But so far nothing has been announced yet for this year.

Sampling oneworld Premium Services: Japan Airlines New York JFK Check-In

JAL uses Terminal 1 at New York JFK Airport
JAL uses Terminal 1 at New York JFK Airport

Finally it's the day I have been waiting for! My first Japan Airlines (JAL) First Class flight :) I picked New York JFK because it is the longest flight in JAL's network and JFK is one of the few outports that JAL still operates its own First Class lounge (and the only one in North America). JAL uses Terminal 1 at JFK. Currently it is the only oneworld carrier that at Terminal 1. So no lounge hopping unless you qualify for other lounges with means other than your class of service and oneworld status.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

JAL First Class award inventory is wide open!?

JAL First Class Award is wide open for the next 11 months!
JAL First Class Award is wide open for the next 11 months!

GaryD on FlyerTalk pointed out that the First Class award inventory on Japan Airlines (JAL) flights are extremely generous today. In fact, you can find a First Class award seats on JAL flights to the US on a lot of the dates in the next 11 months!

Friday, October 19, 2012

JAL celebrated 50 years in Frankfurt

JAL celebrated 50th anniversary of the Tokyo - Frankfurt route. But something is seriously wrong with the cake they received as a gift from FRAPORT
JAL celebrated 50th anniversary of the Tokyo - Frankfurt route. But something is seriously wrong with the cake they received as a gift from FRAPORT. Image from Japan Airlines

Japan Airlines (JAL) celebrated the 50th anniversary of its Tokyo - Frankfurt route on October 4 2012. A JAL mini Oktoberfest was held at the departure gate of JL408 to celebrate the occasion and the lucky passengers also received some special gifts from JAL too!

R.I.P. ex-JAS 7J2/W91 configuration

ex-JAS 777 (JA007D) at Tokyo Haneda
ex-JAS 777 (JA007D) at Tokyo Haneda

When you look at Japan Airlines' (JAL) domestic timetable for October 28 2012 - January 7 2013, one of the things you might notice is the ex-Japan Air System (JAS) 777-200 configuration, 7J2, is missing. This probably means JAL will be pulling the last 7J2 configured 777 off the fleet to retrofit it with the standard JAL domestic 777 configuration.


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Special upgrade award discount on JAL Europe and North America routes

Special upgrade discount campaign on JAL Europe and North America routes
Special upgrade discount campaign on Europe and North America routes. Image from Japan Airlines

Japan Airlines (JAL) has just announced a rather amazing upgrade campaign for JAL Mileage Bank (JMB) members in the American and Europe/Middle East/Africa regions as part of the Thanks to 25 million JMB members! celebration. For a limited time, you can save up to 20,000 miles when upgrading from Economy to Business class on JAL flights between Japan and North America and Europe! However JAL is only running this campaign for a very limited time! Below are the details

JAL "Pink Scarf Flight" 2012

Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign
Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign. Image from Japan Airlines

Japan Airlines (JAL) has been supporting the Pink Ribbon Campaign to raise the awareness of breast cancer early detection and treatment since 2004. Every year during the breast cancer awareness month in October, JAL operates something called the "Pink Scarf Flight" domestically to help launch the campaign appeal in Japan and this year is no different.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

JAL will raise fuel surcharge from December 1 2012

Japan Airlines (JAL) has announced they will be raising the fuel surcharge on international tickets from December 1 2012. The two month Singapore kerosene-type jet fuel price average between August and September 2012 was USD130.89. It has barely crossed the USD130 mark and therefore Zone H of the fuel surcharge will apply :( The new one-way surcharge will range from USD31 on flights between Japan and Korea to USD327 on the long-haul flights. The new surcharge hasn't reached the record high yet, but is getting close. So issue your tickets now if you can. If you wait till December 1 to do so, you will have to pay more.  For more details, you can refer to JAL Press Release (Japanese, English)

JAL President talks about Asia expansion

According to Japan Times, Japan Airlines (JAL) President Yoshiharu Ueki was visiting India on Monday. During the visit, he has reveals some information on JAL's current Asia expansion plans including a few of possible new routes. According to Ueki, JAL is looking into expanding flights to emerging countries to meet the robust demand in the Asia-Pacific region.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

JAL expects demand on China routes to remain weak for 6 more months

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal (Japanese, English), Japan Airlines (JAL) President Yoshiharu Ueki discussed about the effects of the recent dispute between China and Japan on the airline. Although he expects the demand on the China routes to remain affected in the next 6 months, JAL full-year target will not be affected at all thanks to robust demand on the US and European routes.

Monday, October 15, 2012

2 special JAL 787 flights took off [Updated]

JAL 787 was welcomed with water canon salute at SIN.
JAL 787 was greeted with water canon salute at SIN. Image from Changi Airport Group

[Update: Added link to the SIN commencement flight album on Strait Times]

There were two special Japan Airlines (JAL) 787 flight that took off yesterday. The first one is commencement flight of the recently unveiled JAL x Ghibli special decal JET (JA828J) for the SORA wo TOBU (Fly the Skies) project. And the second one is the launch of 787 service to Singapore. Below are the video and links to pictures of these two commencement flights.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

JAL reveals special 787 livery for the SORA wo TOBU project [Update 2]

Special JAL x Ghibli 787 livery for the SORA wo TOBU project
Special JAL x Ghibli 787 livery for the SORA wo TOBU project. Image from Japan Airlines

[Updated with link to photo album of today's official reveal event from Mainichi Daily]
[Update 2: Include YouTube video of the plane posted by Yiuchan in the comment]

Japan Airlines (JAL) finally reveals the long awaited special JAL x Ghibli special decal JET 787 livery for the SORA wo TOBU project (it means Fly the Skies project) today. The SORA wo TOBU project is a collaboration between JAL and Studio Ghibli aiming to bring you the "Dreams, Joy and Delight of Flying the Skies". JAL has been showing some special inflight programs created by Studio Ghibli is the past couple of months, including an exclusive short animate created by director Hayao Miyazaki. Another part of the collaboration was to hold a drawing competitions for kids and use the winning entries to decorate a special 787 plane.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Police released alleged cabin voyeur after failing to identify the crime location

jiji.com (Japanese only) and Sankei (Japanese only) report that the Japanese police had to release an alleged cabin voyeur because they failed to identify the crime location. This is after witnesses have identified the crime occurred at the Hyogo Prefecture airspace, pictures were found on the suspect's computer and the guy admitted to the charge! Sound ridiculous right?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Double mileage promotion on the Boston route is back!

Great news for the JAL Mileage Bank (JMB) America region members! Japan Airlines (JAL) is bringing back the double mileage promotion they had earlier in the year on their Boston flights. The campaign will run from November 1 2012 till February 28 2013 and registration prior to travel is required. This means both of San Diego and Boston 787 routes will be having double mileage campaign this winter :D Below are the details.

JAL to launch direct Helsinki service from February 25 2013


Today Japan Airlines (JAL) announces February 25 2013 as the launch date of its Tokyo Narita (NRT) - Helsinki (HEL) 787 service. Previously, JAL planned to start this service in March instead. Given its location is much closer to Japan compared to other European gateway and the 35 minutes minimum connection time (MCT) for transit passenger in their compact terminal, the new NRT-HEL flight will offer JAL passengers a stress free and shortest transit experience to many Northern, Central and Eastern European cities.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

JAL announces JMB Award Ticket Priority Flights for Jan - Mar 2013

Japan Airlines (JAL) has just announced the JMB Award Ticket Priority Flights for travel between January and March 2013. Other than the already announced addition of the Sapporo Chitose (CTS) - Osaka Kansai (KIX) / Nagoya Chubu (NGO) routes, JAL has also added one extra Tokyo Haneda (HND) - Okinawa Naha (OKA) flight to the eligible list. Below are the list of JMB Award Ticket Priority Flights for this period.

JAL Mileage Bank has reached 25 million members!

Thanks to 25 Million JAL Mileage Bank Members Promotion
Thanks to 25 Million JMB Members Promotion. Image from Japan Airlines

Japan Airlines (JAL) has announced that their frequent flyer program, JAL Mileage Bank (JMB), has reached the 25 million members milestone. To celebrate this amazing achievement, JAL has launched a series of campaign. The first 3 campaigns were announced today and more will be announced on October 25 2012 (JST).

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Sampling oneworld Premium Services: American Airlines Los Angeles to New York JFK Business Class Catering

June business class menu on AA32
June business class menu on AA32 

I have never had any meals served by American Airlines (AA) before. Not even in economy as I would usually bought my food at the airport instead of paying $10 for a cold sandwich. So I am "excited" to try out their meals to see how they compared to other carriers. Oh of course, I am also excited to get my first pre-departure drink too! As you might know, Japan Airlines (JAL) still chooses not to serve pre-departure drinks in premium cabins even after a change in Japan aviation law.

Friday, October 5, 2012

JAL extends flight cuts to China till November 17 2012

Japan Airlines (JAL) announced that they will be extending the previously announced flight cut on select China routes till November 17 2012. Originally JAL planned to resume those flights on October 28 when winter schedule starts but demand is still severely affected by the current political conflicts between the two countries and therefore JAL has no choice but to extend the temporary suspensions.


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Cathay bonus miles on select routes is back!


Last year, Japan Airlines (JAL) ran a Cathay Pacific Airways (CX) bonus miles campaign target specifically for the Japan region JAL Mileage Bank (JMB) members. And this campaign is back once again for the Japan region members only! For those Japan region members who registered for the campaign and travel on select CX flights with eligible fares between October 1 and December 15 2012 are eligible.