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Thursday, November 29, 2012

JAL Christmas concerts 2012

The JAL cabin attendant band for Christmas concerts 2012 at rehearsal
The JAL cabin attendant band for Christmas concerts 2012 at rehearsal. Image from Japan Airlines official Facebook page

Japan Airlines (JAL) will continue its tradition to organize a handful of Christmas concerts to play and sing us some Christmas Carols. Every year JAL staffs volunteer for this event to share the joy to visitors of Japan. There will be a cabin attendant band called JAL Bell Star which usually consist of 9 to 10 cabin attendants and they will be playing some Christmas music with bells. The other team is the JAL Group Choir, JAL Freude, which will be singing Christmas carols at the concerts.

JAL to add JAL Global Club Entrance (express security lane) at New Chitose Airport

JAL Global Club Entrance at Tokyo Haneda
JAL Global Club Entrance at Tokyo Haneda

Back in September 2010, Japan Airlines (JAL) announced a new JAL Global Club (JGC) Entrance at Tokyo Haneda Airport, which is basically a separate express security lane for JGC, JMB Sapphire and oneworld Sapphire members. It was then expanded to Osaka Itami and Fukuoka earlier this year in March. And now it is finally Sapporo New Chitose Airport's turn! With this latest addition, JAL will provide express security lanes for its domestic First Class passengers and the mid and top tier elites at 4 major airports in Japan.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Say hello to Air Kentucky Fried Chicken

JAL to introduce Air Kentucky Fried Chicken on select flights.
JAL to introduce Air Kentucky Fried Chicken on select flights. Image from Japan Airlines

Say hello to Colonel Sanders when you board Japan Airlines (JAL) flight next time. JAL announced today it is going to collaborate with Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) Japan to serve Air KFC on select international flights departing from Japan between December 2012 and February 2013. Air KFC is the 7th dish in the popular JAL Air Series which JAL cooperates with popular restaurants and food chains in Japan to bring familiar tastes onboard for its customers.

JAL to serve Jean-Paul Hévin macarons in premium classes for a limited time

JAL to serve JEAN-PAUL HÉVIN macarons in First and Business Classes for a limited time
JAL to serve Jean-Paul Hévin macarons in First and Business Classes for a limited time. Image from Japan Airlines

Japan Airlines (JAL) and award-winning master chocolatier Mr. Jean-Paul Hévin have decided to collaborate once again (for the 3rd time) to create some special treats for passengers flying on JAL international premium classes. During December and January, JAL will be serving macarons from Jean-Paul Hévin in First Class and Business Class on select flights departing from Japan.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

10% off economy class ticket on Tokyo-San Diego route

Commemorative discount offer on the new San Diego - Tokyo Narita route
Commemorative discount offer on the new San Diego - Tokyo Narita route. Image from Japan Airlines

I have just received an e-mail from Japan Airlines (JAL) about the commemorative discount offer on the new San Diego - Tokyo Narita route which is scheduled to launch on December 2 2012. For a limited time, American region JAL Mileage Bank (JMB) members who purchased their economy class tickets that has JL065 and JL066 as part of their eligible itinerary to Japan and Asia will receive 10% off the base fares.

JAL extends two bonus FLY ON Points campaigns till end of 2013


As expected, Japan Airlines (JAL) will once again extend the two bonus FLY ON Point (FOP) campaigns they have been running in past years. Under these campaigns, JAL Card holders will earn 10-20% extra FOPs and passengers flying eligible fares will earn 200 - 400 extra FOPs.

JAL unveils special Tokyo 2020 livery [Updated]

JAL special Tokyo 2020 livery
JAL special Tokyo 2020 livery. Image from Japan Airlines

[Updated to include extra info from the official press release]

On November 9 2012, Japan Airlines (JAL) announced that they have signed up to be one of the official partners to support Tokyo's bid for the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics. One of the ways JAL shows its support is to fly an airplane with special livery. Today JAL has officially unveiled the Tokyo 2020 special livery at Tokyo Haneda.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

JAL MD-90 retirement tour

JAL to organize retirement tour for the MD-90
JAL to organize retirement tour for the MD-90. Image from Japan Airlines

Japan Airlines (JAL) announced couple weeks ago that it will be organizing a 2-day retirement tour for the MD-90 on January 12 2013 and promised to release more details on November 20 2012, which is today! So here are the details of the retirement tours. JAL has scheduled JA8070 to be used on this tour. It is the only MD-90 painted with the new livery because it was due for a paint job as part of the maintenance. But of course this could change due to aircraft maintenance and routing. There will be a total of 3 flights: Tokyo Haneda (HND) to Kushiro (KUH) and Kushiro to Oita (OIT) on Day 1 and Oita to Tokyo Haneda on Day 2. Below is the details of the itinerary.

JAL collaborates with Shiseido to celebrate 5th anniversary of domestic first class

JAL to collaborate with Shiseido Parlour to celebrate the 5th anniversary of domestic first class service
JAL to collaborate with Shiseido Parlour to celebrate the 5th anniversary of domestic first class service. Image from Japan Airlines

Ever since Japan Airlines (JAL) first introduced Domestic First Class on its Tokyo Haneda - Osaka Itami route on December 1 2007, it has been launching campaigns to celebrate the anniversary of Domestic First Class in every December. This year, JAL will be collaborating with Shiseido Parlour (a subsidiary of Shiseido), who happens to be celebrating its 110th anniversary right now, to develop some special inflight menus to celebrate the 5th anniversary of JAL Domestic First Class in December.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

JAL celebrate San Diego launch with special menus and announces daily service from March 1 2013

Special business class menu on JL066 from Tokyo Narita to San Diego
Special business class menu on JL066 from Tokyo Narita to San Diego. Image from Japan Airlines.

Japan Airlines (JAL) will launch the first ever non-stop service between San Diego and Asia on December 2 2012 with its state-of-art Boeing 787-8. Initially the service will only be 4 daily roundtrips with flights operating on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. To celebrate the launch of this route, JAL has prepared some special menus exclusive for this route between December 2 2012 and February 28 2013. Also JAL announces today that it will be expanding the Tokyo Narita (NRT) - San Diego (SAN) flights into daily service from March 1 2013. Reservations on the extra flights will begin on November 14 2012.

Monday, November 12, 2012

JAL announces 2013 New Year Sunrise Tours

JAL will organize 2 New Year sunrise tours this year
JAL will organize 2 New Year sunrise tours this year. Image from Japan Airlines

Every year Japan Airlines (JAL) will organize a special sunrise tour on the New Year day so passengers can watch the New Year sunrise near the Fuji Mountain up in the air. And this year is no difference. JAL announces today it will be organizing two New Year sunrise tours this year, one from Tokyo Haneda and one from Tokyo Narita.

Friday, November 9, 2012

JAL supports Tokyo's bid for the 2020 Olympics & Paralympics

JAL supports Tokyo's bid for the 2020 Olympics & Paralympics
JAL supports Tokyo's bid for the 2020 Olympics & Paralympics. Image from Japan Airlines

Japan Airlines (JAL) has long been a supporter of the Japan Olympics. Of course JAL will sign up as the official partner to support Tokyo's bid for the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics. From now till the host city is announced on September 7 2013, JAL will be promoting Tokyo as the 2020 games candidate city in various ways.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Special wine and bread menu on Beaujolais Nouveau Day 2012 (November 15)

JAL will be serving 2012 Beaujolais Villages Nouveau on Beaujolais Nouveau Day
JAL will be serving 2012 Beaujolais Villages Nouveau on Beaujolais Nouveau Day. Image from JALUX

Japan Airlines (JAL) announces they will be serving a special wine and bread on the Beaujolais Nouveau Day, which falls on November 15 this year. Beaujolais Nouveau is a French red wine made from gamay grapes from the Beaujolais region and has a very short fermentation time. The wine is supposed to consume as soon as possible when it is fresh and fruity. This wine is released to the public on the third Thursday of November every year and this day is called the Beaujolais Nouveau Day.

To celebrate this year's Beaujolais Nouveau Day, JAL will be serving the 2012 Beaujolais Villages Nouveau from Pierre Ferraud & Fils and a JAL Original bread, PAIN AU BEAUJOLAIS, from Maison Kayser created just for this occasion on select international flights and at the lounges on November 15 2012.

Try out the new JAL seats and business class menu at "JAL Welcome! New Sky Cafe" [Updated]

JAL opens "JAL Welcome! New Sky Cafe" for a limited time
JAL opens "JAL Welcome! New Sky Cafe" for a limited time. Image from Japan Airlines

[Updated with menu info and its pricing]

If you want to try out Japan Airlines' (JAL) brand new seats on SKY SUITE 777 which JAL will roll out on the Tokyo Narita - London Heathrow route from January 9 2013 and cannot afford to fly in their premium cabin, here's your chance! For a limited time, JAL has cooperated with Royal Garden Cafe and opened the "JAL Welcome! New Sky Cafe" at Aoyama. Inside the cafe, there are demo units of the new seats and sample the new Business Class menu.

Monday, November 5, 2012

[Updated] JAL adds Bangkok Airways as a Mileage Bank and codeshare partner

JAL and Bangkok Airways codeshare flight network. Image from Japan Airlines

[Update: JAL and PG have issued a press release regarding this new JMB partnership and codeshare agreement] 

Japan Airlines (JAL) announces the new partnership with Bangkok Airways (PG). JAL Mileage Bank (JMB) members can now redeem miles on PG operated flights. But there are no words on mileage accumulation rate yet you will NOT be able to accrue mileage on PG flights. To celebrate the commemoration of the new partnership, JAL is launching a discount mileage campaign which JMB members can redeem a economy class roundtrip ticket on PG with as little as 5,000 miles!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Sampling oneworld Premium Services: Japan Airlines New York JFK Sakura Lounge

JAL Sakura Lounge at New York JFK Terminal 1
JAL 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]

Even though I know Japan Airlines (JAL) does not offer much at the New York JFK lounges, I still went there early so I can check out the Sakura Lounge too. The Sakura Lounge is located on the right hand side and has quite an interesting layout. Most of the seats are facing the window overlooking the apron and it looks almost like a movie theatre or lecture hall :o As you can see form the picture above, the front row seats get a desk too. I would have definitely picked one of those seats if I had to stay on the Sakura side but luckily I have access to a slightly better First Class Lounge this time :)

[Updated 3] JAL set launch date of the new SS7 cabin and uploads official seat map

JAL SS7 W83 configuration with the new long-haul products
JAL SS7 W83 configuration with the new long-haul products which has more economy seats than advertised. Image from Japan Airlines

[Update 3: JAL has published an updated version of the seat map which you can find in this post]
[Update2: Added explanation from JAL regarding why there are more seats than advertised on the W83 seat map]
[Update: JAL has removed the W83 configuration from their website but the picture is still available. And the booking engine still shows a seat map that matches the one announced earlier today. Did they take it down because of a mistake in the Economy cabin?]

Finally, Japan Airlines (JAL) has set the launch date for the new long-haul Boeing 777-300ER cabins, SKY SUITE 777 (SS7). JAL will first roll out the new SS7 on Tokyo Narita (NRT) - London Heathrow (LHR) route from January 9 2013. But initially it will only be available on odd numbered days in January and even number days in February as JAL will only have one retrofitted SS7 in January. By late February, JAL will have retrofitted 2 SS7s and it will be available on the LHR route on a daily basis.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

JAL to organize special launch tour for the new San Diego route

We all know Japan Airlines (JAL) loves to organize special tours especially when they launch a new route or when they retire an aircraft type from their fleet (they recently announced a 2-day domestic tour for the MD-90 retirement and more details will be released on November 20 2012). So it shouldn't be a surprise that JAL will be organizing a special tour for the new Tokyo Narita (NRT) - San Diego (SAN) 787 route launch this December. It will be a 5 day tour and you will be able to fly on the inaugural flight JL066 from NRT to SAN on December 2 2012. Below are the details of the itinerary.