Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Portable TV service trial at Haneda Sakura lounge

Japan Airlines has rolled out a trial service at Haneda Airport Sakura Lounge. During the trial period between December 1 2009 and February 28 2010, JAL will provide a limited number of personal TV sets for passengers so they can watch TV at the Sakura Lounge. For details, you can refer to JAL website (Japanese only)

JAL stock is down 23.9% today!

Due to growing concern that Japan Airlines may file for bankruptcy, and therefore delisting itself from Tokyo Stock Exchange, JAL stock has dropped to all time low today. At some point, the stock even hit 60 yen and ended the day at 67 yen. How come it's taking this long for the Japanese Government to decide on what to do with JAL?

Source: AFP via Google News

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

February movie list on JAL flights

Japan Airlines has posted the February program listing for its inflight entertainment network. The only repeated movies are Surrogates, Michael Jackson's That Is It. Below are the movies available on MAGIC-I and II.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Yet another devaluation of JMB program - upgrade award change

Japan Airlines has announced yet another change/devaluation to its JMB program. From April 1 2010, booking class "L" will NO LONGER BE ELIGIBLE for upgrade awards using JMB miles nor upgrade points. This doesn't affect me much personally since the lowest transpacific fare eligible for upgrade awards is H and K for Japan and Asia flights respectively. For details, you can refer to JAL website. So what's next? Change in elite benefits? Less bonus miles? Any guess?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

JAL extends SUPER discounted upgrade award promotion

As expected, Japan Airlines once again extends the popular SUPER discounted upgrade award promotion. The promotion which originally ends on December 31 2009 will be extended to March 31 2010.

Termination of JMB hotel awards

Another devaluation of JMB program :( Japan Airlines has announced the termination of the hotel award. According to JAL Hong Kong website, JMB Hotel Awards will be terminated on March 31 2010. Hotel awards will no longer be accepted after March 31 2010. The last check-out date for hotel awards will be April 1 2010. You can refer to JAL website for details.

JMB devaluation coming

Japan Airlines has announced mileage accumulation rate will be revised from April 1 2010.

Business class "I" fare accumulation rate will be reduced from 125% to 70%. Further revisions for applicable JAL Economy class for mileage accumulation will also be revised on/after April 1 2010. JAL will announce the details in January 2010. This is definitely bad news :( You can view the full announcement on JAL website.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Brand new look

I finally have time to work on the new look for the blog (more like modifying other people's template :P). There are still couple more minor problems in the layout. But I am going to call it for the day after manually modifying each of the old post such that the "Read more »" link will appear. Enjoy the new look :)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Rumor: 7 JAL advisors to step down

Nikkei reports that Japan Airlines plans to stop hiring ex-CEOs as honorary/senior advisors. Haruka Nishimatsu, JAL CEO, sent letters to 7 former employees, including ex-Presidents Toshiyuki Shinmachi and Isao Kaneko, informing them about the decision. They will step down as early as February.

Source: Nikkei via Bloomberg

X'mas/New Year period traffic forecasts

Japan Airlines has released its X'mas/New Year period traffic forecasts. Due to all the flight suspensions and capacity reductions, load factors will improve but total number of passengers will decrease. There will be 76 and 119 additional international and domestic flights respectively. Transpacific routes will see a 96.7% load. But my return flight doesn't see that full in business class. Does it mean we will see quite a number of op-ups :P For details of the forecasts, you can refer to JAL Press Release.

JAL cabin attendant X'mas concerts

Japan Airlines cabin attendants will be singing X'mas songs in Tokyo! There are 11 shows planned at different locations. Every year the cabin crew and other JAL employees volunteer to give a X'mas concert to visitors of Japan.

JAL to use 787 on new long haul services?

Opodo travel news from the UK has reported Japan Airlines has offered its congratulations to Boeing and is keening waiting for the first delivery of 787. In the article, it also mentions JAL will be using the 787 on new long haul services.

Rumor: JAL is likely to choose Delta over American

Ashai News (in Japanese) reports that Japan Airlines is likely to choose Delta over American Airlines as its overseas partner. But Asahi does not cite its sources and JAL "strongly denied" the report. Reuters has a brief translation of the article.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

JAL withdraws from Shizuoka airport

Japan Airlines has announced its withdrawal from the Shizuoka Airport today. JAL will suspend all routes connecting Shizuoka from April 1 2010. JAL currently operates 1 daily flight to Sapporo and 3 daily flights to Fukouka from Shizuoka. The Shizuoka Airport was opened on June 4 2009, which means JAL's Shizuoka routes does not even survive for a year :(

Source: JAL Press Release (in Japanese)

Monday, December 14, 2009

November Trip Report Part III - LAX oneworld Lounge

LAX oneworld lounge
LAX oneworld lounge

Switching from the non-alliance lounge to the oneworld lounge at LAX is definitely an upgrade for Japan Airlines business class (non-oneworld elite) passengers. The part I like most of the oneworld lounge is the hot food!!! 

Thursday, December 10, 2009

JAL is uploading the December menus

Finally Japan Airlines started uploading the J and Y menu on its December flights (F menus have been uploaded long time ago). Instead of doing the usual menu change at the beginning of the month, JAL decided to do the change on December 15 instead. And they kept delaying the menu upload (from end of Nov to early Dec but now they are still uploading. E.g. LAX-NRT hasn't been uploaded yet!)

To find out menus on your flight, you can visit JAL website (Japanese only)

PS: WOW the steak looks so good on NRT-LAX flights, I might just pick the western option for the first time on my return flight :)

November 2009 Trip Report Part II - Amenities

Japan Airlines finally changes the toothbrush packaging! If you have seen the business class amenity kits on JAL, you will easily notice the toothbrush has a different packaging than the rest of the items. Not anymore! JAL finally changed the toothbrush packaging to match the rest of the amenity kits.

Amenity Kit on 2009-11-15 JL062

JAL Business Class "amenity kit"
JAL Business Class "amenity kit"

November 2009 Trip Report Part I - Snacks

Finally here are some pictures from my trip back in November. Below are the snacks available on my Japan Airlines flights in November.

Rice crackers and nuts packages in JAL Business Class
Rice crackers and nuts packages in JAL Business Class

I finally start working on the trip report for my November flights

Can't believe I wait this long to write up the trip reports for my November flights on Japan Airlines. I took JL061 on November 4 and JL062 on November 15. So it took me almost a month to finally start on this report (sorry I have been kind of busy). And in a few hours, I will have to add one more to-do trip report to my list since I am heading out to LAX for my next JAL flight :P. This time I try to divide the report into different topics (easier for me to write :P). The first two parts are about the snacks and amenities. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

JAL retirees join employees to hand out flyers

Remember the "Let's do Something" movement back in September when Japan Airlines employees and CEO handed out flyers on the street? JAL employees did it again but the difference this time is JAL retirees joined them :)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

JAL announced further capacity and frequency reductions

Japan Airlines has announced more capacity and frequency cuts for the remaining of the fiscal year. Narita-Sao Paulo and Narita-Pudong will see frequency reductions while Narita-Beijing, Haneda-Beijing, and Haneda-Hong Kong will be switched to smaller aircraft.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Volume 22 of JAL Today's Topic - Carrying Children's Hopes and Dreams

Japan Airlines has uploaded volume 22 of their Today's topic, the video you see onboard on JAL flights. This time the topic is about JAL Group activities in support of children.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Michael Moore: J*L lost my luggage LOL

Michael Moore was in Japan promoting its latest film and had a press conference. During the conference he apologized for his attire and explained the japanese airlines lost his luggage. You can see the full conversation in the video below.

Delta's response to oneworld's offer: we will raise our offer if needed

Delta President Edward Bastian told reports in Tokyo today that they are willing to raise their offer if requested by the Japanese government according to Reuters.

Details of oneworld's offer

oneworld has issued a press release outlining the details of its offer to Japan Airlines. It also explains why oneworld is the "best" option for JAL.

Below are the highlights:
  1. All oneworld airlines' CEO reaffirm support to JAL
  2. The offer to JAL is value at USD1.8 billion, which include cash investment and revenue opportunity.
  3. oneworld has the most suitable hubs and network for JAL and could deliver more premium passengers to JAL than Skyteam.
  4. JAL has to best chance to get antitrust immunity approval with AA and therefore securing a stable and successful future.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

AA and OW offer $1.1 billion

Bloomberg reports that AA, together with Oneworld and TPG, will offer as much as $1.1 billion investment to Japan Airlines. This is double of the amount Delta offered. The report doesn't provide investment distribution though. It would be interesting to see which OW carriers and how much they are willing to invest on JAL. My bet will be AA is the one who provide most of the investment since they will be the biggest loser if JAL to jump ship to Delta. But this is just MY GUESS

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

January movie list on JAL flights

Japan Airlines has posted the January program listing for its inflight entertainment network. The only repeated movie is G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, which is actually from October. The rest are all new. Below are the movies available on MAGIC-I and II.

Monday, November 30, 2009

JAL to cease operations at Shinshu-Matsumoto airport

Japan Airlines will move out of Shinshu-Matsumoto airport from June 1 2010. According to the press release (in Japanese), JAL will suspend all three routes at Shinshu-Matsumoto airport. Currently JAL operates 4 weekly flights to Sapporo, 3 weekly flights to Fukouka, and 1 daily flight to Itami.

Cease of JAL First Class Lounge and Sakura Lounge operation at London Heathrow

Japan Airlines will cease its operations of the JAL First Class Lounge and Sakura Lounge at London Heathrow airport from December 14 2009. Eligible passengers will be invited to use the British Airways' Galleries First and Galleries Club lounges instead.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

JAL asks for bridging loan

Japan Airlines has just issued a press release confirming its application for an emergency bridging loan.

JAL showing "This Is It" on January flights

Japan Airlines will be showing This Is It on its January flights. It will be on Channel 2 of the MAGIC systems. For details you can refer to JAL website (Japanese only)

Monday, November 23, 2009

More days with W73 operation on NRT-SFO route

Japan Airlines sneakily update the aircraft change announcement once again (see SFO got screwed once again). JAL added January 1-8 2010 as the dates which NRT-SFO will see W73 configuration instead of W82. In other words, no JAL Suites nor NEO seats. Only Solo and Shell Flat on those days. I wonder what's going on. Is it SFO's business class booking is so low that JAL want to use a 773 with a larger Y cabin or it is really due to aircraft maintenance. Either way, I am glad that I am not based on SFO as JAL seems to pick on them all the time LOL

JAL extends the “FLY ON Program“ Point Bonus Campaign once again

As expected, Japan Airlines extends the "FLY ON Program" Point Bonus Campaign to next year. JAL has updated its Japanese website but not the English one yet. For details, you can refer to here.

Friday, November 20, 2009

2nd Anniversary of JAL Domestic First Class

This coming December will mark the 2nd anniversary of Japan Airlines domestic First class. JAL first introduced the domestic First class on December 1 2007 on Haneda-Itami route. It is the first domestic First class service offered in Japan. Passengers can upgrade from economy class by paying a surcharge of 8,000 yen at check-in. To celebrate its 2nd anniversary, JAL is giving out free gifts to all of its domestic first class passengers in the month of December.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Let the JAL bidding war begin

Delta and other Skyteam members have officially made a bidding on Japan Airlines yesterday. They made a preliminary offer of $1.02 billion. On the other hand AA and TPG were rumored to offer $1.46 billion of investment for JAL.

JAL has only enough cash to cover 10 more days of operation?

Times Online reports that Japan Airlines may only have enough cash to cover 10 more days of operations!

Japan Airlines (JAL), which may have only enough cash to fund ten more days of operation, could be allowed to go bankrupt if a rescue package does not emerge quickly, the Government hinted yesterday.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Friday, November 13, 2009

Termination of newspaper service

Say goodbye to a free newspapers if you are flying on Japan Airlines Economy (domestic and international) and domestic J class seats. JAL will terminate the free newspaper service starting from January 4 2010. However, the service will continue in First class (domestic and international), Executive class (international), and Premium Economy class. You can refer to JAL website for details. I wonder how much this can save JAL this time :)

32.18 billion yen loss in second quarter

Japan Airlines has just announced its second quarter earning. JAL reports a 32.18 billion loss in the quarter ending September, revenue decreased 29% to 764 billion yen and passenger yield declined 35.5% and 1.9% for international and domestic flights respectively . Last year JAL made a profit of 40.09 billion yen in the same quarter last year. However, June-August 2008 is before the current economic crisis. Not sure if we can just simply compare the y.o.y data. But this is definitely better than last quarter's 99 billion yen loss. JAL also scrapped its whole year earning forecast because it is currently undergoing a restructuring. Another news is JAL confirmed its application to alternative debt resolution so that it will have enough $ for its daily operation. For details you can refer to JAL Press Release

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

JAL to introduce Premium Economy cabin on Sydney route

Japan Airlines will introduce Premium Economy service on Tokyo-Sydney route from December 1 2009.

This probably has to do with JAL's suspension of the second Narita-Heathrow flight (JL403/404) starting from December 7 2009. The once daily flight is operated with a 777-200ER aircraft with W51 configuration.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Snacks on JAL flights

JAL Business Class snacks
JAL Business Class snacks

Here are some pictures of the snacks available on Japan Airlines flights. The two snacks below are Baked Cheese Stick with Seafood Flavor and Almond, and the Rice Crackers.

LAX business class passengers can now use the Oneworld lounge

Japan Airlines has updated its lounge usage policy at LAX.

According to JAL website, JAL business class passengers are invited to use the Oneworld lounge instead of Los Angeles International Lounge, the non-alliance/Eva's lounge starting from October 25 2009. I would say this is an upgrade of lounge service for business class passengers. This is probably has to do with the lounge of the Premium Economy cabin on LAX route. This differentiate the lounge service offered to the passengers in the two different cabins.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Rumor: JAL to suspend 16 routes by June

Bloomberg reports that has a article regarding coming Japan Airlines flight suspensions. According to the report/rumor, JAL will suspend 16 international and domestic routes by June. JAL will submit the plan to transport ministry after getting JAL's board approval this week.

JAL has received the third 773 finally

According to the European Airline Scene blog, JA743J left Paine Field for delivery to Japan Airlines on October 28. It flown to Narita as JL7901. So JAL now finally has received all 3 773's this year. We will see JA743J in service very soon. Let's see if I am lucky enough to fly on it on my next flight :)

JA743J wasn't quite ready yet

As of October 6, JA743J, third and last 777-300ER to be delivered to Japan Airlines, wasn't quite ready for delivery yet.

December movie list on JAL flights

You can find the December movie list on Japan Airlines flights on their website. The only movie from last month are ThHarry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, the rest are all new! Below are the movies available on MAGIC-I and II.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

JAL Cargo violates trade regulations in Korea!?!?

The Wall Street Journal reports Japan Airlines has received a letter from South Korea's Fair Trade Commission stating JAL Cargo has violated trade regulations in Korea. But the final conclusion of the investigation hasn't been reached yet. Though JAL says it will take appropriate measures if the trade violation accusation is true. Last year JAL pleaded guilty and was fined USD110M in the US. So this violate could be true. Um...Just in time to get more money from JAL/Japanese government LOL

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

JAL applying for ETIC help?

Japan Airlines has just published a press release regarding its restructuring. JAL is officially applying for the Enterprise Turnaround Initiative Corporation (ETIC) help and has initiated preliminary consultation. According to, the transportation minister, Seiji Maehara, is supposing having a press conference right now after receiving the JAL restructuring report from the expert panel.

Rumor: Japanese government may finalize JAL bailout package today

Multiple Japanese newspapers reports that the Japanese government will finalize Japan Airlines' bailout package after noon today (Japan time). This will likely include tapping into the funding of the newly established Enterprise Turnaround Initiative Corporation of Japan (ETIC). For details of this latest JAL rumor, you can refer to Reuters which has an English summary of what has been reported. (Or if you prefer Japanese, you can read more here)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

SFO got screwed once again

Sorry SFO, you are getting screwed once again. Japan Airlines has added extra dates in December which JL001/002 between NRT and SFO will be operated by a 773 with older configuration.

Pictures of JA743J

IF Boeing has not delivered JA743J to Japan Airlines yet, it will be very soon. JA743J is the third and last 777-300ER to be delivered to JAL in 2009.

Delay again on Day 2 of 773 LAX operation

WOW what a start for 773 operation for Japan Airlines LAX route. First JL062 was delayed because of ship change on Day 1. Now on Day 2, it was delayed again. This time because of strong wind at Narita. But JAL finally fixed the delay problem on Day 3. They were able to use another 773 on JL062 before JL061 arrives. So where did they find the 773? Has Boeing finally delivered JA743J?

Monday, October 26, 2009

JAL launches daily Haneda-Beijing flight

Japan Airlines starts its daily charter flight (JL8823) to Beijing from Haneda on October 25. An opening ceremony was held at Haneda Terminal 1 on Sunday to celebrate the inauguration (ANA and Air China starts their charter flights on the same day too). The Mainichi Daily News has a picture of the ceremony. JAL CEO Haruka Nishimatsu (first on the right) doesn't look happy at all in the picture LOL. I am sure there are a lot more in his head than this first charter flight :)

Ship change on Day 1 of 773 to LAX!

Japan Airlines started scheduled 773 service to LAX and ORD yesterday. And guess what? On Day 1, the LAX flight (JL062) was delayed due to ship change LOL. I hope they still use the new config on the flight after the switch. I would be pissed if I bought ticket for this first 773 flight and end up getting the old config :P Another side effect of the switch to 773 is the chain effect of delays due to late arrival of aircraft. JL062 is delayed today again, this time due to late arrival of aircraft. JAL doesn't have spare 773 with new config to spare ;)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Rumor: JAL to reduce London frequency to 1 daily?

jiaotze from FlyerTalk posted a news article from Japan Today saying Japan Airlines will reduce its Narita-Heathrow frequency from twice daily to once daily starting December 7 2009.

Rumor: JAL USD5.5 billion in red!?!?!

According to AFP, a Japanese newspaper reports Japan Airlines will have a loss of USD5.5 billion for this fiscal year due to the restructuring cost and troubled economy. Holy crap that's USD15M of loss per day!?!?! Good that looks like JAL will receive USD6 billion of aid according to The Financial Times. I am kind of sick of all these rumors for now. They kept saying decisions will be made in a few days but yet no decision has been announced.

Extended Narita runway B is now operational

The newly extended runway B at Narita is finally open today. As reported earlier, Japan Airlines' charter flight to Hokodate was the first airplane to use to extended runway.

Sakura lounge access for China routes

Japan Airlines has announced a promotion for passengers flying on its China routes. Passengers flying on eligible Economy class tickets on flights to China can have free access to the Narita Sakura Lounge.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Japan to finalize JAL restructuring within days

Looks like we finally see the end of the tunnel (or not) and the Japanese government will finalize on Japan Airlines restructuring plan within days.

JAL denied JAL Hotel rumors

Japan Airlines once again issued a statements (Japanese only) on its website denying the latest rumors regarding its hotel business.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Rumor: JAL panel switches to plan B (or should I say plan X)?

Seems none of those proposed Japan Airlines restructuring plan actually satisfies everyone. The latest JAL restructuring plan once again fail to please every one (this time the creditors), and the expert panel has to switch to yet another plan.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Rumor: JAL will keep flights to Brazil and 4 other routes

Yet another rumor. This time it is based on another rumor earlier saying JAL will suspend flights to Sao Paulo. Apparently Japan Airlines might have changed its mind and decided not to suspend Sao Paulo and some other routes.

Rumor: JAL to sell off planes and subsidiaries

The Japan Airlines restructuring rumors just won't end. It looks like to me people close to the source just throw out these ideas and test what the public reactions are. Then they will decide on what to do LOL. Mainichi Daily News reports the panel will suggest JAL to sell off a dozen of its large-sized planes and 30% of its subsidiaries.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Rumor: JAL to codeshare with Asian low-cost carriers?

There are more rumors every day. This time it's about another possible Japan Airlines "tie-up" with low-cost carriers from Asia.

According to the Asahi Daily, JAL is seeking code-sharing partnership with low-cost carriers in Asia to replace its own operation to resort destinations such as Hawaii, Thailand and Indonesia. As these flights are in general less profitable. This will allow JAL to focus on the more profitable routes to North America, Europe and China and also reduce the personnel needed.

2010 JMB international flight award discount

Japan Airlines has announced the discounted award tickets campaign periods for 2010. This year different region will have different campaign period.

Another response from JAL regarding the rumors

Japan Airlines has made yet another announcement (Japanese only) on its website regarding the latest management change rumors. Once again, JAL denies the rumors and states that they are working on the restructuring plan under the support of the Japanese government, which will be finalized by the end of November.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

TSA Secure Flight Program

As its continuous effort to fight terrorists, TSA has implement a new secure flight program, which requires airlines to provide passenger information on flights to and out of the US. Starting from October 31 2009, Japan Airlines will start asking for passenger for their 1. Full name, 2. Date of birth, 3.Gender, and 4. Redress Number (applicable person only). Now if I give you JAL your birthday will they upgrade you if you fly on your birthday? :) You can find more information on JAL website.

Reminder: new JAL carry-on limits on domestic flights

As reported earlier, Japan will standardize on the carry-on luggage limit starting on Dec 1 2009. Japan Airlines has updated its website (Japanese only). The limit is based on the aircraft type. To find your limit, look up your aircraft type, then the limits are presented in (width + height + depth) limit, width limit, height limit and depth limit. If you carry on doesn't are too big, just check them in. Unlike the US carriers, It's still free to check baggages on JAL flights :)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

JAL denies CEO leaving

Bloomberg has an updated report regarding the latest JAL rumor. Most of it are repeat of what other reports say, the only piece of new information is Japan Airlines spokesperson denies rumor about the CEO Mr. Nishimatsu will step down. It also quotes Kyodo News saying JAL will consider filing bankruptcy if talks with creditors fail. But I would say no need to panic now as the Japan Aviation Minister said the restructuring is going smoothly. I have faith that he Japanese government won't let JAL ceases operation.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Rumor: Alternative Dispute Resolution for JAL?

Yomiuri News reports that JAL may use the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) to resolve its financial problems.

Bird strike on JL3609

There was a bird strike on Japan Airlines flight 3609 from Fukuoka to Okinawa on October 11 2009. Incident like this happens all the time but the horror in this incident is...the flight load.

JAL wants your input on their English website

Japan Airlines is running a online survey regarding their English version of the domestic booking page. You can fill out the short questionnaire here and make your voice heard.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Goodbye Jalux USA Shopping

Effective from today, Jalux USA Shopping will merge with JAL Shopping Americas. It always puzzled me why JAL has to maintain so many different gift shopping sites (JALPAK Gift and JALUX USA Shopping). And now they finally all get consolidated into a single site. So if you want your 2010 JAL calender, you can order it through JAL Shopping Americas (direct link here).

Sorry SFO, we (LAX & ORD) stole your 773 LOL

I feel sorry for folks at SFO. They were the one who stuck with the old F seats forever and never got the chance to upgrade to the Solo seats. Japan Airlines made this up by giving SFO the new 777-300ER (773) with JAL Suites ahead of LAX and ORD. But looks like JAL will once again give SFO the old products temporary. This is probably due to the 773 launch on LAX and ORD routes. Yes we stole your 773 LOL

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Volume 21 of JAL Today's Topic - Ice and Snow Removal

Japan Airlines has uploaded volume 21 of their Today's Topic, the video you see onboard on JAL flights. The topic this time is Ice and Snow Removal in Winter.

Cost saving or service improvement?

I will let you guys be the judge for this one. Japan Airlines has recently changed its drink service on international flights but I am not sure if this is a cost saving measure or a service improvement based on customer feedbacks.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

More JAL announcement regarding JMB rumors

Japan Airlines has made another announcement/clarification regarding the recent JMB rumors.

JAL states that we shouldn't worry about the JMB miles in our account they will still be! They strongly support the independent restructuring and will continue to maintain a safe operation and service quality. Of course it also asks you to keep flying with them LOL

August traffic data (= more sign of relief?)

Japan Airlines has just released the traffic data for August 2009. Even the overall passenger numbers do drop year over year, the international passenger load factor actually improves due to the shift to smaller aircraft and route suspensions and frequency reductions.

JAL reopens Frankfurt lounge on October 26

Japan Airlines will reopen its newly renovated lounge at Frankfurt International Airport on October 26 2009.

The newly renovated lounge consists of both First class and Sakura lounges. It has twice the size of the original Sakura lounge. The lounge is modeled after the Narita lounge concepts (Looking at the pictures on the press release, I almost thought it's taken at Narita's Sakura lounge) and is located only 2 minute away from the departure gate. It will have the amenities passengers have been asking for such as showers, free LAN access, etc.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

British bank reverse its decision on stop honoring JAL ticket purchases

The Manichi Daily News reports the British bank which stops honoring Japan Airlines ticket purchases has withdraw their measure. However IMHO this is too little too late. The damaged has been done and people are now too worry to buy tickets from JAL. But this is better than not lifting the measure at all...

Expect delays and cancellations due to typhoon

Typhoon Melor (#18) is heading towards Japan and could be the worst storm to hit Japan in more than 10 years. JAL has canceled/delayed some of the flights due to this. So far NRT and KIX are not seeing delays today but could see the impact starting tomorrow. However Chubu (Nagoya) are expected to start seeing impacts on flights today. You should definitely check JAL website (international, domestic) for the latest flight information before your flights. You can also check the typhoon information here.

Source: Reuters

Rumor: JAL September international passenger number increase and back to profit in Q2

According to Yomiuri News, Japan Airlines finally see a sign of "recovery".

In the month of September, the international passenger traffic increases by 5% compared to last September. Probably helped by the strong booking in the long holiday weekends in September. But the financial crisis began exactly a year ago and traffic in September 2008 dropped roughly 17%. So this 5% increase still doesn't bring business back to normal. Not to mention the yield probably is still much lower than before due to lower business class bookings (why do you think you can upgrade a transpacific flight with only 10,000 miles LOL). But this is at least a good sign, something JAL hasn't seen for quite some time. The passenger numbers have been decreasing for a long long time (since Dec 2007?).

Monday, October 5, 2009

More campaign to get you fly on JAL

Japan Airlines has yet another campaign to attract more people to fly with them and redeem more miles. JMB Japan region members who fly on eligible routes with eligible fares for 10 times can redeem award tickets at a discounted rate. Looks like the campaign is targeting at the resort routes.

JAL ASPIRE flight, first in Asia

Japan Airlines will be operating the first ASPIRE flight in Asia. This is to help establish industry-wide standards to reduce impacts on air travel.

ASPIRE stands for the joint venture called ASia and Pacific Initiative to Reduce Emission. It aims at establishing environmental friendly flight operation procedures worldwide. JAL will be the first in Asia to operate a ASPIRE flight (three other flights were conducted last year).

JAL "Shades Closed Exercise"

After conducting the trial back in July, Japan Airlines has decided to implement the closed shades energy saving measure across 17 domestic airports in Japan and 5 airports overseas.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Extra benefits for JGC Premier and JMB Diamond elites

Japan Airlines has announced some extra benefits to the top tier JMB elites: JMB Diamond and JGC Premier.

JAL wins two Good Design Awards

Japan Airlines has won two Good Design Awards this year. One of the awards is for the Japanese style lunchbox they served on their selected flights. And no surprise the other award is for one of JAL's new seats on 773. And no it's not the new JAL Suite that wins the award.

November movie list on JAL flights

You can find the November movie list on Japan Airlines flights on their website. The only movie from last month are The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 and My Sister's Keeper, the rest are all new! Below are the movies available on MAGIC-I and II.

October JAL wallpapers and inflight menus

Japan Airlines has updated its website with the September wallpapers and the menus on its international flights. The long haul business class menu also change this month to the fall menu.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Japanese government got JAL's back

To end the "excessive anxiety" over Japan Airlines' fate, Japan aviation minister Seiji Maehara told the press that the Japanese government will step in to save JAL in the worst case.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Discontinuation of JALPAK gift USA and Introduction of JAL Shopping Americas

It's sad, Japan Airlines will discontinue JALPAK gift U.S.A. effective October 1 2009. JAL will introduce "JAL Shopping Americas" as the replacement. JMB members will still able to earn miles on the new site, 1 mile for every $2 (and $1 for JAL Family Club members).

JAL NEW route and frequency INCREASE (no this is NOT a typo)

Japan Airlines has announced a new route in its domestic network. Also found in the press release are the flight informations of the frequency increases announced earlier. And no this is NOT a typo LOL

"Useless" double mile campaign

Japan Airlines Mileage Bank has expanded the double miles promotion of premium classes on US flights to other regions.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

New curry offering on the ala carte menu

Japan Airlines is cooperating with Tokyo Curry Lab and will be offering a new curry dish on its ala carte menu.

Aviation minister and lenders not happy with JAL's plan

Japan Airlines CEO presented the restructuring plan to the new Japan Aviation Chief on Thursday but it failed to satisfy him and some other government officials.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

JAL is the first heavy aircraft to takeoff at the extended runway B

Narita Airport is currently extending its runway B to 2500m long, which will then allow heavy aircrafts to takeoff and land on the runway. Japan Airlines' charter flight departs at 07:00 to Hakodate will be the first heavy plane to use the extended runway, which is scheduled to open on October 22.

JAL CEO is summoned by the new Transport Minister

The new Japan Transport Minister Seiji Maehara will summon Japan Airlines CEO Haruka Nishimatsu on Thursday. Nishimatsu will present JAL restructuring plan (again).

Rumor: 600 job cuts in JAL maintenance unit

According to Nikkan Kogyo newspaper, Japan Airlines will slash 600 maintenance jobs, roughly equals to 10% of the maintenance work force, by end of March 2012. The cut will begin on October 1 when JAL merges its four maintenance units.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

JAL axes Kansai-Dalian flights

Japan Airlines has announced further revision of its route and flight frequency plan for the second half of fiscal year 2009. The daily Osaka (Kaisai)-Dalian fight will be discontinued on October 25 2009. Leaving the daily Tokyo (Narita)-Dalian as the only JAL flight connecting Dalian.

Source: JAL Press Release

Bankruptcy is NOT an option for JAL

It worries me a bit when the new Japan transport minister Seiji Maehara said he will replace Japan Airlines' restructuring panel. It was just a waste of time, especially when JAL CEO has just presented their plan to the panel the day before :( But at the press conference today Maehara made a strong statement.

JAL extends Super Discounted Upgrade Award Promotion in other regions

I just got off the phone with JMB reservation agent to reserve my upgrade award and it only costs me 10,000 miles for a one-way transpacific upgrade :)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

JAL is extending the SUPER Discounted Upgrade Award

Japan Airlines is extending the Super Discounted Upgrade Promotion till the end of the year (at least for the JMB Japan members).

Rumor: BA and AF are entering the JAL bidding war!?!?

The latest rumor suggests British Airways and possibly Qantas are entering the bidding war of Japan Airlines. If this is true, looks like Oneworld and Skyteam are fighting hard for JAL to stay in their alliance. And JAL ECO, Haruka Nishimatsu, confirmed the tie-up talks with different carriers but he also mentioned JAL will most likely choose ONE airlines for the tie-up.

Monday, September 14, 2009

24 routes suspensions and 6000 personnel cut

The 24 routes include both international and domestic. For international routes, most of them are Narita/Kaisai-China routes...more to follow later

Source: 47 News (Japanese only)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

AA is fighting for JAL

American Airlines IS fighting for Japan Airlines too. They are not going to just throw in the white towel and let Delta and Air France steal JAL from them. AA is proposing a business joint venture and seek anti-trust immunity with JAL so they will be able to work closer together to maximize their profits.

Rumor: JAL wants Air France-KLM's $$ too!

NHK has released more information about the Japan Airlines possible financial tie-up with other airlines. It now reports JAL is looking for tie-up not only with Delta, but with Air France-KLM too.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Rumor: JAL x Delta: Delta become biggest JAL shareholder!?!?!

According to NHK, JAL and Delta are in talks of capital tie-up. From "news flash" on NHK website:

Financially struggling Japan Airlines has entered negotiations to form a capital tie-up with US carrier Delta Airlines in order to receive large-scale capital assistance, NHK has learned.

Online reservation for Cathay, Dragon Air and Qantas using JMB miles

Japan Airlines has updated its online reservation system for award tickets. JMB members can now make award reservations on Cathay Pacific, Dragon Air and Qantas via JMB member page, 24/7. Just login, you will see the new "JMB Partner Airlines Award Ticket Reservation" button on the main page. No more calling to JMB and wait forever in order to make a partner award reservation on CX, KA and QF (not that I am planning to LOL)

Source: JAL Japan (Japanese only)

JAL's "Let's Do Something" movement

The younger employees of Japan Airlines have initiated a "Let's Do Something" movement to save JAL. In response to this, JAL has decided to do something-to distribute flyers on the street LOL

Thursday, September 10, 2009

JAL extends Fly On Point bonus campaign for Japan members once again

Once again, Japan Airlines extends the bonus Fly On Point (FOP) campaign which they have been running since April 1 2009. Japan JMB members can enjoy this campaign until the end of year and has a better chance to qualify as a JAL most frequent flyers (aka elite members).

More JAL route suspensions

Japan Airlines has announced more route suspensions in both of the international and cargo network. Also, JAL has announced the schedule of the new Haneda-Beijing route.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Rumor: JAL may sell shares in JALways

More Japan Airlines restructure rumors. This time it's about selling shares in JALways, which mainly operates resort flights, to raise capital.

Temporary JAL check-in counters relocation at PVG

Due to renovation, Japan Airlines' check-in counters will be relocated to a different area at Shanghai Pudong International Airport temporary.

JAL's check-in counters currently are located at the M aisle (no.1 to 10). Between September 17 and October 28 2009, the counters will be relocated to aisle K (no.1 to 10) instead. For details and the map of the check-in area, you can refer to JAL website (Japanese only)

Friday, September 4, 2009

Volume 20 of JAL Today's Topic - Unicef

Japan Airlines has uploaded volume 20 of their Today's Topic, the video you see onboard on JAL flights. The topic this time is Unicef.

Rumor: JAL is selling its stake in Hokkaido Air System

According to The Japan Times, Japan Airlines is going to sell most of its shares in Hokkaido Air System, which currently is a consolidated subsidiary of JAL.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

September JAL wallpapers and inflight menus

Japan Airlines has updated its website with the September wallpapers and the menus on its international flights.

October movie list on JAL flights

You can find the October movie list on Japan Airlines flights on their website. The only movie from last month are Angels & Demons and The Proposal, the rest are all new! Below are the movies available on MAGIC-I and II.

Free access to at JAL Narita lounges

Starting from September 1, Japan Airlines is offering FREE access to, a english news portal, at JAL First class and Sakura lounges at Narita.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

JAL finally introduces ticketing service fee in overseas regions

Japan Airlines has announced the introduction of ticketing service fee in overseas regions starting October 1 2009. The ticketing fee was first introduced the ticketing service fee in Japan on April 1 2009. I am actually surprised they haven't rolled out to the other regions sooner.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Frequency changes on JAL domestic flighs

Japan Airlines has announced the latest route changes to its domestic network. There are frequency reductions on three routes and frequency increases on three routes.

Enhanced inflight meals on certain flights

Japan Airlines has announced enhancement of its economy class inflight meals on flights to Europe flights selected South East Asia cities. JAL will also introduce a new business class autumn menu on flights to Korea.

Friday, August 28, 2009

JAL restructuring plan

Japan Airlines has released details of its upcoming restructuring plan in October. As expected, there are a lot of subsidiaries and units merging aim to improve customer experience, efficiency, competitiveness, and most importantly to save $$$.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

New carry-on rules for JAL flights

JAL, ANA, Air Do, Skynet Asia Airways and Skymark Airlines will adopt new and standardized carry-on baggage rules starting in December. This will reduce the passengers' confusion on how many carry-on baggages they can carry.

Fleet downsizing at Shizuoka Airport

Japan Airlines has announced plan to further downsize its domestic fleet. It has decided to switch the aircraft used on two Shizuoka Airport routes to the latest regional jet Embraer 170

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

10% discount oneworld fares for 10 weeks

As oneworld announced earlier, they are going to celebrate their 10th anniversary with 10% off ALL of their fares for 10 weeks. And it starts TODAY! So the Oneworld Yokoso (Visit Japan) fare will be 9000 yen per sector. Don't miss this chance to fly around Japan for cheap :)

Source: JAL website

Monday, August 24, 2009

JAL is a World Saver (i.e. Save JAL Save the World LOL)

Condé Nast Traveler (a travel magazine) has awarded Japan Airlines the World Savers Award in the airline category. This newly added category is to recognize the most socially responsible airlines.

Rumor: JAL will implement 10% reduction in work force in the next 3 years

It has been reported that Japan Airlines is considering a 10% work force reduction (~5000 employees) in the next three years as part of its restructuring plan. This will save JAL a total of 150 billion yen.

To achieve this, JAL plans on doing the following:
  • Attrition
  • Encourage early retirement
  • Encourage the use of leave of absence system
  • Sell off minor subsidiaries within JAL group 
  • Realign subsidiaries 

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Incident: JL761 emergency landing

Japan Airlines flight 761 from Narita to Brisbane had to return to Narita after 80 minutes after takeoff due to an air condition problem.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

JAL and NYK starts talking about cargo merger

The rumor earlier today is true, Japan Airlines and Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK) are in talk of a merger/integration. JAL has released an press release to confirm this.

Hokkaido rice in JAL domestic first class

Japan Airliens will start serving Hokkaido rice in its domestic first class in October 2009. This is another example that shows JAL's support to the Food Nippon Action, which aims to improve food self-sufficiency rate in Japan. For details of the Hokkaido rice in JAL domestic F, you can refer to JAL website (Japanese only). I want some Japanese rice NOW!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

JAL will release restructuring plan by end of September

I know it takes time to prepare the restructuring of a company of Japan Airlines' size. But this is not the first day or even month that JAL knows they need to restructure their business. Even the restructuring panel criticizes JAL's plan during their first meeting.

It's OFFICIAL, fuel surcharge is coming back in October

A few hours after I posted about fuel surcharge probably will come back in October, Japan Airlines released a press release regarding the surcharge in October. Yes, JAL IS reinstating the fuel surcharge.

Fuel surcharge is *PROBABLY* coming back in October

If you are unfamiliar with Japan Airlines's fuel surcharge, it is based on the 3 month average jet fuel price and it is revised every three months. The next revision will be on October 1 2009. The three month average is USD71.41 per barrel so the surcharge will be the ones listed in zone B on this page, i.e. USD69 per US-Japan sector, IF they follow the old scheme.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

JAL restructuring panel, you need to think more than just cost reductions!

The Japan Airlines restructuring panel will have its first meeting on August 20. This is a panel set up by Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) aims at helping JAL to turn around. The panel consists of legal and academic experts, and the Japanese lenders of JAL will act as observers. Hopefully they will come up with something good out of the meeting.

New JAL 45-day advance purchase discount domestic fare

Japan Airlines is rolling out another advance purchase discount domestic tickets, called the Super SAKITOKU Advanced Purchase Fare. You will have to buy the ticket 45 days in advance to take advantage of the saving. The fare rules is more restrictive and it only accumulate 75% of the sector miles. Reservations for flights from November 1 2009 starts on September 1 2009 at 9:30AM Japan time. Maybe you should hold off your purchase if you are planning to fly in November. You can refer to the Super SAKITOKU Advanced Purchase Fare page for details.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

JAL giving away 40 FREE business class upgrades

Japan Airlines Australia is having a Double-Hit Big Campaign to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Australia route right now. Not only you can purchase a roundtrip Economy class ticket between Australia and Japan for only AUD800 (tax excluded), you can also be one of the lucky passengers who get a free upgrade.

Japan Aviation Chief thinks JAL should expand code sharing

Bloomberg reports that the Japan Aviation Chief thinks Japan Airlines should expand its code sharing agreement with other airlines. This would allow JAL to increase its revenue without the extra cost of operating new routes. And guess which airlines they suggest JAL to code share with?

24th anniversary of JL123 crash

Today is the 24th anniversary of the deadliest single plane crash in history. 24 years ago, Japan Airlines flight 123 from Tokyo to Osaka crashed into Osutaka Ridge and and killed 520 people onboard. Only 4 passengers who sat at the back survived. I just read about a story of two girls trying to be recognized as the children of their father who was killed in the crash. Today she could finally climb Mount Osutaka as her late father's daughter and played the song she composed for him. You can read the details of the story Let's hope we are learn from the past incidents and prevent this from happening again.

Monday, August 10, 2009

JAL retires JAL Shell Flat SHEET

JAL fixed the Shell Flat SHEET typo.
JAL fixed the Shell Flat SHEET typo.

Just like the short-lived JAL Sky Shell SHEET, JAL has retired the JAL Shell Flat SHEET today and rolled back to the JAL Shell Flat Seat. If you visit the page again, you can longer see the SHEET (you might need to do a refresh if you are still seeing that).

JAL Premium Value Saver fare is MORE EXPENSIVE than JAL Premium Value fare?

If you are not familiar with Japan Airlines' Premium Economy fares, you can check it out here. The major differences between the two fares are JAL Premium Value fare is upgradable, valid for 6 months instead of 4, has 100% mileage accumulation rate and is refundable even after departure.

LAX and ORD routes JAL Premium Economy tickets now available in the US

Japan Airlines America has finally updated the website with an official press release. You can now make premium economy (PY) ticket reservations on JAL North America website. A roundtrip PY LAX-NRT ticket in booking class E is around USD1450 and the one for ORD-NRT is around USD1550 (taxes excluded). So it about double of the cheapest N fare ticket. I am tempted to try out this new cabin but still can't convince myself it worths the money. What do you think? You can find the official press release here

JAL Shell Flat SHEET!?!?

Japan Airlines has just rolled out their latest and greatest Business class seats-the all mighty JAL Shell Flat SHEET (Look at the words next to the business class seat picture below). They really meant it when they say they are going to implement “nothing-off-limits” cost-cutting measures to improve profitability.

Introducing JAL Shell Flat SHEET!
Introducing JAL Shell Flat SHEET!

September movie list on JAL flights

You can find the September movie list on Japan Airlines flights on their website. The only movie from last month was X-Men Origins: Wolverine, the rest are all new!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

JL062 on July 28 2009

Once again, I upgraded to business class using the Super Discounted Upgrade Award (10,000 miles for a business class upgrade) on my return flight. My flight was COMPLETELY FULL and I didn't reserve the upper deck this time, so the service was less attentive as expected. But I would still pay 10,000 miles for the upgrade on any day :). Here are some pictures I took during the flights.

Premium economy on LAX and ORD routes finally ready for sale

As announced in the press release, Japan Airlines updated its Japan region website and you can finally make a premium economy reservation on Los Angeles (JL061/062) and Chicago (JL009/010) routes. The web goku ticket for a NRT-LAX route trip is selling for ¥170,000 (~ USD1745.73). Not sure if it really worths the money for the seat upgrade as other people has said in FlyerTalk forum, you aren't going to get much more sleep compare to the economy class. All you get is a bit of extra leg room, lounge access and amenities. Does it really worth USD700-1000 for these? Especially for the elites who already have lounge access.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

More flight suspension and frequency reduction coming

Japan Airlines has just announced its first quarter result and it is NOT looking good. JAL lost 99 billion yen in the previous quarter (does this mean JAL is losing USD10M every day!?!?!). As a result, JAL is making drastic changes to its network and October 25 2009 is the date to remember since most of the changes is scheduled on that day.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

JAL supports Food Action Nippon

Food Action Nippon is a movement to improve Japan's food self sufficient rate. Japan Airlines has agreed to support this movement. Starting from August 1 2009, JAL will start serving a special bread made with 30% domestically produced rice flour in First and Business class cabins. According to the press release, the rice flour will give a distinctive flavor to the bread. This might even taste like a mochi LOL Too bad I missed this by a few days. I will have to wait until the next time I fly in business class with JAL to try this.

Source: JAL Press Release (Japanese only)

How fresh are the freshly baked bread at JAL Narita lounge?

Two months ago I posted about Japan Airlines is serving freshly baked bread at JAL's Narita lounge. I had the chance to taste the bread at both the NRT Sakura lounge and a Maison Kayser cafe in Ikebukuro's Sunshine City mall. And I found the bread at JAL lounge is actually fresher!!! The croissant at Sakura lounge is still crispy while the one I had at the cafe is a bit soft. But would I buy one next time I saw it in the store/cafe? Probably not. The croissant tastes good but there's nothing special to it. But would I have one if it's free? Yes LOL

Eco Jet #2 and more fuel saving initiative

Japan Airlines is expanding its Eco Jet to the international fleet. The Eco Jet Number 2 (JA731J) is a Boeing 777-300ER and will be used in the Tokyo- London, Paris, Frankfurt and Seoul. But it took its first flight on August 4, 2009 as JL711 from Tokyo to Singapore. Don't get surprised when you see a green tail plane.

I am BACK!

I have been back for a week actually but was a bit busy. My posting will gradually return to normal. A lot has happened in the last few weeks. JAL has a few more minor incidents including another engine problem during takeoff on a 773, 2 planes almost crashed due to a communication error with the ATC. Also there was another computer glitch in JAL domestic check in system, some minor changes in service I noticed on my HK-Japan flights, etc... I will try to catch up with those news in the posting but it might take a while (or it might never happen at all LOL)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

New innovative idea to save fuel/$$

Japan Airlines is currently conducting a trial to see how much fuel they can save by closing windows on the sunny side of the plane. This can help reduce the inflight temperature and therefore reducing the A/C power. 

Thursday, July 9, 2009

JAL to suspend Chubu-Paris flights in October

Japan Airlines is planning to suspend its 7 weekly Chubu-Paris flights in October as part of its cost reduction restructure. The flight load was around 60% during April-June which is a sharp drop from before. JAL's flight to Paris is the ONLY flight operated by Japanese carrier from Chubu to Europe. That's why the airport officials are trying to persuade JAL to change its mind. They were hoping JAL would consider having a frequency reduction instead of route suspension.

Source: The Japan Times

JL011 has to cancel takeoff AGAIN!

Japan Airlines flight 011 has to cancel takeoff AGAIN today due to the SAME engine problem experienced yesterday. JAL has to cancel the flight and they are going to fly another plane to Mexico City so passengers can continue their journey tomorrow. This is kind of unusual for JAL but this is better than finding the problem while they are across the Pacific :)

Source: The Straits Times

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Details of "triple" award for HKG online booking

Japan Airlines Hong Kong has posted details of its "triple" bonus award program for online booking which I posted last week. Interestingly they now realize there are actually 4 bonus awards instead of 3 and therefore renaming the program "Web Summer Campaign '09 4 Exclusive Awards!!". They forgot to count the 500 bonus miles when you book online last time. Something they didn't mention last time was not every booking class qualify for this campaign. Only tickets booked in F/J/D/Y/B/H/M/N qualifies. For details, you can refer to JAL Hong Kong website.

Incident: JL011 engine problem causes 24 hour delay

Japan Airlines flight 011 on July 8 2009 from Mexico City o Vancouver, BC has to reject takeoff after engine problem. One of the four engines of the 744 did not reach takeoff thrust and the pilot has to return to the gate. According to JAL US website, the flight has to push back for 24 hours and so is the following flight from Vancouver to Narita.

Source: JAL America and Aviation Herald

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

HKG July Menu is available

Japan Airlines Hong Kong has uploaded pictures of its July meals. I am not impressed by the Business class offering at all. Not sure what I am going to pick on my HKG-NRT flight :( You can check out he meal options on JAL Hong Kong website.

Congrats! JAL won an award from Yahoo! Hong Kong

Japan Airlines has won the Yahoo! Hong Kong Emotive Brand Award 2008-2009, Airline category! No idea what this award is but any award is good :)

PS: This is my 100th post :)

Source: JAL Hong Kong

Rumor: JAL to axe more KIX international flights

According to Nikkei English News, Japan Airlines plans to suspend more KIX international flights. The two routes affected are Dalian and Hangzhou, both belongs to JAL China network. ANA also plans some domestic route suspension and frequency reduction from KIX. This definitely doesn't look good for KIX who has been losing quite a number of international flights (I believe it lost its long-haul flight when JAL cut its KIX-LHR flight).

Source: Bloomberg

Monday, July 6, 2009

JL061 on July 2 2009

I recently took a Japan Airlines flight from Los Angeles to Tokyo (JL061). And I finally remembered to take pictures before I eat my food on my LAX-NRT flight. Here's my photo report of my flight.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

JAL blew a tyre

Japan Airlines flight 005 from New York to Narita blew on of the tires during landing on July 2 2009.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

50th anniversary screen saver at JAL LAX check in counters

I am sitting at the LAX International Lounge now. Behind the Japan Airlines check-in counters, JAL is playing a LAX route 50th anniversary screensaver. It shows the planes they used in the old days to fly this route. This is actually pretty nice and keep me looking at the video for um....a minute while waiting for check in. It looks like they have much less counters now after they moved to the new area (old one is under renovation) and for some weird reasons the Economy line is shorter and the Executive class checked in agent looked at the Economy line to ask the next passenger to go to her counter while I am standing at the Executive line waiting. Weird...But she finally noticed me standing there waiting and she is very nice and provide a GREAT check in experience. So it makes up for the mistakes she made :P But seriously LAX is a mess. When can I just check in my bag and be done with it? As Black Adder suggests, we need a new airport LOL

JAL SyncShop - an interactive assistant service on JAL Japan website

Japan Airlines has started a customer service to assistant passengers in Japan to make a reservation online and to do web check-in. With this new service, the JAL customer service agent will be able to take control on your computer and show you step by step on how to perform these two functions for both domestic and international flights. You will see a big yellow/orange arrow showing you what the JAL agent is doing. For details of this service and screenshots with big arrow, you can visit JAL Japan website (Japanese only, in case you don't read Japanese, just click the banner at the bottom of the page and choose the third tab to see screenshots)

Update: maybe it's called Sky Navigation...that's probably the same Japanese only service referred on this page.

Volume 19 of JAL today's topic is available

Japan Airlines has uploaded volume 19 of their Today's Topic. Today's Topic is the video you see during JAL flight which explain stuff like how JAL operation center works, why do they put a mirror in front of those customer service agent (so they can see their smile because JAL thinks customers can feel your mood by listening to your voice). Volume 19 is about the next generation jet fuel. If you haven't heard about it yet, JAL performed Asia's first 2nd generation biofuel test flight a few months ago and it was a success. They still don't have the English subtitle in the video yet. So you will have to watch the Japanese version for now. You can watch the video here

My JAL summer vacation

I am taking my summer vacation and therefore there will be less regular updates until I return from my trip next month. I am pretty sure there will be plenty to write about since all of my flights are on JAL :) Let's see if I remember to take pictures before I start eating my meals this time :)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

JAL July/August duty free catalog is available

There are so much updates. Japan Airlines has actually put the catalog up for a while but they haven't shown the links on their site until yesterday. Nothing special from the catalog and I don't see any good deals...I guess I can save some money this time :) For the shopaholics, you can find the online catalog from JAL website.

JAL August movie list is up

Japan Airlines has uploaded its movie list for August. There's a change in the format compare to the previous month. Now they show a complete list of MAGIC-I, II, III, IV movies available instead of just MAGIC-I and II. However, they no longer show which movies are shown on the main screen nor what movies are available on business class on MAGIC-I and II flights.

JAL July wallpaper is up

Japan Airlines has updated its website with July wallpapers. This month's JAL picks are the Egypt scenery from JALPAK, airplane wallpaper from JAC and the beautiful island series.

Happy 26th anniversary, JAC

If you haven't heard about Japan Air Commuter (JAC) before, it is a regional airlines based in Kagoshima Airport and is subsidiary of Japan Airlines. It was established on July 1 1983. So Happy 26th Birthday JAC! To find out more about JAC, you can visit their website (Japanese only)

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

JAL signed emergency loan agreement

Despite ANA's dispute on Japan Airlines getting the government bailout, JAL has signed an agreement with the lenders to receive the bailout loan.

Hold your ticket purchase if you can

Just a reminder Japan Airlines will abolish the fuel surcharge starting July 1 2009. Hold your ticket purchase (assuming the price doesn't change after JUly 1) and award redemption if you can, you will save $70 for a roundtrip transpacific ticket. They might increase the fare to offset part of the fuel surcharge tomorrow though since they have decreased some of the fares in advance to reflect the fuel surcharge reduction in June.

Book online to get lounge access!

Japan Airlines is having a triple bonus promotion in Hong Kong. If you book a ticket through JAL Hong Kong website, you will receive three bonus awards in addition to the 500 miles bonus. You will get a 2,000 yen JAL gift card and Sakura lounge access at HKG. Also comes with it is a free roundtrip Hong Kong Airport Express roundtrip ticket. Looks like there are A LOT of promotions going on in Hong Kong :)

Source: JAL Hong Kong

Monday, June 29, 2009

JAL expands code sharing agreement with Air France

Japan Airlines will expand its code share agreement with AIr France starting from July 7 2009. JAL will add daily Paris-Istanbul flights operated by AF to its code share network. Below are the details of the code share flights:

Paris-Istanbul JL5319
Departure time: 19:05
Arrival time: 23:25

Istanbul-Paris JL5320
Departure time: 09:00
Arrival time: 11:40

More Haneda-Hong Kong 1st anniversary promotion

Japan Airlines is holding a sweepstakes in Hong Kong to celebrate the 1st anniversary of Haneda-Hong Kong flights. The regular HND-HKG charter flights was launched on July 1 2008. JAL first operated a 767 on this route but now they have switched to 744 and 777.

777/767 introductory fare from Australia

Japan Airlines is celebrating its 40th year of servicing Australia this year. JAL started the Tokyo-Sydney service on September 30 1969. This year, JAL will introduce its 777 and 767 aircraft on Sydney and Brisbane flights respectively. To celebrate this special occasion, JAL is offering a special promotion fare for flights departing from Australia.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

773 is coming to LAX and ORD on October 25th

I have been asked this question so many times. When will LAX (Los Angeles) switch from 744 to 773? Japan Airlines has finally updated its website to show JL062 and JL061 will switch to 773 on October 25 2009. And Chicago see the same change on the same day. But JAL probably hasn't updated their inventory or online booking system because I still can't buy a Premium Economy class ticket. Below is the booking page on JAL website

Friday, June 26, 2009

JAL wants my money again ;)

Yesterday I wrote about the bad experience I had with JAL ticketing and JMB helpdesk. Today I try to call JAL again and this time the experience is completely different and they are AWESOME!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

JAL does not want my money

I am so frustrated after spending more than an hour talking to JAL ticketing agent, JMB specialist and my travel agent and tried to modify my issued ticket to a higher booking class so I can take advantage of the super discounted upgrade award promotion. But at the end my impression is JAL doesn't want my money :(

JAL SUPER discount upgrade award promotion for north america members (updated)

Update: JAL has now posted a tiny banner on JMB page and send out e-mail to JMB members. So hurry up! The secret is out LOL

Japan Airlines has finally updated its website to show the details of the SUPER discount upgrade award promotion for its North America JMB members.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Boeing 787 delayed...again

Looks like Japan Airlines (and All Nippon Airways) have to wait a tad longer for the 787's they ordered. Boeing announced another delay on the 787 program due to a design fraud found during ground testing.

The favorite airlines in Japan

Guess which airlines is the best according to Japanese passengers? Japan Airlines? Nope! JAL is not even the second on the list :(

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

SUPER discounted upgrade award promotion is coming to the US

If you feel left out when you see JMB members from all other regions can take advantage of the JAL SUPER discounted upgrade award promotion but not the North America members, you don't have to. The promotion is indeed coming to the US too.

Fly JAL from Hong Kong to Japan to get free...cup noodles

What an "attractive" campaign. To celebrate the first anniversary of HKG-HND route, If you join a package tour to go to Japan in Hong Kong with the participating travel agencies AND you fly on JAL, you will get 1 case of JAL cup noodles FREE! That's 15 of them. That's not cheap stuff, they are selling for USD55 for 2 cases and JAL only serve cup noodles in premium cabins LOL

Source: JAL Hong Kong (Chinese only)

JAL extends SUPER discounted upgrade campaign to other regions

Japan Airlines has updated its website in different region to show details of the SUPER discounted upgrade award promotion.

US and Europe flights back to normal

Japan Airlines has finally updated their site and removed the flight delays caused by volcanic eruption warning message. I can assume US and Europe flights are finally back to normal schedule (even though LAX flights have been back to normal for a few days already).

JAL CANCELED cabin attendant calendar!!!

This is actually old news but I will post it anyways. I didn't know until recently that JAL has cancelled future publication of its cabin attendant calendars due to "low" demand!!!

Someone trying to "screw" JAL

Last Saturday (June 20, 2009), Japan Airlines flight 914 from Okinawa to Haneda had to abort takeoff preparations due to security risks posted by one of the passengers.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Japanese Transport Minster: JAL cost-cutting might be painful but crucial

The Japanese Transport Minister Kazuyoshi Kaneko released a statement on MLIT website regarding Japan Airlines median term corporate plan released yesterday. According to Kaneko, JAL should accelerate the cost-cutting plan to improve its financial health. MLIT will also seek supports from the financial institutions because this is "indispensable" to the success of JAL's restructure.

Friday, June 19, 2009

JAL final international 747-300 passenger flight

JO 073 (a JALways flight) departing from Honolulu to Narita on July 30 2009 will be the final 747-300 international passenger flight. JALPAK (the travel agency) has organized a special 2 nights 4 days package for this final flight. The package starts at 74700 yen (kids price).

JAL July menu is now available

JAL has uploaded most of the July menus of its international flights (somehow I still don't see the menu for my HND-HKG flight). Again, this is a Japanese only feature but you can easily change the airport codes and cabin class in the URL to find your menu.

New tomato drink on JAL domestic first class

Japan Airlines will introduce a new healthy tomato drink to its domestic first class. Looks like the drink is made of tomato and vinegar from Hokkaido. You can refer to JAL website for more details. For some strange reasons, the drink shown on the banner and the one in the smaller photo have different colors. The small one looks more like cream of tomato basil to me LOL.

Source: JAL Japan website (Japanese only)

JAL joins eco-point system

Japan Airlines will be joining Japan's eco-point system starting July 1 2009. Consumers in Japan will be able to use their eco-point to exchange for JAL travel certificates.

Drastic changes coming to JAL

Japan Airlines has released a press release today regarding its medium term corporate plan. It outlines the direction JAL is going and provides some forecast of what is going to happen later this year. According to the press release, we will see "drastic reformation to its business model and processes".

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A LOT more lighters found stuck at seats

Due to the fire incident caused by the lighter stuck in between seats on Japan Airlines flight 653 from Osaka to Taipei on June 6 2009, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism has ordered a complete search for foreign objects stuck in between seat gaps on 551 aircraft from 21 airlines. You will be surprised on how many lighters are found, especially on JAL metals.

JAL celebrates Tanabata 2009

Tanabata is a Japanese star festival. Japanese celebrate Tanabata by writing their wishes on a small piece of paper and hang it on bamboo. Japan Airlines will continue this tradition and provide an opportunity for its passengers to celebrate this traditional Japanese festival.

JAL teaches you how to use Google

Japan Airlines started a collaboration with Beams a few months ago and has released some business travel products. JAL even started a site/magazine called JAL Style. The latest content is about how to use a couple of google products: GMail, Google Search, Google Maps and Google Documents. There are basic and advanced version of the tutorial. But seriously, who needs the basic tutorials if you are a modern businessman lol. You can find the tutorial here (Japanese only).

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

July JEN digital book is available

Japan Airlines has posted the complete list of July JEN (JAL Entertainment Network) programs in digital book format. You can find the complete list of movie and music programs available on different MAGIC systems (this is a more comprehensive list than the one I posted before which only include movies on MAGIC I and II). You can view the digital book on JAL website. Flash is required to view the digital book.

Reminder: Terminal relocation at CDG

In case you have missed my post about the terminal relocation at Paris CDG, Japan Airlines and Air France will move their terminal from 2F to 2E starting TODAY! Make sure you go to the correct terminal after your shopping trip at Paris otherwise you will be left alone with your Louis Vuitton at terminal 2F watching your JAL flight flying away LOL

Double mileage campaign at Millennium & Copthorne Hotels

You will be able to earn double JAL Mileage Bank miles while staying at any of the participating Millennium & Copthorne Hotels between July 1 and September 30 2009. However a minimum of 3 night stay is required.

JAL 2010 calendar is ready for pre-order

Talk about time flies, we are already in the middle of 2009. While the 2009 calendars are still on sale in the US, Japan Airlines Hong Kong is accepting pre-orders for JAL 2010 calendars already. Expected delivery date is in mid-November 2009.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

This blog is 1 month old!!!

A month ago I started this blog spontaneously. A month later, I am addicted to this! I didn't expect there will be actual people reading my blog until the someone posted the first comment :) And recently I even received e-mails asking me JAL related questions (hopefully I didn't give out wrong advice :P). I really enjoy helping out fellow JAL flyers. Right now the layout of the blog is just one of the templates provided by blogspot. I am working on personalizing it. Hopefully I will have more time in July when I take my much needed vacation from my real job (but no guarantee I will be able to finish it LOL). Until then, bear with me for this generic layout. And thanks for visiting my blog.

Pak (a.k.a. JALPak on FT)

JAL's strike is cancelled

Japan Airlines has updated its website to announce the cancellation of the planned strike on June 17-19 2009. ALL flights will be operated as normal. That's a relief. A strike is the last thing they need under the current economy.

Source: JAL Japan

US and Europe flights delay due to volcanic eruption

Due to the volcanic eruption on the Kuril Islands, Japan Airlines has to reroute about 20 of their US and Europe flights, causing delays up to an hour. ANA has similar arrangements. No wonder I started seeing usual delays on JL061 starting Monday (yes, I have the habit of checking the flight status even I am not flying LOL)

Source: MSN news

JAL signs agreements with Pratt & Whitney

During the Paris Air Show, Japan Airlines and Pratt & Whitney announced they have signed two different agreements, which one of them worths more than $75 million.

JAL cabin attendant caught AH1N1

A 22-year-old Singaporean cabin attendant of Japan Airlines is infected with H1N1 after traveling to New York and Tokyo.

According to Japan Today,

The 22-year-old flight attendant had traveled as a member of JAL’s cabin crew to New York on June 6. She left New York for Tokyo the following day, the ministry said in a statement.

She felt sick while working as a cabin crew on her return flight last Friday.

Monday, June 15, 2009

SUPER discount on North America and Europe flights upgrade

Japan Airlines is running a campaign in Japan offering its JMB members as much as 63% off the required mileage for upgrade awards to North America and Europe. This is probably to match ANA's latest upgrade campaign.

Possible strike on June 17

Japan Airlines has posted a warning of possible strike on its website. Four unions including the pilots, cabin crew, and ground staff plan to strike on June 17 2009 for different durations due to dispute on the summer bonus.

J-Air picks GE for engine service

J-Air, a Japan Airlines subsidiary, has selected GE Aviation to service its Embraer 170 regional jet fleet. J-Air's Embraer uses CF34-8E engines, which is also made by GE. The agreement signed is a 10 year OnPoint engine service agreement (I have no idea what that is LOL)., which apparently is a customized service designed to lower J-Air's cost. Oh well any type of cost reduction is good for JAL right now.

Source: AINonline

JAL announces new frequency reduction

Japan Airlines has announced further reduction of its international network today. The earliest reduction will start on July 1 2009. According to the press release, JAL has to do this to improve profitability due to slow recovery in air travel demand.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

New domestic fare search features

Japan Airlines has included a new fare search feature on the Japanese version of their Japan region website (I think they added this back in April). You can now click the search by fare tab to do your fare search on JAL domestic flights. It will then automatically display the flights according to the ticket price instead of schedule.

If you don't like the boring reservation tab above, there is a more graphical step-by-step reservation page for you too. You can search for your flights by answering a couple of easy questions. There are pictures to help you understand what's going on. They will then make a search to find the lowest fare that meet your requirements. I especially like how they put a child and baby head next to the number of child and infant options respectively. I believe this is once again their universal design concepts to improve user experience.

New interactive JAL domestic reservation interface

Not sure when Japan Airlines updated the English version of their Japan region website, but I just noticed a cool new feature on their domestic reservation page. JAL now include a new interactive reservation interface for their domestic bookings.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Yes, JAL!

Back in 1990, Janet Jackson was the spokesperson of Japan Airlines and she shot a couple of commercials for JAL. Seeing her dancing around with a JAL 744 flying in the background and then hearing she says "Yes, JAL!" is just priceless LOL.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Confirmed AH1N1 case on JL711

Singapore has announced 6 new cases of confirmed AH1N1. One of them took a Japan Airlines flight from Tokyo to Singapore on June 11 2009. The Singapore Government has initiated a contact tracing on passengers who have close contact with the patient on that flight.

JAL website is "fraudulent"!?!?

If you have paid attention to my screen captures, you would have known that I use Safari with Norton Confidential installed (it comes with Norton Internet Security) on Mac OS X. One of the main functions of Norton Confidential is to detect fraudulent website and warn you when you are surfing the web. Yesterday I when I was doing a dummy booking on JAL Japan website, it got flagged as potentially fraudulent!?!?!

Economy class ticket Business class seat?

Wouldn't it be nice if you can pay for an economy class ticket and get a business class seat? How about getting that on a transpacific long-haul flight? Nope, this is not an op-up nor an upgrade. Japan Airlines is using part of the business cabin as Economy one on some flights.

JAL teams up with JR Tokai

Japan Airlines and Central Japan Railway Company (JR Tokai) have decided to team up to boost the Japan tourism. They aim at attracting more foreign visitors to Japan.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

JAL to extend unpaid leave

JAL is extending its unpaid leave program to September due to the weak demand in air travel. So far JAL has approved 925 staff's unpaid leave application this year, including 55 this month and 100 next month. They are not accepting application for August and September.

Rumor: JAL converts its 787-3 orders to 787-8

According to Jon Ostrower from Flight Blogger, JAL has converted all of its 787-3 orders to 787-8 due to delay in 787-3 productions. But JAL couldn't be reached to comment on this.

Cost saving - JAL style

Under the current economic environment, a lot of airlines are forced to introduce extra fees and think of ways to reduce costs. Some airlines choose to reduce seat pitch so they can squeeze more seats onto the plane, some lower the quality of services such as removing cup noodles from the menu (seriously!?). JAL has always been an innovator in this area but they have always done this with class and has not affected their quality of service.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Pictures of JL653 fire incident

Taiwan Aviation Safety Council has posted its initial findings on JL653 fire incident. You can see pictures of the burnt seat and lighter on their report page.

Poor website design

I have recently issued a ticket for my next family trip to Japan. There are two international sectors and one domestic sector in the itinerary. When I went to JAL website and tried to print out my e-ticket, I kept getting an error saying the system is not able to display my ticket.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Further price cut on JAL 2009 calendars

JALUX has recently reduced the already reduced price of JAL 2009 calendar. The calendars are now reduced to USD9.00, which is a 50% off MSRP! (This kind of makes sense given 2009 is half gone).

JAL to increase cargo fuel surcharge in July

JAL has applied to increase its cargo fuel surcharge in July 2009. Since April 2009, JAL has been revising its cargo fuel surcharge monthly based on the one-month average Singapore kerosene price of the month before last. So May average is USD64.20 per barrel and falls in the range one level above the current level. If the jet fuel price stays high in the next two months, I wouldn't be surprised if JAL re-introduce the fuel charge on passenger flights next quarter. So go get your award ticket in the July quarter if you can.

Source: JAL Press Release

JAL Sky Shell SHEET is history

JAL really have a quick turnaround on fixing their website. Within 3 hours of contacting JAL, a manager from customer service replied my e-mail (even though I didn't request for a response). I checked the website 3 hours later and innovative JAL Sky Shell SHEET is history LOL.

Monday, June 8, 2009

I hope I am getting more than just a piece of SHEET

When I was writing the previous post about the aircraft used on the LAX route, I went to JAL Japan site to get the link and configuration name (I am not crazy enough to remember them yet!). I noticed there's a funny typo on JAL website. 

Which aircraft is JAL flying LAX-NRT? (updated)

Someone tried to google "what aircraft is jal flying lax nrt" today and landed onto one of the pages on my blog (and then bounced...). Well in case you are still looking and somehow return to my blog again, here is the answer. 

Airline magazine July issue is out

The July issue of the Airline magazine is finally out (or should I say has finally arrived at the Japanese bookstore in LA). The July issue features the retirement of JAL's 747-300 fleet. JAL has planned to retire its entire 747-300 fleet in July (if I remember and read the Japanese correctly). You can find pictures of 747-300 from cockpit and cabin seats to wing and lavatory. It also features a history of JAL's 747-300 fleet and pictures and history of each of the 747-300 delivered to JAL. The MSRP for the magazine is 1200 yen (tax included) and of course it is way more expensive in the US (the price doubles!!!) so I probably will wait and buy this when I visited Japan in July. Hopefully they will still have them in stock. Last time the crane issue were all sold out when I visited Japan and they were gone too after I came back to LA :( Wish me better luck this time!

Small fire under seat on JL653

JL653 (KIX-TPE) had to make an emergency landing at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport (TPE) due to a small fire found under the seat on Saturday (June 6 2009). 

Sunday, June 7, 2009

JAL plans for 10% capacity cut

JAL CEO Haruka NIshimatsu told Reuters at the International Air Transport Association AGM that they plan to reduce the international routes capacity by 10 percent in fiscal year 2010. 

JAL launches "idea. JAL" web portal

JAL has launched a new customer communication web portal called "idea. JAL" on June 6 2009. They have picked celebrities from 5 different generations/life styles as spokespersons. They are giving their ideas on how a good trip should be like and summer family trips. The site also include news of latest products, services and promotions. Looks like JAL will launch a campaign and a series of CM based on this concept. You can check out the CM and the site on the idea. JAL website.

Friday, June 5, 2009

JAL offers freshly baked bread at Narita lounge

Starting from June 10 2009, JAL will offer freshly baked bread at the Narita lounges. There will be three types of bread available and the type will change periodically.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

JAL wallpaper June update

June's wallpaper is up (actually it might have been up for a while). In case you haven't visited JAL wallpaper page before, they have different selection of wallpapers updated monthly. The wallpapers are divided into different categories, e.g. JALPAK, JALTOURS, JAL Travel Cafe, JAC, JEX, etc. There are top three pick of the month on the top. This month's picks are all sceneries and Japanese culture related pictures. Those are nice but my pick is somehow different.