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.

JAL extends UPR trial to Australia

UPR stands for User Preferred Route, which means each flight is free to choose its own route to fly to the destination instead of using the fixed routes set by the air traffic controllers (ATC). JAL currently conduct trails for flights between Japan and Hawaii (Narita-Honolulu, Narita-Kona, Osaka-Honolulu, and Nagoya-Honolulu). Starting from June 4 2009, it will extends the trial to flights between Narita and Brisbane and Sydney.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

JAL check-in system broke down at Haneda

In order to prepare full rollout of e-ticketing for its domestic flights, JAL has been doing upgrade to its check-in and ticketing systems at night while there's no domestic flights operating. However, the upgrade on Tuesday night went terrible wrong and the check-in system wouldn't turn on at all after the upgrade!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

JAL's meals from HKG looks AWFUL

JAL April 2009 Economy Class menus for flights departing from Hong Kong
JAL April 2009 Economy Class menus for flights departing from Hong Kong. Image from Japan Airlines.

Is it just me or it's just the problem of the pictures taken, the June first and business class meals for flights departing from HKG do not look appetite to me AT ALL. The weird part is that the economy meals actually looks decent to me (at least compare to J and F meals). Maybe I am bound to fly in the cheap Y class LOL

Monday, June 1, 2009

JAL July in-flight movies list is now available

JAL has updated their site to include the July in-flight movie offerings. Looks like the main addition this month is 17 Again and Monsters vs Aliens (OK there's Dragonball Evolution too if you can stand it).

More campaign targeting the American region

JAL Mileage Bank logo

JAL has announced another campaign targeting its American region members. If you sign up for the JAL Family Club and apply for the Premio credit card, you can earn 2000 bonus miles for every 2 transpacific segments on JAL Group flights, up to a maximum of 6,000 miles per member (max. 2 members per family). 

JAL maintains lead at Narita

Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation has published Narita traffic data for the week ending May 25 2009. It shows JAL remains the biggest airlines operating at NRT, by both capacity and frequency. JAL has 21.9% share of frequency and 20.5% share of seats at NRT, while ANA has 19% share of frequency and only 14.5% share seats.