Background + Booking:
For my Japan Trip, I had been tracking the nonstop Osaka to Los Angeles flight on Japan Airlines for awhile now, and booked this flight for a few years now using American AAdvantage miles. But with COVID, it almost didn’t work out. I booked this particular trip earlier this year and they ended up reducing the frequency of this flight (currently 3x weekly) and we got rebooked to an inconvenient date. Per my request, American messaged JAL to help accommodate us to a different flight date that fit my schedule, and JAL thankfully moved us which I appreciated (unlike a similar situation I’m dealing with on Delta). I booked this Japan Airlines Sky Suite Business Class flight with 60,000 American Airlines AAdvanage Miles and $46 in taxes each for myself and both of my parents.
Japan Airlines Flight 60
Osaka (KIX) to Los Angeles (LAX)
Aircraft: Boeing 787-8
Scheduled Duration: 10hr00min
Airport + Boarding:
As my stay at the St. Regis in Osaka wasn’t too far from Namba Station, I took the Namba Nankai Line Rapid Express to the Osaka Kansai Airport which only took 37 minutes. Our flight departed from Terminal 1, and we quickly were checked in at the JAL Business Class check-in line.
The Sakura Lounge is currently closed at Osaka-Kansai (KIX), so we were handed passes for the “KIX North Airport Lounge”. I was a bit bummed as I wanted to try the famous JAL Curry that they serve at the Sakura Lounge. Also I’ve heard some not so great reviews of the KIX North Airport Lounge. But the lounge ended up not being too bad, with some light bites, snacks, drinks and clean bathrooms. If you’re interested, you can check out my review of the lounge here.
Most of Terminal 1 is under construction at KIX, so there were limited shopping and restaurant options post security.
The Plane: Japan Airlines Sky Suite 787-8
The Japan Airlines Boeing 787-8 has a few configurations, and the one that my flight was operated by was the one with the Business Class Sky Suite that many people write good reviews on. The lie flat bed is about 25 inches wide, and 74 inches long.
On this particular aircraft, the business class cabin is separated into two, in a 2-2-2 configuration. Due to the unique design of the seats, all business class seats feature direct aisle access. This consists of Rows 1-3 containing 18 seats and they are separated by a galley. Then rows 7-8 contain 12 seats for a total business class cabin size of 30. Also, the economy cabin has a total of 156 seats. There are 2 business class lavatories, one in the front of the aircraft, and one in between the two cabins. The lavatory was equipped with toothbrush/toothpaste, mouthwash, lotion and face mist.
Boarding started only 20 minutes prior to departure as the flight was quite empty. My United flight to Tokyo was quite packed, on the other hand. I suppose this is why my originally booked flight got cancelled a few months ago. Perhaps with Japan just starting its reopening in October, this flight will fill up a bit more in the future. I was looking at the seat maps an hour before departure and only about 35 seats were filled in economy and 22 in business.
The gate agents and flight attendants were very friendly upon boarding. Japanese hospitality really is a treat!
Shortly after arriving at my seat, I was served a welcome beverage of orange juice or champagne. I had the champagne to start off the flight. Also, waiting at my seat were a pair of slippers, a full sized water bottle, JAL branded noise cancelling headsets from Sony, an amenity kit from Maison Kitsune Paris and an Airweave pillow + blanket.
The current amenity kit is from Maison Kitsune Paris, and the bag is quite cute. However, the contents are rather basic (even more basic than what United Polaris provides on international flights). There was moisture mask which was cool (to prevent your nose from getting too dry), ear plugs, tissues, toothbrush + toothpaste, and an eye mask.
We left the gate a bit before the scheduled departure, and took off less than 10 minutes after our scheduled departure.
I chose a window seat, 3A, which is the last row of the front business class cabin. For my American Airlines Award ticket booking, window seats were not available to choose until about 48 hours prior to departure. Thankfully, I checked and was able to move to a window seat. I read that only if you have some sort of oneworld status, then Japan Airlines opens up the window seats for you at booking.
Upon the first look, I thought the cabin looked quite sleek, and the seat felt spacious and long with a large 23 inch TV screen. But the first thing I ran into was a lack of storage space at the seat. A little cabinet or side pouch would have been nice to store little items. There was a spot under the footrest to put my backpack which was helpful, but nothing to store the water bottle or amenity kits/small personal items. There was an overhead shelf behind my seat, but it seemed a bit awkward to place items there, especially if someone is sitting next to you.
My dad was in the aisle seat next to the window, and he got more storage with a multipurpose rack and a side area. My mom sat at the window like me and she had him store items for her. LOL!
Since the flight was so empty, I had no one sitting next to me which was nice! There is a privacy divider that can be used outside of takeoff and landing so you wouldn’t see the person next to you. The seats are a bit staggered, so you’re also not directly side by side to the seat next to you, but rather the window seat is perched up a bit more forward. Since the seat next to mine was empty it was no bother. But, I’m not entirely sure I how like it with a stranger next to me. In that case, a reverse herringbone design might be better.
For dinner, there was both a Japanese Menu and a Western Menu. The Western Menu came with a Wagyu Beef Sirloin Steak or a Sautéed Thread-sail Filefish as main dishes. I had never flown on a Japanese Carrier before, so I had to try the Japanese offering! Especially since my inbound flight to Japan was on United which does not offer a Japanese Menu, it was even more important I try the Japanese Menu. It featured an Irodori Gozen (selection of delicacies) which had samples of Bigeye Tuna, Japanese Chicken, Abalone and Water Shield, Simmered Eggplant and Kelp-marinated Sea Bream. The Dainomono (main dish portion) was a Sautéed Japanese Beef with Citrus Soy Jelly and Eel “Kabayaki”, along with Steamed Rice and Miso Soup. The dessert was a Strawberry Mousse and Green Tea.
Shortly after takeoff, they took our drink and dinner order. They also offered a cardigan to wear, but since the plane was warm to start with, I opted to not have one, but it was a nice touch. Also, I happened to be flying on my birthday, and surprisingly the crew knew and wished me a happy birthday which was nice of them!
I opted to try the JAL Original Drink, which is a soft drink featuring a “SKY TIME Peach and Grape MIX”. I quite enjoyed the drink as it wasn’t too sweet. It came with a nice rice cracker snack mix.
Then, the appetizer portion came out. I thought it was well plated and I enjoyed trying out all the different appetizers (some I enjoyed more, some I didn’t enjoy too much).
The main entree was amazing. The steak was the best steak I’ve ever had on a plane, and the eel was tasty. Steamed rice was wrapped in a box, and also cooked better than most restaurants.
To finish up dinner, the Strawberry mousse and hot tea was served shortly after I finished my entree. I generally don’t like mousse, but this one had a strawberry white chocolate crust and some cake in the inside which made it better. The green tea was a perfect way to end the meal.
The IFE was a pretty big screen at 23 inches. They had a few U.S blockbuster hits, but not a ton of selection for movies. I ended up watching the new Disney movie Lightyear. I was actually kind of happy I didn’t see any other selections that interested me so it allowed me to sleep sooner. Also, there were 3 games, some songs and Japanese eBooks also offered on the in-flight entertainment system.
Wi-Fi was also available on this flight. Prices were $10.15 for 1 hour, $14.40 for 3 hours and $18.80 for the whole flight. I didn’t up using it as I wanted to catch some shut-eye.
Shortly after, I was brought a mattress pad for my seat to prepare for bedtime. The mattress pad was quite comfortable and it made the lie flat even better. I realized that this seat seems to be roomier on the sides than other business classes that I’ve been flying on. Also, it’s quite nice that your foot doesn’t have to go into a cubby when you sleep, so it feels less restrictive.
One pet peeve was not having a controllable individual air nozzle above my seat as the flight was a bit warm.
Anytime You Wish Dining:
The rest of the dining service on this flight was an “Anytime You Wish” concept, which you can order anything prior to 1.5 hours before landing. There were a lot of offerings on here such as JAL’s Special Chicken Soba Noodle, Miyazaki Wagyu Curry, Green Tea Ice Cream (my favorite), and breakfast offerings from both Japanese and Western Cuisine.
I slept for 2 hours or so, and then woke up to some decently strong turbulence. I suppose that was my wake up call for a snack, so I ordered the JAL Special Chicken Noodles, and iced green tea, Matcha Ice Cream and some fruits via the remote. The sweets were great, but I found the noodles to be a bit too heavy.
Then I headed back to sleep, and woke up when the cabin lights came on right before the end of meal ordering. I opted for the Japanese breakfast that came with Grilled Seasoned Greenland Halibut. The fish was quite good, and came with steamed rice, pickles and miso soup.
After the breakfast, the cabin crew surprised me with birthday goodies, which was a nice touch and much appreciated!
Then, they served a nice selection of Japanese snacks.
And right before landing, they handed out steam eye masks which were interesting.
Upon approach to Los Angeles, we flew over Downtown, and I got a great view!
We touched down 20 minutes before scheduled arrival, and quickly found our way to our gate at the Tom Bradley International Terminal in LAX.
Overall, my first flight on the Japan Airlines Sky Suite was very enjoyable. I really enjoyed the service, food and mattress pad that was provided. Next time, I would definitely fly on Japan Airlines on my future travels.
Have you flown on the Japan Airlines Sky Suite before? How was your experience? Comment below!
Have any questions? Comment below or email me at email@example.com. I’ve also started working with a travel agency, Fora Travel, and can assist in booking hotel stays or planning trips. You can also view all my other posts here! Thanks for stopping by!