JAL operates its 787 with angled lie-flat business class seats from LA to Osaka.
Due to our flight delay, we had been given two $20 meal vouchers at check-in. However, due to the free food at the lounge, we decided to buy a box of chocolates in the terminal to give to the crew.
Overall, service was impeccable, whether due to the half-empty cabin or our gift at the beginning of the flight.
Japan Airlines 69
Los Angeles (LAX) – Osaka Kansai (KIX)
Friday, May 27th, 2016
Duration: 8 hours, 40 minutes
Aircraft: Boeing 787-847 (JA-828J)
Seat: 8C (Business Class)
This particular flight featured JAL’s angled-lie flat business class seats. While unfortunate for a modern aircraft, the seat was fairly comfortable.
For this flight, the menu read as follows:
The drink menu read as follows:
I had ordered the vegetarian meal in advance of the flight, so my starter began with asorted vegetables.
In contrast to the Japanese menu starter:
The next vegetarian course was grilled vegetables, along with a tomato filled with pesto.
The Japanese Kobachi bowls:
The main vegetarian course was pasta with tomato sauce and mushrooms.
The vegetarian desert was a cup of fresh fruit, somehow different from the banana compote on the menu.
To start our meal before arrival, the crew had prepared a thank you note in chocolate for the gift we had given earlier.
As a bit of a reboot until things can be backfilled, I’m jumping ahead in trip reports to mid-2016.
As a oneworld Emerald, we were able to stop by the first class lounge at LAX. Due to apparent lounge rules, it’s not possible to hop between the business class and the first class oneworld lounges in the Tom Bradley terminal.
The far end of the restaurant overlooks the security checkpoint and ticketing hall.
As our flight to Osaka was delayed, we sought out lunch from the restaurant which offered tasty (and complimentary) fare in contrast to the terminal outside or the Admirals Club in adjoining Terminal 4. The lunch menu read as follows:
Lunch service wasn’t quite ready to begin, so we wandered around the lounge for a bit. Between waiting for lunch to start and the length of service of a three course meal itself (from appetizer to dessert took about an hour), this was not a quick bite before catching a flight.
I started with the spiced tofu salad, dropping the chicken. My girlfriend ordered the salt and pepper squid.
For desert, we picked the chocolate fondant with raspberries and marscapone.
Outside of the restaurant, though, the immediate, self-serve food offerings were a bit sparse.
It is possible to order from the restaurant menu while sitting elsewhere in the lounge: We asked for a fruit plate from the staff and had one delivered to our chairs. Nevertheless, I’m not quite sure where this would leave you if the restaurant was changing over from breakfast to lunch as it was when we first arrived.
With a bit of time to kill, we hopped over to the KAL lounge across the hallway using Priority Pass. The lounge was a bit more crowded than the Qantas lounge, and the self-serve food less interesting.
The KAL lounge, however, did manage to have plentiful outlets everywhere, thereby resolving one of my biggest pet peeves when traveling.
I flew about 261k miles this year, up from 2013’s 228k miles. Unlike last year, where most of those (90% or so) were revenue, roughly 98k miles were on award tickets (~62% revenue). All but 75k miles were in premium cabins, but with the marked uptick in travel, this was a better ratio (28.7%) than 2013 (32.1%).
This past year involved 4 trips to Europe, 2 trips to Hawaii, 2 trips to Asia, 3 trips to both Europe and Asia (but does Anatolia really count?).
My award redemptions were numerous:
I earned points and miles throughout the year:
Airfare spending continued its rise to 5.6cpm, up from 5.22cpm last year. Hotel spending dropped, even as nights stayed roughly constant (82, down from 83), to $68.55/night from last year’s $84/nt. Rental car spending nosedived from $2.2k to about $1.3k.
Last year, I predicted a few things:
In 2015, I expect:
For my last night in Milan, I booked another night at the Sheraton Milan Malpensa Airport hotel. While my experience a few months prior was lackluster, the airport is really convenient for early morning flights.
This time around, I was upgraded to a deluxe room.
After checking in, I took a look at the club on the third floor, where a spread of snacks and beverages was available. The next morning, I returned to the club for breakfast. One of the TVs was playing news coverage that Ethiopian Airlines Flight 702 bound for Milan had been hijacked.
For my night in central Milan, I picked the Four Points, located near Milano Centrale.
Thanks to a United travel waiver for the Northeast, Wideroe was willing to make changes to the otherwise non-changeable mistake bookings. Rather than try to call Norway, I gave their online chat a try: A few minutes later, I had a new ticket in my email and was ready to go. A quick call to United and one systemwide upgrade later, I had a seat in the business class cabin. Online check-in didn’t go so smoothly, though:
That’s not the message you want to see 4 hours before your international flight while it’s after business hours in Norway… One lengthy call to United (and some fingerpointing between United and Wideroe) later, I was able to check in and obtain a boarding pass.
Back in November, a small Norwegian regional carrier, Wideroe, stopped charging fuel surcharges on Star Alliance-operated tickets across the Atlantic. Needless to say, the frequent flyer community pounced on the opportunity to save hundreds of dollars per round trip.
While I had previously visited Milan in October (thanks in part to Emirates’ fifth-freedom route between New York and Milan driving down fares), I found it hard to resist a $189 round trip, all-inclusive fare.
Originally, I had booked EWR-FRA-LIN/MXP-EWR, expecting to grin-and-bear two transatlantic flights in coach.
Thanks to some weather waivers in the northeast during the days leading up to my trip, I switched over to the nonstop to Milan Malpensa, rather than take a long layover in Frankfurt.
Having been escorted to a waiting car from the lounge, we quickly drove along the terminal past Lufthansa’s various widebodies waiting to depart to far-off lands.