Trip Report: Japan 2015 (Part 12) Japan Airlines First Class Tokyo Narita to Chicago O’Hare


Japan (Part 1) Introduction- A Babymoon…….Sakura Style!?
Japan (Part 2) Japan Airlines First Class Chicago O’Hare to Tokyo Narita
Japan (Part 3) St. Regis Osaka
Japan (Part 4) Around Kyoto
Japan (Part 5) Around Nara
Japan (Part 6) Andaz Tokyo
Japan (Part 7) Around Tokyo
Japan (Part 8) Conrad Tokyo
Japan (Part 9) Fujigoko Sakura viewing (Beautiful full bloom cherry blossoms)
Japan (Part 10) Westin Tokyo
Japan (Part 11) Japan Airlines First Class Lounge
Japan (Part 12) Japan Airlines First Class Tokyo Narita to Chicago O’Hare

Japan Airlines First Class Tokyo Narita to Chicago O’Hare

We waited just a few moments before they announced boarding for First Class passengers.  We entered through door 2L and turned left to enter the first class cabin (also passing a few business class seats along the way which looked stellar).

Waiting to board at gate 71

My wife and I had the exact same seats again on this trip as we did on our prior flight. I had 2D and my wife had 2G.  The cabin was full again if I recall correctly.  This flight was a Sunday flight (April 19th) which are typically full or close to full.

Japan Airlines First Class cabin

Japan Airlines First Class cabin

Wife and I in Japan Airlines First Class

I was still sick but went ahead with some champagne for my preflight beverage.  I am not going to go into the details of the cabin and suite/seat in this post for that detail please see part two of this trip report here

Champaign welcome beverage accompanied by a hot towelette

Japan Airlines First Class suite 2D

Notice my overpacked carryon doesn’t fit well

JAL suites 1A and 2A next to me

Crew names on display upfront in the galley area

JAL F restroom

Pajamas were distributed and I was able to change into them before take off on this flight.

Japan Airlines pajamas

Japan Airlines restroom

Menu’s were then distributed.  

Japan Airlines first class beverage menu

Japan Airlines first class beverage menu

JAL First Class wine list

JAL First Class wine menu

Japan Airlines First Class wine list

Japan Airlines First Class wine list

Japan Airlines First Class wine list

Japan Airlines First Class beverage menu

JAL First Class menu-Japanese option

JAL First Class menu-Western option

Japan Airlines First Class A La Carte menu

JAL F menu

Tables were set shortly after we reached 10,000 feet.  I chose the Salon champagne for my beverage during meal service.

Salon Champagne served on Japan Airlines First Class

Japan Airlines First Class amuse bouche

Japan Airlines First Class amuse bouche


The flight attendants were wonderful just as they were on our outbound flight the week prior.  Very attentive and a lot of bowing.  I think JAL service is the best of any airline that we have flown on.

Our Japan Airlines flight path to Chicago

I didn’t have any sake in our week in Japan so I sucked it up and took one for the team.  I asked the flight attendant which selection would be preferable and she said the Haurakusei is very good. The sake was smooth yet potent and I knew I wasn’t going to have seconds.  I took my time with it and my wife even had a very small sip of it and thought it was good. The flight attendant did pour me another glass of sake when she saw my glass empty but I didn’t touch it.

Bottle of Hakurakusei sake

Hakurakusei sake poured

Our Japan Airlines flight information-strong tailwind

For my meal I chose the Japanese option and my wife went with the western option.  I figured the Japanese catering would be good departing Tokyo.  The amount of food was amazing!  The dishes kept coming.  First up was a selection of five Japanese delicacies (please see menu above for details of each item).  I must admit that the flavors of some of these dishes were unique to me and I found a few of them to be hard to put down.  That is hard for me to admit as I like just about every food option known to man! I did however eat it all even if I didn’t love all the dishes.

Enjoying a movie with my meal

Five Japanese delicacies to start

Japan Airlines Japanese option meal service

The soup

Dont recall this dish, sorry!

The white asparagus and caviar, spiny lobster and scallop sashimi style

The white asparagus and caviar, spiny lobster and scallop sashimi style

My wife’s dish

My wife enjoying her western option meal service on Japan Airlines First Class


I found the main course much more to my liking and dessert was scrumptious as well!

More of my Japanese meal service on JAL F

DSC01898 DSC01899

Wife and I in Japan Airlines First Class

Dessert on Japan Airlines First Class

After our meal service the flight attendants handed out amenity kits.  What I found really surprising is that they gave us two different Loewe amenity kits. Our flight attendant stated that the week prior on our outbound flight to Tokyo they gave us the Amenity kit for the Tokyo-Chicago flight instead. How they knew last week that we got the “wrong” amenity kit was fascinating to me.  So in the picture below the green amenity kit is supposed to be the one we got going to Tokyo however we got the one on the left which is the correct one for this flight. They also distributed some Jean-Paul Hevin chocolate to snack on to finish off the meal service.

Loewe amenity kits on Japan Airlines First Class

JAL Jean-Paul Hevin chocolate and amenity kits on JAL F

The mens amenity kit was accompanied by a Shiseido mens skincare kit

The women amenity kit was accompanied by a de de peau skincare mask

After our meal service we had our seats converted to beds and relaxed.  I took a little nap and then woke up and watched some movies.  The beds were very comfortable!

My wife’s seat is converted to bed mode

Flight path progress after dinner service

Ground speed=663 MPH!!!

Amenity kit contents

About two hours prior to landing we were asked if we wanted another meal or any other food options off the menu.  I had the Sakura shrimp bisque and we both had the fruit with sweets.  My wife had the roast beef sandwich.  The food was quite good.

Sakura shrimp bisque soup on Japan Airlines First Class

Fruit and sweets on Japan Airlines First Class

Kabob style sandwich with roast beef

After the meal service I asked if I could have one of the JAL F branded coffee mugs that they use.  The flight attendant knew just what I was talking about and was happy to provide (I saw one or two other bloggers get a complimentary mug so I figured why not ask).   Before landing she presented us with a hand wrapped package which actually contained two of the coffee mugs!

Complimentary JAL F coffee mugs courtesy of the flight crew

JAL First Class coffee mugs

Loved our flights on Japan Airlines! As I mentioned in part two of this trip report I was surprised to admit that I think they outperformed Cathay Pacific overall.  The flight even has wifi however I didn’t use the wifi so I can’t comment on how fast it was.  The Japanese service levels were outstanding and is what made the flights memorable to us.

PointsPinnacle Breakdown

We redeemed American Airlines miles to fly on their One World partner Japan Airlines. The grand total round trip per person was 125,000 AA miles + $48.60 + $35 telephone booking fee. What a steal! Only $167.20 roundtrip all in for two first class tickets to Japan and back. A good deal in economy class might be $900! That Citi AA Executive card is the card that keeps on giving! The cash price for our exact itinerary (you may want to sit down for this) was $46,000+ !!!!!!

Screen Shot 2015-04-22 at 8.53.18 PMOur Japan Airlines receipt and itinerary

Screen Shot 2015-04-22 at 8.53.38 PM
Confirmation email of AA mileage redemption for our flights totaled 250,000 AA miles

Our exact itinerary on ITA matrix shows $46,049.20 roundtrip

Please let me know if you have any questions on our JAL first class flights or any other aspect of our trip. I am happy to help!

In summary, we had a great week together in Japan and feel very happy and grateful to explore another amazing part of the globe.  Collection points and miles really helped us make this trip entirely possible and it was really fun and comfortable to travel in style!




4 thoughts on “Trip Report: Japan 2015 (Part 12) Japan Airlines First Class Tokyo Narita to Chicago O’Hare

    • @ dining decadence, I don’t know as I didn’t ask them that. However it was readily available whenever I requested a glass and refills were a plenty.

      @ Barry Simmons, thanks so much! I appreciate the feedback.

  1. We are flying JAL business class NRT to ORD in March, 2016. I am worried about the temperature in the cabin being too hot after reading many comments about how hot the cabin is. How was the temperature on your flight?

    • @Bonnie, we had zero issues with the temperature in the flight and were perfectly comfortable. I will mention that the pj’s they hand out are thick which could make you warm but we were fine. Have a great trip and safe travels!!

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