Guide to Japan Airlines Business Class: All You Need to Know in 2024

Jon Miksis Jon Miksis clock Updated April 27, 2024 tourism Travel Tips
by Jem
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Thinking of flying to Japan this year? Here’s a friendly guide to flying Japan Airlines business class. I’ll help you pick the best seat and share all the amenities they offer up in the sky!

On my adventures around the globe, I’ve flown with Japan Airlines business class multiple times. Each trip confirms why they’re ranked among the best airlines in Asia. Today, I’m excited to guide you through what makes their service exceptional, from check-in to landing.

Why listen to me? Well, I’ve traveled the world reviewing different business classes, and I’ve learned what truly sets an airline apart. JAL excels not only in comfort but also in the finer details that elevate your flying experience.

This guide will take you through every aspect of flying business class with Japan Airlines. We’ll cover lounges, seats, dining, and entertainment, helping you make an informed choice for your next trip. Let’s explore what makes JAL a contender for the best business class in the skies!

My #1 tip to find cheap JAL Business Class tickets

Looking for a steal on Japan Airlines business class tickets? Before jumping into the article, I first wanted to give you this insider tip to find cheap airfare on business class flights.

For years, I’ve been using this site called Going (formerly Scott’s Cheap Flights), which sends you alerts on airline deals, discounts, and mistake fares. It’s a total game-changer, saving me $10,000+ on flights each year.

Their $49/year premium version is well worth it- just one discounted flight pays for the whole thing. I recommend trying the free trial and using my special discount code JON20 to save 20%!

And if you’re into business/first class, you’ll want to sign up for their Elite version. Last year, this service saved me $2,750 on a first class flight and $1,500 on a business class flight. At just $199 year year, trust me, it’s a small price for massive savings.

Overview of Japan Airlines

If you’re considering flying business class to Asia and wondering if Japan Airlines is the right choice, let me share some insights.

Japan Airlines, or JAL, established in 1951, serves as Japan’s flag carrier. Their major hubs are located in Tokyo and Osaka, providing extensive connections across 60 domestic and 39 international destinations. This includes nine cities in the United States, including Boston, Honolulu, and New York City.

Their current fleet consists of 142 aircraft, with an additional 76 on order. Japan Airlines is part of the Oneworld alliance.

Japan Airlines Business Class flight for all types of travelers.

JAL’s business class fleet: A detailed comparison

JAL offers quite a few business class products. The experience varies depending on the aircraft. Let me break down what you can expect from each.

Airbus A350-1000

The A350-1000 features Japan Airlines’ newest business class. Each of the 52 seats, spread across 14 rows in a 1-2-1 configuration, boasts a door for ultimate privacy. The 78-inch flat-bed seats, combined with headrest speakers and a huge 24-inch monitor, make for a luxurious experience. This aircraft typically serves flights to cities like Dallas and New York.

Boeing 787-8, 787-9, & 777-300ER (JAL Sky Suite)

Traveling on the 787 or 777-300ER, you’ll find the JAL Sky Suite in a cozy 2-2-2 layout. Each suite, complete with privacy doors, offers a fully flat bed and direct aisle access. The 23-inch entertainment screen is a standout feature. These planes fly to various destinations, including San Francisco, Boston, London, and Frankfurt.

Boeing 767-300ER (JAL Sky Suite II)

The Sky Suite II on the 767-300ER, arranged in a 1-2-1 configuration, provides direct aisle access for all. Though these seats aren’t as secluded, the fully flat beds, USB ports, and 15-inch screens ensure a comfortable journey. You’re likely to board this aircraft for flights to Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.

Boeing 787-9 (JAL Sky Suite III)

The Sky Suite III on another variant of the 787-9 also features a 1-2-1 layout but with reverse herringbone seats that enhance privacy. Each seat has a 17-inch screen and adjusts for comfort at any angle, converting into a fully flat bed. This configuration is mainly used for flights within Asia.

Boeing 787-8 (JAL Shell Flat Neo)

On the 787-8, the JAL Shell Flat Neo seats, in a 2-2-2 layout, offer an open feel. While these seats do not lie completely flat, the 15-inch screen and spacious arrangement make it suitable for shorter regional flights across Asia.

Boeing 737-800 (JAL Skyluxe Seat)

For domestic travels, the 737-800 features the JAL Skyluxe Seat in a 2-2 configuration. These recliner seats are designed for shorter flights. They’re comfortable, albeit more basic, compared to the long-haul business class products.

This airline has a large selection of business class products.
This airline has a large selection of business class products. | Image Credit: One Mile at a Time

Japan Airlines business class baggage allowance

When packing for a trip on Japan Airlines in business class, knowing the baggage allowances can save you a lot of hassle at the airport. Here’s what you can bring along without any issues.

Checked baggage

You’re allowed three pieces of checked baggage, each weighing up to 70 lbs (32 kg). Make sure that the total dimensions (length + height + width) of each bag do not exceed 80 inches (203 cm).

Carry-on baggage

Along with a personal item like a handbag or a small shopping bag, you can bring one carry-on bag. This bag shouldn’t weigh more than 22 lbs (10 kg) and must stay within total linear dimensions of 45 inches (115 cm).

Airport experience when flying JAL business class

As one of the best airlines in Japan, the experience on the ground when flying JAL business class is outstanding.

Check in

Checking in for Japan Airlines business class is a breeze. Every airport, from Tokyo-Narita to Osaka-Kansai, offers exclusive counters for business class passengers. This means you can skip the usual lines and get through check-in quickly.


Once you’re checked in, the Sakura Lounge awaits. Japan Airlines offers amazing airport lounges not only in their home country but also at select international airports like Honolulu, San Francisco, Frankfurt, Bangkok, and Manila.

The flagship lounge at Tokyo-Narita is a highlight. It’s spacious, filled with natural light, and decorated in a serene Japanese style. The views are spectacular on a clear day—you can see both the Skytree and Mount Fuji. Floor-to-ceiling windows offer a fantastic view of the planes as they park or take off. Enjoy a drink from the bar, sample the buffet, and relax in a setting that feels more like a retreat than an airport lounge.

When traveling in business class on this airline, the experience on the ground is exceptional.
When traveling in business class on this airline, the experience on the ground is exceptional. | Image Credit: One Mile at a Time

In-flight comfort & amenities on Japan Airlines business class

Japan Airlines consistently ranks among the best business class in Asia, and I’ve experienced why first-hand. The blend of comfort, technology, and service on board sets them apart.


As we’ve already explored, Japan Airlines offers a variety of business class seats depending on the aircraft. From the ultra-private cubicles with doors in the A350-1000 to the open and airy JAL Shell Flat Neo seats on the 787-8, each configuration ensures comfort and convenience.

In-flight entertainment

The in-flight entertainment on Japan Airlines is top-notch. If you’re on the A350, you’ll enjoy a massive 24-inch 4K screen, equipped with Audio-Technica headphones that deliver superb sound quality. For those who like to use their own headphones, Bluetooth connectivity is available. Unique features include in-seat speakers that reduce stress by minimizing headphone use. With the JAL app, you can even resume watching a movie right where you left off on a previous flight.

Regardless of the aircraft, you’ll find a variety of movies, TV shows, e-books, and even live TV to keep you entertained.


On international routes, JAL goes above and beyond with its amenity kits designed by HERALBONY. These kits come in six color choices and include essentials like a toothbrush set, moisture mask, earplugs, and eye mask. On the A350, you also get cardigans and pajamas designed for optimal comfort.


Staying connected is easy with JAL’s Wi-Fi service available on international flights. It’s reasonably priced at $18.80 for the entire flight, with no data limits.

This airline is among the best in Asia, according to rankings.
This airline is among the best in Asia, according to rankings. | Image Credit: One Mile at a Time

On-board dining in JAL business class

Dining with Japan Airlines business class is a highlight of the flight. Collaborating with top Japanese chefs, JAL crafts a menu that showcases the best of Japanese cuisine, featuring premium ingredients like snow crab, abalone, and black cod. The attention to detail is evident as the offerings change with the seasons.

You can even treat yourself to some fine chocolates from Jean-Paul Hévin. For convenience, you can order meals right from your seat through the in-flight entertainment system. If you’re flying during the morning, JAL serves a hearty breakfast made with local ingredients and Japanese fruits.

The drink selection is extensive. Whether you prefer wine, champagne, or something non-alcoholic like juices and teas, JAL caters to all preferences. They also offer a wide selection of Japanese sake.

The best part of the trip is dining in business class on this airline.
The best part of the trip is dining in business class on this airline. | Image Credit: One Mile at a Time

Tips for booking JAL business class flights

Hunting for cheap business class flights to Japan? Here are some insider tips on how to snag a great deal.

  • Use partner airlines for points: While JAL’s own Mileage Bank might not link directly with US or Canadian credit cards, you can still earn points with Oneworld partners like American Airlines, British Airways, and Alaska Airlines. You can then transfer those points to book JAL flights. They also partner with non-alliance airlines such as LATAM and Emirates.
  • Transfer from Marriott Bonvoy: If you have a Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card, you can transfer your Marriott points to JAL. This is a solid option since Marriott points convert to many airlines, including Japan Airlines.
  • Be flexible with dates and routes: Finding availability on JAL business class can be tough. It’s wise to be flexible with your travel dates and consider routes that might include a stop or two with partner airlines.
  • Subscribe to Cheap Flight Alerts: Again, if you want to find the best possible deals on business class airfare, I highly recommend signing up for Scott’s Cheap Flights ( While the free version is great for finding discounted economy flights, the Elite version is what you’ll need to find cheap business and first class deals.

Japan Airlines business class vs. rival products

There are plenty of airlines that fly to Japan from the US. Comparing Japan Airlines business class with its rivals means looking closely at what each offers, and I’ve flown enough to have a say on this. Let’s break it down:

ANA vs. Japan Airlines

Both based in Japan, JAL and ANA are renowned for exceptional service. JAL, with its hubs in Tokyo and Osaka, focuses on a blend of domestic and international routes. Their business class seats emphasize privacy and comfort.

ANA, also centered in Tokyo, offers expansive global routes and is lauded for “The Room” in business class. Without a doubt, ANA’s business class features some of the widest seats in the sky.

JAL wins for sleep quality with their top-notch bedding, but ANA’s spacious layout might appeal more to those who feel cramped in typical business class settings.

Japan Airlines vs. Cathay Pacific

Cathay Pacific, headquartered in Hong Kong, serves a significant number of routes across the globe, including a strong presence in Asia.

While JAL offers an excellent hard product, Cathay’s business class cabins, especially on their A350 and 777, feel more consistent across their fleet.

However, JAL’s superior in-flight dining experience, with a focus on seasonal and high-quality Japanese ingredients, edges out Cathay’s more international culinary approach.

Singapore Airlines vs. Japan Airlines

Singapore Airlines is often considered one of the best airlines in the world, and their business class is no exception. While JAL provides a competitive product, Singapore Airlines’ business class seats are arguably more spacious and convert into a larger bed.

Additionally, Singapore’s KrisWorld in-flight entertainment system and Book the Cook service, which allows pre-ordering gourmet dishes, set a high benchmark that JAL is still catching up to.

In my opinion, JAL offers a solid experience but doesn’t quite match Singapore’s luxurious space and advanced entertainment options.

This airline provides a good experience.
This airline provides a good experience. | Image Credit: One Mile at a Time

Pros and cons of JAL business class

Flying Japan Airlines business class definitely has its highlights and a few drawbacks too. Let’s break down what works well and what could be better.


  • Varied seat options: Whether it’s the ultra-private suites on the A350 or the more open yet comfy seats on their 787s, JAL offers a range of seating options suited for different traveler needs.
  • Exceptional service: The service onboard is impeccable. Flight attendants are attentive, polite, and genuinely care about passenger comfort.
  • Seasonal Japanese cuisine: The food is a high point. Menus are crafted from luxurious, seasonal ingredients that offer a taste of Japanese culture.
  • Comprehensive in-flight entertainment: From huge screens on the A350 to a variety of movies, TV shows, and games, boredom is not an option.
  • Generous baggage allowance: The allowance of three pieces at 32 kg each is more than enough for even the most extensive trips.


  • Inconsistent experience across fleet: The experience can vary depending on which aircraft and seat configuration you’re in. Some planes have the latest features, while others might feel a bit dated. If you can, avoid JAL’s 737 business class.
  • Limited lounge access: While the flagship lounges like the Sakura Lounge in Tokyo are fantastic, JAL’s lounge access is more limited in other regions.
  • Wi-Fi cost: Unlike some competitors that offer free or cheaper Wi-Fi options, JAL charges $18.80 for the service on international flights.
Business class on this airline is the best choice.
Business class on this airline is the best choice.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Japan Airlines business class

Are you still curious about which airline is the best to fly to Japan? Here are some questions I get asked a lot that will help decide whether Japan Airlines business class is the right option for you.

Is JAL a good airline?

Yes, Japan Airlines (JAL) is considered a very good airline, known for its high levels of service, punctuality, and quality. It consistently receives high ratings from passengers and industry groups for its comfort, service, and reliability.

What are the best seats for couples in JAL business class?

For couples traveling together in JAL business class, the best seats would be the center pairs in configurations where they’re available. For example, on aircrafts like the Boeing 787-8 and 787-9 in the JAL Sky Suite configuration, the center seats (configured as 2-2-2) offer both privacy with the ability to lower a divider. This makes them ideal for couples.

This airline is regarded as being exceptionally good.
This airline is regarded as being exceptionally good.

Does Japan Airlines’ business class have lie-flat beds?

Yes, Japan Airlines’ business class offers lie-flat beds in most of its long-haul aircraft configurations. The JAL Sky Suites, Sky Suite II, and Sky Suite III all feature seats that convert into fully flat beds.

Which airline is best to fly to Japan from the US?

Choosing the best airline to fly to Japan from the US depends on your priorities such as comfort, service, and direct route availability. Japan Airlines is a top choice for many because of its excellent service, high-quality business class, and direct flights to major Japanese cities from several US cities. Other airlines like ANA also offer similar high-quality services and extensive flight networks to Japan.

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