Japan Airlines Hong Kong to Haneda: pure refinement

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After Korea, the next step was, obviously, Japan. And to go to Japan, I caught a Japan Airlines flight, which although I flew economy was pure refinement.

It all starts at a lounge

The best way to start a travel is doubtless in the business class lounge. Even though I was not flying business, Finnair’s gold level membership allowed me to use the lounge as well as my wife and child (it must be remarked that unlike other Oneworld airlines, Finnair does allow child guests for the lounge + one adult guest).

Qantas lounge
Enjoying a light meal before the flight

The lounge enabled us to await peacefully the time for the flight (we escaped to the huge queue for boarding by arriving early enough).

As the flight time was nearing we went to the gate. The first thing I noted was the pressing invitation by the Japan Airlines staff by loudspeakers to board quickly and to attach seat belts upon boarding. Nothing too unusual there… except that they invited you also to use the restroom before boarding! Attention to detail or maniac obsession with detail, a first sign of the Japanese spirit.

Spacious plane

On the flights HKG to Haneda, Japan Airlines uses Boeings 777 the cabin of which has been redesigned to improve amenities and comfort.

JAL 26 flight
The JAL 26 flight berthed at gate 29 in Hong Kong airport

Seat room and leg space was quite generous, video screen was the biggest I have seen since I started flying, and everything breathes refinement and comfort. I was flying one of the recently redesigned B777 of Japan Airlines, according to the “Sky Next” concept, with Recaro seats and wifi on board. The flight attendants too, were smiling and excessively polite.

JAL Boeing 777
An idea of the interior cabin of a JAL Boeing 777

Takeoff, was quite uneventful, except the delays upon takeoff because of the queue of planes… Afternoon can be quite busy with a number of flights taking off for Japan at the same time.

Airplane queues HKG
Planes queuing for takeoff at HKG airport behind JAL 26

Several planes took off at the same time.

ANA flight taking off
A (supposedly) B777 of ANA taking off from HKG airport

The fun part was probably seeing the very plane with which I flew to Korea taking off at the same time:

A330 Asiana to Seoul
The A330 of Asiana taking off from HKG to INH

As to the takeoff itself, it was the occasion of shooting a nice video of the HKG airport.

Takeoff of JAL 26

A very Japanese menu

Once in flight, the food service started. A very Japanese menu (with no options) serving rice with eggs and some meat. Presentation was impeccable.

Meal tray JAL
Meal tray of JAL

The food was tasty too, which is not astonishing for an afficionado of Japanese food.

Little additional detail: they serve also miso soup in cardboard glasses, but as you can see, the tray is already crowded by then.


Besides the comfort of the seats with large legroom, the entertainment part was also quite agreeable with large screens and a selection of the most recent movies on the market. I tried their Kasparov chess game, but found it a bit wanting (maybe because it was not that difficult – yet I only managed a quick pat). Unfortunately, i was so tired that I dozed off in middle of the movie that followed.

Upon arrival in Japan, we experienced one of the smoothest landings ever (JAL pilots have a soft touch when landing, it would seem). And so, we were arrived in Japan, finally!


Upon arrival in Haneda, we opted for ease and chose to request the transfer service provided by Klook from Haneda. A bit pricey at 9,500 JPY, but easy, as the provider contacts you via Whatsapp and directs you to the driver. The drive was ok, even though the driver did not understand english but spoke only Japanese and Chinese.

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