Japan's flag carrier and largest airline, Japan Airlines was created in 1951, and carries around 20 million passengers annually. Based at its hubs at Tokyo Narita International Airport and Tokyo Haneda Airport, the company is owned by a group of Japanese banks, and serves a broad mix of domestic and international routes.
This network includes plenty of connections to U.S. cities, including Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Honolulu, New York JFK, Kona, San Francisco, San Diego, and Seattle. Passengers can often fly from Osaka, as well as Tokyo Narita and Haneda airports, with no changes needed.
Japan Airlines is a member of the 26-company Star Alliance, which offers codesharing arrangements worldwide. It's part of the OneWorld Alliance, which operates a global frequent flyer system (and includes American Airlines and British Airways), and also operates its own JAL Mileage Bank, allowing customers to earn miles as they fly.
The company maintains a large fleet, including 42 Boeing 787 models and 279 total planes. Along with Boeing, this includes a diverse range of Bombardier and Airbus designs, with models varying for different routes.
Over the years, Japan Airlines has acquired a strong safety record, with hardly any accidents of any kind. It's still bracketed among the world's safest carriers by authorities like AirlineRatings. And it also performs well in other areas, regularly winning Asia-Pacific awards for reliability and service. All of that is in keeping with the company's mission statement, which promises to ""deliver top quality products, customized services and innovative solutions"" wherever possible.
Generally, Japan Airlines is known for its attention to detail and premium experience - even for travelers in Economy Class. The company offers various fare classes, including Economy, Premium Economy, and Business/First Class, with luxury levels rising with cost.
Japan Airlines First/Business Class
Travelers in Japan Airlines' First Class can indulge themselves with personalized suites, featuring woodgrain furnishings, adaptable seat beds, power bricks for laptops, 23-inch screens, and ample storage. Seats measure 58cm (23-inches) wide, with beds extending to 199cm (79-inches). Business Class seats vary, but usually have a pitch of 84-86cm (32-34-inches). Other benefits include gourmet deals created by chef Jal Bedd, complimentary beverages, and convenience and cosmetic kits.
Japan Airlines Economy Class
In Japan Airlines' Economy Class, seat widths will generally be around 48cm (18.9-inches), with a 83cm (33-inch) pitch. However, Premium seats will be slightly larger and offer additional room. High-quality meals are provided for all, while free amenity sets include essentials like toothbrushes, eye masks, and ear plugs. A specially curated drinks list is also provided for every traveler, which includes French wine, sake, and fine whiskeys.
In terms of entertainment, screen sizes vary by seat class, but all passengers have access to plenty of content. Movies and global TV are part of the mix, along with original programs created by the airline, along with Manga ""video books"", video games, and audio streams.
Japan Airlines Lounges
Japan Airlines operates exclusive Sakura lounges at San Francisco and Honolulu airports (as well as Tokyo's two airports). These are tranquil places to relax or work, dine on traditional Japanese cuisine or local beverages, especially at the San Francisco branch. All Japan Mileage Bank members can visit, aside from Crystal tier members.
With Japan Airlines, online check-in begins 24 hours prior to departure, and the final online check-ins are processed 1 hour before flights take off. However, passengers can automate check-in well before flying via the airline's ""Web Check-in advance registration"" tool. Travelers are urged to arrive at the airport at least 60 minutes before flights depart.
Business and First Class
First and Business Class passengers can check-in 3 items of luggage weighing 70 lbs (32 kg) each.
Travelers are also permitted a carry-on allowance of one personal bag weighing 22 lbs (10 kg).
Passengers flying Economy are able to check in 2 items of luggage, each one weighing no more than 50 lbs (23 kg).
The same carry-on limits apply as in other classes - one 23 lbs (10 kg) bag that can be safely stowed during flights.
All items of checked luggage should have total dimensions of less than 203cm (80-inches).
Carry-on bags must not exceed total dimensions of 115cm (45-inches), or dimensions of 55 x 40 x 25 cm (22 x 16 x 10-inches).
If passengers' luggage breaches the above guidelines, Japan Airlines may impose oversized baggage charges. These charges vary, with smaller fees for items weighing 44-70 lbs (23-32 kg) and higher fees for items weighing 70-100 lbs (32-4 kg).
Additional fees also apply for every pet container transported, and there are special rates for larger sporting items such as surfboards or musical instruments (which should always be carried in hard-backed cases).
Infants up to the age of 2 do not require an additional seat reservation, but passengers should specify any special dietary needs or other support. Both infant and baby meals are available, and are designed for specific age groups, so it makes sense to choose carefully when traveling.
Finally, it may be useful to know about Japan Mileage Bank benefits for passengers. The scheme isn't all about air miles and lounges. Members at Diamond level or above enjoy priority baggage handling, as well as an extra 70 lbs (32 kg) baggage allowance (or one extra checked bag)."