Review: Japan Airlines First Class 777-300ER

Review: Japan Airlines First Class 777-300ER


This Japan Airlines First Class Review on the 777-300ER is from a site inspection trip to Japan prior to the current coronavirus crisis here in NYC. Hoping to visit Japan after the coronavirus situation improves? See our posts tagged Japan.


JAL 777-300ER First Class Cabin and Seat Selection

Japan Airlines First Class on the 777-300ER consists of 8 seats across two rows, in a 1-2-1 seat configuration. Solo travelers will likely prefer a window seat such as 2A or 2K, while couples can sit together by choosing the paired seats in the center, such as 2D/2G. I recommend row 2 to avoid potential light and noise from the galley in the front. Right behind first class is a mini cabin of business class, so there isn't a galley right behind the second row.

Japan Airlines First Class Cabin, 777-300ER


JAL First Class Seat

The JAL First Class seat is over 10 years old now, so it won't turn heads the way the newer Emirates First Class suites do. That said, it's a very comfortable and functional seat despite its understated dark brown upholstery. The seat is an an open suite (no closing doors) and is 33 inches wide.

JAL First Class Seat, 777-300ER


The seat control panel is straightforward, and near it is a compartment for a tablet, phone, and other small items to keep within reach.

JAL First Class Seat Controls


The IFE touchscreen controls are in a middle compartment, and in addition to flight maps, music, news and movies and videos, there's a section for ordering meals and drinks to your seat, although neither of us found this necessary for first class given our crew's attentiveness.

JAL Magic-V IFE Controls


There were noise cancelling Bose headphones and an Etro amenity kit by each seat:

JAL First Class Review: Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones and Etro Amenity Kit


The main thing I didn't like about the seat was the placement of the power outlet. It was inside the compartment closest to the IFE screen, so too far away to reach when buckled into the seat. I much prefer power outlets that can be reached when buckled in, so that if there's turbulence and you're required to remain in your seat, you can still plug in a device or swap out devices. Also, for some reason both my power outlet in seat 2G and my son's in seat 2K were quite finicky; initially when I tried plugging in my MacBook Pro it wouldn't charge, because the outlet kept forcing out the plug slightly. I haven't had this problem with other power outlets, plus there was a similar issue with my iPhone power charger.

JAL First Class Review: Power Outlet


The 19 inch IFE screen has the tray table in front of it, and the table can slide out so that a companion can dine or talk across from you. I really like this table design, since when dining solo it also means that it's easy to slide it forward and exit your seat.

JAL First Class Review: IFE Screen and Table


Here's our Japan Airlines First Class YouTube Video Review:

The Verdict

Japan Airlines First Class seats doesn't wow the way certain enclosed suite products do, such as the new Emirates First Class, and looks very subdued with its brown seats. But personally, this remains my favorite commercial airline first class, for a few reasons.

First, the bed is so much more comfortable than other airline first class beds, thanks to the thick airweave mattress pad, with the choice of a softer or firmer surface.

Second, while there's no meal pre-order as there is with Singapore Airlines and several others, I've always enjoyed the Japanese meal, particularly the appetizers. I definitely prefer JAL First Class to Cathay Pacific First Class meals, for example.

Third, while service may not be as polished as Singapore Airlines, I've always found the in-flight crew polite and eager to help; there's more consistency than with some of the European and Middle Eastern airline crews.

Fourth, other little things make the journey more comfortable, such as the moisture mask in the amenity kit, the Cle de Peau skincare (or Shiseido for men skincare for men), and the complimentary WiFi voucher.

If you've flown JAL First Class, what was your experience?

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4 years ago

I flew JAL first class at the very beginning of February NRT to ORD. Your takes on the seat itself were pretty spot on. Service was simply superb. The food was quite good and I absolutely adore the way you can slide the table away from you while it stays level. I had some issues connecting to the WiFi but the flight attendant found a second voucher that worked. IFE was good but not great. There was a nice amount of storage, in contrast to ANA on what is now the older seat. Service was somewhat obsequious but not as… Read more »