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After our brief time in the American Airlines Flagship lounge (and a few jaunts to find out which is the best AA Admirals Clubs in Chicago O’Hare), we boarded our JAL first class flight

This was our first time on a plane like this – it was so big, I couldn’t even get the plane in one single picture!

japan-airlines-first-class-review-plane-1 japan-airlines-first-class-review-plane-2

As we boarded the plane, we turned to the right, only to figure out that our seats were to the left (front) of the plane. We were sitting in seats 2D and 2G which were the middle seats.


The divider was already down between our seats, and the crew greeted us by name (and even took this pic for us!)


(SEE ALSO: Should you dress up when flying first class?)

There were 4 crewmembers to serve the 7 of us in first class (one seat was empty), and the service was very attentive. They brought out pre-departure drinks, and I chose orange juice. Shortly after our 11:30 a.m. takeoff (30 minutes delayed from Chicago), the flight attendants came out and started the first meal service.


For an appetizer, I had the Terrine of Goat Cheese, Roasted Eggplant and Bell Pepper with Maple, and my main course was Roasted Challandais Duck Breast with Eggplant Puree and American Cherry Sauce


with a Cappuccino Mousse with Strawberry sauce for dessert, which was yummy, but not nearly as good as the ice cream that they served for 2nd dessert


The amenity kit had your standard amenity kit things

japan-airlines-first-class-review-amenity-kitAnd the pajamas were nice – very comfortable and smooth.  Although typically I think of an airplane cabin as a cold place (it’s why I suggest wearing multiple layers in my 4 tips to survive a red eye flight in economy).  But on this Japan Airlines ORD NRT flight, between the warm cotton pajamas and the blanket, it was hot enough that I felt like I had some trouble sleeping due to sweating!


though one thing I’d say was that it felt like the slippers were not made for big fat American feet (and I don’t feel that I’m a particularly large person)

The IFE was great – very large screen and a decent selection..


I watched The Force Awakens (again), and although it played in English, it had Japanese subtitles on the screen that I could not seem to get rid of. There was a button on the remote for subtitles, but when I hit it, nothing happened :-(. I didn’t want to ask one of the crew members, because I suspected they wouldn’t have any idea on how to do it either, and then feel embarrassed about it. Carolyn made me ask them anyways – so I asked, the flight attendant didn’t know, and then felt embarrassed 🙁

After the meal service, the crew dimmed the cabin lights.  I went to change and asked for my seat to be turned down for bed service


I had trouble sleeping – I think it was just the combination of excitement as well as the fact that it was a daytime flight and as I mentioned, the cabin was quite warm.  Still, I was able to relax for a few hours before I sat back up and watched some more movies (I went with Edge of Tomorrow with Tom Cruise which was kind of like Groundhog Day meets Call of Duty) and then ordered my 2nd meal.


Before too long, it was time to land in Tokyo.  The 13 hour flight didn’t feel SHORT, but flying in first class definitely made it feel more comfortable!


We had about a 3 hour layover in Japan, and then another nice touch of the JAL First Class experience was that an agent met us at the gate to help walk us through immigration and then took us directly to the JAL first class lounge, where you can continue reading this trip report!

Here is our wonderful experience flying JAL first class from Chicago to Tokyo

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