The Definitive Guide to Japan Airlines’ Direct Routes From The U.S. [Plane Types & Seat Options]

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Japan Airlines has a well-deserved reputation for having some of the best first and business class products in the world. Their premium cabin products are undoubtedly the best way to fly to Japan with points and miles.

Additionally, Japan Airlines has its frequent flyer program, known as Japan Airlines Mileage Bank, which was previously known for being one of the best ways to book Emirates First Class.

This redemption has since been devalued, but Japan Airlines remains one of the world’s top airlines, even when it comes to frequent flyer programs.

As far as Japan Airlines is concerned, there are tons of different routes you can fly to Japan from the United States, including a few relatively unknown routes to Osaka.

This guide will go over the absolute best routes on which you can find their flagship first products and multiple business class products.

Japan Airlines Seat Options by Aircraft Type

Japan Airlines operates different aircraft on flights to and from the U.S. In fact, Japan Airlines operates up to seven different aircraft or variations of aircraft.

As you can probably imagine, it’s absolutely of utmost importance to understand which routes have bad seats and which routes have great seats, otherwise, you may be sorely disappointed in your in-flight experience.

We’ve got quite a lot of ground to cover, and before we get into our customary route and aircraft summary table, let’s list out the different aircraft Japan Airlines uses on flights to and from the U.S.:

  1. 767
  2. 777-200
  3. 777-300
  4. 787-8 (updated)
  5. 787-8 (old)
  6. 787-9 (newer)
  7. 787-9 (newest)

Japan Airlines is not known for performing last-minute aircraft swaps. Therefore, the information presented below is as accurate as possible. However, it’s important to keep in mind that there may be changes due to unforeseen operational circumstances.

Here’s what the route and aircraft table looks like:

JAL RouteFlight No.AircraftCabin ClassesFrequency
Boston (BOS) – Tokyo-Narita (NRT)JL 7787-900 Sky SuiteBusiness, Premium Economy, EconomyDaily
Chicago (ORD) – Tokyo-Narita (NRT)JL 9777-300ERFirst, Business, Premium Economy, EconomyDaily
Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW)  – Tokyo-Narita (NRT)JL 11787-900 Sky SuiteBusiness, Premium Economy, EconomyDaily
Honolulu (HNL) – Tokyo-Narita (NRT)JL 781 / 783 / 785 / 789JL 781: 777-200 Sky Suite III

JL 783: 767

JL 785: 767

JL 789: 787-900 Sky Suite III

777-200:  Business, Premium Economy, Economy

767: Business, Economy

787-900:  Business, Premium Economy, Economy

4x Daily
Honolulu (HNL) – Nagoya (NGO)JL 793787-900 Sky Suite IIIBusiness, Premium Economy, EconomyDaily
Honolulu (HNL) – Osaka (KIX)JL 791 / 8791JL 791: 777-200 Sky Suite III

JL 8791: 787-8 (updated)

777-200: Business, Premium Economy, Economy

787-8: Business, Premium Economy, Economy

2x Daily
Kona (KOA) – Tokyo-Narita (NRT)JL 779767-300Business, EconomyDaily
Los Angeles (LAX) – Tokyo-Narita (NRT)JL 61777-300ERFirst, Business, Premium Economy, EconomyDaily
Los Angeles (LAX) – Osaka (KIX)JL 69787-8 (old) (changing to 787-9 Sky Suite III from March 31, 2019)Business, Premium Economy, EconomyDaily
New York City (JFK) – Tokyo-Haneda (HND)JL 5777-300ERFirst, Business, Premium Economy, EconomyDaily
New York City (JFK) – Tokyo-Narita (NRT)JL 3777-300ERFirst, Business, Premium Economy, EconomyDaily
San Diego (SAN) – Tokyo-Narita (NRT)JL 65787-800 (old)Business, EconomyDaily
San Francisco (SFO) – Tokyo-Haneda (HND)JL 1777-300ERFirst, Business, Premium Economy, EconomyDaily
Seattle (SEA) – Tokyo-Narita (NRT) {from March 31, 2019}JL 67787-800 (updated)Business, EconomyDaily

Japan Airlines First Class Options

Japan Airlines First Class Seat
The Japan Airlines First Class seats feature an industry-leading 33 inches in width! Image courtesy of Stephen Au

This section is actually pretty easy because Japan Airlines only operates a first-class cabin on their flagship aircraft, which is the 777-300ER.

These first class seats look like brown, leather armchairs that recline fully into a bed. With a huge 33 inches in seat width, 78.5 inches in seat and bed length, this is one of the most fabulous products you can find.

Japan Airlines First Class screams of classic, retro luxury, so it isn’t as showy as, say, Emirates First Class, but it’ll leave you wishing your flight was longer.

Seats are arranged in a 1-2-1 configuration across 2 rows at the front of the plane as shown below:

Japan Airlines 777-300 First Class Seat Map
Japan Airlines 777-300 first class seat map. Image courtesy of seatguru.com

The best seats? All of them are fantastic, but you may enjoy an incremental benefit in row 1 over row 2; this is because nobody should be walking in front of you, as the lavatories and galleys are located frontward.

If you’re traveling with a partner, seats 2D and 2G will be fantastic. If traveling alone, the 4 windows in the 2A and 2K seats really provide you with that private jet feel.

Nevertheless, the gigantic seats, comfortable bedding, exquisite cuisine, and warm customer service will leave even the pickiest fliers satisfied.

Here’s where you’ll be able to find Japan Airlines operating the 777-300ER:

  • Chicago (ORD) – Tokyo-Narita (NRT)
  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Tokyo-Narita (NRT)
  • San Francisco (SFO) – Tokyo-Haneda (HND)
  • New York City (JFK)  – Tokyo-Narita/Haneda (NRT/HND)

Hot Tip: Ready to book Japan Airlines First Class? Check out our step-by-step guide on the best ways to book Japan Airlines First Class.

Japan Airlines Business Class Options

Japan Airlines Business Class 777
Japan Airlines Business Class 777 on the Sky Suite. Image courtesy of Stephen Au

Although Japan Airlines has a pretty straightforward first class product (1 product on 1 plane only), this is absolutely not the case for business class.

Strap yourselves in, because this is gonna get hairy — but so worth it.

All in all, we have 7 distinct business class products that we’re going to analyze:

  1. 787-8 Sky Suite (Apex Suite)
  2. 787-9 Sky Suite (Apex Suite)
  3. 777-300ER Sky Suite (Apex Suite)
  4. 787-9 Sky Suite III (Reverse Herringbone)
  5. 777-200 Sky Suite III (Reverse Herringbone)
  6. 767 Sky Suite II (Thompson Vantage XL)
  7. 787-8 Old JAL Shell Flat Seat (Angled-flat seat)

So, there’s a lot of confusing names to remember here, but all you need to know is that you always want an Apex Suite because of its private design.

We’ll talk about our first product, the 787-8 Sky Suite and why we think it’s the best business class product from Japan Airlines.

All Sky Suite (Apex Suite) seats measure 25.5 inches wide and 74 inches in pitch and bed length, so the consistency is all there. The main reason why we chose the 787-8 is because of its small cabin size.

You’ll be 1 among only 30 business class passengers, and seating is arranged in a 2-2-2 configuration, with all seats having direct-aisle access. Here’s what the seat map looks like:

Japan Airlines 787-8 Updated Business Class Seat Map
Japan Airlines 787-8 updated business class seat map. Image courtesy of seatguru.com

As you can imagine, the best seats are in row 8, since it experiences the least foot traffic.

If row 8 is unavailable, the second best seats would be in row 2 because there’s some decent distance from the lavatories and galleys.

Here are the routes where you’ll be able to find these Sky Suites on the 787-8:

  • Honolulu (HNL) – Osaka (KIX) on JL 8791
  • Seattle (SEA) – Tokyo-Narita (NRT)

Hot Tip: Remember, the 787-800 can contain either the updated Sky Suites or the Shell Flat Seat, which is an absolutely must avoid. 

The next-best business class seat is on the 787-900, featuring the same Sky Suites.

The main difference is the cabins are significantly larger and can accommodate up to 44 people, as opposed to 30.

The two mini-cabins in the aircraft are significantly larger on the 787-9:

Japan Airlines 787-9 SS Business Class Seat Map
Japan Airlines 787-9 SS business class seat map. Image courtesy of seatguru.com

The best Sky Suite seats on the 787-9 in business class would definitely be either 9A/C, 10D/G, 9H/K, or any seat in row 3. These seats are far from the lavatories and galleys.

Find the 787-9 Sky Suites, which are identical to the 787-8 Sky Suites (but has more seats), on these routes:

  • Boston (BOS) – Tokyo-Narita (NRT) 
  • Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) – Tokyo-Narita (NRT)

The next winner on the list is on the flagship 777-300ER. The business class cabin on this aircraft is arranged in a slightly denser configuration, 2-3-2. This might sound bad, but because of the design of the Apex Suites, it’s actually a ridiculously private experience, even more so than the reverse herringbone seats.

Let’s look at how these seats are arranged:

Japan Airlines 777-300 Business Class Seat Map
Japan Airlines 777-300 business class seat map. Image courtesy of seatguru.com

Every single one of these seats will have direct aisle access, but the reason why it ranks a little lower is because of the denser configuration.

The seats are identical in size, but the 777 is a wider plane, so another seat will fit in quite nicely.

Still, if you did what I did and reserve the best seats, which are in row 5 (the private jet-esque mini-cabin), then you won’t notice a thing.

Row 5 is typically blocked off for reservation, so you’ll need to ask the airport check-in representations to assist you on the day of your flight.

If you can’t snag row 5, row 12 is a great consolation prize because it’s all the way in the back and will have less foot traffic. 

Find these seats on the 777-300ER, which is flown between these 4 cities:

  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Tokyo-Narita (NRT)
  • New York City (JFK) – Tokyo-Narita/Haneda (NRT/HND)
  • San Francisco (SFO) – Tokyo-Haneda (HND)
  • Chicago (ORD) – Tokyo-Narita (NRT)

The fourth best seat is a very interesting one. These seats are the brand-new reverse herringbone seats on the 787-9 that Japan Airlines has dubbed, Sky Suite III. With the seats, you’ll have a slightly different in-flight experience which, in my opinion, is not as private as in the Apex Suites.

JAL Sky Suite III
JAL Sky Suite III. Image courtesy of jal.com

Furthermore, the seat size is a bit smaller, which is to be expected, as reverse herringbone seats are usually smaller than Apex Suites, despite having a less dense layout.

Japan Airlines 787-9 SS 3 Business Class Seat Map
Japan Airlines 787-9 SS III business class seat map. Image courtesy of seatguru.com

Sky Suite III seats are 20 inches from armrest to armrest and 77 inches in bed length. Your personal monitor is 17 inches, quite a bit smaller than the gigantic 23 inches afforded in the Apex Suites. 

Even though the seat and TV are both smaller, the product is very new, which is why we’re looking forward to trying this product.

In the 787-9, seats are arranged in 7 rows of 4 seats in a 1-2-1 configuration for a total of 28 Sky Suite III seats.

The best seats are in either rows 2 or 6, as rows 1 and 7 are close to galleys and lavatories. 

The Sky Suite III is offered on these routes:

  • Honolulu (HNL) – Osaka (KIX) on JL 791 (from March 20, 2019)
  • Honolulu (HNL) – Tokyo-Narita (NRT) on JL 781/789
  • Honolulu (HNL) – Nagoya (NGO) on JL 793
  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Osaka (KIX) from March 31, 2019 onward

Remember that these aircraft, especially when bound on routes to Hawaii, are subject to change without prior notice.

The next best seats are also reverse herringbone Sky Suite III seats, but they’re on the 777-200. The differentiator is that there are 42 seats in this more dense business class layout, as opposed to the more intimate 28 seats on the 787-9.

Similarly, there are 42 total seats in 2 mini-cabins with a 1-2-1 configuration as follows:

Japan Airlines 777-200 Business Class Seat Map
Japan Airlines 777-200 business class seat map. Image courtesy of seatguru.com

The best seats will be in row 11. Everything else in the business class cabin is located in front of you, meaning there won’t be people walking by you.

If you can’t secure row 11, try row 10.

You’ll be able to find these Sky Suite III reverse herringbone seats on the 777-200 here:

  • Honolulu (HNL) – Tokyo-Narita (NRT) on JL 781
  • Honolulu (HNL) – Osaka (KIX) on JL 791

Next up, we have an interesting aircraft: the 767.

Sky Suite 2
Sky Suite 2 featuring Thompson Vantage XL Seats. Image courtesy of jal.com

The 767 is only flown to and from Hawaii. This plane features the Thompson Vantage XL seats, which are staggered and less private than the Apex Suite and reverse herringbone.

The seats are the same width as the Apex Suites (at 25.5 inches wide) but slightly shorter, measuring 74 inches long as opposed to 78.5 inches long.

Japan Airlines 767 Business Class Seat Map
Japan Airlines 767 business class seat map. Image courtesy of seatguru.com

If I had a choice of seats, I would always pick even rows in the A or K seats because it’s a true window seat and relatively protected from the aisle. My first choice would either be 2A/K or 4A/K.

Here are the 767 routes on which the Sky Suite II is offered:

  • Honolulu (HNL) – Tokyo-Narita (NRT) on JL 783/785
  • Kona (KOA) – Tokyo-Narita (NRT) 

Our last business class product is not a good choice. These angled-flat seats in a 2-2-2 configuration are so outdated that I wonder why they’re still used.

I’m talking about the JAL Shell Flat Seat on the 787-8. Here’s what it looks like on a seat map.

Japan Airlines 787-8 Old Business Class Seat Map
Japan Airlines 787-8 old business class seat map. Image courtesy of seatguru.com

Notice that there are no partitions like with the Apex Suites, so this 2-2-2 configuration does not feature direct-aisle access for all seats.

Seats measure 22.3 inches wide and 60 inches in pitch, which is starkly smaller than all other business class seats used by Japan Airlines.

On top of that, these seats are all angle-flat, meaning they don’t quite lay flat, even when fully reclined.

Currently, these seats are being used on two routes, one of which will cease come March:

  • San Diego (SAN) – Tokyo-Narita (NRT)
  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Osaka (KIX) (switching to Sky Suite III on the 787-9 on March 31, 2019)

Bottom line: avoid the 787-8 with the old angle-flat seats at all costs. However, if you find yourself on one of these flights, you might want to pick seats in rows 1 or 2. These seats are decently away from lavatories and galleys.

That’s all we have for business class, which was definitely a lot to deal with. We hope all of this information helps you to find the best business class seats, no matter what route you’re looking to fly.

Let’s move onto premium economy seats.

Japan Airlines Premium Economy Options

JAL Premium Economy 787-900 E92
You’ll find the best Japan Airlines premium economy seats in the most updated 787-900s. Image courtesy of jal.com

Premium economy is available on three aircraft operated by Japan Airlines:

  1. 787-900 (Sky Suite III)
  2. 787-900 (Sky Suite)
  3. 777-300ER
  4. 777-200ER

Right off the bat, the seat lengths are all the same, at 42 inches in pitch.

The 787-900 is the widest option, measuring at 19.2 inches wide, the 777-300ER is 19 inches wide, and the 777-200ER is last, measuring 18.8 inches wide.

Additionally, the 787-900 (Sky Suite III) offers the most intimate cabin layout, with a total of 21 seats across 3 rows in a 2-3-2 configuration. 

The row numbering scheme is 17 to 19, with lavatories located in front of row 17.

The best seats would be in row 19, furthest away from the lavatories and galleys.

You’ll be able to find these premium economy seats on the 787-900 with Sky Suite III seats in business class as follows:

  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Osaka (KIX) from March 31, 2019
  • Honolulu (HNL) – Nagoya (NGO) on JL 793
  • Honolulu (HNL) – Osaka (KIX) on JL 791 (from March 20, 2019)
  • Honolulu (HNL) – Tokyo-Narita (NRT) on JL 781/789

The runner-up in premium economy is on the 787-900 offering the ordinary Sky Suites. These 787-900s have the same seating arrangement but include an additional 2 rows. These additional seats bring the total seat count in premium economy up from 21 seats to 35 seats.

The seat layout looks like this:

Japan Airlines 787-9 SS Premium Economy Class Seat Map
Japan Airlines 787-9oo SS premium economy class seat map. Image courtesy of seatguru.com

Row 17 is not the best choice because although it’s a bulkhead row, your legroom will be limited, and there’s no floor storage. As a result, I would probably pick row 18 as my first choice, followed by row 19.

Find this 787-900 premium economy layout on the following routes:

  • Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) – Tokyo-Narita (NRT)
  • Boston (BOS) – Tokyo-Narita (NRT) 

Hot Tip: Remember that the only difference between premium economy on the 787-900 with Sky Suite seats versus the 787-900 with Sky Suite III seats is 2 rows of seats. 

Third place in our ranking is the 777-300ER. These seats measure at 19 inches wide in a 2-4-2 configuration. Let’s analyze the seat map:

Japan Airlines 777-300 premium economy class seat map. Image courtesy of seatguru.com

The 40 seats are shown above in a 2-4-2 configuration spread out evenly across 5 rows.

Since the lavatories are located at the front of the premium economy cabin, it makes the most sense to stay in the farthest back row, which in this case is row 21.

These premium economy cabins on the 777-300ER can be found on these routes:

  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Tokyo-Narita (NRT)
  • Chicago (ORD) – Tokyo-Narita (NRT)
  • New York City (JFK) – Tokyo-Haneda (NRT/HND)
  • New York City (JFK)  – Tokyo-Narita (NRT)
  • San Francisco (SFO) – Tokyo-Haneda (HND)

Our last option is the 777-200, which is the narrowest, measuring 18.8 inches wide.

The 40 seats are spread out identically to the 777-300ER in the exact same configuration as above.

Row 17 is the bulkhead row, so your foot space and floor storage will be limited when in this row. As a result, you want to avoid row 17 and aim for row 20 or 21.

You’ll find this 777-200ER premium economy layout on these routes:

  • Honolulu (HNL) – Osaka (KIX) on JL 791
  • Honolulu (HNL) – Tokyo-Narita (NRT) on JL 781

As we have shown above, there’s a clear hierarchy when it comes to which premium economy seats are preferable.

Bottom Line: The best premium economy seats on Japan Airlines flights to and from the U.S. are on the 787-9oo (Sky Suite III), followed by the 787-900 (Sky Suite), 777-300ER, and lastly the 777-200ER. 

Japan Airlines Economy Options

JAL Economy
Japan Airlines is a pleasure to fly, even in economy class. Image courtesy of jal.com

Last, but not least, let’s talk about economy class seats.

Without a doubt, the best economy seats are on the 787-900. This is because they have some of the largest seats in the industry, 19 inches wide and 34 inches in pitch.

Here’s the full ranking:

  1. 787-900 (Sky Suite)
  2. 787-900 (Sky Suite III)
  3. 777-300ER
  4. 767
  5. 777-200ER
  6. 787-8 (Updated)
  7. 787-8 (Old)

The 787-900 (Sky Suite) leads the pack because it’s got the biggest seats and the smallest economy class cabin.

With only 116 seats and a large seat size of 19 inches in width and 34 inches in pitch, it’s no surprise that these economy seats get an excellent reputation.

These seats are arranged in a 2-4-2 configuration as follows:

Japan Airlines 787-9 SS Economy Class Seat Map
Japan Airlines 787-9 SS economy class seat map. Image courtesy of seatguru.com

There are no outstanding seats in this cabin, but you want to avoid row 59 due to its proximity to the galley and row 56 due to its lack of a window.

As far as routes go, these seats are used on these flights:

  • Boston (BOS) – Tokyo-Narita (NRT) 
  • Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) – Tokyo-Narita (NRT)

Next is the 787-900 (Sky Suite III), which has a significantly larger economy cabin size of 190 seats as follows:

Japan Airlines 787-9 SS 3 Economy Class Seat Map
Japan Airlines 787-900 SS III economy class seat map. Image courtesy of jal.com

There are actually 2 mini-cabins, and the best seats are in rows 23 or 24 due to their proximity to the lavatories and galleys.

These brand-new 787-900s are operated as follows:

  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Osaka (KIX) from March 31, 2019 onward
  • Honolulu (HNL) – Nagoya (NGO) on JL 793
  • Honolulu (HNL) – Tokyo-Narita (NRT) on JL 781/789
  • Honolulu (HNL) – Osaka (KIX) on JL 791 (from March 20, 2019)

The next-best economy seats are on the 777-300ER. They’re slightly narrower (less than half an inch narrower), but are almost 1 inch longer in pitch.

That means you’ll enjoy more legroom, but less shoulder room.

These seats are slightly denser in a 3-3-3 configuration:

Japan Airlines 777-300 Economy Class Seat Map
Japan Airlines 777-300 economy class seat map. Image courtesy of seatguru.com

Row 23 is where the bulkhead is located, and all the seats in row 23 have extra legroom. If you don’t want to have to deal with a bassinet for a baby, you can choose to sit in the best seats, which are 23A/B/C. 

You’ll be able to find the 777-300ER on the flagship routes as follows:

  • San Francisco (SFO) – Tokyo-Haneda (HND)
  • Chicago (ORD) – Tokyo-Narita (NRT)
  • New York City (JFK) – Tokyo-Haneda (NRT/HND)
  • New York City (JFK)  – Tokyo-Narita (NRT)
  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Tokyo-Narita (NRT)

The 767 has a tremendously wide seat as well: 19 inches wide and 34 inches in pitch. The relatively dense cabin layout and route offerings are the top reasons why it was ranked lower than the previous seats.

Your experience will consist of 175 seats in a 2-3-2 configuration. For a smaller aircraft, this is less than ideal and can present headaches while boarding due to the sheer number of seats.

Here’s how the seat map looks:

Japan Airlines 767 Economy Class Seat Map
Japan Airlines 767 economy class seat map. Image courtesy of seatguru.com

The best seats on the 767 in economy would be in the bulkhead of row 15, which will give you extra legroom.

The 767 is only operated on these routes:

  • Kona (KOA) – Tokyo-Narita (NRT) 
  • Honolulu (HNL) – Tokyo-Narita (NRT) on JL 783/785

The 777-200ER’s economy seats are slightly smaller at 18.5 inches wide and 33 inches in pitch. The 154 seats are arranged in an interesting 3-4-2 configuration.

The best seats are going to be on the right-hand side of the airplane because there are only 2 seats per row on that side.

To give you a better idea of what it looks like, check out the seat map:

Japan Airlines 777-200 Economy Class Seat Map
Japan Airlines 777-200 economy class seat map. Image courtesy of seatguru.com

Sitting on the right side of the aircraft means you’ll only share your row with 1 other person. As a result, we believe those seats are the best seats on the aircraft. You can sit in row 45 and 46 with bulkhead/exit row seats, but you’ll be close to the galley and lavatories, which can be unpleasant.

You’ll find the 777-200 on these routes to and from the U.S.:

  • Honolulu (HNL) – Osaka (KIX) on JL 791
  • Honolulu (HNL) – Tokyo-Narita (NRT) on JL 781

The second-to-last option is on the updated 787-8s. These seats are 18 inches in width and 33 inches in pitch, making them the 2nd most narrow economy seats.

Additionally, the seats are configured 2-4-2.

Japan Airlines 787-8 Updated Economy Class Seat Map
Japan Airlines 787-8 updated economy class seat map. Image courtesy of seatguru.com

For the most legroom, pick exit row seats 45A/C or 45H/K. Just keep in mind that the lavatory and galleys are located close to this row, so it could be noisy.

These seats are found on the 787-8 routes as follows:

  • Seattle (SEA) – Tokyo-Narita (NRT)
  • Honolulu (HNL) – Osaka (KIX) on JL 8791

The last and least preferable option is on the old 787-8s, which also feature the worst business class seats that are angled-flat.

The old 787-8s rank at the bottom in economy class seats because the seats are the narrowest: 17.5 inches wide. This is a considerable difference, considering the largest economy seats Japan Airlines has on routes to the U.S. are 19 inches wide.

Also, these seats are shorter, measuring only 31 inches in pitch. With such a tight squeeze and old product, it’s no wonder why the old 787-8 is at the bottom of our economy ranking.

The seat map looks as follows:

Japan Airlines 787-8 Old Economy Class Seat Map
Japan Airlines 787-8 old economy class seat map. Image courtesy of seatguru.com

You may be able to give yourself more legroom by choosing exit row seats in row 45, but otherwise, it’s best to avoid the 787-8 at all costs.

The routes that operate these bad economy seats:

  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Osaka (KIX) (until March 31, 2019)
  • San Diego (SAN) – Tokyo-Narita (NRT)

Final Thoughts

There’s a lot of variability in different economy, premium economy, and business class products when you’re flying with Japan Airlines.

The sole first class product is found on the 777-300ER and is phenomenal.

The best business class seats are arguably on the updated 787-8’s due to the Sky Suites and intimate cabin setting.

The best premium economy seats are found on the brand-new 787-900s and feature Sky Suite III seats in business class.

The best economy seats can be found on 787-900s and feature Sky Suite seats.

As you can see the best seats for each cabin are found on a different aircraft. Now you have an idea for the complete routes and aircraft used on Japan Airlines flights to and from the U.S.


Featured Image: Courtesy of Shutterstock.com

FAQ

What are the best ways to book Japan Airlines first class?

Using AA miles is a fabulous way to fly from the U.S. to Japan. It’ll only cost you 80,000 AA miles in first class one-way plus around $45 in taxes and fees.

Other options include Alaska Airlines, which allows one free stopover, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, and Japan Airlines Mileage Bank.

For more information on the best ways to book Japan Airlines first class, check out our in-depth guide here.

What are the best ways to book Japan Airlines business class seats?

Using AA miles to fly on JAL business class from the U.S. to Japan is a phenomenal deal at 60,000 miles one-way.

One other option is Alaska Airlines, which charges 60,000 miles one-way and includes a free stopover.

Another option is using Japan Airlines miles, which are excellent for round-trips using the distance-based award chart. Unfortunately, the only transfer partner is Marriott and there are very few ways to earn miles directly.

Check out our guide on the best ways to book Japan Airlines business class.

What's the best ways to book Japan Airlines Premium Economy Class?

Alaska Airlines, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, and American Airlines do not allow premium economy award bookings.

Your only options to book premium economy with points and miles is basically using Japan Airlines miles and British Airways Avios.

British Airways Avios has a lot of transfer partners but will cost more than Japan Airlines, who has Marriott as a sole transfer partner.

What's the best ways to book Japan Airlines Economy Class?

Japan Airlines will cost 47,000-55,000 miles for round-trip economy depending on how long your flight is.

British Airways will charge 65,000-70,000 miles for round-trip economy.

Alaska Airlines will charge 70,000 miles for round-trip economy, including 2 stopovers.

American Airlines charges 70,000 miles for round-trip economy.

Stephen Au

About Stephen Au

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Stephen has been privileged to enjoy many premium cabin products and 5-star hotels, thanks to his love for travel hacking. A petroleum engineer by trade, Stephen caught the travel bug in college when he traveled to Asia several times. Within 2 years, Stephen has earned millions of points and miles, enjoyed several business class cabins, and stayed in luxury hotel suites in 14 countries.

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2 comments

  1. Mike W · April 30, 2019 · Reply

    Another great write up. I am planning a trip to Japan and your info has been a great help 🙂

    • Thanks so much Mike! We REALLY appreciate the kind words… our writers work so hard to bring you guys the best info so we’re always glad to hear when people are pleased! 🙂

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