Best seats in business class: Japan Airlines Boeing 777-300ER

By Chris C., August 17 2016
Best seats in business class: Japan Airlines Boeing 777-300ER

With every business class 'Sky Suite' offering direct aisle access aboard Japan Airlines’ Boeing 777-300ERs, you’d be forgiven for thinking that they’re all equally as good.

Certainly, you can’t go wrong with a fully-flat bed, but as is always the case, some seats are more desirable than others.

Japan Airlines Boeing 777-300ER business class

JAL runs with a seven-across business class cabin, with the ‘A’ and ‘K’ seats by the windows; the ‘C’, ‘D’, ‘G’ and ‘H’ seats at the aisles and the ‘E’ seats in the middle.

You’ll find rows 7-12 in the main business class cabin, while row 5 is secluded just behind first class and separated from that main cabin by restrooms, a galley and a self-serve snack counter.

Passengers by the aisle can walk straight into it, while those at the windows and in the middle seats can utilise a small passageway instead – which sure beats hopping over another passenger as they’re trying to work or sleep, as happens on many airlines:

Japan Airlines Boeing 777-300ER: best seats

5A, 5K: These seats come with a real ‘private jet’ vibe: there’s nobody in front of you or behind, you can look straight out the window (three windows, in fact), you won’t see your seatmate when the privacy divider is raised and you have your own walkway straight into the aisle.

See that seat over by the window (or maybe you can't, as is the idea)? That's 5K...
See that seat over by the window (or maybe you can't, as is the idea)? That's 5K...

There are also very few people walking past this row after take-off as first class is in front and the lavatories further behind, and being a mini-cabin, there are less people around which usually means a quieter experience, especially when you’re trying to sleep.

5C, 5D, 5G, 5H: Found in the same row, these seats line the aisles and don’t come with as much privacy, but are still great spots to sit for peace and quiet.

Just note that all seats in row 5 are usually reserved for Oneworld Sapphire and Emerald frequent flyers (such as Qantas Gold & Platinum) until closer to departure, so if you’re below those tiers, check back closer to departure or ask what’s available at the check-in desk.

Other ‘A’, ‘K’ seats: Window seats are a tad roomier than their aisle counterparts thanks to the extra space given over to that passageway, but avoid row 11 on daytime flights as there’s one less window than in the other rows.

Other ‘C’, ‘D’, ‘G’ and ‘H’ seats: Can’t get a window? Then choose an aisle instead, but avoid rows 7 and 12 if you have other options available due to the nearby bathrooms. Note that 11D and 12D are also bassinet seats, so if you sit here you may be bumped for a traveller with a baby.

How about the middle ‘E’ seats? Although middle seat passengers get direct aisle access, these can feel a little more boxed-in than the nearby aisle and window seats, especially if your seatmates on either side raise their privacy dividers.

That might not matter as much on an overnight flight where your priority is sleep (such as Tokyo-Sydney), but on daytime flights where you plan to work, it’s less desirable.

Best seats for duos and couples? You really can’t go wrong in picking any two adjacent seats on this aircraft as they all allow passengers to talk between them whenever those privacy dividers are open.

However, opt for an A+C or H+K pair in the same row number to avoid one of you taking that middle seat, or roll with D+E or E+G if that’s all that remains. Also note that while the D+G seats appear to align on each side, the presence of the middle seat precludes any discussion between them.

Best seats for trios? That’s an easy one – plonk yourselves in one of the central D+E+G groups and keep the privacy dividers down to chat.

Also read: JAL Boeing 777 business class review, Sydney-Tokyo

Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we're @AusBT

Chris C.

Chris is a a former contributor to Executive Traveller.

13 Nov 2015

Total posts 49

I flew JAL F twice over the past 2 years on their 777-3 and on their 787 regional in J.  Whilst in F I walked through the J and Y cabins to stretch my legs, and it was in the J cabin, with the cubicle seats, that I found it to be jammed, claustrophic and a rabbit warren.  I prefer ANA's longhaul 787 J cabin, seats much better.  I liked JAL's regional J, plenty of room, airy, not hemmed in.

24 Apr 2012

Total posts 2476

It is certainly a 'high density' business class layout, but once you're sitting down it's actually quite comfortable – especially in the window seats on overnight flights where the privacy feel is more like first class. :)


21 Oct 2012

Total posts 4

Hey Chris, any thoughts on 7K (Bulkhead window seat near lavs) versus 11H (aisle seat). I don't normally like being so close to the lavs but I this is the only window seat currently available

08 Jul 2016

Total posts 3

Happily Row 5 seats are available for selection at the time of booking regardless of One World status. I've just selected 5C for HND-CDG without  OW FF status.

Hi Guest, join in the discussion on Best seats in business class: Japan Airlines Boeing 777-300ER