Japan Airlines is locking in a first class aircraft switch between Sydney and Tokyo from May 31, with the current Boeing 787 Dreamliner changing to a Boeing 777 – and it’s very good news for Qantas frequent flyers with a stash of points to burn.
Arranged in a four-class layout, JAL’s 777 is equipped with eight first class suites, 49 seats in business class and a large premium economy cabin of 40 seats. But really, it’s those pointy end pews which will be most highly sought after.
The daily schedule remains as follows:
- JL 52 departs Sydney at 8:15am, arriving into Tokyo-Haneda Airport at 5:05pm.
- JL 51 sees wheels up from Haneda at 7:20pm, and wheels down in Sydney at 6:10am the following day.
Thanks to JAL’s Oneworld membership, Qantas frequent flyers can swap their Points stash for a first class reward seat, with a quick search in August 2024 revealing there’s still availability in the cabin.
To find reward seats on Japan Airlines, visit the Qantas website and search your preferred dates, filter by Reward Seats and select ‘other’ under airlines to see results.
A one-way first class reward seat on JAL will set you back 129,300 Qantas Points plus $103 in taxes, while business class would be a cool 90,000 plus taxes of $103.
For comparison, a business class reward seat flying Qantas’ Airbus A330 (first class is only found onboard the Red Roo’s A380) would be 82,000 Points plus $245 in taxes.
Although indeed not as spacious or refined as its counterpart on the new Airbus A350 now winging its way between Tokyo and New York, the 777’s offering is nothing to be sniffed at.
The cosy two-row cabin is arranged in a 1-2-1 layout, with each private suite transforming into a fully-flat bed approx. 84cm (2” 9’) wide and 199cm (6” 6’) in length.
While the suites don’t offer sliding privacy doors on the aisle-side, the centre pairs have a retractable privacy panel in between, allowing conversation if travelling alongside a companion or a more secluded feel when flying solo.
In other news this month, Japan Airlines recently opened a First Class Entrance at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport, with first class flyers on JAL now welcomed via an exclusive check-in, before proceeding through to an adjacent security checkpoint and immigration.
Positioned alongside security lane 10 on level three of Haneda’s Terminal 3, the dedicated entrance is open to all JAL first class passengers plus one accompanying guest between 6:30am and 11:30am, and again from 2pm to 7pm.
With JL 51 from Tokyo to Sydney taking off at 7:20pm, those hours are perfectly time for Sydney-bound travellers looking to start their journey with a little more luxury.