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From the lobby of our hotel, we took an airport shuttle to Kagoshima Airport, which was about an hour away. We drove past some really beautiful countryside scenery, which was made really dramatic by the ever-smoking Sakurajima volcano in the backdrop.
On our way to Kyushu, we had already tried JAL’s First Class domestic service, from HND to FUK. This time on our way back to HND, we wanted to try JAL’s Class J service, which is what JAL calls their domestic business class service. For this particular flight, Class J was just $10-$15 dollars more per seat, so it wasn’t a difficult decision to try it. For the most part, you just get a slightly wider seat. The service and everything remains the same.
Kagoshima airport is not a big airport, serviced by one runway and composed of a single terminal building with a handful of gates. Most of the traffic is domestic, and the only international flights are to neighboring countries such as China and Korea. Nevertheless, the airport felt comfortable and clean, and there are still plenty of shops and restaurants for you to choose from.
After getting checked in, we went up to the 2nd floor and sat down at a coffee shop to have breakfast. From the restaurant you could see into the secure area where you could see planes parked at the gates, as well as planes landing on the runway.
After eating, we checked out the “SORA STAGE” exhibition room as well as the observation deck. It seems almost every airport in Japan has some kind of observation deck. North American airports, take note! 🙂
From the observation deck, you could see a good portion of the runway, as well as a view of all the gates. As we were still really early for our flight, we spent a good amount of time here plane-spotting and enjoying the beautiful weather. There were a lot of other aviation enthusiasts on the deck as well.
After checking out the observation deck, we got ourselves through security and waited for our plane at the gate.
Kagoshima (KOJ) -> Tokyo Haneda (HND)
Airline: Japan Airlines
Flight No: JAL646
Aircraft: Boeing 767-300
Date: March 24, 2018
Scheduled Departure: 12:50 PM
Scheduled Arrival: 2:25 PM
Duration: 1 hr 35 mins
Class: Class J
JAL’s Class J is in a 2-2-2 seating configuration with 7 rows. We had selected seats 5H and 5K on the right side of the plane.
The seats had a decent width and were pretty comfortable given the short flight. It reminded me of Domestic First Class flights in North America, such as United’s Domestic First Class. There was a small center console for drinks or other small personal items. There was an IFE panel on the side of the seat, which I think just controlled some music channels, as there was no IFE screen available. Pleasant blue mood lighting lit up the cabin ceiling.
In terms of amenities, a bright red Class J blanket was provided, as well as a set of headphones. The tray table can be found tucked beneath one of the armrests, and folds out to a decent size.
After pushback, it was a quick taxi to the runway, since the airport wasn’t very big.
There was no meal service for the flight, but there was beverage service. I just ordered myself a coffee.
What surprised me was that there was free Wifi on board, and it was actually a pretty fast speed!
Much of the flight was pretty uneventful, and pretty soon we were on approach into Tokyo. There’s not a whole lot to review for this flight, as it was such a short flight where there wasn’t much service or amenities provided. Having said that, I would still recommend going for the upgrade to Class J if you can, as the price gap is not significant at all. Even for the wider and more comfortable seat, I would say it is worth it.
For a more cinematic experience, check out the trip report to go along with this review!
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Alvin is an aviation geek, enthusiast photographer, and software developer with a goal of exploring the world. He uses mileage programs to redeem premium flight travel, and shares his experiences here on OneMoreWeekToGo.