What's new

Best Airline To Japan?

Welcome to our Japan community!

A discussion forum for all Things Japanese. Join Today! It is fast, simple, and FREE!

ArmandV

Eight Times To Japan
Contributor
Joined
18 Oct 2004
Messages
2,398
Reaction score
110
On the news tonight were ratings of U.S. airlines. Unfortunately, international carriers weren't mentioned. So, I figured I'd post the question to you experienced air travelers to Japan: What were the best and worst airlines you've flown to Japan on and why?

The best (from my experience) was Singapore Air. Great food and service. Close runner-up, United.
 

mr.sumo.snr

Gavin Gives Italian Ducks
Joined
19 Jul 2004
Messages
314
Reaction score
25
Best: Lufthansa - Business Class return to Europe.

Worst: Malaysia (nine-hour and five-hour stop-overs).

--
 

Elizabeth

先輩
Joined
22 Apr 2003
Messages
9,527
Reaction score
133
ArmandV said:
On the news tonight were ratings of U.S. airlines. Unfortunately, international carriers weren't mentioned. So, I figured I'd post the question to you experienced air travelers to Japan: What were the best and worst airlines you've flown to Japan on and why?
The best (from my experience) was Singapore Air. Great food and service. Close runner-up, United.
My best experience has been on JAL, also for the food and service, although I've gotten sick on them too due I think to the poor air quality. United is OK for a US carrier on both of these grounds but nothing approaching the level of smoothness and efficiency of a Japanese crew.
 

Mikawa Ossan

気づいたらカッパだ
Joined
17 Sep 2005
Messages
4,923
Reaction score
227
I liked Singapore Airlines and ANA.

The longer I live on this earth, the less I like the American carriers. And I think it's tragic that all of them going into bankrupcy only means that they can essentially run away from bad decisions in the past and their workforce.

Now I will pay extra to avoid American carriers if I have the option, unless it's astronomically different in price.
 

Riyko

先輩
Joined
28 Nov 2005
Messages
901
Reaction score
2
My best is American Airlines and then JAL. Those are the only two i've ever flown on. I get discounts when flying so it's alot cheaper for me to fly to japan.
 

mr.sumo.snr

Gavin Gives Italian Ducks
Joined
19 Jul 2004
Messages
314
Reaction score
25
My preferences are based on which carriers I can trade in my United Airmiles to get upgrades or free tickets. When you're traveling on a 'freebie' the quality of service doesn't seem to matter so much.

Now that it's possible to pay things like your telephone, gas and electricity bills by credit card (without any surcharge) the miles just keep coming.

--
 

Dekamaster

「地獄の番犬!」
Joined
12 Feb 2005
Messages
409
Reaction score
5
Actually it depends on where you're coming from. But teh best airlines out there are Singapore and Cathay. And some middle east carriers like Emirates and Qatar.😊
 

Davey

Moderator
Moderator
Contributor
Joined
5 Feb 2005
Messages
7,552
Reaction score
605
ArmandV said:
The best (from my experience) was Singapore Air. Great food and service. Close runner-up, United.

DONT FORGET THE WOMAN!!!!! don't they have this large split in their clothes toward....

Or was that another airline?
 

ArmandV

Eight Times To Japan
Contributor
Joined
18 Oct 2004
Messages
2,398
Reaction score
110
Later this month I am flying to Japan on Korean Air. How's that airline?
 

Mikawa Ossan

気づいたらカッパだ
Joined
17 Sep 2005
Messages
4,923
Reaction score
227
I flew to Japan on Korean Air once some years ago. I don't remember much about it except that the Udon at the airport is better left alone! I'm sure it's better than Northwest, though!
 

budd

先輩
Joined
10 Jul 2003
Messages
2,013
Reaction score
18
ana shows the cockpit view of the plane landing
they have more radio stations also
and they showed shinobi
i really had to restrain myself from attempting to mack on the stewardess - she was too friendly for a guy like me
 

tigermilk

先輩
Joined
12 Aug 2005
Messages
95
Reaction score
2
All my flights have been from Houston to Tokyo with the exception of my first time which was to Nagoya. I've flown Continental 10 times, Northwest once (first time and can't remember), and United twice (the last 2). Always a coach seat.

Continental - direct flight, decent food including a Japanese style meal (well, noodles or soba), 777 so you get your own TV monitor, usually 1 or 2 Japanese movies, attentive flight attendants, power plugs for electronics in the first half of coach

United - indirect flight so my day gets 2-3 hours longer, 747 meaning a flying bus, good food but no Japanese (not even chopsticks), communal movies shown on the middle screen (and no Japanese movies), usually have entertainment system troubles, flight attendants don't pay as much attention to you, no power at seats

I'd gladly take Continental over United, but heck, United is better than Lufthansa to Europe. Egads.
 

MeAndroo

先輩
Joined
29 Jul 2004
Messages
739
Reaction score
16
Korean Air is ok. I flew them to Japan just last October. I found the entertainment a far cry from my JAL flights, but the food is decent...at least the non-Korean food.

When I flew JAL, I found the personal game/entertainment units indispensable. I must have played 40 games of chess/checkers/backgammon and watched every movie. On Korean, I was relegated to the main screen for entertainment, since I killed the book I had reserved for the flight while waiting at the gate on both the departure and return dates.
 

Kaspian K

後輩
Joined
27 Feb 2006
Messages
15
Reaction score
1
I've been hesitant to fly JAL due to all of the news headlines about their planes having to return to the airport after suffering technical problems (although a lot of these cases have been on domestic flights). As such, last time I flew to Japan I took Air Canada. Tickets were sorta cheap because I flew at the quietest time of off season, but still over priced given the lack of service (only two meals, and the staff were overly eager to get everyone to sleep most of the flight), and the bathrooms are nasty on those planes. Next time I think I'll take my chances with JAL.
 

Pachipro

JREF Resident Alien
Rest in Peace
Joined
19 Jan 2005
Messages
1,831
Reaction score
228
I have flown on most airlines mentioned and the best service by far was on Singapore airlines. However, these days I only take American Airlines as the 747's give no leg room whatsoever in coach. At least on American I can stretch and even comfortably cross my legs while sitting in a normal position. They even have Japanese TV and movies and Japanese songs and the food is not so bad either.

The only thing I miss though is the free alcohol. It isn't free anymore :-(
 

Han Chan

先輩
Joined
14 Mar 2006
Messages
402
Reaction score
16
From Europe I can recommend SAS, ANA, Lufthansa and Finair are all great. I usually use SAS because it is a direct connection from Copenhagen. Because I usually use Star Alliance I could once fly SAS Business Class for free for my Bonus Points - Now, that was luxury!
 

ArmandV

Eight Times To Japan
Contributor
Joined
18 Oct 2004
Messages
2,398
Reaction score
110
I've been hearing that the airlines will be charging for such comforts as blankets and pillows, etc. Any Japan-bound airlines doing this already?
 

ArmandV

Eight Times To Japan
Contributor
Joined
18 Oct 2004
Messages
2,398
Reaction score
110
One month later...

It's been a month since I arrived in Japan and here's some random thoughts about Korean Air:

1. Food: Better than expected. I avoided the Korean cuisine. The food was not bad, but not as good as Singapore's or United's. They could have been more generous on the drinks, though. Grade: B

2. Seating/comfort: The planes (Boeing 777s) seemed more comfortable than the 747s I've been on with other airlines. Maybe I lost weight. Grade: C+.

3. Entertainment: Boring Steve Martin flick (I don't even remember the name of it). Otherwise, Korean programming. I didn't bother and just read a book ("Light My Fire" by Ray Manzarek). Grade: D.

4. Timeliness: Departures and arrivals on time or early. Grade: A.

5. Baggage handling: no complaints. Everything intact and no damage. Grade: A.

Overall grade: C+
 

Carlson

Stay At Home Mom!
Joined
30 Oct 2005
Messages
1,106
Reaction score
15
sorry ive only flown on military A/C from japan to states
 

DoctorP

先輩
Joined
3 Jun 2004
Messages
1,983
Reaction score
93
Carlson said:
sorry ive only flown on military A/C from japan to states


so you never used WORLD airlines? It is not a military A/C...just chartered by the military.
 

ArmandV

Eight Times To Japan
Contributor
Joined
18 Oct 2004
Messages
2,398
Reaction score
110
Well, charters don't really count. I've been on several charters (United Airlines) and the service is a bit different. In fact, on one charter I was able to hang out with the pilots in the cockpit. You can't do that kind of thing anymore!

The main focus of this thread is what airline has the best overall service available to the average "Joe Sixpack."
 

yukio_michael

後輩
Joined
8 Mar 2005
Messages
2,094
Reaction score
88
I've been on Continental a few time, and I would NOT recommend them at all... they have been nothing but a customer-support nightmare, refusing me a refund on a ticket change I made for three months in advance.

I know I should not be surprised, but if an airline can not recover a $150 dollar lost seat change, three months in advance of notification, purely as a service to a customer who has spent a few thousand dollars with them in the last six months, it's a shame.
 

ArmandV

Eight Times To Japan
Contributor
Joined
18 Oct 2004
Messages
2,398
Reaction score
110
yukio_michael said:
I've been on Continental a few time, and I would NOT recommend them at all... they have been nothing but a customer-support nightmare, refusing me a refund on a ticket change I made for three months in advance.

I know I should not be surprised, but if an airline can not recover a $150 dollar lost seat change, three months in advance of notification, purely as a service to a customer who has spent a few thousand dollars with them in the last six months, it's a shame.


Did you eventually get your money back?
 

yukio_michael

後輩
Joined
8 Mar 2005
Messages
2,094
Reaction score
88
ArmandV said:
Did you eventually get your money back?
No. To explain, in order to go back to Japan, I needed to change a future ticket to a new return-date, to satisfy the ticket desk--- not necissarily immigration.

I did this at the airport, at the expense of missing my flight for that day, but I had to return home, so I have a return-flight from Japan with a future return date that I can not use... I phoned a few days later when I returned to try to have them credit the charges as a courtesy, purely as a courtesy, as I don't expect that they like to return people's money, and they were not only adamant that they wouldn't do it, but when I spoke to people's supervisors etc, they were rude and irate with me as if I were wasting their time, simply by asking.

Now, with regulatory changes to airlines etc, you can not even sell these tickets, and airlines are seemingly garunteed to get paid for a service regardless if they provide it or not. When I explain this, they seem to balk as if I were speaking in tounges...
 
Top Bottom