BREAKING: JAL Unveils New Enhanced First and Business Class Experience for A350


Japan Airlines (JAL) is one of my favourite airlines. No. It is my favourite airline. I have to write about this after I found out they have unveiled their new First and Business Class suites/seats. JAL is embracing the concept of fully private suites for both its first and business class on the upcoming Airbus A350. The inaugural flight of these luxurious suites is scheduled for the premium Tokyo-New York route in late November 2023 between Haneda and JFK. (PS: Read about my experience with JAL’s inaugural flight from Melbourne to Tokyo here!)

The first class section comprises six private havens arranged in a 1-1-1 configuration, enclosed by walls up to 1.57m (62″) in height. Meanwhile, the 54 business class berths also boast enclosed private suites with slightly shorter partitions of 1.32m (52″). The current A350 seat map has 12 First Class and 56 Business Class seats. The new seatings arrangements will halve that of the First Class but nearly the same number of Business Class seats.

Current A350 Seat Map
Current A350-900 Seat Map

Both first and business class suites offer in-suite wardrobes, stereo speakers embedded in the headrests for an alternative entertainment experience without the need for headphones, and modern amenities such as wireless device charging and Bluetooth audio streaming.

JAL envisions its A350 cabin as an immersive experience in the elegance of Japanese aesthetics, creating a tranquil ambiance that embodies the beauty of Japan.

The unique design of the A350 first class suites includes two seats side by side, one significantly wider than the other, offering a choice of three seating modes: Sofa, Seat & Single Bed, or Double Bed. The transformation to a double bed configuration is achieved by converting all seats into a bed layout.

Additional features of the first class suite include concealed wardrobes and under-seat bag stowage, ensuring an open and spacious individual atmosphere without overhead luggage bins.

In contrast, the business class suites, while more conventional, also offer a private wardrobe and cabin bag storage. The business class cabin maximizes the A350’s spacious interior by removing central overhead storage compartments.

Gone are the days where you get to bring home the pyjamas, however, passengers will have the option to use a rental service for inflight relaxing wear by Japanese sleep brand Uchino, featuring 100% cotton garments known for their thin, lightweight, soft texture, excellent water absorption, and insulation properties.

JAL is emphasizing personalization by allowing travelers to customize the timing of their inflight course meal service based on their lounge visit before departure and the flight’s arrival time. Moreover, a pre-order option for a new vegan and vegetarian menu is available.

Starting in early 2024, passengers across all cabin classes can curate a playlist of movies, TV shows, and music via the JAL app before the flight, which will then be shared on their screens after boarding.

JAL is expected to receive its initial two A350-1000s by the year’s end, with seven more slated to arrive before 2025, followed by the last four by 2028. This fleet will replace the aging Boeing 777-300ERs in a one-to-one replacement strategy.

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K̶Colin sleep travels poorly. He can't seem to find a hotel bed that shares the unique olfactory charm of his own.