✅ Trip Verified
| San Diego to Bangkok via Tokyo. I love JAL, they are my go to choice over the Pacific. I purchased a not-particularly discounted one way ticket on JAL through Expedia. I didn't realize that advance seat selection wasn't possible on this class of service, and Expedia didn't mention it. Here's where I became quite disappointed. I'm elite on a partner airline with JAL. When seats are assigned, generally elites get processed first--window or aisle. Not only did I get middle seats, I was inexplicably given a middle seat in the very last row on my second segment, on a flight that had many empty rows. That's not only odd, it's vindictive. Someone (or some software) went out of its way to put me in a middle seat in the last row when there were dozens of better seats available. When I arrived at the airport, I was able to get the connecting flight adjusted, but the trans-Pacific segment was full, with no remaining aisle or window seats, and no upgrades available for purchase. The ticket agent offered to put my name on a list to move me to a new seat. Here's where JAL won me back. I presumed that this "list" functioned in the same way it would with US carriers, it got me to shut up and go away, but no one actually pays attention to it. That's where I was wrong. Within 15 minutes I had been moved to a window seat. Now, the rest of the trip was standard JAL. Massive amounts of pretty good food and wine. Fast service with a smile. On time departures and arrivals. Clean aircraft. Let's not forget to mention that JAL only put 8 seats across on its 787s, compared to the 9 that most of their competitors have. More room, more breathable air, and more overhead space. The seats were comfy and had a surprising amount of recline - like "feel guilty for going back this far" recline. The entertainment came up a bit short for 17 hours in the air, and curses on the person who offers up 75% of a bingeworthy season of a tv show and leaves us hanging. Narita is weirdly depressing and in desperate need of a facelift, but that was a 90 minute connection and certainly not a reason to avoid JAL. JAL is deserving of the 5 star ranking they've been given.