SYD to LHR on JAL in J - live trip report (leaving 27th Jan)

kookaburra75

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So I found a long row of benches at gate 112 opposite entry to JAL lounge, watching it longingly to open.

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It was like it was teasing me...🤣

Fashioned a nice little bed with my pillow and blanket. On a side note I bought this amazing proper travel pillow that I take everywhere,it squishes to a tiny space and is the comfiest ever.
If I knew you were going to have to camp out in the terminal, I would have recommended one of the trademarked @RooFlyer mattresses
 

scoobs214

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Nov 23, 2019
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Hey guys, thanks for hanging in there, sorry for delay in an update.
JAL gave me free wifi for 24hrs which took care of SYD to HND, but I paid for WiFi on this leg, except there was no satellite connection over any part of Russia which was 90% of the flight! Only got like an hour at the start and an hour at the end, hence delayed TR. Got to UK and haven't seen the fam for 2 years, so you can imagine, catching up distracted me!

Left on time from HND with approx 35 ppl onboard (7 in J). I managed to jag window seat 5A in the mini J cabin at the front (7 seats all up). Great seat and feels very private. Only me and one other guy in 5K. They made up the seat next to me again into a bed so I could switch when I wanted a nap. Even tho the dreamliner is newer, I think I prefer the 777 tbh. Was a smooth and quiet flight right up to when we were over Helsinki, then it was bumpy to Heathrow.

Once again, amazing service and I ate and drank myself silly. On this flight I skipped the champagne and had the Japanese white wine which was dry and crisp and very palatable.
I then switched to Sake, coffee and finally, plum wine on the rocks.
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During the flight there was the usual "anytime you wish menu" and also the snackbar in the galley.
To represent the three different nationalities in J, they had made three different paper cranes. How cool!
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I asked about the cranes and the flight attendant said that it's a custom for most ppl in Japan to learn how to fold them as a tradition as they grow up (usually taught by their family).
She asked if I'd like to learn and I said yes so she brought some Japanese paper and so began a crane origami folding lesson that went for about 30mins! Here's the end result of our cranes, mines the blue one 🤠

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The flight went for 11hrs 57mins and felt really fast. I'm used to the SIN-LHR overnight hop which is around 13-14hrs but feels long, whereas this, literally, flew by. I generally prefer night flights but was nice arriving into UK in the arvo and then not long after head to bed after dinner.
 
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scoobs214

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Nov 23, 2019
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It was actually nice being in a location where the Boeing 767 is still king. You never seem them in Australia much, apart from the odd Air Niugini flight. Here in Tokyo they are everywhere, they are one of my favourite aircraft, specifically 767-300ER.

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I found this storage area above the window seat very useful for passports and wallet etc

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scoobs214

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Prior to leaving OZ i ordered a Day 2 rapid test and a pre-departure rapid test to get back Australia via Collinson (they run Priority pass) as they seemed the biggest supplier. Both tests where waiting at home when I arrived in London.

Screen Shot 2022-01-29 at 10.35.50.png Screen Shot 2022-01-29 at 10.36.23.png

They were about 20 pounds per test with a discount promo. Not terribly cheap but oh well. After the 11th February you no longer need to do any test to enter UK.

When you order the arrival test you will get an email with the order number and a link to click to upload the test. DONT click on the link until you are ready to do the test.

Also, you will need the booking code for the PLF - please note that is NOT the order number. The email doesn't contain the booking code (for Collinson it starts with CLSON, so looks like CLSON1234567) so you have to go to live chat and give them your order number and they all give you the booking code for you PLF. Just FYI, I found out the hard way,

Shoved the swab up my nose, did the test, all negative, then you have to write on the test strip in black or blue ink your booking number (eg CLSON123456) and take a photo and a photo of your passport. Now you can click on the email link, upload the pics, add all your personal details again and submit. You get a ref email saying its processing and that you will get your certificate in 2 hrs within 8am-8pm. I did mine at 6:30pm and got it in like 30secs!

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scoobs214

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Nov 23, 2019
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Thanks guys for coming along with me on this TR, I had an amazing time and highly recommend JAL for the long hop from Australia to the UK. From their service, caring nature to wonderful hard and soft product, it can't be beat. Haneda is also a nice option for transiting, and once the airside Transit hotel reopens, it would be a wonderful option to break the journey. I'm heading to the USA and UK again in April so I will use JAL via HND again to USA, with a long layover and hopefully the Transit Hotel maybe open then. Either way the JAL lounge is a winner and if you have to sleep on a bench in the airport, its not to bad if you come prepared.

It was an easy trip with some added documents and procedures, but while slightly time consuming, it wasn't annoying or stressful. It's actually nice travelling with fewer people around and having space onboard.
Entering the UK was easy and painless, E-gates as usual and grab your bags and go. It is a lot busier here tho, there were lots of people coming in from all over the world.

It is good to see travel slowly rebounding and people travelling again - lets hope it continues and we can all enjoy the different adventures this wonderful world has to offer.

Time to enjoy a nice cup of english tea, a roast dinner for lunch and the ability to finally see my family again.

Thanks everyone - enjoy your weekend and stay safe.
Scoobs214 signing off.
 

Princess Fiona

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Prior to leaving OZ i ordered a Day 2 rapid test and a pre-departure rapid test to get back Australia via Collinson (they run Priority pass) as they seemed the biggest supplier. Both tests where waiting at home when I arrived in London.

View attachment 270230 View attachment 270231

They were about 20 pounds per test with a discount promo. Not terribly cheap but oh well. After the 11th February you no longer need to do any test to enter UK.

When you order the arrival test you will get an email with the order number and a link to click to upload the test. DONT click on the link until you are ready to do the test.

Also, you will need the booking code for the PLF - please note that is NOT the order number. The email doesn't contain the booking code (for Collinson it starts with CLSON, so looks like CLSON1234567) so you have to go to live chat and give them your order number and they all give you the booking code for you PLF. Just FYI, I found out the hard way,

Shoved the swab up my nose, did the test, all negative, then you have to write on the test strip in black or blue ink your booking number (eg CLSON123456) and take a photo and a photo of your passport. Now you can click on the email link, upload the pics, add all your personal details again and submit. You get a ref email saying its processing and that you will get your certificate in 2 hrs within 8am-8pm. I did mine at 6:30pm and got it in like 30secs!

View attachment 270232
Can you use an unsupervised RAT to return to Australia?
 

Anna

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Jan 17, 2005
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It's been really nice to read such an enthusiastic TR. So glad you enjoyed the flights.

JAL First Class Toilet/Bidet

Was that a simplified version for travellers? 😜 I remember being faced with an utterly baffling Japanese toilet back when I did Aust - Europe on JAL 😂 It involved an overnight stop like yours only it wasn't the pandemic so I was taken to a hotel for the night. Everything in the room was in Japanese, including the toilet and everything on the tv, and even my phone wouldn't work because back then Japan was on some sort of internationally incompatible system that my phone wouldn't respond to (this was before iPhones). Couldn't even go out for a walk because the hotel had no grounds to speak of and the roads in the airport precinct had no footpaths and it felt too dangerous to walk on the road. Kind of an alienating experience, not in a Lost In Translation way 😜. But your TR has made me remember how good the crew were. My trip was before JAL had lie-flat seats in J too. I feel like it might be time to reconsider JAL 🙂
 

kpc

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Booked to go Syd-Hnd return in JL J at Easter. Really hope Japan opens up to tourists by then but don't have high hopes. :(
 
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