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Forums Frequent flyer programs British Airways Executive Club BA vs. JAL for LHR- HND route

  • Vit 159 posts

    Afternoon all, been a busy summer but already looking forward to the winter holiday.

    As Rob posted yesterday that BA started shuffling its winter schedules and our flight to HND has been affected (i.e. INV-LHR flight time is changed so much that we could not catch the BA05 to HND. Made a call earlier to BA and was advised we can change our departure point to ABZ or EDI or we can also keep the INV flight and LHR-HND via JAL (B773).

    Never flown JAL long-haul before so was hoping to hear feedback from Hfper if it is better than BA CS. I was leaning toward JAL as it is a night flight so thought it would be easier (for us) with a 1.5 year old.

    Your feedback is much appreciated.


    yorkieflyer 259 posts

    Definitely much better, we were rebooked from BA when they hadn’t restarted their flights. Better service and food by a mile

    yonasl 971 posts

    Thanks @yorkieflyer

    An option I have at the moment is:

    1) original: MAD-HEL-HND-CTS arriving at 5-6pm

    Long haul with JAL

    2) proposed: MAD-LHR-HND-CTS arriving at 1-2pm

    Long haul with BA

    BA is using the 777 with club suite starting in Sept 2023 onwards which means that regardless of service/food we should have a nice hard product.

    Arriving a few hours before would be nice but somehow I see part of the “Japanese” trip experience to get there in JAL hence asking what people think.

    aseftel 270 posts

    @Vit hard to comment too much without knowing which cabin you’ll be flying in, but you’re right that the night flight will be much easier than the day flight. On a night flight (arriving in the late afternoon) you just need to have a really bad night’s sleep and arrive tired, which is pretty easy especially with an infant in tow!

    Vit 159 posts

    @aseftel Hi, we are currently in BA Club Suite.

    soft product JAL would be better but can you also comment on hard product? apex vs. Clubsuite?

    aseftel 270 posts

    The Apex window seats are quite closed off from the aisle, so you can make a bit of a play pen. It’ll feel a bit more spacious than the Club Suite with the door closed as the Apex doesn’t have a footwell: you have all the space from the floor to the ceiling.

    yorkieflyer 259 posts

    @aseftel Hi, we are currently in BA Club Suite.

    soft product JAL would be better but can you also comment on hard product? apex vs. Clubsuite?

    I’m at a disadvantage as haven’t flown club suite yet, first flight next month! But in a different class to old CW

    Lady London 2,117 posts

    JL. Bite their hand off.

    Vit 159 posts

    Thanks everyone. I gave up the opportunity to try BA CS for the first time and opted for JAL Apex. Managed to get booking sorted with the 5th customer service which was very helpful but without trying the HfPer’s well-know technique, HUACA! 😀

    Roker 38 posts

    No competition. We fly to Tokyo once or twice a year and we have to use BA due to the companion vouchers. But JAL is streets ahead of BA, not just in food and service as mentioned above, but also the flight times and take-off times.

    Flightradar24 and other sites show that BA often take a more southerly (longer) route on the way back, over Greenland, whereas JAL go further north. The BA route adds about an hour to an already gruelling flight. Is this something to do with BA’s relatively old 777s?

    Perhaps more importantly, for us anyway, is the take off time. The early BA flight lands at Haneda in the morning. That means when you arrive downtown you can’t check in to your hotel became it’s too early. Same with the second BA flight, which leaves LHR around 1pm. And you’re fighting to stay awake right through to the evening.

    JAL, by contrast (and ANA) usually leave LHR around 7:30pm—much better for sleeping on board and when you arrive at your hotel it’s 5pm or so, you can check in and get to bed fairly quickly, so any jet lag effects are much less.

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