Review: JAL First Class Lounge at Tokyo Haneda Airport

As part of my most recent trip to Europe, I flew in JAL’s first class from Tokyo to New York. While I visited JAL’s first class lounge at Narita airport before, this trip gave me a chance to pay a visit to the one at Haneda airport which is considerably nicer.

Continue reading the article to join me on a tour of the lounge.

JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda
JAL First Class Lounge at Tokyo Haneda.

Location, Opening Hours & Access

The JAL First Class Lounge at Haneda airport is very easy to find. It’s located past security and immigration, right across from gate 112. Its reception is on the fourth floor (one floor above the main departures level). As you’ll see further down, part of the lounge is also located on the fifth floor.

Haneda Airport
Making my way to the lounge.

Since the opening hours are subject to change, I recommend checking JAL’s website before you plan a visit. During my visit, the lounge was open from 6:30AM until 1:25AM.

Passengers flying in first class on JAL and other Oneworld airlines can enter the lounge. Oneworld Emerald status holders can visit the lounge regardless of the class they travel in (as long as it’s on a Oneworld airline) too. JAL first class passengers and Oneworld Emerald members are allowed to bring one guest with them into the lounge.

JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda Entrance
Entrance.

Lounge Tour

Past reception, one could either go left or right.

On the left side, there were showers, Sushi Tsurutei – the lounge’s sushi bar, and a staircase/elevator leading to the fifth floor which I’ll talk more about below.

I didn’t have a chance to take a shower, so cannot report on what the shower rooms looked like. That said, they had to be booked through a mobile app. While the sushi bar area itself was closed during my visit, sushi could be ordered as one of the meal options via the mobile app too.

JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda Reception Area
Reception area.
JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda Map
Map.
JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda Sushi Bar
Access to the sushi bar.

Going to the right instead, there was a hallway with a few phone booths. As I mentioned in my other reviews too, they are a common feature in Japanese lounges and I find them great as they allow people to get their business done without disturbing other passengers.

There were also some luggage lockers.

JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda Phone Booths
Phone booths.
JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda Phone Booth
Inside a phone booth.

Further down, the hallway was lined with nice Japan-themed walls. At its end was the lounge’s main dining area, JAL’s Table.

Along the way, though, one could turn left into a small walled-off area with some high-back chairs which seemed to be good for relaxing before one’s flight. The one thing that I found odd, though, was that this area which was seemingly meant for relaxation was also where a couple of workspaces and a printer/copier could be found.

While the area was empty when I visited, I assume it would be weird if there was someone typing away on their keyboard or printing documents right next to people trying to enjoy some quiet time.

JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda
Hallway leading to the dining area.
JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda Lounging
Small lounging area.
JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda Printer/Copier
Printer/copier.

The printer/copier area was also connected to another lounging area which was equipped with rows of sofa chairs with side tables.

This area offered good views of the airport and featured a large world map on one of its walls. All of the sofa chairs were separated from each other by plastic partitions as a COVID-19 prevention measure.

JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda Seating
Main lounging area.

JAL’s Table Dining Area

The lounging area was connected with JAL’s Table which was the lounge’s largest area. The main feature here was a large counter behind which the food which could be ordered via a mobile app was prepared. While the dining area, in general, was fairly uninspiring, I liked the Japan- and aviation-themed design on the wall behind the counter.

Further down along the terminal-side wall was a counter with self-serve drinks and some light bites to eat. More on those later, though. There was also a communal table with some bar-height chairs.

JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda Restaurant
Meal preparation counter.
JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda Design
Nice design on the wall.
JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda Drink Counter
Drink counter area.

The majority of seating in the dining area consisted of rows of square tables for two, each lined with chairs on one side and a bench on the other. There were also some round tables for four.

By far my favorite, though, were the seats along the windows overlooking the apron. While some were placed around tables, most of them were placed along long counters lining the windows. All of those seats offered great views of movements at not only the international terminal but also at one of the airport’s runways and at Terminal 1.

JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda Dining Area Seating
Seating in the dining area.
JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda Dining Area Seating
Tables for four.
JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda Apron View
Apron view.

At the far end of the dining area was an entrance to my favorite part of the lounge, the RED Suite. Just before that was a counter with some liquor.

JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda Alcohol
Alcoholic drinks.

RED Suite

Compared to the rest of the lounge which felt like, well, an airport lounge, the RED Suite felt much more homey and luxurious. That was partly caused by the area being broken down into a few smaller areas, each slightly different in design and style.

The thing I loved about this part the most, though, was the sheer amount of aviation- and travel-related items ranging from historic JAL photos and travel books through globes and models all the way to aircraft parts that were on display there.

JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda RED Suite
RED Suite entrance.

Right past the entrance into the RED Suite was an area with a few shelves. Those were mainly home to some Lonely Planet travel guides and other books. There was also a display case with JAL memorabilia including a model of Boeing 2707 – a supersonic airliner that never came to be.

The seating here mainly consisted of a few pairs of large black leather sofa chairs facing each other.

One more thing worth noting here is that there was also a table where, pre-COVID-19, shoe shining service was offered. If or when the service will be reintroduced remains to be seen.

JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda RED Suite
Travel-related exhibits and books.
JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda RED Suite Seating
Seating in the RED Suite
JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda RED Suite Model
Aircraft model.
JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda RED Suite
Vintage tickets.

To the right of the entrance area was a small champagne lounge. The main feature in this part was a large table with a couple of bottles of Laurent-Perrier champagne and a bottle of sake.

The seating here was relatively no-frills and consisted of a couple of small round tables, each with two chairs.

JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda RED Suite Champagne
Champagne lounge.

To the left of the entrance area was a small seating area with three pairs of light brown leather seats.

More importantly, though, there were some display cases and a table with more memorabilia. In addition to globes, vintage suitcases, and aircraft models, there were some aircraft components – including some Airbus A300 instruments – on display too.

On one of the walls, there were three historic JAL photos.

JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda RED Suite
More seating.
JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda RED Suite
Table with exhibits.
JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda RED Suite
Historic JAL photos.

Lastly, going straight through the entrance area, there was a game room with a bar-height table with a couple of chairs, a foosball table, and four chess tables.

JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda RED Suite Game Room
Game room.

Second Floor: JAL’s Salon and More

As mentioned earlier, the second floor of the lounge (located on the fifth floor of the terminal) could be accessed via stairs and an elevator located near the reception.

Just like on the lounge’s main floor, there were luggage lockers and phone booths on the second floor as well. The phone booths had no doors, though, so they were not too useful in preventing phone calls from being heard in the lounge’s other areas.

JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda
Staircase leading to the lounge’s upper floor.
JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda Lockers
Luggage lockers.
JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda Phone Booths
Doorless phone booths.

Additionally, there was also a lounging space mainly consisting of small sofa chairs some of which overlooked a part of the apron, and a couple of tables with chairs and benches.

While there were booths meant to be equipped with massage chairs, the chairs appeared to have been removed due to COVID-19.

JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda Seating
Seating by the windows.
JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda Second Floor
More seating on the second floor.
JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda Massage Chair Spot
No massage chairs were available.

Last but not least, the centerpiece of the second floor was JAL’s Salon, a large lounging and bar area that reminded me a bit of Haneda airport’s Cathay Pacific lounge.

This area featured a staffed bar as well as a self-serve drink station. Next to those was a standalone counter with a dozen seats.

JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda JAL's Salon
Bar area.
JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda JAL's Salon
Seating near the bar.

The rest of the seating consisted of a couple of counters (both standalone and lined along windows) and a variety of sofa chairs and sofas in a number of different configurations.

While not as nice as the RED Suite, JAL’s Salon definitely felt a bit cozier than the main dining area on the lounge’s first floor. This would have been the case even more so if there weren’t ugly “infection prevention” partitions between some of the seats.

JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda JAL's Salon
Sofa chairs.
JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda JAL's Salon
Living-room like arrangements.
JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda JAL's Salon
Seating along the wall.
JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda JAL's Salon
Counter overlooking the apron.

Food and Drinks

While drinks in the lounge were mainly self-serve, when I sat down after arriving in the lounge, I was asked what I wanted to drink. Not long after that, I was brought a glass of Coke Zero which I ordered together with a wet towel. The staff also asked me if I wanted anything to drink every now and that after that – mainly when coming to clear finished plates.

As for food, while there were some self-serve light bites to eat, most of the items had to be ordered via a mobile app. The staff was, of course, happy to help those who had issues with using the app which involved scanning a QR code on your table so that the meal would arrive in the right place.

JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda Service
Coke Zero and wet towel.
JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda App
Shower reservation and food ordering app.

The light bites to eat included packaged snacks (candies, white chocolate rusk, and roasted almonds with caramel) and pintxos (pastrami beef and oil sardine/olive).

JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda Snacks
Packaged snacks.
JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda Snacks
Pintxos.

While I didn’t try any of the above, I did try a few items from the a la carte menu including a chopped salad with green goddess dressing (Japanese dressing was available too), broccoli soup, beef curry, and sushi.

I enjoyed all of the dishes – especially the soup and curry. That said, it would have been nice if there was a bit more variety in the sushi offered.

JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda Sushi
Sushi.
JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda Meal
Salad and soup.
JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda Curry
Curry (small portion).

Other items that were available from the menu when I visited (i.e. during breakfast time) were:

  • Japanese meal set (rice, miso soup, spicy cod roe, Japanese omelet, mackerel, etc.)
  • American breakfast plate (scrambled eggs, sausages, potatoes, salad)
  • Tomato sauce rigatoni with sausage
  • Vegetable penne
  • Steamed vegetables
  • Ramen noodles
  • Vegetable sushi roll
  • Rice, bread, miso soup, etc.
  • Desserts including taiyaki, sakura pancakes, tiramisu, daifuku

Soft drinks available in the lounge included soda from dispensers, bottles of tonic and Perrier sparkling water, and pitchers of juice and ice coffee. There were also coffee machines offering a variety of drinks and a modest selection of George Stuart tea bags.

JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda Drinks
Drinks counter.
JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda Drinks
Coffee machine and soft drinks dispenser.
JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda Tea
Tea.

Alcoholic drinks included a selection of liquor, beer, sake, wine, and champagne.

As a non-drinker, the names of wines don’t tell me much, but in case you are wondering, Laurent-Perrier Brut was served in the champagne lounge and Pierre Peters Cuvee de Reserve was offered in the rest of the lounge.

Also worth noting is that while there were automated beer dispensers which Japanese lounges are well-known for, they were not in service and canned beer was provided instead.

JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda Alcohol
Liquor and sake.
JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda Champagne
Laurent-Perrier Brut.
JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda Wine and Sake
Wine, champagne, and sake.

JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda Summary

While the dining area of the lounge was rather uninspiring, the food and drinks selection was decent (although not as good as in, say, the Cathay Pacific The Wing and The Pier lounges in Hong Kong).

What set the lounge apart from the others for me was the RED Suite. Not only was that part of the lounge a good space for relaxing, but it was also very enjoyable to look through all of the displayed items. On the other hand, the one thing that the lounge missed was an area where those with long layovers could lie down and stretch their legs.

All in all, I enjoyed my stay in the JAL First Class Lounge at Haneda airport and would argue that it is a lounge that makes arriving at the airport relatively early worth it. Then again, considering that it is a first class rather than business class lounge, that might be expected.

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