Date: September 12, 2017
Flight No.: JL201
Route: Tokyo Haneda to Nagoya Centrair
Airline: JAL Japan Airlines
Type: Boeing 737-800
My September trip to Europe started with a short hop to Nagoya in order to catch my Finnair flight to Helsinki. After a way too early morning, I headed to Tokyo Haneda airport to catch the flight onboard a Japan Airlines (JAL) 737-800.
Checking-In for JAL Flight 201
At the airport, I headed straight to Terminal 1 which is used mainly by JAL, but also by Skymark and StarFlyer. Right outside the terminal’s train station, there was a screen directing people to the right area based on their destination, as well as showing the waiting times for security checkpoints.
Since I was flying to Nagoya, I headed to the terminal’s “North Wing.” There, I headed to a dedicated “international connections” desk.
After waiting for about five minutes, it was my turn to check-in. The process itself took about five minutes – mostly due to the fact that the staff was checking me in while reading the manual. Likely, she was new to the international connections desk.
With a boarding pass for emergency row window seat, 45A, in my hand I headed to the nearest security checkpoint. It was quite crowded, but after about a minute in the line, there was an announcement that one of the other checkpoints was empty.
While it was true that there were less people, there were also less lanes open. In either case, I was through security in about ten minutes.
Once airside, I headed to JAL’s Sakura Lounge which I could access thanks to the access passes provided by my JAL Club Est credit card.
Boarding the Japan Airlines 737-800
I left the lounge around 7:20AM and headed to gate 18 where the flight was departing from. Since it was still more than 20 minutes before boarding, I had a quick look at our aircraft as well as a Skymark 737 parked at the neighboring gate, and sat on one of the benches.
At 7:44AM, the gate agent mae an announcement introducing herself and saying that boarding would begin at 7:50AM. And indeed, priority boarding was called six minutes later, exactly at 7:50AM.
A couple of minutes later, the rest of the passengers was called to board and so I headed down the jetway into JA304J – one of JAL’s more than 50 Boeing 737-800s.
At the door, I was greeted by one of the flight attendants. Candies were provided on a counter next to the door. As I didn’t feel like having one, I just headed down the aisle – through Class J, JAL’s domestic business class – to my seat 45A.
Interestingly, the Haneda to Nagoya flight is operated by a 737 configured for international flights. As such, Class J was in a “2-2” configuration with JAL’s regional business class recliner seats rather than in the “2-3” Class J configuration that can be found on the domestic 737s.
When I got to my seat, I found a packet with earphones waiting on it. While I didn’t end up using them, I found it to be a nice touch given that it was a domestic flight shorter than one hour.
Also, since it was an internationally configured 737, there were PTVs. However, the only time they were switched on was during the safety demonstration.
As for the legroom, given that I was seated in an exit row seat, I could not complain.
Onboard JAL’s Flight from Tokyo Bound for Nagoya
The cabin crew armed the aircraft’s doors at 8:08AM, and just two minutes later we were pushed back. We taxied to runway 16L from which we took off at 8:21AM.
We overflew runway 05/23, made a left turn which provided a distant and hazy view of Tokyo, and finally made a full circle to gain altitude before setting course for Nagoya.
The seatbelt sign was switched off about ten minutes after take-off, and the cabin crew made an announcement saying that in-flight sales would be conducted and that the sign was expected to go back on in just eight minutes.
Right after, the crew went around doing in-flight sales followed by handing out of candies. Given that after landing the cabin crew apologized for lacking service due to bad weather, I assume normally the seatbelt sign would stay off for a bit longer and a drink service would be conducted.
Arriving at Nagoya Centrair Airport
The seatbelt sign went back on at 8:38AM – after staying off for just eight minutes as promised in the previous announcement. The initial descent followed just two minutes later.
During the descent, we encountered a fairly strong turbulence – strong enough that the crew reminded passengers about the waste bags that were available in the seat pockets.
After descending through thick clouds, we landed on Centrair’s runway 36 at 9:04AM. Four minutes of taxiing in heavy rain followed before the aircraft came to a full stop at 9:08AM.
As I had a fairly short time to connect (or so I thought) to my flight to Helsinki and I wanted to visit some Priority Pass lounges before getting onboard, I deboarded the JAL 737 as soon as possible, and headed into Centrair’s terminal.