Recently, I prefer JAL to other airlines when I go to Japan. The primary reason is the price of course (usually inbound flights provide more affordable fare), but the brand new airplane is a very attractive reason to be neglected.
Last year, JAL changed all flights of from Gimpo/Seoul to Haneda/Tokyo into brand new Boeing 787-8 airplanes. The thing that I liked most was that it was very comfortable in the cabin. I cannot tell the exact reason, but the air in the cabin was fresher than other flights. The large size LCD monitors and USB charger for each seat are usual in these days in every long-distance airline. But there are small mesh pockets in front of the main seat pocket. The small pockets are very useful to put some small belongings such as pens, cables and cell phones. I think it is trivial but very thoughtful providing which can be expressed as Japanese ‘omotenashi.’
One more very impressive thing for me was that the ‘electric shade’ – although I’m not sure it is the correct name. After the flight totally took off, I was going to close the window shade, but I couldn’t find a window lift. The window adjusted the transparency with digital buttons. At first, I was a little puzzled because there was some delay but I could control the dimming level with a 5-graded button which was below the window. The brightness also seemed to be controlled by the flight attendances; all windows were automatically brightened up at the landing.
Yes, the competition is good. It is really impressive to see the resurgence of the airline which once had a very tough time. I wish I can meet with others’ catch up – especially from KAL and Asiana which are my main mileage holders.