Date: October 21, 2017
Flight No.: JL95
Route: Tokyo Haneda to Seoul Gimpo
Airline: JAL Japan Airlines
Type: Boeing 767-300ER
While my original plan was to fly to Okinawa that day, because of a typhoon, my plans changed drastically – and so I ended up taking a flight to Seoul.
Checking In at Haneda Airport International Terminal
I arrived at Haneda airport’s international terminal at 5:50PM – a bit less than two hours before the scheduled departure time of 7:40PM. And, I made my way to JAL’s check-in area.
As I was traveling just with hand luggage, I got my boarding pass from one of the automated kiosks within a minute, and in another five minutes I found myself airside. I visited SKY LOUNGE for about an hour, and then made my way to gate 114.
Boarding Japan Airlines Flight 95 and Departing Bound for Seoul Gimpo
When I got to the gate, the staff was already instructing passengers sitting in the back of economy class (rows 50 and beyond) to form a line. Being seated in 57D, I joined the line and waited for the boarding to start.
The boarding started at 7:15PM and soon I made my way into the Boeing 767-300ER that was waiting outside.
Interestingly, boarding for business class passengers and economy class passengers in the back rows started at the same time.
Turning right at the door, I entered the economy class cabin in a typical “2-3-2” configuration. I settled in my aisle seat and waited for our departure.
The seat itself was quite comfortable – especially the headrest. And, while the knee space was good as well, there was an IFE box spanning the width of the foot area which made it impossible to stretch legs fully or to store a larger bag there.
Also, besides the main seat pocket, there were two smaller pockets ideal for storing phone, etc. which I thought was quite practical.
Inside the seat pocket, there was a headset, the usual in-flight magazine, as well as the entertainment guide and shopping catalog. What I found interesting – and helpful – was that there were also Korean immigration forms.
The crew closed the aircraft doors at 7:34PM, and we were pushed back two minutes later – four minutes ahead of schedule. As we started taxiing, the safety video was played – and the passenger in front of me reclined right into my face…
As the video mentioned putting seats in the upright position, the passenger did so – giving me some breathing space again.
And so, we were good to go.
We took off from runway 05 at 7:53PM in a typically steep “767 way.” And, of course, the passenger in front of me reclined about 5 seconds after the lift off…
JAL Short Haul International Economy Class Onboard Service
The seatbelt signs were switched off at 8:06PM, and the crew passed the aisles offering blankets.
About 10 minutes later, the meal service started.
Even though it was just a 2-hour flight, a hot meal was offered. There was only one option – chahan (fried rice) that came with a side of potato salad and almond jelly dessert. The food came with metal cutlery, and tasted very good.
For drink, I went with Sky Kiwi – JAL’s signature kiwi juice.
JAL MAGIC-V In-Flight Entertainment System
Before and after the meal, I explored JAL’s in-flight entertainment system.
The seat back was equipped with a monitor, as well as a USB port and video input.
Now, as for the video input, I have no idea who uses it and for what. But, if you happen to know, leave a comment below the post.
As for the IFE system itself, it was called MAGIC, but it hardly worked like magic.
In fact, it was so slow and unresponsive that I was considering not even going through all the menu items to see what the offerings were. Screens like the below were way too common.
Anyways, let’s jump into the contents.
The movies and TV shows were grouped under one “video” section. There seemed to be a decent, although not amazing, selection of movies. I say “seemed” as I couldn’t scroll through them all as the flight was too short for it… Or, because the system was… Too slow?
There was also a couple of international TV shows – each offering only a couple of episodes, as well as some Japanese TV programming.
As for music, there were no full albums, but rather various “selections.” At the same time, though, one could pick individual songs, and make playlists as well.
While I am not sure how enjoyable they would be to play given how slow the system was, there were also 10 games.
Separately from the above, there were two news programs.
There was also the airshow which had both an autoplay mode as well as the possibility to choose a preferred map view.
The one last thing I will mention here is interesting video talking about manners onboard an aircraft. Unfortunately, while I love the concept, I am afraid that the passengers that need the education the most are not the ones that would watch the video.
Landing at Seoul Gimpo Airport Onboard a JAL 767-300ER
For the remainder of the flight, I decided to watch BBC News (and a Japanese TV show) – and I am glad I did so – since it featured Concorde in its “This Week in History” section.
I also checked the in-flight magazine briefly. It featured a story about the cleaning lady from Haneda airport that went viral on the Internet some time ago.
At 9:00PM, the copilot announced that we would start our descent in about 15 minutes and that we could hit some turbulence along the way.
Around the time we started our initial descent, we encountered some turbulence and so the seatbelt sign was switched on. It went off briefly, just to go back on at 9:36PM in preparation for landing.
Less than ten minutes later, the cockpit crew lowered the landing gear, and at 9:47PM, we touched down at Seoul Gimpo airport. After some taxiing – at 9:55PM – we came to a full stop at gate 38 at 9:55PM.
I disembarked, cleared the immigration in five minutes, and made my way to “The Simple House” – my accommodation for the night.