Boarding

Cristal or Salon? Champagne guide to booking Japan Airlines First Class

Japan Airlines First Class is arguably the world’s leading airline known for its Michelin inspired cuisines catered to #foodie lovers. For us personally, it is our most frequent (and favorite) way to cross the Pacific using miles. If you’re curious, here’s our previous features of the airline’s highest hospitality product.

  1. Japan Airlines First Class (2017)
  2. Private jet home? Japan Airlines First Class all to ourselves (2021)
  3. How we scored First Class seats for the price of Business Class! (2022)

Is fourth time the charm? Today we’ll dive into the details in what it is like to fly long haul across the Pacific from Tokyo (NRT) – LAX (Los Angeles) in Japan Airlines First Class.

Booking

When cash flights goes north of $10,000 USD, your best bet to maximize this type of experience is using miles.

$12,201 USD… that’s a lot of boba

Like Cathay Pacific, JAL is part of oneworld alliance. Thus, you can use all sorts of creative ways in the network to redeem flights. Notably, Alaska Airlines (who joined oneworld in July 2020) has a nice sweet spot.

Notice for the exact same 70k miles… Korean Air is only economy (absurd)

Cristal Louis Roederer or Eugène-Aimé Salon

You know life is good when this is your champagne struggles.

For price point comparisons, here are the bottles side by side. The Cristal Vintage 2013 retails ~$300+ USD while the Salon Vintage 2007 retails ~$600+ USD. Both are exceptional wines.

That being said if you want a specific bottle, your choice in your flight route matters.

Flights to Japan are limited to Cristal

Flights from Japan are limited to Salon

For us personally, we really wanted the legendary Salon, so we purposely booked an outbound flight originating from Japan. Luckily, there was an extra bottle of Cristal on this flight, so we filmed it side by side for kicks.

Experience

I can’t stress enough how the continual feeling in boarding an international First Class flight is just repeatedly mind boggling amazing. It’s good to be home!

Here’s the wealth of amenities provided.

with ample amount of legroom to fit 2+ passengers. Yes that is Doraemon

Here’s the omakase offering.

Japan Airlines also offers a decadent ultra-luxe tea from 東方美人 to pair with the omakase experience — Queen of Blue Deluxe

It’s one of the best brewed teas I’ve ever tasted.

Overall, Japan Airlines First Class is a well-balanced and distinctive product. Its dining standards are simply unrivaled compared to other airlines. Like a fine omakase meal, Japan Airlines takes you on a flavorful journey where your palate gets spoiled and inspired by the finest tastes in the world…

makes you want to come back again for more… and more

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