Review: JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda


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As you would expect, Japan Airlines has a number of lounges at Tokyo’s Haneda airport…..but there’s only one First Class lounge. The JAL First Class Lounge is located after security in the International Terminal on level 4. The easiest way to find the entrance is to look for gate 112 and to follow the signs that lead from there.

The lounge is accessed via an elevator or set of escalators leading up from the gate level.

JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda

Lounge Access

The JAL First Class lounge is open between 06:00 and 01:30 daily…so you’re unlikely to find the lounge closed when you arrive.

Access to the JAL First Class lounge is based on either a passenger’s oneworld status or the fare booked. Entry is granted to:

  • Oneworld Emerald status holders + 1 guest per status holder – all must be traveling on the day of entry on a flight marketed and operated by a oneworld airline.
  • Passengers traveling in First Class + 1 guest – all must be traveling on the day of entry on a flight marketed and operated by a oneworld airline.

The Lounge

At the top of the escalators leading up to level 4 is the lounge’s check-in desk.

JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda

The entrance to the lounge is immediately to the right of the check-in desk and, as soon as you pass through the doors, you find yourself in a wide hallway with the shower facilities to the left and a phone room and baggage storage to the right (more on all those later).

To get into the main lounge seating area you pass though a small working area encased by glass walls…..

JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda

…with individual booths for added privacy.

Once you walk through the work area you enter into the main part of the lounge and you can see a guest doing this in the picture below:

JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda

The lounge is essentially a long rectangle divided into a number of different areas all of which have a large glass wall facing out on to the airport apron – this gives the lounge a nice spacious feel and appears to keep it bright.

JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda

At one end of the lounge (to your left as you enter from the business area) are some pretty basic armchairs…..

JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda

…as well as some slightly more comfortable ones:

JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda

JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda

Just about all the seats in the lounge have good access to power ports which you’ll find either next to or behind the seats (event the seats overlooking the airport apron have power ports):

JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda

With a combination of comfortable chairs, easily accessible power ports and sunshine, I found the seats by the windows to be the most comfortable for getting some work done.

JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda

The next section of the lounge was dedicated to all the food and drinks that the lounge offers….and there was quite a bit of both!

On one side of the lounge there were tables and chairs set out for dining…..

JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda

…..while on the other side was the food serving area:

JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda

At the centre of the food area was a chef who, amongst other things, would prepare a JAL specialty:

JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda

Eggs, two kinds of cheese, and ham, wrapped and baked in lightly fried rye wheat flour dough. Coarse salt from France is used to accent the flavor

2 billion calories, an overdose of sodium, impending heart failure and delicious.

In the surrounding areas were a variety of Japanese and western dishes, including (and I quote):

  • Vegetable sticks with Wasabi sauce
  • Seasoned pickled vegetables (turnip)
  • Aigamo duck pastrami pintxos
  • Pate of liver paste and fois gras
  • Insalada di Mare

JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda

Also on offer were:

Various fruits and salads

JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda

JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda

Grilled Mackerel

JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda

Miso Soup and beef curry

JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda

Japanese vegetable bowls with a variety of add-ons

JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda

Atsuyaki tamago (thick omelet) and spicy seasoned cod roe

JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda

Breads and mini sandwiches

JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda

Hash browns and sausages

JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda

And scrambled eggs

JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda

There was something on offer for just about everyone.

On the counter by the food (on the wall) is where all the drinks were on offer.

JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda

JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda

JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda

There were all the usual sodas as well as fresh juices and water in the chiller cabinets:

JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda

And it wouldn’t be a JAL lounge id there wasn’t a self-serve beer station – Sapporo on tap 🙂

JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda

The next section of the lounge had more seating for relaxing….

JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda

….with the best place to relax being by the windows:

JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda

JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda

There were also more drinks stations down at this end of the lounge:

JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda

JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda

At the very end of the lounge is a surprise…at least it was a surprise to me.

There’s an area called “Red Suite”and, during my visit, it was deserted.

JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda

Because it was deserted and because the rest of the lounge was pretty busy I assumed this was an area reserved for JAL’s VIPs….but I decided to check anyway.

A quick question to one of the lounge attendants confirmed that the Red Suite is open to all First Class lounge guests with no restrictions….so I went in.

The decor in the Red Suite is quite unlike the decor in the rest of the lounge:

JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda

JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda

JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda

JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda

And a shoeshine service operates here between certain hours:

JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda

The pièce de résistance of the Red Suite was a small alcove off to the right hand side.

JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda

This is where the high end Sake is kept….

JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda

…and where the lounge’s impressive stock of Laurent Perrier champagne is kept:

JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda

JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda

This was a perfect lounge area for me – quiet and full of champagne 🙂

Lounge Amenities

The JAL First Class lounge offers a number of amenities some of which I got to see while others I didn’t.

If you’re still a smoker there’s a room where you can do that without polluting everyone else’s air….

JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda

There’s a relaxation service offering complimentary short treatments (make sure you book as soon as you enter the lounge as it gets busy fast):

JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda

There’s a telephone room to compensate for the lounge’s fantastic and strict “no cell phones” policy:

JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda

And there’s a shower facility which is open almost the entire time the lounge is open:

JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda

The shower rooms were clean and nicely appointed (if a little dark)

JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda

JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda

The shower was good – it heated up quickly and the water pressure was fine:

JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda

But I wasn’t all that impressed with the toiletries:

JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda

Firstly a good First Class lounge (which this undoubtably is) should offer individual toiletries but, if that’s not to be offered, the toiletries should certainly not be presented in generic plastic bottles with lounge-made labels peeling off them.

That’s poor and, for JAL, a surprising lack of attention to detail.

Thoughts

I normally divide this section into positives and negatives but, as the only real negative was the toiletries in the shower that seems a bit redundant here.

The Red Suite is a fantastic part of the lounge and feels more akin to a private club than a lounge (especially when it’s as empty as on this visit) and the food selection was wide and plentiful.

I liked how open and bright the lounge felt and the fact that you can both relax and work by the windows overlooking the airport is very nice indeed – it made my stay pleasant and productive as I got a surprising amount of work done in my time there.

Overall the JAL First Class lounge at Haneda is very good as First Class lounges go…..and easily one of the best oneworld lounges out there.

The Pier in Hong Kong is probably better and I still have a big soft spot for the Qantas Lounges in Los Angeles and Sydney…but I can’t think of any more that I would prefer to this one. I’ll definitely look forward to going back.

More lounge reviews available, arranged by city, on the Traveling For Miles lounge review page

Up Next: A review of JAL’s Sakura Sky View Lounge at Tokyo Haneda

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