A layout refresh which actually improves things in Coach? A rarity in these days where leg room continues to vanish and more seats are crammed down the back. On this refresh, which JAL are applying to all new Dreamliner 787s, they seem to have it right. All three classes are very appealing to me. The new “Sky Suite 8” (SS8) follows on from JAL’s 777 refresh (called Sky Suite 7) features:
- 38 fully-flat SkySuite 787 beds that are 25.5″ wide and 6 foot 6″ long in a 2/2/2 layout with 23″ TV screen. JAL’s Business class Skysuite won the Best Business Class seat at the 2013 Skytrax awards:
- 35 Sky Premium economy seats, 19″ wide with a 42″ pitch (should prevent reclining wars) arranged 2/3/2 with a 12.1″ screen,
- 88 Sky Wider II Economy seats, 19″ wide with a 33″ pitch arranged 2/4/2 with 10.6″ screen, The airline has actually increased seat pitch, largely by reducing seat the padding so the seats appear narrower than on other carriers:
Every seat will have an AC and USB outlet. The planes will be installed with a new in-flight entertainment system called “MAGIC-VI” with a personal touch-panel screen interface which will give passengers access to TV, movies and access to in-flight meals/snacks and in-flight sales in all three classes. The airline will also be providing on board wi-fi.
JAL also notes that all of the lavatories (but one) will feature the “Toto Washlet“, an electronic bidet style toilet featuring a warm water-jet function for cleansing. Anyone who has travelled to Japan, will understand the importance of lavatories! Previously, these facilities were only for Business Class travellers.
The airline has 15 Dreamliners already flying of its 25 787-8s and 20 787-9 on order. The new layout 787s will be used on medium to long range services starting with Narita to Frankfurt this December and then to New York in January 2015.
JAL is a Skytrax 4 star airline with customers rating it 7/10 on the Skytrax site. They are not one of the almost 90 airlines I have flown-yet! Nor have i got onto a 787. After this refresh, I am very tempted to try. More legroom, an improved entertainment system, on board wifi (and those lavatories) all make a convincing package.