An Airbus A350 for Domestic Flights? Yes, And Here's What It's like Inside
Japan Airlines has unveiled the cabin of its new Airbus A350-900 which will operate high-volume domestic routes. That's right: JAL is using the airplane flying the longest nonstop in the world to cover domestic sectors in Japan. Both JAL and competitor ANA have long used big twin-aisle jets for domestic routes, since Japan's dense population makes them economically viable on short flights.
JAL's domestic Airbus A350s feature 369 seats spanning three cabins. While the domestic A350s will not feature luxe lie-flat suites, both JAL's new domestic first- and business-class seats appear quite comfortable and spacious.
JAL Domestic Airbus A350 First Class
JAL's domestically configured Airbus A350s feature six first-class seats. While the seats are not fully lie-flat, they are major step up from what US airlines offer on most domestic flights.
First class is arranged in a 2-2-2 configuration, with each seat offering almost 53 inches of pitch and measuring 20 inches in width. First-class seats are enhanced recliners with retractable leg rests. Additionally, each first class seat features a 15.6-inch seatback monitor, AC and USB outlets and a retractable privacy divider between seats.
JAL Domestic Airbus A350 Business (J) Class
Similar to premium economy or domestic first class offered by US airlines, JAL's domestic A350s feature a whopping 94 J Class seats -- that's what JAL calls this class.
J-Class is arranged in a 2-4-2 configuration, with seats offering around 38 inches of pitch and measuring 18.5 inches in width. J-Class seats are standard recliners that, like first class, feature a retractable leg rest. J-Class seats offer an 11.6-inch seatback monitor and AC and USB outlets.
While very similar to JAL's new domestic first class product, there is a notable difference in the amount of privacy offered in first class and J Class. Onboard service also differs with passengers seated in first class offered premium alcoholic beverages and meals with J-Class service similar to that offered in economy class.
JAL Domestic Airbus A350 Economy Class
Economy class aboard domestically configured Airbus A350s is a slight upgrade from JAL's current domestic economy class product. Domestic A350s feature 263 seats in economy arranged in a 3-3-3 configuration.
Average pitch in economy class is reasonable, at 31 inches with an average seat width of 17 inches.
Seatback inflight entertainment, AC and USB outlets, and an adjustable headrest are available in economy class aboard JAL's domestic Airbus A350.
Booking a Flight On JAL's Domestic Airbus A350
For travelers looking to catch a flight aboard JAL's first Airbus A350s, the aircraft enters into service on Sept. 1, 2019. The domestically configured Airbus A350s will operate flights between Tokyo-Haneda (HND) and Fukuoka (FUK). The following flights will be operated with an Airbus A350 starting Sept. 2:
Tokyo to Fukuoka
- JAL303* – Tokyo (HND) to Fukuoka (FUK) – Departs at 6:15 AM, Arrives at 8:05 AM
- JAL317 – Tokyo (HND) to Fukuoka (FUK) – Departs at 12:10 PM, Arrives at 2:00 PM
- JAL329 – Tokyo (HND) to Fukuoka (FUK) – Departs at 6:10 PM, Arrives at 8:00 PM
Fukuoka to Tokyo
- JAL306* – Fukuoka (FUK) to Tokyo (HND) – Departs at 9:00 AM, arrives at 10:35 AM
- JAL318 – Fukuoka (FUK) to Tokyo (HND) – Departs at 3:00 PM, arrives at 4:40 PM
- JAL332 – Fukuoka (FUK) to Tokyo (HND) – Departs at 9:00 PM, arrives at 10:40 PM
Flights with a (*) will be operated with an aircraft other than the Airbus A350 on Sept. 1, with Airbus A350 service beginning on Sept. 2.
Redeeming miles for the first JAL Airbus A350 flights might not be the best use of your AAdvantage miles as tickets in economy class start at just $93 one way. Fares for JAL's premium cabins aboard the A350 start at just $125 one way for J Class (business). First class fares beyond Aug. 23, 2019, are currently unavailable.
Featured Image by Airbus