Japan Airlines Offers Made-to-Order Sushi in Tokyo Narita First Class Lounge

American Airlines serves fresh made-to-order guacamole in several of its Admirals Clubs in the afternoon.

That’s great, it was a real innovation for them, and guests enjoy it. But the level of excitement over guacamole is, I think, a perfect example of what George W. Bush called ‘the soft bigotry of low expectations’.

Their revenue-sharing joint venture partner Japan Airlines isn’t known for its lounges. JAL lounges are fine but not near the top of world’s best. However their first class lounge at Tokyo Narita offers a new weekly menu for Nigiri-zushi service.

JAL offers a nigiri-zushi service, in which a sushi chefs prepare and serve hand-pressed sushi in front of the customers’ eyes, in the dining area of our First Class Lounge for international flights on the third floor of the Main Building at Narita Airport. To provide greater enjoyment with a fresh feeling each time our valued customers use this service, the menu will be changed every week starting from September 21, 2017.

Made to order sushi comes on top of the standard first class lounge menu (.pdf). And note that first class lounge access is available not just to first class passengers but to top tier frequent flyer elite members in all classes of service, including oneworld partner top tier elites (oneworld emeralds, so including American’s Executive Platinums).

The menu includes items like lobster bisque, udon noodles, dim sum, beef curry, liver pate with foie gras and is changed up monthly.

I have an upcoming business class Tokyo Narita – Shanghai segment on JAL and look forward to checking out the in-lounge sushi chef. I can only hope Americans learn to appreciate the work of a sushi chef before going to the lounge. (Showtime Billions, not safe for work):

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Maybe it is just the new menu announcement with more variety ? But yeh, it has been there for a while ….

  2. Indeed, the sushi has been around for years in one of the two JAL First lounges. Always such a pleasure to transit through Narita.

  3. Uhm… since you posted some clips, is it safe to assume that you alse knew all sushi in sushi-ya in japan was made to order? That’s what made them more valuable than kaitenzushi. And changes of menu is based on catch of the day.

    Clickbait perhaps?

  4. Yet another lack of awareness by Gary. Yes, the news is that the menu for sushi will change regularly, but this again is nothing new.

  5. Yep, has been around for years, standard part of the F lounge.

    Now, if only they would bring back the self-pour Hibiki 21…

  6. I don’t have AA EXP status. I’m connecting via NRT on JAL arriving in first, but departing flight is a two class cabin so in business. Will I have access to the JAL first class lounge at NRT?

  7. Regrettably, the sushi bar does not extend to doing sashimi, despite having many of the fish products to do so. The sushi, while being obviously super-fresh, is quite frankly unimaginative and underwhelming.

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