Japan Airlines will always be on the top of the top lists for me in terms of best in-flight experiences. In a culture that very much values hospitality and caring for others, it’s no wonder that JAL would prioritize the customer experience.
Now traveling with a young child, we get to see how the flight attendants fawn over her and give her the star treatment in flight. On our way from Melbourne to Tokyo, Kaia got offered pretty much every single toy in the JAL toy box (when she was originally told to choose just one…) simply because the flight attendants kept passing by her and gushing over how cute she was. While they did have a kids’ menu, Kaia didn’t really get to enjoy it. Instead, on the flight over, we ended up eating it as part of our appetizer, on top of the kaiseki style Japanese meals we were already indulging in.
On our way back to New York, Kaia was out pretty much the entire time. Although they didn’t have to, the flight attendants kept checking in on me to see if she might need to be woken up to eat. While they did try to prepare a little katsu sandwich for her, I ended up eating part of it since she was really out like a light. They still insisted on checking in and gave me some milk in case she decided to wake up during the landing and wanted something to drink.
American Airlines or any other U.S.-based carrier for that matter will never be able to come close to the level of customer service that JAL does. In fact, when you fly on American, they barely take any notice of your children, much less have separate kids meals just for them. They definitely would not be checking in on your child if they were zonked out the whole flight (as if they would care if your child starved or not?). But it’s one of the reasons I love JAL and love flying on Asian airlines. In Asia, there’s a sense of caring amongst the community that just doesn’t exist in the West.