Our trip to Tokyo this time was only decided 2 days before actual departure, so needless to say, it was a mad rush to find available flights at a good price.
We finally decided to go with Japan Airlines as we needed a flight that landed in Narita airport but preferred to take a flight home from Haneda airport so that we could spend less time commuting.
Apart from the price differential of almost S$1000 for flights of similar timing and routing on SQ and JL, here are some other reasons I'm glad we flew with JAL.
1. The friendly JAL staff at the airport gave Kyo stickers upon check-in, and these kept her busy all the way till boarding time. We were able to keep our 21month old toddler awake all the way till the flight took off at 2am, so she slept through the flight and had to be awaken upon landing.
2. Kyo paid infant fare and hence was actually not entitled to a seat (and she was already past 12kg so too heavy for a bassinet). JAL was kind to allocate my hubby and I seats in the middle of both aisles with an empty seat between us (meant for Kyo). For the flight back from Haneda, my hubby was even able to move to a separate 2 seater so that Kyo could sleep across 2 full seats for the whole flight.
3. The selection of toys for children were also great. I chose a set of underwater creatures stickers which kept Kyo busy on the 90minute keisei bus journey to Tsukuba. There were also mini model planes and stuff toys for older and younger kids.
4. I always love the drink selection on JAL . Whether it's the bottled mineral water(Mt Fuji brand) or their original chikuwasa and yuzu drink "Skytime", or their tomato juice, and green tea, portions are generous and ensure you are never dehydrated.
5. The cabin attendants are very understanding. We took a long time to deplane upon reaching Narita airport but no one rushed us although we were the last to leave the plane!
6. The food on the way back from Haneda was very impressive. Although you don't get a choice of Western or Japanese meal, JAL only serves 1 standard meal, the Japanese bento we received for breakfast was amazing quality and taste!
Only drawback for me was how there were no infant seatbelts on board the planes. Parents were just expected to hold on to infants on their laps during takeoff and landing.