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Getting to Tokyo getting that much easier

American Airlines adds new route, direct from JFK to downtown Haneda airport.

A new route on American Airlines, flying directly from New York's JFK airport to Tokyo's Haneda, launches Friday, Feb. 18, making the trip all the more convenient. Until now, international flights to Tokyo landed in Narita, a trip by bus that took about two hours to reach downtown on a recent trip.

Thanks to an expansion of the Haneda airport, including a massive renovation of the dining and shopping areas that's turned it into a destination for locals, travelers will arrive within 20-30 minutes of many Tokyo hotels.

Japan Airlines will share bookings with American’s JFK-Haneda flight and JAL also serves the New York-Tokyo market via Narita, and together, the two airlines will provide a choice of three daily round-trip flights for customers traveling between New York and Tokyo.

“New York and Tokyo are the economic engines of the U.S. and Japan, and the principal network gateways of American and Japan Airlines,” said Virasb Vahidi, American’s Chief Commercial Officer. “Open Skies between the U.S. and Japan will stimulate both national economies, enable us to bring more service benefits to our customers, and promote cross-cultural exchanges. American and Japan Airlines are key partners in realizing this strategy, and we are focused on delivering these benefits as quickly as possible.”

For those who are new to long-haul travel, it's worth considering an upgrade to business class on either American or JAL. The experience blows away everything this traveler ever thought about flying in the back of the bus. Spacious recliner-like seats that lay nearly flat to sleep are just the start. The food is unlike anything on a domestic coach flight, and the Bose noise-canceling headphones make a big difference while watching the in-flight TV and movies. It certainly turned the prospect of half a day in the air into an enjoyable experience, and added value to the trip, rather than the flight simply getting you there and back. On top of all that, having access to the airport lounges offers food, drinks and showers, quite a perk after a 13-hour flight.

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