Review: JAL Diamond Premier Lounge Sapporo (CTS)

Jyaga likes (4.5/5)

JAL Diamond Premier Lounge

Airport: Sapporo New Chitose Airport (CTS)
Terminal : Domestic Terminal
Operator : Japan Airlines
Access : JAL First Class, JAL Global Club Premier,
JMB Diamond, oneworld Emerald status
Date of Visit: March 2023

The JAL Diamond Premier Lounges are Japan Airlines’ domestic equivalent of their First Class lounges. In addition to this one in Sapporo (CTS), these lounges are also available at Haneda (HND), Itami (ITM), Fukuoka (FUK), and Naha (OKA). Receiving no less than 16 JAL flights a day from Haneda alone, it is no surprise that New Chitose has two dedicated lounges. The airport has a Diamond Premier Lounge that complements the lower-tiered Sakura Lounge.

Lounge Access Rules

The JAL Diamond Premier Lounges belong in the highest category of domestic lounges operated by JAL. As such, it is reserved for its top-tier frequent flyers and passengers flying on JAL First Class. Passengers with a same-day reservation on JAL First Class (regardless of domestic or international) are afforded access. Passengers connecting from an international JAL First Class are also eligible.

Lounge access rules

When accessing by status, passengers holding top-tier JMB Diamond or JGC Premier are eligible for access. This extends to Emerald status holders with oneworld carriers, such as Cathay Diamond, AAdvantage Executive Platinum, or BA Executive Club Gold.

Lounge Location

In what seems to be a similar offering at many of Japan’s major airports, the JAL First Class check-in area in New Chitose also has a backdoor (and a private security checkpoint) leading straight to the lounge. This is something that I really appreciate when it comes to JAL domestic First Class, given the sheer convenience it offers.

JAL First Class check-in at New Chitose Airport

When coming from the airside section, the lounge entrance is located between Gates 12 and 14.

Lounge entrance from the airside section

JAL Diamond Premier Lounge

After checking in, I headed up the escalators leading to the lounge reception, where the arrangement is similar to the lounges at Haneda. On the reception desks are boarding pass scanners that indicate which lounge you have access to. Upon the machine’s beep, the reception attendant will point in the direction of the lounge. I had access to both by virtue of my Cathay Diamond membership, equivalent to the top-tier oneworld Emerald status.

Display at the entrance of the lounges
Shiny lounge signage by the reception

Lounge Seating and Amenities

Main lounge seating

The lounge seating starts right after the entrance, mostly featuring individual armchairs. By the entrance are also several pairs of armchairs that face each other. The lounge is apparently newly renovated, and it definitely showed when it came to the plushness of the furniture. The design felt very fresh and modern, which is quite a contrast to the aging lounges at Haneda.

Sofa chairs

Running along the entire extent of the window-side of the lounge the lounge’s desk-like seating. Here, each seat has its own pair of power outlets. As the rays of the sun do penetrate the space during the day, the lounge staff are always very quick to adjust the blinds so as to not cause discomfort to lounge patrons. Excellent attention to detail, as always!

Cubicle seating

Cubicle seating

Towards the middle section of the lounge are 15 cubicle-like pod seats. These high-walled seats are especially suitable for solo travellers, being the most private-feeling seating option in the lounge. Each ‘cubicle’ feature a small storage well to the side of each seat, a side table, and a pair of power outlets. Three of the window-facing seats even feature small tables that are suitable for working. I personally found these seats to be very comfortable and well thought out. In fact, I spent most of my time in the lounge seated here.

Cubicle seating
Details of the cubicle seats

More sofa seating

Finally, at the far end of the lounge is a more typical type of lounge seating. At the centre are two rows of individual armchairs, each equipped with a side table and a small table. In addition, along the interior wall is a long sofa with cushions and the same small tables. Interestingly, power outlets are a bit less abundant in this area, available only on the desks by the window and under certain parts of the long sofa.

Sofa seating
Sofa seating
View from the lounge

Dining area

Immediately to the left of the lounge entrance is the dining area, featuring a centerpiece inspired by a kamado, the traditional stove found in older houses. Unlike the Haneda lounges, the dining area in Sapporo does not have proper dining tables. In its place are the same window-side desks, as well as a long cushioned seating area with five small tables.

Dining area
Dining area seating

Massage area

By the interior wall of the lounge are massage chairs, secluded behind a semi-private partition. These chairs are free to use and are complemented with a coat hanger, similar to the offering at the Haneda Diamond Premier Lounges.

Massage chair


Between the entrance and the reception area is a ‘cloakroom’, the Japan Airlines equivalent of luggage storage lockers at other lounges. These lockers are operated by pin code and come in two sizes. There are nine lockers, all of which could easily fit a cabin-sized carry-on and winter jackets.


Telephone Booths

As is widely the case in Japan, making telephone calls in enclosed spaces are frowned upon. In fact, nodding to this cultural norm, signs advising that phone calls are not allowed are scattered all over the lounge. Instead, such calls are expected to be taken in enclosed telephone booths, which limit the amount of noise coming into the lounge. There are two booths at the Diamond Premier Lounge, both of which are located nearby the entrance. Power outlets are similarly available in these booths.

Telephone Booths

Lounge Wifi

As was the case in Tokyo, the lounge has its own WiFi network separate from the rest of the terminal. There was no password for the network and the connection was fast and reliable.



The only food spread in the lounge is available in the Dining Area immediately to the left of the entrance. Mimicking the selection available at Haneda, the food was limited to a couple types of bread, soup, and rice balls. During my visit between breakfast and lunch, there was a pastry and a mochi bread from Morimoto Bakery, alongside two types of onigiri (rice balls). At 11.30 each day, the spread is stocked with JAL’s popular curry bread, which I quite liked.

Dining area
Senbei selection

In terms of soup, available was an interesting Edamame Cream Soup and the usual Miso Soup. Also on offer were also the normal rice crackers and hard candy typically found at JAL Lounges. Despite the limited selection, I appreciated that the food tasted good and was high-quality!

Food at the JAL Diamond Premier Lounge


In terms of soft drinks, the lounge features a selection of coffee and tea that is identical to the offering at the Tokyo Haneda Lounge. The Japanese tea is from Ito En, which is the most popular brand of tea in Japan. Additionally, a dispenser with sodas and cold tea is also available as part of the spread.

Soup machine, coffee maker, and a hot water dispenser
The soup machine and the coffee maker

Available in the chiller are a jug of tomato juice and two jugs of milk. This being Hokkaido, it was no surprise that many of the lounge patrons chose to have a glass of milk before going. In addition, as is standard at JAL Lounges, the beer glasses are kept cool in the chiller to ensure that the beer temperature isn’t impacted by the glass. How very thoughtful!

Tomato juice and milk

There is a very nice selection of four beers available at the lounge, including Sapporo Classic, Asahi Jyukusen, Suntory The Premium Malts, and Kirin Ichibori Premium. In addition, there is also a high ball dispenser, which I’ve never seen before!

Alcohol selection

There are two choices of liquor, including a Hokkaido potato-derived sochu and Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt Whisky.

Sochu at the lounge


Located in the corridor between the reception and the Diamond Premier Lounge are the toilets, which are separated by gender. The toilet cubicles feature high-walled doors with Toto Neorest washlets, which are always very nice. As expected at any lounge in the country, the toilet was well-kept and impeccably clean!

The male toilet at the JAL Diamond Premier Lounge
Toilet cubicle


Overall, despite having similar amenities to the lounges at Haneda airport, I really loved how plush and new this lounge felt. As always, I appreciated the thoughtful design of the lounge, particularly when it came to the excellent cubicle seating. This was overall an excellent domestic lounge that I very much liked!

Read more from this trip here!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *