Japan Airlines Removes Shark Fin Soup From Its Lounges


On Monday, we wrote about (access here) a very unfortunate food item that somehow had found its way into JAL’s First Class lounges in Tokyo.

JAL Shark Fin

First, I had thought that having this item marked in English as “Shark Fin Soup” must had been a translation issue and the item was the “imitation” recipe… but unfortunately that was not the case.

The above photo was taken by one our team members and here is another one that a reader sent to us, showing that multiple JAL lounges were serving this soup:

Shark Fin Soup Haneda

Japan Airlines took swift action after being alerted about our article. The head of global communications sent us the following statement:

We have been notified of an article posted on your site, LoyaltyLobby, regarding a soup served at the Japan Airlines First Class lounge.

May 6, 2019


Your article was brought up through our comms team and immediately notified the key department in charge of planning meals at our lounge.

Upon verification, JAL has permanently removed the item from the lounge menu. (effective immediately)

Note – JAL has not served the shark-fin soup on its inflight service.

In closing, we thank you for posting the article.


We are glad that JAL’s headquarters took immediate action and withdraw this menu item from their lounges. I am not sure how someone thought that it would have been appropriate to serve this in the first place?

Some readers were sure that this soup was made with imitation fin meat and criticized us for posting the piece while others thought that we should have given a chance for Japan Airlines to respond.

We actually emailed their media teams both in Japan and North America but all the emails bounced back initially. I had both a Japanese friend (native speaker) and a non-Japanese but fluent speaker of the language who lives in Tokyo verify the sign contents.

Sometimes weird things happen with these large corporations where the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing.  In this case however, we commend JAL for taking quick and corrective action on the issue.