Sunday, December 30, 2007

Christmas Trip 2007: The other Club in Narita (NRT)

This Club has better food than the other one, but it is more crowded. It was pretty much cheese and crackers at the other one. It is 3:48p, so we will be boarding soon.

Christmas Trip 2007: Changing Clubs in Tokyo

I'm heading over to the Club nearer to the gate now. It's been fun watching planes; this airport is quite busy. Just think almost every take off and landing has been a wide body and they keep coming and going...Incredible I think.

A Japan Airlines Boeing 777-300 just landed, before that was a Northwest Boeing 747 cargo and prior to that a Northwest Airlines Boeing 747-400 took off and prior to that one a Korean Airlines Boeing 777-300 took off... A Dragonair A330 is on the runway and a United Airlines Boeing 777-200 in the new colors is behind that one.

Christmas Trip 2007: Arriving in Tokyo-Narita (NRT) Terminal 1

I deplaned and followed the crowd. I saw a sign that directed me through security and to a bus for Terminal 2. I took that way and while I waited, I was paged. Apparently, I do have to go through immigration first and then re-enter the secured area once I am in Terminal 2.

I followed the lady and went through immigration where she told me to fill out yet another form. As I was almost done an officer told me not to and to just go to the immigration officer. I did got them stamped and then went to customs, where the officer too the form and said go ahead.

Outside I found the bust to Terminal 2 and boarded it. Within a few minutes I was there. I picked up my boarding pass and entered security. But before I did, I had to do a waiver of departure tax since I had already paid it in Nagoya.

I found the WorldClub that I had not checked out and hang out there so I could catch up with the blogging. It was fun to watch planes come and go.

Christmas Trip 2007: Nagoya (NGO) to Tokyo-Narita, Japan (NRT)

14 JL54 30DEC Nagoya Chubu International, Nagoya Japan (NGO) to Tokyo-Narita International,Narita Japan (NRT) 8:35a 9:30a 744 JA8913

Flying Time: 0:45
Departure Time: 8:31a
Arrival Time: 9:31a

It was funny to hear all the different codeshared flight numbers as this flight was codeshared with American, Air France and British Airways. Rows 1-12 boarded through the first jetway and everyone else through the other one on the right. I was greeted by the flight attendant and told to head upstairs for my seat. I did notices that Business Class was right by the door with a 2-3-2 configuration and way in the nose I caught a glimpse of the First Class cabin. I was seated in the last row and the guy whom I was standing behind at check-in was sitting in 81C.

I know that the overheads are smaller on the upper deck, so I thought that my backpack would not fit, but it did. I settled into my seat, high above the ground in this 3-3 configuration from rows 71-81.

The flight attendant came by and offered blankets and pillows followed by newspapers and magazines. The guy next to me was going to Delhi for a week and was astonished that I only stayed in Nagoya one night. He apologized for his bad English, but his English is by far better than my Japanese as I only know about four words in Japanese.

The lead flight attendant thanked us for boarding orderly so that we could have an early departure, then the safety announcement played in both English and Japanese at the same time.

Our taxi and take off was swift and we were airborne in no time. It was a beautiful morning and as we turned left, once could see the entire island; pity the camera's battery was dead...

As we leveled off, we had a beverage service. Then it was time to descend into Narita on this short 0:45 flight.

We landed without incident and took quite a while to get to our gate as it was on the other side of the airport and occupied. Not an issue as I got a chance to see the planes and my connection was not until much later during the day. We got to our gate at 9:31a. There was a short delay before we deplaned however.

Christmas Trip 2007: Arrived home

Finally I'm home was a great trip; more later

Christmas Trip 2007: Nagoya Chubu, Nagoya (NGO)

Central Japan International Airport Centrair, Nagoya Japan (NGO)

After the complimentary breakfast at the hotel (soup, bread and croissant), I went outside before dawn (6:20a) and started to walk to the airport. I noticed that the shuttle van was ready, so I jumped in. I arrived at the terminal at 6:30a after waiting for some other passengers.

I went upstairs and found the Japan Airlines counter to check in for JL54. This flight arrives in the international terminal although it does a domestic routing. The aircraft is used on an international route. You can only take it if you have an international connection out of Narita.

I produced my onward ticket as I checked in and after a few phone calls, I was given a boarding pass and some documentation in triplicate to give to the authorities as I progress. I also had to enter the country in Japan, so basically go through immigration. I was excited as i was in 81A in the Upper deck in Economy Class.

I thanked the agent and left the counter and headed for the waving gallery. Before going out there, I tried to connect to a WiFi and there were no free ones now; I guess the one I found is only available near the train station. I then headed out to the gallery.

I took out my camera and realized that the battery was dead :-(. I had forgotten to re-charge it last night. Crap! I took out the video camera and it had to make do.

I left the area and headed for the security lines which were quite long unfortunately. I heard my name being paged and wondered what now. I went back to the counter as requested and the agent said I had to pay the passenger facility charge for the airport. I said that I had only arrived last night and produced my boarding card. It was funny as she spoke to me in Japanese at first and I gave her a blank stare and she paused, thought about it for a second and then spoke to me in broken.

She got on the phone and called someone and then we waited. It was getting progressively later now and the security line was getting longer; there would be no way to get the flight ontime if I stayed in the regular line. The agent also realized this as she kept looking at her watch. Checking had already closed for my flight and they were now handling Thai Airways.

After what seemed like forever and really uncomfortable silence between the two of us, the phone rang, then she said that I have to pay the tax since I did not arrive today. The total is 2,500 YEN. She then took me over to the ticketing counter where she took me to the front of the line and told me when I was finished to head over and see her and she would get me through security.

I offered to pay in USD, but she said no, but she would accept a credit card, so I gave her one. Once done, I headed back towards the other agent who got someone else to take me to the front of the line through the crew/connecting passengers line. It is funny as I had asked before if I could use that line and the guy told me no; now we had carte blanche.

I then went through security and immigration and made it to the other side by 7:55a. Boarding was commencing at 8:05a. I saw a note on the Sakura Lounge sign that my card was accepted. I checked it out, but I needed a same day boarding pass on Continental to do it and since I was flying in JAL and had arrived on Continental yesterday, I was out of luck.

I made my way down to gate 16 where boarding on the Boeing 747-400 started promptly at 8:05a.

Christmas Trip 2007: In Tokyo-Narita, Japan (NRT) again

I arrived in Tokyo at 9:51a, just a minute after schedule. I am awaiting my flight to Houston now in the WorldClub in the airport. I'll start sending out some updates now.

Christmas Trip 2007: Leaving Hotel for the airport across the street

I got up at 5:30a on Dec. 30, 2007, is getting and will head out in 3 minutes hopefully. I had a restless night and fell asleep quite later than the time I got to bed...

Off to breakfast and the to try and catch JL54 to Tokyo.

PS: I am in room 727, which I think is so cool!