This report will cover the early morning hop from NGO to NRT aboard NH in their new domestic cabin. This will be my second time aboard JA81AN, the Premium cabin was reviewed in my NH 498 report (http://flight-report.com/en/report-10411.html), but this time we will look at the Economy cabin. The bonus at the end will be the United Club in Narita.
A 7:50am departure from NGO means an early morning for me in order to catch the first train of the day to the airport. Arriving to the airport at 6:40am, I head to the NH domestic check-in counters for passengers with international connections. I decided to just use the economy line since there was just one person in front of me instead of the premium line with my EY Gold card. This was a huge mistake since it was not an alternating line. Economy passengers are only allowed to go through the bag screening line when there was no one in the priority line. Meaning the constant stream of priority passengers meant a 20-minute wait for me. After getting my suitcase screened, I was quickly called up to a counter by a NH agent.
She tagged my bag “priority” and handed me my boarding passes. When she flipped to my second boarding pass to confirm the details of my flight to CPH, I got a nice surprise: my seat magically changed from 16D to 4D. More on that later, but here is the domestic boarding pass.
With about 30 minutes until boarding, I took a stroll up to the observation deck. On my way, I got a nice SMS message from SK notifying me of a wonderful delay.
Domestic FIDS heading out to the observation deck.
Stepping outside, this NH B763 was doing a fly by in the early morning light.
NH B777-200ER, not a normal visitor to NGO… They use this on the OKA routes in the busier winter season in place of a B763.
The NH domestic fleet awaiting morning action.
Antonov An-124-100 sitting out on the tarmac, no DreamLifter to keep it company today.
The aforementioned NH B763 circled the airport after its flyby and did a touch and go on the runway. It circled the airport and did 6 touch and gos while I was there, they must be doing pilot training this morning. They didn’t even bother retracting the landing gear.
A peek at the international side of the airport as the sun rises.
International tail line-up. You can tell where most of the NGO traffic is headed: 7 narrow-bodies getting ready to head to mainland China and a PR A333 sitting in the distance.
TG B773 arriving on the red-eye flight from BKK.
Domestic tail line-up.
NH B738 (JA81AN) which will be operating NH 338 up to NRT this morning.
JL B767-300ER in “Japan. Endless Discovery.” special livery getting ready to piggyback my flight up to Narita.
Last look at the domestic narrowbodies.
Security took 5 minutes to clear and I was dumped airside. I skipped the lounge and went straight to the gate. We were leaving from Gate 7 this morning.
My plane awaiting boarding.
NH B738 in *A special livery taxing by as it leaves for NGS.
All Nippon Airways, NH 338 Equipment: Boeing B737-800 [JA81AN, delivered March 2015] Departure: 7:50 (ATD: 8:02) Arrival: 9:00 (ATA: 8:53) Flight time: 0:51
Boarding was called on time and priorities were strictly observed. Pre-boarding was followed by NH elites, priority boarding, and then general boarding. I boarded with priority boarding. Down the jetbridge we go.
The big glass window jetbridge gives a nice shot of the NU B734 getting pushed back for service to OKA.
Boarding, the smiling FA gave me a “?????????” and presented me with the tray of candies. I grabbed one and headed to the back of the bus. NH candy.
Cabin shots (taken during deplaning).
Seat pitch is good, better than on the Super Dolphins (B735s).
The window seats have a small entertainment box blocking some of the legroom.
View of the cabin from my seat.
Nice view of the winglet from my seat with the JL B763 next door.
We quickly board and get pushed back. The ground crew waves us goodbye.
The safety video plays during the taxi to the runway. Blankets are distributed during the taxi as well.
Taxing by a JL B738 getting ready to get towed back to the terminal from a remote stand.
Arriving at the runway, we wait for the NH B763 that has been continually circling the airport to pull of the runway temporarily.
We bolt down the runway giving a glimpse of the An-124.
We lift up over the NH B763 taxing below us.
We make a 270 degree turn to the left after rising into Ise Bay. This gives some really nice shots of Nagoya in the distance.
Crossing over the tip of the Atsumi Peninsula.
Brief seat tour. The Recaro seats are your standard hard ironing boards. Audio/video controls are located in the armrest. The middle seat remained empty in my row, the load was around 75%.
Headphones were preplaced in the seatback pocket.
Safety card for this NH B737-800.
NH BOB menu.
The monitors came down and played ANA Sky Vision, which is random travel highlights of Japan.
Ominous skies as we get closer to NRT.
The drink cart arrives and I get my coffee served in a Star Wars cup.
Another peek outside.
A quick trip to the rear lavatory. There are only 2 lavatories on the B738, one in the front (for Premium class) and one in the back (for everyone else). The bathroom is clean and has the nice tile floor pattern.
Getting back to my seat, the seatbelt sign comes back on as we enter our final approach into NRT.
Crossing into Chiba Prefecture, we coast over the rural farmlands and into NRT.
A smooth touchdown onto the wet tarmac ahead of schedule and a peek at the hydraulics.
The long taxi to the gate means plenty of spotting.
JW A320 with sharklets.
JL heavies at Terminal 2.
GK A320 with sharklets.
Pulling into our gate.
Our next door neighbor is a NH B767-300ER with winglets.
Deplaning the crew wishes me farewell. Walking towards security, I cross a NH B777-300ER and a NH B787-800.
Entering the security and immigration area for international connecting flights.
I’ll leave this series off here as I enter my (now) 5-hour layover in NRT courtesy of SK's delay. I’ll cover all of the *A lounges in Terminal 1 (Satellites 3, 4, and 5) in this series. Given the number of lounges, I’ll add the United Club in Satellite 3 to this report as a bonus.
The United Club is located in Terminal 1, Satellite 3. It’s actually larger in area than the ANA Lounges, but quantity does not always mean quality… The entrance is pleasant and well appointed, the agents scan in my boarding pass and remind me of my delay. They stamp my boarding pass for re-entry and let me in.
Stepping in, it is large and dark (common in Japanese airports that mainly use natural lighting during the day).
The food offering is better than a stateside United Club, but still not up to Asian standards.
I grabbed a snack and headed to the windows for some spotting since the lounge runs parallel to an active runway. The furniture is not chic, but was clean and new. I like the USB ports for charging devices, a nice feature.
My first offering of coffee and fruit cup (sans fruit).
I roamed further into the lounge, where there is probably seating for 200+. The furniture is blah, but there is a lot of Japanese artwork in the lounge that provides a nice décor.
And this area had the stateside United Club food offering: cereal, potato chips, and edamame?
It’s 5 o’clock somewhere so a Suntory and a pretzel roll for me.
I spent about an hour in the United Club; it wasn’t busy at 9am since most of UA’s flights don’t operate until closer to lunchtime. It doesn’t have the food offerings of the ANA Lounges, but it wasn’t terrible and much better than the stateside United Clubs. If you are looking for a quiet place to rest, it’s a good option since the ANA Lounges are packed until around 10am. I’ll leave this report off here as I migrate into the ANA Lounges now that all of the NH heavies have departed.
Nagoya - NGO
Tokyo - NRT
A standard NH domestic flight in economy. Bare minimum service standards for a Japanese carrier, but at least this time they did a drink service. The B737-800 is not as comfortable as the B737-700, but much more comfortable than the B737-500. The crew did its drink service with a smile and then disappeared. For a 45-50 minute flight, you really can’t complain too much since it gets the job done with the expected Japanese efficiency and reliability.
Cabin comfort: The B737-800s have much better legroom than the B737-500s, but that comes at the price of seat comfort. The Recaro ironing boards are hard, but bearable for a short hop. Empty middle seat gave plenty of privacy. New plane with a very clean interior.
Crew: Smiled and greeted passengers during boarding and deplaning, completed service with a smile, and that’s it. Above average for a domestic flight.
Meal and catering: Complimentary drink service (water, tea, coffee, consume, apple juice). NH candies on boarding.
Entertainment: No press offered. Standard seatback literature. IFE played [i]ANA Sky Vision[/i].
On-time performance: Perfect.
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