Review of Vanilla Air flight Tokyo Chitose in Economy

Airline Vanilla Air
Flight JW913
Class Economy
Seat 8A
Aircraft Airbus A320
Flight time 01:50
Take-off 02 Dec 15, 17:50
Arrival at 02 Dec 15, 19:40
JW 6 reviews
By 2552
Published on 19th December 2015
Hey peeps. This is the second part of my flight report. The first part was on United Airlines flight UA 804 from Singapore to Tokyo Narita. You can read my first report here: Off I go on my second flight report! :D

Flight: JW 913
Origin: Tokyo (Narita)
Destination: Sapporo (New Chitose)
Aircraft type: Airbus A320-216
Registration: JA03VA
Delivered: 14 January 2014
Class of travel: Economy

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So once we arrived at Narita Airport, we had to collect our baggage from the carousel first since United and my next flight, Vanilla Air, wasn’t in any sort of alliance or codeshare. Immigration clearance was really fast, as fast as at Changi, if not even better. The immigration staff were REALLY polite, as what you’d expect from most Japanese, and for a second I thought I was Obama or some random VIP haha. Anyway, after collecting our baggage, we managed to get out of the terminal without passing through any sort of security screening. Well, the security staff only selected certain people to undergo screening and I never really understood why they had such a practice. Even in Singapore, only random people are selected for carry-on baggage screening. Would it kill them to screen everyone’s carry-on items? I thought the world was gonna be more stringent in light of the Paris attacks but I guess not? I know that Changi Airport will definitely screen ALL customers who are arriving from certain destinations like Indonesia, Thailand and I think the Philippines and Malaysia. (Ahaha what happened to southeast Asian trust?!) But other than those origins listed, they just select people at random for checks. Can someone enlighten me on this??? :confused:

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Taking a shuttle bus to Terminal 3 with our baggage. I would’ve preferred trains that connected the 3 terminals instead of shuttle buses tho.

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Ah, FINALLY the bus came

So we arrived at Narita Airport’s Terminal 3 and it looked so budget-y and cheap. No offence. What stood out to me the most was definitely the running tracks on the ground used to direct passengers. It was really unique!

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Jetstar Japan’s check-in counters

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Vanilla Air’s check in counters

It was way too early to check in for our Vanilla Air flight so we went to grab a bite at what seemed like the only common eating area that had a few food joints throughout the entire terminal. I guess that’s what a budget terminal is like… :/

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Checking in. The lady at the desk was SO FRIENDLY I can’t even… I guess the behaviour of a country’s people are SO important because they create that first impression to the foreigners and perhaps that’s why the Japanese have built such a positive reputation for themselves unlike people of a certain neighbouring country in Asia… Ahem

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Plain and boring boarding pass. This was my mum’s one. I was seated in 8A.

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A shop selling souvenirs and tidbits

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Wasabi-flavoured kitkats and run and raisin kitkats. Say what???

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Left or right? :P

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Our plane for the domestic hop to Sapporo. Looking good

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Cabin shot

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29.5 inch seat pitch. SO TIGHT I could barely move my legs. I was 174cm tall and I felt squashed. 1 second in and I wished that I could step out of the plane right away. It was THAT bad.

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Awaiting pushback while a ‘jingle bells’ melody was being played throughout the cabin

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Air Hong Kong B747-400

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Spot the ANA B787 Star Wars R2-D2 jet
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And we left the ground after a 20 minute wait in line

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Safety card

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Inflight menu. Items had to be paid for.

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Prices were pretty reasonable. $6 to $7 thereabouts

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Seat pocket contents. Missing the safety card and menu.I love how spongebob is like the face of Vanilla Air. They had spongebob and patrick starfish on their magazines, check-in desks, etc.

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Approaching Sapporo. Short flight time of about 2 hours.

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And we were here! Waiting for the aerobridge to be connected to the door of the plane.

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We waited for 25 mins or so for our baggage to appear on the carousel. WAY too long. Guess I’m used to Changi’s efficiency

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Catching a train to the city

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This airport rapid service train was SO quiet. It had CRAZY sound insulation. I could barely hear anything when it was moving. I could even hear people whispering a few seats away!!! They even had announcements for passengers to switch their phones to silent mode and refrain from talking in the cabins! ;)

P.S. I'll be rating the 'meal and catering' part based on the variety of food items offered on the menu as well as the prices of the items, if they were reasonable or not.
See more


Vanilla Air

Cabin crew7.0

Tokyo - NRT


Chitose - CTS



Alright, so that brings me to the end of my second flight report ever written. It was a pretty average flight with Vanilla Air. The seat was bad, the food I can’t say for sure and the crew approachable. For a budget airline, I guess it was okay, no complains. One gripe I had was the temperature in the cabin. It was EXTREMELY stuffy and everyone was complaining about how hot it was in the cabin. I didn’t ask the crew about that but perhaps the air conditioning unit had spoilt or sth. Thanks for reading my flight report guys! I did a video report on this flight as well. You can check it out on my youtube channel: [url][/url]! And if you would like to read all the past trip reports I’ve done, check out my blog that I just created: [url][/url] Stay tuned to my next flight report, Vanilla Air from Sapporo to Tokyo Narita. It would be a day flight this time so there will be scenery shots as well :) I'm never gonna take a night flight ever again :o Have a great day ahead! :D

Information on the route Tokyo (NRT) Chitose (CTS)

Les contributeurs de Flight-Report ont posté 8 avis concernant 5 compagnies sur la ligne Tokyo (NRT) → Chitose (CTS).


La compagnie qui obtient la meilleure moyenne est ANA avec 8.0/10.

La durée moyenne des vols est de 4 heures et 16 minutes.

  More information


If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 152867 by
    KL651 TEAM 4536 Comments
    Thanks for this FR.

    What was the fare like compared to NH or JL?
    • Comment 330586 by
      darius1208 AUTHOR 3 Comments
      Vanilla Air was running a promotion that time and I paid around $125 Singapore dollars for a round trip, which included baggage of 20kg and seat selection. JL and NH charged about $200. I chose Vanilla Air in the end since it was cheaper and it was a more exotic airline compared to JL and NH, which I probably would take again in the next few years.
  • Comment 153205 by
    NGO85 GOLD 1917 Comments
    Thank you for sharing this FR with us!

    I've never been tempted by JW or the other LCCs in Japan. The pitch is way too tight for me (182cm) and the complete lack of service hurts. I'd rather pay the extra money to fly NH/JL or JH. Flights are not cheap in Japan regardless of carrier choice. The BOB prices look very reasonable, drinks are only 50% more than a combini.

    Asian carriers always run cabins hot, so maybe not that surprising especially in the winter.
    • Comment 330876 by
      darius1208 AUTHOR 3 Comments
      You're welcome! I can see why. I was already finding it hard to move around in my seat when i'm only 174cm. I kinda regretted it a little since I could've spent a little more to fly on NH's 787 in the domestic configuration. Oh well, maybe next time. Well the air conditioning on the return flight was much better so I guess it was just a one-off thing and not like an asian thing? Idk :/
  • Comment 153231 by
    Flytak 151 Comments
    Hi Darius, Thanks for this excellent report. I was wondering how the terminal 3 looked like as I had never the guts to use low cost airlines again in Japan as I can afford myself to use the legacies or Skymark which are much more convenient for me, although I tried most of them 3 years ago including Jet Airways, Air Asia Japan (now defunct) or Peach.
    Seems that Vanilla is doing a decent job, by taking you from A to B on time apparently, not like Air Asia which was always late... with a good service, good priced BOB. Pitch is horrible I agree, even for a 1.5 hour flight... but it appears to be a rule for the Japanese low costs and clearly the main reason for not flying them!!! 25 min for luggage pick up in CTS is too long also and not up to standard of this airport. Nice to see that you apreciate the train service to Sapporo.
    • Comment 331212 by
      darius1208 AUTHOR 3 Comments
      Thank you very much Flytak! Well Vanilla has crazy cheap fares called the 'campaign' fares that go for about 4000 JPY for return tickets from Tokyo to Sapporo so I felt it was really worth the money. Vanilla sure did a decent job, nothing to shout about. Apparently Air Asia Japan is restarting flights again in 2016 so it'll add to the competition and hopefully lower fares!

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