This series will cover a quick weekend trip on NH using UA miles. The goal of this series was to try several new products in the NH family while also going someplace new to me. This trip cost 10,000 UA miles and I built a very non-direct routing to zig-zag my way to my final destination. I’ll reveal the segments as we go to add some suspense. So far we have…
This report will cover the trip from HND to CTS. This will be my first ever time flying to CTS and my first flight aboard a NH B787.
After taking the stairs up to the main terminal, I quickly consult the terminal map and make a beeline for the ANA Lounge (South) since that was closer to my departure gate. There are 2 ANA Lounges in HND’s domestic terminal, each with >400 seat capacity. The lounge actually has its own security line so you can directly access the lounge from landside if you are checking in at HND.
Entering the lounge, the agents greet me and check my EY credentials before granting me access. (HND is technically not on the list of allowed ANA Lounges on the EY website, so I’m testing the boundaries). No problems and I’m quickly released to head upstairs to the lounge.
FIDS in the lounge, my flight isn’t up yet. I have 35 minutes until boarding starts for my flight so a little bit of time to enjoy the liquid offerings.
The lounge expands in both directions and looks symmetric.
The liquid offerings. Like all domestic lounges, no food, only drinks and otsumami packets.
Strafing the seating areas as I head to find a seat.
I find this area in the corner that is very quiet, only one other person in this section.
My first offering.
The seats have Japanese hotel light controls^^
I enjoy a second Asahi as I exchange some e-mails with Numero_2 about his secret love of UA.
The bathroom in the lounge is large and clean.
A little bit more time before my flight, so a third beer and some more coffee.
Boarding pass for this segment.
At the indicated boarding time, I pack up and head to the gate. Boarding is underway as I reach the gate.
All Nippon Airways, NH 59 Equipment: Boeing B787-800 [JA825A, delivered February 2014] Departure: 10:00 (ATD: 10:10) Arrival: 11:35 (ATA: 11:17) Flight time: 1:07
My steed today: a 2-year old B788. HND is not very spotter friendly since the windows are far away.
Scan my boarding pass.
Both jet bridges are being used and they split passengers based on seat letter. I’m in “A” so it will be right for me.
Down the jet bridge we go.
Smiling FAs welcome me aboard in English. View of the cabin on boarding. NH has opted for the high-density configuration (335 seats, same as TZ, JQ, etc.) for its domestic B788s. There are two rows of Premium class (12 seats in a 2-2-2) and the rest is Y.
What I thought was my seat. As soon as I settle in, a Japanese guy asks me what seat I’m supposed to be in, I respond “14A” and he says I’m in 15A. I quickly apologize and move up a row. I blame the narrow seat pitch for over shooting my row… Also, notice that the armrest for the window seats is right up against the fuselage so there is very little elbowroom in this 3-3-3 configuration.
Now that I’m in the correct seat, the seat pitch is pretty tight. I’m as far back as possible for this photo. Since they have a LCC type seat-configuration, the pitch is also LCC quality.
And to make things worse, there is no divider between the A and B seats. Both seats have an entertainment box making the under seat storage very small and compressing your legroom.
The FAs offer blankets during boarding.
There is a foreign couple from BOS next to me heading to CTS for skiing. You can see how tight the seat pitch is, the poor guy was 186cm and was smashed against the seat in front of him.
Seatback contents are all there.
Safety card for this B788.
We have the RR engine option on the domestic NH B787s.
Audio and seat controls are in the armrest and the instructions are on the back of the tray table.
Ceiling in this B788.
As we push back on time, the safety video plays.
The ground crew waves us goodbye.
We taxi out past a NH B763.
As we taxi to the runway, my plane from Part 1 of this series (JA74AN) is seen lifting off for the return sector: HND-NGO.
We pull up short of the runway to let this NH B773 land.
Turning onto the runway.
As we head down the runway and lift up, we get a glimpse of the NH domestic terminal.
And there she is, Fuji-san.
We make a sharp right turn before reaching Tokyo, so it’s hard to get the Tokyo Tower and Tokyo Skytree shots.
After we clear downtown, we make another turn to the left giving us the fantastic aerial shots of Tokyo.
What more can you ask for on this flight? Tokyo and Yokohama sitting at the foot of Fuji-san.
Winglet and Fuji-san.
We turn to the north and begin our journey up Tohoku. ANA Sky Vision plays a special on Gifu (??), which is really close to home for me.
It’s a cloudy trip up Tohoku so not much to see outside.
The drink service starts up. I ask for a water and coffee, which are both delivered with a smile.
After the drink service, I make a dash for the lavatory. They are clean, but no bidet toilet.
Cabin shot of the forward Y-cabin. You can see that only the middle section has monitors, there are no overhead monitors for the side sections.
I chat with the FA from my aisle. Before heading back to my seat, I ask her if she has any of the children’s gift sets left. She happily hands me one as a souvenir. She then asks me if I also want postcards. Sure, why not! She said she’ll bring them to me in a minute. Back at my seat, my newly acquired children’s gift set. The cards are really awesome; I already have 5 decks stashed away at home.
She returns with B787 postcards and a NH bag to put all of my souvenirs in.
I spend the rest of the flight talking to the couple from BOS that is sitting next to me. We begin our descent near the northern tip of Honshu.
Arriving at Hokkaido.
Flying over Tomakomai (???).
Snow covered golf courses.
Snow covered Chitose.
And we touchdown well ahead of schedule as a NH B738 is ready to takeoff on the parallel runway.
We taxi by the JL operations at CTS.
We reach our gate.
Deplaning, the FA from my aisle thanks me for flying and tells me to enjoy the souvenirs. Last look at our plane from the jet bridge.
There is no domestic connections at CTS, you have to exit through the baggage claim and then reenter the terminal through the normal security line. So down the escalator I go.
Through the baggage claim.
And I head out into the arrivals level of CTS. I’ll leave off this series here as I begin my layover in CTS. Tune into the next segment for the continuation of this journey as we head deeper into the frozen tundra of Hokkaido and to an airport not previously reported on the site. I’ll also show the ANA Lounge at CTS.
ANA Domestic Lounge
Tokyo - HND
Chitose - CTS
A pretty good domestic flight on NH. I got to try their B788 for the first time, which was definitely LCC feeling in terms of comfort, but was helped by a very friendly crew.
Cabin comfort: The NH B788s feel very LCC. Tight seat pitch and a lack of underseat storage are big observations. The seats are okay for a short 1-hour flight and the cabin is clean and bright.
Crew: Really friendly FA working my aisle. From what I could tell from the other FAs walking around, they seemed to be in high spirits.
Meal and catering: Full drink cart offering on this longer domestic flight. Only one cart run was made, but you could always request a second drink if you wanted.
Entertainment: No newspapers offered. Standard seatback literature. Audio channels and ANA Sky Vision played on the overhead monitors.
On-time performance: We left on time and arrived early.
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