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 (no tax/fees on NH award tickets) 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 CTS to KUH. This will be my first time aboard a NH Dash8.
After exiting the baggage claim, I head back upstairs to where the check-in areas are.
The NH check-in area was a zoo with people heading home after a weekend of skiing. Fortunately, the security line was empty so I was quickly through and airside.
After consulting the terminal map, I head over to the ANA Lounge. On my way, I stop by a store and pick up some onigiri for a light lunch.
Entering the lounge, the agent greets me and types my EY credentials into the system before granting me access.
Japanese press offering.
The liquid offerings. CTS has the best beer selection of all the ANA Lounges I’ve seen. They have 4 beers on draft: Asahi Super Dry, Sapporo Classic (only available in Hokkaido), Suntory Premium Malts, and Kirin Ichiban.
The lounge is fairly small with small seating areas.
I take a seat in a more comfortable looking area that was quieter. There were just a couple of people across the way.
My first and second offerings. Sticking with Sapporo Classic.
The bathroom is clean, but small.
Wrap up my stay with a coffee.
About 30 minutes before the boarding time, I leave the lounge to stretch my legs a little. NH proudly flaunts its Skytrax rating everywhere, much to the chagrin of JL.
My plane is listed as a gate change, now departing from Gate 1. I see this sign and think I need to go upstairs to get to my gate.
That was a lie since it was only Gate 1B and not Gate 1; however, there was better spotting from the upstairs area since you can get closer to the windows. Snow is starting fall again.
My plane today getting prepped for boarding: NH Dash8-400
Boarding is started 5 minutes late because there were two wheelchair passengers that needed to be carefully wheeled across the icy tarmac. Standard NH protocols of special assistance, NH Diamonds, NH/*A elites, and then general boarding. Quite a few NH Diamonds on this flight as well. I scan my boarding pass and am through.
Not many options… there were walls to the left and forward.
Down the stairs onto the tarmac.
Our beautiful Dash8.
A cheery FA tried to interrupt my fuselage shot with her greeting as I reached the top of the stairs. She apologized and let me take the picture first before she greeted me a second time in Japanese as I entered the cabin. My seat for this flight.
The seat pitch is very generous on the Dash8s.
The gentleman across the aisle is able to comfortably cross his legs the pitch is so generous, must be around 34”.
No divider under the seat, but the flight will be around 30% load so no seatmate for me.
The tray table and seatback pocket.
The seats are really thin, but are good enough for a 30 minute flight.
I probably should have picked a better window seat; however, all the windows were covered with the glycol from deicing.
Seat control is in the armrest.
Seatback contents. 3 barf bags, they anticipate bumpy rides on these turboprops^^
Safety card for this Dash8.
The front door closes on time and the FA comes through the cabin offering blankets.
As we fire up the engines, the 2 FAs do the safety demonstration in Japanese.
On our taxi, I can spot a MU A321 taxing by.
Turning onto the runway.
Our landing gear.
The engines whirl, the parking brake is released and we are quickly down the runway and up.
Since we used such little runway, we can get an aerial shot of CTS. The purple plane on the far left is JH^^ The NH B772 in *A livery I saw at HND in the previous report is also here too.
We soon were engulfed by clouds.
NH’s route map for Hokkaido.
The cabin as we reach cruising altitude.
The FAs pass through offering apple juice. Given the 27-minute flight time, I find this acceptable.
Passing over the snow-covered countryside. I couldn’t figure out what city this was.
About 5 minutes later, they come through again and offer more apple juice. Very good service on this short hop.
We pass over the mountains to the less snowy eastern coast of Hokkaido.
We reach the Pacific Ocean.
At Shiranuka (??), we make a hard left turn to align onto the runway.
The landing gear drops down as we cross into Hokkaido.
We touch down early.
We taxi up to the terminal and stop on the tarmac.
The front door opens, the stairs are positioned, and we begin deplaning. The cabin as I head out.
Stepping outside, the FA thanks me for flying. One last look at the nose of this Dash8.
Our beautiful turboprop resting before the return trip to CTS.
Walking to the terminal.
We have to take the stairs up to the 2nd floor where we reenter the departures level, before going back down to the 1st floor for the baggage claim.
Kushiro boasts 2 baggage carousels.
I stop at the bus ticket machine to buy a ticket for Kushiro and head outside where the bus is waiting. The bus costs 940? and takes about 40 minutes.
I think KUH is trying to rival KMJ for most 80s bus seat upholstery.
Finally, the list of bus stops and fares. On the right, they list the hotels located at each bus stop. I, like 90% of the people on the bus, will take it to Kushiro Station (????), which is not the terminus.
I’ll leave off this series here as I begin my stay in Kushiro. Tune into the next segment for the start of the return journey, which will take an alternate route from CTS to NGO through a (surprisingly) previously unreported airport.
Chitose - CTS
Kushiro - KUH
My first time on a NH Dash8. Not the most exciting of flights, but the service was very good considering the length of the flight. Natural IFE was negated by the deicing making photography difficult.
Cabin comfort: The Dash8s are no spring chickens, but the cabin is pristine and clean as one expects on NH. The seat pitch is really generous at around 34”, but the seats are thin. Overall, comfortable enough for <30 minute flight and the turboprop noise wasn’t bad.
Crew: Above average NH crew on this flight. No English ability, but all smiles and friendly.
Meal and catering: Only apple juice was offered, but two passes were made, which is even better than what I got on the NGO-HND sector, which is almost twice as long.
Entertainment: No newspapers offered. Standard seatback literature. No audio or overhead monitors. Just natural IFE.
On-time performance: We left on time and arrived early.
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