Review of ANA flight Kushiro Chitose in Economy

Airline ANA
Flight NH 4872
Class Economy
Seat 11D
Flight time 00:50
Take-off 11 Jan 16, 09:00
Arrival at 11 Jan 16, 09:50
NH   #11 out of 93 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 222 reviews
By GOLD 1098
Published on 3rd February 2016

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…

Part 1 – NGO-HND [NH 86, Boeing B737-800, Economy] –
Part 2 – HND-CTS [NH 59, Boeing B787-800, Economy] –
Part 3 – CTS-KUH [NH 4873, Bombardier DHC-8-400, Economy] –
Part 4 – KUH-CTS [NH 4872, Bombardier DHC-8-400, Economy] – You are here
Part 5 – CTS-SDJ [HD 104, Boeing B737-700, Economy] –
Part 6 – SDJ-NGO [FW 48, Bombardier CRJ-700NG, Economy] –

This report will cover the trip from KUH back to CTS. There will be a Kushiro bonus at the end. This will be the last report in the series on NH metal.


After an excellent breakfast at the hotel, I checked out and walked to the bus center that is adjacent to Kushiro Station. Passing a police station on the way there, we are reminded how close Russia is to Hokkaido.

photo 1

The bus stops at the bus center for about 5 minutes. There is a waiting area inside if you don’t want to sit out in the cold. The bus promptly leaves on time. I didn’t buy a ticket inside, so I just paid ¥940 exiting the bus at the airport, which again was about a 40-minute ride.

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The bus drops us off right in front of the terminal. A nice and chilly morning here in Kushiro.

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Some artwork outside of the terminal.

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Heading inside, the NH counters are front and center.

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The agent takes about 20 minutes to print off all three of my boarding passes. She has to manually check me in for each flight using my UA e-ticket number. Eventually, boarding passes are in hand.

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On my way to the escalators up to the departures level, there is a small FIDS.

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Some nice artwork in the departures level lobby.

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There were some omiyage shops open and some seating areas outside of security.

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Up on the 3rd floor, there were several closed restaurants and the observation deck. The complete flight operations at KUH. I should mention that the airport also sees a good amount of seasonal charter flights from places like Korea, Taiwan, China, etc.

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Because of the slow check-in, I missed my plane arriving, but walking out onto the frigid deck I can see my plane sunbathing.

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I quickly retreat back into the warmth of the terminal. The view of the departures level from the 3rd floor.

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Kushiro is famous for its cranes and the ceiling is appropriately themed.

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There is also a lot of artwork on the walls showcasing the Kushiro cranes.

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I head back downstairs and go through the empty security line.

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KUH is a standard Japanese airport. There are a bunch of seats in rows facing the tarmac with TVs playing various programs. There are no power outlets in sight and there is an ANA Festa that is open.

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My plane out on the tarmac.

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With still 10 minutes until boarding starts, I use the restroom and wander around the waiting room. In the corner, I find all of these booths. KUH doesn’t have regular international service, but in the summer months they get their fair share of Korean, Chinese, and Taiwanese seasonal flights. These are their make shift immigration counters.

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All Nippon Airways, NH 4872
Equipment: Bombardier DHC-8-400 [JA841A, delivered July 2003]
Departure: 9:00 (ATD: 8:58)
Arrival: 9:50 (ATA: 9:32)
Flight time: 0:34

Boarding is called right on time. Surprisingly, both NH agents are males (not a common sight, but they do exist!).

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Standard NH boarding protocol is followed and I head down with the general boarding call. Stairs to the tarmac.

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The walk out to our beautiful Dash8.

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She is snow white to blend in with background.

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Our powerplant for today.

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At the top of the stairs, a FA greets me in Japanese as I duck my head to enter the plane. My seat for today (taken on arrival).

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The seats across the way.

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Seat pitch is very generous; I can comfortably stretch out my legs with no issues (I’m 182 cm).

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My view out the window will be blocked again.

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Ahead of schedule, the front door closes and the engines roar to life. As we taxi to the runway, the FAs distribute blankets and do the safety demonstration.

Aligning onto the runway.

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We take off a couple of minutes early to the north.

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As we rise over the countryside, we make a sharp turn to head west.

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The guy at the opposite window was filming the entire flight.

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The seatback contents.

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Safety card for this Dash8.

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January issue of 翼の王国, which they just call Wingspan in English.

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Specs on the Dash8.

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Crossing over some mountains.

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The FAs offer coffee and tea. I take coffee.

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As we continue west, we get more and more snow.

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Flying directly over Obihiro (帯広), we can see Otofuke (音更) to the north.

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Crossing the Hidaka Mountains (日高山脈).

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Picture of the cabin as we begin our descent.

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We make a sharp turn to the right after crossing into the Pacific Ocean.

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Making landfall over Yūfutsu (勇払).

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Our landing gear drops down as we cross over some solar power fields and car parks.

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We touch down well ahead of schedule.

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We taxi around the airport before pulling into a remote stand. As we come to a stop, I can see a D7 A333 lifting off in the distance.

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Deplaning, the FAs thank me for flying. Fuselage shot as I head down the stairs and into the bus.

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The nose of our plane from the warmth of the bus.

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A GK A320 on the other side of the bus.

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They used 2 buses for our little Dash8, so there was plenty of space.

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On the drive back to the terminal, I spot Pikachu lifting off for HND.

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JW A320.

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NH B738.

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As the bus arrives at the terminal, we exit into the baggage claim.

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I’ll leave off this series here as I begin my layover in CTS. Tune into the next segment for the continuation of the return journey, which will not be on NH metal and will be to a new airport for the site.

BONUS: So Kushiro in winter is not the most glamorous destination. In the winter, most of the trains are out of service so you are trapped in the city. It is definitely a place to go in the summer when you can enjoy the wildlife of the area. I came here to visit a friend and this was the best time to go based on my schedule. It was a long way to go just for a dinner.

The airport bus drops you off next to Kushiro Station, which is in desperate need of a makeover. This is one of the worst looking train stations I have ever seen in Japan.

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After checking into my hotel, I walked downtown to meet my friend. It was around -10C with strong winds. Hence, there is no other person in sight even though this is a Sunday afternoon at 4pm.

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Throughout the city, they have these bins so you can get some sand for traction in the winter since everything is frozen.

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Also on my way, I came across Marathon’s car. This is definitely quite the party wagon.

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The clock in downtown Kushiro, when its not freezing outside, this clock is actually covered with flowers.

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A view of downtown Kushiro: the Nusamai Bridge (幣舞橋) crossing the Kushiro River (釧路川).

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Kushiro Fisherman’s Wharf.

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From the Nusamai Bridge (幣舞橋), I took in the sunset along the river.

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See more



Cabin crew8.0

Kushiro - KUH


Chitose - CTS



The return trip on the Dash8 was just as ordinary. It’s a comfortable ride with good service. NH operates good commuter routes.

Cabin comfort: The cabin is pristine and clean as one expects on NH. The seat pitch is really generous at 34” making it a very comfortable 30-minute flight. Engine noise/vibrations weren’t noticeable bad.

Crew: Above average NH crew on this flight. No English ability, but all smiles and friendly.

Meal and catering: Coffee and tea were both offered. Two passes were made, but since the coffee was hot, I couldn’t drink it fast enough in time for the second pass.

Entertainment: No newspapers offered. Standard seatback literature. No audio or overhead monitors. Just natural IFE.

On-time performance: We left early and arrived early.



If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 156862 by
    marathon GOLD 10065 Comments
    This is another superb NGO85 report. I wonder which pictures should be commended most, but the avgeek in me loves the landing gear shot a split second before touching down. I also like the last picture before boarding - the fuselage seems to hover above the tarmac because the landing gear is in the shade.
    The seat pitch is indeed incredibly generous.

    I was very interested by the bonus on Kushiro - I noted that the church in the background next to the train station is superelevated. I guess it makes for great picture wedding pictures. I wonder if is one more of these quasi-fake chapels built by wedding organizers around the country.
    This church is unrelated to the kindergarten Hello Kitty school bus (thanks for the friendly wink!), which is operated by the Catholic kindergarten (くしろカトリックようちえん), written in kana script so that young children can read it - 釧路カトリック幼稚園 would be too difficult for them. Who would expect a Montessori school in such a remote location ?

    Thanks again for sharing !
    • Comment 334280 by
      NGO85 GOLD AUTHOR 1917 Comments
      Thank you very much for all of your comments Marathon!

      The seat pitch is indeed incredibly generous.
      - No tape measure to quantify it for you :(

      I wonder if is one more of these quasi-fake chapels built by wedding organizers around the country.”
      - It's called the 釧路グレース教会, you are 100% correct, it is a fake church for Western style weddings that have become the fad in Japan.

      the Catholic kindergarten (くしろカトリックようちえん), written in kana script so that young children can read it - 釧路カトリック幼稚園 would be too difficult for them.
      - Difficult for them and me ;)

      Who would expect a Montessori school in such a remote location ?
      - You forget that there is a lot of European influence in Hokkaido. They were the first ports to open for foreign trade so there often old European consulate buildings in these cities. Also, Russia is very close so there often lots of Orthodox churches in Hokkaido.
  • Comment 156904 by
    Rl 777 806 Comments
    Thank you for sharing this FR with us!

    Wow, that cabin looks really clean! That seat pitch looks really generous.

    Overall it looked like you had a pretty smooth flight on this Q400.

    Absolutely fantastic bonus!

    Have a good one, see you!
    • Comment 334279 by
      NGO85 GOLD AUTHOR 1917 Comments
      Thank you very much for your comments!

      Wow, that cabin looks really clean! That seat pitch looks really generous.
      - All NH planes are meticulously clean. This is some of the best pitch I've seen for a domestic flight. The planes aren;t that loud and the seats are roomy. If only the windows were as clean as the cabin ;)

      Absolutely fantastic bonus!
      - Going in summer would have been better, but at least it wasn't crowded^^
  • Comment 156941 by
    Numero_2 TEAM BRONZE 10440 Comments
    Thank you Michael !

    A decent pitch onboard this Dash.

    You didn't see any wildlife in Kushiro ?
    • Comment 334278 by
      NGO85 GOLD AUTHOR 1917 Comments
      Merci Clement^^

      You didn't see any wildlife in Kushiro ?
      - There was a bird on top of the light in the second to last photo^^ I was going to go to see the cranes, but at -10C with a windchill of -25C, I was not in the mood to stand outside in the cold^^
  • Comment 157153 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 6427 Comments
    So funny to see Russian in Japan, but yeah, I guess Russia is really close. I hear you can see Sarah Palin from there!
    Loving the colors in this report! It has that beautiful sunny crisp winter day feel.
    Awesome bonus pics!
    • Comment 334346 by
      KévinDC TEAM SILVER 6427 Comments
      BTW, what does it say in rainbow colors on the side of the Hello Kitty Bus?
    • Comment 334348 by
      NGO85 GOLD AUTHOR 1917 Comments
      which is operated by the Catholic kindergarten (くしろカトリックようちえん), written in kana script so that young children can read it - 釧路カトリック幼稚園 would be too difficult for them
      - Pfft, maybe you should read Marathon's comments... Just kidding. It says くしろカトリックようちえん, which when romanized says Kushiro Katorikku Youchien or Kushiro Catholic Kindergarten
    • Comment 334349 by
      NGO85 GOLD AUTHOR 1917 Comments
      Thanks for stopping by Kevin!

      I hear you can see Sarah Palin from there!
      - Palin and Putin ;) The best of both worlds^^

      It has that beautiful sunny crisp winter day feel.
      - Crisp is one way to describe -25C windchill. After being in California the week before, that was some climate shock.
    • Comment 334350 by
      KévinDC TEAM SILVER 6427 Comments
      Oh haha, yeah, I missed Marathon's comment. I don't like to read other comments before I comment--don't want them to inadvertently influence my commentary :-)

      Palin and Putin's a Fascist dream! I'm sure the Donald is dreaming of having them two in a room as we speak. Sorry...politics is on my mind...I live in DC during an election year, can't avoid it, haha.

      Yikes -25C! Yeah, that's a bit colder than crisp --more like Frozen solid! Ahhh...and to think on the same day I was cruising Milford Sound on a sunny New Zealand summer day! And now...snow. Boooooo
    • Comment 334466 by
      marathon GOLD 10065 Comments
      @KevinDC : I always read the other comments before typing mine. It saves me repetitions, and provides me opportunities to disagree on details that I had not even noticed :)

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