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 final leg from SDJ to NGO aboard FW. Again, a brief background on Ibex Airlines before we start. The carrier’s home base is SDJ and operates a fleet of 9 CRJs, with 9 more CRJs on order. They operate a mix of CRJ-200s, 700s, and 900s. The carrier was originally an independent regional carrier before they joined the NH Group and operate flights for NH using their own planes and crews so their planes say “ANA Connection” on the side.
After eating some delicious gyūtan (牛タン) for lunch in Sendai (仙台), it was time to head back to the airport. Beef tongue is Sendai’s most famous food and a must eat if you are ever there. The train from Sendai Station takes 25 minutes and costs ¥650.
Stained glass windows at the airport station.
Since I already have my boarding pass in hand, I skip the NH counters.
The security line and the FIDS above it.
Upstairs there are lots of restaurants and shops.
Fuji FA-200 Aero Subaru on display as part of the airport’s museum.
They charge ¥100 to access the observation deck, but it’s free for kids.
The observation deck is still themed from the holidays with lights and decorations.
Taking off for FUK.
FW CRJ-700NG leaving for ITM.
JL ERJ-170 also leaving for ITM.
I then head back inside and through security. The view of SDJ airside. There were a couple of shops and cafes.
The ANA Lounge at SDJ. Entering, the agent initial looks confused by the EY card. She pulls out her big picture book that has images of all the cards. She eventually finds EY (showing the old card design). I explain that mine is the new card design; she records my information and lets me in.
The offering as soon as you enter. Pretty sparse, about the same as NGO.
All Japanese press offering.
I take a seat in some chairs in the back; they come with a pillow and some power outlets.
At 5-minutes to boarding, I get up and leave. On my way to the gate, so more spotting. Another JL ERJ-170 leaving for FUK.
Hey, it’s my plane from the last report back at SDJ again. This plane must be doing the CTS-SDJ service all day. She gets pushed back and heads off to CTS.
Another JL ERJ-170 arrives from ITM. Surprisingly, all 3 of them have had the old livery.
Reaching my gate, I can see that my flight is now listed as “Delayed.” An agent makes an announcement that we will be boarding 10-minutes late due to a late-arriving aircraft.
As promised, we board 10-minutes late.
Another FW CRJ-700NG leaving for KMQ.
A smiling FA greets me in Japanese. Getting to my row, the other FA is standing there so I didn’t take a seat shot. The pitch is decent on the CRJs.
The antimacassar and tray table are FW themed complete with ibex mascot.
The cabin is very clean.
Seat control in the armrest.
Blankets are distributed.
Our neighbor taxing out for the departure to KMQ.
The front door closes and the FAs do the safety demonstration in Japanese only as we start our taxi.
Turning onto the runway.
We take off to the west as we head past the terminal.
We lift up over the outskirts of Sendai and turn left to head south.
Cabin shot during the climb.
The seatback contents.
FW information card complete with drink menu.
On the back, is the fleet information and the route map.
The safety card for this CRJ-700NG. You can see the FA uniform on the safety card.
All of my neighbors are fast asleep as the sun sets outside.
Drink service is done by cart. Coffee for me. It is served in the FW cup that is adorne with the ibex mascot (and friends^^). Reminds me a lot of Bambi…
A trip back to the lavatory. It is very small, I could barely stand inside and had to arch my back against the wall. Definitely not user-friendly for tall people, but clean.
The salary man next to me was very aggressive claiming the armrest. The flight was short so I didn’t fight back.
I spent the rest of the flight just reading a book and looking around. I noticed that there is no Row 13 on the CRJs.
As we began the descent into NGO, one of the FAs approached me and handed me this postcard complete with a handwritten note from the crew. They noticed that I was taking pictures during the flight so wanted me to have a souvenir from the flight. A very nice gesture from them and a fantastic keepsake.
We landed a couple of minutes late into NGO. We taxied around and pulled into a remote stand.
Some cabin shots as I deplane.
Both FAs thank me again for flying and I thank them for their kindness. My plane tonight. The FA standing in the entrance waved goodbye as I got onto the bus.
The bus dumped us off and we head towards arrivals.
Entering the domestic baggage claim.
Straight through and onto the train back to Nagoya.
And that concludes this series of 6 domestic flights with NH.
Sendai - SDJ
Nagoya - NGO
My first time flying with FW. I’ve always loved their CRJs at NGO so it was good to finally get to fly with them. As I mentioned before, the regional carriers have their own identity and it helps break up the monotony of NH. Good overall flight. The CRJs are moderately comfortable and the service was on par with NH.
Cabin comfort: A fairly new CRJ. The cabin was clean, but it feels much more compressed inside than the Dash8s. Seat pitch isn’t the greatest.
Crew: Two friendly FAs. They only did one drink service, but were walking back and forth through the cabin checking on people throughout the flight. Taking notice of me and offering me a postcard was a nice gesture.
Meal and catering: One drink pass is standard domestic catering.
Entertainment: No newspapers offered. Standard seatback literature. No audio or overhead monitors. Just natural IFE, which in this case was blackness outside.
On-time performance: We left late and arrived slightly late.
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